When J.K. Rowling first started writing "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," she had a very different perception of who would survive until the end of the book.
She already admitted that she flirted with the idea of killing off Ron Weasley, but apparently he wasn't the only one she almost hit with the killing curse. If Rowling hadn't had such a clear mental image of Hagrid carrying Harry Potter's body out of the Forbidden Forest at the end of "Deathly Hallows," he likely would have been gone long ago.
“That image kept him safe,” she said during her conversation with Daniel Radcliffe on the "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" DVD.
Turns out that, while she readied her wand for Ron and Hagrid, there was one "Potter" favorite that Rowling never planned on offing: Remus Lupin. Originally, Lupin was supposed to live through the end of the book. But when she realized that war doesn't discriminate who lives and who dies, she needed a very effective character to dramatize that point. There were few more effective than the newly-married Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks, who had given birth to a son before the events of "Deathly Hallows" began.
“One of the most horrifying things about war is how it leaves children fatherless and motherless,” she said. “I had no intention of killing [Lupin]. But then it dawned on me he had to die.”
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