J. K. Rowling has confirmed that there was a “sexual dimension” to Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grindewald’s relationship.
In 2007, after the publication of the seventh and final novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Rowling publicly disclosed that Dumbledore was gay and specifically singled out Gellert Grindelwald as the object of his affection. “I would have told you earlier if I knew it would make you so happy,” she remarked at the time.
She has now given more detail about the relationship on a special feature for the upcoming Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Blu-Ray. In the Grindelwald films, Dumbledore is played by Jude Law, and Grindelwald is played by controversial hire Johnny Depp.
Rowling says: “Their relationship was incredibly intense. 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 relationship.
“This is a story about two men who loved each other, and ultimately have to fight each other. It’s a story for the 21st century.”