Dumbledore loves Grindelwald?!

Harry Potter author JK Rowling today revealed that Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts, is gay.

The Edinburgh writer made the admission during a question and answer session with fans at New York’s Carnegie Hall.

She was asked by one young fan if Dumbledore finds “true love”.

“Dumbledore is gay,” Rowling replied to gasps and applause.

She said he was smitten with rival Gellert Grindelwald, whom he defeated long ago in a battle between good and bad wizards.

Ms Rowling told the audience that while working on the planned sixth Potter film, Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince, she spotted a script reference to a girl the wizard once cared for. A note was passed to director David Yates, revealing the truth about him.

If I read the books, this might be of more importance to me, but it’s still pretty cool!

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10 Responses

  1. Chris says:

    What a freaking cop-out! She could have actually put that in the book and made some sort of statement out of it — I mean, it’s not like the loonie right wasn’t burning her books anyway.

    As it is, it’s like saying, “Oh, by the way, Huck Finn? When he grew up? Total ‘mo.”

    Bah.

  2. Keith says:

    Not necessarily, because of course, it’s just not necessary. There is enough in the books to imply a relationship between Grindelwald, certainly enough for me to have suspected it, but I didn’t bother thinking too much into it because it in no way enhances the story to say explicitly that he’s gay. It would only seem as blatant sensationalism in order to garner publicity. Things like that are best hinted at lest they over-shadow the story, something it would have undoubtedly done.

  3. larry Melamed says:

    the truth is, the announcement is great for 3 reasons: first, it helps open the text and illuminate facets of it previously unexplored for those who continue to read and re-read… it makes the text a living thing. Secondly, it advocates tolerance in the sense that readers were able to develop feelings for dumbledore prior to gaining knowledge of his sexuality, which, in this world, might have been a deterrent for some from seeing how noble and good a character he is. And lastly, the christian right is insane and bigoted, and this should make them smile.

  4. Brian says:

    Some good points here. As someone that hasn’t read the books, I don’t know if there was ever any subtext about it. I do wonder what Michael Gambon thinks about it now that he’ll essentially be playing a gay man for the next film or so (he dies eventually, right?). In one of his interviews, he made an off-beat quip and once claimed that he used to be gay, but he had to give it up because it made his eyes water. πŸ™„

    But I can certainly understand that some readers would have liked it if this were made a little more clear in the books, especially considering that Dumbledore is a major character, very influential and shown in a mostly positive light but as a normal flawed being, “just like anyone else.”

  5. Waltie Disney says:

    Personally, this whole gay thing is just wrong. I also don’t like it that she said this after the books were done – shows no bravery there, she had nothing to lose then. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE the books – but that’s just not right! It disgusts me. She didn’t even make it clear in the books either. It changes Dumbledore a lot – now he’s not really Dumbledore anymore. I think I might have been hoping for something with him and McGonagall too…I certainly never even guessed that he might have been gay.

  6. Brian says:

    Well Waltie, I’m going to need a little more than “it’s just wrong”. Remember, I don’t read the books, so why is it “wrong”?

    One thing that I see over and over is that when someone’s sexuality has been assumed to be one thing and is revealed to be another, the entire concept of that person, real or fictional, completely changes. As if that one thing changes the meaning of their every action. From what I’ve seen, Dumbledore has been essentially sexless and romance-less, so his actions throughout the books should still count on their own merit.

    From the other end of it, I’ve found that with the Harry Potter books, when a fact is revealed about a subplot or a character that people just plain don’t like, then there must be something “wrong”. Personally though, I don’t get what’s “not right” about revealing the sexuality of a character whose sexuality had no impact on the story. Albus wasn’t a womanizer, a sexual predator or a booty-chasing randy old wizard, those were not aspects of his character that were necessary to be explored.

    This just sounds like the Scott Thompson joke about Liberace being gay, where the punchline is, “I just don’t want him to be!” — Is that what’s really going on here?

  7. Keith says:

    Brian’s right Waltie, Dumbledore’s sexuality is merely a facet of his personallity, another dimension to him, it in no way changes who is or what he did. It does though (if you re-read the books with this new info in mind) explain the whole Grindlewald thing far more satisfactorily and even in a sense redeems Dumbledore, who at first seemed simply to be young and fool-hardy in his actions with Grindlewald, but now throw love into the mix and the whole thing becomes far more poinant and tragic. Having said all that however, someone’s probably gonna say “well why not put that in the books?” The answer to that is that the books are about Harry Potter and not Dumbledore. Dumbledore’s an important character in the stories yes but only those aspects of his story that affect Harry are important, so why he did something is less important as the the impact of what he did on Harry. By the Brian I recommend you read the books man, though you seem to have pretty good insight regardless.

  8. ebohlman says:

    Waltie: When you say “now he’s not really Dumbledore anymore” what you really mean is “now he’s not really the Dumbledore I thought he was, based on no real evidence.” But isn’t that the whole theme of DH? For six books, Harry thinks, based on no real evidence, that he knows a lot more about Dumbledore than he really does. After Dumbledore’s death, he comes to realize that he really didn’t know much about him after all, and it’s upsetting to him. Similarly, in OoTP, he discovers that the real James was quite a bit different from the idealized character he had constructed in his own mind.

    One can certainly argue that the romantic aspects of Dumbledore’s attraction to Grindelwald should have been explicitly introduced in DH, probably in the King’s Cross scene. But I think that would have somewhat lessened the impact of Snape’s recently-revealed infatuation with Lily, which was far more important as it provides resolution to one of the biggest plots running through the series (which side is Snape on?). Sometimes you can have too much parallelism.

  9. prieda says:

    My thought on this were, in chronalogical order:
    ‘Dumbledores gay’
    ‘Woah…’
    ‘Gay?’
    ‘Well, that kindof explains a lot actually.’
    ‘Why the hell didn’t I realise that sooner?’

    Not to be in anyway generalising about homosexuals in general, but there’s a lot about Dumbledore that’s kind of…shows the author was thinking of him as gay when she wrote it. He cries openly in front of Harry when he talks of love. He wears flamboyent clothes, he’s generally quite sweet, his feelings towards Grindelwald do generally make a lot more sense when you think of the word ‘love.’

    “It changes Dumbledore a lot – now he’s not really Dumbledore anymore.”
    Does somebodys sexuality change them that much? I found out one of my friends was gay recently and it was…well to be honest my reaction was a bit the same as mentioned above πŸ™‚ A bit of ‘woah…’ and then just ‘meh. sure.’ that’s just who they are, and it doesn’t change them all that much. Dumbledore is still wise and kind and manipulative.

    And I can see why she didn’t add it to the story. it doesn’t exatly add anything to the narrative line, and was kind of unnecessry (besides how would she have stuck it in? In the middle of the kings cross chapter? As a by the way?)

    anyway, thats my little rant πŸ™‚

  10. Lena says:

    Personally, reading this wasn’t a surprise to me. Even before the seventh book came out, I had an idea that he might be, just because I’m that sort of fan who reads the book a billion times and knows pretty much anything. Waltie, the people here are right; it was pointless, she needn’t have put it in the books. If she did, she’d just be adding something that isn’t needed whatsoever.

    It makes no difference to who he is; Albus is Albus, and if Albus has to be gay to make him who he is, so be it. It doesn’t change his magical ability, or that he was offered the chance to be the MoM three times and declined it three times. It just confirms the theory that some had, and put the fact into other people’s brains. Sure, in the books it may have seemed he was infatuated with Minerva, but if you read it properly, he wasn’t. We had no evidence that he was straight, so this was the first we heard of his sexuality. You can’t say it changed him, when it just made him more complex and added another side and such.

    If you think about it, like prieda says, where would it have gone? In Kings Cross, would he have said; “By the way, Harry, you remember that article Rita Skeeter wrote about that close friendship Gellert Grindelwald and I had, well, it wasn’t platonic.”? That would do nothing, except ask more questions and make the book longer and make it a later publication date.

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