The life and lies…

Just had a good time when I found this gif:

When Rowling mentioned — quite casually — that she always thought of Dumbledore as being gay since she started to shape the character, she seems to have brought the wrath of ages upon herself.

For her it was no big deal apparently, but  having lived firmly grounded in this world of muggles she must have known what impact such an announcement would have. Not surprisingly, several Christian organisations felt the urge to comment,  with the usual good olde homophobia clad in concerns for the children’s god-given assumed heterosexuality and the greater good in general.

What is indeed surprising, is that the announced fact, and the more than assumed relationship Dumbledore/Grindelwald didn’t find the joint approval of the fan-community.

Excuse me when I find this close to hilarious. I have to digress a little, just to define some terms:

(Disclaimer: The following is my perception only,  I didn’t correlate this to anyone else’s view on the subject.)

There is fan-fiction, and there is slash. Fan-fiction can be woven around pairings that explicitely exist in a novel, as, e.g., Harry and Ginny, to stick to Harry Potter, but it needn’t be. Included in the vast fan-fiction section is slash. Now slash — which is making up at least 90% of fan-fiction according to my estimate — likes to pair couples which are not explicitely mentioned to have any relationship of a sexual nature. There is Draco/Harry,  lovingly called “Drarry,” Snape/Harry, called “Snarry,” and every other pairing remotely imaginable. I think I saw one Snape/Neville’s toad once.

Slash differes from the narrow other section within fan-fiction by the sole fact that the ones in favour of a certain pairing consider it blatantly obvious. They like to gather in groups, and call their belief canon.

“Canon” is a wonderful thing. With this humble word — that has the same value for me on the turn-off scale as the word “dogma” — the world is devided into the ones shipping the certain pairing and the rest of the world who are totally clueless, as they fail to spot the obvious.

What is evident now is that this necessity to consider themselves member of an elitist circle of chosen ones receives a spoiler with the flat announcement of Rowling’s.

I love it. I love her. Isn’t Rowling one of the greatest creatures that ever walked the earth the past fifty years?

Let’s ponder this, dear reader, and maybe writer, but let’s assume you are not a “slasher:”

Very brief outline: Two guys get to know each other. Both under-tasked, one horribly unhappy with his life, a slight sister-fixation. The more flamboyant and more extrovert one harbors fantasies of omnipotence already; the other is tempted, he too wants to belong to a circle of chosen ones, and to the winning side for once.  Of course, the parallels to the passage in the LOTR when Frodo offers Gandalf the ring of power are more than obvious. He refuses it, “Do not tempt me.”
Dumbledore refuses too, but reluctantly, and too late. He has more than a crush of ages on Grindelwald. He is his best friend, his only friend in fact, and his soul-mate.

The two of them break up after only a very short time, going separate ways in every way.

So, given this outline; what more to wish for? How come that almost every fan-fiction writer’s natural reaction seems to be  like he had just been offered Weasley’s special treats in vomit-flavour?

Well, maybe not only Dumbledore wanted to belong to a chosen circle. But that’s only my theory.

Dumbledore is a wise man, maybe some good fan-fiction writers manage to handle their initial disappointment of being bereft of their exclusiveness too.  Aren’t they a lovely couple…


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2 thoughts on “The life and lies…

  1. heh, yes Rowling is awesome, and all she did by announcing the fact that she believed Dumbledore was gay from the beginning is confirm my suspicion. I’m proud of her, and I’m annoyed at the people who condemned the book because of it, though of course it was already walking a thin line especially with some Catholic/Christians…

    I went to a Catholic junior high and high school and I remember that right before HP gained the huge following it now has, I almost got my book confiscated by a nun because I was reading about “witchcraft.” (if she’d actually taken it she’d have had a honors student go rogue on her, especially since I’d had a family friend living in England at the time send it to me) This then it caused a whole discussion with parents and school authorities about whether to ban the book or not, thankfully the parents were more enlightened and argued for it to be allowed.

    • I’m glad that the discussion whehter some books should be banned is over around here for over 60 years now. What always strikes me about this approach at least on Catholicism is that they don’t trust people to decide what is right for them or not and act accordingly. It isn’t about choice; they make the choices for you.

      But that’s just a side note. Actually, I’m completely convinced that Rowling didn’t intend the book to be controversial in the ways you mentioned. You don’t ban Othello either, claiming it would promote treason and murder.

      I would like to think that those Christians in fact ban it because it pictures a world that is highly moral, and very Christian in a way. It just gets along fine without a god. I fear, however, they never even read it.

      Did you ever notice the mass of christian symbols and references in it? Potter, of course, as a kind of a Messiah, saving the world by sacrifice, always staying devout, and not wanting to cheat death? It is not about power for him either, and the way he allows himself to be killed is almost a little tooo much for me to bear, as it is just too strong a Jesus-reference.

      His friends? His disciples. Grieving for him when he is (apparently) dead — but he isn’t, so he is resurrected in a way, and then this almost near-death experience when he meets the god-like transfigured Dumbledore … Lots and lots of stuff.

      Malfoy is more than a bit of a Judas figure, but Rowling makes him change his mind in the end, as he is hopelessly in love with Harry and always has been. (Rowling.)

      Etc, … I have to flesh it out 😉

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