At the second of two charity readings she has participated in New York, JK Rowling answered some BIG questions for audience members last night. Here's the report I found:
- Other than Harry, Jo would most want to bring Hagrid into the real world.
- There's more to Aunt Petunia than meets the eye, and we'll find out what's unique about her in Book 7.
- Don't expect Dumbledore to pull a Gandalf.- Dumbledore IS really dead. "Everyone needs to move through the five stages of grief" and get past his death. She also apologizes to DumbledoreIsNotDead.com for ruining the purpose of their site.
- Jo's future after Potter includes taking a long break from writing. She also plans to release a young children's book (currently half-written) that is shorter than any Potter novel.
- The librarians in the Potter novels have to be evil, otherwise the students would have nice librarians to help them find all the information they need. "Hermione wouldn't have to do any work!"
- Author Salman Rushdie came up with his son to ask, after a detailed theory, if Snape is good or bad. Jo replied that "your opinion was correct." Rushdie's opinion, unfortunately, was hard to follow.
- After being asked if there was one question fans should have asked by now but haven't, Jo couldn't reference any question in particular.
- While taking a shower before the reading today, Jo said that she had come up with a different title for book seven that would work better than her current title. No word on which title will be used, though.
- Stephen King said he was scared of Death Eaters, to which Jo replied, "I scared Stephen King."
- Moderator Soledad O'Brien asked the three authors who from their books they'd invite to dinner. Stephen immediately said he'd invite Harry and Hermione.
- While Jo is listing the characters who she'd invite to dinner, she names the trio but then pauses. The crowd begins to shout out other characters, but Jo responds, "I'm the only one who knows who lives through the series," accidentally implying that she could only list characters who make it through the final book. Her final two choices (after realizing what she said) were Dumbledore and Hagrid.
I hate to say I told you so to those people out there who earnestly believed Dumbledore was still alive, but Jo herself told us that Avada Kedavra is unblockable and magic can't bring people back from the dead. It is a hard truth to swallow but accept it we must. Especially considering how likely it is that we'll lose Harry in the last book. As we get closer to finding out, I'm becoming more convinced that he won't survive. I guess I'm just preparing myself for the worst.
One last note: for those Harry/Hermione shippers out there: it's not in the cards. During one of the Q&A sessions in New York, Jo reportedly said it is Ron who will win Hermione's heart in Book 7. On a slightly personal perspective: Yay for Ron & Hermione!
For a more in-depth report of the charity readings.