To Help the Rumors, Some interviews and facts from JKR
To Help the Rumors, Some interviews and facts from JKR
Feb 26 2004, 11:50 AM
Joined: 21-February 04
From: Las Vegas, Nevada
Member No.: 1
This is really long, but I've gone through and copied and pasted some interviews from JKR. I've included the links as well, so you can look at the info yourself. It will help in our theories!
The wand chooses the wizard, of course, but what magical creature would you select for your own wand?
I'd like a phoenix feather, which is why I gave it to Harry!
Is Voldemort some sort of relative of Harry's? Possibly his mother's brother?
I'm laughing...that would be a bit Star Wars, wouldn't it?
In your first book there is a secret message on the Mirror of Erised. Are there any other secret messages throughout the book that we should be watching for?
Not secret messages of that type, but if you read carefully, you'll get hints about what's coming. And that's all I'm saying!
In the fourth book, when Harry tells Dumbledore about his fight with Voldemort and how Voldemort could touch him after he took Harry's blood, Harry thinks he sees Dumbledore smile slightly. Why? Is Dumbledore really on Voldemort's side after all?
Hmmmm....like all the best questions I get asked, I can't answer that one. But you are obviously reading carefully. I promise you'll find out!
Do wizards and witches have to go Muggle school before they go to Hogwarts?
No, they don't have to.
How does the Dark Lord affect American wizards and witches?
He affects everyone, but his plan is European domination first.
Which house was Lily Potter in, and what is her maiden name?
Her maiden name was Evans, and she was in Gryffindor (naturally).
Does Harry have a middle name?
Yep, James after his dad.
From where did you get the name for Harry Potter?
'Harry' has always been my favourite boy's name, so if my daughter had been a son, he would have been Harry Rowling. Then I would have had to choose a different name for "Harry" in the books, because it would have been too cruel to name him after my own son. "Potter" was the surname of a family who used to live near me when I was seven years old and I always liked the name, so I borrowed it.
There are an extraordinary number of names that start with "H" (Harry, Hermione, Hedwig, Hogwarts, Hagrid, Hufflepuff). Is there any reason for that?
Harry Potter for grownups again! Is Voldemort the last remaining ancestor of Slytherin, or the last remaining descendent of Slytherin?
Ah, you spotted the deliberate error. Yes, it should read "descendent." That's been changed in subsequent editions. (Keep hold of the "ancestor" one, maybe it'll be valuable one day!)
Is there something more to the cats appearing in the books than first meets the eye? (i.e. Mrs. Figg's cats, Crookshanks, Prof. McGonagall as a cat, etc.)
Ooooo, another good question. Let's see what I can tell you without giving anything away....erm....no, can't do it, sorry.
Is it true that since Voldemort took Harry's blood by force, that Harry can kill Voldemort, but Voldemort can't kill Harry?
It's an interesting theory, but I wouldn't trust it too much!
Is the Mrs. Figg with all the cats in the Dursleys' neighborhood the same Arabella Figg that Dumbledore mentioned at the end of book 4?
How many students attend Hogwarts, and how many students per year per house?
There are about a thousand students at Hogwarts.
You said Ron's cousin was taken out of Book 4, and you developed Rita Skeeter more after that. Do you still think that it would have been more fun to keep her? Can you tell me anything about what she was going to be like?
Well, maybe I will use her in another book, so I don't want to talk about her too much. I had never "killed" a character before (in either sense) until Goblet of Fire, so that made writing the book a little more stressful!
How old is old in the wizarding world, and how old are Professors Dumbledore and McGonagall?
Dumbledore is a hundred and fifty, and Professor McGonagall is a sprightly seventy. Wizards have a much longer life expectancy than Muggles. (Harry hasn't found out about that yet.)
How does the wizarding world protect Muggle banks and vaults, etc. from wizards apparating into them and stealing the contents?
Well, the Ministry of Magic keeps tabs on people apparating. That's why you have to have a license to do it, and the moment you abuse it you can find yourself in serious trouble (or Azkaban!).
What position did James play on the Gryffindor Quidditch team? Was it seeker like Harry, or something different?
James was Chaser.
What makes some witches/wizards become ghosts after they die and some not?
You don't really find that out until Book VII, but I can say that the happiest people do not become ghosts. As you might guess, Moaning Myrtle!
What did the Potter parents do for a living before Voldemort killed them?
I'm sorry to keep saying this, but I can't tell you because it's important to a later plot. But you will find out later!
In the first book you said Slytherin house Quidditch captain was sixth year Marcus Flint. If there are only seven years of Hogwarts, why is he in the third book?
He had to do a year again! :-)
Since Harry Potter's parents were sorcerers and Petunia was Harry's mother's sister. Shouldn't Petunia be a witch or wizard?
No. As Hagrid explains in Book I, sometimes a witch or a wizard occurs in an otherwise Muggle family, just as a Squib is a non-magic person who occurs in an otherwise magic family.
Do you think that you will write about Harry after he graduates from Hogwarts? Isn't there a University of Wizardry?
No, there's no University for Wizards. At the moment I'm only planning to write seven Harry Potter books. I won't say "never," but I have no plans to write an eighth book.
Will we ever get a Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher who lasts more than a year?
I'm not telling you. ;-)
Is Harry Potter ever going to fall in love with Hermione or is he going to fall in love with Ginny Weasley?
In Book IV Harry does decide he likes a girl, but it's not Hermione or Ginny. However, he's only 14, so there's plenty of time for him to change his mind. ;-)
Will Harry ever get a break and not live with the Dursleys?
I'm not going to tell you! ;-)
Will we ever see Scabbers again?
Yes. You will see Scabbers again.
Do you have an actual floorplan for Hogwarts? Do you use it when writing the books?
I haven't drawn it, because it would be difficult for the most skilled architect to draw, owing to the fact that the staircases and the rooms keep moving. However, I have a very vivid mental image of what it looks like.
Why are the gnomes bad? What do they do?
Gnomes eat the roots of your plants, and make little heaps of earth, like moles do. They are also a bit of a giveaway that wizards live in a house.
Where were you born and what was your childhood like?
I was born in a place called Chipping, so perhaps that explains my love of silly names.
How can two Muggles have a kid with magical powers? Also how does the Ministry of Magic find out these kids have powers?
It's the same as two black-haired people producing a redheaded child. Sometimes these things just happen, and no one really knows why! The Ministry of Magic doesn't find out which children are magic. In Hogwarts there's a magical quill which detects the birth of a magical child, and writes his or her name down in a large parchment book. Every year Professor McGonagall checks the book, and sends owls to the people who are turning 11.
Where is Azkaban?
In the north of the North Sea. A very cold sea.
Why did you choose the lightning bolt as a trademark for Harry Potter?
Just because I decided that it would be an interesting and distinctive mark.
Will we see the Marauders map in a future book?
Yes, you'll see it in Book IV. :-)
Can you tell me where and when Quidditch was invented?
Quidditch started in the 11th century, at a place called Queerditch Marsh which you probably won't find marked on maps. But obviously that's because wizards have made the place unplottable (which means you can't plot it on a map). Originally it was quite a crude game played on broomsticks, and over the subsequent two centuries they added more balls until it became the game we know now.
Could Harry have a pet dragon?
You can't domesticate a dragon whatever Hagrid thinks. That's simply impossible. So no. He's got more sense. He might get a different pet at some point but I'm saying no more at this moment.
Has Harry ever used the Internet?
No. He's not allowed near Dudley's computer and Dudley's the only one who's got a computer. He gets beaten up if he goes too near the keyboard. So no, he's never used the Internet. I use it a lot but not Harry. Wizards don't really need to use the Internet but that's something that you'll find out later on in the series. They have a means of finding out what goes on in the outside world that I think is more fun than the Internet. Could anything be more fun than the Internet? Yes!
E: Do you know already who is going to die in the next books?
JK: I know all of them who are going to die, yeah.
E: And some characters we might love and you might love?
JK: I'm definitely killing people I love, yeah. (Waves to fans outside) It's horrible, isn't it? (Laughs) It is actually. I cried during the writing of that one [Book Four] for the first time ever. I cried doing the actual writing of it. It really upset me.
E: People love Ron, for example. Kids think you're going to knock off Ron because he's the best friend.
JK: Kids do, exactly, because they're sharp and they've seen so many films where the hero's best friend gets it. So they think I'm going to make it personal by killing Ron. But maybe that's a double bluff… (Laughs)
E: Now that you know they expect it, do you give it to them?
JK: No, I decided…It's not that I sat down with a list and decided to write, 'You're going, you're going, you're going.' There are reasons for the deaths in each case, in terms of the story. So that's why I'm doing it.
E: This is the crucial book, because after this book, everything changes. The whole world seems to go through a radical transformation.
JK: Well, it's the end of an era. Book Four is the end of an era for Harry.
E: He's grown up. This is a right of passage.
JK: Exactly. He's no longer protected. He's been very protected until now. But he's very young to have that experience. Most of us don't get that until a bit later in life. He's only just coming up to 15 and that's it now. (A photographer sticks his camera against the window and snaps off a bunch of pictures.) He's very exposed now, as you know if you've read the book. If you haven't read the book, I'm not going to give it away.
E: She's somewhat condescending to the elves who don't have rights.
JK: She thinks it's so easy. It's part of what I was saying before about the growing process, of realizing you don't have quite as much power as you think you might have and having to accept that. Then you learn that it's hard work to change things and that it doesn't happen overnight. Hermione thinks she's going to lead them to glorious rebellion in one afternoon and then finds out the reality is very different, but that was fun to write.
E: The Daily Mail said that there was a stalker. Is this the dark side of fame?
JK: You know, they really might want to get in touch with me and tell me about this alleged stalker, because I think I'd probably know if I was being stalked. This is not a nice thing, ok, but I sometimes get a feeling of almost, 'Oh, come on, someone stalk her! We've run out of stories. Where's your initiative? Come on, surely she's worth stalking?' Well, no, no one is stalking me. So I'd like to thank the Daily Mail for inviting them to do it because it's very sweet of them.
EVAN: Time to talk about the Dementors.
J.K. ROWLING: Ah, the Dementors, yeah.
E: The Dementors, um, they are the personification of depression. (JK - Mmm hmm.) Now, I hate making biographical links between characters and authors but that's (laughing)…
JK: You might as well. (Laughs) Go for it.
E: But there is a biographical link and we've talked about it, about a depression in your life being, not just obviously a horrible time, but something in the end that was important to your life.
JK: Um, I was depressed, um, I'd say - would it be 1994 - I did suffer a spell of what I was told was clinical depression. I don't know, I was told it was. Yeah, I was depressed for a while. I'm not ashamed of that, plenty of people get depressed and I've never suffered from it again and I got through it. But the Dementors, uh, it's so hard to trace the origin of something. I saw these things and I knew what I wanted them to do, but they became, as I really thought about what they did, I realized that's what I was doing. That's normally the way it happens with me. I don't consciously think 'And now, I will create the personification of depression' but as I'm creating them I realize what I'm doing. You know, what unconsciously is going on. So they create an absence of feeling, which is my experience of depression. It is an absence…
E: That is your definition of it.
JK: (Nods) Mmm.
Aug 13 2004, 10:44 AM
Joined: 21-June 04
Member No.: 330
I am deep in thought. Remember Dumbledore said to Lucius at the end of COS something like 'I hope no more of voldemorts old school things find their way to harry again' r sumthing like that. It makes me think what if there more of his old school things?
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