Harry Potter and the Homosexual Headmaster

October 22, 2007 § 16 Comments

It turns out that according to J.K. Rowling, Dumbledore is homosexual.

Rowling told the audience that while working on the planned sixth Potter film, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” she spotted a reference in the script to a girl who once was of interest to Dumbledore. A note was duly passed to director David Yates, revealing the truth about her character.

Rowling, finishing a brief “Open Book Tour” of the United States, her first tour here since 2000, also said that she regarded her Potter books as a “prolonged argument for tolerance” and urged her fans to “question authority.”

Not everyone likes her work, Rowling said, likely referring to Christian groups that have alleged the books promote witchcraft. Her news about Dumbledore, she said, will give them one more reason.

Note that the audience was public schoolchildren. I think it is going to be tough to roll up this new revelation and the context in which it was made into the “Christian Story” meme.

UPDATE: Apparently Rowling made an oblique joke about bestiality in connection to Dumbledore’s brother while talking to an eight year old girl at the same talk:

Question: This was easily the funniest question of the evening. A little girl asked what improper charms Aberforth Dumbledore had used on goats.

Answer: Rowling looked stunned, and then asked, “How old are you?” (I believe she was eight.) Then Rowling blushed slightly and said that there might have been any number of charms one might use on a goat, such as a charm to keep the goat clean, or to keep its curly horns – “and that is my answer to you.” The older audience members got the joke and had quite a laugh, but the little questioner seemed quite satisfied, too.

This was immediately prior to the Q&A “outing” Dumbledore. Nice.

(HT: Sacramentum Vitae)

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§ 16 Responses to Harry Potter and the Homosexual Headmaster

  • brendon says:

    One could argue that it matters not a whit, since to use her extra-textual intentions when talking about the text is to commit the intentional fallacy. There is nothing in the text of the books that explicitly states, or even implicitly requires, that Dumbledore be a homosexual.It could be argued that it really doesn’t matter what Joanne Rowling did or did not intend her books to do. What matters are the philosophical and theological presuppositions that are explicitly and implicitly present in the text itself via its use of symbols, what it presents as good and moral, &c.I would add the that the same could be argued for the work of Philip Pullman (since defenders of Harry Potter often bring up how morally bad his work is as a pseudo-defense). It matters not a whit that he intended to write an atheistic anti-fairytale. It matters immensely that the text he wrote is in fact an atheistic anti-fairytale.All those arguments of course depend upon the intentional fallacy being true, which itself requires that a certain philosophy of art, or at least certain aesthetic principles, be true. I’m not sure where I stand on the matter.

  • zippy says:

    <>One could argue that it matters not a whit, since to use her extra-textual intentions when talking about the text is to commit the intentional fallacy.<>She modified the movie script based on Dumbeldore’s homosexuality. But yes, one can always argue. The question is how much plausibility is there in the argument.Also, someone who made the claim that this is irrelevant as an instance of the intentional fallacy would have to completely foreswear all extra-textual based argument that HP is a “fundamentally Christian story”. (As an aside, I’m not sure that the idea of completely foreswearing all extra-textual argument is even rationally coherent. In fact I’m pretty sure it isn’t rationally coherent, though it is a popular positivist notion nonetheless.)<>I’m not sure where I stand on the matter.<>I’m pretty sure I’m agin’ it, but I’m also not sure that this would be an example of the intentional fallacy <>per se<> anyway. It isn’t a matter merely of authorial intention: it is a matter of the implicit back-story, the implicit background facts, to the story itself. Arguing that it doesn’t color the explicit work would be rather like arguing that Tolkien’s entire back story – which he worked on for decades – doesn’t color the Lord of the Rings. This is one of those things that someone might well argue, since human beings will argue about nearly anything, but it seems to me to be a manifest excursion into unreality. It isn’t just a matter of authorial intention in general, but rather is a matter of implicit background “facts” which were used by the author to shape the story. It is one thing to argue against the pertinence of authorial intention <>in general<>, and another entirely to argue against (e.g.) the pertinence of the laws of physics, implicit or not, which govern the story. Rowling didn’t explicitly write that F=(G*m1*m2)/r^2 in the story but nevertheless objects in the story still fall downward.

  • Franklin says:

    Who cares? Tell us about Mr. Zippy’s wild Ride!!! I didn’t get to see the illustrated map version, though Mark regaled us with tales.We missed ya, but oh well. Next time I am in your neck of the woods I will give you a head’s up.By the way, I travel by train whenever possible, which is why I usually don’t go anywhere but DC and New Orleans.

  • zippy says:

    <>Tell us about Mr. Zippy’s wild Ride!!!<>It wasn’t a big deal. I took off in the plane (I was alone) and while I was between 1000-2000 feet I went through my post-takeoff checklist, and noticed that one of the cylinders was reading too high a temperature by about 100 degrees(it is a four seat six cylinder piston-engine plane), in the yellow “caution” zone. I reduced power and tried a few things and the anomolous reading persisted, so I returned to base and left it for the mechanic to look at. There is probably nothing wrong with the engine: the temperature probes are much less reliable than the engine itself, but I don’t make any assumptions when the wheels aren’t on the ground.Sorry I missed you guys. Another time, I guess.

  • brandon field says:

    Is the concept of a homosexual living a celibate life, struggling against his past sins really that much of a victory for the LGBT lobby?Voldemort wasn’t exactly a “clean” character either. Why must literary characters be caricatures of real people? Why can’t they have real problems?And, really, what group of state-educated British school children aren’t aware of homosexuality? (Ok, from the story she was in America at the time, but what group of American state-educated school children aren’t aware of homosexuality?)

  • zippy says:

    Sorry Brandon, but I’m done with the increasingly strained HP apologetics. Dumbledore being gay isn’t a bug as far as Rowling is concerned, it’s a feature. HP isn’t any worse than the average junk produced by our culture; but I agree with Scott Waddell at Cordelia’s Shoes that HP appears to be an example of the < HREF="http://cordeliashoes.blogspot.com/2007/08/my-official-harry-potter-stance.html" REL="nofollow">same old crap<>.

  • Scott says:

    As Zippy knows, I am avoiding running my mouth off about HP. I can however comment about Pullman. Only to say that I won’t start whacking at Pullman until otherwise good Catholics start defending him like a ravenous dog defends a worm-ridden bone.

  • TS says:

    I could care more about Harry Potter (meaning I don’t care about this very much), but there’s more on Rowling < HREF="http://forkeatssake.blogspot.com/2007/10/jk-rowling-tells-all.html" REL="nofollow"><>here<><>.

  • brandon field says:

    <>Sorry Brandon, but I’m done with the increasingly strained HP apologetics.<>I don’t think I’m trying to do HP apologetics (Shea did them better anyway), but lest I strain your patience, this <>will<> be the last comment on the topic of Potter that I make at your place.<>Dumbledore being gay isn’t a bug as far as Rowling is concerned, it’s a feature.<>And on this point, we agree. In fact, that’s exactly my point. It’s a feature of his character, and one that makes the characterizations found in the books that much more real.

  • Lydia McGrew says:

    I haven’t read and have no intention of reading the books. I’m even less interested than the guy you linked (Scott Waddell). But I find it interesting that they could be thought _both_ endorsements of magic _and_ same-old secular humanist shtick. Actually, that makes a _lot_ of sense to me. The way I look at it, if you’re a Western secularist, what do you care about magic spells and the like? You don’t take them seriously, because you don’t believe in any non-material world anyway. So you use them recklessly and don’t worry about giving kids a taste for black magic if it makes an exciting story and makes a buck, while your real philosophy of life (if one can glorify it with that name) remains what it always was, and you promote it vigorously along the way. Sounds plausible to me.

  • Rodak says:

    First we take out Rowling. Then we confiscate and burn the Disney library. Finally, we go after the Brothers Grimm and all of their ilk. We shall not rest until the sunny uplands of tolerance are buried under the darkly glowing ashes or righteousness!

  • Scott says:

    <>First we take out Rowling. Then we confiscate and burn the Disney library. Finally, we go after the Brothers Grimm and all of their ilk. We shall not rest until the sunny uplands of tolerance are buried under the darkly glowing ashes or righteousness!<>I don’t anticipate this happening any more than I anticipate people who remind us that McDonald’s is junk food taking out the local chain.

  • Rodak says:

    Load the kids into the Hummer, Mary-Margaret! There’s bingo, burning and bashing down at St. Blogwart’s.

  • Scott says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Scott says:

    <>Load the kids into the Hummer, Mary-Margaret! There’s bingo, burning and bashing down at St. Blogwart’s.<>Now there’s an interesting question for modern historians. I remember rock n’ roll record-burnings by fundamentalists, but don’t recall Catholics ever doing such a thing, but I could be wrong.I still wouldn’t anticipate it. Reacall the flagrantly anti-Catholic DaVinci Code. There were protests of course, but nothing unseemly.

  • Rodak says:

    Ah, but not since the vile times of Aleister Crowley have we been threatened by so sinister a combination of black magic and godless uranism.Extreme evils call for extreme reactions!

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