In many ways it would have been a neater ending to kill him. For sure, I knew that all along. felt that the books’ overriding message was that love is the most powerful force in this world. My model with Harry really was war veterans, who have seen horrors and are asked to go home and rebuild, and go back to ordinary life and care for a family, be a father - particularly be a father - [it is] a difficult job, in troubled times. I felt it would be a betrayal of my character if I did anything other than show him doing that. And I think it’s an absolutely heroic thing to do, to go home after that, not to become a mercenary, not to live forever frozen in a time of excitement and danger, but to be mentally strong enough, to an extent physically strong enough, to return from war and to raise a new generation with values that you hope will not lead to another war. That’s massive.
Of course you can say, yes, to an extent, as ever in life, that’s the eternal paradox. What’s is most worthwhile may well be seen as slightly dull, but God knows without those people who were prepared to come home and raise the family and rebuild, help rebuild… rebuilding is much more difficult than destroying. So, I felt it was almost a cop-out, morally, to kill him. I wanted to show a man who, yeah, he went back and got his hands dirty and tried to rebuild. I liked that. And again, it made a lot of people were livid, but God knows by that time I was used to that by then!” —J.K. Rowling (via thechocolatebrigade)