Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Monday, October 22, 2007

What does Rowling's revelation mean? Well,for one thing, that maybe Dumbledore wore Prada.

J.K. Rowling was making an appearance at Carnegie Hall last Friday,as part of an "Open Book" tour where she gives a reading from the final Harry Potter book,and during the Q&A section,was asked by someone in the crowd if Dumbledore had ever had a "true love."

She replied "Dumbledore is gay.",which caused quite a stir there and on the internet communities as well. A good number of folks find this news to be an interesting item for discussion,while some react with a bit of a shrug and others are rolling their eyes at what they percieve to be a publicity stunt by Rowling. Publicity stunt? Oh,please-this is one woman who has had the mother and the father load of public attention for nearly the past several years that would make a rock star stand back in awe and do the "We're Not Worthy" bow and scrape before. I seriously doubt that she made this known to sell more books,which would be pretty damn redundant at this point.

Rowling elaborated abit more about who Dumbledore did love(which I won't go into,in the interest of not spoiling The Deathly Hallows for those who are either still reading or haven't gotten to it yet)and mentioned that she had to tell director David Yates(who is working on the film adaptation of the sixth book,Half Blood Prince) about Dumbledore's sexual orientation to explain why some dialogue about a girl in the Headmaster's past needed to be taken out of the script.

So,what does this all mean,for Potter fans? First off,I have to salute Rowling for her forthrightness in this matter. She could've been ten shades of vague about the issue and tiptoed around the question but instead of dancing a little sidestep,she answered it boldly,with a bit of a laugh about how her critics and the fan fiction writers would take the news. Bravo,Ms. Rowling and Brava,too!

As to the books themselves,to be honest,folks,it never occured to me that Dumbledore had any kind of a sex life. He fit the mythological hero role of Wise Old Mentor quite nicely there(with the humanizing touch of having some dark deeds in his past that brought him to the path of good and hoping to spare his young apprentice the pain of making similar terrible mistakes that will haunt him/her with regret for the rest of their life),walking in the well worn footsteps of Gandalf the Grey,Obi Wan Kenobi and King Arthur's Merlin.

I'm sure many are rereading some of the series to see if they can find any hints of Dumbledore's true inclinations but I don't think they'll find much. Despite whatever personal crosses he had to bear,Albus Dumbledore never faltered in his mission to keep Harry Potter safe and strong enough to take on the terror of Lord Voldemort,a duty that was meant to protect not just wizards or even only Harry but the whole world of Muggles and magicians everywhere. Quite a noble challenge,indeed.

At the risk of sliding down a spoiler slope,Rowling does mention that Dumbledore did love someone who did not return his feelings,which may certainly explain why he was rather sympathetic to another major character thru out the series who,it turns out,was motivated by an unrequited love as well. In my personal opinion,it expands both of those characters,that they both shared a similar heartbreak that ultimately united them towards the same goal,despite their different courses of action in doing so. It also makes a great argument for the universal nature of love,a message that people of all ages can and should be able to handle.

Will this revelation affect the other two film versions of the HP books yet to come? I really don't think so(other than that change in dialogue that Rowling had them make) and hopefully any juvenile snickerings from the intolerant crowd will be firmly but politely ignored as it should be. Both the book and film versions of Albus Dumbledore deserve to be respected and admired by those looking for a good role model to become as they grow up,no matter at what age that may be.




Lorna said...

Great review and I concur (albeit belatedly) with you. Loved the comparison with Gandalf the Grey, Obi Wan, etc.

lady t said...

Thanks,Lorna-you know what they say,better late than never:)