With Jude Law being cast as Dumbledore in the sequel to Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them, fans have already begun to speculate about the character’s relationship with Johnny Depp’s Grindelwald. J.K. Rowling revealed the headmaster’s sexual orientation in 2009, saying, ” I always thought of Dumbledore as gay. Dumbledore fell in love with Grindelwald, and that added to his horror when Grindelwald showed himself to be what he was. To an extent, do we say it excused Dumbledore a little more because falling in love can blind us to an extent? But, he met someone as brilliant as he was, and rather like Bellatrix he was very drawn to this brilliant person, and horribly, terribly let down by him.”
As for the upcoming sequel to Fantastic Beasts, when asked about the same topic, she stated, “I would like to say because this is obviously a five-part story, there’s lots to unpack in that relationship.” Nothing is set in stone yet, but as a fan of Harry Potter and its American spin-off it would be more poignant and more logical to make Dumbledore’s relationship with the pureblood supremacist Grindelwald explicit. No more hiding behind sub-text or suggestions, if the character was written gay make him explicitly, undeniably gay in the film. I see no reason to avoid what could potentially be an extreme driving plotpoint of the film.
Dumbledore has always been somewhat of a mystery, unearthing and exploring more of his youth would give fans a chance to better understand him – and what forces him to become the man he does later on. A toxic relationship like Dumbledore’s and Grindelwald’s is far more interesting and far more developmental to their respective characters than the countless cookie-cutter heterosexual relationships seen on-screen before. Not to mention exploring LGBTQ+ themes in the wizarding world that have otherwise been left untouched, or as an afterthought for J.K. Rowling to answer in a Q&A after the series has ended.