Just when I thought that I was finally getting over the anguish and despair that I felt this summer over Harry Potter’s last hurrah, it starts up all over again. Because she hasn’t done enough already, JK Rowling had a big long chat with Daniel Radcliffe for the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 Blu-ray in which she taunts us with horrible, awful things she almost did and one heartbreaking account of something beautiful that she cruelly decided could never be.
On killing Ron Weasley: “Funnily enough, 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, [I wouldn’t have done it].”
On killing Hagrid: Rowling reveals that from the start, she always knew that the final chapters of the last novel would include these beats: That Harry would walk willingly to his death; that he would be joined by the spirits of his parents and other loved ones during that death march; and that Hagrid would carry Harry’s (apparently) lifeless body out of The Forbidden Forest. Rowling tells Radcliffe that the image of Hagrid cradling “dead” Harry — a bookend to the beginning of the series, when Hagrid brought infant Harry to the Dursleys – stuck with her the entire time she wrote the books and she never let it go. If she had, Rowling says Hagrid would have been a “natural” target for elimination. “That image kept him safe,” she says.
On maybe not killing Remus: Rowling shares with Radcliffe that when she created Lupin’s character, she planned for him to survive the finale. While the author has said as much in other interviews, here, she elaborates, explaining that she changed her mind when she realized that her last Harry Potter story was really about war, and that “one of the most horrifying things about war is how it leaves children fatherless and motherless.” The most powerful way she could dramatize that idea, she says, was to kill a set of parents that were dear to readers. “I had no intention of killing [Lupin],” says Rowling. “But then it dawned on me he had to die.”
Well, that was exhausting. Can you imagine if Ron had died? There was a point when I thought that Hagrid would surely die, but Ron? No. No, I couldn’t do it. Could you? And Remus … after four years, I still get choked up when I think about Remus. Is that normal? Are any of you guys still torn up over anything Harry Potter related? This is the time to let everything go.