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J.K. Rowling explained why she could never kill off Hagrid in Harry Potter

Emma Guinness

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J.K. Rowling explained why she could never kill off Hagrid in Harry Potter

It's no secret that the Harry Potter franchise saw its fair share of death, and J.K. Rowling revealed why she was never going to kill off the character of Hagrid.

Hagrid was played by Robbie Coltrane in the films, who passed away today (14 October) at the age of 72, and Rowling explained that she knew from the outset that he'd play an important role in a final scene.

J.K. Rowling said she never considered killing off Hagrid. Credit: Alamy / PictureLux / The Hollywood Archive
J.K. Rowling said she never considered killing off Hagrid. Credit: Alamy / PictureLux / The Hollywood Archive

As any fan of the series knows, Hagrid was with Harry from the beginning and was the one who not only brought him to the Dursley's as a baby, but the person who went on to reveal that he was, in fact, a wizard 11 years later.

So it only stood to reason that he'd have a big role in Harry's story right up until the final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which was released in 2007.

Rowling explained that while she thought her first draft of the final book's final chapter was 'rubbish', there was one part of it that remained.

She wanted Hagrid to carry Harry's 'dead' body out of the forest following the Battle of Hogwarts.

The author explained that as she had written the end of the series 'within the first year of writing', she never considered killing off the beloved Hogwarts' groundskeeper, even though he 'would have been a natural to kill in some ways'.

While a lot of beloved Harry Potter characters died, Hagrid survived. Credit: Alamy / cineclassico
While a lot of beloved Harry Potter characters died, Hagrid survived. Credit: Alamy / cineclassico

Rowling said she wanted Hagrid to carry Harry out of the woods specifically as 'it was Hagrid who took him into the world, and Hagrid who would bring him back'.

The actor himself reflected on the lasting legacy of Hagrid in HBO Max's Harry Potter: Return to Hogwarts, which was released earlier this year.

"It's the end of an era. Ten years of my life. My children have grown up during it," Coltrane said of his role as the Hogwarts' groundskeeper.

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The Scottish actor added: "The legacy of the movies is that my children's generation will show them to their children... So you could be watching it in 50 year's time, easily... I'll not be here, sadly... but Hagrid will, yes."

Harry Potter fans were quick to get emotional in response to Coltrane's revelation.

"Anyone else find the Harry Potter thing quite moving?" wrote one viewer. "I love Robbie Coltrane."

"I sobbed," added a second. "Hagrid's always been a favourite of mine. Robbie Coltrane did such a beautiful job with his character."

Coltrane's death was confirmed by his agent, Belinda Wright, today (14 October). In a statement, Wright said: "Robbie was a unique talent, sharing the Guinness Book of Records’ Award for winning three consecutive Best Actor Baftas for his portrayal of Fitz in Granada TV’s series Cracker in 1994/1995/and 1996 with Sir Michael Gambon.

“He will probably be best remembered for decades to come as Hagrid in the Harry Potter films.

“For me personally, I shall remember him as an abidingly loyal client as well as being a wonderful actor, he was forensically intelligent, brilliantly witty and after 40 years of being proud to be called his Agent, I shall miss him.”


Featured Image Credit: cineclassico / Entertainment Pictures / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Harry Potter, JK Rowling, TV and Film

Emma Guinness
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