J.K. Rowling: Who is the one 'Harry Potter' character she feels guilty about killing off?

The character 'is the only one I feel guilty about,' the author recently wrote in an essay detailing how she plotted her seven-part series and how a story change made this character's death necessary.

Discovery Times Square/PR Newswire
The 'Harry Potter' film series stars Daniel Racliffe (r.), Matthew Lewis (l.), Emma Watson (second from l.), and Rupert Grint (second from r.).

According to J.K. Rowling, there’s one “Harry Potter” character she regrets killing.

(Spoilers for the entire “Potter” series follow….)

Is it deeply mourned Weasley twin Fred? Is it Harry’s father figure Sirius Black? Is it faithful house elf Dobby or wise wizard Dumbledore?

It is not. According to a recent essay Rowling, published as part of the 12 Days of Christmas Pottermore extravaganza, the only character the author feels guilty about killing off is ice cream owner Florean Fortescue.

Casual fans, don't beat yourself up if you don't remember the character – he was mentioned only briefly in the books. Florean owned Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour in Diagon Alley, a hub of magical shops. According to Ron Weasley’s brother Bill, Florean was kidnapped during Voldemort’s rise to power. 

According to Rowling, she originally envisioned Florean as having a more central role in the plot, planning that Florean would give Harry vital information about the diadem of Ravenclaw, an item in which villain Voldemort deposited part of his soul, and the Elder Wand, a legendarily powerful magic tool that Voldemort wanted to get his hands on. 

However, Rowling later decided to have this information come from former Hogwarts headmaster Phineas Nigellus Black. 

“I decided that Phineas Nigellus Black was a much more satisfactory means of conveying clues. Florean’s information on the diadem also felt redundant, as I could give the reader everything he or she needed by interviewing the [Ravenclaw ghost] Grey Lady,” Rowling wrote.

So poor Florean had to go.

“All in all, I seemed to have had him kidnapped and killed for no reason,” Rowling wrote of the character. “He is not the first wizard whom Voldemort murdered because he knew too much (or too little), but he is the only one I feel guilty about, because it was all my fault.”

Stay tuned, “Potter” fans: We still have several more days of Pottermore Christmas to go. From Dec. 12 to Dec. 23, Rowling is posting pieces about the "Potter" world on the website Pottermore. 

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to J.K. Rowling: Who is the one 'Harry Potter' character she feels guilty about killing off?
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today