Harry Potter Secrets: Highlights of J.K. Rowling’s US Book Tour

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October brought US fans of Harry Potter a rare treat: a meeting with the wizard’s creator herself: Ms. J.K. Rowling. Rowling has done few publicity tours in the U.S. during the course of the book, but the final installment of the series sent her to several cities to meet with school children. During these meetings, she read exerpts from Deathly Hallows, answered audience questions, and gave tidbits of information about characters and storylines for those of us who are just dying to know more. Here’s the highlights:

  • Ms. Rowling is thinking of authoring a Harry Potter encylopedia to bring fans up-to-date with the exploits and future endvors of beloved characters. She has not begun working on it yet, however, stating “It’s not coming along, and I haven’t started it yet. I never envisioned that as being the next thing I did. I wanted to take a break and a step back and then [do that] in due course.”
  • After Voldemort was vanquished, Kingsley took over the ministry of magic and eradicated the latent discrimination there
  • The Malfoys did not get into trouble following the death of Voldemort because they allied themselves with Harry in the 11th hour
  • Harry and Voldemort are distantly related through the Peverells, although the Peverells’ blood runs through many wizarding families
  • Dumbledore could sometimes see Harry beneath his invisibility cloak by using the incantation “homenum revelio,” which did not need to be uttered aloud
  • Winky the house-elf (originally belonging to the Crouch family, and freed in book 4 to work at Hogwarts) continued to work at Hogwarts, and she was one of the elves who attacked the Death Eaters in the final battle
  • Hermione greatly improved the life for house-elves after her graduation
  • Teddy was raised by his grandmother, Andromeda, but often visited Harry and Ginny, since Harry was his godfather
  • Harry, Hermione and Ron all went back to school after the final battle to finish their education
  • Ron took Fred’s place at Weasleys’ Wizarding Wheezes
  • Ginny became a celebrated player for the Holyhead Harpies, then retired after a few years to become the Senior Quidditch correspondent at the daily Prophet
  • Peeves is a spirit of chaos that entered Hogwarts long ago, and has proved impossible to get rid of. He has nothing to do with the Bloody Baron’s story
  • During the final battle, Remus was killed by Dolohov and Tonks was killed by Bellatrix
  • In the last scene of the final book, Snape’s portrait is noticeably absent in the headmaster’s office. Because he abandoned his post before dying, wizarding tradition did not allow his painting to be hung. Harry, however, ensured that Snape’s likeness was eventually placed in the office, where it should have been
  • Umbridge was able to conjure a patronus while wearing the locket (as Harry was unable to do) because her nature was uncannily aligned with the locket’s essence. It therefore helped rather than hindered her
  • After Kingsley took over the Ministry of Magic, dementors were no longer used at Azkaban. The use of dementors was a sign of the underlying corruption of the Ministry
  • The Hufflepuff common room is accessed through a still-life painting near the kitchens. It is the opposite of Snape’s dungeon in decor, and sports lots of yellow wall hangings and comfy armchairs. Dorms are accessed via underground tunnels that lead to perfectly round doors
  • George never gets over his twin’s death, and names his first born Fred
  • When Dumbeldore looked into the Mirror of Erised, he saw his family returned alive and well, and his brother reconciled with him
  • Lily loved Snape as a friend, and may have grown to love him romantically if he did not love the Dark Arts so emphatically
  • You cannot destroy dementors, but you can limit their numbers if you limit misery and despair
  • Fawkes permanently left Hogwarts when Dumbledore died, which is why he did not aid Harry in the final battle
  • Lockhart never recovers
  • Harry ensures that Snape’s heroism was known throughout the wizarding world, although Rita Skeeter writes a piece entitled “Snape: Scoundrel or Saint?”
  • Teddy Lupin is not a werewolf–he’s a Metamorphmagus like Tonks
  • To create his horcuxes, Voldemort had to murder humans. To create the diary, he murdered Moaning Myrtle; to create the cup, Hepzibah Smith (who owned it previously); To create the locket, a Muggle tramp; To create Nagini, Bertha Jorkins; to create the diadem, an Albanian peasant; to create the ring, Tom Riddle Sr
  • Dementors do not have souls, which is what makes them so frightening
  • The third smell Hermione smelt in the amortentia potion was the smell of Ron’s hair
  • Slytherin becomes diluted in subsequent generations, and is no longer the pure-blood bastion of years past
  • Harry’s son, James, eventually found the marauder’s map in his father’s study and sneaked it out
  • Harry can no longer speak parseltongue since he is no longer a Horcrux
  • Dung sold Sirius’s two-way mirror to Aberforth
  • Dumbledore’s boggart is the corpse of his sister
  • Umbridge is imprisoned for crimes against Muggle-borns
  • Hermione brought her parents home and restored their memories directly after the final battle
  • James knew of Snapes feelings for Lily, which is why James picked on Snape so often
  • Narcissa Malfoy was never a full Death Eater; she just firmly believed what her husband believed
  • Mr. Weasley eventually fixed Sirius’s motorcycle and gave it to Harry
  • Firenze was eventually welcomed back to the herd, and the herd had to accept that his pro-human leanings were honorable
  • A wizard’s Patronus often mutates to take the image of the love of one’s life, since they often become the “happy thought” that generates it. This is why Snape’s Patronus was a doe, while James’s was a stag and Liliy’s was a doe
  • Krum eventually found love in his homeland of Bulgaria
  • The death of Hedwig marked the end of Harry’s childhood and innocence
  • Harry, Hermione and Ron all get their faces and histories on chocolate frog cards. Ron describes this as his finest hour
  • Snape was the only death eater that could produce a full Patronus, since a Patronus is used against things that Death Eaters usually generate and fight along side, so they don’t need one
  • After Voldemort’s death, the dark mark on every Death Eater faded to a scar, much like Harry’s lightening bolt
  • Bellatrix’s true love was Voldemort; she only married another because it was expected of her
  • Dumbledore is gay. He fell in love with his friend Grindelwald, and was heartbroken when Grindelwald began working with the Dark Arts
  • Neville Longbottm married Hufflepuff Hannah Abbot. She eventually became the landlady of the Leaky Cauldron
  • After their graduation, Remus Lupin was supported by James and Lily Potter because he was unemployable as a warewolf. James had enough family money to support the three of them
  • James, Sirius, Remus and Lily were full time Order of the Phoenix members. Once Lily became pregnant, James and Lily went into hiding and stopped fighting
  • Portrait occupants can only move freely to other portraits within their dwelling, or to another portrait in which they are depicted. These are strict rules that Ms. Rowling followed throughout the series
  • Hagrid never marries. The giant wars caused a shortage of females of the larger persuaion, and the one he did meet during the books was a bit more refined than he
  • Molly Weasly was always slated to finish Bellatrix during the final battle. Ms. Rowling wanted to pit the obsession of evil against the love for family, while showing that Molly was a wizard to be feared
  • Harry, as a Horcrux, wasn’t destroyed when he was stabbed by a basilisk fang because Fawkes was there to mend him. Horcruxes must be destroyed beyond repair to be fully gone, and since Fawkes was able to repair Harry quickly enough, he wasn’t destroyed
  • Luna Lovegood becomes a great naturalist and marries a fellow naturalist
  • Cho Chang marries a muggle
  • Snape teaches potions because Ms. Rowling hated chemsitry while in school; she penned this as revenge against her chemistry teacher
  • During the taping of the movies, Ms. Rowling talked to the actors and actresses, reveling the ultimate outcome of their characters (to some extent). Emma Watson new the most, although Danial Radcliff pretended to know the ending of book 7 before it was released
  • Dumbledore is a Machiavellian figure, pulling lots of strings behind the scenes
  • Crookshanks is half Kneazle
  • Hermione’s birthday is September 19th
  • It took 45 wacks with the ax to almost behead Nearly Headless Nick
  • Fred and George were born on April Fool’s Day
  • Ginny’s full name is Ginerva and was the first girl to be born to a Weasley in several generations
  • Mrs. Weasley’s maiden name is Prewett
  • Harry Potter became the head of the Auror Department in 2007
  • Arthor Weasley was slated to die in book 5 when the snake attacked him. Ms. Rowling decided she didn’t want Ron to grow up so quickly (which a death of a parent will do) but still wanted one character to mirror Harry’s parentless childhood. She traded Mr. Weasley’s life for that of Lupin and Tonks
  • Ron was written as the loyal and funny friend that glues the group together. He was also the last to mature–he did so as he destroyed the horcrux
  • Harry was able to see through Nagini’s eyes because both were horcruxes–they both shared a portion of Voldemort’s soul. This is also why Harry was able to speak parsletongue
  • Aunt Petunia almost told Harry “I know what you’re facing and I hope it all turns out well” as she left him for the last time, but stopped herself
  • Dumbledore reminded Petunia of her wish to attending wizard school like her sister Lily when he wrote her a letter asking her to shelter Harry
  • Lily’s sacrafice proved to protect Harry (while James’s didn’t) because Lily was given the choice between life and death, and time to think on her decision
Published in: on October 22, 2007 at 6:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
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