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Albus Dumbledore

 
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Roar



Joined: 14 Jul 2011
Posts: 91

PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 6:12 am    Post subject: Albus Dumbledore Reply with quote

Maybe we need an Albus Dumbledore thread. I find him to be a complex and fascinating character, and wonder what he knew and when he knew it and what exactly his plans were.
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RavenStar



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 8:11 pm    Post subject: Topics of discussion other than Snape Reply with quote

Roar wrote:
Maybe we need an Albus Dumbledore thread. I find him to be a complex and fascinating character, and wonder what he knew and when he knew it and what exactly his plans were.

Why don't you start one, then, Roar?

Another subject of discussion would be House-Elves and S.P.E.W - I remember some rather lively (this being an understatement) debates on this on CoS. Fleur started a thread on that some years ago. The thread was very successful, and the discussion very heated IIRC.
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Proud Puff



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Dumbledore Reply with quote

Roar wrote:
Maybe we need an Albus Dumbledore thread. I find him to be a complex and fascinating character, and wonder what he knew and when he knew it and what exactly his plans were.

I second the motion, but there doesn't seem to be many takers. Pale sigh
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Roar



Joined: 14 Jul 2011
Posts: 91

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:24 am    Post subject: Re: Dumbledore Reply with quote

Roar wrote:
Maybe we need an Albus Dumbledore thread. I find him to be a complex and fascinating character, and wonder what he knew and when he knew it and what exactly his plans were.


Okay, I have a vague recollection of making the above comment somewhere and somewhen else, but I am absolutely sure I did not start this thread, despite my having the OP attributed to me, because I know me, and I never would have named this thread "Topics of discussion other than Snape". Besides, if I was going to start a thread, why not start an Albus Dumbledore thread instead of starting a thread about potentially starting an Albus Dumbledore thread? Makes no sense.
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Wildflower



Joined: 03 Mar 2005
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Location: Shuttling between France and the US

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 1:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Albus Dumbledore Reply with quote

Roar wrote:
Okay, I have a vague recollection of making the above comment somewhere and somewhen else, but I am absolutely sure I did not start this thread, despite my having the OP attributed to me, because I know me, and I never would have named this thread "Topics of discussion other than Snape". Besides, if I was going to start a thread, why not start an Albus Dumbledore thread instead of starting a thread about potentially starting an Albus Dumbledore thread? Makes no sense.

It's probable that the thread was split from another one and the old title stayed because the Mod who did it didn't bother to change it. Nothing to get annoyed about. I have renamed the whole thread "Albus Dumbledore" and discussion on our favourite Headmaster is now open. Very Happy

I'd have put it all of his names (Percival, whatever) if I'd remembered them but I don't and don't have the energy to go look them up. We all know who we're talking about anyway.

I've also split off the posts on the old thread that didn't have to do with Dumbledore.

Roar, what don't you start the debate on dear old Albus?
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Cedric



Joined: 25 Aug 2008
Posts: 170
Location: Beyond the Veil

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 2:54 pm    Post subject: Albus Dumbledore Reply with quote

You know what, I find Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore quite annoying at times. He's always so sure of being right, from the "Greater Good" thing to how he keeps Harry in the dark, thinking to protect him. When he apologized to Harry at the end, I wasn't moved, I was irritated. "Forgive an old man's folly" or words to that effect. Pfft!

I also feel he could have done more to at least try to get Tom Riddle away - or as much away as possible - from the path of evil, before it was too late. He knew his evil, sadistic tendencies as a boy at the orphanage. Couldn't he have tried harder to instill some sort of sense of right and wrong in the young Tom? By the time Tom was made Prefect, it was too late. He had gathered enough power and tasted it, he had hoodwinked all of his professors. Why did Dumbledore stay silent, why didn't he at least put in a word of warning to his fellow teachers and to the Headmaster (Dippet, I think it was?)

How come he let Sirius be sent to Azkaban without being allowed even to speak in his own defense? What kind of tribunal was the Wizengamot if there was no presumption of innocence, and no real defense allowed? DD was part of the Wizengamot, wasn't he?

Also, letting Harry live for 10 years in the conditions he lived in at the Dursleys' - blood protection or not, couldn't he have done something before he sent the Hogwarts letter?

I feel that DD failed Harry in many ways, as he failed the wizarding community by letting Tom Riddle become Voldemort. He could have done something, IMO.

I'm not going to go into the period of his youth, Grindelwald, Ariana, etc., at least not at the moment.

Anyway, here's one reader who thinks that this complex character had big flaws.
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Roar



Joined: 14 Jul 2011
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Albus Dumbledore Reply with quote

Cedric wrote:
You know what, I find Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore quite annoying at times.


I think he's a great character-- but, yes, quite annoying at times.

Quote:
He's always so sure of being right, from the "Greater Good" thing to how he keeps Harry in the dark, thinking to protect him.


Definitely one of his character flaws, I'd say. Well, more that he let his certainty in his greater intellect isolate him from the advice of others.

Quote:
When he apologized to Harry at the end, I wasn't moved, I was irritated. "Forgive an old man's folly" or words to that effect. Pfft!


Do you mean the end of OotP? I think Dumbledore's promise to tell Harry everything fell a bit short.

Quote:
I also feel he could have done more to at least try to get Tom Riddle away - or as much away as possible - from the path of evil, before it was too late. He knew his evil, sadistic tendencies as a boy at the orphanage. Couldn't he have tried harder to instill some sort of sense of right and wrong in the young Tom? By the time Tom was made Prefect, it was too late. He had gathered enough power and tasted it, he had hoodwinked all of his professors. Why did Dumbledore stay silent, why didn't he at least put in a word of warning to his fellow teachers and to the Headmaster (Dippet, I think it was?)


I don't know that Dumbledore could have turned Tom Riddle from the path he was intent upon, and I don't blame Dumbledore for Riddle's crimes.

I do think Dumbledore should have warned others about what he knew or suspected about Riddle. I think it is very Dumbledore that he did not, though. Dumbledore seems to have had a deep distrust of the decision making abilities of others, and so tried to hoard information and positions of decision-making his whole life. And beyond his life, with his attempt to use his portrait to run some beyond-the-grave plot.

Quote:
How come he let Sirius be sent to Azkaban without being allowed even to speak in his own defense? What kind of tribunal was the Wizengamot if there was no presumption of innocence, and no real defense allowed? DD was part of the Wizengamot, wasn't he?


Sirius suffered from injustice, but I think this was a case of Dumbledore choosing his battles at the end of a brutal war, where there were so many things that needed his attention, and the case of a man who looked guilty to Dumbledore probably wasn't that high up on his to-do list. Dumbledore couldn't control the entire government-- if he could, he couldn't have been stripped of his offices in OotP.

Quote:
Also, letting Harry live for 10 years in the conditions he lived in at the Dursleys' - blood protection or not, couldn't he have done something before he sent the Hogwarts letter?


Yes, he should have. I think Dumbledore realized his mistake. Harry needed an advocate who would stand up to the Dursleys for him. I think Dumbledore really blundered there due to his "need" to control his plans.

Quote:
I feel that DD failed Harry in many ways, as he failed the wizarding community by letting Tom Riddle become Voldemort. He could have done something, IMO.


I think Dumbledore had a lot of flaws, but "letting" Tom Riddle become Voldemort? I don't think Tom asked Dumbledore's permission.

Quote:
I'm not going to go into the period of his youth, Grindelwald, Ariana, etc., at least not at the moment.

Anyway, here's one reader who thinks that this complex character had big flaws.


I agree that Dumbledore was very complex-- perhaps the most complex character in the series, in my opinion-- and had great flaws. I think I agree and disagree on what his flaws were, though. I don't think Dumbledore could have controlled everything. I think he tried to control too much and didn't trust people enough to share information he had or allow them to help.
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Cedric



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:44 pm    Post subject: Albus Dumbledore Reply with quote

Roar wrote:
I think Dumbledore had a lot of flaws, but "letting" Tom Riddle become Voldemort? I don't think Tom asked Dumbledore's permission.

I expressed myself badly. Of course Tom didn't ask anyone's permission. What I meant is, since DD knew of Tom's propensities, he could have, at least, tried to steer him away from evil (after all, DD knew all about ambitions of world domination) - or too much evil - and warned his fellow professors and some students.

He must have had his doubts about the Aragog incident, how Hagrid was made to take the fall for bringing a "monster" into Hogwarts. He knew Hagrid, and he knew Tom Riddle. Why didn't he try to clear that thing up? Like the Sirius thing. So OK, I get your point, he did believe that Sirius was guilty (what happened to his sense of fairness, fair trial, presumption of innocence?) so he didn't lift a finger while an innocent man was sent to Azkaban. But in Hagrid's case, he believed in Hagrid enough to keep him on the Hogwarts grounds and make him Keeper of the Keys. Why didn't he try to dig deeper into who actually was keeping a monster inside Hogwarts? Why didn't he try harder to find the Chamber of Secrets? He was very lax there, IMO.
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Romione



Joined: 28 May 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:50 am    Post subject: Re: Albus Dumbledore Reply with quote

Cedric wrote:
Roar wrote:
I think Dumbledore had a lot of flaws, but "letting" Tom Riddle become Voldemort? I don't think Tom asked Dumbledore's permission.

I expressed myself badly. Of course Tom didn't ask anyone's permission. What I meant is, since DD knew of Tom's propensities, he could have, at least, tried to steer him away from evil (after all, DD knew all about ambitions of world domination) - or too much evil - and warned his fellow professors and some students.

He must have had his doubts about the Aragog incident, how Hagrid was made to take the fall for bringing a "monster" into Hogwarts. He knew Hagrid, and he knew Tom Riddle. Why didn't he try to clear that thing up? Like the Sirius thing. So OK, I get your point, he did believe that Sirius was guilty (what happened to his sense of fairness, fair trial, presumption of innocence?) so he didn't lift a finger while an innocent man was sent to Azkaban. But in Hagrid's case, he believed in Hagrid enough to keep him on the Hogwarts grounds and make him Keeper of the Keys. Why didn't he try to dig deeper into who actually was keeping a monster inside Hogwarts? Why didn't he try harder to find the Chamber of Secrets? He was very lax there, IMO.


Actually, Dumbledore told Harry that he was certain Riddle was guilty of opening the Chamber of Secrets - as well as other nasty deeds - but he was never able to prove any of them. The best he had been able to manage in that situation was to convince the Ministry not to send Hagrid to Azkaban and to let him stay at Hogwarts where he eventually became the gamekeeper. I don't think Dumbledore made him gamekeeper at 13 - more likely he trained with the gamekeeper Molly mentioned in GOF until he was old enough. Dumbledore could not completely convince the Ministry of Hagrid's innocence though so he was still expelled with his wand being snapped. I don't think Dumbledore left it at that though - from what we learn about wands in DH, I think Dumbledore was the one who repaired Hagrid's wand and disguised it as an Umbrella. I also think he continued to teach Hagrid in some capacity as Hagrid seemed to know a lot more than he would have learned with only three years at Hogwarts.

I agree that it turned out to be a mistake for Dumbledore to choose not to tell other teachers or the Headmaster what he suspected about Riddle from his visit to the orphanage. However, I also think that is a mistake that could only be recognized in hindsight. Mrs. Cole had suspicions about Riddle, but again, no proof. Riddle demonstrated no empathy or remorse, but the only proof of any crime was the objects that he had stolen from other children in the orphanage - which Dumbledore did lecture him about in regards to that not being acceptable at Hogwarts. He also admonished him about using magic inappropriately. However, Riddle was 11 years old and had been figuring such things out on his own to that point. At the time, Dumbledore thought it was possible that the guidance and instruction he would receive at Hogwarts - as well as being around other magical children - would help Riddle understand his mistakes and learn from them. Dumbledore's choice not to say anything to the other teachers was more about not influencing them against Riddle - and I actually understand that reasoning because Riddle coming into an environment where everyone expected him to be "bad" could have made things even worse. Dumbledore gave Riddle a chance to learn from his mistakes on his own, but also tried to keep a close eye on him. Unfortunately, Riddle figured that out and, rather than learning from his mistakes, instead learned how to hide what he was doing so nobody could ever prove he had done anything wrong - especially Dumbledore.

The problem there was something that Dumbledore could not solve. As Jo said, Voldemort was a psychopath. Psychopaths are born - not made. It is a genetic flaw that prevents them from being able to feel or understand love. They are not capable of feeling compassion or empathy. They are inherently selfish. And there is no cure for that. The best case scenario for any psychopath is that they could be taught not to do certain things in terms of getting into trouble for them - they are capable of understanding what society deems acceptable and unacceptable, but will never be capable of understanding why. However, that is extremely rare. In most cases, the actual result is that the psychopath simply learns how to hide their wrongdoing to avoid getting caught - which is what we see with the younger Tom Riddle. There was nothing Dumbledore could have done to prevent Tom Riddle from becoming Voldemort. He was already well on that path when Dumbledore first met him.

As for Sirius, I'm not sure if Dumbledore was actually a member of the Wizengamot at that time. We know he was in Harry's time, but we don't know when he became a member of the Wizengamot. It did not appear he was in the Wizengamot in the trials that Harry did see in the pensieve - Dumbledore was not at all of them and the ones he was at, he appeared to be there with the general public as a spectator. I doubt Dumbledore agreed with people being sent to Azkaban without a trial, but I don't think there was anything he could do about it at the time. Perhaps that is what inspired him to become a member of the Wizengamot? In any case, Dumbledore would have given evidence against Sirius. He told Harry that he had done so in POA. James had told him that he was making Sirius secret keeper so he did not have any information that would help Sirius. Sirius did not try to defend himself or explain what they had done to anyone at the time - he was so traumatized by those events that he became unhinged. I think Dumbledore would have intervened if Sirius had tried to defend himself, but since he went off to Azkaban laughing because he was so unhinged, Dumbledore assumed he was guilty. It was the same at the end of POA with Pettigrew escaping - without Pettigrew, they had no proof of Sirius being innocent so there was nothing Dumbledore could do then either.

With the Dursleys, I actually don't think Dumbledore knew exactly how bad that situation was until Harry came to Hogwarts. From what Jo has said, McGonagall checks that book at Hogwarts - the one with the magical quill that records the names and locations of all magical children - to send out the letters each year. I think that would have been the first clue - seeing that "the cupboard under the stairs" was part of Harry's location. Mrs. Figg was there to keep an eye on Harry, but she never went into the house so she would not have known the extent of the abuse Harry suffered. And Harry certainly never told anyone what went on inside the house. So I think the situation with the letters was what clued Dumbledore in - and I think he did all that with the letters before sending Hagrid to try and prove a point, but Vernon was too stubborn to realize what that meant. Plus, as we've learned on Pottermore, Vernon and Petunia actually did believe that witches and wizards could not cross water so he thought going to that shack would prevent any witches or wizards from finding them with letters or otherwise. How very wrong he was. Laughing

Another factor there is that the protection charm hinged upon Petunia agreeing to allow Harry to live in her home - giving her some power. If she had decided to send Harry away because she didn't want to deal with wizards, that would have broken the protection charm and left Harry vulnerable. I think that's why Dumbledore did not directly interfere during those first 10 years. He probably thought Petunia would deal with the situation better if left alone. Unfortunately, that resulted in them not being aware of just how bad things were for Harry. I think it is clear that Dumbledore was furious once he found out - and that scene where he finally confronted the Dursleys in HBP will forever be one of my favorite HP moments - but by the time he found out, Harry was spending the majority of the year at Hogwarts and managing to make things better for himself during the summers because the Dursleys were afraid of him - at first - and then they were afraid of Sirius. Plus, Harry began spending a lot of the summer holidays with the Weasleys - he really only needed to go to Privet Dr. long enough to maintain that as his permanent address. After Sirius died, the Order stepped in to let the Dursleys know they would be keeping a closer eye on Harry - and I think that was something Dumbledore suggested as well. I do agree that the whole situation could have been handled better from the beginning, but again, I think that is something that became clear in hindsight.

The main thing I fault Dumbledore for is not giving Harry all the information he needed once he had decided to pass along the Horcrux quest. He knew what Harry would need to know - specifically how to destroy Horcruxes - and he should have told him. He should have given him the sword - or at least told him about it so Harry would know to take it after he died. McGonagall would have let Harry have it if he'd told her that it was necessary for what Dumbledore had asked him to do I think. At the very least, Dumbledore could have arranged for the sword to be taken to #4 Privet Dr., the Burrow, or even Grimmauld Place where Harry would be guaranteed to get it. He could have asked Fawkes to take it to Harry after his death. I also think he should have gone over his own search with Harry so the trio would not be wasting time looking in locations that Dumbledore had already ruled out. And I think that he should have included at least one other member of the Order to serve as a go-between for Harry and Snape - someone Harry would trust who could ensure Harry had what he needed.

I do think Dumbledore attempted the last by telling Aberforth - who was a member of the Order - what the mirror was and how it worked. I think Dumbledore knew that Sirius had given Harry the other mirror so Aberforth could use that to communicate with Harry - if the other mirror had not been broken. But he should have discussed that with Harry as well. Had Dumbledore done so, he would have learned that Harry had broken the mirror that Sirius gave him. I think Dumbledore could have repaired the mirror using the Elder wand so Harry would have been able to use it to communicate with Aberforth. There were just too many mistakes there with all the secrets and lies and Dumbledore not doing everything he could to guarantee that Harry would have all the information and tools he needed. That was disappointing to me.
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