In the new Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, towards the end, a character is revealed who bears the name of

Aurelius Dumbledore.

Now, it is fairly well-known that the actor who played

Albus Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter movies, namely Richard Harris,

also played the character of

Marcus Aurelius in the movie Gladiator (2000).

Has anyone – either JKR herself or the director or someone else in the know – mentioned whether the naming of the character in FB:TCoG (I suggest a shorter acronym in future – perhaps just CoG?) is a conscious reference to that earlier character, or whether it is just coincidence?

  • FB: TCoG or even just TCoG might work for a shorter acronym XD. The film's title is just Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Gindelwald...
    – Skooba
    Nov 14 '18 at 13:33
  • @Skooba Oops, good point – I clearly didn’t pay proper attention to the opening credits! (I think I’m just going to use CoG in future.) Nov 14 '18 at 15:01

Possibly - a copy of Marcus Aurelius is shown on Rowling’s site.

It seems possible that the name Aurelius is a reference to Marcus Aurelius, since the banner for the “Answers” section of J.K. Rowling’s website prominently features a copy of Marcus Aurelius.

enter image description here

However, it’s also possible that Rowling is showing a copy of that book on her website simply as a reference to her character’s name, without him being named directly after the title character of it. Either way, Rowling has clearly seemed to notice that her character shares a name with the title character of the book Marcus Aurelius, since it’s highly unlikely to be a coincidence. In addition, she’s previously mentioned in one of her tweets that Marcus Aurelius ‘never let her down’, so that almost certainly means she’s both read and enjoyed it.

enter image description here

The tweet mentioning this was written on December 15, 2016, predating the Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald screenplay, so she would have read it before then. Someone who looked into the source code for her website says the Marcus Aurelius banner seems to have been uploaded in October 2016, so she may have had the name chosen since then.

But here’s what also interesting: I dug into the source code of her site, and the image appears to have been uploaded in October 2016 (it’s in the WordPress-created folder “wp-content/uploads/2016/10/JKR_Banner_OPINION_Final.jpg”).
- J.K. Rowling started hinting at that twist over two years ago (Hypable)

It’s perfectly conceivable that she may have named a character after title character of the book, since she’s mentioned reading it and liking it, and she’s previously named some of her characters after characters in classic literature she’s read, like Filch’s cat Mrs. Norris was named after a nosy character in Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, and Hermione is a Shakespearean name.

  • 4
    Good catch – I actually went to her site to see if this had been addressed recently, and I completely missed that! Nov 14 '18 at 12:09
  • 1
    @JanusBahsJacquet Thanks a lot! :)
    – Obsidia
    Nov 14 '18 at 14:45

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