Will Harry Potter live through the end of the series?
According to the actor Jim Dale, the voice of Harry Potter on audio books, J. K. Rowling's seventh novel will be the end of Harry Potter. In a blunt interview, Dale told the New York Post that Rowling has "lived with Harry Potter so long she really wants to kill him off."
Such shocking claims have also been echoed by Harry Potter film star Daniel Radcliffe. Although more cautious and discreet than the brash Jim Dale, Daniel Radcliffe has made the following on-the-record statement, "It’s dangerous to say: ‘Daniel thinks Harry might die.’ But I do maintain there is a possibility he could be killed in the final book."
Rowling has said only that the seventh Harry Potter book will be the last. But she has not dispelled fears that Harry will not outlast the final novel, commenting rather darkly, "You have to wait and see whether he survives to be a grown-up."
At a reading, Rowling was asked: "Will we get a glimpse of Harry and Hermione's lives at the end of the last book?" Her response began ominously: "Assuming everyone survives." Then, with something bordering on diabolical glee, she continued, "I may kill the whole lot."
In June 2006, Rowling remarked in an interview that "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 went on to explain that "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. This is a world where some pretty nasty things can happen."
Rowling clearly relishes teasing Harry Potter fans about what many feel is hardly a laughing matter. One thing is certain: between now and the publication of the seventh novel—which will be released on July 21, 2007—there will be heated debates and wild speculation about Harry and his friends' ultimate fate.