In recent years, JK Rowling has continued to add detail to the saga of Harry Potter. However, some of its externalizations are at least disturbing, while others are pure paraculaggine.
If you have noticed the memes of these days, it will be immediately evident that JK Rowling has had another one of hers unhappy exits.
This time, however, the author of Harry Potter did not talk about how wizards, before the invention of modern toilets, could not go and hide away in a latrine like all human beings, no! British wizards and witches, according to Rowling, they shit and piss on each other, to then make the evidence disappear with magic.
Disturbing, right? Slightly not required, I would add.
However, in recent times Rowling has given us more pearls, complete with more or less itchy information about his characters. Which could also easily be greeted with laughter and a series of memes to celebrate the trashy soul.
But here Rowling isn't acting with the intent of making her readers smile, as perhaps had been the case with the habits of magicians. Let's see exactly what it is and why this behavior indicates a certain hypocrisy and / or paraculaggine.
Dumbledore and Grindelwald had sex and were very passionate
Well yes: according to Rowling's statements, the relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald was not limited to poor Albus cooked like a pear, but not necessarily reciprocated by the "friend" of his youth. Oh no: apparently our two bold wizards have delved into the matter and engaged in absolutely non-platonic activities.
And at this point we could also say "and sticazzi": it is known that Dumbledore was in love with Grindelwald, who in turn had exploited the feelings of the English magician for his own ends. The fact that the two also had sex isn't exactly relevant information, because the presence or absence of erotic activity does not make their bond more or less real. More interesting is to find that Grindelwald was involved in this relationship, which therefore consisted not only of Dumbledore's teenage crush, but was two-way.
A simple comment on a canonical relationship?
To be precise, the declaration by Rowling is featured in an optional content of the Blu-ray version of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, which will be released on March 18. Here, the author said:
Their relationship was incredibly intense. She was passionate, a true love relationship.
But as with any relationship, gay or straight or whatever label you want to call it, no one really knows what the other is feeling. You can't know, you can only believe you know.
So I am less interested in the sexual side - although I believe there is a sexual dimension to this relationship - than the feelings they had for each other, which is the most fascinating aspect of all. human relations.
And, as I said, so far there would be no wonder: you are alone commenting on the report canonical of two canonical characters of a canonical work. Kind of like Rowling said she preferred to focus more on building mutual trust and esteem between Ron and Hermione, rather than their physical attraction. Or preferring to talk about Remus and Tonks' doubts and uncertainties about their relationship, rather than focusing on having passionate sex.
However, there is still a very small one difference in treatment of these couples: Tonks / Remus and Ron / Hermione are canonical and made such by the content of the films and books, Dumbledore / Grindelwald are not.
Rowling, the "inclusiveness" tag is not taken with retcons: either you write inclusive content, or you can't claim the title "inclusive author" for comments made after
Now, let's clarify: Harry Potter it has always been a very progressive saga, who took it explicitly against racism and classism. He painted a new generation fighting against the stereotypes and the toxic traditions of the previous ones, carrying on an inclusive and acceptance thinking of the different. Harry Potter it is an extremely intelligent work, which has raised a generation, in which I also include myself.
However, compared to the standards we're used to today, Harry Potter presents some defects, which we passed over at the time to celebrate the positive aspects of the book instead.
The usual question of token character: inclusion does not mean "color quotas"
First of all, Rowling's literary saga suffers from too many token character color: Sure, we have the school's Asian and Indian twins, as well as the black from the Order of the Phoenix (more black people are named at Hogwarts, in fact, including Dean Thomas, Angelina Johnson, Lee Jordan and Blaise Zabini), but it is almost always the only member of an ethnic group. There are no other Chinese of note besides Cho, just as there are no other Indians of note besides the Patil twins. Also, the main cast doesn't include people of color.
The problem of token character, as we said here speaking of Nagini, is the fact that they are thought not so much as characters in themselves, but as quotas, such as representatives of an ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity. In Harry Potter, fortunately, the starkest stereotypes towards these are avoided token character, who however are the only members of their own ethnic group and are characterized more by the latter than by their true character.
A world where everyone is straight (and shown as such) and the only gay is said to be straight in an interview
Likewise, in Harry Potter we don't see explicitly non-straight characters: the Wizarding World presented by Rowling is exquisitely straight and "traditional", with many couples who eventually get married and churn out boats of children. There is not even a couple who decides not to have childrenjust to say: all romantic couples have children. Even Voldemort and Bellatrix, if we want to consider canonical The Cursed Child.
I really realize it only now, but in the world of Harry Potter, if you enter a straight relationship (and according to the canon you always enter a straight relationship), you have a very high chance of churning out babies. Generally more than one, if you don't die earlier, as happened to James and Lily, Remus and Tonks, Neville's parents and Luna's mother. Or you are wealthy and snobbish and only become an heir, as is the case with all the infamous Malfoy and the wretched Dursleys.
Anxious Madonna: are you together for a year? Bum, infant.
And the only non-heterosexual character present, Dumbledore, is not defined as such in the books, even if only with a very brief and poisonous mention by Rita Skeeter on the biography of the Principal. It is not shown as such even in movies, where they could have him seen holding hands with Grindelwald, kind of like we saw Remus and Tonks during the Battle of Hogwarts. Nothing explicit was needed, just a little hint that would make the romantic relationship between Dumbledore and Gellert evident, just as we've had a bucketload of any other straight relationship (especially in movies).
But no. Years have passed and I'm still gnawing for this. Rowling had to say that Dumbledore is gay in an outside book interview, because he had previously had to reveal it to David Yates. He could not write it, nor show it in the films following the aforementioned article.
Because, apparently, there was no talk of homosexuality, or Dumbledore's sexual orientation was not relevant, even though it was his crush on Grindelwald that led him to support the plans of a psychopath and back him up until Ariana's death. Therefore, in fact the fact that Dumbledore was gay and in love with Grindelwald was slightly relevant to the plot. But no, let's not say anything explicit, otherwise it's not good: you already have the interview that explains everything, can't you be satisfied?
Fantastic animals: here too everything is a great understanding
As I said, I'm still gnawing at Rowling's and Yates' hypocrisy at not making explicit Dumbledore's sexual orientation in the Potter saga. But over time I got over it and Dumbledore, through word of mouth from fans, entered the Olympus of gay fantasy characters.
With the release of the new movies on Fantastic animals, however, in which we actually go to explore the fight against Grindelwald, the relationship that the latter had with Dumbledore was expected to be at least named. After all, it's a very important factor in understanding Albus' behavior in the years before his final duel against Grindelwald. We are not talking about peanuts, free fanservice to make happy the "yaoist fangirls who shippano slash" (there are rivers of ink to write about the nature of this phenomenon, but we will get there), but about an important question that, if it had concerned a man and woman, surely she would be treated.
Why, dear readers, let's not fool ourselves: with Yates as the director, clinging to any pretext to throw in a bit of semi-comic romance (Harry and the maid from the sixth film ???), if we had Greta Grindelwald we would have seen the fireworks. But since we're talking about two men, then no, we can't even get them to take us by the hand in a flashback.
And indeed, ne The crimes of Grindelwald the past relationship between Grindelwald and Dumbledore was left in the unspoken, mentioned only by an unclear scene in which the Headmaster sees a young Grindelwald in the Mirror of the Brame. But that scene could have indicated any kind of affection between the two: as far as we knew, they could have been just great friends. Only by being aware of Rowling's fateful interview could the truth be inferred, filling all the holes in the puzzle.
Rowling, either you put inclusiveness in the original work, or it doesn't count
Still, Rowling continues to talk about this relationship, as if it were evident to all and well documented by her work. However, the work of Harry Potter and Fantastic animals, as we have it now, it does not foresee any kind of love relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald.
We have Tonks and Remus, Molly and Arthur, Ginny and Harry, Hermione and Ron, Ron and Lavender, Lily and James, Cho and Harry, Cho and Cedric, Krum and Hermione, and all the other straight romantic couples. Each of them is canonical, it is written in the books as such and not as a "they were so much friends" in which perhaps you could have that little bit more.
Dumbledore and Grindelwald, as far as the works say, are still not canonical. No one said they were together, no director framed them in such a way that it was clear that they were having an affair. They never kissed, they never held hands and they never said "I love you". They never made him do anything, because they always backed away from wanting to put a gay couple on the big screen.
And in the meantime, Rowling talks about it, she wants us to talk about it and she wants us to consider Grindelwald / Dumbledore a canonical couple, giving the author all the compliments necessary to be so open, progressive and inclusive.
But that's not how it works.
Rowling never wrote a gay character in Harry Potter, because Dumbledore is not defined as such in the book. IS, if it is not defined as such in books, it does not apply. Rowling has not written an inclusive work towards gays, and therefore cannot take credit that she does not have.
To boast the medal of inclusiveness, one must be inclusive in one's works, not in bonu interviewsyes, maybe they will look at someone, maybe they will be ignored. To be inclusive and say "look how good I was, I wrote an important gay character!" you have to grow hair on your stomach and really write about that character's sexual orientation.
Many did it: Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson (if a Mormon succeeds, a progressive like Rowling will also succeed, right?), Scott Lynch, Robin Hobb, Sarah Rees Brennan, Myke Cole, Cassandra Claire (that is, we are really scraping the bottom of the barrel with her) are the first names that come to mind. Rowling is not among them, not for the saga of Harry Potterat least: the only non-straight character who wrote is the eldest daughter of one of the protagonists of The vacant seat (you see for a very short time, but that woman leaves her mark).
The same goes for black Hermione
Likewise, Rowling cannot claim to be called inclusive and progressive for supporting the choice of a black actress for the play by The Cursed Child.
Hermione, in the books, is thought of as Bianca.
What then in one theatrical review if actors of different ethnic groups have been chosen, it is normal, it always happens in English theater and that's fine. What then some fans have preferred imagine black Hermione because it seemed to them that that image of the character was prettier is fine too: everyone imagines the characters of the books as they want, depending on your sensitivity.
That Hermione would have looked very good if she had been black from the start it is always quite true, because it would have been possible to play a lot on the racism factor that the white Hermione already suffers. For sure, with a black actress we would have had Hermione with frizzy and indomitable hair, not with the wavy hairstyle of the film (as a brunette with frizzy hair, this thing had broken my heart).
However, Rowling didn't write Hermione as black. Although it would have been a good idea. Although she has nothing against the actress of The Cursed Child. E Rowling has to live with what she hasn't done, with the opportunities lost ten years ago, with the fact that the world is changing and has raised the bar.
We can't make Harry Potter more inclusive with retcons, but we can produce new inclusive content
The only thing Rowling can do right now is have the courage and awareness that she lacked twenty years ago and produce new works.
Want to finally talk about a canonical gay couple in the wizarding world, like Grindelwald and Dumbledore? Well, what do you talk about in the new movies, then! Do you want to have more black characters? Well, put them on, but they are no longer token characters because you need the Asian share to act as a beautiful statue (who said "Nagini"?). Do you want to talk about other magical civilizations around the world? Well, but that doesn't include an Irish sorceress who goes to America to found a school of magic inspired by the cultures and mythologies of Native Americans, without then talking about the magic of the Natives themselves or seeing them in the movies.
Rowling's problem now is that she has a lot of regrets about her old saga and would like to make it more appealing to today's audience. But he can't make it, because he still cannot write potterian works with a decent representation of minorities.
Maybe we can't see Grindelwald and Dumbledore lemoning on the big screen because of the hesitation that Warner Bros. has, it would also be understandable. However, that still doesn't make Rowling the progressive and inclusive author she wants to be, because she's not giving us inclusive works. He's giving us canon retcons through timid interviews, Pottermore statements, and informal tweets, annoying both those who don't want to be touched by the Harry Potter Sacred Saga, and those who really want more progressive content.
But nothing, nobody can get what he wants, because Rowling can't put his foot in one shoe and he can't make anything new without pulling his hand back when it comes to seriously exposing himself.