"Falling in love can blind us to an extent," Rowling said of Dumbledore's feelings, adding that Dumbledore was "horribly, terribly let down."
Dumbledore's love, she observed, was his "great tragedy."
"Oh, my god," Rowling concluded with a laugh, "the fan fiction."
I wouldn't worry much about the slash fanatics if I were her... those people always write whatever they want, regardless of canon. But I think that this revelation helps explain why Dumbledore put on the cursed ring so many years after he was supposed to have renounced the search for the Deathly Hallows. The whole Grindelwald episode was more than just a Gnostic power-trip. It shows Dumbledore trying to create his own reality in more ways than one. Think about it: he was the most brilliant student ever to attend Hogwarts, and he let himself become consumed with pride over this - remember his resentment when he had to stay home with his disabled sister instead of touring the world after his graduation. Then Grindelwald came, bringing his plans for world domination. It would have been ridiculous, if they hadn't been two of the most powerful and intelligent wizards of their age. The occult means by which they were going to effect said domination added another element of private reality. Throw in a disordered affection for Grindelwald, and you can see how Dumbledore thought he could overturn everything, not just the balance of power between wizards and muggles. He was disappointed in all his hopes - his plans for the Deathly Hallows, for the conquest of the muggle world, and not least for Grindelwald (who didn't return his affections). In fact... couldn't that be one of the reasons that Dumbledore was so intent on defeating G.? He had plenty of good reasons, but anger at being rejected would be a plausible addition. Anyway, it's obvious that he didn't magically become a different person after his sister's death and the capture of Grindelwald. He said he had learned the hard lesson that he "wasn't to be trusted with power," but passing up heading the Ministry to become headmaster of the most eminent school of magic didn't exactly remove him from a position of authority. And he kept manipulating people and events, as we all know. He wanted things his way.
So Dumbledore has changed over the years from a sort of cartoon Gandalf into this very tragic figure. I wonder how it will be for the next generation of children to read the series? Because they won't have to wait years and years to read the whole story. They could conceivably get through it all in a year. And I think that one needs to read the first book early on and grow into the last four books, really.
To comment on the first article, I find it interesting that she compares herself to Graham Greene:
"The truth is that, like Graham Greene, my faith is sometimes that my faith will return. It's something I struggle with a lot," she revealed. "On any given moment if you asked me [if] I believe in life after death, I think if you polled me regularly through the week, I think I would come down on the side of yes — that I do believe in life after death. [But] it's something that I wrestle with a lot. It preoccupies me a lot, and I think that's very obvious within the books."