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J.K. Rowling almost killed off Ron Weasley

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Perhaps you woke up this morning feeling particularly well-rested and rejuvenated and ready to take on the world. Perhaps you recently got a flattering haircut, or an exciting new promotion. If this is the case, and you want to keep up your a.m. cheer, then perhaps you should stop reading: in a commentary track for the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2 DVD, author J.K. Rowling reveals that at one point in the series, she really wanted to kill Ron Weasley.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Potter franchise, Ron Weasley (played by Rupert Grint in the film adaptations) is the cheerful, red-headed sidekick of the titular character, who serves as Harry's trusty confidant throughout the series. Given the popularity of the character, it's almost inconceivable that Rowling would "seriously consider killing" him in the middle of the series "out of sheer spite," though she admits that she "wasn't in a very happy place at the time."

Of course, Rowling's series never shielded its readers from the brutal realities of the life cycle, providing readers with their fair share of death and destruction. Still, even if you're not a hard-core HP fan, it's easy to be a little pissed at Rowling for admitting that she wanted to get her jollies by traumatizing an entire generation of readers. Here's what, J.K.: you have a net worth of $1 billion. There's no discernible reason for you not to be in a "very happy place," and if you aren't, you go out and buy a Cadbury's Fruit and Nut bar, or catch a footy match at Stamford Bridge, or buy some shoes at Harrod's, or whatever British people do when they're depressed. 

So what would have happened if Rowling had killed off Ron in the middle of the series? Would the entire course of world history from that point onwards have been dramatically altered, or would wizard rock lyrics have gotten just a little bit more gruesome?