What would Hermione say? JK Rowling has revealed that she “seriously” considered killing Ron Weasley “out of sheer spite” while she was writing the Harry Potter series.

Although the British author has not been shy about handing out sorry ends to a host of popular characters – from Hogwarts’s white-bearded headmaster Albus Dumbledore, who bites the dust in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, to Harry’s owl Hedwig, who dies in the final novel – she never intended to kill one of her three main characters until, halfway through the series, she “wasn’t in a very happy place”. And it was the cheeky, ginger-haired Ron Weasley, best friend to Harry, love interest for Hermione, over whom the axe was hovering.

"Funnily enough, I planned from the start that none of them would die. Then midway through, which I think is a reflection of the fact that I wasn’t in a very happy place, I started thinking I might polish one of them off. Out of sheer spite. ‘There, now you definitely can’t have him any more.’ But I think in my absolute heart of heart of hearts, although I did seriously consider killing Ron, [I wouldn’t have done it]," she told the actor Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Harry Potter in the films and who was "convinced one of the main three had to buy it".

I think that would have traumatized my childhood.