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The Biggest Missed Opportunity In Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets Of Dumbledore According To Fans

"Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore" may have garnered underwhelming success in theaters compared to its two predecessors (via Forbes), but this third installment of the "Harry Potter" spin-off franchise features a long-awaited plot point. Most noteworthy is the fact that Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) is explicitly portrayed as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. This comes 15 years after Rowling said during a Q&A at Carnegie Hall that she always thought of the character as gay but never penned it into the story (via Entertainment Weekly).

"Secrets of Dumbledore" confirms on-screen that the headmaster's unlikely past friendship with Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) was actually a romantic one. As teenagers, their connection was intense. Both craved power and were willing to stop at nothing to achieve it. For Dumbledore, who was stuck at home taking care of younger siblings Aberforth and Ariana following the death of their mother, this plan was especially captivating. Though Potterheads are brought more deeply into Dumbledore's story, there's one detail about his past that many wish were featured more prominently in the film.

The sad backstory of Ariana would've been an interesting flashback scene

In the "Harry Potter" book series, it's revealed that Ariana was killed by a spell gone rogue during a battle between Albus, Aberforth (Richard Coyle), and Grindelwald. However, it's not until the latest film installment that more information is unveiled about his mysterious sibling. Ever since the concept of Obscurials — wizards whose repressed magical powers explode into a dark, destructive force — were introduced in "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," fans have theorized that Ariana was one, which Dumbledore finally confirms in "Secrets of Dumbledore," recounting the sad story to Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne). However, fans wanted more.

On Reddit, u/oftenGetsItWrong said, "Biggest missed opportunity imo: Telling Ariana's backstory instead of showing it. When Albus started talking about that fateful day, I was so ready for a well-crafted flashback. ... A flashback had the potential to build on the lore, get fans speculating, make us care more about Dumbledore and Grindelwald's relationship, and help the film's pacing." Redditor u/Justchillin101 added, "I thought the same. That totally should've been an additional 10[-]minute flashback. Everybody wanted it."

As for the "Fantastic Beasts" cast, they haven't expressed any qualms with how Ariana's death is depicted but are hoping that another aspect of Dumbledore's life is highlighted: his transformation from tailored suits to sparkly robes. Redmayne told BBC Radio 1, "There's definitely going to have to be a moment when Dumbledore goes off and finds his inner robe and his pointy shoes ... They're going to have to dig into that, I think."