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.