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New Interview with J.K.Rowling on Deathly Hallows Pt.5

July 30, 2007

Part 5
WARNING: DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE BOOK AND DO NOT WANT TO BE SPOILED.

Meredith Vieira: You did leave it open for the possibility because in the epilogue there’s Harry and Hermione and Ron and they have their children and–
J.K. Rowling: But not– I didn’t really leave it open for that reason. I didn’t write the epilogue thinking, “Right. Let’s set the stage for another set of books for the next generation.” It– it was just– I wanted to show that life went on. And that even where there had been deaths, you know, there would be life and so on.

In fact, she says dead Professor Lupin’s son Teddy is one of the main reasons she wanted to write the epilogue.

J.K. Rowling: To hear that Teddy Lupin — Lupin’s son is obviously okay. That he has an ongoing relationship with Harry and that he’s– he must be quite happy and he’s got a very good-looking girlfriend because I think he’s kissing in the epilogue his– Bill and Fleur’s eldest daughter.
Meredith Vieira: And why is that important?
J.K. Rowling: Because he’s been orphaned. And I want– I want to show that he’s okay.

And I want to show that because the world is a better place, he’s having a happier– and then I started to cry. So obviously Teddy Lupin’s very important to me. I just– yeah. I– having killed both his parents, I really wanted him to be okay.

Then she dished about the life and death choice she made between the Weasley twins — Fred and George — brothers of Harry’s best friend Ron.

 

 

J.K. Rowling: Well, I don’t know why because I always knew it was going to be Fred. I suppose looking back from it, I think that most people would have expected it to be George I think. Because that’s the ringleader. He’s always been the instigator. He’s slightly harder than George. George is slightly gentler. Fred is normally the funnier but also the crueler of the two. So they might have thought that George would be the more vulnerable one and, therefore, the one to die.
Meredith Vieira: But was it easier for you to kill Fred than George?
J.K. Rowling: It wasn’t easier.
Meredith Vieira: No?
J.K. Rowling: It wasn’t easier. Either one of them would have been terrible to kill. (LAUGHTER) It was awful killing Fred. I hated that.

But the toughest time for her came during the writing of another chapter.

J.K. Rowling: I really, really, really cried after writing Chapter 34, which is where Harry walks back into the forest for what he thinks will be the last time … It was because I had to live that with Harry and feel the weight of his disillusionment and his fear because he believes he’s being sent to his death by Dumbledore who he saw wanted to keep him alive. So that was massively moving to me to write.
Meredith Vieira: Why was it important to you, Jo, to write about the cruelty and inhumanity?
J.K. Rowling: I’m not sure why. (LAUGHTER) But it was what I wanted to write about most. And it’s about choice. And you are shown that Voldemort. I mean, it– I suppose we’re going to call him a psychopath. But he’s so, in many ways, he is what he is and he’s beyond redemption. Although this being Harry Potter and because I can take liberties because I have magic in my world, it is shown at the very end of the book that he did have a chance for redemption because he had taken into his body this drop of hope or love–
Meredith Vieira: Harry’s blood.
J.K. Rowling: Right. So that meant that if he could have mastered the courage to repent, he would have been okay. But, of course, he wouldn’t. And that’s his choice. But the people around him, that’s what’s more interesting in a way. The people who were drawn to him for protection, for power, sadism. But people who do have a choice, did make a choice, like the Malfoys of this world. And I think that’s always worth examining why people choose to make those decisions.

But one point she wanted to make had nothing to do with book seven. It was about her gratitude to the readers who’ve stuck with her and Harry for ten years now.

Meredith Vieira: It’s got to be humbling in some ways, too.
J.K. Rowling: Yeah, totally. Funnily enough, just before Seven came out, I met two or three fans — all who said the same thing to me. “I read the first one when I was ten. I read the first one when I was 11.” And I’m now looking at 20-year-old men and women.
Meredith Vieira: What do you say to those fans? Because there are many who–
J.K. Rowling: I just say you can’t imagine what that means to me. And they can’t. They can’t.
Meredith Vieira: Did you feel, in writing the seventh book, or any– actually any one of them, but particularly the seventh– a sense of responsibility to those fans?
J.K. Rowling: You know, it always– well, yes. I definitely felt a sense of responsibility in that I wanted to make it the very, very, very best book I could. Because they were waiting for it and there was so much expectation. I am often asked, “Well, don’t you feel guilty killing people, characters that kids love?” And– it sounds horrible and heartless to say “no.” But the truth is that when you’re writing, you have to think only of what you’re writing … You must not sit there and think, “Well, I was going to kill Hagrid but, you know, people love him.”

And now that Harry Potter’s story has been told, Jo Rowling gets a chance to work on her personal story.

Meredith Vieira: What’s next for you?
J.K. Rowling: I’m going to take a break definitely. And I’m just going to savor for a while the feeling that I don’t have a deadline.
Meredith Vieira: Do you want to write another book?
J.K. Rowling: Of course. Of course. I’m not saying I won’t be writing. I’m just saying I’m going to be enjoying writing without having to publish or having to think about that. And it’s– that’s a privilege, you know? … I’m immensely privileged.

And she saved one last inside tidbit to the end.

That means it’s also time for one last spoiler alert.

SPOILER ALERT

Meredith Vieira: The end of the book: I had read that the last word was supposed to be “scar.” But the last–
J.K. Rowling: And it was for a long, long time. For a long time the last line was something like: “Only those who he loved could see the lightning scar.” And that was in reference to the fact that as they were on the platform, people were milling around. And that Harry was kind of flanked by, you know, his loved ones. So they were the only ones who were really near enough to see it, even though peo– other people were looking. And it also had a kind of ambiguity. So it was– is the scar still really there? But I changed it because I wanted a more– when I came to write it, I wanted a very concrete statement that Harry won. And that the scar, although it’s still there, it’s now just a scar. And I wanted to say it’s over. It’s done. And maybe a tiny bit of that was to say to people, “No, Voldemort’s not rising again. We’re not going to have Part Two. Harry’s job is done.” So that’s why I changed it.
Meredith Vieira: To “all is well.” And you knew when you came up with that line, that was it.
J.K. Rowling: It just felt … I felt a kind of (SIGH). And that’s– that felt right. And I really wanted Harry to have some (peace).

Meredith Vieira: So, in 17 years and seven books, what do you hope that people take away from this?
J.K. Rowling: The most flattering thing that I’ve ever been told — and I have been told it quite a lot — is that the Harry Potter books were the first that made people interested in reading. And there’s nothing better than that. If that’s what Harry did, then that’s the best thing I could possibly, possibly hear.

Meredith Vieira: And as you would put it: “All is well.”
J.K. Rowling: Exactly.

————

DONE.

Oh wow. Great interview!! 🙂

Source: MSNBC

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