Speaking in New York this week, J.K. Rowling put an end to several burning fandom discussions (is Dumbledore really dead, is Snape really evil, a broad hint about whether Harry is going to survive the series--click through at your own risk). I'm not remotely surprised by any of her responses, but I am surprised that the usually close-lipped Rowling has suddenly decided to spill the beans on so many contentious issues. To be perfectly honest, I wish she'd kept mum. It's one thing to feel certain that a story will unfold in a certain way, and another to know that it will because the author told you. The former allows the reader to maintain a frisson of suspense, whereas the latter takes something away from the reading experience.
On the other hand, maybe Rowling is just as tired as I am of some of the more inane Potter-related speculation that's been floating around lately (Rowling should kill Harry because children need to learn about death is a recent personal favorite, but there are plenty of others). Anything that puts paid to the puzzling yet prevalent attitude that the books are being written by committee can only be a good thing.