LONDON — Author J.K. Rowling said two characters will die in the last installment of her boy wizard series, and she hinted Harry Potter might not survive either.
“I have never been tempted to kill him off before the final because I’ve always planned seven books, and I want to finish on seven books,” Rowling said Monday on TV here.
“I can completely understand, however, the mentality of an author who thinks, ‘Well, I’m gonna kill them off because that means there can be no non-author-written sequels. So it will end with me, and after I’m dead and gone they won’t be able to bring back the character’.”
Rowling declined to commit herself about Harry, saying she doesn’t want to receive hate mail.
“The last book is not finished. But I’m well into it now. I wrote the final chapter in something like 1990, so I’ve known exactly how the series is going to end,” she said.
Some characters might die, but the blockbuster movie franchise lives on. Warner Bros. Pictures has announced that the fifth installment will be released in U.S. theaters, including Imax screens, on July 13, 2007.
In “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” directed by David Yates, the teenage Harry continues to battle the evil Lord Voldemort (again played by Ralph Fiennes) and his followers. Daniel Radcliffe is returning as the title character, and Emma Watson and Rupert Grint reprise their roles as Hermione and Ron. Oscar-nominated actress Imelda Staunton plays the malicious, frumpy Professor Dolores Umbridge, who tortures Harry.
In her Monday interview on the “Richard and Judy” show, Rowling said people are sometimes shocked to hear that she wrote the end of book seven before she had a publisher for the first book in the series.
“The final chapter is hidden away, although it’s now changed very slightly. One character got a reprieve. But I have to say two die that I didn’t intend to die,” she said. “A price has to be paid. We are dealing with pure evil here. They don’t target extras do they? They go for the main characters. Well, I do.”
Rowling is the richest woman in Britain — wealthier than even the queen — with a fortune estimated by Forbes magazine last year at more than $1 billion.
Whatever she writes next, Rowling is sure of one thing: It won’t be as successful as Harry Potter.
“I don’t think I’m ever going to have anything like Harry again. You just get one like Harry.”
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