To help satisfy the public’s undying need for trivia about the concluded Harry Potter series, author J.K. Rowling has made it a habit to occasionally share additional tidbits about the world of wizarding in interviews and on her highly active Twitter. Some are cool extras to keep in mind during your next Potter binge. But others, such as the one-word hint she gave to the late Alan Rickman on portraying Professor Severus Snape, provide deeper insight and some heartache.
While the list of all of Rowling’s reveals would be a mile-long, we can take a look at her most recent ones about the Potterverse and its inhabitants.
The Dursley’s Misguided Hate
The disdain the Dursleys felt for their nephew/cousin ran deeper than the Forbidden Forest. Once you realize that they had a spare bedroom upstairs and still made him sleep under the stairs for years it starts to become clear just how much they disliked him. But, according to Rowling, this hate was around long before Harry was even born. Petunia had unresolved inferiority issues with her magically gifted sister, Lily, and Vernon already had some misguided assumptions about wizards when they met. Dudley was probably always a greedy little sh*t; he doesn’t have an excuse.
Note: This revelation disproved a popular fan theory that, because Harry was a horcrux, he naturally pissed off everyone around him and brought out the worst in them. Clearly the Dursleys didn’t need any help being complete jerks to an 11-year-old relative.
Favorite Chapter Among Hundreds
There are almost 200 chapters in all of the Harry Potter books combined. While Rowling could have tossed out a benign response about loving each equally, she instead chose honesty. Back in October, Rowling tweeted that Chapter 34 of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows was her favorite one, both because of the content and because she’d been mapping out that specific moment – Harry heading back to take on Voldemort again – for such a long time.
Besides, You’re Saying It Wrong…
When the Harry Potter movies came out a lot of people realized they had been saying characters names wrong. For example, my entire third grade class was convinced the character was named Her-me-ahn. But apparently the movies are sometimes just as wrong as the rest of us.
Back in September Rowling let the world know that the “t” at the end of Voldemort’s name is actually silent. She also admits that she’s probably the only person in the world who says it that way. In fairness, pretty much no one in the books called him anything outside of “the Dark Lord,” “You-Know-Who” or the even more condescending “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.” Guess even “Hermeanhn” can pronounce things wrong sometimes.
Mistaken Love Triangle
Shipping is a part of fan culture. The cool thing about creating a work of fiction is that you get to be the ultimate shipper, as was the case with Rowling and Harry Potter. While many love the idea of Ron and Hermione ending up together, Rowling came out and said that the genius feminist should’ve probably ended up with the hero of the series instead of his best friend.
“What Lies Behind ‘Always'”
Given how recent it was, the world is still shaking off the effects of Alan Rickman’s passing. While he had a considerable body of work with plenty of worthwhile performances, the role many will remember the late actor for is that of Professor Severus Snape. Multiple people with connections to Rickman, including Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Kevin Smith, came out to express their condolences. Fans also gave their own tributes and even left flowers at Harry Potter-themed locations.
But J.K. Rowling provided one of the most heart-warming Potter-centric stories. It turns out that Rickman had some reservations about playing a character that would be as disliked as Professor Snape. So, to help him rest easy, she gave Rickman a clue that the potions professor would have a twist later on that would make it all well worth it.
“I told Alan what lies behind the word ‘always’,” tweeted Rowling, hinting at the eternal love that Snape would always feel for Lily Potter and, by extension, her son Harry. Rickman was able to take that small idea and run with it for a truly memorable performance.