Hint, hint: Jo Rowling on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter series book 7)

Accio Quote! staff comments on what we know about Book 7 from interviews

A compilation and summary of ten years of interviews, weighted for importance

Rankings by Lisa Waite Bunker, interview summaries by Deborah Skinner, commentary by Lisa Bunker, Michael "roonwit" Young, Julia "Jules" Crimmins and Mary Ann "Meann" Ortiz.

J.K. Rowling has been planning the Harry Potter series since 1990 and talking about it to reporters since 1997. For those of us who want to know more about what might happen in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the 240+ Rowling interviews archived on the Accio Quote! Website are a gold mine. You can read all 240 of them, of course, or you can read this chapter where we have summarized everything Jo has said about Book 7 during the nearly 10 years that she has been speaking to reporters and fans about her world.

There is still a lot to read and think about. Sometimes Jo tells us what to pay attention to, but not always. So I have made a stab at putting the statements in rough groupings of importance along with information on context, then we have all had fun writing commentary. Hopefully our blatherings are just enough to help you focus and develop your own ideas.

How did I rank them? My guesses about importance are based upon comparisons with hints Jo gave about previous books, the context of the interview, and my own instincts.

One caveat—Jo doesn’t lie to us, but she loves to tease, toss us red herrings, and give us ambiguous answers. Happy clue hunting!

Not true? | Fan Theories | High Importance | Important | Could be Huge | Interesting | Obvious | Characters | Unimportant? | Denials


Luna reading the Quibbler, copyright Polly Beam.Note: This list is a chapter from HarryPotterSeven.com, LeakyNews.com and The Floo Network's comprehensive fan guide to the seventh and last book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. This is a fully free resource that features essays, roundups and predictions from some of the most knowledgeable fans online, and contains the kind of evaluation, analysis, speculation, clues, hints and tips to decoding Harry Potter that you cannot get anywhere else.

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Why Some of These Statements May Not Be True Anymore

Jo says she has the whole series planned out but she allows herself small digressions. [link to source]

JKR: “I've never, to my knowledge, lied when posed a question about the books. To my knowledge. You can imagine, I've now been asked hundreds of questions; it's perfectly possible at some point I misspoke or I gave a misleading answer unintentionally, or I may have answered truthfully at the time and then changed my mind in a subsequent book.” [link to source]

Jo says she is someone “who loves to pull the wool over her readers' eyes.” [link to source]

JKR: “The final chapter is hidden away, although it has now changed very slightly. One character got a reprieve, but I have to say two [main characters] die that I didn't intend to die.” [link to source]

JKR: “I’ll probably leave some loose ends hanging.” [link to source]

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Fan Theories

Jo loves fan-theories. People have been very close to figuring out things and some people have even figured out part of Book 7. [link to source]

roonwit: If we only knew who, and what theories ...

Lisa: Maybe she is talking about you!

Meann: Who, me?

Jo gets “cold shivers when someone guesses at something that's very close” but enough ideas are “off the wall” that she doesn't really worry; the ending is “clearly not that obvious.” [link to source]

Lisa: Devious Jo, who loves nothing better than to pull the wool over our eyes. What are we missing?

roonwit: There is too much off the wall to tell.

Meann: I hope some of mine aren't too much off the wall.

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High importance

The fact that Harry has his mother’s eyes is very important to a future book. [link to source]

Background: By now we know that this wasn’t in books 1-6, so Jo must have meant book 7.

Lisa: What does she mean by "eyes?"  Is there special magic about his eyes? Is it simply that Harry powerfully reminds people like Snape and Voldemort of his mother? Or, perhaps is Jo being metaphorical here and making a parallel between the way they both see the world: with compassion and tolerance.

roonwit: Harry's eyes may have already played a part in getting Slughorn's memory in book 6. We will probably see this again in book 7, I would guess with Snape. The eyes may also be a sign of Lily's ancestry.

Jules: I have read a lot of books where the main character’s eyes are commented upon as being the same as their parents and where one or both of the character’s parents are dead. Often these comments reinforce an emotional connection to the departed parent. I think this the case with Harry. The importance of his eyes is how it affects Harry emotionally and especially how it affects and those who knew Lily. I don’t think that there is any special magic about his eyes other than that.

Meann: I wouldn't discount the possibility of his eyes being magical. After all, his scar is... sort of.

We will find out the significant information about Harry’s mother in two parts: books 5 and 7. Both are “very important in what Harry ends up having to do.” [link to source]

Background: The book 5 information might refer to Chapter 28 “Snape’s Worst Memory,” where Lily is the only one to defend Severus from James’s hazing, and Severus responds by calling her a “Mudblood.” Book 7’s “incredibly important” information may be related to this scene, or it may be something entirely different.

Lisa: It seems that more than just her eyes are important! We know so little about Lily. Why did she change her mind about James? Did Snape ever apologize? What was her relationship with Petunia like? What did she do for work after graduating? Why was Voldemort willing to let her live?

roonwit: The book 5 information tell us a lot about Lily's character (which is reinforced by Slughorn's memories of her in book 6). We also learn in book 5 that Lily started going out with James when he grew out of being such an idiot.

Jules: What we found out in book 5 primarily relates to to Chapter 28 “Snape’s Worst Memory,” and it’s aftermath where Harry talks to Lupin and Sirius. Slughorn’s memories are a follow on from this.
Given Jo’s frequent use of foreshadowing in the Harry Potter novels, I would be surprised if what we find out in book 7 does not relate to what we found out in books 5 and 6.
It is also likely to relate to Petunia’s revelation in book 5. We didn’t get a full explanation there. I think it is safe to say that the relationship between the sisters was not good.
Lily may have changed her mind about James after he saved Snape from being bitten by Lupin in the Shrieking Shack.

Jo says a question we should be asking is “why Dumbledore did not kill or try to kill Voldemort in the scene in the ministry.” Dumbledore did not give the real reason. [link to source]

Background: In chapter 35 of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Dumbledore responds to Voldemort’s third attempt at an AK curse with a wordless, forceful spell that makes Harry’s hair stand on end even though he is some distance away. Voldemort deflects it in time with a “silver shield.” Although we are not told what it was, Voldemort recognizes the spell and knows that Dumbledore is not trying to kill him.  Dumbledore explains to Voldemort that “Merely taking your life would not satisfy me,” but according to Jo, that’s not the real reason.

Lisa: Now that we have read Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, we know that Dumbledore suspected that Voldemort used Horcruxes to stay alive. That night at the ministry, Dumbledore hadn’t obtained the Horcrux ring yet, but he probably knew that Voldemort was still unkillable.
Another possibility is simply that there is a reason that Harry needs to be the one to destroy Voldemort.
What was the spell, and what would it have done if Voldemort hadn’t blocked it? According to Dumbledore’s Chocolate Frog card, he “defeated” Grindelwald (not “killed”), so Dumbledore’s spell may be one he has used before against another dark foe.

roonwit: Dumbledore could also have had the prophecy in mind or decided that Voldemort was less dangerous if captured rather than back in his vapourized form. The spell could have been a necessary part of the eventual defeat of Voldemort, perhaps by severing the link with Harry.

Jules: Dumbledore did not try because of the Horcruxes.
I also concur with roonwit that he may have felt that it was easier to deal with Voldemort in his present form rather than if he was a vapor.
I really can’t see Dumbledore using a killing curse on anyone. It is so against his nature and ethos. This is what he means when he says “Merely taking your life would not satisfy me,”.

Meann: Dumbledore probably thought it would be useless to try because of the Horcruxes. But somehow, I can't see Dumbledore ever using an Unforgivable Curse. He would probably rather defeat Voldemort in a different way.

Dumbledore’s “gleam of triumph” will be enormously significant to Book 7. [link to source]

Background: Specifically, the “gleam of something like triumph” in Chapter 36 of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire when Harry told him how Voldemort made Harry’s blood part of his rebirth potion -- and could touch him afterward.

Lisa: What did Dumbledore know that Voldemort didn’t?

roonwit: Voldemort wanted the protection Harry had from his mother, but magic related to love is where he is weakest, and Dumbledore is probably aware of the other consequences of choosing Harry's blood that Voldemort has overlooked to his disadvantage.

Jules: Voldemort has just left himself vulnerable in some way because of Lily’s enormous ability to love, but it is bittersweet since it is going to affect Harry negatively too. It may partly relate to the connection between Harry and Voldemort in book 5, but more crucially, it must relate to how Harry has to deal with Voldemort in book 7.

Meann: As usual, Voldemort has underestimated Dumbledore and his "famous pronouncements that love is more powerful than my kind of magic". Voldemort probably thinks he's got the upper-hand because he can now touch Harry. But I think we all believe there's more to it than that.

We will learn more about Dumbledore in book 7. It is possible that one of the things we will find out is what spell Dumbledore was trying to cast on Voldemort in the Ministry. [link to source]

Background: This is a paraphrase of Jo’s answer when Melissa asks her specifically about the spell mentioned above.

Lisa: However, who will provide this information to Harry? Did Dumbledore leave a Pensieve archive? Aberforth? Some other member of Dumbledore’s family? Voldemort himself?

roonwit: It seems to me that Jo has tried her best to keep Aberforth mysterious, for example it is never confirmed in the books that he is the bar man in the Hog's Head, there are only clues. This suggests to me he must play an important part in the final book, as otherwise this is a lot of preparation for someone who won't matter, and he is surely best placed to give information on Albus.

Jules: If Dumbledore had intended to show Harry more pensieve memories, he would have shown them in book 6, so I am very skeptical about the pensieve archive idea.
She has been so mysterious about Aberforth to date and statements that she made about his family and becoming better acquainted with another member of the Order of the Phoenix are probably related. It is most likely through Aberforth that we find out more about Dumbledore. The member of the Order could of course refer to someone else.
Another possibility is through Dumbledore’s portraits. He is such a notable person that I would be surprised if he did not have more than one, not counting the chocolate frog cards. Look for one at the Order of the Phoenix HQ, the Order of Merlin HQ, the International Confederation of Wizards, and the Wizengamot.

Meann: We will finally get to know Aberforth, and he just might provide more information about Albus.

Jo says an important question we should be asking is: “Why did Dumbledore have James' Invisibility Cloak at the time of James' death, given that Dumbledore could make himself invisible without a cloak?” [link to source]

Lisa: If it was just for safe-keeping, this wouldn’t be “important.” Jo seems to be hinting here that James lent Dumbledore the cloak for someone else to use. Someone else who had gone into hiding? Perhaps someone spying for Dumbledore? In her “Rumours” section of her website, Jo has also told us that Snape was not hiding under the Invisibility Cloak on the night the Potters died.

roonwit: The particular issues at the time would be protecting the Potters and possibly the Longbottoms or discovering the traitor. It might also relate to something James or Lily had previously been doing, but could no longer do while in hiding.

Meann: James didn't leave that cloak for Harry. It was supposed to serve some other purpose, or it was supposed to be used by someone else.

Jo won't answer if Snape is evil or not because it will have such a huge impact on what will happen when Harry and Snape meet again: “I love the theories.” [link to source]

Lisa: Forget for a moment about fans not knowing – what she implies here that it is important for the story that Harry also not know the truth of Snape’s loyalties and motivations. What will Harry do when they meet next? Does Harry need to overcome his hatred and trust Snape against all appearances, or arm himself against Snape’s trickery and betrayal?  We’ve heard Snape defend himself to Bellatrix; what will he tell Harry if given a chance?  Should Harry listen?

roonwit: Jo has kept us guessing at Snape's true loyalties since book 1, so she will keep a mystery well into book 7. We still don't really know why Snape apparently regretted so much Voldemort's interpretation of the prophecy and what happened to the Potters as a result, and I am sure this is tied up with Snape's true loyalties. But if Snape is still working against Voldemort, he will have a hard time convincing Harry of this.

Jules: I have to agree with Lisa, it is important for the story that Harry also not know the truth of Snape’s loyalties and motivations. The old grudge has come full circle. Not only has Snape got a grudge about Harry, but how Harry has a huge grudge against Snape. This is an important smokescreen both for Harry, the readership and now, the rest of the wizarding world; Jo will keep this going until well into book 7. In the meantime. Snape is in an even better position to work against the Death Eaters from the inside. Bellatrix is right to be suspicious.

Meann: Knowing Harry, he will not trust Snape until he sees unequivocal proof of Snape's loyalty to Dumbledore and the Order... well, if Snape turns out to be Good.

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What Harry’s parents did for a living is important. [link to source]

Lisa: Were they Aurors? Did they work in the Dept. of Mysteries? Collect relics from the Founders? What other possibilities can you think of?

roonwit: Aurors are unlikely, because they barely had time to complete the training. It is also implied that James' job wasn't well paid [link to source]. Perhaps at least one of them taught at Hogwarts for a while.

Jules: I would say that it was something related to or highly compatible with being members of the Order. Other than that, I’m not sure.

Meann: Unspeakables? Some other branch of the Ministry? Muggle relations? Goblin Liaison?

We will find out why Voldemort gave Lily so many chances to live. [link to source]

Lisa: He isn’t foolish enough to think that she would turn Death Eater, so why was her life important? Is this related to what she did for a living?

roonwit: Voldemort must have needed her for something, perhaps to obtain a Gryffindor relic he wanted for a Horcrux. This does take place in Godric's Hollow after all.

Lisa: Ooooh, intriguing idea, roonwit!

Jules: I think he was bluffing. The curse backfired because Lily was genuine, not because Voldemort ever genuinely offered to spare Lily. He probably needed her for something else too. The location of where the Longbottoms were hiding? Bellatrix arrived at their house convinced that they knew where Voldemort was so I think he intended to go after Neville after he had killed Harry.

Meann: I agree that it must be somehow related to what she and James did for a living.

Snape might have had a love life/has a redemptive pattern to his life. [link to source]

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban had just been published when she is asked about this:

Lydon: One of our internet correspondents wondered if Snape is going to fall in love?
Yeah? Who on earth would want Snape in love with them, that is a very horrible idea. Erm ...
But you'd get an important kind of redemptive pattern to Snape.
It is, isn't it ... I got ... There's so much I wish I could say to you, and I can't because it'd ruin ... I promise you ... whoever asked that question, can I just say to you that I'm - I'm slightly stunned that you've said that - erm - and you'll find out why I'm so stunned if you read book 7. And that's all I'm going to say.

Lisa: Was Jo stunned by the question because the idea was so far-fetched? Or because she thought she had kept this possibility well hidden? If he did fall in love, was it reciprocated? Listen to the audio! [mp3]   It is fascinating to hear her reaction to the question.

roonwit: But is she stunned at the question of Snape having a love life, or the speculation about a redemptive pattern to him (which would get us back to Snape's loyalty). We do however know that Snape was loved [link to source], though not necessarily romantically.

Jules: The redemptive pattern relates to his true loyalties and why and when they changed. Was he in love? I don’t think so, but he might have had a closet respect for Lily.

Meann: The interview was conducted at the time when Prisoner of Azkaban was published, and before we all started speculating about Snape and Lily after we read Order of the Phoenix. She was stunned probably because she hadn't given us any clues at the time, and suddenly someone asked about that.

JKR: “Dumbledore's family would be a profitable line of inquiry.” [link to source]

Lisa: Are there more living members of Dumbledore’s family than his brother? Did Albus ever marry? Or is it Dumbledore’s ancestry that is important?

roonwit: My money is on Aberforth, though it would also make sense if the Dumbledores are descendants of Godric Gryffindor. If Albus did marry and have children, which current characters could be descended from him? (We know Harry isn't.)

Jules: I have to say Aberforth too! I like the idea of the Dumbledore brothers being Gryffindor descendants, but Scrimgeour’s appearance is very lion-like so I haven’t ruled him out.

Meann: She's probably referring to Aberforth... but what if Albus was married? *gasp!*

Death is not reversible, even in the Wizarding World, though in Book 7 "you'll see just how close you can get to the dead." [link to source ]

Lisa: Is Rowling saying "you'll see how close you can get to dying and still live," or, "you'll see how close the living can be to the dead." It's easy to misspeak in an interview. Either way this bolsters my hopes that Harry will survive Book 7. And I think I will revive my Harry/Aeneas theory and see if it floats.




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Could Be Huge, Could Be Just an Interesting Plot Device

JKR: “The final chapter is hidden away, although it has now changed very slightly. One character got a reprieve, but I have to say two [main characters] die that I didn't intend to die.” [link to source]

Lisa: I find this quote a bit confusing. Is she giving information solely about Book 7, or can this statement also refer to books 1-6? Does she mean that this character had already been reprieved in books 1-6? Or that they will now survive Book 7?
Another reason it is perplexing is that she says that the chapter has only changed slightly, but then she says that two main characters are now slated to die. Or have they already been killed?  Is the “slightly” a bit of Jo’s dry humor? Watch the video and try to guess what she means for yourself.

roonwit: The final chapter is about what happens in future to those characters who survive that far, so the changes to it will be because the cast list for it has changed slightly from the original 1990 version. The changed deaths will be earlier in the book, if not the series (for example there is good reason to believe that someone else, probably Mad-eye Moody, was originally going to die in book 4).
However, as the changes aren't major, the two extra deaths and one reprieve won't be of the absolutely central characters, whose fate I am sure Jo plotted very early on, and has already been woven into the existing books.

Jules: The deaths apply to book 7 only as it is the epilogue and not a death from a previous book.
The characters are fairly central characters but not Harry or Voldemort, as I can’t see Jo changing her mind about their fate. I cant see it applying to Snape, Ron or Hermione because again, I think it unlikely that Jo would change her mind about these characters. They are too central. Whatever fate she decided for them, she’s sticking to it. That doesn’t mean that she won’t kill them off though!

Meann: Everyone is pretty much fair game now.

“There is more to the Sorting Hat than what you have read about in the first three books.” [link to source]

Lisa: Jo could be referring to book 4 where we learned that the hat used to belong to Godric Gryffindor (GF12) or book 5 where the hat told us its opinion about the strife within Hogwarts (OP11).

roonwit: Are we even going to see the Sorting Hat in the final book, given Harry's plans at the end of Book 6?

Jules: As Lisa points out, the Sorting Hat may have already fulfilled its role. If it hasn’t, and there are clues that Hogwarts will be open, than the hat may be a source of information. It must be sick of Harry pestering it for information!

Meann: She was also probably referring to the Hat's ability to give warnings.

Notes: However, the Sorting Hat is not a Horcrux. See Denials (below). 

As one can guess from the end of Book 6, the founders of Hogwarts will play a role in Book 7. [link to source]

Lisa: Before he died, Dumbledore figured out the connection between the founders and the Horcruxes. Will Harry’s quest teach us more about the founders and history of Hogwarts? Jo changed the subject after her answer in a way that made it seem like the topic was unproductive.

A few of the Hogwarts professors have spouses, but the information is restricted – we’ll find out why! [link to source]

Lisa: Could this be related to her statement about how we need to learn more about Dumbledore’s family? Why was the information restricted?  What possible harm could it cause?

roonwit: And is it restricted from the wizarding world in general or just the students?

Jules: I would guess that information is restricted for safety/privacy reasons, particularly in light of the war. Voldemort would not scruple to kidnap a spouse or child of a staff member of Hogwarts if it meant he could blackmail them into spying or working for him. You should be able to guess who is not married though.

Meann: I agree, it might be for security purposes.

Aunt Petunia is truly a muggle, but there is “a little bit more to Aunt Petunia than meets the eye.” “She is not a squib, although that is a very good guess. Oh, I am giving a lot away here. I am being shockingly indiscreet.” [link to source]

Lisa: Petunia knows something important.

roonwit: Dumbledore had corresponded by letter with Petunia before book 1, which could be another source of magical information aside from Lily, and I wonder whether she spent some time in a magical environment, which would make her like a squib because she would have been exposed to the magical world but couldn't be a part of it.

Jules: I think she was a wannabe witch when she was growing up and envies and resents Lily for being a real one. As a result, she knows much more about the wizarding world then she lets on. Potentially important information.

Meann: Dumbledore's letters to her are most likely linked to this. Maybe she actually wanted to do magic, and she did something very desperate that Dumbledore wrote to her. Merlin forbid... imagine Petunia getting a hold of Kwikspell courses! :p

Petunia knows about dementors because she “overheard a conversation” between Lily and someone else. But there is more to it than that; we will learn more in Book 7. [link to source]

Lisa: Petunia knows something important.
Who was it that was speaking to Lily? Dumbledore? James? Sirius? Remus? Even Snape?

roonwit: The person talking to Lily is "that awful boy" at the start book 5, so not Dumbledore, and if it isn't James it is someone else she has discussed with Vernon or who Vernon has met, because the comment is addressed to him.

Jules: She does know something. Perhaps the identity of "that awful boy" is what is important. I am not convinced that it is James so it must be one of his contemporaries.

Meann: Snape?

When asked about Aunt Petunia being oddly flushed when she heard that Harry would only be returning to Privet Drive once more, Jo said that “There is a little more to Aunt Petunia than meets the eye and you will find out what that is in book seven.” [link to source]

Lisa: Jo has told us several times now that Petunia has a little surprise for us. Well, we know she isn’t a squib and that she won’t be performing magic for us. It could be something she did or something she knows.
Perhaps she flushed when she heard that Harry would return because she knows something important and that she should have told it to Harry a long time ago. It could be what she overheard or perhaps something from her correspondence with Dumbledore.

roonwit: Maybe the protection Harry has at Privet Drive also includes her and Dudley, or maybe she liked Lily at some point more than she would admit and is reluctant to lose her last link to her sister.

Jules: Remorse and embarrassment at how badly she has treated her nephew?
If she was losing out on the protection she has enjoyed till now, wouldn’t she be pale with terror rather than flushed?

Meann: If Aunt Petunia isn't as opposed to magic as we initially were led to believe and she actually harbored secret desires to have magical abilities, then she was probably flushed from all that talk about magic. Maybe this is Jo's way of illustrating that Petunia knows more about magic than she's letting on.

What did Dumbledore's Howler to Aunt Petunia mean? (“Remember my last?”) [link to source]

Background: Dumbledore’s “last” was the letter he left for Petunia upon the Dursley’s doorstep (along with Harry). According to Jo, it was his “last” because there were letters to Petunia before that. A day later, she clarified that Dumbledore was not thinking of school letters he sent to both the Dursleys.

Lisa: So what do you make of this? Why on earth was Dumbledore corresponding with Petunia? Remember, Dumbledore didn’t decide to place Harry with Petunia until after James and Lily were killed and he realized he could extend of Lily’s protective magic to her blood relatives.

roonwit: Maybe Petunia came to Dumbledore's attention much earlier, perhaps stowing away on the Hogwarts Express in an attempt to share Lily's experiences.
Alternatively, if Petunia was the older sister, maybe she was Lily's guardian for a while after their parents died.

Jules: If Petunia was a wannabe witch when she was younger, she may have come into contact with the wizarding world and Dumbledore’s correspondence related to this.

Who is R.A.B.? JKR: Regulus Black is a “fine choice.” [link to source]

Lisa: If this is indeed true, the locket found at Grimmauld Place will be of interest to Harry.

roonwit: Also Kreacher might know something, and as it would relate to Master Regulus, he might actually be willing to share that knowledge with Harry.

Jules: Having considered every other possible character listed in the Lexicons character index, Regulus is by far the best fit. Regulus’ relative of the same name and Mr. Borgin are outside chances because they don’t have quite the same level of death eater association.

Meann: Regulus remains to be the most logical choice for me.

We will learn why Sirius detested Snape. [link to source]

Lisa: Did it have something to do with influence on his younger brother Regulus? Were their families feuding? What happened between them to cause their mutual loathing?

roonwit: I can see Snape deliberately getting Regulus involved with the wrong sort of people (i.e. future Death Eaters) knowing it would annoy Sirius.

Jules: I think this has already been answered but in relation to James. James and Sirius probably hated Snape for the same reasons.

Meann: Maybe it has to do with Snape and his possible affection for Lily? James is Sirius' best friend, and it's likely that Sirius detested anyone who would get in James' way... especially Snape.

We will see whether or not Wormtail pays his life-debt to Harry. [link to source]

Lisa: However, she won’t discuss it further, so it may have some importance in Book 7.

roonwit: It can only be good for Harry if there is someone close to Voldemort who isn't wholly loyal to him.

Jules: I think Wormtail will be important in book 7. I don’t know whether he will repay the life-debt but I think the brief appearance in book 6 was a significant teaser. My guess is that Voldemort didn’t trust Snape or Wormtail so he had them spy on each other. Wormtail may render Harry some service through relating information he had heard at Death Eater meetings to Harry or he may not and instead use what he has found out to his or Voldemort’s advantage. I am inclined to go with the former.

Meann: If Voldemort does something to Wormtail to cause Wormtail to lose his loyalty, then we can almost expect he will repay that debt. Like all Jo's characters (except for Voldemort), Wormtail may be redeemed, so it's probably not beyond him to start feeling extreme guilt about having betrayed James and Lily or about putting Harry in danger. Wormtail just needs a strong trigger, and that debt will be repaid.

Lisa: It's funny, but I think he is the least likely to be redeemed because he is such an opportunist, always waiting to see who he thinks is going to win before he chooses sides. If he pays his debt I think it will be something highly calculated and not a moment of selfless heroism.

At least one of the remaining Horcruxes is pretty easy to guess at if you are a careful reader. [link to source]

Lisa: Have you guessed it?

roonwit: But are there any others apart from that one?

Does the destruction of a Horcrux involve more than the destruction of the object? [unanswered FAQ poll question from JKRowling.com]

Background: This is a question Jo offered to answer in her fifth FAQ poll (December 25, 2005), but it didn't win. It is posted here because it is something to think about. Perhaps Jo will answer it someday!

roonwit: On one level the answer to this question is obviously yes -- you have to find it and retrieve it from its hiding place first. It doesn't make that much difference whether the curses etc. are on the object itself or the hiding place, you still to overcome them and avoid being killed by them to destroy the Horcrux. I would guess the protections are mostly on the locations though, in case Voldemort wants to use the magical properties of the original object at some point.
I think the diary spurted ink because the enchantments on it to allow Tom to communicate and bewitch whoever wrote in it were also ended by the basilisk fang, and all the ink it had absorbed as a result was released, so it was not directly related to it being a Horcrux.
Slughorn is actually quite informative on the creation of the Horcrux if you read his memory carefully; there is a murder to split the soul followed by a spell to encase the split piece in the object. He doesn't however say how much of a gap there can be between these stages though.
Also Voldemort doesn't need to use a Horcrux to get his body back, it just need to exist somewhere to stop the piece of soul which was his spectral form moving on to an afterlife.

Lisa: Did Dumbledore injure his hand destroying the ring Horcrux, or did he get hurt while he was retrieving the ring from its hiding place? Did cracking the stone destroy the Horcrux, or was it just a side effect? Perhaps we can learn something from the diary Horcrux. The diary was broken when Harry stabbed it -- it wasn't booby-trapped in anyway (well, if you exclude the basilisk). Did it "bleed" too? Did the ring have another "ghost" of Tom Riddle that spoke to Dumbledore?

Jules: Well, yes. You have to track it down and you have to make sure it is a Horcrux and deal with the protections surrounding it. So far, I'm inclined to say that yes, destroying a Horcrux will involve the damage or destruction the object the soul fragment is encased in either deliberately or inadvertently or both.

Meann: The Horcrux spell serves to sort of imprison the bit of soul inside the object, thus, keeping it anchored here in the world along with the bit of soul inside the body of the owner of the Horcrux. When you try to break the Horcrux spell (which probably involves powerful magic), the object most likely breaks or is destroyed, and the bit of soul will be free to escape and "move on beyond the veil", so to speak, and there will be nothing left to anchor the bit of soul inside the body to this world... unless of course, you're Voldemort, and you stocked up on Horcruxes.

There will be a new Defense against the Dark Arts teacher in Book 7. [link to source]

Lisa: This seems to imply that Hogwarts will offer classes. Perhaps the new professor is one of the Aurors? Or the Order of the Phoenix member we will “properly” meet?

roonwit: It might not matter too much who the teacher is, though McGonagall could do a lot worse than let Harry and friends teach practical defense in at least some of the classes (and it might be a good cover story for whatever else Harry gets up to secretly).

Jules: Proof that Hogwarts will be open for at least part of the book. But it throws up a whole bunch of new questions. There are a few staff positions to be filled. Headmaster is most likely McGonagall, but this in turn means that we need a new Transfiguration professor and a new house master as well as a new DADA teacher. I have no clue about the teaching posts except that the DADA teacher won’t be Lupin. As for the Head of Gryffindor, Hagrid is the only one on staff apart from McGonagall who is a known Gryffindor. Slughorn will keep his position and be Slytherin Head of house.

Meann: Even if Hogwarts won't open at the start of Harry's seventh year in school, I don't believe Hogwarts will be closed forever, so this seems to be a safe clue.

The magical protection Harry receives from staying at the Dursleys will not hold once he turns 17 and becomes a man. [link to source]

Lisa: Jo hasn’t really explained how this protects him now that Voldemort shares Harry’s blood, so it is unclear what this will mean for Harry.

roonwit: The protection at Privet Drive is based on Lily's sacrifice and Dumbledore's charm. This is separate (though clearly related) to the protection Voldemort now shares because he used Harry's blood, so Harry's protection there will still hold at the start of book 7.

In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows we will become better acquainted with another member of the Order of the Phoenix. This is someone we know about but have not “met properly.” [link to source]

Lisa: Aberforth? Caradoc Dearborn? Someone thought to be dead? We’re not well acquainted with Doge or Shacklebolt, but they have more or less been “properly” introduced.

roonwit: It has to be Aberforth.

Jules: I have to say Aberforth, given we are supposed to find out stuff about Dumbledore, but Dearborn is an interesting possibility.

Meann: I vote for Aberforth or Tonks.

Harry believes that Draco would not have killed Dumbledore even if he had all the time in the world.  Indeed he would not have; this will have implications for Draco’s future. [link to source]

Lisa: Four Death Eaters witnessed his failure to kill Dumbledore so Draco is a marked man.  Will Snape continue to protect him? What will Harry do when they meet?

roonwit: Snape has to continue to protect Draco because of the unbreakable vow. But Draco's mission was a partial success, so he may escape the dire consequences of failure, even if his only future role is to make the tea at death eater headquarters.
Draco might however be a useful choice to find out what Harry is up to, but if he is no longer wholly loyal to Voldemort his reports might not be as complete as they could be.

Jules: Snape will continue to protect Draco because of the Unbreakable Vow, but I think he would anyway as he likes Draco. I think Draco is the likeliest of the Malfoy’s to crack up. Narcissa may also out of favor with the Death Eaters for betraying the secret of Draco’s mission and also tampering it by making Snape take an Unbreakable Vow, but I think she or Lucius would fight like a cornered rat in this situation. Draco will probably do something desperate and dangerous and probably fatal, unless the good guys can persuade him to do otherwise. He may regret rejecting Dumbledore’s offer.

Meann: Snape and Draco have to stick together now. Their fates are now irrevocably intertwined.

When asked about Draco, Jo said that all of her main characters except for Voldemort can be considered redeemable. [link to source]

Lisa: Oh, Draco. You finally seem human. Are you really a Death Eater? Where are you now? How will you stay alive?  What will you say to your father?
Of course, Jo could have been talking about Snape.  Oh Snape…

roonwit: Yes, Draco is a death eater, but he might now be looking for a way out, though he will perhaps need to be as slippery as his father to get out in one piece and not end up in Azkaban.

Jules: She might be referring to Snape, but as I think Snape is good, no redemption is required. Therefore the idea of Draco coming over to the good guys sounds promising.

Meann: Draco's reluctance to kill Dumbledore shows he might not have what it takes to be a Death Eater. If Dumbledore's murder was to be his initiation, then it looks like we won't see an induction. Draco might also switch sides if it means keeping his parents safe.

The two-way mirror Sirius gave Harry will be useful in some way. [link to source]

Lisa: Would a simple “Reparo” fix it? Or will it be useful even though it is shattered? Where is the matching mirror Sirius had?

roonwit: I doubt “Reparo” is enough to fix magical objects (or else Draco's task in book 6 would have been a lot easier). Maybe an unpaired mirror is actually more useful than a paired one, because you might be able to see more than just what the other mirror would reflect.

JKR: “The mirror that Harry got from Sirius might not have helped as much as you think but, on the other hand, will help more than you think.” [link to source]

Lisa: A classic teaser from Jo.

roonwit: Do these mirrors have a maximum range? Would Sirius have to have been watching the other mirror to accept the call, or would Harry have got the answerphone (Sorry, Master can't take your call right now, go away!).
Alternatively, perhaps the broken pieces of the mirror can now be used to communicate with several people from the other mirror.

Jules: Perhaps Harry will fix his mirror and on discovering the at Sirius did not have it with him when he went through the veil, finds the other in Grimmauld Place when searching for the locket and starts to use it to communicate with friends and allies.

Meann: "Might not help as much as you think" probably means Harry won't be able to use it to talk to Sirius anymore. It might serve some other purpose, though. No idea what it'll be.

JKR: Regulus is dead, “so he's pretty quiet these days.” [link to source]

Lisa: Here Jo was asked “Will we be hearing anything from Sirius Black's brother, Regulus, in future books?” referring to Books 6 & 7. Compare this with her answer a year later (next in the list, below).

roonwit: I think this is a classic Jo misdirecting answer. She answers what was actually asked, but ducks the real question of whether Regulus has any further part to play in the books. And as we see with R.A.B., you can be dead but still influence the books when what you did before you died becomes important.

Meann: I agree with Roonwit on this one.

JKR will not comment on whether or not Sirius's mirror will allow communication with Regulus or not. [link to source]

Lisa: Now, why do you think she didn’t remind us that Regulus is dead? Where is Sirius’s mirror anyway?

roonwit: Yes, if the mirror is not on the table, where is it?

Meann: I don't think it will. I agree Regulus is dead "and pretty quiet these days." :p

Lisa: You both are very polite, but I know you're thinking "She's crackers!"

JKR won’t tell us if there will be another scene in the locked room in the Department of Mysteries. [link to source]

Lisa: It may not be necessary; Harry may just need to know that it exists. He isn’t too friendly with the Ministry right now anyway.

roonwit: I wonder whether that room was locked so that Jo didn't have to come up with a description of its contents. But it is the love, personal to Harry, that is the power that the the Dark Lord knows not, and Harry doesn't need to be in the Ministry to use it.

Jules: is there a showdown here?

Meann: Wonder if an "Alohomora" will unlock that door....

Fawkes probably has a role to play in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. [link to source]

Lisa: She wouldn’t discuss this topic, but said her silence was a clue. Jo has also said that Fawkes belonged to Dumbledore, so is he independent now, or will he “belong” to someone else?

roonwit: I can see Fawkes adopting Harry as an owner, because Harry was very loyal to Dumbledore. Fawkes will still avoid places too closely associated to Albus though, such as Hogwarts.

Jules: I have to agree with roonwit.

World folklore about snakes holds clues to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. [link to source]

Background: From the context, this clue could be something about Parselmouths or Slytherin House.

Lisa: Will Harry’s ability to communicate with snakes prove useful again? Is there more to the connections between Slytherin House (or its founder) and snakes? Or is this hint about Voldemort’s companion Nagini?
In some parts of the world snakes are revered; in others they are loathed. From culture to culture, snakes are believed to have power over everything from creation to dreams to rebirth to medicine and healing to immortality. Numerous cultures believed that snakes had connections to the underworld and could carry messages, and just about all of them associate snakes with either the earth or water sources.
There is already quite a bit of snake folklore worked into the stories: Voldemort “milking” Nagini to keep alive, Slytherin House’s location partially submerged in the lake, and the whole structure of the Chamber of Secrets.

roonwit: No idea about this one. Maybe Harry's Boa Constrictor from book 1 will return and take on Nagini.

Jules: Maybe it has to do with the final stages of the Horcrux hunt when Harry is trying to track down Nagini and Voldemort and to confirm whether of not Nagini is a Horcrux.

Meann: I read that there is a Cult of the Snake in Albania, and one of their customs is to nail a snake on their door, because snakes were considered to be protectors. There's a lot of discussion about this in the Leaky Lounge also. Maybe Harry will go to Albania? And I also concur it might be connected with Nagini as well, since she is so similar to the Naginis described in Hindu mythology.

We will learn more about the relationship between wands and their wizards/witches in Book 7. [link to source]

Lisa: This probably refers to Harry’s and Voldemort’s wands being “brothers,” but it could also tie in to Ollivander’s disappearance and the mystery of what happened to James and Lily’s wands.

roonwit: Jo's comments can also be interpreted as meaning that we find out more about what happens when a muggle tries to use a wand.

Jules: Ditto!

Meann: Probably related to Ollivander's disappearance, yeah.

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Interesting, but Probably Not Crucial

We will find out more about the history of James Potter’s family in the next books. [link to source]

Lisa: However, JKR has indicated that James’s parents are “not particularly important to the story” and that there was nothing unusual about their deaths (World Book Day, 2004).

roonwit: Was James related to the "Charlus Potter" on the Black family tree? [link to Lexicon]

Meann: I was wondering the same thing, roonwit. And it the pureblood families are all inter-related, then....

Lisa: Hmmm. I keep hoping we get more glimpses of the Black Family Tapestry.

At the moment the last word is still “scar.” [link to source]

Lisa: I think this is a safe clue to give us.  On the surface it seems significant but is difficult to guess how she intends to use the word.

roonwit: It doesn't really tell us anything; there are too many ways she could end it. Perhaps the last scene is the children of one or more of the trio on the Hogwarts Express, unwrapping and reading the Harry Potter chocolate frog card.

Jules: It is probably in a very mundane sentence.

Meann: It's a safe clue.

“In my books, magic almost always shows itself in a person before age 11; however, there is a character who does manage in desperate circumstances to do magic quite late in life, but that is very rare in the world I am writing about.” [link to source]

Lisa: Since this answer is in response to a question about “lateblooming” Hogwarts students, could it be one of the squibs we’ve met? Mrs. Figg? Filch?

roonwit: It might also be a muggle, though not one of the Dursleys, or one of the older characters we now think of as a witch or wizard, if the desperate circumstances have already happened.

Jules: It has to be Mrs. Figg, since Jo has already shot down the idea of Petunia and Filch being late bloomers.

Meann: Chalk up one more vote from me for Mrs. Figg. She'll probably manage to do magic in her capacity as one of Harry's protectors.

Notes: This is not Petunia. See “Denials” below.

Jo has written an epilogue that explains what some of the characters' lives are like, but she may not actually use it. [link to source]

roonwit: Though it does sound like it will still be there, rewritten and with some changes, according to a later interview [link to source].

Jules: From more recent comments by Jo, she is using it in a slightly altered form.

JKR said she wouldn’t answer questions about religious content until the end of the seventh book. [link to source]

Lisa: At the time Jo was asked about this she was under attack by religious conservatives about her own beliefs and the wizardry in the books. I think she said this because she thought the books should speak for themselves.
It is also possible that she felt that to discuss themes like love, death, redemption and forgiveness would give parts of the plot away.
Then again, this statement is not a direct quote; this is the reporter’s paraphrase of something she said and the reporter might not have gotten it right.

roonwit: It may be that knowing too much about what she believes would provide hints to the way the books will end. She has said the same thing in other interviews [link to source].

Julia: Ditto Lisa.

There might be more to the eye regarding the cats in the stories. [link to source]

Lisa: The foreshadowing for this (McGonagall’s animagus, Crookshanks, Squib cats, Ginny’s affinity for cats) doesn’t seem to hint at this being a huge revelation, though Jo said this was a “good question.”

roonwit: There are of course a few cats that are actually part-Kneazle.

Meann: Might be referring to Crookshanks?

We will learn what Dudley “saw” when he faced the Dementors. [link to source]

Lisa: What did he see or feel?  Interesting, but probably not key to the story.

roonwit: Dudley's worst memories are likely to relate to magic (unless it was losing his second bedroom!). It might be the pig's tail, but maybe it relates to Petunia's secrets; he would really be horrified to discover he himself had some magical connection, maybe through a distant ancestor who was magical.

Julia: This is interesting. Is it Dudley’s fears of magic and the wizarding world, multiplied by 10?

Meann: Is it related to Petunia's "secret"?

We will find out what happened to Sirius’s flying motorbike. [link to source]

Lisa: Hopefully we will find out a lot more about that night. What do you think happened to it? Jo has said that “real sleuths” might be able to guess. If Mr Weasley confiscated it, it is possible that he used parts for a certain Ford Anglia?

roonwit: I did wonder if it is still parked around the back of the hut on the rock. It might also be one of the many things hidden in the Forbidden Forest.

Jules: The twins’ joke about dropping Ron off the Astronomy tower is an obvious reference to the climax of book 6.

Meann: Oh, I loooove the idea of Mr. Weasley getting a hold of it! But it's possible it might also have run off into the Forbidden Forest or something. Someone might be able to use it again.

Cuaron “put things in the [Prisoner of Azkaban] film that, without knowing it, foreshadow things that are going to happen in the final two books.” [link to source]

Lisa: Does she mean plot, dialog or set design? We may know what this is already if it is the details of how Hogwarts gets locked up, the Hogwarts clocks or the Celtic standing stones (sundial) above Hagrid’s hut. Cuaron also added Snape’s protectiveness toward the trio after Lupin transformed, and a touch of romance between Ron and Hermione.

roonwit: Lupin says things about Lily seeing qualities in him that he couldn't see himself, which foreshadow both Lily's character, and Lupin's relationship with Tonks. Also Buckbeak's defence of Harry and Hermione echoes that of Harry at the end of book 6.

Meann: This one has been bugging me for ages. The only things that look promising, indeed, are Snape's protectiveness over the Trio, and Lupin's relationship with Lily.

Umbridge is still at the Ministry; we will see more of her because Jo wants to “torture” her a bit more. [link to source]

Lisa: Ahhh, what indignities lie in store?

roonwit: A transfer to the Centaur Liaison Office, perhaps?

Meann: Another trip to the Forest?

Ravenclaw “Will get their day, if you know what I mean!” [link to source]

Lisa: I certainly hope so! Go Luna! Go Flitwick!

roonwit: There could of course be a Ravenclaw relic that Harry needs help to trace, and it is far from impossible that Voldemort will want Hogwarts as a headquarters, and the Ravenclaws will help defend it.

Grawp will continue to become “more amenable to human contact.” [link to source]

Lisa: She may have been referring to how well-behaved he was at Dumbledore’s funeral. But who knows? Why is Grawp in the story? Is he a digression like SPEW? Or will he be key in some way?

roonwit: Giants must play some part in the final book, and Grawp may well influence the result of this.

Meann: I agree with roonwit. This is also a safe clue, since we've seen Grawp slowly starting to respond to Hermione.

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Obvious Stuff: Things We Can Guess From the Books or That Are No Big Surprise

Characters We Will See Again (in addition to the obvious ones)

Unimportant to the Big Picture?


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Original page date 12 November 2006; last updated 1 July, 2007