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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 25)

I know I've said this before and I don't think anyone really believes me, BUT; writers often don't have as much control over who or what their characters are as you might like to believe. I say that this is not necessarily true for all writers, but it is certainly true for many. And until you have had a character pretty much slam a door in your face and refuse to co-operate until you get it right, it's hard to credit. You have to know your characters inside out, even if most of what you, as the author, know about them never gets on the page. This still helps to inform who the character is and gives him or her consistency. Rowling's knowledge of Dumbledore's is irrelevant to the story in a direct sense, but it IS relevant to who Dumbledore is as a human being. Rowling strikes me as a very honest person, and when asked a direct question about Dumbledore's love life, she gave an honest answer. The world contains all sorts of people, and I for one think that having a very positive character in a children's book without any preaching whatsoever, and without the character's directly affecting the storyline for good or ill, is a very good thing. Dumbledore is a good man. Period. And it is testament to Rowling's power of characterisation that we care enough to argue about it. The only mistake Rowling could have made with Dumbledore's was to fudge it and not go with the truth of what her gut was telling her about him. If our sensibilities aren't quite ready for that, so be it. But take a close look at what Rowling has to say about discrimination in terms of muggle borns vs pure bloods. It's very easy for us to be horrified by that, and to forget that those attitudes horrify us simply because we recognise them, discrimination happens all the time in our society. I read somewhere that Rowling was stunned to realise just how closely the pure blood propaganda she "invented" for her story, paralleled Nazi anti-Jewish propaganda. Usually if a writer is prepared to really dig deep into a character or situation, s/he hits on truth.

Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on August 10, 2008 05:30 AM

If anything, this makes the books sound more like books children SHOULDN'T read.

To me, it doesn't have any effect on my though of the books. But to parents, who's children read these books, might not be too happy by reading it.
I'm not saying its bad for Dumbledore to be . I'm just saying, readers might not like the books after reading this.

Posted by Hanna Potter on August 12, 2008 10:18 AM

Personally, I don't see why Rowling's statment that Dumbledore was could cause anyone to stop liking the books. This is never stated in the books. What is in the books is defenite. A reader does not have to worry about whether he is or not while reading. A theme in the books is accepting everyone and that incudes people. I don't see what a parent has to worry about.

Posted by Anonymous from Arizona on August 12, 2008 5:25 PM

Sure there are readers who might not like the books after this, and parents who forbid their children to read them. But there are already people who don't like the books and parents who forbid their children to read them for any number of reasons. Let's face it, many of the people who are going to throw up their hands in horror and forbid their children to read Harry Potter because Dumbledore was have already forbidden their children to read the books because they supposedly promote devil worship and the occult. I think most people are a great deal more tolerant these days about ity than even twenty or thirty years ago. I'd be very surprised if it hurts Rowling's sales in the long run. Even if it does, she isn't going to starve anytime soon.
Some parents do worry over things like this, no question. ity is still very much taboo for some people. I have to say though that most of the people I know blinked a bit over the information that Dumbledore was , thought about it for a moment, and then said something along the lines of; 'Oh, yeah. That makes sense." No one raced home to burn their copies or have their children's memories erased. The only people I know who were horrified had already banned the books from their home on religious grounds.

Anyway, we'll know if it hurt Rowling's sales on 4th December when Beedle the Bard hits the shelves. Do we want to open a book on whether it debuts at Number One?

Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on August 14, 2008 12:22 AM

i know jk has said before that she overlooks a lot of elements of her books and she doesn't plan THAT much ahead like how classrooms mysteriously change floors from chapter to chapter and book to book. however, this is something i think she knew from the beginning and to have it all of a sudden brought out is like woah! but or lesbian, i don't think it makes much of a difference. for all i know, and lesbians have their own brilliance and dumbledore used his to impact the wizarding world so heavily, that he... was just beyond words. i have every respect for dumbledore especially after this out burst. there was always something special about him...

Posted by miss cissy from malfoy manor on August 28, 2008 7:21 PM

Why would it be obvious that Lockart is ? Only because he's interested in the way he looks, or what?

Posted by Bella from Gävle, Sweden on August 30, 2008 07:49 AM

but bella, he's not . he's just a girly whimp.

Posted by Miss Cissy from malfoy manor on September 21, 2008 1:00 PM

I've heard Tonks mentioned several times, and you know, I thought the same thing. I also thought the same of Lupin though...

(No, I'n not one of those slash obsessers, those are the only two I ever suspected as far as the adults go. Well, and Madam Hooch, but that goes without saying)

Maybe she and Remus just wanted a baby? You know how it goes, everyone was in a rush to marry and have children while Voldemort was around just incase they didn't have a chance later.

Posted by KonKat from La Puente, California on October 13, 2008 07:30 AM

this is a bit late but i just realised somebody replied to me aaages ago!

in response to callum- if you haven't a problem with him being why do you feel it was detrimental to mention it?

also, just generally, there seems to be a lot of 'dumbledore was asexual in my mind' chat. now, of course, nothing wrong with that. but surely being completely sexless *altogether* is less common than ity; and nobody worried that this was sending out the wrong message to children along the lines of their becoming work-a-holics who dont desire to procreate or something?

the only way to stamp out homophobia is to stop pandering to it, and worrying about 'putting people off things' in terms of monitary sales or whatever and actually do whats right and start helping things to change.

Posted by Kerri from Scotland on October 13, 2008 08:56 AM

Dumbledore should just be a regular person that is not married.

Posted by Anonymous on October 20, 2008 2:08 PM

Dumbledore should just be a regular person that is not married? But why would this be regular. There is not anything wrong with being married, nor is there anything wrong with being , in my opinion. Its true that I always did think of Dumbledore as asexual. I don't think this would have promoted a negative image, but I don't think the fact that he is promotes a wrong image either. The books show it is right to accept all people, despite differences. Pesonally, I don't take his into account when I read the books.

Posted by Anonymous from Arizona on October 20, 2008 5:57 PM

Neither do I. That is why I think she should have just not mentioned it. The reason I said "regular person that is not married" is because I just want him to be a regular clean person. And the not married part just came to me because the books never mention that he has a wife. I think this subject is pretty stupid

Posted by Nyx on October 25, 2008 3:34 PM

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