Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Transcript for Toronto press conference

AQ staff Meann and roonwit have created a transcript for the 10/22 press conference in Toronto. Jo had a microphone but the reporters asking the questions did not, so many of the questions were unintelligible. The video for it is here:

  • There wasn't a point at which Rowling decided that Dumbledore was gay; she gradually realized it "very early on" while she was writing the first book.
  • Rowling "probably" won't write a prequel.
  • JKR: "He [Dumbledore] is my character, and as my character I have the right to say what I say about him."
  • Most of the tweaking of the epilogue was to remove information; the biggest change was the addition of information about Teddy Lupin.
  • Rowling still plans on working on a Hogwarts encyclopedia, but not immediately.
  • Hermione would read Margaret Atwood's books; Harry and Ron don't read much as adults.

Additional interview summaries for Open Book Tour

Here is a list of the new canon from Rowling's visits to New York and Toronto (except for the Sweepstakes reading at Carnegie Hall, which was posted previously).

J. K. Rowling Talks Marriage, Writing and More at Open Book Tour Stop in New York City
The Leaky Cauldron
  • Harry and Dudley kept in touch as adults, but the relationship remained awkward.
  • Dumbledore loved Harry like a son.
PotterCast #122: It's Saturday Night [Leaky staff meet Rowling! audio only]
The Leaky Cauldron
  • Helga Hufflepuff offered the house-elves refuge at Hogwarts, though conditions there were still slave-like, if a bit kinder than elsewhere.
  • The Sorting Hat initially wanted to put Neville into Hufflepuff House.
  • Harry was not technically a Horcrux, due to Voldemort’s lack of intent.
Toronto Press Conference [video] [transcript here]
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
  • There wasn't a point at which Rowling decided that Dumbledore was gay; she gradually realized it "very early on" while writing the first book.
  • Rowling "probably" won't write a prequel.
  • JKR: "He [Dumbledore] is my character, and as my character I have the right to say what I say about him."
  • Most of the tweaking of the epilogue was to remove information; the biggest change was the addition of information about Teddy Lupin.
  • Rowling still plans to write an Hogwarts encyclopedia, but not immediately.
  • Hermione would read Margaret Atwood's books; Harry and Ron don't read much as adults.
Rowling knew early on Dumbledore was gay
Canadian Press via The Star
  • Dobby's death was the hardest one to write.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

NYC Sweepstakes Reading Canon Summaries

I've been waiting for a full transcript from Leaky, but want to post this now. I figure I can add to it later. These summaries are actually based upon four sources: TLC, HPANA, as well as Eldritchhobbit’s and iamstarmoms LiveJournals. All were present at the reading.
  • Neville married Hannah Abbott, who eventually became the landlady at The Leaky Cauldron. His students think this is cool.
  • Molly was the one to defeat Bellatrix because Jo wanted Molly to have a chance to show how powerful she is, and because she found it satisfying to create a face-off between unhealthy obsessive love and strong maternal love.
  • Jo decided not to kill Arthur Weasley in Book 5 so that Ron wouldn't have to grow up as quickly.
  • The orphaning of Teddy Lupin brought the series full circle, though Harry was a much better godfather than Sirius.
  • Jo says (tongue in cheek) that Aberforth's inappropriate goat charm had to do with keeping it clean or its curly horns.
  • Dumbledore was gay; he fell in love with Gellert Grindelwald but was "terribly let down by him" when he realized what he was capable of.
  • Parseltongue is not a language that people can learn. Ron really only memorized the sound of one word ("open").
  • Dumbledore’s first letter to Petunia (she was 12-ish) was very kind and explained why he couldn’t let her become part of the Wizarding world and join her sister at Hogwarts. His 1981 letter reminded her of her wish, appealed to her sense of fair play, and asked her to take care of Harry.
  • Petunia desperately wanted to be a part of the Wizarding world and hated that "Lily had what she couldn't have."
  • What Petunia almost said when Harry left Privet Drive for the last time was " I do know what you're up against and I hope it's OK." But she couldn't say it because she was too hardened by pretending not to care for so long.
  • Harry's Horcrux was not destroyed by the basilisk poison in book2 because the poison's damage was stopped in time by Fawkes' tears.
  • Dumbledore worried that Harry would give in to his "reckless" impulses and seek the Deathly Hallows so he gave the book with the clues to cautious Hermione.
  • When Harry decided not to seek the Hallows after Dobby died it scared him because it was the first time he had decided not to act.
  • JKR: Portraits can "only move between portraits in the same building” or other places where the same portrait exists.
  • The parallels between Voldemort's goals and methods and those of the Nazi Regime were deliberate, but there are also parallels to regimes that exist today.
  • JKR: "The Potter books in general are a prolonged argument for tolerance, a prolonged plea for an end to bigotry.... You should question authority and you should not assume that the establishment or the press tells you all of the truth."
  • There is no magic involved in life debts.
  • After Book 7, Draco Malfoy goes back to "being an improved version of what he was but we shouldn't expect him to be a really great guy any time soon."
  • James, Lily and Sirius became full time members of the Order of the Phoenix after leaving Hogwarts and did not have regular jobs. They lived off of James's money.
  • The Potters did not go into hiding until Lily became pregnant.
  • Lupin was "unemployable" when he left Hogwarts.
  • Voldemort's first rise to power did not go as far as the second one did because he was not able to infiltrate the Ministry the first time.
  • Hagrid never married. Mme. Maxime was too sophisticated for him, and there weren't many other giantesses around.
  • Severus Snape's portrait does indeed hang in the Headmaster's office. Harry had a role in making sure that Snape's abdication did not effect his place there.
  • Headmaster portraits don't appear immediately; the person needs to be dead.
  • Jo was surprised that no one had ever asked her what Dumbledore’s wand was made of.

Friday, October 19, 2007

An evening of surprises!

I need to leave for dinner, but please wander over to The Leaky Cauldron where they have posted about the wonderful revelations tonight in New York. I am linking you to the text only version because I had trouble getting the regular one to load. Wowowowowow!

First two reports from New York and The Leaky Cauldron have the first two reports on Rowling's visit to New York this morning (there is another one tonight). It looks like there were some very good questions!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Early reports of New Orleans visit

Here are links to the first reports of Rowling's visit to New Orleans:

The Times-Picayune article is the most complete. New canon:

  • The first piece of literature that inspired Jo was The Wind in the Willows.
  • Rowling wanted the books to show some of the evils of war: how "totally innocent people are slaughtered" and "that children lose their families."
  • Cho Chang married a Muggle.
  • Snape teaches Potions because Jo didn't do well in Chemistry and wanted revenge.
Links to photographs here: The Leaky Cauldron

More from the LA press Conference

Another report of the Press conference in Los Angeles has appeared on This seems to be a more complete reporting of Jo's actual words. In addition to what has already been reported, It also contains comments on how Harry reacts to Dobby's death.
Thanks to El Cronista de Salem at Harry Potter Latino and roonwit for the tips!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

JKR: "hogwarts is a multi-faith school"

Do you remember back in 1999 when Jo said she couldn't answer the questions about the book's religious content until the conclusion of book seven? Well, that's what she did at yesterday's Los Angeles press conference. Congratulations to MTV writer Shawn Adler for two great articles (this one and the one I linked to on Monday).

I am going to attempt canon summaries, although in some parts it is difficult to tell what is Adler's analysis and what is Rowling:
  • Jo thought explicit references to Christianity early on in the story would make the ending too obvious.
  • JKR: "Hogwarts is a multifaith school."
  • The Matthew 6:21 and 1Corintians 15:26 quotations on his parents' gravestones were meant to symbolize "living beyond death. Living after death." They "sum up" the whole series.
  • Harry's struggle with questions about the afterlife begins when Sirius dies.
  • The two epigrams at the beginning of Book 7 ("The Libation Bearers" by Aeschylus and William Penn's "More Fruits of Solitude") had been planned since book 2 was published: "I always knew [that] if I could use them at the beginning of book seven then I'd cued up the ending perfectly.... They just say it all to me...."
  • Harry's struggle with his beliefs about the afterlife mirrors her own.
Of course, Travis Prinzi and John Granger have interesting things to say about this news.

Mary GrandPré video highly recommended

I will get to today's MTV article, but first I want to recommend a wonderful, nearly 30 min. video of Mary GrandPré showing a room of Minnesota children how she draws Harry. It is just so awesome to watch his face emerge from the paper, and hear her funny asides about Hagrid, Krum, Harry, and Harry's scar. The kids are great too.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Rowling begins U.S. "Open Book" tour

The first reports are flooding in of Rowling's reading and question-and-answer session today in Los Angeles. Please beware, most of these articles contain spoilers!

Next stop? New Orleans, at the Ernest N. Morial Auditorium at the Convention Center on Thursday, October 18th.

News highlights:
  • She hasn't started writing the Hogwarts encyclopedia.
  • No word on her next project, though she says she probably won't write fantasy again.
  • JKR: "Snape is vindictive, he's cruel. He's not a big man, but he loves. I like him, but I'd also like to slap him hard."
  • JKR: "Although [Dumbledore] seems to be so benign for six books, he's quite a Machiavellian figure, really. He's been pulling a lot of strings. Harry has been his puppet."
Will there be a transcript? It doesn't look like it. Video cameras were not allowed into the Theater to film the event, and so far no audio has turned up either.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Rowling adopts a greyhound

Wow! I never expected this! The Herald (Glasgow) is reporting that author J.K. Rowling has adopted a 4-year-old retired racing greyhound. In an interview, kennel owner Celia Fernie says...

At the bottom of a cheque for £1000 was the signature millions of Harry Potter fans would die for. "When I looked at the cheque I couldn't believe it. The first thing I noticed was the amount she had made it out for," Mrs Fernie said yesterday.
Photos here:

I ran to tell Arrow the news, but since I disturbed his nap (and it wasn't walktime) he wasn't very interested.

Jo, she looks darling and has a magnificent cockroach. I know you will love having her!