Albus Dumbledore, master wizard and Headmaster of Hogwarts, is gay. J.K. Rowling, author of the mega-selling fantasy series that ended last summer, outed the beloved character Friday night while appearing before a full house at Carnegie Hall.
After reading briefly from the final book, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," she took questions from audience members.
She was asked by one young fan whether Dumbledore finds "true love."
"Dumbledore is gay," the author responded to gasps and applause.
Nonsense. Unless she decides to write Book Eight, Ms. Rowling has missed her chance to impart any new information about any of the Harry Potter characters. If the series is truly at an end, then the author no longer possesses the authority to create new thoughts, feelings, and realities for those characters.
Sure, authors "know" many things about their characters that don't ever make it into their novels. J. K. Rowling may have had it in her mind that Dumbledore is gay, or that he eats Fruit Loops for breakfast every morning or that he secretly loves NASCAR and country music--but unless the reader sees or can logically assume those things are true, they aren't true, and they never can be. If something is not true inside a book--that is, in the world and time of the story--then the author can't make it so after the fact.
When a book is closed, its characters no longer exist. Oh, they might live in readers' memories and imaginations, but they can't do or say or be anything more or less than what they were seen to do and say and be inside the book. Which means J.K. Rowling is no more an authority on Dumbledore's sexual orientation than her readers are.