Real Life Choose Your Own Adventure

I was surprised by the news that JK Rowling announced that Dumbledore was gay. At first I was annoyed that she would take the time to insert something into the story that was never apparent in any of the books. It sounded like she was going back and writing an alternate ending after everyone had already purchased the book. If she were going to write more books I would be more open to such amove, but with the series over it seemed rather tactless.

As my annoyance festered I looked closer into the news and found that the story is not quite what the headlines made it out to be. Rowling always thought of Dumbledore as being gay – that’s fine, she’s the author and is entitled to think of her characters as she chooses. It was not enough of an issue as she wrote the books to make her write that into the stories so it should not be made an issue after they are done. I suspect that it would not have become an issue if she had not encountered questions related to Dumbledore. Apparently there was reference in some of the screen writing for the movies that have not yet been made in the series to a female romantic interest in Dumbledore’s past. That was not in the book anymore than his being gay and she is perfectly welcome to make sure that it is not inserted into the movies. The fact that it almost was put in the movie proves that his being gay really was not in the books.

She revealed her inner view of Dumbledore in response to a question from the audience where she was speaking. I have no problems with whatever her personal view was on Dumbledore but I hope that they don’t make it more of an issue in the movies than she did in the books.

About David

David is the father of 8 extremely organized children (4 girls / 4 boys) who is constantly seeking answers to tough questions related to parenting, education and politics while moonlighting for 40 hours each week as a technology professional. He also enjoys cooking, gardening, and sports.
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7 Responses to Real Life Choose Your Own Adventure

  1. Jason Black says:

    Here’s how this thing went down. In JK Rowling’s imagination, where all this stuff was going on, Dumbledore was snogging madam Pomfrey in the hospital wing when JK wasn’t looking. He’s not really gay – she just thinks he is because he’s keeping his love-life magically in the closet from JK’s prying imagination.

  2. David says:

    Only Dumbledore could possibly know strong enough magic to keep a secret like that from JK Rowling who created the universe he exists in. (By the way, are you sure it was Madam Pomfrey?)

  3. Jason Black says:

    Oh, yes. I’m quite sure. Read the series again – you’ll see it. Perhaps Dumbledore was the only one creative enough to use a confundus charm against the very imagination that created him.

  4. David says:

    You think a simple confundus would affect JK? I wouldn’t be surprised if she had some magical defenses in place to stop such a simple charm.

  5. Jason Black says:

    Alright, now we’re getting carried off the point. My purpose in commenting on this post is to express that I choose to believe that Dumbledore is straight. Rowling says she thought of him as gay, but apparently it wasn’t an important enough point for her to put it in the story. She thinks he’s gay; I think he’s not. JK and I will respectfully disagree on this point.

    Harry Potter is still incredible fiction, well worth rereading. Part of the power of good fiction is its ability to create in the reader their own vision of the world simply outlined by the author. This being the case, no amount of posthumous slander against any of my favorite characters, even by the creator, can destroy my own vision of Harry Potter’s world. Good fiction lets me decide what to believe about details left out of the text.

  6. David says:

    I’ll admit that I was having fun getting off topic there. You make a good point though. Regardless of what the author thought, you are free to hold your own opinion about anything that was never in the books and even to interpret whatever was in the books.

    Looking at it that way, Dumbledore is only one of many people who were labeled as gay long after there was any chance to add proof for or against the charge.

  7. Reach Upward says:

    Rowling is not the first nor the last artist to misunderstand her ‘muse.’ Jason is correct when he says that great art cannot fully anticipate how it will be received or interpreted. (That does not mean that smearing technicolor vomit on a canvas amounts to art.)

    In the creation of art, there is a force at work that is beyond the artist and that creates a medium far beyond anything the artist could enforce. The ancient Greeks called these forces muses. I’m not trying to wax superstitious here; I’m writing metaphorically of an observable phenomenon.

    An artist can call forth a muse, but cannot coerce it or fully control it. Rowling may have intended D’s passions to flow one way, but she was incapable of forcing the muse she called forth to convey any such thing. Each interpreter of Rowling’s works is able to perceive the muse’s intents himself/herself. Rowling’s postscript to the books cannot alter that.

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