According to today's NYTimes:
Rowling Plans Two More Harry Potter Deaths
J. K. Rowling revealed yesterday that at least two characters will die in the seventh and what she says will be the final installment of her best-selling Harry Potter series. But she was careful not to say who. Ms. Rowling, right, has already said that the final chapter of the seventh book was written long ago. "The final chapter is hidden away, although it's now changed very slightly," she said in an interview broadcast on Channel 4 in Britain. "One character got a reprieve, but I have to say two die that I didn't intend to die." When asked to be more specific, she added: "No, I'm not going to commit myself, because I don't want the hate mail or anything else." She did say that she understood an author's desire to kill off the main character of a successful series. "I've never been tempted to kill him off before the end of Book 7," she said, referring to Harry, "because I always planned seven books, and that's where I want to go. I can completely understand, however, the mentality of an author who thinks, 'Well, I'm going to kill them off because that means there can be no non-author-written sequels.' "
I figure the deaths will be of important minor characters. I'm thinking Lupin, personally. Of course, that's mostly because Rowling always tells us that the deaths in the books are of characters we love, and she has yet to kill off a character I love. (Dumbledore doesn't count since I knew while reading book four that he would die at the end of book six.)
My other choice would likely be either Neville or Mrs. Weasley. I'm not sure yet.
Of course, my theory about the deaths of major v. important minor characters is refuted by the Breitbart version of the interview:
Harry Potter may perish in last book, author hints
Harry Potter may perish in the final installment of the boy wizard series in which two main characters die, author J.K. Rowling hinted in a television interview.
Speaking on Monday evening, Joanne Kathleen Rowling, 40, said she was well on the way to finishing the eagerly-awaited seventh Potter book.
"I wrote the final chapter in something like 1990, so I've known exactly how the series is going to end," she told a chat show on Channel 4 television.
"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," Rowling said.
"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."
Asked whether one of the casualties would be Potter himself, Rowling said she had never been tempted to kill off the magician before the finale.
At the same time, she added: "I can completely understand, however, the mentality of an author who thinks, 'Well I'm gonna kill them off because that means there can be no non-author written sequels. So it will end with me and after I'm dead and gone they won't be able to bring back the character'."
The author said she did not want to commit herself either way on Potter's fate, telling interviewers Richard Madeley and Judy Finnegan: "I don't want the hate mail, apart from anything else."
Speaking of her life as a famous writer, Rowling admitted to having been in denial during the unprecedented success of her first three books on the adventures of Potter and his friends at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
"That's where my reputation for being po-faced comes from. I was like a rabbit caught in the headlights," she said.
Rowling, who shot to fame from humble roots, also revealed that she still writes in cafes and based the character of Potter's good friend Hermione on a combination of herself and her sister when they were young.
As for the future after Potter, Rowling said: "I don't think I'm ever going to have anything like Harry again. You just get one like Harry."
The first six books in the series have sold more than 300 million copies worldwide and been translated into 63 languages.
The first four have also been made into blockbuster movies.
The seventh novel is reportedly due to be published next year at the earliest.
Taking that into consideration, the only major character I would still peg for offing would be Snape, and that's only because Harry will have to get past his hatred for Snape in order to truly focus on and defeat Voldemort.
So let the speculation begin . . . Who's going to die?