Harry Potter: 10 Times JK Rowling Admitted To Changing Her Plans

10. Rewrites Of The Very First Chapter


Famously, the first chapter of the first book of Harry Potter focuses on Vernon Dursley. It's rather different to the rest of the series. He wakes up and goes about his business, beginning to get hints of how his tightly controlled life is about to spiral out of control as he hears about odd weather formations, meets strangely dressed little men and notices more than one owl.

It will probably come as no surprise that JK Rowling wrote and rewrote her opening chapter. How could a seven-part story which took years to plan be easy to begin?

Many of the earlier drafts of the initial pages took place at Godric's Hollow with the death of the Potters. They included Sirius Black, not introduced in the final work until book three, and a character named Pyrites. This character, a prominent servant of Voldemort, whose name means 'fool's gold,' met with Black in front of the Potter house in some of the versions. Clearly, Rowling felt that too much was given away and saved even the vaguest explanation of what happened in Godric's Hollow until Hagrid's chat with Harry in Diagon Alley.

Some of the unused versions even apparently featured other characters that turned out to be very minimally explored in the final works - at least one featured Hermione Granger's parents as witnesses to the events of Voldemort confronting James and Lily Potter.


Reader, cinema lover, gamer, TV watcher. Teacher too. Years of caring too much (is that possible?) about Star Wars, Harry Potter, Star Trek, WWE, Stephen King books, Game of Thrones and gaming will influence my writing.