Hint, Hint: Jo Rowling Speaks about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Page Three

Dec 04, 2007

Posted by: Doris | Comments


Hint, Hint: Jo Rowling Speaks about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

A compilation and summary of 10 years of interviews (weighted for importance)

Commentary and rankings by Lisa Bunker; interview summaries by Deborah Skinner

Page One | Page Two | Page Three
Read the archived discussion on this essay here.

Interesting, But Probably Not Crucial

We will find out more about the history of James Potter’s family in the next books.

However, JKR has indicated that James’s parents are “not particularly important to the story” and that there was nothing unusual about their deaths (World Book Day, 2004).

Red Nose Day Chat, BBC Online, March 12, 2001.

At the moment the last word is still “scar.”

I think this is a safe clue to give us. On the surface it seems significant but is difficult to guess how she intends to use the word.

Anelli, Melissa and Emerson Spartz. “The Leaky Cauldron and MN interview Joanne Kathleen Rowling: Part Two,” The Leaky Cauldron, July 16, 2005.

“In my books, magic almost always shows itself in a person before age 11; however, there is a character who does manage in desperate circumstances to do magic quite late in life, but that is very rare in the world I am writing about.”

This is not Petunia. See “Denials” (below).

Since this answer is in response to a question about “lateblooming” Hogwarts students, could it be one of the squibs we’ve met? Mrs. Figg? Filch?

Barnes and Noble chat, March 19, 1999.

Jo has written an epilogue that explains what some of the characters’ lives are like, but she may not actually use it.

Edinburgh “cub reporter” press conference, ITV, July 16, 2005.

JKR said she wouldn’t answer questions about religious content until the end of the seventh book.

At the time Jo was asked about this she was under attack by religious conservatives about her own beliefs and the wizardry in the books. I think she said this because she thought the books should speak for themselves.

It is also possible that she felt that to discuss themes like love, death, redemption and forgiveness would give parts of the plot away.

Then again, this statement is not a direct quote; this is the reporter’s paraphrase of something she said and the reporter might not have gotten it right.

Tucker, Ernest. “No end in sight for Pottermania,” Chicago Sun-Times, October 22, 1999.

There might be more than meets the eye regarding the cats in the stories.

The foreshadowing for this (McGonagall’s animagus, Crookshanks, Squib cats, Ginny’s affinity for cats) doesn’t seem to hint at this being a huge revelation, though Jo said this was a “good question.”

About the Books: transcript of J.K. Rowling’s live interview on Scholastic.com,” Scholastic.com, October 16, 2000.

We will learn what Dudley “saw” when he faced the dementors.

What did he see or feel? Interesting, but probably not key to the story.

JK Rowling’s World Book Day Chat, March 4, 2004.

We will find out what happened to Sirius’s flying motorbike.

Hopefully we will find out a lot more about that night. What do you think happened to it? Jo has said that “real sleuths” might be able to guess.

JK Rowling’s World Book Day Chat, March 4, 2004.

Cuarón “put things in the [Prisoner of Azkaban] film that, without knowing it, foreshadow things that are going to happen in the final two books.”

Does she mean plot, dialogue, or set design? And what was contributed by Cuarón and what by Scriptwriter Steve Kloves? We may know what this is already if it is the details of how Hogwarts gets locked up, the Hogwarts clocks, or the Celtic standing stones (sundial) above Hagrid’s hut. Cuarón also added Snape’s protectiveness toward the trio after Lupin transformed, and a touch of romance between Ron and Hermione.

Warner Brothers. “Interview with David Heyman, Steve Kloves, Mark Radcliffe, Alfonso Cuaron, and Jo Rowling,” Prisoner of Azkaban DVD “Extra,” November 23, 2004.

Umbridge is still at the Ministry; we will see more of her because Jo wants to “torture” her a bit more.

Ahhh, what indignities lie in store?

Anelli, Melissa and Emerson Spartz. “The Leaky Cauldron and MN interview Joanne Kathleen Rowling: Part Two,” The Leaky Cauldron, July 16, 2005.

Ravenclaw “Will get their day, if you know what I mean!”

Go Luna! Go Flitwick!

uncorroborated fan posting [interview by Owen Jones], O/T forum, July 17, 2005.

Grawp will continue to become “more amenable to human contact.”

She may have been referring to how well-behaved he was at Dumbledore’s funeral. But who knows? Why is Grawp in the story? Is he a digression like S.P.E.W.? Or will he be key in some way?

Rowling, Joanne. “J K Rowling at the Edinburgh Book Festival,” JKRowling.com (News section), August 15, 2004.

Obvious Stuff: Things We Can Guess from the Books or That Are No Big Surprise

(Links to sources available here.)

  • As she writes Book 6, Jo feels as if Book 6 and Book 7 “are two halves of the same novel.” [Jo’s website]
  • JKR: “You really sort of skid off the end of six straight into seven” because you know at the end of six that the main plot line isn’t finished. [BBC-Radio4, 2005]
  • After Book 6 “you’re left with a very clear idea of what Harry’s going to do next.” [Time Magazine, 2005]
  • In Book 6 Harry found out a lot about the past which “hopefully will be of use to him in the future.” [Dateline NBC, 2005]
  • In Book 7, Harry will be seventeen, which means he will be “of age.” He will become a full wizard and be able to use his magic outside school. [Barnes & Noble chat, 1999]
  • Harry and Ron will never read Hogwarts, a History. [The Leaky Cauldron, 2005]
  • More characters are going to die. [Jo’s website]
  • Dumbledore’s guesses about how to kill Voldemort are “never very far wide of the mark.” Harry will need to get rid of four Horcruxes, and then “go for Voldemort.” Dumbledore has given Harry “some pretty valuable clues” and Harry “has amassed more knowledge than he realizes.” [The Leaky Cauldron/Mugglenet interview, 2005]
  • “What’s very important for me is when Dumbledore says that you have to choose between what is right and what is easy. This is the setup for the next three books. All of them are going to have to choose, because what is easy is often not right.” [Entertainment Weekly, 2000]
  • What Harry (and all the characters) will be going through will be quite “tough.” [Edinburgh Book Festival, 2004]
  • JKR refers to Neville as “the boy who was so nearly King” but does not tell us if he will ever find this out. Also refers to Neville as an “also-ran” and a “might-have-been.” [Jo’s website]
  • Neville does have a “significant part to play in the last two novels and the fight against Voldemort.” [Jo’s website]
  • JKR will not tell us if Lord Voldemort ever finds out what the prophecy fully said. [ITV, 2005]
  • There will be a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher in Book 7. [The Leaky Cauldron/Mugglenet interview, 2005]
  • Lupin will not be able to overcome prejudice against werewolves and return as a Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. [Jo’s website]
  • There will be no more Quidditch matches. [The Leaky Cauldron, 2005]]
  • JKR: “Some people will loathe it [Book 7], some will love it, but that’s the way it should be.” [Radio City press conference, 2006]

Unimportant to the Big Picture?

(Links to sources available at here.)

  • Harry will get back at Dudley. [Book Links, 1999]
  • Harry might get a different pet. [Raincoast Books, 2001] This statement might have been referring to Buckbeak, though if this is Fawkes this statement would definitely move up in importance to the plot.
  • Someday we may find out how Dumbledore got his scar shaped like the London Underground. [Edinburgh Book Festival, 2004]

Characters We Will See Again (In Addition to the Obvious Ones)

(Links to sources available here.)

  • “There will be some characters [in Book 7] who you don’t know particularly well, and there may be a couple of new characters, but nobody really major. You know pretty much the cast list by now.” [ITV, 2005]
  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows we will become better acquainted with another member of the Order of the Phoenix. This is someone we know about but have not “met properly.” [ITV, 2005]
  • Viktor Krum. [World Book Day, 2004]
  • Rita Skeeter. [Edinburgh Book Festival, 2004]
  • Dolores Umbridge — JKR will get to torture her again. [The Leaky Cauldron, 2005]


(Links to sources available here.)

  • The Sorting Hat is not a Horcrux. “Horcruxes do not draw attention to themselves by singing songs in front of large audiences.” [Jo’s website]
  • Dumbledore will not “do a Gandalf”; he is truly dead. [Radio City2, 2006]
  • Aunt Petunia has never performed magic, and will never be able to do so. [Jo’s website]
  • JKR: “The shape is not the most significant aspect of [Harry’s] scar.” [World Book Day, 2004]
  • No book character has returned from the future. [Jo’s website]
  • The last part of the prophecy does not mean that Neville and Harry must kill each other. [Jo’s website]
  • The prophecy did not mystically intertwine Neville’s fate with Harry’s. [Jo’s website]
  • Wormtail won’t kill Lupin. [ITV, 2005]
  • Peter Pettigrew’s silver hand will not be used to kill Lupin. [Jo’s website]
  • Lupin will not be able to overcome prejudice against werewolves and return as a Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. [Jo’s website]

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Read the archived discussion on this essay in Unfogging Deathly Hallows!

Finding Hogwarts

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.