JK Rowling faces backlash after revealing Dumbledore and Grindelwald's NSFW relationship

JK Rowling faces backlash after revealing Dumbledore and Grindelwald's NSFW relationship

Three months after the last Harry Potter book was released, author JK Rowling revealed that she always thought Albus Dumbledore was gay. In the books and movies, his sexuality is never stated, and he never has an explicitly romantic relationship. However, during his younger days, he had a very close relationship with the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, which could be interpreted as romance.

Many readers assumed Dumbledore and Grindelwald were simply good friends. But during an October 2007 interview, Rowling revealed they were in love, and their falling out was Dumbledore's "great tragedy." "He lost his moral compass completely when he fell in love and I think subsequently became very mistrustful of his own judgement in those matters so became quite asexual," she said. "He led a celibate and a bookish life."

Years later, Rowling created the Fantastic Beasts movie franchise, which follows the adventures of socially awkward magi-zoologist Newt Scamander amid Grindelwald's growing threat. The story spans three decades, from the 1920's to the 1940's, showing Grindelwald's rise to power and defeat in an duel with Dumbledore. Fans hoped Rowling would take the opportunity to clarify the wizards' relationship status, but nope! Two films in, and it's still vague.

That is, unless you listen to the special features on the Blu-Ray for Fantastic Beasts And The Crimes Of Grindelwald. In the commentary, Rowling opened up about their NSFW feelings. "Their relationship was incredibly intense," she said. "It was passionate, and it was a love relationship. But as happens in any relationship, gay or straight or whatever label we want to put on it, one never knows really what the other person is feeling. You can’t know, you can believe you know."

She added, "I'm less interested in the sexual side - though I believe there is a sexual dimension to this relationship - than I am in the sense of the emotions they felt for each other, which ultimately is the most fascinating thing about all human relationship." Meanwhile, director David Yates stated: "This is a story about two men who loved each other, and ultimately have to fight each other. It's a story for the 21st century."

Rowling's comments sparked a backlash on Twitter from fans who are sick and tired of her retroactively diversifying the Harry Potter universe. There are heterosexual relationships in the books and the movies - why not homosexual relationships, if these character are truly gay? However, Twitter user @exorcisingemily summarized the problem perfectly:

"The thing that bothers me most about Rowling going into the “intense sexual relationship” of Dumbledore and Grindewald is that after being criticized for glossing over queer characters except in interviews, she reduced calls for real queer rep to 'give us kinky sex details!'

"Like, way to miss the point and undermine everything you COULD have done to rectify the mistake of leaving Dumbledore’s orientation out of canon. This further reduces queer relationships and queer characters just to sex in media commentary. Which is the last thing we needed."