Harry Potter author JK Rowling has confirmed that fan favourite character Albus Dumbledore had a “sexual relationship” with dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald.
The author made the revelation after recent prequel film Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald teased a long-rumoured gay romance between the pair.
Speaking in a bonus feature on the on the film’s Blu-ray release, Rowling confirmed “there is a sexual dimension to this relationship.”
JK Rowling confirms Dumbledore and Grindelwald ‘sexual relationship’
She explains: “Their relationship was incredibly intense.
“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.
“So 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 relationships.”
Director David Yates added: “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.”
The comments come after Fantastic Beasts picked up criticism for skirting the subject of the romance between the two characters, played by Jude Law and Johnny Depp.
In the film, Dumbledore hints that the pair were “closer than brothers,” and one flashback sequence featured a homoerotic moment between the two characters.
However, the plot was largely sidelined in the film, leading to accusations that it was being downplayed to allow the blockbuster’s release in overseas markets that forbid depictions of same-sex relationships.
Grindelwald and Dumbledore will be central to future Harry Potter prequels
Director David Yates responded by confirming the relationship between the two characters will be central to later instalments of the planned five-film franchise.
He told Empire: “The story [of this film] is about other things, fundamentally, but the story of Grindelwald and Dumbledore, going forward, that is the story.
“I think people just have to wait and see and appreciate that in movies to come that relationship will be explored much more fully.”
Yates added that “Dumbledore is not out [to the other characters] as a gay man in this film.”
Jude Law also confirmed that the relationship would be given its time in the spotlight in future films.
He said: “People are very passionate about these stories and that particular topic doesn’t just deal with the characters in the book but people in real life dealing with their sexual orientation… so I can understand why it was emotionally charged.
“I know the full story. This is part two. There’s more to come.”