JK Rowling (pictured), the author of the successful Harry Potter series of books, says that, even though she has not finished the last book yet, she is "well into it now." When asked how she felt about Book Seven when she gave a reading at Buckingham Palace in honor of the Queen's 80th birthday, she said, "I am feeling sad as it is the last one. But so far, so good." When asked about the book's progress, she said, "I'm doing well I think. You can never really tell till you get near the end. I am not quite there yet."
Unfortunately, the upcoming Harry Potter book, the last in the series, looks to be the bloodiest of them all. In an interview broadcast today on Britain's "Richard and Judy" show on Channel 4, Rowling admitted that she will kill off two characters who she 'did not intend to die' in the final installment of the series. When pressed to name who would die, Rowling demurred.
"I'm not going to commit myself because I don't want the hate mail apart from anything else."
When asked about the fate of Harry Potter himself, Rowling said cryptically, "I have never been tempted to kill him off before the final [book] because I've always planned seven books, and I want to finish on seven books."
Rowling also said that she wrote the last chapter of the series in 1990, but had hidden it away. In view of changing who dies, she admitted that the final chapter has been changed "very slightly."
Rowling also admitted that she had "boxed herself in" because of the plots she wrote in the past, saying that she now has to tie up those loose strings.
Even though Rowling refused to say who dies, she did mention that one main character's death sentence was commuted.
"A price has to be paid," Rowling pointed out. "We are dealing with pure evil here. They don't target extras do they? They go for the main characters. Well, I do."
With a fortune estimated by Forbes magazine last year at more than $1 billion, the Harry Potter book series has made Rowling the richest woman in Britain, richer than even the Queen of England. Worldwide sales of the last book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, surpassed 10 million copies on the first day it was made available in July, 2005. The series has sold more than 300 million copies worldwide.
So, dear readers, who do you think will die in this book?
In my opinion, Harry Potter will certainly die. In interviews, Rowling has hinted several times this would happen, for practical reasons, if nothing else.
"I can completely understand, however, the mentality of an author who thinks, 'Well, I'm gonna kill them off because that means there can be no non-author written sequels. So it will end with me, and after I'm dead and gone they won't be able to bring back the character'."
But in addition to Harry, who do you think will die? I think that more than two characters will die, because Rowling did say that she will kill off two characters who she 'did not intend to die' .. there could be more whom she did intend to kill off who still die in the final book. Remember, this is going to be a war.
That said, the most obvious possibility is Voldemort. It stands to reason that, if Harry dies, Voldemort, Harry's nemesis whose fate is somehow tied to Harry, will also die. But there were hints in Book 6 that their fates might not be intertwined as written in earlier books. If that's the case, Voldemort might survive even though Harry dies. Besides being an upsetting situation for her readers, (Harry won't die a hero, for example), what does this outcome say about Rowling's view of the world, a world where good dies while evil survives -- or worse, triumphs?
The other obvious possible fatalities are either Ron or Hermione. If either one of them dies -- especially before Harry dies, how do you think that would affect the plot, and how would that change the end of the book? I'll certainly have more thoughts on this topic as time goes by, but right now, I am curious as to who you think will die, why you think so, and how you see those deaths affecting the book and its ultimate message.
I'm also curious to know; in the wake of this upsetting (but not unexpected) news, how many Harry Potter support groups will be formed?
BBC (supposedly includes audio, somewhere on that link)