Harry, A History: JKR on Veil Murmurs and More

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Sep 26, 2008

Posted by Melissa Anelli
Uncategorized

Hey all: As mentioned here before, my forthcoming book, Harry, A History, features a foreword by and interview with J.K. Rowling. A large portion of our lengthy interview did not make it into the book, so I’m posting interview outtakes and info on the book’s site regularly. The latest post is about the Veil at the Ministry, why Jo feels certain characters could hear what they did, and exactly who wanted to go beyond the Veil:


JKR: Everyone wanted to go beyond the veil.

MA: This is very canon-based, but there are some things that as a fan, there are things I just gotta know. A lot of fans see the veil as that separation -

JKR: It’s the divide between life and death. I tried to do a nod to that in the Tale of Three Brothers – she was separate from them as though through a veil. You can’t go back if you pass through that veil, you cannot come back. Or you can’t come back in any form that will make either person happy anyway.

But when they surround that veil [in Order of the Phoenix], I was trying to show that depending on their degree of skepticism or belief about what lay beyond – because Luna, of course, is a very spiritual character. Luna believes firmly in an afterlife. She’s very clear on that. And she feels them speaking or hears them speaking much more clearly than Harry does. This is the idea of faith.


That’s not all; there’s more at this link; you can pre-order the book, due out Nov 4, pre-order the book, here. Thanks for all your support so far; I’ll let you know each time there’s new info to be had there!





42 Responses to Harry, A History: JKR on Veil Murmurs and More

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Sweet! Thanks Melissa! I’ve been curious.

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Can’t wait to buy it Melissa!

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wow, I love how jkr introduces new and interesting concepts about the hp world in every interview. there’s just so much we don’t know about the hp world!!

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This is fabulous! Every new bit I hear makes me even more excited about the book. November 4th can’t come soon enough! Any word on whether we’ll be able to do a midnight party with you in NYC, Melissa? ;)

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Outstanding, Melissa! [was there any doubt, folks?] I have only one question: is ‘Harry: A History’ only going to be sold, through Amazon, or will it be available in other bookshops? I ordered my copy of ‘Beadle The Bard’ at Books-A-Million…good job, Ms Anelli! Can’t wait!!!!

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Yes! This was the one gripe I had about Deathly Hallows, about how the veil wasn’t closed up. Thanks!

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I always wondered about that veil metaphor…thanks for asking JK the question! Sigh. These are profoundly complex books. Oh wait, that means lots of enjoyable re-reading in the years ahead. Squee! Not a problem! BTW I’ve had your book on pre-order since the day it was posted at Leaky! TLC rocks!

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Thank you for discussing the veil with her. It was always bugging me that I didn’t know more about it.

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Yay thanks Melissa- the veil is such an intriguing topic and I’m so happy you asked about it.

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awesome to know some more answers! Good on yer, MA!

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That’s fascinating.

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I remember how we speculated pre-DH on how the veil would play a big part in DH. I had suspicions that Harry would enter the veil, a land of the dead, like in Dark Materials (Amber Spyglass) to lure Voldermont into it. But of course we found the veil played no part at all! But now after this interview, I realise the veil did play a part but not in a literal sense. It was always a symbolic gateway to beyond death. I really like how JK writes these scenes and complex characters in an open to interpretation manner.

This is really special canon from Jo, thanks Melissa for this exclusive edit cut! Makes me wonder what will it be like if they did book extras/bloopers like DVD extras! How about a text commentary running alongside the main content! Ha, so unlikely to ever happen but a thought nevertheless!

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wow! thank you Mellisa! that was a really great thing to clear up!

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I have to say, I never wondered as much about the veil as you guys… What Jo says isn’t new? But it makes me SOOO curious about the rest!!! 4th of november is getting close!

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So Ginny and Neville have that degree of faith too but Ron and Hermione don’t? Interesting.

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thank you so much for this <3

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Will that book be available in India also, Mellissa? Coz I really want to read it, but I don’t know whether it’ll be here or not.
I can’t wait to read this!!!!

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Hi Melissa! Great job!! I can’t wait to read more! Do you know if the book is going to be available in Argentina in its original version or translated? Thanks!

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Funny how some people can write books on Harry Potter and profit from them while others are can’t and are being sued for doing the same thing.

This is all very political and hypocritical.

The books are out, the story has been told. Leaky has lost its purpose…let’s move on.

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Wow that was really interesting – I think I’ll always love hearing more from JKR answering all those niggly little questions we have! I just ordered the book too cant wait to read it!

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It is great to have this tidbit. I have also been very curious about the Veil. JKR pretty much did confirm the impression I had that this was a divide betweeen the world of the living and “the afterlife”, but I still curious as to the properties that it has. How long it had been there, who “created” it? The use of this device also made Siruis’s death in the book a bit ambiguous, to me anyway, because it is not clear if he goes through alive but stunned or already dead from the unknown curse Bella hit him with, and for a while there, I was right with Harry, wondering if Sirius would walk back out. Of course that scene in the movie left no doubt because we hear her scream “Avada Kedavra.” To me the Veil is an interesting device becuase it really does say much about he mystery of death and one’s faith in an afterlife.

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Funny how people who reprint JKR’s words VERBATIM get sued and those who write their own books get endorsed. Funny how people cannot get over the point that a JUDGE said that the Lexicon was largely copied verbatim. Oy vey. Get over it. Melissa’s book is going forward because it’s an actual book written by her and not a repackaging of JKR’s work. Can we move past this now? It’s tiring and not benefiting to those who actually have read the stories and understand the difference between copying and writing.

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Lovely! The veil as a divider between physical and spiritual realms is an ancient image.

I like Jo’s careful use of it, and her principle that the more spiritual ones would be able to hear the voices better. Harry’s many experiences with his parents (the Mirror of Erised, and their shadows from Voldemort’s wand) make Harry a believer.

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Many thanks, Melissa. Awaiting my copy as well

Hi Laura, Prof. P, Conf Lady and my others potter friends…..

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Eric has no clue about law and the rights of authors if he can write something like he did. What JKR did for herself and all the other authors who couldn’t afford to try and defend their work was wonderful. The difference between Melissa and Steve (if anyone really has to have this pointed out to them) is Monumental!! Melissa created an original piece of work based on JKR’s work and gave credit where credit was due. All Steve did was take JKR’s work and give NO credit (or footnotes or anything) to JKR.

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Just from that tiny tidbit, I am so excited to get her clarity on so many unanswered questions. Melissas right, as a fan, we just gotta know!

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Uhn. You know, my birthday was ten days ago and one of the things I wanted to do on that day was put a reserve order on for “Harry, A History” at the local Waldenbooks-that-is-supposed-to-be-Borders-now. No comment about the Breaking Dawn pin the cashier/manager was wearing, but anyway, when I asked about it, I was heartbroken to discover that no, no preorders were being taken for it there! And, to add insult to injury, he didn’t even know about the deluxe edition of The Tales of Beadle The Bard until I expressed my wish that I could afford one. Although all was really forgiven when he called up the information on it and was flabbergasted by how beautiful the jewel-encrusted deluxe ed. is.

In other words, I’m already anxious to have this book, and this excerpt is only fanning those flames.

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Great news Melissa. I’m sure the book will be verrrrry good. I like the interview with the veil. I had more or less the same idea about it and it was nice reading a bit more of it.

Will it be aviable in Mexico also ?

Oh and Eric, shame on you for not beeing able to distinguish between a book written with creativity, about ones own experience. And a book thats composed of copying all the worlds from an other authors pencil and imagination

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This is really awesome! I’m so excited for you Melissa! Congrats on being a published author soon!

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And I really like the quotes about Luna having faith. It just makes me love her so much more. She will always be my favourite, and, honestly, a bit of a role model.

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OMG!!! I can’t wait for Nov. 4th!!!! I love you Melissa, I am so glad you did this because I can tell it comes from the bottom of your heart _

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Wow, interesting! So, in a sense, the veil did play some kind of role in DH, just in a more symbolic manner. I mean, it didn’t put in an appearance as such, but the Tale of the Three Brothers and the story about Death was all leading upto the veil concept! This woman is really a genius!

Thanks a lot Melissa. These tidbits that you keep posting just keep making me feel all the more excited! I can’t wait for the book!!

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Pseudo- theological nonsense.

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Yayyy!! This is like opening small presents before Christmas, which is totally on November 4th this year! : )

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Eric, I think the one that should move on is you. Unless you want to act like a bitter dementor for the rest of your life.

Now that we got THAT out of the way… I never had any doubt that the veil was a metaphor for death. And really, the thing is in the Department of Mysteries! If it was possible to know what the veil is thoughout the series, then what would be the point of the Department itself?

I’d like to know what other (serious) theories people had about that veil. I remember someone joking that Sirius was not dead and that the veil is a gateway to Narnia (and I actually like that theory! :P) .

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Ah! I love how JKR explains things little by little. I can’t wait until she writes her encyclopedia, since she’ll include stuff like this that explains more about the books. And this made me love Luna even more. She always strikes me as having “childlike faith”, so this fit very well with my perception of her character!

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Why cant Ron-Hermy hear those voices? cries

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Eric, Good point, but if you try to express such a rational thought here, you’ll be reprimanded by all of the sycophantic fans (and even worse, fans of fans) and/or have your IP address blocked & prevented from posting. It’s very hypocritical & political & shameless.

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Chris and Eric, you really don’t understand the differences between the two books? I’d feel sorry for you, but I tend to think you’re trolling, so I won’t bother.

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Oh yes, Chris and Eric is probably the same person. Trolls.

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And yet Chris and Eric – who, yes, have very similar identifying info – can post, and their posts haven’t been deleted. Thanks for disproving your theory yourselves, guys (or, ‘guy’ as the case may be).

It is, however, indisputably off topic to talk about the case in this thread. Leaving it is even against our own rules, but there you go. Please do keep posting to show how we stop you from posting. :)

Have a great day guys, and thanks again for all the support. :)

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Thanks for the info Melissa. It is greatly appreciated. I hapened to go to Amazon today and your book was avertised on the frontpage so naturally I’ve pre-ordered it. Looking forward to when it will be released.

And btw, I have posted a number of times in the Comments section of news items in Leaky under just my first name, no ‘handle’ or poster name. Guess I need to start using my last initial so I am not confussed with anyone else by the same name who is obviously very bitter. I for one, am one Eric who supports this site and Melissa’s originality. :)

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