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JKR at Beedle Release: Locations in Harry Potter Book Not Based on Real Places

Books
Posted by: sue
December 05, 2008, 08:18 AM

We have a couple more details (thanks to an email from an attendee) on topics discussed by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling yesterday at the release party for The Tales of Beedle the Bard. In response to a question at the event yesterday in Edinburgh, Scotland, Jo said that none of her invented Harry Potter locations were based on actual places in the real world. Other topics covered involved the books she liked as a child, that English was her favorite subject at school, and as reported yesterday and carried by the global press, she is afraid of spiders.

Footage of J.K. Rowling reading from The Tales of Beedle the Bard is due to be release shortly, and we will update as soon as that becomes available, stay tuned!

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27 Comments

Professor Potter

I feel somehow that maybe that question may have been triggered by the recent publication of SVA’s new book in UK which explores the possible locations in England that “may” have been mirrored fictionally in Jo’s books. Its a great question to ask Rowling. I hope we can see a video of Rowling’s Q&A soon!

Posted by Professor Potter on December 05, 2008, 08:25 AM report to moderator
Professor Potter

Ooops, too many “mays” in my last post…think I’ll read more Rowling over again to improve my grammar :)

Posted by Professor Potter on December 05, 2008, 08:28 AM report to moderator
Zhiyal

Reading the tales yesterday, I realized just how much I have missed her voice … which doesn’t mean that I haven’t read the HP books over and over again! It was just fantastic to read new stuff, and I absolutely adore the “Hairy Heart,” was laughing my head off at Beatrix Bloxam’s “sensitive” version of the Hopping Pot, and admired JKR’s scathing humour in the footnote “Make of it what you will.”
Such a special treasure to have her among us …

Posted by Zhiyal on December 05, 2008, 08:41 AM report to moderator
linden swallow

Yes, how could it NOT have been triggered by the new book by SVA, “In Search of Harry Potter”? Hmm. I admire JKR but I wonder if she volunteered that or just responded to a question? If the former it strikes me as a little petty; it may very well be, however, that she was merely responding honestly to a question from someone who wanted something controversial.

Posted by linden swallow on December 05, 2008, 08:42 AM report to moderator
Amy Darlene

Oh neat…… so no old camping locations made it into the books? King Cross???

Posted by Amy Darlene on December 05, 2008, 08:52 AM report to moderator
Graymayne

The Forest of Dean is real enough and there is a camping site, my husband has camped on it!

Posted by Graymayne on December 05, 2008, 09:17 AM report to moderator
hck

@linden swallow:
No, I don’t think it is “petty”.
Obviously there are many places in the Potterverse which have strikingly similar parallels in our world (e.g.: a city named “London” (Potterverse King’s Cross station however is a mashup and not a copy of the station in our world). I guess the main words here are “basis” and “invented”: if I understand JKR’s statement correctly it just says that in cases like Hogwarts she did not proceed so that she did take some castle A in our world and invent a few additional turrets etc. to make Hogwarts out of it.
There are caves in our world, but no single cave in our world is at the basis of the cave in HBP (though knowing about caves in our world is), etc..
This is little surprising. Had JKR striven for more than such general similarity: she would have probably have provided enough detail to make clear identification possible.
And still: a book about such, well, let’s call “general similarity” can be rather interesting reading for somebody who does not know England and Scotland very well.

Posted by hck on December 05, 2008, 09:23 AM report to moderator
Jennifer

It says “none of her invented Harry Potter locations were based on actual places in the real world.” Not none of the locations were based on acutal places in the real world. So the forest of Dean and Kings Cross are real places while Godric’s Hollow and Hogsmeade are invented.

Posted by Jennifer on December 05, 2008, 09:25 AM report to moderator
hck

@Jennifer: yes.
IMO: There is no problem with the content of JKR’s statement.

It’s just that the headline of the article we are commenting on (“Locations in Harry Potter Book Not Based on Real Places”) may be a little, well, “too general” and a tiny bit misleading, perhaps, for people who don’t read the article … .

Posted by hck on December 05, 2008, 09:29 AM report to moderator
linden swallow

@hck: I meant “petty” because if JKR volunteered the comment on her own, it seems like a swipe at a man who is down but has finally had some success, i.e., SVA. But I suspect that in fact she was not petty and merely answered a question as it was put to her. I haven’t seen any transcript of the whole interview, unfortunately – that would help.

Posted by linden swallow on December 05, 2008, 09:53 AM report to moderator
Professor Potter

I will be slightly critical here on the Sues News team for once! Yes just the once because without them, Leaky is nothing (for me), it is unbiased, informative and how they come up with several HP related news items a day is beyond me! But this is not one of their best posts simply because there is no source link to expand on Jo’s remarks in context. But in their defence, there probably isnt one and the news is too good not to publish. Having said all that, the key word is “invented places”. For example, Kings cross is in the book but she doesn’t claim to invent that. From what I can interpret, she is stating that the ones she created such as the burrow etc are not based on any real location. I love Jo but I might pick a friendly argument with her on that (should I ever have such a “dream on” opportunity ;) Surely some places would be an influence at least!

Posted by Professor Potter on December 05, 2008, 09:59 AM report to moderator
emmy

It’s like Jennifer says, “none of her invented Harry Potter locations were based on actual places in the real world.” INVENTED. Meaning places like Hogsmeade, Godric’s Hollow, etc…

Posted by emmy on December 05, 2008, 10:42 AM report to moderator
Cynic

What next? Is she going to say that Nicholas Flamel wasn’t a real person because she doesn’t believe in him anymore? Ya know – some of her places are in London – is that real for her? The Scottish Tourism Industry might wonder why you are trying to run them out of business.

Posted by Cynic on December 05, 2008, 12:18 PM report to moderator
Eir de Scania

Quote:
“In response to a question at the event yesterday in Edinburgh, Scotland, Jo said that none of her invented Harry Potter locations were based on actual places in the real world”

So, she answered a question that I suppose have been inspired by the recent SVA book.

Posted by Eir de Scania on December 05, 2008, 12:23 PM report to moderator
Confederate Lady

SVA: Petty, petty, petty, petty, petty, etc…..Thank you, emmy, for stating the obvious, to those who might "jump to conclusions. The word “INVENTED” is in Ms Rowlings statements…..@Cynic: get a grip, dear. Not everything has to do with “money” and “tourism”…if that was all that was bringing folks to Scotland [and I doubt THAT highly] then their “tourism” was already in sad shape!

Posted by Confederate Lady on December 05, 2008, 12:44 PM report to moderator
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