Harry Potter may be killed off

The concluding pages of the final Harry Potter book are liable to be stained with muggle tears, it emerged on Monday, as JK Rowling dropped her broadest hint yet that the eponymous boy wizard might be killed off in the seventh book in the series.

The author, who has made a fortune estimated at more than US$1 billion from the six Harry Potter books, on Monday night revealed that she had slightly rewritten the concluding chapter, originally drafted in 1990 when she was an unemployed single mother.

Children and adults are expected to rush to buy the final Harry Potter novel in their tens of millions when it is complete, and if the publication of the sixth book is anything to go by, secrecy surrounding the plot will be tight.

"The final chapter is hidden away, although it's now changed very slightly," she said in a rare live interview with the British TV teatime chat show hosts Richard and Judy. "One character got a reprieve, but I have to say two die that I did not intend to die."

When asked whether the characters were "much loved," she replied: "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." In a phrase sure to be closely analysed by the legions of visitors to Harry Potter fansites that deconstruct the author's every word, she said she empathised with Agatha Christie, who killed off her detective Hercule Poirot so that other writers would not be able to continue his stories after her death.

"I've never been tempted to kill him (Harry) off before the end of book seven, because I always planned seven books and that's where I want to go," she said.

"I can completely understand, however, the mentality of an author who thinks Well, I'm going to 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'."

However, she promised to keep fans of the books, which are estimated to have sold more than 300 million copies worldwide, guessing.

"I'm not going to commit myself because I don't want the hate mail," she said.

The concluding book in the series is likely to be published next year.

Source: China Daily

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