1. J.K. Rowling met a Hell’s Angel biker who later became the inspiration for Hagrid.
According to Robbie Coltrane who plays Hagrid, he was “based on a Hell’s Angel she knew in the West Country. …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.”
2. J.K. Rowling never specifically brought up religion in Harry Potter because she was afraid her Christian readers would be able to guess the ending.
“To me [the religious parallels have] always been obvious,” she said. “But I never wanted to talk too openly about it because I thought it might show people who just wanted the story where we were going.”
3. She included Hedwig’s death in Deathly Hallows because it signaled the end of Harry’s innocence.
“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… I know that death upset a LOT of people!”
4. Rowling turned down a Michael Jackson-produced musical of Harry Potter.
“Michael Jackson wanted to do a musical. I said no to a lot of things. For me, I love the films, I love the books, and there’s elements that I love around it…but I only wanted to do it because I knew it would be incredible.”
5. “The Pardoner’s Tale” in The Canterbury Tales was Rowling’s inspiration for “The Tale of Three Brothers.”
6. Rowling seriously considered killing off Ron.
“Funnily enough, I planned from the start that none of them would die. Then midway through, which I think is a reflection of the fact that I wasn’t in a very happy place, I started thinking I might polish one of them off. Out of sheer spite. ‘There, now you definitely can’t have him any more.’ But I think in my absolute heart of heart of hearts, although I did seriously consider killing Ron, [I wouldn’t have done it].”
7. J.K. Rowling was going to appear in an episode of Doctor Who set in the Harry Potter universe.
The episode was killed by Tennant for being too spoofy, but if it had happened, the Doctor would have saved her from a world full of “witches and wizards, with wands and spells and CGI wonders.”
8. Quidditch was invented after a fight with Rowling’s boyfriend at the time.
“[Quidditch] was invented in a small hotel in Manchester after a row with my then boyfriend,” she has written alongside the text. “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.”
9. And she filled five pages with made up Q words before she settled on Quidditch.
“A journalist in Britain asked me… she said to me, ‘Now, you obviously got the word ‘quidditch’ from ‘quiddity’ meaning the essence of a thing, it’s proper nature,’ and I was really really tempted to say, ‘Yes, you’re quite right,’ because it sounded so intellectual, but I had to tell her the truth, which was that I wanted a word that began with ‘Q’ — on a total whim — and I filled about, I don’t know, five pages of a notebook with different ‘Q’-words until I hit ‘Quidditch’ and I knew that was the perfect one - when I finally hit ‘Quidditch.’”
10. J.K. Rowling wrote her first story titled Rabbit, at the age of six.
“…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 six to think. I don’t know where it came from…”
11. Platform 9 3/4 is where J.K. Rowling’s parents met.
“For me… King’s Cross Station is a very, very romantic place, probably the most romantic station, purely because my parents met here. So, that’s always been part of my childhood folklore. So, I wanted Harry to go to Hogwarts by train…and obviously, therefore, it had to be from King’s Cross.”