I'm surprised because hey, it's JKR talking about the canon! On the other hand, well, it's JKR talking about the canon again. But! But!
JKR thinks that wizards ought to use magic altruistically. Or, at least, it's the moral she intends with the first of the tales from Tales of Beedle the Bard (the one about The Wizard and the Hopping Pot -- where a wizard inherits a weird pot that grows warts and follows him around when the wizard refuses to heal the warts off the village's Muggles).
Herpo the Foul was the maker of the first Horcrux. He also created the first Basilisk, as per his Chocolate Frog card. I wonder if Voldemort will have a Chocolate Frog card eventually? XD
And JKR compares Horcrux-making with splitting the atom (she apparently sets great store by the "sometimes catastrophic effects"). I wonder if she's ever studied any science past 1950 or so and whether she is aware that the electricity used to power her computer very likely came from a nuclear fission reactor. I think it would explain so much if she just had a really outdated science textbook when she was learning science at school. Anyway, making Horcruxes apparently involves a series of things, one of which is a spell. She said that a receptacle is prepared with Dark magic and then the piece of soul is detached deliberately from the caster (more on this below).
She also mentioned that apparently her editor looked like she was going to vomit when JKR revealed what Peter did to make the potion to bring Voldemort back -- I'm not sure if she was hinting at something more than cutting off his hand. Or perhaps she didn't realise that her editor merely spotted yet another adverb.
Dawlish is now named John Dawlish in honour of Pottercast's John Noe, excuse me while I vomit like JKR's editor -- this is the John Noe who was hellishly rude about fanfic at a Prophecy luncheon, right? At any rate, Dawlish kept turning up in DH as pretty much easy prey for anyone -- Death Eater, Order member, or Augusta Longbottom. JKR hinted that Dumbledore's Stunning spell in OotP might have been Super Powerful so as to weaken Dawlish permanently somehow (? This is me speculating, not what she said verbatim). She also said that he was unquestionably good -- she basically confirmed that being an Auror means that you are necessarily a good person. Good-bye, every Auror!Draco fic ever written. ;) At any rate, in DH, apparently, Dawlish was "punch-drunk" from all the Confunding that was done to him which was why an old lady was able to pwn him. Jo then hastened to add that Augusta was a powerful witch in her own right.
And here came the answer we were all looking for: Jo basically admitted that she never gave any thought to homosexuality in the wizarding world while writing the books. She said in the interview that it is "exactly as it is in the Muggle world".
And where in the Muggle world, pray tell? Saudi Arabia, where the penalty for homosexual activity is death? Ugh.
So, basically, everyone who said that Rowling never gave it a moment's thought -- here's your confirmation. She really hadn't. She thinks that the "Lucius Malfoys" of the wizarding world wouldn't care if you were gay, as long as you were pure-blood (thereby rendering every GAY-IS-OKAY!Draco characterisation totally canon!! XDDDD). She clearly did not even think about how homosexuality might prevent people from reproducing and thereby carrying on the pure-blood lines which are so important. I think she just really doesn't register that gay people have gay sex that doesn't result in babies, because her focus is on love. Dumbledore's sexual orientation is only relevant because of his feelings for Grindelwald; the defender of love pwned by love.
I really can't blame her for it, though -- a lot of people who are never exposed to Real Life Gay tend to be tolerant of gays as they are tolerant of the eccentric uncle who pulls bunches of flowers out of his pants at weddings. These same people will happily watch gay couples kissing (because omg how cute! they're in LOVE!!) but if you showed them gay porn they'd be shocked. Maybe not repulsed, but definitely shocked. I get where she's coming from, in a way, because I'm surrounded by people like her at work: open-minded but ignorant. It ain't her agenda -- she's a happily married straight woman with a bank acount the size of several continents. Disappointing? Yeah, a bit. But not very surprising, to be quite honest.
She also said more about Grindelwald -- that he was almost Dumbledore's "dark twin". Brilliant, but morally bankrupt were her exact words.
The question of Madam Hooch came up, and Jo said that she hadn't thought of a romantic backstory for her. Then advised the questioner to trawl the fanfic. XD
The thing about Horcruxes -- Harry is not really a Horcrux because a Horcrux by definition has to be made intentionally. Of course the rearing snake in Harry, in OotP -- that was the Horcrux acting up. The pain in Harry's scar is Voldemort's soul wanting to get back to the master soul. And finally, a confirmation of the two-headed snake spell Dumbledore cast ("in essence divided") -- it's Voldemort's soul.
And get this.
The Sorting Hat wanted to put Harry in Slytherin only because it sensed the Horcrux in him. Because, of course, Harry couldn't possibly have a Slytherin bone in his Gryffindor body. How preposterous! I thought that was even more disappointing than "sometimes I think we sort too soon" in DH.
Neville Longbottom is the Boy That Could Have Been. Jo revealed that he was born hours before Harry (I mean, we always knew that he was born on the 30th, but "hours before Harry" would suggest that Harry was born closer to the morning than the evening on the 31st! Jo also said that Neville's proved himself to be a boy who could have done it. Unfortunately for Neville, Harry is the one who has an "extraordinary instinct for the right thing to do".
Also, apparently, Harry made himself "cool" at Hogwarts. Jo says he was a scrawny little kid in glasses who made himself into the person everyone at Hogwarts wanted to know. >:D HARRY IS HOT. I HAVE BEEN SAYING THIS FOR YEARS. :D There is more waffle about how Harry is awesome.
The Longbottoms were "efficient": they were good Aurors responsible for a lot of captures/arrests/imprisonments of Death Eaters, which was how they had provoked Bellatrix's wrath in the first place. So no exciting backstory there.
Re: Godric's Hollow murders in 1981 -- she said that Dumbledore could cast a charm on a dwelling that would immediately alert him if something happened to that dwelling. Um, just a thought -- if he could do that, why couldn't he cast a charm on, oh, I dunno. the FENCE around the dwelling to be alerted if the gate was opened during a time visitors were not expected? No wonder Draco didn't want Dumbledore's protection. Unless, of course, Dumbledore meant for Lily and James to die, which would be a great fanfic (and probably has been written 239289 times already) but I doubt JKR would characterise him thus.
Hannah Abbott is not Muggleborn; she's pure-blood. And then Jo realised that she forgot that she was meant to be Muggle-born (as indicated in her notes from years back). So on Pottercast she decided to "split the difference and call her half-blood."
They talked about the encyclopedia for a bit and Rowling said she wants it to serve a two-fold purpose: on one hand, reveal the extra canon info, and on the other hand, also supply bits that didn't make it into the books for whatever reason (plot problems, characters, etc). I really really can't wait for her to actually finish the encyclopedia. :D :D
J.K. Rowling saying "Yay, I win!" is possibly one of the best things in the world. :D :D :D
Harry and Ron didn't go back to Hogwarts; Hermione did to get her N.E.W.T.s. Jo said that Kingsley wanted everyone overage from the battle (Ron, Neville, Harry are mentioned specifically but I'm sure it also means Dean, Seamus, etc) to clean things up -- rounding up the corrupt people in the Ministry who were pulling a Lucius Malfoy. She didn't say anything about rounding up the escaping Death Eaters, however. She said that Hermione is not someone who wants to fight and she was glad to go back to school and join the boys at the Ministry later.
And in the end we have a brief discussion of the ceremony for leaving Hogwarts (Jo calls it a "graduation scene" -- yo Britpickers, did you not used to shout that nobody graduates in England or was Jo just being kind to her American friends when she used the word?) -- Jo said she feels sad that she couldn't end the books with a "feast scene"/"graduation scene". They would leave Hogwarts in the boats, to symbolise a return to innocence. She's also aware that many people feel the epilogue sucks.
...I actually rather enjoyed that, despite all of my "OMG NO MOAR INTERVIEWS PLZ" misgivings. Looking forward to part II. :D
*goes back to the Hufflepuffs*