A New Perspective on the Harry Potter Movies from J.K. Rowling

Sarah Manderbach ’22, Opinion Columnist

As a fan of the Harry Potter series and all that has been created from it, in recent months I have started to question if the magic that once surrounded this universe has started to diminish. With the addition of the Fantastic Beasts movie series, which is said to have five installments, it seems like a ploy to wring as much money out of the world as possible. Because of this, I am practically repelled from being at all interested in the Fantastic Beasts franchise.

However, the new movie series wasn’t the factor that offset me. Instead, it was the most recent interview with the creator of the Harry Potter universe, J.K. Rowling, that really threw me off.

In 2007, according to complex.com, Rowling had revealed that Dumbledore, headmaster of Hogwarts, at one point was in a relationship with Gellert Grindelwald, the 1920s equivalent of Voldemort. After admitting this in a Q&A session with Harry Potter fans, she followed by saying that Dumbledore’s love for his childhood friend turned dark wizard was his “great[est] tragedy.”

Many people were glad to see LGBTQ+ representation within a well-beloved franchise, even if it wasn’t originally apparent in the original books and movies. But in the special features section of the upcoming Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald Blu-ray, according to Radio Times, Rowling revealed that there was a “sexual dimension” to their relationship. Her exact quote was, “Their relationship was incredibly intense. It was passionate, and it was a love relationship.”

This is all fine and dandy, but the 2018 film failed to provide any clarity to fans as to the supposed “sexual relationship” that Dumbledore and Grindelwald once had. In fact, it only builds on the idea that they were once really good companions, and that’s it. 

Many fans are upset by this announcement from the famous author, as her sudden additions to the traits of the main cast over 10 years after the publication of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows come off as attempts to win over fans of certain minorities, such as those of the LGBTQ+ community. 

On the other side of this debate, people are siding with Rowling in the belief that, as the creator of the series, she has the full right to make some creative liberties to characters post-publication. As a writer myself, I do side partially with the “creative right” side of this debate. It is their world and how writers perceive it is how readers should also perceive it. But, I still stand by my belief that this is just another ploy to get as much out of this franchise as she can before age eventually wears it down to just memories.