J.K. Rowling Talks About Killing Lupin and Saving Hagrid and Ron In “Deathly Hallows”
We are just over a week away from "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt 2" being released on Blu Ray and DVD. In a new interview recorded just for the home media release, J.K. Rowling and Daniel Radcliff discuss the evolution fo the series, including charcters whose fates changed over the course of the series.
To many Harry Potter fans, one of the most well-known "saves" in the series came in "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" when the character of Arthur Weasley did not die from his snake attack just before Christmas. It is said that Rowling felt the need to remove a parental figure from Harry's life, but she didn't feel right killing Mr. Weasley. In his place, Remus Lupin died two books later in the climactic Battle of Hogwarts. However, for a time, Rowling said she only considered killing off Lupin's wife, the shape-shifting auror Nymphadora Tonks. Something that is barely even mentioned in the movie, is that at the time of the battle, Tonks and Lupid had recently had a child named Teddy, who Harry is the godfather of. The inclusion of the child into Lupin and Tonk's marriage sealed Lupin's fate in Rowling's mind,
“one of the most horrifying things about war is how it leaves children fatherless and motherless.”
After that, Rowling realized that to make the point, she had to kill a set of parents that were very much loved by the readers, Lupin and Tonks.
Another beloved character, who many fans thought would die, actually had his fate sealed from the opening chapter of the first book. When originally creating the series, Rowling had three ideas that she knew would be in the final story,
- Harry would walk willingly to his death.
- Harry would be joined by the spirits of his parents and other fallen loved ones.
- Hagrid would carry Harry's apparently dead body out of the Forbidden Forrest.
It is that final idea that kept Hagrid alive through all seven books. It was meant to bookend the series, and mirror the opening chapter where Hagrid carries young Harry from the rubble of his house to the Dursley's house. Had she changed her mind on the finale, Rowling admits that Hagrid would have been a "natural target for elimination."
During the interview, Radcliff asked a question that would end up shocking many Harry Potter fans, when he asked Rowling if she ever considered killing off one of the main three characters. Rowling says that she started the series with the intent of Harry, Ron, and Hermione making it all the way through, but at one time she did consider killing Ron,
“...midway through [writing the series] — which I think was a reflection of the fact that I was not in a very happy place – I started thinking about polishing one of them off. Out of sheer spite!”
Also on the interview, Rowling and Radcliff discuss other topics including the complexity of the wand battles in the final film and a backstory of Professor McGonagall that includes her love affair with a Muggle and a vow of celibecy. The entire interview will be featured on the DVD and Blu Ray release of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt 2", set for release on November 11th. McGonagall's backstory will be a featured story on Rowling's new website, Pottermore.com.