In some ways, the Harry Potter world as we knew it ended in July 2007. That’s when the series’ author, J.K. Rowling, released the final novel in the series. But in the years since, she’s kept the universe alive in other ways, but giving fans a website, a play, and a new prequel film franchise.
Rowling has also taken to reflecting on the series, and what she might have done differently if she wrote it today. She’s apologized for some huge moments in the series. There’s even one particular piece of the story that she seems to regret quite a bit (revealed on page 5!). And when she admitted that, she landed in hot water with fans.
1. She’s revealed key information she left out of the books
Fans who’ve kept up with Harry Potter in the last decade know that Rowling has kept her popular series’ legacy alive. In interviews and online, the author has been candid with fans about details that didn’t make it into the books or films.
One of the most shocking, and surprising, is that Dumbledore was gay. Another was that in the world she created, there are many more wizarding schools.
Rowling’s never come out and said that she regrets not putting this information in the books, originally. But there are some other things she might wish she could take out of them.
Next: Rowling may never forgive herself for killing this popular Gryffindor.
2. Rowling expressed remorse about offing a fan favorite student
Once a year, on the anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts (that’s May 2, for you Muggles), Rowling commemorates the day by apologizing to fans on Twitter for killing a beloved character.
She began the tradition in 2015, when she tweeted: “Today I would just like to say: I’m really sorry about Fred. *Bows head in acceptance of your reasonable ire*.”
It was a fitting apology, since Fred Weasley — one half of the beloved twin pair of troublemakers — died during the battle in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. But she didn’t offer much in the way of an explanation as to why the jokester had to die.
Next: Rowling knows she messed up when she killed off this professor.
3. Rowling feels really bad for killing a beloved professor
In 2016, Rowling again apologized to fans for killing a favorite character. She tweeted, “Once again, it’s the anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts so, as promised, I shall apologise for a death. This year: Remus Lupin.”
And this time, she added a bit of clarification as to why the werewolf and former Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher had to perish. She explained that she once planned to kill Arthur Weasley, and that once she changed her mind, she knew Lupin had to take his place.
If it was any consolation, she added, Rowling swears she “didn’t enjoy doing it.”
Next: Rowling has a lot of feelings about how she treated this notorious Slytherin.
4. Rowling said she’s sorry for offing this controversial character
In her first two apologies, Rowling stuck to characters that are pretty uncontroversial. But in 2017, she knew she could be potentially stirring up a fandom war with her next apology. She tweeted, “OK, here it is. Please don’t start flame wars over it, but this year I’d like to apologise for killing (whispers)… Snape. *runs for cover*”
Severus Snape, like Lupin and Fred, died during the Battle of Hogwarts. But unlike his counterparts, he is a divisive character for Harry Potter fans. So, understandably, some fans were thrilled at her apology, while others couldn’t help but roll their eyes.
Even though Rowling has offered an annual mea culpa to fans, she hasn’t come out and said she wouldn’t kill any of these characters again if she had the chance. But there is one thing she’s hinted she would like to go back and revise.
Next: Rowling wants a do over on a huge plot point from The Deathly Hallows.
5. Rowling really regrets making this Harry Potter couple endgame
When Rowling wrapped up her Harry Potter book series, we saw her trio finally getting a chance to live a happy, Voldemort-free life. Harry married Ginny Weasley, while Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger made their antagonistic-but-still-loving relationship official, too.
But in 2014, Rowling told Emma Watson in an interview with Wonderland Magazine that she’d had second thoughts about whom her character should have married. She said:
I wrote the Hermione/Ron relationship as a form of wish fulfillment. That’s how it was conceived, really. For reasons that have very little to do with literature and far more to do with me clinging to the plot as I first imagined it, Hermione ended up with Ron. I know, I’m sorry, I can hear the rage and fury it might cause some fans, but if I’m absolutely honest, distance has given me perspective on that. It was a choice I made for very personal reasons, not for reasons of credibility.
Rowling went on to say, “Am I breaking people’s hearts by saying this? I hope not.” Spoiler alert: She was.
Next: Some fans weren’t thrilled with Rowling’s revelation.
6. Rowling’s feelings about Ron and Hermione were very controversial
The author didn’t just imply that she regretted pairing Ron and Hermione off. She also told Watson, “In some ways Hermione and Harry are a better fit.”
Fans that rooted for Harry and Hermione to fall in love were, predictably, thrilled at the news. But others were, indeed, heartbroken.
And some began to question if Rowling should be continually opining on a series that fans felt was over. Whether the author was right or wrong to share her “on second thought” moments with fans, she has offered some more clues that may explain her position on the matter.
Next: Rowling’s feelings about Ron and Hermione are decidedly complicated.
7. Rowling may think she made the right choice after all
According to Rowling, the problem with Ron and Hermione marrying had more to do with their prospective happiness than anything else. She told Watson, “I think the attraction itself is plausible but the combative side of it … I’m not sure you could have got over that in an adult relationship, there was too much fundamental incompatibility.”
But she also admitted that with a little hard work, they may have been able to make it as a couple. “Maybe [Hermione] and Ron will be alright with a bit of counseling, you know,” Rowling mused. “They’ll probably be fine. He needs to work on his self-esteem issues and she needs to work on being a little less critical.”
And in case fans were in doubt, Rowling kept Ron and Hermione together, despite some pretty big conflicts, in her 2016 play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
So even if Rowling regrets her end game romantic pairings, she is still committed to keeping them canon. At least, for now.
Follow Katherine Webb on Twitter @prufrox.
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