Dumbledore’s sexual orientation has been a topic of discussion among Potterheads for the longest time now. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows touched on the closeness between Albus Dumbledore and his childhood friend Gellert Grindelwald, though, the exact nature of the relationship was left to interpretation. After the completion of the series, the creator of the Potter-verse, J.K. Rowling explicitly declared that the most popular headmaster of Hogwarts was in fact gay.
Unsurprisingly, the reveal was met with mixed responses by fans. Personally, I liked this nugget of information but wondered why Rowling didn’t just explore Dumbledore’s gayness in a more explicit and in-depth manner in her books. Since the reveal, Potterheads began to speculate on the exact nature of the Dumbledore-Grindelwald relationship. Was it one sided? Did Grindelwald reciprocate Dumbledore’s feelings? Was it sexual?
Well, it looks like we’ve finally gotten the answers we’ve been salivating for! No no, you didn’t miss a new Wizarding World movie, nor did Rowling release another book in secret. During a feature on The Crimes of Grindelwald Blu-ray DVD (as reported by Radio Times), Rowling had this to say:
“Their [Dumbledore and Grindelwald] relationship was incredibly intense. It was passionate, and it was a love relationship. But as happens in any relationship, gay or straight or whatever label we want to put on it, one never knows really what the other person is feeling. You can’t know, you can believe you know.
So I’m less interested in the sexual side – though I believe there is a sexual dimension to this relationship – than I am in the sense of the emotions they felt for each other, which ultimately is the most fascinating thing about all human relationships.”
This revelation is baffling to say the least, not because of its content — which is great — but because of how it’s revealed. These days, we seem to be learning more about the characters in Rowling’s Wizarding World on Twitter, news articles, interviews and Pottermore than from the books and movies themselves.
It’s one thing to casually drop fun facts about the wizarding world plumbing system on Pottermore, it’s another to randomly discuss in detail the relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald (two of the most important characters in the Fantastic Beasts movies) in a Blu-ray feature without actually exploring any of it in the movies.
Rowling talks about how passionate the relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald is. She talks about the complicated sense of emotions they felt for each other. But in The Crimes of Grindelwald, the movie that promised to explore exactly that, all we get is Grindelwald and Dumbledore locking eyes for two seconds.
“This is a story about two men who loved each other, and ultimately have to fight each other. It’s a story for the 21st century.”
No sir. That’s a blatant lie. The Crimes of Grindelwald is about a bunch of depthless characters running around like headless chicken, followed by a bombastic CGI set piece, and then a plot twist/reveal that will remind you of M. Night Shyamalan during his The Happening days.