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Mischief Managed


Mischief Managed: Dumbledore’s sexuality won’t be explored in ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’ — and that’s a shame

Georgia Davis / Blogs Editor

There is no question that Harry Potter is not the most diverse series. It lacks representation, though a lot of those problems arose in the casting for the movies. But in October 2007, a few months after the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, author J. K. Rowling announced Dumbledore is gay and had a love affair with dark wizard Grindelwald.

Dumbledore being gay is obviously not a problem, but the way Rowling brought it up as an afterthought is an issue. If Dumbledore’s sexuality was an important part of his character, why not write it into the books? Why leave it up to the interpretation of the readers?

It is easy to see why Rowling wouldn’t want to print in a book that Dumbledore is gay: she could possibly lose money. Putting those three letters in there and discussing the sexuality of a beloved character could upset those close-minded individuals who believe a fictional character’s interest in people of the same sex could be troubling. At that point in the series though, Rowling could afford to take risks with character development. People were invested in the story and it had changed the lives of those who loved them. And in the final installment, Dumbledore had already died and it was only his past that was really in the story.

If his sexuality was not important in furthering his character, then why say he’s gay in the first place? The Rowling made it seem is that she did not want to say he was gay on paper so she took the character to the next level months after the last book was released. It was an easy cop-out.

That’s the problem with ever-evolving universes. A creator can just continue adding to the narrative and change aspects of the story based on public criticism. Rowling has faced recent critiques with the casting of a Korean woman as Nagini, the Maledictus person who later becomes Voldemort’s subservient snake, in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Similar to that of Dumbledore, some people believe the casting and development of Nagini was a way to bring more diverse characters into the universe. There was no mention of Nagini being a Maledictus in the original series.

Young Dumbledore will also be featured in The Crimes of Grindelwald, but the film will not “explicitly” show the then-Transfiguration professor’s relationship with Grindelwald, according to director David Yates. And that’s where the discussion of Dumbledore’s characterization comes in. It would have been the perfect time to explore his sexuality. Instead, there will be many disappointed Harry Potter fans wanting to know more about their favorite headmaster.

Georgia Davis is a senior studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. What do you think of Dumbledore’s sexuality not being in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald? Tell Georgia by tweeting her at @georgiadee35.

Development by: Megan Knapp / Digital Production Editor

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