Harry Potter's Tom Felton Almost Got A Major Spoiler From The Books
Harry Potter star Tom Felton says he almost ended up learning a major spoiler while reading J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince book. The 34-year-old Felton played Harry’s nemesis Draco Malfoy throughout the eight-film series. However, at one point during the film franchise’s production, the Harry Potter books were still being written by Rowling before the movie scripts were officially completed and handed out. Many of the stars of Harry Potter, including Felton, were also fans of the books.
It might be hard for some to imagine now given Harry Potter‘s immense popularity, but the early 2000s saw countless eager readers the world over awaiting Harry, Ron and Hermione’s fate with each new book. Rowling had more than a few tricks up her sleeve when writing Harry’s later years at Hogwarts, and the final two books in particular saw some very prominent characters killed off. The first of these deaths was Dumbledore’s at the end of The Half Blood Prince in a shocking twist. Not only was Dumbledore’s death tragic as Hogwarts’ headmaster and Harry’s mentor, but the fact that the revered wizard met his fate at the hands of Severus Snape after Draco’s failed attempt proved a colossal betrayal.
Yet, while Harry Potter readers busy reeling from Dumbledore’s demise, one star of the film franchise was “painstakingly” taking his time with the book. While speaking with the Metro, Felton revealed that there was a point at which he struggled to ensure his reading experience wasn’t spoiled. The actor explained that he came very close to having the reveal of Dumbledore’s death spoiled for him by his much faster-reading friends. See his comments below:
‘[But] I remember Half Blood Prince when that came out, me taking my time with it and then the phone constantly ringing, with friends trying to tell me, “Do you have any idea what happens to Dumbledore?! [I said] “No, please don’t give it to me!” So I waited for as long as I could really, and obviously ultimately waited for the scripts to come out because there was obviously so much from the books that wasn’t able to be finished in there. I was thrilled to hear that we were able to put the last chapter into two parts – it sort of gave us more time to be able to enjoy each character’s final chapter.’
The death of Dumbledore is arguably the biggest turning point in the entire Harry Potter series, and Felton certainly had his work cut out for him in trying to avoid the spoiler. What’s more, as a Potter fan himself, the actor likely felt a certain amount of apprehension in knowing that it was his own character, Malfoy, who was originally meant to kill the Hogwarts headmaster. The character’s traitorous intent in The Half Blood Prince further strengthened audiences’ disdain for Malfoy, creating a divide between those who loathed the character and those who felt he was a victim of circumstance.
Felton’s comments are a reminder of the difficulties involved with not only playing a character who is in direct opposition to the story’s hero, but also that Dumbledore’s death in Half Blood Prince effected people in a variety of ways. Having to pull double duty as an actual star of the Harry Potter series, while also eagerly waiting to see how the story would end, is something few people will ever experience. At the same time, however, the actor’s story illustrates just how committed he was to taking his time to read and understand the Harry Potter universe in his own way, helping him to bring the notorious Draco Malfoy to life.