JKRowling on Pottercast

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JKRowling on Pottercast

Post  John Bumbledore on Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:35 pm

This is an archive of the below titled thread from the Harry Potter Lexicon Forum (HPLF) as it was on World Crossing (WX) until WX ceased operation on 15 April 2011. ~ John

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J.K. Rowling on Pottercast


Liz Mann - Dec 18, 2007 8:52 am
Edited by Kip Carter Dec 18, 2007 10:51 pm

This interview looks like it's going to be an good one, so I thought it would be a good idea to have a thread on which to discuss it.

Leaky's summary of what is talked about looks good. There's stuff about Beedle the Bard, more on what the characters did after Hogwarts, the Dumbledore revelation, the Harry Potter encyclopedia, what the prophecy meant by Lily and James thrice defying the Dark Lord, the missing 24 hours and loads more. The full list is on the PotterCast website. I'm really looking forward to this.

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JKRowling on Pottercast

Post  John Bumbledore on Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:37 pm


Eponine - Dec 18, 2007 10:39 am (#1 of 79)

It's already available to listen to. I listened to it this morning when I first got up.

It seemed like a chat between old friends, and I really enjoyed the entire thing.

One part that I found very amusing was when Jo talked about going to the read through for HBP. She saw Dan, Rupert, Emma, Bonnie and Evanna sitting with some really cool guy who she assumed they had hired to play Cormac McClaggen. Then she started looking around and couldn't find Matthew Lewis. That's when she realized that Matthew Lewis was that really cool looking guy with the rest of them.

She called her planned encyclopedia "The Scottish Book" so as not to curse it at all. She also said that her dream for the encyclopedia was to have things like wand entries for all the characters and backstory, but to also include stuff about the process of writing the books, like dropped plot lines and problems she had.

She said that The Tales of Beetle Bard was originally going to have about 30 stories until she decided to handwrite them all.

They talked about her website and the WOMBATs (she said her husband gave up after the first one since he only got an "acceptable" even though he was in the room with her as she was writing the questions and telling him what the answers were - she said they were very much like Ron and Hermione!)

There will be more with Jo on next week's Pottercast too. It was quite entertaining, and I can't wait to hear what she says next week!


Puck - Dec 18, 2007 10:51 am (#2 of 79)

Where to I find this interview?


Eponine - Dec 18, 2007 11:49 am (#3 of 79)

Here on TLC. You can listen to it online by clicking where it says direct download.


Liz Mann - Dec 18, 2007 1:13 pm (#4 of 79)

The interview was fantastic. I was intrigued by what she said about how the reason why Harry's scar hurts when Voldemort is close is because the piece of soul inside him is trying to get back to the master soul, trying to exit Harry the same way it entered. I can't believe I never thought to question why the scar would hurt. *slaps forehead*

Actually, talking of slapping foreheads, I actually did slap my forehead at one point during listening to the interview. It was when J.K. answered the question about how Dumbledore knew that the Potters had been attacked. There was a spell on the house to alert him. So simple!


Anna L. Black - Dec 18, 2007 1:38 pm (#5 of 79)

I enjoyed the interview so much. Now I just wish I had a transcript, so I could read it slowly and think about every piece of information, one at a time And, of course, we have part 2 to wait for!

And I liked what she said about Hermione getting back to school while Ron and Harry didn't. It's just… fitting

EDITED to add: The answers about "in essence divided" and about the 24 lost hours are not surprising, in retrospective (Is this how you say that word?). But I'm glad we got them, even if they're not saying that much.


Liz Mann - Dec 18, 2007 3:28 pm (#6 of 79)

Actually, it's retrospect.

Yeah, Hermione going back but Harry and Ron not does fit.

It's a shame there'll be no more WOMBATS but it sounds like she might have agreed to put the answers up, so that'll be good. More info about the wizarding world.


journeymom - Dec 18, 2007 3:29 pm (#7 of 79)

Very cool! Now if I can only get my iTunes to work properly. I paused it 25 minutes in to go pick up ds from school, hit play when we got back, and it started over.


Liz Mann - Dec 18, 2007 3:31 pm (#8 of 79)

You don't need iTunes, you can download it and listen to it on Windows Media Player.


Sconie Girl - Dec 19, 2007 9:22 am (#9 of 79)

If anyone knows of a transcript, I'd really like to see a copy. We don't own a computer…gasp…crazy I know. And my blasted company one won't let me down load it!!!


Orion - Dec 19, 2007 9:45 am (#10 of 79)

Leaky has promised a transcript in two parts "as soon as possible". It's not there yet, but transcripting is hard work, so it probably takes a few days.

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JKRowling on Pottercast

Post  John Bumbledore on Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:39 pm


Sconie Girl - Dec 19, 2007 11:34 am (#11 of 79)

Thanks! I'll have to read it after the holidays!


Verity Weasley - Dec 19, 2007 5:42 pm (#12 of 79)

I'll be waiting for the transcript too. I only have a primitively slow dial-up connection and it is impossible to download huge files like that.


Choices - Dec 19, 2007 5:50 pm (#13 of 79)

Yeah, me too. My computer is so slow I'd be old and gray before I got it downloaded. Wait a minute…. I AM old and gray…. Uh, nevermind.


Barbara J - Dec 19, 2007 9:57 pm (#14 of 79)

I am listening right now, and I just had to say that I'm so glad the "in essence divided" line came up. I had been meaning to post about that several times and never got around to it.


Steve Newton - Dec 20, 2007 6:44 am (#15 of 79)

Choices, on an unrelated and off topic subject. Yesterday I was rereading the SS/PS read-a-long and noticed that you were the first one to bring up the idea of a horcrux in Gringotts.

Well done!

I wish that that had settled into my brain so that I would have been ready for it in DH>


Choices - Dec 20, 2007 11:41 am (#16 of 79)

Steve, I'd love to take credit for being clever enough to think there might be a Horcrux at Gringott's, but I honestly don't remember thinking that. Are you sure it wasn't someone else?


Steve Newton - Dec 20, 2007 12:23 pm (#17 of 79)

Well, I just checked it out and it was a comment by you about how safe Gringotts was and then a comment by Mrs. Brisbee about maybe a horcrux. Maybe you should share credit.


Choices - Dec 20, 2007 3:14 pm (#18 of 79)

Hummmm, I think maybe Mrs. Brisbee deserves ALL the credit. She can have the spotlight and I'll just stand in the back and smile. LOL (People will wonder what I've been up to….LOL)


Mrs. Sirius - Dec 22, 2007 9:42 pm (#19 of 79)

I always did like Mrs. Brisbee's insights on re-along!


Steve Newton - Dec 23, 2007 6:07 am (#20 of 79)

I haven't seen Mrs. B around for a while. I've been wanting to do a DH read-a-long but haven't had the nerve to actually start one.

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JKRowling on Potercast

Post  John Bumbledore on Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:44 pm


Mrs. Sirius - Dec 23, 2007 8:24 am (#21 of 79)

Well that sounds like an invitation if ever I heard one, Steve. After the holidays I would love for an excuse to get in DH again. Of course I do come with the warning that no matter how well it starts out, I always peter out somewhere in the middle. I continue reading the book, and reading the thread, and I often come back in again, but I have a difficult time with consistent posting.

Hard as it is for me to believe but I think DH is my favorite, surpassing POA which I didn't think any other in the series could do. It really does seam the perfect culmination to the series.

On the Pottercast, I have heard it through but it stops at some point and says something about part II. But I cant find a way to bring that up. Anyone know how I can listen to the rest of the interview? I listen right of the computer.


Anna L. Black - Dec 23, 2007 10:26 am (#22 of 79)

Mrs. Sirius, I think the second part is not up yet. I'm not sure if Pottercast is aired once a week exactly, but from what they write, I think it is: "Don't forget to tune in next week!" So, I guess the second part will be up the day after tomorrow.


Liz Mann - Dec 23, 2007 12:51 pm (#23 of 79)

Leaky's Christmas present to us.


Verity Weasley - Dec 23, 2007 1:53 pm (#24 of 79)

Wow!!! The transcript is up on Leaky and it is amazing!


Liz Mann - Dec 25, 2007 5:35 pm (#25 of 79)

The second part is online now. I wish they'd talked about Fred and Dobby more than just right at the end. Poor Fred and Dobby.

Apparently J.K. is having a LOT of input into the theme park, which I'm glad to hear. And she is the one who asked for Stuart Craig to design it, so that's cool.


zelmia - Dec 30, 2007 1:00 pm (#26 of 79)

On the subject of Slytherins, Jo says that, even though all the Slytherins apparently abandoned the battle when they had the chance, they later came back with re-enforcements, which she thought prudent of them.
But that's not the description in the book. It says that, though they were led by Slughorn (still in his jim-jams), the "re-enforcements" were "the families and friends of every Hogwarts student who had stayed to fight" along with the people of Hogsmeade, etc. There is no mention of any current Slytherin student as part of that group.
Clearly in her mind, at least, she saw at least some of the Slytherin students who had previously fled coming back to help, which I was happy to hear was her intention. But unfortunately that is not the way she wrote it.


Madam Pince - Dec 31, 2007 6:27 am (#27 of 79)

You are so right, zelmia.

I'm beginning to have a problem with these "post-book interviews" -- she is adding and/or changing too much stuff that should've just been in the book in the first place.


Allison R - Dec 31, 2007 10:39 am (#28 of 79)

I agree heartily. It is her world, she created it, and I do agree that she is entitled to decide how things happen there in the course of the books by following their hearts and using their imaginations.

What I don't understand is how all the determination to 'allow people to get to the end of the story on their own and not be spoiled by anyone else telling them what happens' changed into, 'this is what happened because I said so' after the fact.

I'm starting to wonder if a covert team of Aurors shouldn't be assigned to her so someone can cast "Expelliarmus!" every time she nears a microphone.


Liz Mann - Dec 31, 2007 12:43 pm (#29 of 79)

Well we don't have to read all the details if we don't want to, after all. They're there for those who want them, and she's giving them because she knows a lot of people do want them.


Madam Pince - Dec 31, 2007 5:07 pm (#30 of 79)

Well, it's more that we all DO want them, or rather DID want them, so they should've been in the book in the first place, is what I meant.

And Zelmia's post about JKR saying the Slytherin students returned to fight in the Battle of Hogwarts seems to me to be a pretty clear contradiction to what actually was written, so that's kind of… ummm… bad, I guess, is all I can think to say…

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JKRowling on Pottercast

Post  John Bumbledore on Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:46 pm


wynnleaf - Jan 1, 2008 7:08 am (#31 of 79)

Well we don't have to read all the details if we don't want to, after all. They're there for those who want them, and she's giving them because she knows a lot of people do want them. (Liz Mann)

Well, it's more that we all DO want them, or rather DID want them, so they should've been in the book in the first place, is what I meant. (Madam Pince)

I agree with Madam Pince. As regards the idea that "we don't have to read all the details," many of us certainly love to read JKR's comments on lots of aspects of the books. It's just that we don't like her adding to the story, telling us things that "happened" that didn't happen, or giving new interpretations for events and characters that appear to be explained differently in the books.

If I don't want to read JKR's additions and addendums to the books, must I miss out on all of her other fascinating comments? The "just don't read it" advice isn't much help. One can't assume that those of us that don't want these additions to canon should simply do without any interviews.

But more importantly, some of these ideas of JKR's should have been in the books in the first place. You need only look at the many, many post-DH discussions on horcruxes, how the elder wand works, what happened when Harry "died," etc. for it to be obvious that JKR didn't get these ideas across very clearly in the books. It appears from her comments in the Pottercast interview that she really envisioned Slytherins coming back to fight. Yet she not only didn't include that, the lines about Slughorn and the parents and others who accompanied him seem to directly contradict her later statements. That smacks to me of a book that was rushed to publication without careful re-reading by the author or editorial help.


Choices - Jan 1, 2008 10:33 am (#32 of 79)

I agree with you Wynnleaf. Even if you didn't want to read JKR's interviews, others who do read them comment on them here (which is entirely their right) and it is impossible not to learn what was in the interviews if you read the various threads. I agree, if the information is that important, she should have included it in the books.


Liz Mann - Jan 1, 2008 12:12 pm (#33 of 79)

Yeah, sorry, you guys are right, you can't really avoid them, can you?

I can't really give an opinion on whether it was clear that the Slytherins came back or not because I've only read the book once so far. I'm currently finishing up GoF again. But any details that were left out would either have been because they were forgotten or just not thought of, or because she made a deliberate decision. If the latter, she would have had a reason that made sense to her at the time. The writer and the reader often think about the same thing differently, because they're looking from different perspectives.

If the former, which is probably more likely in this case, everyone makes mistakes (like the wand order mistake and the Mark Evans thing). I wish I could remember now whether, in the interview, she said it like she was pointing out something that we already knew or divulging new information. It's possible she might have put a sentence in a previous draft about the Slytherins but it got overlooked somehow in a later draft, like she might have handwritten it and then made a mistake typing it up. Her editor certainly can't be blamed as she wouldn't have known that the Slytherins were supposed to have come back, so she wouldn't have been able to point out that missing bit to Jo.


zelmia - Jan 1, 2008 1:18 pm (#34 of 79)

The writer and the reader often think about the same thing differently, because they're looking from different perspectives. - True, but it's pretty much the Writer's job to convey her perspective to the reader. In the case of the brigade of Slytherins supposedly marching back to the battle, led by Slughorn, that just isn't what's on the page.
…of every Hogwarts student who stayed to fight… Which, as we know, did not include any current Slytherin students, since we saw all of them making a bee-line for the tunnel to Aberforth's pub.


Liz Mann - Jan 1, 2008 2:12 pm (#35 of 79)

I just found the part of the podcast where she says it. Her exact words were:

Question: And how much is it that being sorted into Slytherin is, you know, sorted into good guys and bad guys?

Jo: Well they're not all bad, that would… I know I've said this before and I think I said it to Emerson, they are not all bad and… and… well far from it, as we know at the end… they may have a (laughing)… they may have a slightly more highly developed sense of self preservation (laughing) than other people because (laughing) a part of the final battle that made me smile was Slughorn galloping back with Slytherins, but they'd gone off to get reinforcements first, you know…

The first bit in bold tells me that there has been a mistake, and that that info was meant to be in there but for some reason got missed out, and that she isn't aware of that. She certainly seemed like she thought we already knew that the Slytherins came back. Maybe the book was supposed to say, "…and Harry saw Charlie Weasley overtaking Horace Slughorn, who was still wearing his emerald pyjamas, and several Slytherin students. They seemed to have returned…"

Actually, I did a course in editing and from what I know of the process of creating a book, it probably wasn't Jo's fault OR her editor's. What happens is that when a manuscript is delivered to the publisher, it is first looked over by a copy-editor, who makes notes on it. Then it goes to the typesetter who, going by the copy-editor's notes, types it up into a proof, which is the manuscript in the form and layout it'll take in the actual book. Then it gets looked over by a proofreader, who checked it for typos, spelling etc. The author also gets to look at the proofs. So it could well have been the typesetter who made the mistake by accidently overlooking a few words while typing it up, and Jo's only hand in it is that she didn't notice it on the proof.


wynnleaf - Jan 1, 2008 5:19 pm (#36 of 79)

Actually, I do think it is a fault of the editing process, whether other editors or JKR herself.

A huge number of readers commented on none of the Slytherin students being shown to stay and fight. This was one of the biggest topics for fans, forum posters, and essayists in writing about the final book. It wasn't a kind of thing you only notice in reading it multiple times. It leapt out at people right off. Her editors would have noticed that no Slytherins stayed. Should they have asked JKR if she meant to do this? Maybe. But I'd think that the editors would just assume that JKR was going along with her previous tendency to only show bad Slytherin students. Since she'd never shown us one of the Slytherin kids as being on the good side, we all (and probably all of her editors), assumed that she intended all of the Slytherin students to abandon Hogwarts.

So that leaves it to JKR. A very careful re-read by the author may have caught it.

Another option is what a writer friend does when working with complex stories. For any given scene, she has a list of various things that she needs to make sure happen and checks them off as or after she writes that scene. So for instance, if JKR did that with "Slughorn returns with the Slytherin students" she would have noticed when she instead wrote that he came back with only friends and family of students who had already stayed to fight.

Things like major fight scenes are very easy to confuse. The writer has to be careful that all elements are there and clear to the reader.

Plus in a series with so many thick books and loads of detail, continuity errors are easy to make. That's different from editing one book without the huge amount of detail, confusing "magic," a giant cast, etc.

As I understand it, ideally a novel would be in editing and revision for a year. And that's not a novel that is the culminating long novel of a seven part series with a huge potential for confusion, continuity errors, etc. If I recall correctly, JKR delivered her novel to the publishers in January. The book couldn't possibly have been edited for more than 6 months, probably less given time for printing. It was probably a rush job of editing leaving little time for very careful re-reads and real revision.


PeskyPixie - Jan 1, 2008 7:16 pm (#37 of 79)

Yes, DH needed more editing before publication. There are far too many inconsistencies and some 'lazy story-telling' (don't pulverize me for this one - I've already been flattened by stomach flu. ) in the final book which could easily have been avoided by holding off publication and taking the time to edit more thoroughly.

Given the fact that I've been lying in bed for the past five days, on a diet of practically nothing, I'm becoming positively furious at JKR's matter-of-fact comments about 'what really happened' - as if we're just too daft to understand the books! Grr! I think I should ease off on the forum until I've had my first solid meal.


James Greenfield - Jan 1, 2008 8:12 pm (#38 of 79)

PeskyPixie, Zelmia, Wynnleaf, LizMann, Choices, et al:

Maybe, if we were real nice about it, and indicated the exact chapters, pages, lines, and editions, that have what we think are mistakes, omissions, typographical errors, etc.; and how we think they _should_ read; and sent the list to JKR and her publishers, she would try to correct them in a Second, Revised edition of Deathly Hallows. No?


zelmia - Jan 1, 2008 8:20 pm (#39 of 79)

Good thought, James. But I'm confident that, based on JKR's remarks, this is one of the mistakes that already stands a good chance of being revised in future editions (a la GF Prior Incantatum) because the writing simply doesn't jibe with what JKR says happened. There is no way to excuse this one.


journeymom - Jan 1, 2008 9:01 pm (#40 of 79)

No way. I can't imagine her making a change that big. This isn't like getting the entrance of two people in one paragraph out of order. Revise the book? I can only speak for myself, of course, but I'd lose all respect for her if she consented to that.

I mean, DH disappointed me. I agree with the above suggestions, that the book was rushed and suffered because of it. And JKR's comments don't line up with her own gall darned book. It's irritating as all get out. But her integrity would take a serious hit if she revised the book and wrote the Slytherins in. The book needs to stand on its own. The epic is done, it's the end of an era. I don't think she meant to include them. And she just wouldn't do it. I get the impression she doesn't see there is a problem. She must be aware that many of her more, um, dedicated adult fans have big complaints. But she's never claimed to write Harry Potter for adults.

Sorry, I'm hurried, so I'm not being coherent!

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JKRowling on Pottercast

Post  John Bumbledore on Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:49 pm


Madam Pince - Jan 2, 2008 7:46 am (#41 of 79)

It's irritating as all get out. --journeymom

***Snort!*** You tickle the socks off me, journeymom! (To use another of my grandma's sayings, like "…all get out."

I don't know about JKR saying she "never claimed to write HP for adults" -- I thought it was more the other side of the coin; that she never claimed that HP was only for children. I think there have been several quotes to that effect, but I don't have any at hand at the moment. I'll look later today if I get some time… I always got the impression that when she was asked things like "do you think your books are too dark/scary for kids" that she responded that she didn't really have a specific audience in mind -- it was just "the story" that was in her head and she was telling "the story" the way it was, and it wasn't designed as a "children's story" or as a "fantasy story" or "an allegory" or anything in particular, it just was, if you know what I mean.

I agree about DH suffering from some editing issues. I think I posted about that right after reading it back in July. I thought (and still think) it would've benefitted enormously from a good read-through by a very dedicated Potter-phile who had everyday exposure to the many fan questions and theories, someone like Melissa or Emerson or Lexicon Steve or such. Of course, that was never going to happen, but I think it should have.


zelmia - Jan 2, 2008 11:27 am (#42 of 79)

No way. I can't imagine her making a change that big. - I don't know what you have in mind when you say "that big", Journeymom. I'm not talking about any major revision, just the very minor addition of a simple phrase would restore the vision JKR clearly had.

For example:

And now there were more, even more people storming up the front steps, and Harry saw Charlie Weasley overtaking Horace Slughorn, who was still wearing his emerald pajamas. They seemed to have returned at the head of what looked like the families and friends of every Hogwarts student who had remained to fight, along with the shopkeepers and homeowners of Hogsmeade.

And now there were more, even more people storming up the front steps, and Harry saw Charlie Weasley overtaking Horace Slughorn, who was still wearing his emerald pajamas and flanked by at least a dozen Slytherin students. They seemed to have returned at the head of what looked like the families and friends of every Hogwarts student who had remained to fight, along with the shopkeepers and homeowners of Hogsmeade.


Liz Mann - Jan 2, 2008 12:45 pm (#43 of 79)

Even if they don't revise the book, which if it does happen probably won't for quite a while as those things usually happen on some kind of anniversary, I wouldn't be at all surprised if J.K. added a bit in the Scottish book explaining that that was what she intended, and how the mistake got made. As I said, she certainly spoke as if she thought we already knew, so it must have been a mistake and, as I said, probably made by the typesetter.

I agree with those who said that the book was rushed to publication. After all, if the editing usually takes a year, but the whole publication process of this book only took half of one… And J.K. was probably very rushed, organising launch events, theme parks, looking after families etc etc, so when she read the proofs (if she did - that might have been one of the time-saving methods they used), she might have only skimmed or speed-read. I expect if we look we'll find spelling mistakes too.

On the whole, I don't blame J.K. Mistakes get made when things are rushed and the publication was rushed.

I'm becoming positively furious at JKR's matter-of-fact comments about 'what really happened' - as if we're just too daft to understand the books!

I don't think she's been speaking like that at all and I think it would be out of character for her to, as she knows full well how perceptive her fans are. She's answering questions that she's been asked and answering them truthfully. When else has she seemed to be talking like that?


zelmia - Jan 2, 2008 1:38 pm (#44 of 79)

I'm becoming positively furious at JKR's matter-of-fact comments about 'what really happened' - as if we're just too daft to understand the books!

I don't think she's been speaking like that at all and I think it would be out of character for her to, as she knows full well how perceptive her fans are. She's answering questions that she's been asked and answering them truthfully. When else has she seemed to be talking like that?

I agree with Liz here. I am also reminded that Tolkien, who was at least equally in touch with his fans, was incessantly revising his saga with minor details he felt needed to be either added (or deleted) for clarification right up until his death.


wynnleaf - Jan 2, 2008 2:01 pm (#45 of 79)

I'm not exactly sure about why we wouldn't blame JKR for a rushed editing process. After all, she is not like any other author. She is now one of the most powerful authors alive. If anyone could have said, "Let's not rush this," it's JKR. No way is a woman who is that valuable to her publishing company not able to slow things down if she wanted to.

I expect that the rush had more to do with film production schedules than anything. But even there, JKR does have a huge amount more power and control than other authors. We can't speak of the rush of the editing process as something out of her control and therefore she was blameless because anyone can make mistakes when they're rushed. It was the final book of a many years endeavor. She should have insisted on more editing time to make sure the editing process was more thoroughly done.


Liz Mann - Jan 2, 2008 2:37 pm (#46 of 79)

After all, she is not like any other author. She is now one of the most powerful authors alive. If anyone could have said, "Let's not rush this," it's JKR. No way is a woman who is that valuable to her publishing company not able to slow things down if she wanted to.

I think people often overestimate J.K.'s influence. Yes she certainly has more of it than most authors. An unpresidented amount, seeing as most authors are pretty lowly in the pecking order. And yes her publishers certainly want to keep her happy as far as possible. But that doesn't mean that she can ask whatever she wants and they'll comply no matter how much inconvenience it causes them. At the end of the day she is still an author and they are her publishers. They may give her say in things like theme parks and merchandice and who gets the film rights and the marketing plan, but they're not going to allow her to start telling them things like when they can and can't publish, and that they've got to hold off production of the most valuable manuscript they've ever had in their posession. That's like the employee of the month, who is allowed to give their opinion because it is respected, telling their boss they have to lengthen the work day.

Anyway, at the end of the day the Slytherins thing seems to have been a mistake. We forgave her for the wand order mistake, which was a much more glaring one which was probably made by Jo herself and which her editors really should have noticed but didn't.


journeymom - Jan 2, 2008 3:08 pm (#47 of 79)

I don't know about JKR saying she "never claimed to write HP for adults" -- I thought it was more the other side of the coin; that she never claimed that HP was only for children. ~Madam P

You're absolutely right. I'm sorry. Like I said, I was hurried and I knew I hadn't thought it through properly. :blush:

And now there were more, even more people storming up the front steps, and Harry saw Charlie Weasley overtaking Horace Slughorn, who was still wearing his emerald pajamas and flanked by at least a dozen Slytherin students. They seemed to have returned at the head of what looked like the families and friends of every Hogwarts student who had remained to fight, along with the shopkeepers and homeowners of Hogsmeade. ~Zelmia

Nicely done! I'd add, "flanked by at least a dozen Slytherin students, including Zacharias Smith." But that would have required a sentence earlier in the book, like "Snape sent Ginny and Zacharias Smith to serve detention with Hagrid" or some such. Still, I'm not at all comfortable with the idea. Hmph.


Soul Search - Jan 2, 2008 4:35 pm (#48 of 79)

Okay, if there were Slytherins who joined the fight with Slughorn, who were they? None of the Slytherins we met would have joined the fight on Hogwart's side. None could have rounded up support from Hogsmeade. I seem to recall a couple of names during a sorting that never came up again, maybe them?

Slytherins against Voldemort would have been a serious thing. Just saying a bunch of Slytherins followed Slughorn isn't nearly enough. Had that been in Deathly Hallows, we all would have complained about lack of background. Show us those students, or leave canon alone! (for JKR)


wynnleaf - Jan 2, 2008 5:53 pm (#49 of 79)

But that doesn't mean that she can ask whatever she wants and they'll comply no matter how much inconvenience it causes them. At the end of the day she is still an author and they are her publishers. (Liz Mann)

I just can't even imagine such a situation in which JKR wanted to take more than 6 months editing the book in order to review and re-read her manuscript in depth and somehow her publishers wouldn't let her. They would do what exactly? Threaten to not publish? Tell her to go to another publisher? Of course not. They'd have simply had to deal with it. When you've got a book that's going to generate such a huge amount of revenue for the publisher, I just don't think they'd have backed out if she spent more time revising. And what else could they do? At some point JKR made a decision to agree to a brief editing. It may have been while she was writing or it may have been when she turned in the manuscript. But there's no way the publishers could have forced her to turn in completed drafts before she wanted to, nor could they force her to hand over a copy she may have been re-reading and revising, nor could they publish her work before she agreed that it was complete. So somewhere along the way, she made the decisions that led to the brief editing period. Sure the publishers were probably pushing for it, but she had to agree, because if she disagreed there's nothing much they could do about it.

Soul Search has an excellent point. Because JKR never showed us any good Slytherin students, she'd have been hard pressed to produce any returning for the final battle. She'd need names and they couldn't be completely new names either. I guess one or two could be used, but the problem with the few Slytherins who weren't shown to be supporting LV is that they also weren't shown to be opposing him either.


journeymom - Jan 2, 2008 6:09 pm (#50 of 79)

I guess one or two could be used, but the problem with the few Slytherins who weren't shown to be supporting LV is that they also weren't shown to be opposing him either.

Yes, and that's why I was bummed when she didn't develop Zacharias Smith into a minor grey character in HBP. Harry could have overheard him giving Draco the cold shoulder for some unknown scheme.

I'm liking this fan fiction!

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JKRowling on Pottercast

Post  John Bumbledore on Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:50 pm


Steve Newton - Jan 2, 2008 7:39 pm (#51 of 79)

Smith wasn't a Slytherin was he? In HBP Nott showed no interest at all in the DEs. He would have made an excellent 'good' Slytherin.


PeskyPixie - Jan 2, 2008 7:48 pm (#52 of 79)

Excuse me, Liz Mann and Zelmia, but the entire thought from the post I made yesterday was, "Given the fact that I've been lying in bed for the past five days, on a diet of practically nothing, I'm becoming positively furious at JKR's matter-of-fact comments about 'what really happened' - as if we're just too daft to understand the books! Grr! I think I should ease off on the forum until I've had my first solid meal." (I've highlighted the section which was quoted and discussed.)

Please don't take my words and the intent behind them out of context. I think I was quite obvious that stomach flu had made me snappy and cranky and irritable. Thanks.


zelmia - Jan 2, 2008 8:57 pm (#53 of 79)

How can it be obvious? Your post is just typing on my computer screen. If you feel you were misquoted, Pesky, I do apologise. And I'm sorry you've not been feeling well, but in all fairness, if you are going to post anything, you have to expect that people may (or may not) directly respond to it - regardless of your state of mind at the time you posted it.

By the way you were right. The picture is of Zelig (he's 15!)


PeskyPixie - Jan 2, 2008 9:32 pm (#54 of 79)

This is the entire post:

Yes, DH needed more editing before publication. There are far too many inconsistencies and some 'lazy story-telling' (don't pulverize me for this one - I've already been flattened by stomach flu. ) in the final book which could easily have been avoided by holding off publication and taking the time to edit more thoroughly.

Given the fact that I've been lying in bed for the past five days, on a diet of practically nothing, I'm becoming positively furious at JKR's matter-of-fact comments about 'what really happened' - as if we're just too daft to understand the books! Grr! I think I should ease off on the forum until I've had my first solid meal."

The typed words of my post clearly state that I've not been well for a while and that my frustration with JKR's comments are partially to be attributed to the fact that "I've been lying in bed for the past five days on a diet of practically nothing." The two winks and the grin were also included to indicate to others that I was most definitely not going off on a serious rant about JKR.

I honestly don't feel I was expecting others to interpret some obscure state of mind I may or may not have been in at the time of writing; I felt that I expressed myself as, "I've been ill and without food for five days. This has made me irritated with JKR's comments. Grr! I'll stay away from forum discussions until I've had something to eat." I don't think I was any more cryptic than that and I do apologize if I was.

As for the sentence, "I'm becoming positively furious at JKR's matter-of-fact comments about 'what really happened' - as if we're just too daft to understand the books", respond away to it, gang (only if you wish, of course)! I may have an opinion about it in the near future. I just don't want this sentence alone to represent my feelings over this issue as it most certainly is not the case.

ETA: Bless him (i.e. Zelig), he's adorable!


Verity Weasley - Jan 2, 2008 9:34 pm (#55 of 79)

I've just read the transcript of the second part of Jo's interview, so I can finally see what has got everyone so riled up on here. It seems that as soon as people listened to the podcast (those not cursed with prehistorically slow internet connections!)that comment about the Slytherins coming back to fight was pounced upon and debated. But the interviewers just let it slide, even making comments in agreement (yeah, right). They had her right there. Why didn't one of them say, "hang on a minute, what do you mean, the Slytherins came back with Slughorn? That wasn't in the book."


Barbara J - Jan 2, 2008 10:01 pm (#56 of 79)

Maybe for the same reason the copy editors didn't point out some of these things? No one seems to question The Author.

Phineas N's (well, his portrait's) cry about "remember that Slytherin did its part" (sorry, the book is not here in front of me) does seem a little less pathetic if some Slytherins actually came back, but she should have said so in the book, and not just in her head.


Elanor - Jan 2, 2008 10:29 pm (#57 of 79)

I've just read the transcript and was glad they've asked about Florean Fortescue's fate. There seem to be a great background plot about about him. A few years ago, I would never have believed the death of a fictional ice-creams vendor would make me feel sad when hearing it yet I can't help but feel sorry for poor Florean.


PeskyPixie - Jan 2, 2008 10:50 pm (#58 of 79)

Well, I think we can all agree that Alan Rickman is trustworthy.

Poor Florean … I don't think I can handle any more 'good guy' deaths.


Liz Mann - Jan 3, 2008 5:38 am (#59 of 79)

Please don't take my words and the intent behind them out of context. I think I was quite obvious that stomach flu had made me snappy and cranky and irritable. Thanks.

Sorry, Peskie Pixie. *hugs*

I just can't even imagine such a situation in which JKR wanted to take more than 6 months editing the book in order to review and re-read her manuscript in depth and somehow her publishers wouldn't let her. They would do what exactly?

Once a manuscript has been turned over and contracts signed, I think, legally, the manuscript belongs to the publishers. That's one of the things that, as a writer, bugs me the most about the publishing industry, the fact that the publisher takes the rights off you. So it's more, what could J.K. do exactly? No they can't make her hand the manuscript over earlier than she's comfortable with, but these mistakes like the Slytherins coming back probably weren't in the original manuscript.

If she had really felt it necessary to extend the editing period, they might well have done so, if they agreed with her reasons. But I expect she probably didn't request more time, because the previous books were all done in record time as well, and they all came out okay. Apart from the wand order mistake there were no glaring ommissions or mistakes. So Jo probably thought this one could be done the same way no problem. And I can't think of any other mistakes that were made, not big ones anyway. Correct me if I'm wrong on this last point.

Maybe for the same reason the copy editors didn't point out some of these things? No one seems to question The Author.

They probably just didn't think of it at the time. They might well have later.

Phineas N's (well, his portrait's) cry about "remember that Slytherin did its part" (sorry, the book is not here in front of me) does seem a little less pathetic if some Slytherins actually came back.

More evidence that it was supposed to be in the book. I did notice, when reading GoF lately, that after the wand order mistake there were little things that suggested the correct order.

Maybe she'll comment on this on her website and clarify what happened.

Poor Florean Fortescue, though. What did he have to do with Voldemort, I wonder?


Madam Pince - Jan 3, 2008 6:23 am (#60 of 79)

Barbara, good point about that quote from Phineus Nigellus -- it never did really make sense to me. Yeah there was Slughorn and Snape, but it still didn't sound quite right. If we are to take it that some Slytherin students came back and actually fought, then that comment makes much more sense. I fully expected her to mention Blaise Zabini as having fought, and maybe Nott too. (Steve, did you mean Nott or Zabini? I thought it was Zabini who didn't seem interested in the DEs in HBP… but maybe it was Nott also. I think I need a re-read…)

About the publishers vs. authors in decision-making, I was wondering if there are contracts that enter into it somehow? I know nothing about the publishing industry, but it seems like there might be contracts of some sort (especially with a franchise like this which could really lose momentum if the author decided to delay for several years, or the movies would get messed up…) I can imagine that there might be a contract that JKR signed which says something like "editing for Book 7 to be complete by such-and-such a date" in which case JKR would be legally obligated to push in on through. Of course, that's just speculation on my part.

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JKRowling on Pottercast

Post  John Bumbledore on Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:51 pm


Mrs. Sirius - Jan 3, 2008 7:31 am (#61 of 79)

I think the minor misunderstandings on the this thread in the last 10-15 posts, are a good indication the JK Rowling may also be forgiven a few minor (okay simi-major) mistake. I take most of people posting on this thread to be intelligent, well read, literate people yet misunderstands and re-iterations and clarifications had to ensue.

While yes we want to books to be finished and perfect, I can forgive a few small errors. Again we forgave the GOF wand order. That mistake I caught when reading the book in Spanish. It gave me such a jolt and sent me into a flurry of activity to figure out which was correct. I checked other editions, got hold of a Bloomsbury edition.

On the first read of the DH, I too caught the no named Slytherins and took Phinius s' remark to mean Slughorn represented the entire community. So Journeymoms edit sounds really natural.

Also I believe Zacharias Smith was a Ravenclaw.

Sorry that was Zelmia.


Steve Newton - Jan 3, 2008 7:43 am (#62 of 79)

Nott, Zabini, who can tell the difference?

I probably mixed them up.


azi - Jan 3, 2008 8:07 am (#63 of 79)

I'm pretty certain Zacharias Smith is a Hufflepuff.

I took Phinea's 'Slytherin played its part' comment to be referring to what Snape had contributed to Voldemort's defeat.

I agree with other people that the difference between including and not including Slytherin in the battle is a key one. You can't leave them out and expect us to assume that they were there, given all we've been told about them being self-preserving Voldemort supporters. Maybe in the confusion, Harry didn't have time to notice who all the people were? Or, given Harry's ability to ignore who many people in the school are (particuarly outside his own house), he didn't know who they were, Slytherin or not.


Liz Mann - Jan 3, 2008 8:43 am (#64 of 79)

I expect the Scottish book will clarify that it was a mistake and that the Slytherins were there, maybe even saying which Slytherins came back, so in the end it will be put into print and it won't just be the Super Fans who listen to podcasts who know about the mistake.

And azi's right, Zacharias was a Hufflepuff.


PeskyPixie - Jan 3, 2008 10:55 am (#65 of 79)

(((hugs))) to Liz. No hard feelings at all, just clarification.

I also assumed the 'Slytherin House played its part' comment to refer to Snape, as the poor guy is growing cold in a pool of his own blood while the rest of the castle rejoices. Gosh, if JKR really intended for that line to mean the contribution of Slytherin students, then she really does abandon Snape at the Shrieking Shack. Poor Sev.

ETA: I love JKR's concise summary of Snape's hatred of Harry as Harry being living proof that Lily chose another over him.

Also, Hagrid created the Blast-Ended Skrewts himself?!


Madam Pince - Jan 3, 2008 11:02 am (#66 of 79)

Nott, Zabini, who can tell the difference? LOL, Steve! I know -- I wrote it the other way 'round myself the first time. I only went and looked it up because I had some vague recollection of Pansy teasing on the train about "Blaise, we all know how hard you are to please," and that stuck in my head for some reason… You're right; they're practically interchangable. Bad Slytherins.

I just now read the whole interview (Yeah, I know; a little late…) It sure does read as though Jo is assuming that we knew that Slytherins came back to fight, when clearly the book doesn't show that. It must've been an editing error. Hard to believe that Melissa or somebody didn't follow up on that in the interview! Arrrghhh…

Here's an interesting JKR quote from the Pottercast:

You know, it would’ve been- I mean… (Sighs) People should have been able to guess a lot, otherwise I haven’t done my job properly, or I’ve cheated the reader. The clues were there. A lot of the clues were there. But I think there were surprises.

It sounds like she's been reading some of our critiques. At least she recognizes what some of us are feeling -- that yes, there may have been clues, but perhaps they could've been tied together a bit more clearly or something…

Anyway, it also sounds like we need to anxiously await The Scottish Book! Theoretically, there shouldn't be any "deadline" on this one, so maybe it will be meticulously edited.

I thought it was interesting that she said in the Pottercast about the "Year In The Life" documentary "This was a situation that I felt, as I do with the Scottish Book, that if you’re going to do it then it should be done right." Seems like that would've applied to Book 7, too, no?


Barbara J - Jan 3, 2008 11:48 am (#67 of 79)

Slytherin played its part might have been intended to refer to Snape in part, but one reason I think that is extremely pathetic is that Snape was at his least Slytherin-like when he was killed. And throughout Book 7, IMO. So if that's ALL it referred to, it really made Slytherin seem like a bunch of cowardly losers. But if some of them returned, albeit when the reinforcements arrived, the statement works better for me.

I do think poor Sev was left alone on the floor, literally and figuratively -- just as there was no portrait of him in the Headmaster's office until much later (something that's been discussed recently on another thread, although I can't remember which one).


zelmia - Jan 3, 2008 12:06 pm (#68 of 79)

Elanor, you're not alone in being saddened by the news that Florean Fortescue was indeed killed. Though I knew it at the time I read that section, having it confirmed was not good to hear.


Liz Mann - Jan 3, 2008 2:29 pm (#69 of 79)

I think Phineas's quote was meant to refer to Snape, Slughorn and the Slytherin students.

I thought the Pottercast interview was well done. The opening stuff about calling Jo was fun. "This had better not be about house elves."


journeymom - Jan 3, 2008 2:44 pm (#70 of 79)

Smith wasn't a Slytherin was he? In HBP Nott showed no interest at all in the DEs. He would have made an excellent 'good' Slytherin. ~Steve Newton

Gah! Yes, I meant Theodore Nott. He was the Slytherin student I had hopes for. Then in HBP we only saw him snickering at Harry in a crowd led by Draco. That was it, the last opportunity for him to develope. Same with Blaise Zabini. Ginny called him a poser. So there went those two great theories.

Slytherin's pointed absence at the battle for Hogwarts killed one theme that I thought surely JKR would have developed and completed in DH, that House Unity would have a significant, obvious part to play in Harry's victory over Voldemort.

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JKRowling on Pottercast

Post  John Bumbledore on Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:52 pm


Liz Mann - Jan 3, 2008 2:54 pm (#71 of 79)

I thought the houses would unite as well. One of my theories that proved false, along with HRH having to face some sort of obstacle course like in PS in order to get a Horcrux. But then, the feud between Slytherin and the other houses has been going on for a thousand years, ever since Salazar left the school. Something that deeply engrained doesn't stand much of a chance of changing very quickly. If a few Slytherin sixth and seventh years came back, kudos to them, because they would have come back despite probably feeling that they weren't wanted. And actually, a few of them standing up and doing the right thing would be a start to the image of Slytherin changing, and perhaps a more realistic start, because as I say something that old isn't likely to change overnight.


zelmia - Jan 3, 2008 4:33 pm (#72 of 79)

I would say that the Trio did indeed face "an obstacle course" of sorts when they went after whatever was in Bellatrix's vault (which turned out to be the Cup).


freshwater - Jan 9, 2008 2:25 pm (#73 of 79)

My computer's been out for repairs --for weeks now!!-- so I'm a bit behind: what is "the Scottish book"?


PeskyPixie - Jan 9, 2008 2:55 pm (#74 of 79)

'The Scottish Book' is JKR's term for the encyclopedia she plans to write someday … perhaps. It's a bit of a joke, along the lines of never saying 'MacBeth'.

ETA: Glad to see you again, Freshwater.


Potteraholic - Jan 9, 2008 3:44 pm (#75 of 79)

Hi again, freshwater!

Just to add to what PeskyPixie wrote, journeymom posted some info. she found on wikipedia here. I remember reading it a couple of weeks ago on one of the threads, but couldn't remember where, so I used the SEARCH function above to find it. It's in the 'J.K.Rowling' site thread.


Steve Newton - Feb 8, 2008 9:34 am (#76 of 79)

Choices, not to beat a dead drum but this is from your post on 3/27/06 on the SS/PS read a long thread:

"If you want to hide something Gringotts is the safest place in the world… except perhaps Hogwarts.

(Those last two sound like a hint to me - think Voldemort and a Horcrux.)"

That's the earliest hint of this that I have been able to find. I haven't done a lot of scouting around but, Well Done!


Choices - Feb 8, 2008 4:51 pm (#77 of 79)

Thanks Steve, and I must say "well done" to Hagrid, because he is the one who said that, I think I just echoed his words. It is interesting that Horcruxes were found in both places… so much for safe hiding places. :-)


Steve Newton - Feb 8, 2008 7:23 pm (#78 of 79)

Dead drum? I must have had a flashback to the 60s.


Madam Pince - Feb 9, 2008 6:39 am (#79 of 79)

I wasn't going to say anything, but….

I thought you just had a soft spot for horses or something…


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