Wild About Harry

Finished ‘Potter’? Rowling tells what happens next

Exclusive: Author gives details on events after the book’s final epilogue

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Exclusive: J.K. Rowling on final ‘Potter’
July 26: J.K. Rowling talks to TODAY’s Meredith Vieira about the final "Harry Potter" book and the aftermath of certain characters.

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In her only television interview after the highly anticipated release of the seventh and final installment in the Harry Potter series, author J.K. Rowling sat down with NBC’s Meredith Vieira in Edinburgh, Scotland, to discuss the conclusion of her series for the first time. Tune in to TODAY on Friday, July 27, to see more of the interview.

By Jen Brown

TODAYShow.com contributor

Updated: 4:38 a.m. PT July 26, 2007

Spoiler alert: This story reveals some key plot points in the final Harry Potter book. So if you’ve haven’t finished the book, J.K. Rowling asks that you not read this story.

If you found the epilogue of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” rather vague, then J.K. Rowling achieved her goal.

The author was shooting for “nebulous,” something “poetic.” She wanted the readers to feel as if they were looking at Platform 9¾ through the mist, unable to make out exactly who was there and who was not.

“I do, of course, have that information for you, should you require it,” she told TODAY’s Meredith Vieira rather coyly in her first interview since fans got their hands on the final book.
Ummm … yes, please!

Rowling said her original epilogue was “a lot more detailed,” including the name of every child born to the Weasley clan in the past 19 years. (Victoire, who was snogging Teddy — Lupin and Tonks’ son — is Bill and Fleur’s eldest.)

“But it didn’t work very well as a piece of writing,” Rowling 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 the seventh and final novel is in the hands of her adoring public, Rowling no longer has to hold back any information about Harry Potter from her fans. And when 14 fans crowded around her in Edinburgh Castle in Scotland earlier this week as part of TODAY’s interview, Rowling was more than willing to share her thoughts about what Harry and his friends are up to now.

Harry, Ron and Hermione
We know that Harry marries Ginny and has three kids, essentially, as Rowling explains, creating the family and the peace and calm he never had as a child.

As for his occupation, Harry, along with Ron, is working at the Auror Department at the Ministry of Magic. 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, Hermione, Ron’s wife, is “pretty high up” in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, despite laughing at the idea of becoming a lawyer in “Deathly Hallows.”

“I would imagine that her brainpower and her knowledge of how the Dark Arts operate would really give her a sound grounding,” Rowling said.

Harry, Ron and Hermione don’t join the same Ministry of Magic they had been at odds with for years; they revolutionize it and the ministry evolves into a “really good place to be.”

“They made a new world,” Rowling said.

The wizarding naturalist
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.

“I think that Luna is now traveling the world looking for various mad creatures,” Rowling said. “She’s a naturalist, whatever the wizarding equivalent of that is.”

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?
It’s possible Luna has also found love with another member of the D.A.

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.”

Mr. and Mrs. Longbottom: “The damage is done.”

There is no chance, however, that Neville’s parents, who were tortured into madness by Bellatrix Lestrange, ever left St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies.

“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,” Rowling said. “The damage that is done, in some cases with very dark magic, is done permanently.”

Photos by Andrew Kandel for TODAYshow.com


Rowling said Neville finds happiness in his grandmother’s acceptance of him as a gifted wizard and as the new herbology professor at Hogwarts.

The fate of Hogwarts
Nineteen years after the Battle of Hogwarts, the school for witchcraft and wizardry is led by an entirely new headmaster (“McGonagall was really getting on a bit”) as well as a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. That position is now as safe as the other teaching posts at Hogwarts, since Voldemort’s death broke the jinx that kept a Defense Against the Dark Arts professor from remaining for more than a year.

While Rowling didn’t clarify whether Harry, Ron and Hermione ever return to school to finish their seventh year, she did say she could see Harry popping up every now and again to give the “odd talk” on Defense Against the Dark Arts.

More details to come?
Rowling said she may eventually reveal more details in a Harry Potter encyclopedia, but even then, it will 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 will 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.”

———————————————————————————————

~~  Stop your sobbing! More Potter to come  ~~

J.K. Rowling tells TODAY she will write an ‘encyclopedia’ on characters

Spoiler alert: This story reveals some key plot points in the final Harry Potter book. So if you’ve haven’t finished the book, J.K. Rowling asks that you not read this story.

For the millions in the midst of the seven stages of mourning for the end of the Harry Potter era, take heart.

In her first tell-all interview since the release of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” J.K. Rowling told TODAY’s Meredith Vieira she “probably will” publish a Potter encyclopedia, promising many more details about her beloved characters and the fate of the wizarding world beyond the few clues provided in the seventh book’s epilogue.

“I suppose I have [started] because the raw material is all in my notes,” Rowlings

The encyclopedia would include back stories of characters she has already written but had to cut for the sake of narrative arc (“I’ve said before that Dean Thomas had a much more interesting history than ever appeared in the books”), as well as details about the characters who survive “Deathly Hallows,” characters who continue to live on in Rowling’s mind in a clearly defined magical world.

Hogwarts, for example, has a new headmaster (“McGonagall was really getting on a bit”), and Rowling said she can see Harry going back to give the “odd talk” on Defense Against the Dark Arts. That class, by the way, is now led by a permanent professor, since Voldemort’s death broke the jinx that didn’t allow a teacher to remain in the position for more than a year.

Jen Brown/TODAYshow.com


Rowling freely offered up these details to Vieira and the 14 fans who asked her questions at Edinburgh Castle in Scotland on Tuesday. In fact, now that she is now longer burdened with guarding the secrets of Book 7, Rowling seemed to delight in discussing her plot choices and clearing up the mysteries that have previously surrounded the books.

The character Rowling couldn’t bear to kill
One of the big stories that has been floating among fans for more than a year is that one character gets a reprieve from death, while two others Rowling didn’t intend to kill end up dying in “Deathly Hallows.” “Mr. Weasley, he was the person who got a reprieve,” Rowling said. “When I sketched out the books, Mr. Weasley was due to die in Book 5.”

Instead, another father dies in the end of Book 7.

Though Rowling couldn’t bear to kill off Arthur Weasley, that didn’t mean the other deaths in the book were easy to take. Given the bloodbath that is “Deathly Hallows,” the writing of it was bound to be an emotional roller coaster.

But nothing in the entire process of the series was more difficult than writing the scene when Harry, accompanied by his lost loved ones — including his parents, James and Lily, and his godfather, Sirius — walks into the forest with the intent of sacrificing his life in the name of defeating Voldemort, Rowling said, adding it is her favorite passage in all seven books.

“I didn’t cry as I was writing [that chapter], but when I finished writing, I had an enormous explosion of emotion and I cried and cried and cried,” Rowling said.

Jen Brown / Todayshow.com


“That was partly because of the content — and partly because it had been planned for so long and been roughed out for so long. And to write the definitive version felt like a — a huge climax.”

“The Deathly Hallows” is the climax to the last 17 years of Rowling’s life, a time when she has gone from a single, divorced mother living on public assistance to a happily married mother of three and one of the richest women in the world.

It’s now time to sit back for a bit and enjoy the life that Harry has given her, Rowling said. And, when she’s ready, there’s always that encyclopedia waiting in the wings.

“I’m not going to do it tomorrow because I’d really like a break,” Rowling said, laughing. “So you may be waiting.”

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About Ask Marion

I am a babyboomer and empty nester who savors every moment of my past and believes that it is the responsibility of each of us in my generation and Americans in general to make sure that America is as good or even a better place for future generations as it was for us. So far... we haven't done very well!! Favorite Quotes: "The first 50 years are to build and acquire; the second 50 are to leave your legacy"; "Do something that scares you every day!"; "The journey in between what you once were and who you are becoming is where the dance of life really takes place".
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