J.K. Rowling goes Beyond the Epilogue
[info from various sources including MSNBC and USA Today]
J.K. Rowling has announced in new interviews with the Today show on NBC TV today (July 26) that the epilogue of Harry Potter and the ly Hallows was vague on purpose.
She said it was her desire for it to be "nebulous," something "poetic," and that she wanted the readers to feel as if they were looking at Platform 9 3/4 through the mist, unable to make out exactly who was there and who was not.
She admitted her original epilogue was "a lot more detailed," including the name of every child born to the Weasley clan in the past 19 years. For example, Victoire, who was snogging Teddy, Lupin and Tonks' son, is Bill and Fleur's eldest child.
"But it didn't work very well as a piece of writing," J.K. said. "It felt very much that I had crowbarred in every bit of information I could ... In a novel you have to resist the urge to tell everything."
But now that Book 7 is in our hands, J.K. no longer has to hold back any information about Harry Potter. With 14 fans crowded around her in Edinburgh Castle in Scotland earlier this week, J.K. has now told us the following exciting information:
Harry, Ron and Hermione
In the book, Voldemort meets his end and Harry lives. But J.K. said Harry's survival was not always a certainty.
"In the early days, everything was up for grabs," she told USA Today. "But early on I knew I wanted Harry to believe he was walking toward his , but would survive."
The epilogue tells us that Harry marries Ginny and has three kids. J.K. explained that this created the family and the peace and calm that Harry never had as a child.
An often asked question is what are Harry, Ron and Herione doing now? J.K. said that Harry, along with Ron, is working at the Auror Department at the Ministry of Magic, and after all these years, Harry is now the department head.
"Harry and Ron utterly revolutionized the Auror Department," Rowling said. "They are now the experts. It doesn't matter how old they are or what else they've done."
Meanwhile, J.K. said that Hermione, Ron's wife, is "pretty high up" in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, despite the fact that she laughed at the idea of becoming a lawyer in the scene with Scrimgeour in ly Hallows.
"I would imagine that her brainpower and her knowledge of how the Dark Arts operate would really give her a sound grounding," J.K. said.
An important point for J.K. was that Harry, Ron and Hermione don't join the same Ministry of Magic they had been at odds with for years. In joining it, they revolutionize it and help evolve the Ministry into a "really good place to be."
"They made a new world," Rowling said.
Luna Lovegood, the eccentric Ravenclaw who was fascinated with Crumple-Horned Snorkacks and Umgubular Slashkilters, continues to march to the beat of her own drum after leaving Hogwarts.
"I think that Luna is now traveling the world looking for various mad creatures," J.K. said. "She's a naturalist, whatever the wizarding equivalent of that is."
But she isn't completely crazy. J.K. said that Luna comes to see the truth about her father, eventually acknowledging there are some creatures that don't exist.
"But I do think that she's so open-minded and just an incredible person that she probably would be uncovering things that no one's ever seen before," Rowling said.
Luna and Neville Longbottom?
When she was first asked about the possibility of Luna hooking up with Neville Longbottom several years ago, Rowling's response was "Definitely not." But as time passed and she watched her characters mature, Rowling started to "feel a bit of a pull" between the unlikely pair.
Ultimately, Rowling left the question of their relationship open at the end of the book because doing otherwise "felt too neat."
Frank and Alice Longbottom
J.K. told the fans that, sadly, there is no chance that Neville's parents, who were tortured into madness by Bellatrix and Rudolphus Lestrange, ever leave St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Malas.
"I know people really wanted some hope for that, and I can quite see why because, in a way, what happens to Neville's parents is even worse than what happened to Harry's parents," J.K. said. "The damage that is done, in some cases with very dark magic, is done permanently."
However, she said Neville finds happiness in his grandmother's acceptance of him as a gifted wizard and as the new herbology professor at Hogwarts.
Some lived, Some Died
In earlier interviews, J.K. had said that there were was a character she claims she had intended to in book 5, "The Order of the Phoenix," but didn't. She admits now that character was Ron's dad, Arthur Weasley.
"He was the person who got a reprieve. When I sketched out the books, Mr. Weasley was due to in Book Five. I swapped him for someone else, and I don't want to say who for the people who haven't read it. But I made a decision as I went into writing Phoenix that I was going to reprieve Mr. Weasley and I was going to someone else. And if you finish the book, I expect you probably know and someone else who is a father. I couldn't bear to him," J.K. said.
But there were also two characters that d who J.K. had not originally planned to in the finale. She said, "Fred, Lupin and Tonks really caused me a lot of pain. Lupin and Tonks were two who were ed who I had intended to keep alive. It's like an exchange of hostages, isn't it?"
The future of Hogwarts
J.K. said that "McGonagall was really getting on a bit," and nineteen years after the Battle of Hogwarts, there is an entirely new headmaster. Also, there is a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, and that position is now as safe as the other teaching posts at Hogwarts, since Voldemort's broke the jinx that kept a Defense Against the Dark Arts professor from remaining for more than a year.
J.K. didn't clarify whether Harry, Ron and Hermione ever return to school to finish their seventh year, but she did say she could see Harry making an appearance every now and again to give the "odd talk" on Defense Against the Dark Arts.
The Confusing Ending, and More Info To Come
And for those readers who found chapter 34, when Harry enters the forrest to face Voldemort once and for all, difficult to read, J.K. said she understands. It was extremely difficult to write, she says -- the most difficult of all the chapters in the seven books.
"I had this enormous explosion of emotion and I cried and cried and cried," she said.
And while ending the series was also sad, it was also a bit of a relief. "It was this amazing cathartic moment – the end of 17 years' work," Rowling said of finishing the series, adding that Harry "always be a presence in my life, really."
J.K. again confirmed she may eventually reveal more details in a Harry Potter encyclopedia, but even then, it never be enough to satisfy the most ardent of her fans.
"I'm dealing with a level of obsession in some of my fans that not rest until they know the middle names of Harry's great-great-grandparents," she said. Not that she's discouraging the Potter devotion!
"I love it," she said. "I'm all for that."
UPDATE: J.K. gives away more secrets!
On Monday, July 30, J.K. Rowling gave a live on-line webcast interview, and she gave out more information as to what happens in the time of the epilogue in Book 7.
J.K. said the world was a sunnier, happier place after the seventh book and the of Voldemort.
Harry Potter, who always voiced a desire to become an Auror, or someone who fights dark wizards, was named head of the Auror Department under the new wizarding government headed by his friend and ally, Kingsley Shacklebolt.
His wife, Ginny Weasley, stuck with her athletic career, playing for the Holyhead Harpies, the all-female Quidditch team. Eventually, Ginny left the team to raise their three children -- James, Albus and Lily -- while writing as the senior Quidditch correspondent for the wizarding newspaper, the Daily Prophet.
When asked "What child did harry give the marauders map to if any," J.K. said, "I've got a feeling he didn't give it to any of them, but that James sneaked it out of his father's desk one day."
Contrary to a quote in an earlier interview, J.K. says Ron Weasley joined his brother, George, as a partner at their successful joke shop, Weasley's Wizard Wheezes. George named his first child and son Fred, and he goes on to have a very successful career, helped by Ron.
Hermione Granger, Ron's wife, furthered the rights of subjugated creatures, such as house elves, in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures before joining the magical law enforcement squad. The couple had two children -- Rose and Hugo.
Harry and his friends have their own history depicted on Chocolate Frogs cards. Ron describe this as his finest hour.
A new, improved Percy ended up as a high-ranking official in the new Ministry of Magic under Kingsley. Dolores Umbridge was arrested, interrogated and imprisoned for crimes against Muggleborns.
Teddy Lupin grew up living with his grandmother Andromeda. However, unlike Neville, who was also raised by his grandmother, Teddy had his godfather, Harry, and all his father's friends in the Order, to visit and stay with.
Luna Lovegood, Harry's airily distracted friend with a love for imaginary animals who joins the fight against Voldemort in the Order of the Phoenix, becomes a famous wizarding naturalist who eventually marries the grandson of Newt Scamander, author of "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them."
Scorpius Malfoy has a lot going against him, not least that name. However, J.K. said she thinks Scorpius would be an improvement on his father.
Winky the House-Elf is still at Hogwarts, and she was one of the oncoming house-elves who attacked the Eaters in the final battle.
After the battle, Firenze was welcomed back into the herd. The rest of the herd was forced to acknowledge that Firenze's pro-human leanings were not shameful, but honourable. And Mr. weasley did eventually get around to fixing Sirius' motorbike. Of course, it ended up in Harry's possession.
When asked would Lockhart ever recover, J.K. replied, "No. Nor would I want him to. He's happy where he is, and I'm happier without him!"
So, now it's your turn. How do you feel about this new chracter information? What about your favorite characters that J.K. hasn't commented on yet? How do you think they turned out?
Published July 26, 2007
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