Rowling kicks Dumbledore out of the Closet. Also, a Rant.

During her first U.S tour in seven years J.K Rowling, author of the popular Harry Potter series (like you didn’t know already), has told her fans that she “always thought of Dumbledore was gay”. Confirming what quite a few fans already suspected.Rowling went on to fill in some of Dumbledore’s back-story. Telling the audience that he had fallen in love with the charming wizard Gellert Grindewald. However he was into the dark arts so Dumbledore had to destroy him. Rowling called it Dumbledore’s “great tragedy”.

Hit the jump for my rant.

I’m sure a lot of people will be pleased with this news. Me, not so much.
It’s not that Dumbledore’s gay, that’s his business. It’s that Rowling is only now telling this to her fans. She had 7 books and about 10 years to tell people, and only now that the series is finished and she doesn’t stand to really lose anything financially she decides to tell people. It just reeks of a lame publicity stunt.

I’ll openly admit that I don’t have a lot of respect for J. K. Rowling. I don’t think she’s a particularly good writer, and I doubt that she’ll be able to reproduce the success she had with the Harry Potter series. Philosopher’s Stone came along at the right time, and had good enough marketing behind it that by the time the second book came out people were already invested in the characters. I could just as easily be writing about Emily Rodda’s Deltora Quest series right now. It doesn’t help that it sound like Rowling pulled this story out of her ass on the spot.

I could rant on for another two pages about my dislike of J. K. Rowling. Especially when a writer like Terry Pratchett, who is so far beyond Rowling as a writer it’s ridiculous, is only now starting to become more mainstream after publishing his first Discworld novel in 1983.

For people to claim that J. K. Rowling has re-invented fantasy fiction, when she has really brought nothing new to the genre is frankly offensive to some of the truly great fantasy writers who still struggle for mainstream attention.

On a side note, J. K. Rowling is on record as saying she didn’t know she was writing fantasy when she was first writing the book. So I’m calling bullshit on her claim that she was trying to “subvert the genre.”

Commence flaming.
[via Boing Boing]

Kyle’s Opinion:
Dang, Will beat me to the first post. But that won’t stop me from having my own opinionated say. Not to detract from Will’s opinion, but I’ve actually read the entire Harry Potter series and enjoyed them all very much. I don’t believe that Dumbdore’s sexuality was a PR stunt at all. While I never picked up any hints at Dumbledore being gay in any of the books, I wasn’t exactly looking for them either. Furthermore, those who have read to the end of the series will know the Rowling has created in an intricate story which interweaves through each installment of the Harry Potter series. Details which seemed unimportant in earlier books turn out to foreshadow events in the later books. So if Rowling planned out this intricate story from start to finish, it’s not unbelievable that she planned Dumbledore’s sexuality from the beginning.

I see Dumbledore’s ‘coming out of the closet’ as very much a positive thing. The audience applause at Carnegie hall indicates that I’m not alone in my belief. It’s great to see homosexual characters being casually inserted into novels without making a fuss of their sexuality, especially in series which is popular with all ages. The Harry Potter series have always had strong themes of tolerance and anti-racist sentiments. In the Harry Potter books dark wizards (known as Death Eaters) are vehemently against non-wizards. Wizards who have bred with ordinary people (muggles) are called mudbloods and are considered by the Death Eaters as a perversion to the wizarding race. Despite being thinly veiled, Rowling cleverly creates a world in which the reader, the non-magical muggle, is the victim of this racism. The film furthers this idea in the costuming of the Death Eaters by dressing them in black cloaks reminiscent of the Ku Klux Klan. Add to this that one of the most impressive and admired characters in the world of Harry Potter is a homosexual and you can expect the children reading these books to grow to be tolerant adults.

Same sex marriage in the UK is expected to follow shortly.