J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore has published a new feature looking at the “mysterious life and death of Ariana Dumbledore.”
The feature doesn’t include new information about Ariana, but it does provide a recap of what we learned about the character in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Geeeee, why are they writing a piece on Ariana now?
Is Ariana Dumbledore an Obscurus?
Since Fantastic Beasts opened in theaters two weeks ago, the fandom has been theorizing over the Obscurus/Obscurial, an element of magic introduced in the new Harry Potter spinoff starring Newt Scamander. Remember, an Obscurus is “the unused energy” within a young witch or wizard who suppresses their magic. It “creates an unstable, uncontrollable, dark force inside the child. Like a parasite, it would drain the child’s power and ultimately their life force.”
The description of the Obscurus and what we saw in Fantastic Beasts with Credence made many in fandom wonder if Ariana Dumbledore was an Obscurus herself. It all seems to add up: In Deathly Hallows, Aberforth Dumbledore revealed that Ariana’s suppression of her magic “turned inwards” and became “strange and dangerous.” Sounds like an Obscurus, no?
J.K. Rowling could dive into that aspect of Ariana and Albus’ life when the latter appears in future Fantastic Beasts films and tries to take down Grindelwald. Remember, Dumbledore thinks it was Grindelwald who accidentally killed Ariana on that fateful night (in the early 1900s, before the events of the Fantastic Beasts movie). He has reason to invoke Ariana when he’s taking down Grindey.
Also consider: Graves/Grindelwald noted that Dumbledore has taken an interest in Newt. Could one reason be related to Newt’s possession of an Obscurus?
“Albus’s decision to go after Grindelwald to stop his atrocities years later is likely to have been fuelled in part by Ariana’s death,” Pottermore confirms.
J.K. Rowling has had the Obscurus idea in her mind for a while — or at least, she’s had the word in her head. The original Fantastic Beasts book, released way back in 2001, was “published” by “Obscurus Books,” an organization in Diagon Alley:
It’s still not clear how Ariana’s Obscurus will come into play, but there does seem to be an interesting opportunity here.
Pottermore’s new feature on Ariana is, at worst, a wink to all of the speculation that’s been going on over the past two weeks. We see you, Pottermore ? ? ?