It’s been more than 10 years since J.K. Rowling published the last book in the Harry Potter series. Since then, she’s given us a lot more of her magical world, including a play, a new movie franchise, and an encyclopedic, fan-driven website, Pottermore.
In doing so, she’s revealed a lot more of Harry’s life, and the wizarding world. And some of what she’s told us has shocked fans to their core.
1. She saved one character to kill another
Even though it’s been ten years since the last Harry Potter book, some fans are still mourning the death of Remus Lupin. The fan-favorite character perished in the Battle of Hogwarts, along with his wife, Tonks.
In 2016, Rowling found a way to make his death seem even more tragic. She announced to fans on Twitter that she didn’t decide to kill Lupin until the fifth book, The Order of the Phoenix.
According to Rowling, she was originally planning to kill off Arthur Weasley. But she decided that since there were so few good fathers in the series, she had to let him live. Once she decided to let the father of seven survive, she knew another had to die in his place.
Hey, at least Rowling admits that she feels really bad about it.
Next: Rowling almost killed off this major character.
2. Rowling almost disposed of one of the Harry Potter trio
Rowling killed off a lot of characters before Harry and Voldemort had their final showdown. And she’s apologized for many of our favorites’ demises. Luckily for all of us, she let the core trio – Harry, Ron and Hermione – live. But in 2011, she revealed that she did consider killing off Harry’s best friend, and Hermione’s future husband.
She told Daniel Radcliffe in an interview, “I planned from the start that none of them would die. Then midway through, which I think is a reflection of the fact that I wasn’t in a very happy place, I started thinking I might polish one of them off. Out of sheer spite. ‘There, now you definitely can’t have him any more.’ But I think in my absolute heart of heart of hearts, although I did seriously consider killing Ron.”
Rowling admitted, though, that she could have never actually gone through with it.
Next: This twist from the Harry Potter play was very controversial
3. Voldemort had a daughter
All Harry Potter fans know that Voldemort was the ultimate villain. So it was satisfying when Harry and his friends finally disposed of him in The Deathly Hallows. At least, that’s what we thought. In 2016, when Harry Potter and the Cursed Child hit the stage in London, Rowling and her co-authors, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, revealed a major twist.
Voldemort had a daughter, Delphi, with Bellatrix Lestrange, before he died. The news didn’t go over well with all Potter fans. Some felt like it was an unnecessary twist, and detracted from the overall canon universe.
Next: We’ve had a popular character’s name wrong all along.
4. We’ve been saying He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named’s name wrong
Rowling filled her wizarding world with a lot of unique names. And if you struggled to figure out how to pronounce Hermione or Draco’s names, you weren’t alone. When the film series premiered, it helped us figure out some of the harder names. But in 2015, Rowling revealed that even the movies got one name wrong.
A fan on Twitter announced that the ‘t’ in Voldemort is supposed to be silent. And Rowling confirmed that fact with a follow up tweet. She told fans, “But I’m pretty sure I’m the only person who pronounces it that way.”
5. There are a lot more wizarding schools
We learned in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire that Hogwarts isn’t the only school for witchcraft and wizardry. But in 2016, Rowling revealed via Pottermore that there are schools all over the country for young witches and wizards.
All told, Rowling has conceived of 11 wizarding schools. There’s Mahoutokoro in Japan, and Uagadou in Africa. There’s even a school in the United States — Ilvermorny.
Rowling hasn’t revealed all the details about the rest of the schools. But she’ll likely tell us more as time goes on.
Next: The backstory on this beloved characters shocked fans.
6. Dumbledore was gay
For many Harry Potter fans, Dumbledore is a beloved, but still elusive, character. It feels like we know a lot about what he did, but not all that much about who he was.
In 2011, Rowling gave us a big clue about his personal life: The former Hogwarts headmaster was gay. Some media outlets and Christian groups condemned the news. But most Potterheads praised Dumbledore’s posthumous coming out, though many only wished they’d known sooner.
Next: The cost to attend Hogwarts is jaw-dropping.
7. Hogwarts’ tuition is ridiculously cheap
You’d think that between boarding costs and tuition fees, it wouldn’t be cheap to send a child to Hogwarts. Some estimates have shown it could cost more than $40,000 a year.
But in 2016, Rowling clued us in to the real cost for a Hogwarts education: nothing. She responded to a fan’s question about tuition on Twitter, announcing, “There’s no tuition fee! The Ministry of Magic covers the cost of all magical education!”
In other words, it pays to be magical — in more ways than one.
Follow Katherine Webb on Twitter @prufrox.
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