What? Oh, have you not heard?
Boo on Newsweek for apparently giving this Friday update the same update date as its original story about JKR's L.A. appearance. (The revelation occurred in NYC.) For a few minutes I thought I had somehow not heard for three days. Now there's an Editor's Note explaining. But isn't that what the Updated header is for?
My favorite quotes were spread across several different articles when I first hunted. I assume they can now all be found in one place somewhere, but I can't be bothered.
One fan asked whether Albus Dumbledore, the head of the famed Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Witchcraft, had ever loved anyone. Rowling smiled. "Dumbledore is gay, actually," replied Rowling as the audience erupted in surprise. She added that, in her mind, Dumbledore had an unrequited love affair with Gellert Grindelwald, Voldemort's predecessor who appears in the seventh book. After several minutes of prolonged shouting and clapping from astonished fans, Rowling added. "I would have told you earlier if I knew it would make you so happy."
Rowling also said she had read through Steve Kloves' script for the movie adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and corrected a passage in which Dumbledore was reminiscing about past loves by crossing it out and scrawling "Dumbledore is gay" over it.
Also: She was surprised that no one had ever asked her what Dumbledore’s wand was made of. If ever asked this question she would have simply said "It’s made of Elder" and left it at that. Well, yes. That's why I wouldn't have asked.... Oh, wait, she means before book 7 came out. When eight-year-old Mia asked an Aberforth question, Jo asked her age and said that just for her the answer would be "that the goats were easy to keep clean and that they had curly horns," as the audience roared with laughter. Really, the second (HPANA) link has all the stuff of greatest fannish interest, as you'd expect.
She then explained that Dumbledore was smitten with rival Gellert Grindelwald, whom he defeated long ago in a battle between good and bad wizards. "Falling in love can blind us to an extent," Rowling said of Dumbledore's feelings, adding that Dumbledore was "horribly, terribly let down."
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Dumbledore's love, she observed, was his "great tragedy."
"Oh, my god," Rowling concluded with a laugh, "the fan fiction."
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.
I'm amused. As saylee said in IM, "It does confirm my theory that JKR does better gay subtext than straight romance." Ayep. The vibe from just that one description of the picture of the young Dumbledore and Grindelwald was quite clear, and, I must agree, more convincing than any of the overt, straight romantic relationships we were shown.
Yes, not the gay subtext many would have liked to have seen. It does cause a bit of a problem of double vision--confirming one gay identity puts the nail in the coffin of others that were not confirmed. But I have great faith that fanfic-writing fandom can not only only accept JKR's interviews when it wants to, but also accept them with one hand and ignore them with the other. Carry on!