Thursday, November 8, 2007

Albus Dumbledore is GAY?

Last month in front of a full house of hardcore Harry Potter fans at Carnegie Hall in New York, British author J.K. Rowling, sitting on the stage on a red velvet and carved wood throne, read from her seventh and final book, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," then took select questions. One young fan asked whether Albus Dumbledore, headmaster of the series Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Witchcraft, had ever loved anyone. Rowling smiled. "Dumbledore is gay, actually," replied Rowling as the audience erupted in surprise. She added that, [in her mind] , Dumbledore had an unrequited love affair with Gellert Grindelwald, Voldemort's predecessor who appears in flashback during the seventh book. After several minutes of prolonged shouting and clapping from astonished fans, Rowling added. "I would have told you earlier if I knew it would make you so happy."

But that's the point, Ms. Rowling. You didn't tell us earlier!

In no way, shape or form, throughout seven wildly successful & popular novels, is it EVER stated or implied that the benevolent headmaster (& mentor) to Harry Potter, well ..... swings that way. This seems like nothing more than a stunt that was perpetrated by Rowling, in response to some unreported criticism about the absence of homosexual characters in her Potter stories; which for the most part, were effectively as diverse a cross section of races, beings, etc. as one could find in pop fiction.

I do NOT doubt that Rowling envisioned dear Albus that way all along, but she chose not to depict this aspect of the character in her Potterverse and doing so in this manner seems TACKY. It doesn't really add anything to the books and since the media has been so ardently trumpeting this aspect, frankly it comes across as a bit lurid and creepy. Living in the "Bible Belt" of the Southern United States, I was curious about the "smearing" of the Harry Potter books upon their initial publication, by zealous evangelicals and religious right puritans who denounced the books for espousing witchcraft and mysticism, so I read them in tandem with my oldest daughter (pictured; and now in college) as each one was released.

Suffice to say that the naysayers were completely off base with their stupid theories and they pretty much missed out on a great adventure epic that at its heart, was about family, friendship and the heroic lengths one person will reach to protect same. So, per Ms. Rowling, Albus Dumbledore is gay (yay). I however, prefer the novels without this tacked on implication; or in other words, how they were written in the first place.

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