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J.K.'s surprising revelation about Dumbledore

by David Haber

Just a little over a year ago, on August 2, 2006, J.K. Rowling made a statement at her reading in New York City, at Radio City Music hall, that was big news and related directly to what we talk about on this web site. Well, tonight she's done it again. This evening, again in New York City, this time at Carnegie Hall, J.K. Rowling dropped a bombshell on the Harry Potter fan community.

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Reader Comments: (Page 10)

I think that the fact that Dumbledore is is relatively irrelevant. I mean I had tons of other ways to explain things on here that Rowling claims are because he was . So Dumbledore was lonely and didn't really see people his own age and it was exciting to meet someone his own age. and they were both intelligent people and could stimulate eachother mentally. that doesn't make someone ...

I have a lot more of these examples, but they're not important

I'm not saying that Dumbledore being upsets me, I just think that it doesn't matter. I had never thought about Dumbledore's . But apparenlty JK Rowling had. And in her mind he was , but she definitely didn't give any hints to the public that he was. I wonder if there were an other characters in her books that had "questionable" in her mind.

Posted by Tamara from AL on October 22, 2007 9:16 PM

Well, Kaleigh from Indiana, Rowling's announcement was brilliant, like so many have mentioned thus far, but it was brilliantly calculated, so be prepared to be annoyed yet further. If she had announced this before the series was completed she would have sold millions less of each book in the septet. Parents all over our homophobic nation would not be buying the books for their kids and Harry Potter would not have become the franchise it is today. Some might think she was crazy for letting out such a buzz-worthy statement after the series had been deemed complete; I agree...crazy like a fox! Now she'll sell millions more of each book because the previous s who were not fans now go buy the books simply because they have a new celebrity championing their cause. The curious people who may not be fans now go buy the books to see if Dumbledore really is , and all those uptights who would not have bought the books to begin with had they known of the mentor's proclivities already own the books.

Rowling's move was brilliant. Pure genius! Don't let it annoy you that people think it is for attention. The thought of letting this cat out of the bag, to mis-apply the old axiom, has likely kept Rowling smiling since she conceived the idea. The blogs an chat rooms are all aflutter with this news and Rowling is quite pleased with herself about it. I don't think down of her for it. It's a heck of alot easier to take than all the Britney Spears-Brad-n-Angelina-Paris Hilton-Hollywood bull.

Posted by beebester from Burley, ID USA on October 22, 2007 9:46 PM

I was absolutely shocked when I heard this. I don't want to believe that he was . I always assumed that Dumbledore never had a preference. Anyway, I am highly disappointed by this news. I wonder why she would even say that because, after all, it had no relevance to the story.

Posted by Brandon from LA on October 23, 2007 01:15 AM

I really don't understand why she had to announce that Dunbledore was ...His has nothing to do with Harry's quest, and isn't the series about Harry anyway? I still reread all the books, probably more than once!

Posted by reader from OR on October 23, 2007 02:14 AM

In the 7th book Aberforth tells Harry Ron and Hermione that when Gindelwald came Albus finally had an equal to talk to, somebody who was as brilliant as him. To be honest this only proves that he needed human stimulation as much as everybody else does. I think that JK Rowling has done a very clever thing in leaving Dumbledore's out of the books, because if it had been in it, the story would become too much like a soap opera, and I think that it would ruin the whole effect of Dumbledore being this marvellous, clever wizard, and although we learn of his selfishness at a young age in the 7th book, I don't really think that his should tarnish the view of Dumbledore that the fans of Harry Potter have come to admire.

Posted by Ashleigh from Moultrie, Georgia on October 23, 2007 03:36 AM

the mind is a wonderfull thing, and as you could read in the books, imperfection can be the closest thing to perfection. dumbledore would be a way less realistic character if he keeped the almost god-like characteristics like in the first few books. and I won't say being is bad or something because I have respect for the people who let show their sexual preferences. being brilliant for example is for human standards an imperfection I personally think. but that doesn't mean it can make a human more good or evil and it has a lot of advantages. this also counts for being it takes away the super-natural things of a character like dumbledore and I don't really thinks that's bad nor do I think it's important and she doesn't think so either because she didn't put it in the books. he's still really cool and his sexual preferences shouldn't matter.

Posted by carni from holland on October 23, 2007 07:45 AM

I don't know how I feel about it. I'm glad it wasn't in the book because I don't think my kids would understand that. I think it could possibly just get other stupid groups against the books.

As far as other characters knowing. I think Lucius would have found a way to get him thrown out long ago if he had known.

And having her say that does bother me about the Harry/Dumbledore relationship. Their relationship is often looked at weird by outsiders in the book anyway, but to add that just bothers me. Harry is often referred to as his favorite of all time and even though I think Dumbledore was a great character and great guide for Harry (although much about him did bother me in the last book - like he hung Harry out to dry) it is questionable.

Posted by a reader from lansing, mi on October 23, 2007 09:26 AM

I don't know why but I don't feel comfortable about Dumbledore being . I have no problem at all with people, in fact I live fighting againts people who can�t stand s. I just feel like it's not true, like if it a sort of last minute invention of Rowling.
Anyaway, if it's true, I don't see why Rowling should have told us about it. Did she tell us that Harry or Hermione were straight? I personally think that being guy is as normal as being straight, so there's no need to go telling people what your sexual preferences are.

Posted by Karina from Chile on October 23, 2007 10:03 AM

I almost enjoy the negative responses. I think that JK has made a realistic world through her books, and has now just added another very real component, almost as an afterthought. The way she did it was absolutely brilliant. It was simply a note. It didn't interfer with the series. All it did was explain a lot of lingering questions as to motives and interactions between characters.

It doesn't bother me at all that Harry and Dumbledore's relationship may have been influenced by the . Its natural for that to happen. It happens the same way that a straight man would take on a female student. Gender doesn't matter so much, but he comes to see her in the light of a daughter. He usually comes to think that she make some man very happy someday, but would never want to be that man.

As for the relationship between Snape and Dumbledore, I really like that. I think that, in our times, we have a lot of hostility between straight men and men. I've noticed it even in my most intelligent male friends. So, for such an ardently character as Snape to be such close friends with a character makes me smile. And, yes, I think he knew. I think they bonded over their lost loves.

Posted by CrimsonCloverV on October 23, 2007 10:09 AM

I was disappointed in this news. Dumbledore was one of my favorite characters in the story. This news does affect how I feel about him. It affects whether I want to continue reading the stories or encouraging my children to read the stories. Many on this post say that the revelation is wonderful or at best irrelevant. I feel differently. Dumbledore has characteristics that I would like to have and that I would wish for my family. Now he has a characteristic that I would not wish for myself or my family. I think this is one thing J.K. Rowling should have left to imagination and speculation.

Posted by Travis Brobst from Sierra Vista, Arizona on October 23, 2007 10:36 AM

I'm not happy about it just as I wouldn't be happy about a poorly produced movie to a favorite book. You have an image and understanding for a story that you read, you picture it a certain way and I am just afraid that for an adult book it would be fine but children don't have the sensitivity to understand such things.

I just picture a thousand Albus Dumbledore costumes being returned or not used this Halloween and pity the few students who do wear the costume as they now be targeted by other children, especially since I imagine that they be focused outfits for pride parades.

As for the characters life style choice, that is fine, I am not against it but it should have come out in the beginning, when the foundations for the story was being developed into the readers. I am sure that people stand up and cheer for this and consider my views to be homophobic which I am not. If that is the case and Ms. Rowling is so proud of this revelation in the book then she should make sure that the final movie depicts this choice for her character. I feel that if she was to do that then she would be true to her decision and cause, if not then she is trying to burn a candle at both ends by reaping the rewards of the story as is and then behind the scenes, outing this character who is still clearly within the closet.

In the end, this is her book and she can do with it and the characters as she pleases, she might even have a more powerful meaning to this being that a close family member or friend is and for that I applaud her efforts but I still think that this was a poor choice for an already established children book character.

Posted by Anonymous from Chesterfield, MI on October 23, 2007 10:42 AM

I think it's fabulous! It shows that even fantasy can be based on fact. JK was very brave to come out and say this; I'm sure there be some parents who no longer be happy with the HP books. Personally I don't see why Dumbledore's sexual preferences matter. They were never mentioned in the books, at least not plainly, and the only things young children tend to pick up on is the main points that are openly told to them. I'm sure most kids didn't even see that interview and be utterly confused as to why their parents are suddenly no longer permitting them to read the books. I mean, so what? They'll find out the reality sooner or later: there are many different options when it comes to sexual preference. They'll find out whether it's through the HP books or just by living life in the world when we inhabit today. Speaking as an average adolescent (I'm 15 years old), I see no problem here, and, thankfully, niether do my parents. While I personally am not interested in this option for myself, other people have the free to do whatever they please, including the entirely FICTIONAL characters of the HP books. Dumbledore being does not change the fact that he was certainly a man (and a powerful one). I am open to the possibility that he may have been more than "just friends" with Grindelwald, but of course we can never be sure because JK did not tell us outright in the series. Perhaps Grindelwald was simply a man that Dubledore could come to terms with, which would definitely be pretty nice, considering the troubled life Dumbledore lead. As for the love between Dumbledore and Harry, I am surprised that so many people are looking at this relationship in a new light. Dumbledore loved Harry from the moment he saved him and delivered him to his aunt. He was just a baby then; who doesn't love a baby? Dumbledore watched Harry grow up, just as a father does, observing his triumphs and failures and helping him through even the hardest times. It comes as no surprise to me that Harry began to regard him as a father figure, and loved him for it. Who says a man can't be a father figure? No problem here. I mean, I'm totally straight but that doesn't mean that there aren't women in my life (other than family members) whom I love passionately. Not every woman/woman or man/man loving relationship is a sexual one. I don't think Dumbledore was keeping his "ness" a secret either, he just didn't mention it, or rather JK just didn't mention it because of the controversy it would cause and because younger children reading the books wouldn't understand it anyway. Refraining from mentioning something is not the same as actively being secretive. Even in the real world there are certain subjects that people simply don't discuss (politics, religion, , to name just a few), because of the effects these things can have on some people, but that doesn't mean the topics don't exist. I still love Dumbledore and Harry and Snape and commend JK for a job well done in writing a wonderful fantasy series in which the true qualities of love and relationships can still exist harmoniously!

Posted by # 1 HP, Dumblydorr & Snape fan from USA on October 23, 2007 10:43 AM

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