Have you ever loved somebody who didn't love you back? If so, you can probably put yourself in the shoes of Albus #Dumbledore, a great wizard whose devotion to the job of being headmaster at #Hogwarts didn't leave much time for matters of the heart. The fact that the only person we can be sure he ever loved romantically didn't return those feelings adds an extra dimension of tragedy to his story.
While all hint of Dumbledore's sex life, and sexuality, has so far been limited to tweets and tiny snippets of information teased by J.K. Rowling, the news that Fantastic Beasts is a five-movie series which will explore Grindelwald's rise to infamy opens the door to the prospect that a movie in the Harry Potter universe might finally address a gay character head-on.
Here's what Rowling said about Dumbledore back in 2007:
"I always thought of Dumbledore as gay. Dumbledore fell in love with Grindelwald, and that that added to his horror when Grindelwald showed himself to be what he was ... He met someone as brilliant as he was, and rather like Bellatrix [with Voldemort] he was very drawn to this brilliant person, and horribly, terribly let down by him ... In fact, recently I was in a script read through for the sixth film, and they had Dumbledore saying a line to Harry early in the script saying 'I knew a girl once, whose hair...' [laughter]. I had to write a little note in the margin and slide it along to the scriptwriter, 'Dumbledore’s gay!'"
For those who've forgotten the tale of how two of the greatest wizards who ever lived were drawn together (take 10 points from Ravenclaw!), Albus Dumbledore met Gellert #Grindelwald in Godric's Hollow after graduating Hogwarts. Both men intended to pursue the Deathly Hallows, Dumbledore in order to resurrect his sister Ariana and Grindelwald to master Death and achieve immortality.
If it was more than just friendship for Dumbledore, though, we don't really have much idea of what Grindelwald felt, if anything, and it's for that reason that Fantastic Beasts finds itself with the opportunity to tell another good wizard versus dark wizard tale in a fresh way, the elements of lust, or love, complicating matters.
Presumably, Grindelwald was straight, although Rowling has said nothing either way. Was he too focused on his dream, the pursuit of the Deathly Hallows, to pay attention to women or men on that level? It's perfectly possible that, as a textbook sociopath, Grindelwald was astute enough to read Dumbledore's feelings for him and use them to bend and manipulate his "friend" to his own will. That perfectly explains how a man as fundamentally good as Dumbledore came to flirt with the opinion that those with magic were inherently superior to the muggle community, and had the right to create a new world order.
In fact, this is the genius of Rowling's decision to frame the #FantasticBeasts franchise against the backdrop of Grindelwald's rise to power. For such a notorious figure, the most dangerous wizard bar one, we know almost nothing about his actual personality. Grindelwald is clearly modelled on Hitler (it's no coincidence that the climactic duel occurred in 1945), and just as the Führer remains a mystery outside of his politics and ideologies, so too does Dumbledore's old friend.
The prevailing theory is that Johnny Depp will play Grindelwald. Could that casting suggest we'll meet a character who is not entirely villainous, even sympathetic at times? And could that sympathy arise from the nature of his conflicted feelings for Dumbledore? It's a possibility. Equally possible is that Grindelwald felt nothing for Albus beyond friendship and mutual appreciation on a wizarding level.
Don't get me wrong — I'm not demanding a sex scene, and I don't particularly want to see a teenage Albus turning the Deathly Hallows doodles in his notepad into love hearts. It's clear, though, that the story of what drew these two legends into one another's orbit will be told at some point in Fantastic Beasts, and the aspect of unrequited love is a defining part of that story.
Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them hits theaters November 18. You probably won't see this happen, though...
...and maybe that's for the best.
Too see more from the amazing artist featured in the post check out Hueco-mundo (banner image) on DeviantArt.
Will we learn more about Dumbledore's big gay love for Grindelwald in one of the Fantastic Beasts movies?