JK Rowling shares all at Sheldonian

Harry Potter author JK Rowling visited Oxford on Sunday to commemorate Exeter College’s 700th anniversary.

Rowling’s “Mortality and Morality” talk filled the Sheldonian Theatre. Students who attended said that the author revealed interesting details about their much-loved series, such as her initial plan to name her central character Harry Batt instead of Harry Potter, as well as her love for Albus Dumbledore – a character she always saw as morally flawed.

The event was limited to Exeter College students only.

Rowling reportedly told students that death and morality will play a major role in all her future works. There was little mention of the author’s recent revelation that she partly regrets pairing characters Ron and Hermione together. The comments, given to Potter actress Emma Watson, caused outrage among fans, with Rowling adding that Ron and Hermione would probably have needed marriage counselling.

Rowling is known to make post-publication comments on her plots, such as her famous revelation in 2007 that Albus Dumbledore was gay.

Natasha Davey, spokesperson for Oxford University’s Harry Potter Society, said she was “delighted to hear that JK Rowling was planning to celebrate their 700th anniversary with Exeter College”, adding that the many links between Rowling’s series and the city of Oxford made the visit “wholly appropriate”.

Whilst expressing regret that a “large proportion” of her society was unable to attend, Davey hopes that “the visit will facilitate similar events in the future”.