Hoaxes and Rumours

On this page we will collect interview-related rumors and hoaxes.

Rumor: Jo said that everything you need to know to figure things out is in Book 1
This is probably based on a misreading of this statement from the Harry Potter & Me interview (2001): "I reckon I must've got through fifteen different alternative chapters of book one. The reason for which I discarded each of them were: They all gave too much away. And in fact if you put all those discarded first chapters together, almost the whole plot is explained."

Hoax: Rowling is a Satanist
In 2000, the satirical humor website The Onion published an article entitled "Harry Potter Books Spark Rise in Satanism Among Children" which quoted Rowling as saying "I think it's absolute rubbish to protest children's books on the grounds that they are luring children to Satan. People should be praising them for that! These books guide children to an understanding that the weak, idiotic Son Of God is a living hoax who will be humiliated when the rain of fire comes,... while we, his faithful servants, laugh and cavort in victory."

Yeah, right. Amazingly, some people believed this fictional article was true, and soon an inflammatory e-mail started circulating among church groups claiming that Rowling was an unashamed Satanist ("we need to pray for ALL THE Children who read this book and other books like it. YOU MIGHT WANT TO SHARE THIS WITH YOUR FLOCK.")

In fact Rowling has said over and over that she does not believe in magic and that "I have met thousands of children now, and not even one time has a child come up to me and said, 'Ms. Rowling, I'm so glad I've read these books because now I want to be a witch.'"

More information on this hoax:

Rumor: A Weasley will die
This rumor began when Jo started telling people that a major character would die in Book 4 and people started theorizing (for various reasons) that it was Ron. When it turned out to be Cedric, not Ron, people started saying that a Weasley would die. Jo hasn't said this, but she hasn't ruled it out either. P.S. There is no legendary chess player named "Running Weasel."

Rumor: Book 6 is related to Rudolfo Anaya's book Bless Me Ultima
According to fansite postings, at the Royal Albert Hall event (2003), Rowling introduced her book-reading with a comment that fans should read Bless Me Ultima for a small hint about book 6. This is in no transcript that we can locate; the only place you see this claim is on fansites -- it is not corroborated anywhere else. While there is a slight possibility that Jo told this to someone at a book signing (where everything she says person-to-person doesn't get reported), we are currently treating this as an unsubstantiated rumor. Indeed, "Juno Puddifoot," an HPANA member who was there says "At Royal Albert Hall JKR was talking about the reading she was doing that day providing a small hint of what was to come (which was the Career chapter from OotP). Not what book she was reading at the time." (Bless Me Ultima is a great story, by the way!).

Hoax: Jo said in a BBC interview that someone will switch houses in Book 6
This is another claim that is found on fansites but nowhere else. This is not to be found in any interview, BBC or otherwise. Jo has hinted that the Sorting Hat may not be infallible (World Book Day 2004), but she has never said that someone would switch houses.

Hoax: Jo wrote a comment to The Leaky Cauldron with hints about book 6
This one is interesting because someone did appear to write to TLC who had inside knowledge of the website. On August 15, as people were discussing the plot revelations at the Edinburgh Book Fair, someone posted who had advance knowledge that the "Do Not Disturb" sign would be removed the next day and that the puzzle would include a dartboard. However, this could not have been Jo -- in Spring of 2005, Jo clearly stated on her website that she has never posted on fansites.
Mystery post: http://www.the-leaky-cauldron.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-comments.cgi?entry_id=4979
Later edit: Jo says she has never posted in a fan forum [read her comment].

Second-hand report: Jo said that Peter Pettigrew took Voldemort's wand and robe and hid them
This may be true, but we have no way to corroborate it. Here's the source: just after the 2004 Edinburgh Book Fair, an 11-year-old named "Chris" posted to The Leaky Cauldron (22 Aug 2004) that he had the following interaction with Jo (the italics are mine):

Chris: It was sooooo cool that we just have to show off and brag about it im afraid (sorry). Not only is JK Rowling the best Author EVER !!, but she is such a nice lady. It was so nice to get to meet her, shake her hand, say thanks for writing such brilliant stories AND have all our things signed!
We got there late, about an hour, which was really sad because we missed the book reading, but once we were inside it was awesome. JK Rowling even asked to see us last because she had been told about all the problems my Dad had had with his car (the engine blew up!) before we got to Edinburgh and said she would spend an extra 5 minutes with us at the end! - WOW, We think not that she would have even spent longer but we just didnt know what to ask her - all the questions got muddled up!
The ladies that helped get us to the book festival were really nice too, we were taken through to where JK Rowling was, given our wristbands, then we went to meet her. We said hello and she told us 'she was really glad we could make it'. I told her I was really glad to be there and her books were the best, I said I wish I could have asked her a question and so she told me to 'go on then, ask away!'.
I asked JK Rowling would Professor Lockhart get out of St Mungos, get his memory back and be in any of the next books?, she said no to all of these questions.
I also asked when Harries parents were killed by Voldermort, Wormtail turned into a rat and pretended to be dead. How then did he give Voldermort his wand and robe back once he found him and helped give him back his body ?, she told me (after tapping her nose!) 'he hid them'.

We have included this information here at Madam Scoop's because it was so widely reported that we have assumed that one of the reporters had a way to corroborate Chris's story. But we admit it's a little iffy =).

Second-hand report: Jo said that Hagrid is not the Half-Blood Prince.
The source for this is another fan report from the Edinburgh Book Festival, as reported by Mugglenet and The Leaky Cauldron. Folks at The Leaky Cauldron were able to confirm that the fan was indeed at the Festival, so this one is probably true.

Rumor: The Half-Blood Prince is someone we already know
We can't find that Jo ever said this. On one hand, she has told us that Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince was an early title for Book 2 (CoS), but on the other hand, she has said that the half blood prince storyline was completely removed from CoS, so it's anyone's guess.

Want more JKR Rumors de-bunked? See her website's Rumours Section and the Rubbish Bin!