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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.

> Read the full article

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Reader Comments: (Page 12)

I was dumbstruck after I read this new piece of info. I don't think I like Jo or Dumbledore anymore. I really wish Jo did not make that comment as it completely spoilt my respect and love for both her and dumbledore. And Harry Potter, no matter what anyone says, is not an adult's book. She really ought to have kept that info with her. I'm awfully angry with her.

Posted by former dumbledore fan, Anna on October 24, 2007 12:15 AM

Knowing that Dumbledore is doesn't detract from the story. It just helps us understand the character. men in general tend to be more openly compassionate and nurturing, and I think these are probably the qualities that Ms. Rowling had in mind when she decided that Dumbledore was .
I'd say the impact of this revelation on young readers is a non-issue, since isn't part of the books' theme.

Posted by Phoebe from Philippines on October 24, 2007 12:40 AM

This is very crazy...still it doesnt affect my jugdment of are still the greatest wizard in my book Albus.

Posted by Harry's sister from Atlanta, Georgia on October 24, 2007 01:34 AM

Hi, Bnickel from IL USA. Yes, I think that the Hogwarts teachers not being married, may well be reminiscent of the times when teachers (particularly female) tended to be unmarried - especially in boarding schools. I'm not sure where the opinions about Neville being married have come from - there is nothing in DH to support this, and I think that he would have found complete fulfilment in being among his beloved herbs and plants. I don't think Snape would have been a teacher if Lily had loved and married him.

Posted by waterbaby from London on October 24, 2007 01:59 AM

I really don't think Dumbledore's is that important, and as for 'coming out' in the books, who to? Whoever he chose, it would almost certainly have affected his relationship with them. I think JKR did a really good job of showing how prejudice exists everywhere - even in the wizarding world - look how poor Lupin was hounded from his job when it was revealed that he was a werewolf, even though he had gone through his student days and almost completed a full year of teaching before anyone outside the select few he trusted knew of his double life.

Posted by waterbaby from London on October 24, 2007 02:09 AM

It is interesting that a lot of people on this site think of ity in terms of "sexual issues" that we shouldn't confront our children with, and that Rowling shouldn't have pointed out Dumbledore's "sexual preferences".
What about replacing "sexual" with "love"? First and foremost we express ourselves through love, and a man just happens to feel love for another man, just as a man loves a woman! And love is clearly shown in the books, and love isn't something we should keep our children away from, is it?

Posted by Siena from Leeds, UK on October 24, 2007 03:54 AM

When i first heard the news, I was very much surprised.
Quite pleasantly actually.

To me, Harry Potter was always a children book. A book of magic and fantasy, no more. For Rowling to have included characters was out of my imagination. Anyhow, this has made the story much more realistic, much similar to the real world, yes, no? We all know there are s everywhere. Heck, there's one beside you right now.

I see no point for people to be negatively affected by the announcement. Dumbledore is , so what? He's still the most powerful figure in Harry Potter.

Posted by Peter Pan from Neverland :) on October 24, 2007 05:08 AM

I'm kind of supprised this has suddenly been brought up because it isn't really relevant to the story, especially now that the series has finished. I still like Dumbledore just as much as I ever did. I have at times wondered why he never seemed to have had a wife but then the love lifes of many other teachers such as Professor McGonagall, Professor Spouse or Professor Flitwick were never touched on and I presume this was mainly because it was irrelevant to the story. This is an interesting insight but I just fear it may cause people to over-analyse the text and sidetrack from the real significance of the story.

The only thing that does upset me a bit is that now I know some people look at Dumbledore in a negative light, which is simply unfair and unnecessary.

Posted by Lucille Bradey from Darlington, UK on October 24, 2007 07:47 AM

more than surprising, it was shocking! why would jkr have to paint dumbledore in all this controversy now?

i personally never considered the lack of love interest in Dumbledore's life as surprising as for a wizard of his caliber, it was hard to find a match. i just thought that he must never had met any girl like Hermione of his age. yes in my opinion only a witch like hermione, with her mental abilities, cool logic, courage, vision, and sense of righteousness, could ever be a match for him. who do we see like that of Dumbledore's age? so no love intrest, simple!

And, also he must be busy all the time with his geniusness to find things of his level, like 12 uses of dragon blood etc. not necessarily everyone in this world has to have a love interest or otherwise be . there are others who are just satisfied with their work and sufficient for themselves, I think Dumbledore could have been just that!

Posted by swati from India on October 24, 2007 07:49 AM

There is a wonderful story by Isaac Asimov about William Shakespeare being sent by time travel to the present and failing a university course on Shakespeare! Clearly, well loved books have a life of their own that goes beyond their author. Ambiguous aspects of a book can have many different interpretations. In fact websites like this thrive because fans of the Harry Potter series enjoy sharing our own insights. As long as the final book in the series was not written JK had the power to make unilateral decisions to clarify anything ambiguous from one book to the next. Once the "canon" was completed, I believe her definitive interpretations on matters that were left vague are no longer legitimate. I guess it is hard for JK to let go of her power to shape the Harry Potter sage after 10 years of being in control. Imagine if Shakespeare wrote a definitive interpretation of each of his books. The world of literature would be the poorer for it.

As to Dumbledore being , there is nothing in the text itself that compellingly leads to that conclusion. Men can be friends without being attracted physically to one another. A person who valued intellect and bravery like Dumbledore would likely be attracted platonically to others with these attributes. As for some evidence derived from the fact that Dumbledore is not married, none of the teachers seems to be married. We only know of the love interests of Snape and Hagrid. Were all the rest of the staff by virtue of their not having spouses?

Posted by Miriam Snowbell from Thornhill Ontario canada on October 24, 2007 09:36 AM

I think we should all give a thanks and congratulations to our host David Haber. As at least one other person commented, the level of discussion on this website is much better than many other websites. I have seen some comments that are similar to my own and some that are not. There are so many strong feelings on this particular issue and it is nice to participate in a discussion with other interested people. I personally feel it helps me work through my feelings about this part of the story. Thank you again Dave for a quality website.

Posted by Travis Brobst from Sierra Vista, Arizona on October 24, 2007 10:11 AM

I think the fact that Dumbledore is is a trivial thing. What's important is that Dumbledore loved and that he shared his love with the world, ly or not. I don't think Dumbledore was ruled by his attraction to males, but more so by his caring for others, male or female.
I must wonder though what Harry, Ron, and Hermione would think if they knew this and how Harry's son would feel knowing that he was named after someone who was . Hopefully he would look past that and realize that Albus was a great person, and being just made him more sensitive to other's feelings.
As for this being a children's book, it wasn't exactly mentioned in the story that he was, so I find the book completely untarnished for young aunces.

Posted by Virginia from North Missouri on October 24, 2007 11:30 AM

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