Fantastic Beasts: Were Dumbledore and Grindelwald gay lovers?
The new Fantastic Beasts movie, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, will, for the first time, allude to Harry Potter favourite Albus Dumbledore being gay on screen. But is the film’s titular villain—Gellert Grindelwald—his lover?
The sequel to 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them takes us back to 1927 when Dumbledore was a sprightly young man, rather than the elder statesman we see in the Harry Potter movies. Here, the Hogwarts headmaster is played by Jude Law.
Fantastic Beasts hints at a close relationship between Law’s Dumbledore and Johnny Depp’s maniacal Voldemort prototype, Grindelwald. Were they gay? Were they lovers?
Some light plot spoilers follow.
Were Dumbledore and Grindelwald gay lovers?
When looking at Dumbledore and Grindelwald’s relationship, it’s possible that they were gay lovers.
In the film, it’s revealed that, when they were younger, Dumbledore and Grindelwald were closer than brothers. But just how close is close?
In the final trailer for Fantastic Beasts, Dumbledore tasks protagonist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) with hunting down villain Grindelwald, who has escaped custody after he was captured by magical law enforcement at the end of the first month.
Scamander asks Dumbledore why he doesn’t try to apprehend Grindelwald himself.
“I cannot move against Grindelwald,” says Dumbledore.
This hints that there is a deeply complex relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald.
The trailer also shows Dumbledore looking into the Mirror of Erised, a magical mirror that has been seen in previous Harry Potter films.
According to J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore website, the Mirror of Erised is “a special mirror which reflects the deepest desires of those who look at it.”
So, based on that, it looks like what Dumbledore desires the most is the love and affection of Grindelwald. That might be why he says he can’t move against him.
Dumbledore’s gay history
In 2007, J.K. Rowling revealed that she has always considered Dumbledore to be gay. And said that, in her mind, he was in love with Grindelwald.
Rowling said: “My truthful answer to you… 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.”
Of course, this was never made explicit in past books or movies.
Dumbledore is in love with Grindelwald
It looks like the hints of a gay relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald in the new Fantastic Beasts is as close to referencing Dumbledore’s sexuality as the Wizarding World movies will get—for now.
“I always thought of Dumbledore as gay.”
— J.K. Rowling
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Jude Law said: “It’s no secret that there was an incredibly intense relationship shared by these two in the past.
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“[Grindelwald] sits very much at the centre of Dumbledore … his desires, but also the darkest parts of himself.”
Director David Yates was even more explicit, saying: “[Dumbledore] had a very intense relationship with Grindelwald when they were young men. They fell in love with each other’s ideas, and ideology and each other.”
In the trailer for Fantastic Beasts, a young Dumbledore and Grindelwald are seen holding their hands up against each other with an impassioned look on their faces. That is perhaps another hint of a gay relationship.
“They fell in love with each other’s ideas, and ideology and each other.”
— David Yates, director
Fantastic Beasts spoilers — warning!
In the new film, there is a strong suggestion that Dumbledore and Grindelwald were gay lovers.
A flashback scene showing their relationship as young men, Dumbledore and Grindelwald make a blood pact to never hurt each other. Interesting.