The Reason That Stopped J.K. Rowling From Killing Harry Potter In Finale
The final Harry Potter might have been released almost a decade ago, but fans are still wondering about the wizarding community and there were things opened to interpretation. With the release of a new saga set in that world, Fantastic Beasts, we are just as interested in J.K. Rowling’s stories and how she comes up with them. Here are the reasons why she did not kill this important character.
Continuing the Wizarding World
It feels like J.K. Rowling’s work is just as relevant today as it was a few years ago when the final Harry Potter movie was released. We know more about the lives of Harry, Ron, and Hermione after the Battle of Hogwarts thanks to the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and now we are getting to see the First Wizarding War thanks to Fantastic Beasts.
This could not have happened if Rowling had suddenly decided to kill this character. At some point, she considered killing Harry Potter, although no one ever believed she would. After experiencing stories like George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones, we no longer think it’s so far-fetched for a protagonist to die, but years ago, it would have been tragic.
According to a Dateline interview from 2007, “It was felt to be a possibility that the hero would die. That's what I was aiming for, that you really felt that anyone was up for grabs." However, the author decided early that Harry had to live because it would be the happy ending and teach people how to rebuild things that have been destroyed.
In the documentary J.K. Rowling: A Year in the Life, the author clarified this choice, "In some ways, it would have been a […] neater ending to kill him, but I felt it would have been a betrayal because I wanted my hero — and he's my hero — to do what I think is the noblest thing. So he came back from war and he tried to build a better world I suppose, as corny as that sounds."
After deciding the fate of the main character
At some point, the author figured out what the protagonist’s life would be like and how he would fair in the battle against Voldemort, and she never changed her mind after that. Harry Potter being alive also saved our beloved Hagrid from getting killed by the Death Eaters because Rowling liked the idea of him carrying Harry’s seemingly dead body towards Hogwarts.
In the Blu-Ray edition of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Rowling told Daniel Radcliffe, “I always knew — and this was from really early on — I was working towards the point where Hagrid carried Harry, alive but supposedly dead, out of the forest. We would all believe he was walking towards his death and he would emerge in Hagrid's arms.”
Even the actor had no idea how his character would fair in the end until the publication, but he did ask the author once. She talked about it to Dateline, and when the interviewer asked, “Did any of them ask, ‘Are you going to off me?’” she answered with, “Yeah, Dan [Radcliffe] did, yeah.” At this, she was asked to elaborate on that response.
“I took him out to dinner … And at one point during dinner, he leaned in and he said, ‘Look, I've got-- I've just got to ask you-- do I die?’ And I thought quick and then I whispered, so no one else could hear, ‘You-- you get a death scene.’ But Dan is very smart. And I'm pretty sure he would have walked away from that dinner thinking, ‘Yeah, I get a death scene, but what does that mean?’”
Being an actor cannot be easy and portraying that part must have been hard for Daniel Radcliffe, mostly because he started his career at such a young age. It’s a role that is going to follow him for the rest of his life. Emma Watson, who played Hermione Granger, has been able to escape her character with other projects, but Daniel will always be considered the embodiment of the Boy Who Lived.
Radcliffe also remembers the moment when he asked Rowling about the fate of his character, and told the author, “[I said,] ‘Go on, do I die?’ And she very cryptically turned and sort of paused for a moment and said… ‘You get a death scene.’ Which was sort of…” In the end, the actor could only answer with “Hmm” to that weird statement from Rowling.
“Yeah, at that point I was kind of like, I sort of vaguely have some idea what's going on.”
Surprisingly, some fans of this saga hoped that Harry would die at the end of Deathly Hallows. Before the publication of the final book, there were tons of fan fiction stories centered on Harry dying after the confrontation with Voldemort, and how the Wizarding World would move on after losing Potter. It is definitely an interesting concept, but happy endings are always better.
Moreover, J.K. Rowling agrees because she does not have any remorse over keeping the main character alive. “I felt it would be a betrayal of the character if I showed Harry doing anything other than living what all along he has discovered to be true, which is that love is the strongest power there is. I thought a lot about people who had been through terrible things like wars.”
“And having to come home and rebuild and espouse a normality after seeing horrors has always seemed to me to be such a courageous thing to do."
It served the story right to have Harry win, but we saw many sacrifices along the way like the loss of Hedwig, Dobby, Fred Weasley, Remus Lupin, Nymphadora Tonks, and Dumbledore. However, her ending served as inspiration for many people, proving that good will always prevail over evil and that wars lead to nothing but loss.
"Climbing back to normality after trauma is much, much harder. It's much harder to rebuild than to destroy."
What did you think of the possibility of Harry Potter dying? Could it have made the story better? We would like to know your opinion, so leave a comment down below and share this article with all your Potterhead friends.
Sources used: Business Insider
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