The home entertainment release of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald offers very interesting remarks from J.K. Rowling on Dumbledore and Grindelwald’s relationship.
A new featurette on Albus Dumbledore finds the Harry Potter author opening up about the Hogwarts Professor’s relationship with Gellert Grindelwald like never before, revealing for the first time that there was a “sexual dimension” to the relationship, and that it was romantic.
Following some equally fascinating comments about “very few people, if any, ever call[ing] Dumbledore on his Dumbledore-ish-ness,” Rowling discusses the early days of Dumbledore and Grindelwald’s relationship:
“Their relationship was incredibly intense,” she says. “It was passionate. And it was a love relationship. But as happens in any relationship, gay or straight or whatever label we want to put on it, one never knows really what the other person is feeling. You can’t know. You can believe you know. So I’m less interested in the sexual side, though I believe there is a sexual dimension to this relationship, than I am in the sense of the emotions they felt for each other, which ultimately is the most fascinating thing about all human relationships.”
These comments are very much open to interpretation. What strikes me is how forthcoming she is about how close the two were. This seems like something that would’ve gone on Pottermore, on Twitter, or at a public event — not buried within the Blu-ray.
In the past, Rowling had only said that Dumbledore had feelings for Grindelwald. She had never gone so far as to say that Grindelwald had ’em too. It’s hard to imagine that this “love relationship” with a “sexual dimension” was an unrequited romance.
To play Devil’s Advocate: If Grindelwald’s not gay or bi, he at least put out in order to get something from Dumbledore (something besides his wand, hahaha). No but really, Grindelwald is totally the type of person who would put out just to get his way.
There is no doubt that Grindelwald has always been attracted to Dumbledore’s power (and vice versa), but the depth of any perceived intimacy had never been revealed until now.
Rowling will surely flesh out the early days of their relationship in the three remaining Fantastic Beasts movies as Newt and Dumbledore figure out a way to destroy the Blood Pact and defeat Grindelwald. The younger versions of the characters made brief cameos in The Crimes of Grindelwald and are played by Toby Regbo and Jamie Campbell-Bower. You may remember that the two actors also appeared as the duo in flashback scenes during the Deathly Hallows movies.
The Crimes of Grindelwald is now available, deleted scenes and featurettes included, through iTunes. The DVD and Blu-ray will be released March 12, 2019.