22 J.K. Rowling Facts That Prove She Is ACTUALLY a Magical Human
J.K. Rowling is a mastermind. She's the heart and soul of the Harry Potter world. She has touched millions of lives all over the world. She's a queen in all ways. And, my personal favorite, she is snarky as all hell. As fans know, her path to success wasn't always easy, but her story is inspiring to us all. Here are 22 facts that will make you love her even more. Yes, that's possible.
Every year on the anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts, J.K. Rowling apologizes for a character's death.
The anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts is May 2. This year, she explained her thought process behind Remus Lupin's untimely death, saying it was either him or Arthur Weasley. In 2015, she didn't even attempt to justify Fred Weasley's death (because we all know there isn't a justification for it), so instead she just let us all know that she was "really sorry."
She has said that losing Hedwig was a symbol for Harry's loss of innocence.
When asked why she felt Hedwig's death was necessary, Rowling replied that "the loss of Hedwig represented a loss of innocence and security. She has been almost like a cuddly toy to Harry at times. Voldemort killing her marked the end of childhood. I'm sorry . . . " Loss of innocence, indeed . . . for ALL of us.
She handwrote spreadsheets mapping out every character's storyline.
In a detailed hand-drawn map, you can see important plot points in Order of the Phoenix, as well as the timeline of events in the novel. It's so amazing to get into J.K. Rowling's head and see how she came up with the masterpiece that is Harry Potter.
Her parents met at King's Cross Station.
To fans, King's Cross Station is where Platform 9 3/4 is hidden, and it's an important gateway between the Muggle and wizarding worlds. For J.K. Rowling, it's something pretty special too. On Pottermore, she explains why she always knew this is where Harry would depart for Hogwarts: "King's Cross, which is one of London's main railway stations, has a very personal significance for me, because my parents met on a train to Scotland which departed from King’s Cross station. For this reason, and because it has such an evocative and symbolic name. . . . I never knew the slightest indecision about the location of the portal that would take Harry to Hogwarts, or the means of transport that would take him there."
Many people pronounce her name wrong.
It's Rowling as in "I'm going BOWLING," not Rowling as in "the wolf is HOWLING."
She wrote the earlier novels from a cafe in Edinburgh, Scotland.
J.K. Rowling's story is well known; she was a single mother on welfare and struggling financially when she began to write Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. In the early days of the series, Rowling wrote in the back room of the Elephant House coffee shop in the heart of Edinburgh, Scotland. Fans of the series have written heartfelt and hilarious messages all over the bathroom walls of the establishment, and it's hard not to feel a connection to Harry Potter and Rowling when settled inside the cafe, imagining her at work.
She's said what Muggle song would have played at Dumbledore's funeral.
When a fan posed the sad question in a web chat for Bloomsbury, Rowling promptly responded, "Surely 'I Did It My Way' by Frank Sinatra." With lyrics like, "I've lived a life that's full / I've traveled each and every highway; and more, much more than this / I did it my way" and "For what is a man, what has he got? / If not himself, then he has naught," I can't think of a more fitting song for Dumbledore, either.
She has a favorite Harry Potter book.
Well, two Harry Potter books to be exact. When asked what her favorite books that she's written are, she answered, "My heart is divided three ways: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and The Casual Vacancy."
She almost killed off Ron.
Yep, when interviewed by Daniel Radcliffe, she admitted that Harry's red-headed partner in crime almost didn't make it. About halfway through the series, she "wasn't in a very happy place" and considered killing Ron Weasley. Thankfully, she had mercy on us all and spared him.
She got the name "Potter" from childhood friends.
As a child, Rowling preferred her neighbors' surname — Potter — to her own, because kids teased her with nicknames like "rolling pin."
She came up with the idea for the Harry Potter series on a delayed train ride.
Rowling's whole story of Harry Potter's inception in 1990 is so good:
"I was traveling back to London on my own on a crowded train, and the idea for Harry Potter simply fell into my head. I had been writing almost continuously since the age of 6 but I had never been so excited about an idea before. To my immense frustration, I didn't have a pen that worked, and I was too shy to ask anybody if I could borrow one . . .
I did not have a functioning pen with me, but I do think that this was probably a good thing. I simply sat and thought, for four (delayed train) hours, while all the details bubbled up in my brain, and this scrawny, black-haired, bespectacled boy who didn't know he was a wizard became more and more real to me.
Perhaps, if I had slowed down the ideas to capture them on paper, I might have stifled some of them (although sometimes I do wonder, idly, how much of what I imagined on that journey I had forgotten by the time I actually got my hands on a pen). I began to write Philosopher's Stone that very evening . . . "
She's known to respond to fans on Twitter.
Rowling is notoriously interactive on Twitter, and some of the greatest post Potter series revelations have come from her responses to the questions of fans. She also loves to encourage and inspire people going through a hard time — whether or not it has to do directly with Harry Potter.
Rowling came up with the idea of Quidditch because of an argument with her boyfriend.
In an annonated version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, she wrote a hilarious description in the text of the wizard sport: "[Quidditch] was invented in a small hotel in Manchester after a row with my then-boyfriend. I had been pondering the things that hold a society together, cause it to congregate and signify its particular character and knew I needed a sport. It infuriates men . . . which is quite satisfying given my state of mind when I invented it."
Many of her manuscripts have been rejected.
How many nos did J.K. Rowling get before getting published? "Loads," she said, adding that the "first publisher to turn down Harry also sent [Robert Galbraith, her pen name] his rudest objection." It's been said that up to 12 publishing houses turned her down before Bloomsbury picked up the first Harry Potter novel. Her message? Never. Give. Up.
She based Rubeus Hagrid off of a real Hell's Angel.
Robbie Coltrane, who played Hagrid (and was Rowling's first and only choice for the role), said that the book character was based on a Hell's Angel that J.K. Rowling knew in West Country [England]. "He was just huge and terrifying. And then he would sit down and talk about his garden and how his petunias had been very bad that year," Coltrane said.
Rowling created Dementors as a metaphor for depression.
Many have theorized that Dementors were a symbol for depression, and Rowling confirmed this. "That is exactly what they are," she said in a 2000 interview. "It was entirely conscious. And entirely from my own experience. Depression is the most unpleasant thing I have ever experienced. It is that absence of being able to envisage that you will ever be cheerful again. The absence of hope. That very deadened feeling, which is so very different from feeling sad. Sad hurts but it's a healthy feeling. It's a necessary thing to feel. Depression is very different."
J.K. Rowling is her pen name.
Her full name is Joanne Rowling. Rowling doesn't have a middle name; the "K" comes from Kathleen, her paternal grandmother's name. In the early days of Harry Potter, Barry Cunningham, Rowling's publisher, suggested she use a pen name so as not to deter younger boys from a female author's work. She is often called just "Jo."
Her favorite literary character is Jo March, from Little Women.
"My favorite literary heroine is Jo March. It is hard to overstate what she meant to a small, plain girl called Jo, who had a hot temper and a burning ambition to be a writer," Rowling said.
She based the character of Hermione off of her 11-year-old self.
When asked if she based Harry Potter characters off people she knew, she responded "some of them are, but I have to be extremely careful what I say about this. Mostly, real people inspire a character, but once they are inside your head they start turning into something quite different. Professor Snape and Gilderoy Lockhart both started as exaggerated versions of people I've met, but became rather different once I got them on the page. Hermione is a bit like me when I was 11, though much cleverer."
She wrote her first book at 6 years old.
Rowling knew she wanted to be a writer from a pretty young age, considering she wrote her first book when she was 6. She jokingly described the book as " . . . a work of towering genius about a rabbit, called Rabbit. I gave it to my mother who said, 'That's lovely,' as a mother would. 'That's very, very good.' I stood there, thinking, 'Well, get it published then.' Bit of an odd thing for a child of 6 to think. I don't know where it came from . . . "
J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter share a birthday.
July 31 is a BIG day for Muggles and wizards alike.