This might seem like it is coming out of nowhere but I’ve just finished reading Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone for possibly the millionth time and not for the first time in my life something bothered me about Dumbledore.
After reading all the books I realised it could really turn you off a guy….
(QUICK NOTE : Obviously not to be taken too seriously so back off Dumbledore fangirls.)
So what is my beef with Dumbledore?
It was the way he handled just about everything. He was a adult, in charge of looking after a whole school of kids and one of the most powerful wizards in the world yet from the very beginning he got everything wrong.
Obviously this has come about because of the first book so lemme explain.
At the end of the story when Dumbledore visits Harry in the hospital wing he gives Harry the chance to ask him questions. He agrees that he will be truthful as long as he doesn’t have a good reason not to tell him something. One of those questions happens to be about Snape and his father.
Now instead of doing the adult and sensible thing of saying to Harry “your father and Snape didn’t like each other” he made the situation worse. There was no need to go into further detail but he did. He told Harry that Snape hated his father because his father saved his life. There was no context, nothing at all. It made it instantly sound like Snape had the problem and Harry’s father was a victim of some sort. It was never needed to be said. If it had to be said then it needed context. As Harry’s head teacher it wasn’t Dumbledore’s position to give him his opinion on something, he wasn’t Harry’s friend (like say Hagrid was) he was in a position to calm a situation that could get worse. Instead he fanned the flames.
Even without context to why Snape and James disliked each other it wouldn’t have mattered. If Harry wanted to know more the example of how he and Malfoy disliked each other would be enough. Simply saying Gryffindors and Slytherins never get on would be enough. You didn’t need a whole life story but at such a young age and whilst being thrown into this situation and having never known his parents Harry also didn’t need half truths.
It bugged me as a kid but I could never put my finger on it. It only really just hit me this time that it was the way Dumbeldore interacted with Harry that really wound me up at times.
I always thought the one thing that really bugged me about him was how in limbo he seemed to agree with Harry that he was in the wrong for not sitting Harry down and telling him his life story in all its glory before he died. Like that was really the important thing or that there was ever a time for it OR that it was even appropriate to have that kind of talk with a STUDENT. Yes Harry was the Chosen One and there were some things he deserved to know but at the same time there were things that he just didn’t need to know and Dumbledore’s past was one of them. It was enough that he learnt it, learnt that Dumbledore was flawed, he didn’t need to have heard it from the man himself. Again when faced with this instead of disputing what was written and pointing out there was never a time and it wouldn’t be right he agreed with Harry that Harry had a right to be upset that Dumbledore didn’t write Rita’s book years before and give Harry his own personal copy.
Like don’t get me wrong. I love Dumbledore, he was always one of my favourite characters. I loved that you were able to look at him as this flawless person whilst also growing up to learn that he was actually flawed and his flaws were really there for us all to see from the beginning. He was such a great character.
Sometimes though I just wanted to put my hands into the book and shake him.
Maybe it is just me though? Maybe I feel like he had a right not to have to talk about his past, just like Neville never had to tell anyone at school about his parents or Hagrid had to tell Harry from day one about his mother. Maybe it was just one of his flaws that he liked to stoke the fires from time to time? He loved the Potter’s so maybe it was his own bit of revenge for what they suffered to make sure their son only thought of them in a positive light?
So what do you all think? Should Dumbledore have opened up to Harry even in Limbo? Was it any of Harry’s business? How about when Dumbledore had chances to stop dangerous paths of though like Harry’s feelings towards Snape? I mean he’d never have had Harry love Snape but he could have at least dampened his feelings a tiny bit instead of adding fuel to the fire?
Do you have beef with any other aspect of Dumbledore?