What happened in 2004?
In May of 2004, Rowling launched an extensive re-vamp of her website and began using it to communicate with (inform, tease, scold, puzzle, entertain) her growing fan base. Interviews and public appearances were drastically reduced. On June 23rd, the movie based on Book 3 was released to applause by many and grumbles by a few.

Meanwhile, excitement was mounting over Book 6: when would it come out? what twists and turns would the story take?

Rating 2004 Title & highlights* Links Type
** Jan 12 Potter's latest installment creates hysteria among fans
Jakarta Post
text event report
***** Mar 4 World Book Day online chat
  • We won't need prequels by the time she's done with the series.
  • Winky will "never be entirely cured of her Butterbeer addiction."
  • Voldemort does not have any children.
  • Voldemort went after Harry because he "identified more with the half-blood boy and therefore decided he must be the greater risk."
  • Harry is really progressing as a wizard, so his powers are becoming greater.
  • JKR doesn't think Harry will become Headmaster of Hogwarts because an academic career just isn't right for him ("He's seen too much action").
  • We will see Moaning Myrtle again.
  • Of all her characters, JKR dislikes Uncle Vernon the most.
  • JK gave Hermione her ideal animagus. [Otter – read above!]
  • Dumbledore has heard and believes Snape's story as to why he should be trusted.
  • Draco is an only child.
  • Remus is a half-blood.
  • She came up with the word 'muggle' because she wanted a word that "suggested both foolishness and loveability."
  • JKR thinks twelve is the maximum number of owls one can achieve.
  • Before Hogwarts, wizard children can go to muggle school or be educated at home. The Weasleys were taught by Mrs. Weasley.
  • JKR: "Sirius loathed Snape (and the feeling was entirely mutual)."
  • Bill is two years older than Charlie, who is two years older than Percy.
  • We will see Viktor Krum again.
  • Ginny is "a fairly forceful personality (and she always has been...)"
  • If a muggle saw Hogwarts, they would just see an old ruin with a sign "keep out, dangerous building."
  • Special messengers are sent to muggle parents to explain about Hogwarts when their child turns 11.
  • We will find out what Dudley experienced when he saw the Dementor.
  • The "crucial and central question" of the series is why both Harry and Voldemort survived the killing curse.
  • Narcissa is not related to Lily (Evans) Potter. Her name doesn't fit the naming pattern for the Black family (constellations); JKR just thought the name fit her. We will see more of Narcissa in future books [6 and/or 7]
  • Percy is acting entirely of his own accord.
  • When Wormtail sacrificed his arm to revive Voldemort, his debt to Harry did not carry over to Voldemort.
  • Book 5 was a "turning point" for Neville; he is getting more confidant.
  • The shape is not the most significant thing about Harry's scar.
  • Trelawney's middle name is Patricia.
  • Harry got the Marauders' Map back in Book 4 by "nipping into Moody's empty office" and pinching it when he wasn't there.
  • Can we believe everything the sorting hat says? JKR: "The sorting hat is certainly sincere."
  • Tonks will be back.
  • Hagrid "can do magic to a fairly basic standard and occasionally surprises everyone himself included) by bringing off more impressive bits of magic."
  • Voldemort was not born evil. We will "find out more about the circumstances of his [Voldemort's] birth in the next book."
  • The Muggle and Magical worlds will never be rejoined; muggles will be noticing more magical goings on now that Voldemort's back.
  • JKR "always planned that Hermione would have a younger sister but she's never made an appearance and somehow it feels like it might be too late now."
  • Is Harry related to Godric Gryffindor? JKR: "People are always wondering who Harry might be related to. Maybe he is ;)"
  • JKR doesn't think she will ever publish her notebooks.
  • Are you going to write books about Harry after school? JKR: "Probably not, but I'll never say never because every time I do I immediately break the vow!"
  • JKR: "In book six, the wizarding world is really at war again and [Harry] has to master his own feelings to make himself useful."
  • House-elves have "powers wizards haven't got (but wizards have also got powers that house-elves haven't)."
  • Wormtail used Voldemort's wand to kill Cedric.
  • JKR won't tell us if Harry will see Sirius again.
  • Will the two way mirror Sirius gave Harry ever show up again? JKR: "Ooooo, good question. There's your answer."
  • Harry's grandparents are dead and "not particularly important to the story..."
  • "Real sleuths" might be able to guess what happened to Sirius' motorbike.
  • Remus's middle name is John.
  • All the marauders were in Gryffindor.
  • Ginny's middle name is Molly, Hermione's is Jane, and Ron's is Bilus!
Offsitevideo of the Festival

OffsiteSpanish translation
OffsiteDutch translation
OffsiteGerman translation
OffsiteFrench translation
OffsitePortuguese translation
OffsiteRussian translation
OffsiteHebrew translation
*** Mar 4 JK Rowling: full webchat interview
cBBC Newsround
** Mar 16 Interview
Learning Curve, BBC Radio 4
audio only interview
  Mar 19 Harry hits his teens
USA Today
(Arlington, VA)
  Mar 21 Rowling's house of secrets
Scotland on Sunday
text tabloid
  May 27 New 'Potter' movie sneaks in spoilers for upcoming books
USA Today
(Arlington, VA)
Movie of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban released on June 4, 2004
***** Aug 15 Edinburgh Book Festival
  • A lot of questions are answered in the sixth book, it is a time for answers not more questions and clues. Although there are some clues that JK has not quite finished with yet.
  • All the paintings at Hogwarts are of dead people, and paintings are not as fully realised as ghosts. The old headmasters and headmistresses leave behind a faint imprint if themselves – their aura, almost. They almost just repeat catchphrases. If Harry could meet his parents as paintings it would not be much use to him, it would be more use to meet them as ghosts, but as Nearly Headless Nick says not everyone comes back as ghosts.
  • Ghosts were people who were very afraid of death.
  • Aunt Petunia is not a squib, she is a Muggle. But there is more to her than meets the eye, and we will find out what that is. She is not a squib, but that is a good guess – JK says "I am being shockingly indiscreet".
  • Gilderoy Lockhart is based on real person whom JK had to endure for two years, but the living model was worse! He was a shocking liar.
  • Dumbledore's patronus is a phoenix, which is very representative of Dumbledore.
  • Aberforth Dumbledore is the barman in the Hog's Head. JK was "quite proud" of the goat clue and sniggered to herself about that one!
  • "The whole plot is contained in Harry Potter; his past, present and future – that is the story."
  • Hermione does not have any brothers or sisters. She was originally going to have a little sister who would not have gone to Hogwarts, but this sideline did not work very well and would not have had a big place in the story. Hermione's family has been deliberately kept in the background and, by contrast to Ron's family, quite ordinary. Her parents are quite bemused by their "odd daughter", but proud of her all the same.
  • Harry does not have godmother. His christening was a quiet affair with just his parents and their best friend, Sirius. It was at the height of Voldemort fever last time and it looked like the Potters would have to go into hiding, so they could not invite lots of people.
  • At the moment, JK would not want to be any of the characters because life is going to be pretty tough for them. Although, she says being someone like Peeves would be a laugh – "causing mayhem and not bothering".
  • Rita Skeeter was originally called Bridget, and was in an early draft of Book 1 in the leaky cauldron when Harry first discovers he's famous. But she kept him too long, so she had to be taken out. Rita is morally horrible, but tough. She is determined to do the job. There is more to come on her.
  • There are two questions that JK has never been asked, but should have been asked, the first one is "Why didn't Voldemort die?" Not "why did Harry live?" The killing curse rebounded, so why didn't Voldemort die? At the end of Book 4, he says one or more of the steps he took enabled him to survive. We should be wondering what those steps were that he took to make sure he couldn't die.
  • The second question is "At the end of Book 5, in the ministry scene, why did Dumbledore not kill or try to kill Voldemort?" The reason Dumbledore gives to Voldemort is not the real reason. Dumbledore knows something else.
  • Grawp is the stupidest thing Hagrid has ever bought home, but it may be the one time that a monstrous thing comes good. He is a little more controllable by Book 6.
  • We may find out how Dumbledore got his scar of the London Underground.
  • The "whole storyline" that was removed from Book 2 gave away too much too early, and became a major part, but not the only part, of Book 6. But Book 6 is not a spin off of Book 2.
  • Harry did not see his parents die. He was on at the time, and in his cot/crib. He was too young to appreciate it.
  • Harry also did not see Quirrel die – he did not know until he woke up in the hospital wing that Quirrel had died when Voldemort left his body.
  • Harry could not see the Thestrals at the end of Book 4 because the death of Cedric had not fully sunk in – he had not fully appreciated that Cedric was gone and he would never see him again – that has to happen for someone to see the Thestrals.
  • Snape is not Muggle born – because Muggle borns are not allowed to be Death Eaters except "in very special circumstances."
  • Snape can see the Thestrels, but in JK's imagination most of the older people at Hogwarts can see them.
  • JK is amused that more young girls fall in love with Tom as Draco than with Dan as Harry. "Girls, stop going for the bad guy."
  • JK jokingly tells us that she finds it depressing that we love Snape and her bad boys.
  • There is no more to Dudley than meets the eye, and there are very few lines from him in Book 6. We only see the Dursleys quite briefly in the next book – although we see more of them in the final book.
  • By the time we have finished the series, we will not need a prequel to find out about Harry's Mum and Dad.
  • Voldemort/Tom Riddle never cared for anyone, he couldn't possibly be what he is if he had.
  • [unsubstantiated fan report, Edinburgh Book Festival 2004] JKR told me that Pettigrew took Voldemort's wand the day The Potters were killed and hid it.


OffsiteHebrew translation

**** Nov 23 Prisoner of Azkaban DVD "Extra"
  • Rowling drew a rough map of Hogwarts and Hogsmeade for Stuart Craig and the film crew [screenshot 172k]
  • Cuaron "put things in the [PoA] film that, without knowing it, foreshadow things that are going to happen in the final two books."
  • Harry is more vulnerable to dementors because "he's faced more."
text interview
Rating 2004 Title & highlights* Links Type

*Article highlights created by Deborah Skinner (aka 'Madam Scoop') and Lisa Bunker

Original page date 21 September 2006; last updated 19 April, 2007

If you know of additional articles, please contact us