An author publicly discussing their creative thought process in detail hasn’t always been commonplace. Of course, with the advent of social media, creators and their fans now have a direct line to one another like never before. That digital proximity, intentionally or not, generates a level of unavoidable accountability—or better yet, a means of sharing the world building process with those who would most appreciate it.
is one of the creators who’s turned their social media megaphones into conversation platforms. Twitter, in particular, has become a place where she explains and has even apologized for her narrative decisions. It started last year as the author publicly remembered the annual anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts, better known as the Deathly Hollows battle between Harry and Voldemort that killed several of our wizarding world favorites and made us cry way hard over fictional characters.
For the 17th anniversary of the fateful event, Rowling apologized for the character death she described as “the worst” decision of them all: Fred Weasley. And while we’ll never quite forgive her for separating our favorite clever and mischievous Weasley twins, we may also never forgive her the death of another certain moonlight magical creature and member of the marauder clique: Remus Lupin.
Fans struggled with Lupin's death in part because of how close he became with Harry, his connection to Harry's father James, and the child his death made an orphan. Remus was once a tortured man who had eked out a semblance of happiness and purpose, only to have it snatched away from him and us during that grisly battle.
What made the sting of his death so much more painful, however, was Rowling's reasoning for the kill. During an interview with Today, the Harry Potter author and icon of fantasy literature shared that Remus wasn't originally written to die. In fact, he took the place of Aurthur Weasley, who Rowling said she simply couldn't kill when it came time to do the deed.
Instead of taking out another one of our red-headed favorites, she decided to kill both Lupin and his lady, Auror Nymphadora Tonks, in order to make their newborn son Teddy an orphan.
“As happened in the first war when Harry's left behind, I wanted us to see another child left behind,” she said in her interview with Today. “And it made it very poignant that it was their newborn son.”
She shared her regret and sadness with fans yesterday over Twitter, expounding on the difficult choice to break everyone's entire heart.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with realism in fantasy, but Lupin’s death was too real and now we’re doubly never going to be over it. Here’s a teary-eyed toast to whichever character’s painful death we’ll have to deal with next year.