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Jessica October 20th, 2007 5:06 pm

Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
1. What are your general thoughts on Dumbledore as a character through books 1-7? Do you see a difference in his behavior and/or actions between the books?

2. Throughout the books, Dumbledore seems to always be teaching Harry something, but his lessons are sometimes hidden and subtle. What do you believe are the most important lessons Dumbledore taught Harry? Did Dumbledore adequately prepare Harry for the trials that lie ahead in book 7? Is there anything you think Dumbledore should have told Harry before he died?

3. What did you think of the revelations of DH regarding Dumbledore's family? How did these tragedies effect the person he is now?

4. Why do you think Dumbledore and Grindelwald were friends? How did Dumbledore's homosexuality affect his susceptibility to Grindelwald's ideas?

5. Was Dumbledore right to keep so many secrets from so many people? Was this secrecy because of his sister? Because of his own homosexuality?

6. What do you think of Dumbledore's recognition of his own failings? His decision not to enter the Ministry?

7. Do you think Dumbledore expected too much from Harry? Did he do the right thing? Was it fair to ask Harry to sacrifice himself?

8. Does the revelation of his homosexuality ultimately affect his character? What actions, if any, do you see differently now?

This is character analysis so discussion how his homosexuality affected his actions throughout the books is completely on topic. Your personal reaction to his homosexuliaty can be discussed here: Homosexuality in Harry Potter

NOTE:
This thread, nay, this forum will not tolerate homophobia or Dumbledore bashing. Whether you agree or not with homosexuality is not the topic here. Members who choose to dispense with the hate and the nastiness will get a one-way ticket to bansville.

Aestua_Nox October 20th, 2007 6:00 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Well, firstly, this was kind of out of the blue, but I'm really, really happy. :love:I don't have a problem with homosexuality at all, (I have friends that are gay or bi...it's not even a big deal at my school, which is Catholic, so I don't really see why some people, especially religious people, are so against it.) but I never really dared to hope that anyone would be gay in canon - I didn't really think that any character had been set up to be gay, so I wasn't expecting it at all.

One thing that I'd really like to mention is that, well - we shouldn't attribute Dumbledore's eccentric manner to his homosexuality...if people start to do that, I'm going to be very angry, and I think most other people will be, too. Being gay doesn't mean that you act any different from anyone else. Dumbledore's oddness was part of his personality, and I hope that JKR wrote his homosexuality to be a separate part of his character...otherwise, he would be a rather cliche gay character. Well, I'm not saying that Dumbledore is cliche, I'm just saying that having a gay character wear brightly-colored robes, etc. is, well...cliche. But hey, he's one of the most powerful wizards ever, so I guess that kind of works out. (Honestly - I'm happy about Dumbledore being gay, but I think it could have been done better, in book-canon.:whistle:)

What else. Oh. Yes, I'd also like to point out that we can't start saying "Ew!" when we think about Dumbledore saying that he loved Harry too much to tell him the prophecy, etc.:no::no::no: Being homosexual is not the same as being a pedophile, for one thing, and for another, gay people aren't attracted to everyone in the same sex, just like heterosexuals aren't attracted to everyone of the opposite sex. Imagine, for a moment, that JKR decided to make Dumbledore a woman, without any change to his character - or, if you don't want to do that, imagine McGonagall telling Harry that she loved him too much to do something or another. Would it be creepy or weird or in any way sexual? No! It wouldn't! :tu:So I'm hoping that the movie directors don't change the way they characterize Dumbledore, and that we, as fans, understand his homosexuality and his relationships with the other male characters as platonic. Well, except perhaps Grindelwald. (Can't. Wait. For. The. Encyclopedia!!! :))

You know what I think is absolutely wonderful? Isn't it great that a homosexual character is the one (after Harry, maybe Lily too) who understood the most about love?:tu: I wish that this would have been revealed, somehow, in book-canon, but I guess I can understand why it wasn't. This should still have a big impact, though....we might have this entire generation growing up as un-homophobic as possible, because they understand that love between homosexuals isn't any different than love between heterosexuals, isn't any less meaningful or strong.

...Whoopee!!! Yay, JKR!!!:love:

One apology: I'm sorry, but I really, really didn't have time to read very much of the previous thread, so I'm sorry if I'm repeating someone. :whistle:

~Marisa

MrSleepyHead October 20th, 2007 6:35 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
1. What are your general thoughts on Dumbledore as a character through books 1-7? Do you see a difference in his behavior and/or actions between the books?
Dumbledore presented himself as a flawless, dreamlike character until OotP. I enjoyed his tremendous magical ability, but I was glad when he admitted himself that he made mistakes, too. It showed that he was not arrogant, and that he merely accepted his status and was aware of his power - but he did not think himself superior. In HBP, this all seemed to change. He suddenly seemed much more arrogant and aware of his own "prodigious skill" being better than everyone else's. I did not like his character change - his love towards Harry seemed frenzied, as if he truly did not care. Therefore, I was not too surprised to hear in DH that he was "using" Harry to defeat Voldemort (but Dumbledore did understand that he was not killing Harry, so my respect for him remained).

2. Throughout the books, Dumbledore seems to always be teaching Harry something, but his lessons are sometimes hidden and subtle. What do you believe are the most important lessons Dumbledore taught Harry?

Love conquers all.

Did Dumbledore adequately prepare Harry for the trials that lie ahead in book 7? Is there anything you think Dumbledore should have told Harry before he died?

I agree with Dumbledore that he should have told Harry about the prophecy much earlier than at the end of OotP. However, I agree with his decision to disclose information about the Deathly Hallows. I always thought he could have told Harry a lot more about his thoughts on where the Horcruxes were, but I think that is something Harry had to find out for himself.

3. What did you think of the revelations of DH regarding Dumbledore's family? How did these tragedies effect the person he is now?

I was shocked, but I am glad we found out. His family made him more human, and it caused him to believe in the powers of love. His family is the reason he did not become a Grindelwald and why he became the opposite.

4. Why do you think Dumbledore and Grindelwald were friends? How did Dumbledore's homosexuality affect his susceptibility to Grindelwald's ideas?

I think for the reason Bathilda gave: two brilliant wizards that bonded in the midst of nothing else/no one else around. I believe Dumbledore was smitten with Grindelwald's brilliance (I think at this age Dumbledore was arrogant, and seeing a wizard as brilliant as he caused him to become attracted to him). Therefore, this probably had a lot of effect on Dumbledore's susceptibility, but he had to believe in it to an extent - not even love for someone can change one's entire outlook of decency.

5. Was Dumbledore right to keep so many secrets from so many people? Was this secrecy because of his sister? Because of his own homosexuality?

I would say Dumbledore was so secretive for a multitude of reasons: his mother, who taught him to be secretive; Ariana's fate; his brilliance/arrogance; and his homosexuality. Although I believe homosexuality was more widely accepted by the Wizarding community, I have a feeling at that age most homosexuals feel embarrassed by it, and thus become secretive.

6. What do you think of Dumbledore's recognition of his own failings? His decision not to enter the Ministry?


I think it exhibits his brilliance more than his magical talents. It also shows how much he changed from the arrogant wizard who dreamed of suppressing Muggles.

7. Do you think Dumbledore expected too much from Harry? Did he do the right thing? Was it fair to ask Harry to sacrifice himself?

No, I think Harry had to do all of those things no matter what - Dumbledore simply told him that he would have to do it. Dumbledore ultimately helped Harry because he advised him on how to do it instead of having Harry go in blindly. I think it was fair to ask Harry to sacrifice himself because it truly was the only way. Dumbledore knew it would not be the end of Harry, but he also knew Harry was strong enough. Again, without Dumbledore's help/advice on what Harry had to do, Harry would most likely have been easily defeated.

8. Does the revelation of his homosexuality ultimately affect his character? What actions, if any, do you see differently now?


It affects his character some, but not by much. His actions are still the same - just more understandable in some cases. I now understand his hesitance to go after Grindelwald much more clearly, as well as his acceptance of Snape (as well as people like Filch) and Muggleborns, and his outstanding love for seemingly everyone is much more defined. I do not think his sexuality is a big deal (not as big as fans will soon make it), for he is still the same person we have read - we are just now more enlightened. Unfortuantely, I have the feeling that he will now be the new object of ridicule in Harry Potter by non-fans.

snuka October 20th, 2007 7:23 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
1. I see 3 "Dumbledores": first the one in first three books; the all-knowing, benevolent father figure. Then the planner in books 4 and 5 who is sharing things on a need-to-know basis. Lastly there's the last two books where DD stops treating Harry like a pupil but more like his equal, a young wizard.

2. Well, first and foremost he has to prepare Harry to face LV one day, most of what he does is aimed at that, secondly he is teaching him to be a man/adult. I wish he'd tell him more about Horcruxes and Hallows before book 7.

3. Somewhat interesting, but I don't think the book would have lost much without them. Obviously he rejects power and authority, and is very kind to Muggles and accepting someone like Snape as a result.

4. I guess both were talented wizards, with similar ideas on Muggles. I guess his homosexuality may have helped him listen to his ideas more.

5. I understand why (his sister), but I think he overdid it with the secrets. He could have confided with Harry, or at least McGonagall.

6. It just emphasizes his wisdom.

7. Harry was the chosen one, so I'd say expectations were high anyway. DD did the right thing by training and preparing Harry. In the end it was fair that Harry had to sacrifice himself.

8. No, I just don't care much for wizard sexuality one way or the other. I think this will sadly allow for more anti-HP feelings, fandom or otherwise.

TheCurio October 20th, 2007 7:59 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
1. What are your general thoughts on Dumbledore as a character through books 1-7? Do you see a difference in his behavior and/or actions between the books?
I think he was a person who had a bigger plan and just took it step by step. I don't really see a difference between his actions, he had to do what the thought was right, it's just we didn't get to see it/learn about it until later on.


2. Throughout the books, Dumbledore seems to always be teaching Harry something, but his lessons are sometimes hidden and subtle. What do you believe are the most important lessons Dumbledore taught Harry? Did Dumbledore adequately prepare Harry for the trials that lie ahead in book 7? Is there anything you think Dumbledore should have told Harry before he died?
I think that Dumbledore's lessons about love were the most important because no matter what, love and sacrafice for it was what it always came back to. I don't think he did a bad job per se, but he could have done a btter one. He did put off telling Harry a lot thought. He could have told Harry a lot more, but th ere wasn't anything that he SHOULD have told him. The decision was up to Dumbledore what to say and what not. Also, Dumbledore wasn't the only person taht told Harry stuff along the way.

3. What did you think of the revelations of DH regarding Dumbledore's family? How did these tragedies effect the person he is now?
I think that Dumbledore appreciated love a lot more after he lost the majority of his family.

4. Why do you think Dumbledore and Grindelwald were friends? How did Dumbledore's homosexuality affect his susceptibility to Grindelwald's ideas?
They both were attracted to power and the Deathly Hallows. As Jo said, Dumbledore was attracted to Grindelwald, so he'd do more for him looking for some sort of return.

5. Was Dumbledore right to keep so many secrets from so many people? Was this secrecy because of his sister? Because of his own homosexuality?
I don't think that he was wrong to keep secrets. Everybody does. I think the secrets were because of his sister. He was ashamed of being at fault for her death. He wasn't exactly keeping his sexuality a secret, it's just that nobody ever asked/doubted it.

6. What do you think of Dumbledore's recognition of his own failings? His decision not to enter the Ministry?
It was good that he could recognize these faults, but since he did, he wouldn't have allowed himself to get to far. I'm glad he didn't go into the ministry because Harry's story would be waaaay different.

7. Do you think Dumbledore expected too much from Harry? Did he do the right thing? Was it fair to ask Harry to sacrifice himself?
I think Dumbledore had no choice but to expect what he did from Harry. It He didn't think there was any other way. I'm sure Dumbledore had more knowledge about sacrafice than we are aware of, so I can't really say.

8. Does the revelation of his homosexuality ultimately affect his character? What actions, if any, do you see differently now?
No, I always thought that he was, so I regarded things that way.

mwbashful18 October 20th, 2007 8:10 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Just to make a comment on Dumbledore and the recent revelations:

Again, I do not think the confirmation from Rowling that Dumbledore was a gay character in the series should have any sort of effect on how we perceive his character. Dumbledore is still Dumbledore, he is not changed by this, simply because there isn't any evidence within the books of his sexuality playing a direct role in the story. The only thing this revelation does is open up discussion about the meaning of the revelation within the series as well as in literature itself.

Harry Potter has had a lot of prejudices laid against it saying the series will not stand the test of time and that this is merely a trend that will grow old. However, I believe the Potter books will become classics and will be studied and considered at length in the future. I think there will come a time when the series has "Harry Potter scholars" who specialize in the series like one might specialize in Austen or Poe or Dickens. Dumbledore became a far more complicated and fascinating character after Deathly Hallows and this new announcement is just an extra layer of characterization which adds to the humanism and reality of many of the characters. Rowling's great achievement is creating characters who seem so alive, particularly Severus, Harry and Dumbledore.

One thing I would like to bring up is the question of how long Rowling has had Dumbledore in mind as a gay character, and whether she ever did slip evidences into the writing which supported in her mind the characterization, without really giving it away to us. One thing I would think is possible, given the intolerance and prejudice she explores within the books regarding half-bloods and pure-bloods and such, is whether the wizarding community at large knew of Dumbledore as a gay figure, and perhaps in OotP, some of the bits where Dumbledore is dragged through the mud by the Ministry were reflections on this fact? I mean, I recall Skeeter mentioning either in DH or OotP, as well as the Daily Prophet and their rubbish in OotP, something about whether Dumbledore's relationship with Harry was "unhealthy" or something. Many of the articles in OotP where the Ministry tries to sway the wizarding community against Dumbledore and Harry seem to suggest, now, that perhaps Dumbledore's sexuality was known to say Fudge and it was his smear campaign to suggest that the wizened Albus was a pedophile of sorts. I mean, it all certainly smells of such discrimination and contempt if we read it that way. Again, we did not know this information during OotP so it was just a plain smear campaign within the framework of the story, but adding this layer of characterization makes that part of OotP stand out more now, as well as the hooplah surrounding Dumbledore in DH and Skeeter's book, and Elphias Doge's role as well.

The Obsesser October 20th, 2007 8:26 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
I must say that this news excited me so much, for several reasons. Mainly because I am a huge Dumbledore fan, and this reveals so much about him. It explains his lonlieness - not only for the lack of a intellectual equal, but of a romantic one.

And yet at the same time, it really saddens me, because now that we do know more of his personal life and his relationship with Grindelwald... this just adds a whole new depth. I mean, the explanation Albus gave us concerning the fight he and Aberforth and Gellert had was sad enough - but add to that the dimension that the man that was your intellectual equal, the man that you loved was the one that might have killed your sister? I wonder what Gellert's sexuality was - did he love his friend back, or was he ambivalent to Albus' affections?

People have been heavily debating over whether his secrecy was a good thing, whether it was morally right to raise Harry as "a pig for slaughter," who had no choice but to face Voldemort. And I agree, I questioned that as well. But this news makes me stop and think - what must it have been like for Albus? How would it have been to love one who may not have loved back, who may have killed your sister? How wise must Albus have been to force himself to see that the one he loved was so evil, and causing all this destruction, and that he had to be stopped, and that he was the only one who could do it? How must it have been to defeat the one you loved, and leave him helpless, imprisoned and alone, when you knew that not too long ago, you could have conquered the world together, for the greater good?

Yes, this changes my view of Dumbledore. It makes me see him as stronger, and I am all the more fond of him.

Ronny October 20th, 2007 8:35 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
May I ask something? Please, do NOT misconstrue this as homophobic but I really must ask. Was Rowling serious? I mean, is this actually part of his character or a throwaway remark designed to shock/amuse people?

Again, absolutely NO homophobia intended but I have to know.

Mia_Potter October 20th, 2007 8:36 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Finding out Jo had Dumbledore as a gay character doesn't change the character for me in the least and actually I know Jo says it was Grindlewald who DD was in love with and I can see that but upon reading DH I felt Elphias Doge and DD had been a couple while at Hogwarts. Or maybe Doge just had a huge crush on DD and that was what I was seeing. Cause when Doge spoke of DD it felt to me as if he was talking about a life partner not simply a best friend.

gertiekeddle October 20th, 2007 8:41 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ronny (Post 4818497)
May I ask something? Please, do NOT misconstrue this as homophobic but I really must ask. Was Rowling serious?

I'm convinced she was. There have been already speculation about Dumbledore's homosexuality among fans before, so it seems it wasn't a surprise for everyone. :)


For further discussion of homosexuality in the series please all check out Homosexuality in Harry Potter. This thread is for Albus Dumbledore's character analysis only, where his homosexuality might belong to, though. Thanks!

Jessica October 20th, 2007 8:42 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mia_Potter (Post 4818499)
I know Jo says it was Grindlewald who DD was in love with and I can see that but upon reading DH I felt Elphias Doge and DD had been a couple while at Hogwarts. Or maybe Doge just had a huge crush on DD and that was what I was seeing. Cause when Doge spoke of DD it felt to me as if he was talking about a life partner not simply a best friend.

My impression is that they were possibly more than friends at Hogwarts and that they likely got back together later in life. IMO the press treats Doge almost like the widow in interviews.

Drusilla October 20th, 2007 8:54 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
This doesn't seem to suggest that she was joking. And I think we can be fairly sure that the remark was not intended for shock value, given that she seems to imply that she held off the disclosure for many years because she wasn't sure how it would be received.
Quote:

I wonder what Gellert's sexuality was - did he love his friend back, or was he ambivalent to Albus' affections?
The linked story has JKR saying it was an unrequited love affair, so I'd reckon that was it. And I doubt that Dumbledore had much affection left for Grindelwald after all those years, what he was probably more scared of was learning that he had cast the curse that killed his sister. So what he told Harry at King's Cross was absolutely true to that extent, he wasn't hiding anything there.
As for the new information itself, it doesn't really change my view of Albus in any way. It's like being told, in context of Molly Weasley, that she had brothers who died in the first war: it may explain some aspect of Dumbledore in greater detail, but what really mattered more to me was his early family life, and how that affected him. That was the revelation for me as far as Dumbledore was concerned, and we had it right there in the Deathly Hallows text.

Beatifically October 20th, 2007 9:00 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
1. What are your general thoughts on Dumbledore as a character through books 1-7? Do you see a difference in his behavior and/or actions between the books?
Well . . . no, not really. We only got to know him well during HBP and DH, so I can't see much difference before that. He just seems less mysterious than he did then, I suppose.

2. Throughout the books, Dumbledore seems to always be teaching Harry something, but his lessons are sometimes hidden and subtle. What do you believe are the most important lessons Dumbledore taught Harry? Did Dumbledore adequately prepare Harry for the trials that lie ahead in book 7? Is there anything you think Dumbledore should have told Harry before he died?
The biggest lesson Dumbledore taught Harry is the importance of choice. He taught Harry the true significance of the prophecy because of this and he also made Harry realize that he wants to kill LV himself. He also teaches Harry the importance of love. Love itself isn't something a spell can make, but it's a force that makes people do amazing things. Lily's love for Harry is a great example of this. In HBP, he taught Harry that love is the main reason Harry wants to kill LV, and it opened Harry's eyes.
I wish Dumbledore taught Harry a bit about power and what it does to people. It would have made a difference in DH if Harry knew something about how alluring power may be.

3. What did you think of the revelations of DH regarding Dumbledore's family? How did these tragedies effect the person he is now?
I found the background story of his life to be tragic. He made mistakes in his youth, and it resulted in the loss of his younger sister. As Harry said, Dumbledore was never free. Dumbleore carried the blame for his sister's death, and that's tragic to me.

4. Why do you think Dumbledore and Grindelwald were friends? How did Dumbledore's homosexuality affect his susceptibility to Grindelwald's ideas?
I think Dumbledore was friends with Grindelwald because, for the first time in Dumbledore's life, he found an equal. He found someone his age that had power and intellect almost as great as his. I think Dumbledore felt isolated and frustrated that he couldn't find anyone he could express his ideas to, and when Grindelwald came around, he immediately became attracted. Dumbledore's homosexuality prevented Dumbledore for fully acknowledging the truth of Grindelwald's behavior. He said in King's Cross that deep inside he knew there was somethingw rong with Grindelwald, but he couldn't bring himself to admit it.

5. Was Dumbledore right to keep so many secrets from so many people? Was this secrecy because of his sister? Because of his own homosexuality?
I think Dumbledore had to. All his life, he was full of secrets. He couldn't reveal to others the truth about his sister or the reason why his father was arrested. He never told anyone about his friendship and love for Grindelwald. He never told anyone that he may have caused his sister to die. All his life, he had to deal with secrets and deception. I'm sure some wizards had homophobia, and this enforced Dumbledore's need to keep secrets. Sometimes Dumbledore should have told other people the truth, but it's understandable why he couldn't, IMO.

6. What do you think of Dumbledore's recognition of his own failings? His decision not to enter the Ministry?
It takes a lot of strength to admit flaws and resist temptations. I see Dumbledore as being even stronger than I thought he was before DH.

7. Do you think Dumbledore expected too much from Harry? Did he do the right thing? Was it fair to ask Harry to sacrifice himself?
I think Dumbledore only expected Harry to do what he knew Harry would do. Eventually Dumbledore grew to love Harry as a son and grew close to him. He realized the truth about Harry's character and expected Harry to do what Harry ended up doing. Dumbledore thought Harry was a better man than himself and expected greater things from Harry.

8. Does the revelation of his homosexuality ultimately affect his character? What actions, if any, do you see differently now?
Now that I'm aware of his homosexuality, it sheds light onto the relationship he had with Grindelwald. Some would wonder why a person like DD couldn't turn away from Grindelwald, but it makes sense to me now. It wasn't easy for Dumbledore to see the person he fell in love with turn his back on him.

anabel October 20th, 2007 9:02 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ronny (Post 4818497)
May I ask something? Please, do NOT misconstrue this as homophobic but I really must ask. Was Rowling serious? I mean, is this actually part of his character or a throwaway remark designed to shock/amuse people?

Again, absolutely NO homophobia intended but I have to know.

Judging by what I perceive to be Jo's general egalitarian principles, as illustrated in the main theme of the books (that birth and/or physical characteristics are much less important than who we choose to be), I'm sure she was serious and gave an open and honest answer to an enquiry about Dumbledore's love life. It also ties in nicely with his relationship to Grindelwald, and the fact that Elphias Doge clearly had a huge crush on Dumbledore at the very least!

wicked87 October 20th, 2007 9:23 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by anabel (Post 4818543)
Judging by what I perceive to be Jo's general egalitarian principles, as illustrated in the main theme of the books (that birth and/or physical characteristics are much less important than who we choose to be), I'm sure she was serious and gave an open and honest answer to an enquiry about Dumbledore's love life. It also ties in nicely with his relationship to Grindelwald, and the fact that Elphias Doge clearly had a huge crush on Dumbledore at the very least!

Just because Elphias Doge was a big friend of Dumbledore's doesn't mean that he was also gay and had a crush on him. I read that more as those two were very close, and Elphias hated to see his old friend being tarnished after he died. Just my opinion, though:)

MadEyeCorey October 20th, 2007 9:32 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
To me I dont see Dumbledore as being "just" gay. Jk Rowling said it blunt as possible but for Dumbledore it doesnt seem that simple. Dumbledore is the type of person who would love someone for who they are no matter if its male or female. Race and sex wouldnt matter at all.

arithmancer October 20th, 2007 9:39 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MadEyeCorey (Post 4818588)
To me I dont see Dumbledore as being "just" gay. Jk Rowling said it blunt as possible but for Dumbledore it doesnt seem that simple. Dumbledore is the type of person who would love someone for who they are no matter if its male or female. Race and sex wouldnt matter at all.


There are, of course, different kinds of love. Based on Rowling's revelation and the hints about Grindelwald, I would say Dumbledore would only feel romantic love for a male. After all, we would not feel it is necessary to explain that Harry can love males and females, would we? He can still be Ron's best friend, even though he is only attracted in a sexual way to females.

But certainly, Dumbledoee is not "just" gay, anymore that other characters are 'just' het. Nothing we have learned thus far about his flaws, his ideals, his plans, and his treatment of others is changed by the revelation that he is attracted to other men.

anabel October 20th, 2007 10:16 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by zgirnius (Post 4818602)
But certainly, Dumbledoee is not "just" gay, anymore that other characters are 'just' het. Nothing we have learned thus far about his flaws, his ideals, his plans, and his treatment of others is changed by the revelation that he is attracted to other men.

I agree. :D He is still very much Dumbledore and it only makes a difference when viewing his relationships with Grindelwald and Doge - and not a major difference there either. It's a detail - added colour, which clarifies the situation a bit but it is by no means essential to the plot to know that Dumbledore is gay. (If it was, it would have been made clearer in the books.)

PotterFreak0515 October 20th, 2007 11:51 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Aestua_Nox (Post 4818285)
One thing that I'd really like to mention is that, well - we shouldn't attribute Dumbledore's eccentric manner to his homosexuality...if people start to do that, I'm going to be very angry, and I think most other people will be, too. Being gay doesn't mean that you act any different from anyone else. Dumbledore's oddness was part of his personality, and I hope that JKR wrote his homosexuality to be a separate part of his character...otherwise, he would be a rather cliche gay character. Well, I'm not saying that Dumbledore is cliche, I'm just saying that having a gay character wear brightly-colored robes, etc. is, well...cliche.

Oh my god... I didn't even think of that. I really hope she didn't write it like that. I don't think she did, but still. Ugh... you know fans are going to be thinking that's why he acts like that and stuff. Stereotypes suck.

lushesx3 October 21st, 2007 12:25 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
The revlelation about Dumbledore's sexuality isn't really a big surprise. I used to wonder a bit whether his trust of Snape came from some kind of secret relationship between them. That said, I think it's an irrelevent revelation now that the book is over, and I think it's something she should've left up to the fans to decide. For example, i would've been dissapointed if that actually was the explanation for his trust of Snape, not because I have any problem at all with homosexuality, but because it just seems like such an easy way out for the author. The same thing for DD's relationship with Grindelwald . I wish that she would've been more creative, within the range of her genre, to come up with an explanation of DD's character.

Jessica October 21st, 2007 12:34 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Just a friendly reminder that this thread is about Dumbledore himself not JKR's decision to reveal his homosexuality :)

I had an interesting thought, what do people think of Dumbledore's belief in the power of love post his presumed heartbreak over the ending of his friendship with Grindlewald?

Artemis_Fowl_2 October 21st, 2007 12:36 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by lushesx3 (Post 4818802)
The revlelation about Dumbledore's sexuality isn't really a big surprise. I used to wonder a bit whether his trust of Snape came from some kind of secret relationship between them. That said, I think it's an irrelevent revelation now that the book is over, and I think it's something she should've left up to the fans to decide. For example, i would've been dissapointed if that actually was the explanation for his trust of Snape, not because I have any problem at all with homosexuality, but because it just seems like such an easy way out for the author. The same thing for DD's relationship with Grindelwald . I wish that she would've been more creative, within the range of her genre, to come up with an explanation of DD's character.

I don't think Snape was his type. I don't see where they would have any connection except that Dumbledore understood Snape's love of Lily. Snape to me seems like a bitter man who treated children poorly and I don't think that would appeal to Dumbledore.

Edited to answer Jessica's question...
I think Dumbledore believedin the power of love very much because he didn't go after Gridlwald right away and I'm sure he had a hard time having to defeat him. I believe he believes that love is very powerful.

lushesx3 October 21st, 2007 12:41 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Artemis_Fowl_2 (Post 4818823)
I don't think Snape was his type. I don't see where they would have any connection except that Dumbledore understood Snape's love of Lily. Snape to me seems like a bitter man who treated children poorly and I don't think that would appeal to Dumbledore.

Edited to answer Jessica's question...
I think Dumbledore believedin the power of love very much because he didn't go after Gridlwald right away and I'm sure he had a hard time having to defeat him. I believe he believes that love is very powerful.

oh yeah, I'm nbot saying there was ever anything between them, since we know for sure what went on there, I just meant I used to wonder before the seventh book.

kingwidgit October 21st, 2007 12:49 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jessica (Post 4818821)
I had an interesting thought, what do people think of Dumbledore's belief in the power of love post his presumed heartbreak over the ending of his friendship with Grindlewald?

He certainly never lost his belief or understanding of love. Knowing his sexuality doesn't alter anything. Knowing he loved and lost makes certain things he's said to Harry over the years all the more poignant.
OotP, The Lost Prophecy"Do you see, Harry?" Do you see the flaw in my brilliant plan now?

****
"In other words, I acted exactly as Voldemort expects we fools who love to act. Is there a defense?"
HBP, Horace Slughorn"It was cruel," said Dumbledore softly, "that you and Sirius had such a short time together. A brutal ending to what should have been a long and happy relationship."

****
"Sirius represented much to you that you had never known before," Dumbledore said gently. "Naturally the loss is devastating..."

Jessica October 21st, 2007 1:16 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
I didn't mean because of his homosexuality at all. I was just referring to the tragic consequences of love in his own life. I think it's amazing that he can be so confident and hopeful about love and it's power to do good.

I hope that he did find love. I'm inclined to believe that he and Doge were more than friends. I'd like to think they had a long happy relationship together.

SusanBones October 21st, 2007 1:37 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jessica (Post 4818821)
I had an interesting thought, what do people think of Dumbledore's belief in the power of love post his presumed heartbreak over the ending of his friendship with Grindlewald?

This is an interesting revelation. Dumbledore felt many of the same feelings that Snape felt. They both had a relationship break up. They both had been strongly influenced by their "loved one". They both felt guilt over something that related to the relationship.

Dumbledore understood something that was very important - that love was an extremely powerful force. He knew that people could exert a very strong influence over the people they loved. This power could be used for both good and evil. Voldemort used fear and hate to control his followers. But love can be just as effective. I believe that is what happened with Dumbledore and Grindelwald.

When Snape approached Dumbledore, full of remorse for what had happened to Lily, and claiming his love for her, Dumbledore understood completely what the power of love could do. This time he was using it for good. This time Dumbledore was able to take Snape's love for Lily and use it to turn a former Death Eater into his most loyal follower. I think Dumbledore would not have recognized how powerful love could be if he hadn't experienced it first hand, with Grindelwald.

wickedwickedboy October 21st, 2007 1:40 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jessica (Post 4818883)
I didn't mean because of his homosexuality at all. I was just referring to the tragic consequences of love in his own life. I think it's amazing that he can be so confident and hopeful about love and it's power to do good.

I hope that he did find love. I'm inclined to believe that he and Doge were more than friends. I'd like to think they had a long happy relationship together.

I agree that he likely did find love, he lived a very long time, so perhaps he had several romances. However, imo, Dumbledore's love life pales in the face of his political life.

I am still re-reading in light of JKR's earlier revelation that Dumbledore manipulated Harry like a puppet and while she did not include other characters, I believe Dumbledore was manipulating everyone associated with his plan. While I find that behavior untenable, imo there is a balance with Dumbledore in that he was also a compassionate person who appeared to be at war with himself over the decisions he had to make at times. Dumbledore's recognition upon his death of his errors and his remorse and regret in that regard are admirable. However, the questions Dumbledore (and other characters) leave one with is, how far can a person travel outside of the realm of proper political behavior and still be redeemed? Is there no limit as long as one feels regret and remorse at the end?

I find these questions in relation to Dumbledore's character tough to answer.

kingwidgit October 21st, 2007 2:14 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
A new interview snippet:
'Harry Potter' Author J.K. Rowling Outs Dumbledore At New York EventAs is sometimes not knowing the whole story. Like Rowling before "Deathly Hallows" was published, Dumbledore withheld key information from Harry, so as not to "spoil" his journey, prompting a 9-year-old fourth grader to ask if Dumbledore ever really did love Harry, or was he just manipulating him so that he would sacrifice himself in the end?

"That's a deep question, thanks for asking it," Rowling said. "Dumbledore did like Harry, and as he got to know him, he became like a son to him. But I wanted you to question Dumbledore. It is right to question him, because he was treating people like puppets, and he was asking Harry to do a job that most men twice his age wouldn't have been able to do." But if Harry had all the information, he likely would have been tempted into doing something else, so he had to trust Dumbledore, who ultimately did guide him to do the right thing, Rowling said.

wicked87 October 21st, 2007 2:19 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy (Post 4818913)
I agree that he likely did find love, he lived a very long time, so perhaps he had several romances. However, imo, Dumbledore's love life pales in the face of his political life.

I am still re-reading in light of JKR's earlier revelation that Dumbledore manipulated Harry like a puppet and while she did not include other characters, I believe Dumbledore was manipulating everyone associated with his plan. While I find that behavior untenable, imo there is a balance with Dumbledore in that he was also a compassionate person who appeared to be at war with himself over the decisions he had to make at times. Dumbledore's recognition upon his death of his errors and his remorse and regret in that regard are admirable. However, the questions Dumbledore (and other characters) leave one with is, how far can a person travel outside of the realm of proper political behavior and still be redeemed? Is there no limit as long as one feels regret and remorse at the end?

I find these questions in relation to Dumbledore's character tough to answer.

I agree. I think there are certain things that I won't really forgive Dumbledore for, mainly the 7 Potters. i just couldn't believe he would sacrifice the lives of all those people who had been by his side and trusted him without consequence. In regard to Dumbledore's love life, I really can't picture him with a bunch of happy relationships. I think Dumbledore was extremely guarded later in his life, and he was too busy with his "master plan" and Voldemort to have time for a love life. And I just don't see the DD/Doge connection. Just my opinion, though!

helioslumos October 21st, 2007 8:39 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
It actually explains a bit more about Dumbledore's character, especially what he said to Harry about the Ministry of Magic and the room of love ("greater and more terrible" I think are the exact words.) Knowing that he was in love with G.G, it explains his actions quite a bit more and, to be honest, it was something that I would have preferred to have read in canon

Also, I'm not sure if Voldemort considers homosexuality to be disgusting (although given his views on blood purity etc, it wouldn't surprise me) but, if he does, it's pretty funny that the only person more powerful than him was gay

[staff edit: Let's not go there!]

eternitygoddess October 21st, 2007 9:38 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Didn't he say something in DH about,

Feel sorry for those who live without love?

Well, I think this new revelation has a HUGE impact on analyzing his character and his life.

In one moment his sister dies, he alienates his brother, and his first love turns to a enemy.

Imagine having to hunt down and murder the person you love. That would scar anyone. No wonder he was scared of facing GG.

mwbashful18 October 21st, 2007 10:16 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Just to help out with the Elphias Doge evidence: reread his obituary that is at the beginning of Ch. 3 of DH. When I first read DH, I was thinking the obit was written by some sort of partner, and I was actually thinking (it WAS 3 am) that perhaps Dumbledore had a wife we never knew about and now that he was dead Rowling was going to reveal that Dumbledore had this amazing life Harry never knew about and I was thinking it was going to be so sad to learn about the wife and kids Harry never learned about. But instead, I realized by the middle of the obit that the writer was a male but yet the obit smelled of "a widow" as someone put it beforehand. Elphias Doge came across as a widow who lost their significant other. It was there that I began wondering. But I didn't expect Grindelwald so that I can say was surprising to learn, mostly because Rowling really didn't flesh out everything in DH as I would have liked. It was perfect for the Trio, but Snape and Dumbledore, while they had their time, it didn't feel like their stories were properly told in full.

I felt like there could have been a lot more there to learn, and Dumbledore is DEFINITELY one who has a lot more about him that Rowling has thought of that we don't know. And part of that stems to his domestic life. I wonder where he lived over the summer holiday? I wonder if perhaps he lived with Doge? Or alone? And I wonder about his relationship with Doge. I want to know if they were closer than just good friends and whether there was something there later in life.

And I agree, while many people looked at Dumbledore as asexual, and I did too until DH, I will agree that it makes sense that Dumbledore's "love" of someone would not be as superficial as rooted in something physical or anything rooted in the gender. It's the person. I have friends who are gay and some of them are very much about the attraction to the gender. But I agree, Dumbledore would feel love for someone depending solely on the person. Had Grindelwald been the exact same person, but female, I think he would have fallen for her. But seeing as what attracted Dumbledore about Grindelwald is what is important, the love was felt for that person - who happened to be male as well.

So again, I agree that Severus was not someone who he would be attracted to, and Severus was more like a stubborn nephew in Dumbledore's mind anyhow. He cared about him, but again, he was more concerned with the big picture. He cared about Harry like a son or grandson, but he still pulled strings. He pulled strings with other Order members, but probably not nearly as much as Harry and Severus. They were the two who were closest with Dumbledore, and therefore received the most "on a need to know basis" information.

I will admit Dumbledore was not my most favorite character at the end of DH. I was annoyed with how manipulative he was and how complex he had become. I was quite content I'll say with the goofy grandfatherly guy who had once swapped his wizard's hat for a bonnet which Severus had pulled out of a cracker, but alas, that was a man who was not bothered at the time by Tom Riddle too much.

I really really REALLY hope Rowling's encyclopedia that probably won't be out until ten years from now, will have PAGES UPON PAGES of information about her characters which she never got round to revealing. I'm hoping that she had all these other ideas and concepts in her head for interesting scenes and such, but never got round to fitting them in. So she at least filed them away for later, and can finally include stuff. I want more backstory on Dumbledore and his life growing up and all, and also later on in life too.

Lord_V October 21st, 2007 11:26 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
I read it in the newspaper today (front page!), and I immediately rushed to the computer to check the Q&A/interview JKR gave and read it myself.

At first I was a bit speechless, but when I finished reading it made sense to me. DD was a brilliant man, even when he was young. I think he felt love (not the I love you mum and dad-love but the I want to spend the rest of my life with you-love) for the brilliance of another person, which (almost?) matched his own. You fall in love with a person who you can laugh with, who shares the ideas you have and who can give you the love you need. So I can imagine DD falling in love with GG, because he "fulfilled" this.

It seems to me it didn't matter to DD what a person looked like on the outside, but that he only looked at the inside. Maybe because he only ever saw this brilliance in a man/men, that's what made him gay.

wickedwickedboy October 21st, 2007 11:54 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mwbashful18 (Post 4819233)
He pulled strings with other Order members, but probably not nearly as much as Harry and Severus. They were the two who were closest with Dumbledore, and therefore received the most "on a need to know basis" information.

I would respectfully disagree that Harry and Snape were the closest with Dumbledore and recieved the most 'on a need to know basis' information. There were Order members running around doing things on a daily basis that we heard little about and that would mean that they had to meet with Dumbledore on a frequent basis imo (off page).

Those members were also included in Dumbledore's plans and he equally manipulated them in my opinion (with the exception of Sirius who often resisted said manipulations quite adroitly). We were given some insight to this when the advanced guard of the Order arrived to collect Harry and take him to Grimmauld or joined Harry at the MOM. But also Kingsley was spying for Dumbledore at the ministry on a daily basis from GoF and Remus Lupin was 'out on Order business' for much of OOTP and then spying among the werewolves among other things in HBP. Moody never retired to his home again after teaching and was still involved with the Order in DH, Tonks was also asked to perform duties as seen on page and Arthur was involved as well (woking at the Ministry and out on other duties as well as we saw when he was bitten by Nagini in OOTP). And there were more, Hestia and wizards and witches in the Order we saw very little of.

While we only saw or heard about bits and pieces of the work of others (because that was all that Harry saw), however, it was evident imo, that Dumbledore was as busy handing out 'need to know' information to other members as well in line with whatever he asked them to do - none of which was 'need to know' for Harry so we didn't know about it.

My point is, I believe that Dumbledore had a group of people that he regularly worked with (most of them Order members) in the furtherance of his plan and manipulated them in the same way he did Harry and Snape - possibly even more in some cases, although their efforts were not shown on page. Whether Dumbledore's methodology was proper or not is up for each reader to decide.

JKR confirmed that Dumbledore indeed did this with others (relevant portion underlined):

'Harry Potter' Author J.K. Rowling Outs Dumbledore At New York EventAs is sometimes not knowing the whole story. Like Rowling before "Deathly Hallows" was published, Dumbledore withheld key information from Harry, so as not to "spoil" his journey, prompting a 9-year-old fourth grader to ask if Dumbledore ever really did love Harry, or was he just manipulating him so that he would sacrifice himself in the end?

"That's a deep question, thanks for asking it," Rowling said. "Dumbledore did like Harry, and as he got to know him, he became like a son to him. But I wanted you to question Dumbledore. It is right to question him, because he was treating people like puppets, and he was asking Harry to do a job that most men twice his age wouldn't have been able to do." But if Harry had all the information, he likely would have been tempted into doing something else, so he had to trust Dumbledore, who ultimately did guide him to do the right thing, Rowling said.

Kadaj010 October 21st, 2007 1:26 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
1. What are your general thoughts on Dumbledore as a character through books 1-7? Do you see a difference in his behavior and/or actions between the books?

Books 1-5 I thought he was fantastic and great fun to read. I respected him. Book 7 he appeared to me to be manipulative and deceptive. Every life is worth saving, and I hated his whole belief 'for the greater good'. He didn't need to sacrifice himself in the end of HBP let alone all the other unknown, innocent victims, ad in my mind there will have always been an alternative to the actions he took. In the end he became probably my most disliked character, this is before his revelation and I think this is so because of the way he was portrayed. His 'flaws' were not communicated very effectively, to me at least, and the execution of it was horrible.


3. What did you think of the revelations of DH regarding Dumbledore's family? How did these tragedies effect the person he is now?

I can't say properly because I feel the tragedies weren't relayed effectively from within the text.

4. Why do you think Dumbledore and Grindelwald were friends? How did Dumbledore's homosexuality affect his susceptibility to Grindelwald's ideas?


I genuinely believe that Albus and GG were friends because they were 'what is considered to be' at the same (very high) intellectual level. Can no one imagine how frustrating it must be to have to communicate with people of lower mental capacity and how thrilled they(Albus and GG) must have been when they met each other.

'Dumbledore's Homosexuality' is something the author always 'thought' he was. This is something that will be left open for debate for years to come since it hasn't been expanded on properly in the books. There isn't sufficient evidence in the book for this notion to be accepted as fact. But this forum accepts the authors words as canon.

5. Was Dumbledore right to keep so many secrets from so many people? Was this secrecy because of his sister? Because of his own homosexuality?


I do not think it was right for Albus to keep secrets from so many people. He could have at least told Snape (among other order members, eg Lupin) who is at the same intellectual level as Albus if not higher. To me it indicated that Albus saw him self as the wisest and most accomplished of all people. His 'humble' musings as it were were more of a, 'Ho ho, I am just your average wizard who likes lemon sherbet and puddings' *moves around and winks with air of obviousness that he is the most powerful* .

6. What do you think of Dumbledore's recognition of his own failings? His decision not to enter the Ministry?

Look at previous answer. He is humble of the arrogant sort (that is how I felt honestly)

7. Do you think Dumbledore expected too much from Harry? Did he do the right thing? Was it fair to ask Harry to sacrifice himself?

Yes I do think he expected too much of Harry. He was overestimating Harry's powers compared to what little he trusted in others. Even after his death he was ordering Snape around through his portrait. The man was a spy for half of his life, he doesn't need strict guidance, not to mention he kept too much information to himself. And it was not fair to ask Harry to sacrifice himself, as it was just as unfair if not more so to ask Snape to kill him, even if he was going to die eventually. There is always an alternative, which is where I find some of the messages conveyed in the book as puzzling.

8. Does the revelation of his homosexuality ultimately affect his character? What actions, if any, do you see differently now?

No it doesn't affect his character,well not for the positive at least, and it does not give him more 'depth' as others have stated. Was he not 'deep' enough? Now that is something that should be considered seriously. This revelation makes his character to me more confusing, and I wished there was a more complex reason for his relationship with others and how he treats them. My belief that Albus found an intellectual equal in GG seemed to contain more substance than ' Albus was in love with GG and experienced unrequited love so was in a difficult situation when it came to his brother, sister, Ministry of Magic and the wizarding world as a whole.'

In fact for me, it made the character sillier since he didn't properly move on with his life after GG showed his true colours. 120 plus years, he didn't get to meet anyone else? And I thought Snape was obsessed. How can such a person be so hard on themselves and not allow themselves to move on and benefit the community with the maximum output possible. No need to cry over spilt milk.

In the end the man was killed by his own stupidity because he couldn't resist putting on a cursed ring that resurrects the specters of the dead. Who did he want to call? Arianna or GG?

Rell October 21st, 2007 2:14 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Since my general views on Dumbledore haven't really changed much since the last version of this thread, I'm just going to copy and paste my original Dumbledore statement:

Quote:

Originally Posted by rell
Dumbledore is definitely not the saint that Doge made him out to be, but he isn't the horrible person that Rita Skeeter painted him as either. He's somewhere in the middle, like most people are. But, unlike most people, he had incredible amounts of talent and intelligence, he was a leader with the capacity to frighten the greatest dark lords and inspire people to fight for justice. So his flaws stick out, because they affected so many more people than most people's flaws do.

Dumbledore had a lot of hard choices to make. With the exception of his obsession with the Deathly hallows, I think he made good choices under the circumstances. Dumbledore had to take chances - chances that would have horrible consequences had they gone wrong - but, in the end, I think that the possible gains (i.e. ridding the world of Voldemort) outweighed the possible (yet still horrible) losses. Even Dumbledore's maddening secrecy turned out to be part of his big plans.

I really liked the chapter with Aberforth. I think we got a pretty good picture of Dumbledore (even though it's colored by Aberforth's cynical nature) from him, yet we also get the huge contrast between the two brothers. Aberforth saw only the people involved, and hated that his brother risked them, yet he could not see the bigger picture (though this is completely off topic, I think that Aberforht is similar to Xeno Lovegood in this respect).

Dumbledore's own account in the chapter "kings cross" is very sad. We see how Dumbledore views himself. He does not deny his shortcomings - he readily admits them all, and he openly shows his regrets. I like that a lot about Dumbledore.


gertiekeddle October 21st, 2007 6:25 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Hem hem.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jessica (Post 4818821)
This is character analysis so discussion how his homosexuality affected his actions throughout the books is completely on topic. Your personal reaction to his homosexuliaty can be discussed here: Homosexuality in Harry Potter

Additionally please make sure you state your critiques in a constructive way:
Forum Rule # 8If you wish to critique a public figure, make sure your comments are constructive and reasonable. These principles also apply to signatures, avatars, and the like. Additionally, threads that de-generate into nothing more than hate-filled ranting will also be closed and members will be warned in either case.
Posts have been deleted.

WoodsMom October 21st, 2007 6:46 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
What If Dumbledore had told others about the bit of Horcrux in Harry, and told them that if Harry went with purpose to his death, but he would still survive due to the two souls and the sacrifice for the wizarding world? Even if he told one person... who would he have told? HArry could not know that his sacrifice could bring him back.... then it could not have been a real sacrfice. With such a huge secret as to the destruction of LV. Dumbledore could not risk the chance. HE left enough clues behind to others like Snape. When he told Snape to watch for the snake, then tell harry about that he had a bit of LV in him. I think DD knew that Harry could come back if he chose too. DD was planning on this sacrifice to literally protect the wizarding world from LV as Lily's sacrifce protection saved Harry.
I don't think Harry was really a puppet.

ugacpa October 21st, 2007 7:57 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
I think this revelation shows Dumbledore to be a far weaker man than most in the series. He allowed Grindlewald to continue his reign of terror for years out of love. That is not acceptable hero behaviour. Jo says this is a partial justification for such behaviour, but I do not agree with that logic.

snuka October 21st, 2007 8:01 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by wicked87 (Post 4818943)
I agree. I think there are certain things that I won't really forgive Dumbledore for, mainly the 7 Potters. i just couldn't believe he would sacrifice the lives of all those people who had been by his side and trusted him without consequence.

I just wish he'd confided in McGonagall or someone in the Order, and preferrably tell Harry more on Horcruxes and Hallows - I thnk Harry earned the truth by OOTP.

I think lives could have been saved...it felt odd that Snape knew more than anyone, and probably risked - and gave - more than anyone else.

62442al_Man October 21st, 2007 8:18 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jessica (Post 4818507)
My impression is that they were possibly more than friends at Hogwarts and that they likely got back together later in life. IMO the press treats Doge almost like the widow in interviews.

I disagree, I dont think that Grindelwald never shared the same feelings that Dumbledore did, hence why JKR makes that statement about blind love.

kingwidgit October 21st, 2007 8:32 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ugacpa (Post 4819702)
I think this revelation shows Dumbledore to be a far weaker man than most in the series. He allowed Grindlewald to continue his reign of terror for years out of love. That is not acceptable hero behaviour. Jo says this is a partial justification for such behaviour, but I do not agree with that logic.

Dumbledore, despite his utter brilliance, was a flawed person. No one in HP was wholly good, pure, and perfect.

I see JKs answer from a different point of view. To me she wasn't justifying Dumbledore's hesitation to act against Grindelwald at all. Instead she was saying that Dumbledore was in love, and while in love he made excuses and turned a blind eye and deaf ears to the rumors about Grindelwald---until the fight that ended with his sister's death.
JKs New York InterviewDumbledore fell in love with Grindelwald, and that that added to his horror when Grindelwald showed himself to be what he was. To an extent, do we say it excused Dumbledore a little more because falling in love can blind us to an extent? But, he met someone as brilliant as he was, and rather like Bellatrix he was very drawn to this brilliant person, and horribly, terribly let down by him.
This is definitely in line with canon:
DH, King's Cross"Oh, I had a few scruples. I assuaged my conscience with empty words."
***
"Did I know, in my heart of hearts, what Gellert Grindelwald was? I think I did, but I closed my eyes."
***
"The Resurrection Stone---to him, though I pretended not to know it, it meant an army of Inferi!"
***
"Reality returned in the form of my rough, unlettered, and infinitely more admirable brother. I did not want to hear the truths he shouted at me. I did not want to hear that I could not set forth to seek Hallows with a fragile and unstable sister in tow."
***
"Grindelwald lost control. That which I always sensed in him, though I pretended not to know, now sprang into terrible being."
***
"Well, Grindelwald fled, as any but I could have predicted."
According to canon, it was shame and fear---of not knowing whether he was responsible for the death of his sister or not---that kept him from acting against Grindelwald.

anabel October 21st, 2007 10:25 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by lushesx3 (Post 4818802)
used to wonder a bit whether his trust of Snape came from some kind of secret relationship between them.

That would be in direct contradiction of Snape being motivated wholly by his love for Lily.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jessica (Post 4818883)
I didn't mean because of his homosexuality at all. I was just referring to the tragic consequences of love in his own life. I think it's amazing that he can be so confident and hopeful about love and it's power to do good.

That is amazing. It would be more likely under normal circumstances, for Dumbledore's bad experience with Grindelwald to convince him that love = weakness!

GriseldatheGood October 21st, 2007 11:13 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mwbashful18 (Post 4818462)
One thing I would think is possible, given the intolerance and prejudice she explores within the books regarding half-bloods and pure-bloods and such, is whether the wizarding community at large knew of Dumbledore as a gay figure, and perhaps in OotP, some of the bits where Dumbledore is dragged through the mud by the Ministry were reflections on this fact? I mean, I recall Skeeter mentioning either in DH or OotP, as well as the Daily Prophet and their rubbish in OotP, something about whether Dumbledore's relationship with Harry was "unhealthy" or something. Many of the articles in OotP where the Ministry tries to sway the wizarding community against Dumbledore and Harry seem to suggest, now, that perhaps Dumbledore's sexuality was known to say Fudge and it was his smear campaign to suggest that the wizened Albus was a pedophile of sorts. I mean, it all certainly smells of such discrimination and contempt if we read it that way. Again, we did not know this information during OotP so it was just a plain smear campaign within the framework of the story, but adding this layer of characterization makes that part of OotP stand out more now, as well as the hooplah surrounding Dumbledore in DH and Skeeter's book, and Elphias Doge's role as well.

I've been reading about Oscar Wilde recently and, doing the math, I realized that Dumbledore grew up in Victorian Britain, a culture in which, hypocritically, homosexuality was both taboo/illegal and widely but covertly practiced among adolescent males in boarding schools. If he ever did come out as a young man to colleagues, it would have been quite a brave thing to do! However, we don't know if Victorian-era wizard culture was the same as muggle culture. Do you think he did an Oscar Wilde and went to Azkaban for his lifestyle, or stayed closeted to all but his closest friends, or perhaps lived in a more tolerant society?

Rell October 22nd, 2007 12:03 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by GriseldatheGood (Post 4819969)
Do you think he did an Oscar Wilde and went to Azkaban for his lifestyle, or stayed closeted to all but his closest friends, or perhaps lived in a more tolerant society?

If there had been a scandal concerning Dumbledore's orientation, I feel absolutely sure that Rita Skeeter would have had it documented and that Auntie Muriel would have relayed it.

wickedwickedboy October 22nd, 2007 12:21 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Unless JKR says differently, imo the wizard world is compeltely tolerant of all relationships and does not place the stigma on various relationships like the muggles do. That is my optimistic view. :) So in my opinion, Dumbledore would not have had to hide his sexual proclivity or have had to face any recriminations from society in that regard. Thus I don't feel that it affected his character overall.

HagridsSecret October 22nd, 2007 12:23 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Besides possibly Atticus Finch, Dumbledore is my all-time favorite fictional character. However, I feel as if Rowling might have tarnished his legacy as almost a 'publicity stunt'. Not that I feel that him being homosexual ruins the wisdom of his words and courage of his actions, but to pull the carpet out from under all the readers after the series is OVER is a serious mistreatment of us, the fans. It's not the same shock that came after he died, it is much different. It's more like a "are you kiddin me?"

Jessica October 22nd, 2007 12:26 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Just to keep it clear this is a thread for analysis of Dumbledore's character. Your reaction to his homosexuality belongs here: Homosexuality in Harry Potter. We'll also have a thread up in the next 24 hours about JKR's decision to out Dumbledore :)

birdi86 October 22nd, 2007 5:06 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Not that I feel that him being homosexual ruins the wisdom of his words and courage of his actions, but to pull the carpet out from under all the readers after the series is OVER is a serious mistreatment of us, the fans. It's not the same shock that came after he died, it is much different. It's more like a "are you kiddin me?"
Speak for yourself. I don't feel mistreated and neither do my friends who were into the series. I had kind of assumed there was something more than friendship between Grindelwald and Dumbledore from DH, this interview just proved me right.

And if it doesn't matter... then why should it matter? It's not like there was any evidence in the books that Dumbledore was heterosexual, unless one assumes that everyone is straight.

wicked87 October 22nd, 2007 6:45 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by snuka (Post 4819710)
I just wish he'd confided in McGonagall or someone in the Order, and preferrably tell Harry more on Horcruxes and Hallows - I thnk Harry earned the truth by OOTP.

I think lives could have been saved...it felt odd that Snape knew more than anyone, and probably risked - and gave - more than anyone else.

I agree, i think Harry definitely deserved more information. I understand why Snape was given the most info, and i think he deserved all the knowledge he was given, and I don't think Dumbledore should have used Snape the way he did. I was pretty mad at DD after I learned what he did to Snape.

Belgarath2 October 22nd, 2007 4:26 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
[response to deleted post removed - off topic]
Anyway, the news about Dumbledore doesn't change my opinion of his character, I still love him, although I'm a bit annoyed that a fanfic I wrote about him being young and in love with a young lady is now irrelevant (actually the whole of DH did that to my story!).
I think he is someone who made mistakes in his youth as everyone does, but he paid a rather bigger price than most people, ie. the loss of his sister. But he grew up to be extremely wise and noble, and realises that love can be a good thing - that of Snape for Lily making him redeem his death eater ways.
When I read that bit from Rita about his relationship with Harry being unhealthy, I knew what she was getting at; but I do not see it in that way whatsoever.

jammi567 October 22nd, 2007 8:21 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
What i don't get about the guy is why he trusted Snape, simply because he loved Lily. I mean, i wouldn't trust somebody solely on the basis of that.

Xaquin October 22nd, 2007 8:30 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jammi567 (Post 4820953)
What i don't get about the guy is why he trusted Snape, simply because he loved Lily. I mean, i wouldn't trust somebody solely on the basis of that.

or also, in the light that he 'loved Grindelvald' and he did DD wrong (I suppose), why then would he trust Snapes love for Lily?

Yoana October 22nd, 2007 8:31 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
But he stored a lot by love, it was his greatest belief and value. Plus he saw Snape felt real remorse. And as we saw, he was right to trust him.

Artemis_Fowl_2 October 22nd, 2007 8:46 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jammi567 (Post 4820953)
What i don't get about the guy is why he trusted Snape, simply because he loved Lily. I mean, i wouldn't trust somebody solely on the basis of that.

Dumbledore believed love was a very powerful thing. He thought that Harry's ability to love was the power Voldemort did not have according to the prophecy. My guess is that this belief is what made him believe Snape.

arithmancer October 22nd, 2007 9:15 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Albus Dumbledore had more reasons than just Snape's love for Lily to trust him. Initially, after their first meeting, I don't necessarily think he did trust Snape. He may well have taken a wait and see attitude. The potential cost of carefully starting to use Snape as a spy was clearly outweighed by the enormous benefit having a Death Eater spy would provide, if Snape proved to be for real.

After months and later years of working with Snape, though, I think it was entirely reasonable for him to develop that trust. We don't know of an instance in which Snape betrayed it, in sixteen years.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Xaquin (Post 4820966)
or also, in the light that he 'loved Grindelvald' and he did DD wrong (I suppose), why then would he trust Snapes love for Lily?

I think Dumbledore may have come to understand that he loved Grindelwald more than Grindelwald loved him back. So the fact that Grindelwald did him wrong, does not provide an example of someone who truly loves, and is evil to the object of his love at the same time.

Also, in a way Dumbledore probably saw himself as like Snape in having this unrequited love, but as Snape's opposite in terms of the effect it had on them. Dumbledore overlooked a dark streak he saw in Grindelwald and his led to his own involvement int he death of his sister. Snape, on the other hand, was in love with someone who did not lead him astray - on the contrary, his love for her motivated him to rethink the very dark course he had chosen for his life and try to make up for it.

anabel October 22nd, 2007 9:45 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by zgirnius (Post 4821056)
Also, in a way Dumbledore probably saw himself as like Snape in having this unrequited love, but as Snape's opposite in terms of the effect it had on them. Dumbledore overlooked a dark streak he saw in Grindelwald and his led to his own involvement int he death of his sister. Snape, on the other hand, was in love with someone who did not lead him astray - on the contrary, his love for her motivated him to rethink the very dark course he had chosen for his life and try to make up for it.

I wonder if Grindelwald loved Dumbledore, but like Snape, was too blinded by his ambition to realise that what he was doing was not only wrong but would lose him his love? Then, after years of imprisonment, Grindelwald tried to hinder Voldemort - he even mocked him. Did Grindelwald realise that he had done wrong just as Snape did?

eatus_Benevol1 October 23rd, 2007 3:17 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
1. What are your general thoughts on Dumbledore as a character through books 1-7? Do you see a difference in his behavior and/or actions between the books? I see Dumbledore as more jovial and amusing in the first few books; his complex personality and his admiration/love for Harry increases through the series.

2. Throughout the books, Dumbledore seems to always be teaching Harry something, but his lessons are sometimes hidden and subtle. What do you believe are the most important lessons Dumbledore taught Harry?I think Dumbledore wanted Harry to learn to believe in himself & his abilities through the tasks he accomplished, accompanied by Dumbledore's and some of Harry's peers word's of praise and appreciation (something Harry never experienced living with the Dursleys). Is there anything you think Dumbledore should have told Harry before he died?I think he gave Harry what he needed to know - he taught Harry to reason and think through things.

3. What did you think of the revelations of DH regarding Dumbledore's family? How did these tragedies effect the person he is now? I think DH did a great job of explaining the reason for a lot of the complexity to DD's character, and why he felt such empathy towards those students who were "different" or were not from a pureblood or well to do family.

4. Why do you think Dumbledore and Grindelwald were friends? How did Dumbledore's homosexuality affect his susceptibility to Grindelwald's ideas? I think the two were drawn by their intellects and by their eager desire and curiosity to be on the Deathly Hallows "quest" - sort of like the search for the Holy Grail. Perhaps DD's sexual desires/relationship with Grindelwald clouded his ability to see that the two of them supported different means to accomplish the same goal.

5. Was Dumbledore right to keep so many secrets from so many people? Was this secrecy because of his sister? Because of his own homosexuality? I think all of the above - we all have "burdens" or "challenges" in our life that we don't feel compelled to tell the whole world; but that doesn't mean that these happenings or experiences can't make us stronger and a better person for having lived through or with them

6. What do you think of Dumbledore's recognition of his own failings? His decision not to enter the Ministry? Even though we now know about Dumbledore's relationship with Grindelwald, I still feel in my heart of hearts that the reason DD didn't accept the MOM position was because he blamed himself for his sister's death; and he blamed his head over heels infatuation/love for Grindelwald for blinding him to the neglect he had for his sister that summer

7. Do you think Dumbledore expected too much from Harry?Not at all Did he do the right thing? Was it fair to ask Harry to sacrifice himself? I don't think DD asked any more of Harry than he did himself - after all, Dumbledore didn't have to let Draco disarm him, but he chose to, in effect, sacrificing himself.

8. Does the revelation of his homosexuality ultimately affect his character? What actions, if any, do you see differently now? I think it adds yet another facet to his very deep character; I also think it helps explain why he chose to focus all his energies and drive in later years on pursuing the "common good" in his own way; if Grindewald was his only real love in life, he took all that sexual, psychic, emotional energy and focused on righting wrongs and fighting evil for the rest of his life.

MC2456 October 23rd, 2007 8:11 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jammi567 (Post 4820953)
What i don't get about the guy is why he trusted Snape, simply because he loved Lily. I mean, i wouldn't trust somebody solely on the basis of that.

Their situations are similar, and therefore, I think this is one of the reasons why Dumbledore trusted Snape. Both had loved and lost, in a different way, but still having the same emotions.

Also, Dumbledore has always regarded love not as a emotion, but a force that binds people together; a power that can overcome evil. While he is intelligent and stuff, I believe he looks with his heart instead of his eyes for certain situations...and that is probably why he trusts Snape.

ginnyluv October 23rd, 2007 11:15 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
He was careless of his poor little sister though...so sad i hate that she died

The_Green_Woods October 23rd, 2007 4:39 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
1. What are your general thoughts on Dumbledore as a character through books 1-7? Do you see a difference in his behavior and/or actions between the books?

Well he comes across from a benevolent old man who was very wise and kind and at the same time extremely strong and prepared to stand up for the underdogs in Books I to IV and from the fifth book we begin to see a powerful, still very wise and still standing up for the less fortunate and everyone who needs his help, but to achieve the desired goals this DD is willing to manipulate people to almost any extent.

2. Throughout the books, Dumbledore seems to always be teaching Harry something, but his lessons are sometimes hidden and subtle. What do you believe are the most important lessons Dumbledore taught Harry? Did Dumbledore adequately prepare Harry for the trials that lie ahead in book 7? Is there anything you think Dumbledore should have told Harry before he died?

He taught Harry to be think before he chose and he taught Harry about the importance of choices and how they would define us and also taught him about the power of love; but he did not prepare Harry in Dueling and also the Dark Arts that Harry should have known -- because he was fighting a side that used only the Dark Arts as it were.

3. What did you think of the revelations of DH regarding Dumbledore's family? How did these tragedies effect the person he is now?

He is, I believe everything because of that terrible tragedy. In one blow he lost his sister, his lover and his dreams -- it must have shattered him completely and from the ashes was born this DD we know and love.

4. Why do you think Dumbledore and Grindelwald were friends? How did Dumbledore's homosexuality affect his susceptibility to Grindelwald's ideas?

Mainly because of the letter DD writes GG where he says he is glad GG was expelled from Durmstrang because he would not have come to Godric's Hollow otherwise.

For the first time Jo says DD found his equal and it helped that GG was good looking and DD was smitten with him.

But I do not think that DD was influenced by GG ideas because DD liked HIM -- remember DD himself had no reason to like muggles; his sister was unstable and his mother dead and his father in Azkaban and DD with the responsibility of the family on his shoulders all because of the nasty muggle bullies who tormented his sister and caused her to become magically unstable.

He agreed with the basic ideas of GG but he did turn a blind eye to the deeper and the more nastier ones because he did not want to lose his friend, lover and equal.


5. Was Dumbledore right to keep so many secrets from so many people? Was this secrecy because of his sister? Because of his own homosexuality?

Well I really do not know how to answer this, maybe it was a combination of the second and third questions or maybe it was his inherent nature to be secretive.

Was he right to do so? DEFINITELY NOT -- In a war of this magnitude he should not have kept so many secrets all to himself. There are unbreakable vows, magical oaths and so many other things he could have used and shared the horcruxes, the prophecy and Snape's innocence and the plan for Snape to kill him at the end of the year to some of the more important members of the Order like, Moody, Shaklebolt, Doge, Diggle, the Weasleys, Harry, Lupin, Sirius, Tonks and Snape, Harry, Hermione and Ron. No one would have betrayed and it would have made the job easy for Harry and Snape would have had a better deal instead of having to work all alone.


6. What do you think of Dumbledore's recognition of his own failings? His decision not to enter the Ministry?

He was a wise man and this decision shows that.

7. Do you think Dumbledore expected too much from Harry? Did he do the right thing? Was it fair to ask Harry to sacrifice himself?

It would have been fine to for Harry to sacrifice himself -- if it had been Harry's choice. It was not and DD forgot himself and he CHOSE for Harry. I think that was a bit unfair and showed his manipulative nature.

Yes. He did ask too much from a seventeen year old boy who was fighting blind.


8. Does the revelation of his homosexuality ultimately affect his character? What actions, if any, do you see differently now?

His character, I do not think so. But now I think there is greater understanding of his actions. His back story tells us the tradegy of his life and I think there is a parallel to Snape. Both loved -- DD lost GG and he spent the rest of his life fighting the evil he had almost created with the man he loved and Snape lost his love because of his own foolishness and spent the rest of his life fighting the evil he was a part of, which killed her.

CoeurDeLyon October 23rd, 2007 8:47 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
1. What are your general thoughts on Dumbledore as a character through books 1-7? Do you see a difference in his behavior and/or actions between the books?

He is your wise old wizard who has to die. He seems somewhat typical to me through the first couple of books. I love that we finally learn about his family and his bakground. I do see a difference in his actions from 1-7. By Book 6 you can since a rush that he needs to get certain information to Harry because he knows he will die soon.

2. Throughout the books, Dumbledore seems to always be teaching Harry something, but his lessons are sometimes hidden and subtle. What do you believe are the most important lessons Dumbledore taught Harry? Did Dumbledore adequately prepare Harry for the trials that lie ahead in book 7? Is there anything you think Dumbledore should have told Harry before he died?

He never once taught Harry about dueling which I always thought was odd since he was kind of setting him up for this show down with Voldemort. All he did was fill Harry up with knowledge. I think it was a good idea, but seeing as Harry only had a dec ent DADA teacher his third year, I would have expected DD to be showing him a little more.

3. What did you think of the revelations of DH regarding Dumbledore's family? How did these tragedies effect the person he is now?

I think what happened that night with Grindelwald and Ariana is what made him the person he became. He took his theory of the Greater good and applied it in every scenario with Harry and Hogwarts. And its what Harry needed, because he would have done things for instant gratification.

4. Why do you think Dumbledore and Grindelwald were friends? How did Dumbledore's homosexuality affect his susceptibility to Grindelwald's ideas?

I think it was about DD finding his equal and someone who could challenge him in many ways. DD was an advanced wizard, and I dont think many thought as he did. I think he found Grindelwald and was lost in adoration for him, and those feelings amounted to so much more. I also think he was lost in Grindelwads plans as well, and possibly followed in a little deeper than he would naturally have. I think he took that as a lesson, and didnt let his feelings distract him again.

5. Was Dumbledore right to keep so many secrets from so many people? Was this secrecy because of his sister? Because of his own homosexuality?

Was he right to do so? I dont think there is a right or a wrong. He did what needed to be done and what others werent brave enough to do. Nobody needed to know the secrets of his family, no one needed to know about Grindelwald. I think thats where people felt wrong for trusting him when he had so many secrets himself, but none of it was necessary to tell.

6. What do you think of Dumbledore's recognition of his own failings? His decision not to enter the Ministry?

It made him very wise. He always did what needed to be done. He managed to put his own feelings aside for the greater good.

7. Do you think Dumbledore expected too much from Harry? Did he do the right thing? Was it fair to ask Harry to sacrifice himself?

I think DD thought age wasnt relevant to much Harry needed to accomplish. Harry needed to be courageous, and brave and have the will to succeed. The motivation was the nature of the beast and thats all Harry really needed. Was it fair to ask Harry to sacrifice himself? I think it had to happen. Harry was a horcrux, and because his blood ran through Voldemort, only Volde could kill Harry and have Harry survive. I dont think DD had to ask Harry to do so, I think Harry would have done it on his own.

8. Does the revelation of his homosexuality ultimately affect his character? What actions, if any, do you see differently now?
I dont see any actions differently. I honestly think it just gave him a little more depth. It isnt critical to the story, it doesnt cause an epiphany. Its a tiny part of the story that will make critics and Harry Potter haters even more pessimistic.

SusanBones October 23rd, 2007 9:49 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by CoeurDeLyon (Post 4822228)
2. Throughout the books, Dumbledore seems to always be teaching Harry something, but his lessons are sometimes hidden and subtle. What do you believe are the most important lessons Dumbledore taught Harry? Did Dumbledore adequately prepare Harry for the trials that lie ahead in book 7? Is there anything you think Dumbledore should have told Harry before he died?

He never once taught Harry about dueling which I always thought was odd since he was kind of setting him up for this show down with Voldemort. All he did was fill Harry up with knowledge. I think it was a good idea, but seeing as Harry only had a dec ent DADA teacher his third year, I would have expected DD to be showing him a little more.

I always thought that was odd, too, that Dumbledore didn't teach Harry how to fight Voldemort. Then, when it urned out that Harry had to die in order to destroy the Voldy soul fragment, I assumed it was because he didn't want Harry to think that fighting was an option. If Dumbledore had taught Harry to fight, then Harry would have thought he had to fight. Instead, he taught Harry to find horcruxes, and that is what Harry did.

jammi567 October 23rd, 2007 9:52 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SusanBones111 (Post 4822315)
I always thought that was odd, too, that Dumbledore didn't teach Harry how to fight Voldemort. Then, when it urned out that Harry had to die in order to destroy the Voldy soul fragment, I assumed it was because he didn't want Harry to think that fighting was an option. If Dumbledore had taught Harry to fight, then Harry would have thought he had to fight. Instead, he taught Harry to find horcruxes, and that is what Harry did.

Afterall, you can fight against someone/thing without physically fighting. I think tat that's quite cool, that Dumbledore was a pacifist, but knew when a fight needed to be fought

CoeurDeLyon October 24th, 2007 2:23 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
I never thought of that, but DD is somewhat of a pacifist isnt he?
Always trying to teach Harry how to outsmart Voldemort rather than showing him spells to KO him.
Brains over brawn, I guess.

The_Green_Woods October 24th, 2007 4:34 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Yeah DD was a pacifist alright, but I think he should have taught Harry more about dueling and even the Dark Arts, simply because the side he was fighting against used only offensive curses, unforgivables and the darkest of arts all the time.

Harry, IMO could have been taught the basics, nothing more and also the counters to some of the nastier curses the DE threw at one and all.

houseelf25 October 24th, 2007 4:55 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
1. What are your general thoughts on Dumbledore as a character through books 1-7? Do you see a difference in his behavior and/or actions between the books?
I think Dumbledore is probably one of Jo's best-crafted characters; he's such a complex person, it's so interesting to learn about him, especially in DH. Also he's just so wise, it's hard for me to NOT like him, although there were a few moments in DH that bothered me.

2. Throughout the books, Dumbledore seems to always be teaching Harry something, but his lessons are sometimes hidden and subtle. What do you believe are the most important lessons Dumbledore taught Harry? Did Dumbledore adequately prepare Harry for the trials that lie ahead in book 7? Is there anything you think Dumbledore should have told Harry before he died?
Tolerance, Love, and definately all those things about Tom Riddle. I think he prepared him enough for him to be able to figure things out but still be challenged. I don't think that Dumbledore really had anything that he had to say to Harry before he died.

3. What did you think of the revelations of DH regarding Dumbledore's family? How did these tragedies effect the person he is now?
I was completely surprised, but I began to think about it and I totally think that it explained why Dumbledore seemed to care so much more about everyone, even Riddle.

4. Why do you think Dumbledore and Grindelwald were friends? How did Dumbledore's homosexuality affect his susceptibility to Grindelwald's ideas?
I think they were friends because they met each other at a time when they both were in need of mental stimulation. Being alone with his mad sister and goat-obsessed brother must have left Dumbledore wanting some kind of mental help. As for the susceptibility to Grindelwald's ideas, I think that because Dumbledore was in love with him, he was blinded to the reality of the ideas and how horrible they really were.

5. Was Dumbledore right to keep so many secrets from so many people? Was this secrecy because of his sister? Because of his own homosexuality?
I think everyone has the right to have secrets, and I don't really think Dumbledore was being secretive, it was more a "don't ask, don't tell" sort of situation.

6. What do you think of Dumbledore's recognition of his own failings? His decision not to enter the Ministry?
I think it was a good thing that he recognized his own failings, because if he had been Minister, he wouldn't have been headmaster of Hogwarts!

7. Do you think Dumbledore expected too much from Harry? Did he do the right thing? Was it fair to ask Harry to sacrifice himself?
When I first read DH, yes, I did think it was too much to ask of him, but overall it was the right thing, cause Harry lived anyway...
I'm not entirely sure if it was fair to ask Harry to sacrifice himself, but I think that it was more unfair to ask Snape to keep him alive without giving him the full story.

8. Does the revelation of his homosexuality ultimately affect his character? What actions, if any, do you see differently now?
I only see the whole Grindelwald thing in a different light, not his character. I think that that entire situation (homosexuality included) definately changed how Dumbledore viewed life, and I'm very glad that Jo revealed this tidbit of info.

kjty2k October 24th, 2007 5:10 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
1. What are your general thoughts on Dumbledore as a character through books 1-7? Do you see a difference in his behavior and/or actions between the books?
I love Albus Dumbledore and I always will. He's very wise and he never says anything that is not worth being said. He has always been reserved and secretive but that is part of what makes him Dumbledore. He definitely changed throughout the series, trusting Harry more and more, but he always knows his greatest faults and his greatest limitations and owns up to it. That makes him very respectable.

2. Throughout the books, Dumbledore seems to always be teaching Harry something, but his lessons are sometimes hidden and subtle. What do you believe are the most important lessons Dumbledore taught Harry? Did Dumbledore adequately prepare Harry for the trials that lie ahead in book 7? Is there anything you think Dumbledore should have told Harry before he died?
He gave Harry a family and he also gave Harry trust. Yes, Dumbledore was a trusting man throughout the entire series to most characters; however, that was something Harry never had growing up. I think he could have better prepared Harry, yes. Considering Harry was the ONLY one who could actually defeat Voldemort, he deserved to know everything Dumbledore had to tell him.

3. What did you think of the revelations of DH regarding Dumbledore's family? How did these tragedies effect the person he is now?
A brilliant man stuck in an average family is going to be a tough thing. That being said...he loved his family. Him and his brother might have had their disagreements and Albus, obviously, was the more talented of the two and Aberforth resented that to some extent. Obviously, when his dad is less than respectable and his mom dies soon after his dad is sent off to prison how would you expect a genius to react? Then, when Ariana died he didn't know what to do. I think the prospect of him being blamed for it made him more reserved. It explains a lot, people in grief are often reserved about themselves and it explains a lot about Dumbledore.


4. Why do you think Dumbledore and Grindelwald were friends? How did Dumbledore's homosexuality affect his susceptibility to Grindelwald's ideas?

Their intellectual level began their friendship. Dumbledore never had anyone he could talk to that was on his same level who understood everything that he presented. He meant a lot and, since he was attracted to Grindelwald he was willing to listen to anything Grindelwald presented, and most likely accept it for acceptance in return.

5. Was Dumbledore right to keep so many secrets from so many people? Was this secrecy because of his sister? Because of his own homosexuality?

No, Harry deserved to know EVERYTHING about Voldemort. Other than that, his personal life is his personal life. His past is his past. He has the right to share or not to share, just like all of us. He probably became more reserved because of his past.

6. What do you think of Dumbledore's recognition of his own failings? His decision not to enter the Ministry?
Proves that he was a very wise man, indeed.


7. Do you think Dumbledore expected too much from Harry? Did he do the right thing? Was it fair to ask Harry to sacrifice himself?

Like I've said before, Harry deserved to know EVERYTHING when it came to Voldemort. His personality suggests that he would have chosen to sacrifice himself...he likes "playing the hero" after all. Was it fair to ask Harry to give up his life? Not really, but is it fair to ask the rest of the wizarding world to be suspectible to Lord Voldemort because the only person who can save them won't? No. It appears to be a lose-lose situation and I honestly believe that Dumbledore did what he thought was best.


8. Does the revelation of his homosexuality ultimately affect his character? What actions, if any, do you see differently now?

I don't. Dumbledore never let anything like that get in the way. He acted from his head, not from his heart when it really mattered.

wicked87 October 24th, 2007 7:17 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods (Post 4822015)
[color="DarkSlateBlue"]1.

5. Was Dumbledore right to keep so many secrets from so many people? Was this secrecy because of his sister? Because of his own homosexuality?

Well I really do not know how to answer this, maybe it was a combination of the second and third questions or maybe it was his inherent nature to be secretive.

Was he right to do so? DEFINITELY NOT -- In a war of this magnitude he should not have kept so many secrets all to himself. There are unbreakable vows, magical oaths and so many other things he could have used and shared the horcruxes, the prophecy and Snape's innocence and the plan for Snape to kill him at the end of the year to some of the more important members of the Order like, Moody, Shaklebolt, Doge, Diggle, the Weasleys, Harry, Lupin, Sirius, Tonks and Snape, Harry, Hermione and Ron. No one would have betrayed and it would have made the job easy for Harry and Snape would have had a better deal instead of having to work all alone.

i definetely agree with your point on this. All of those people were extremely loyal. I think they had proved that by their actions: basically risking their lived. But he still didn't give them enough respect to tell them anything. I'm still upset about it.

gertiekeddle October 24th, 2007 7:21 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
I think Dumbledore should have told a few people more about what they risking their life for, but I don't think it had fit to his character to let them use magical oaths or even dark magic (unbreakable vow). He trusted in the humans surrounding him, what seems to be a major part of his character for me. We know he got promises from for instance Harry and Snape to take care for smaller or huge tasks, but I can't imagine him forcing them to give a promise supported by magic protection. It still has to be their own decision.

Starrlight October 24th, 2007 7:29 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
I was sorry to see JKR state that Dumbledore's infatuation with Grindelwald blinded him to Grindelwald's dark ways. Love blinds you to your lover's faults--that's just too "romance novel plot" to be believed. While reading DH, I assumed that JKR was going for something deeper--we all have a dark side, and Dumbledore flirted with that dark side: he was tempted by power. Instead of a complex, powerful man being tempted by evil, repenting, and trying to find a way to live with himself after a tragedy, we get that same old McGonnagal "you're too noble to use your power" Dumbledore from the very first book. He's the wonderful guy Doge remembered who just made a mistake because he was in love. Sheesh--that's as superficial as it gets! I didn't like DH anyway, I was tremendously disappointed with it for reasons that I won't go into here, and now I have one less reason to reread the series to see if I can come to love it again.

The_Green_Woods October 24th, 2007 7:41 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Gertiekeddle
I think Dumbledore should have told a few people more about what they risking their life for, but I don't think it had fit to his character to let them use magical oaths or even dark magic (unbreakable vow). He trusted in the humans surrounding him, what seems to be a major part of his character for me. We know he got promises from for instance Harry and Snape to take care for smaller or huge tasks, but I can't imagine him forcing them to give a promise supported by magic protection. It still has to be their own decision.
I did not know that an unbreakable vow was Dark Magic, okay that negates the use of the vow, but I still feel DD could have asked for a promise or oath to reveal a few important things to the Inner Circle of the Order. IMO everyone was fighting blind...

Harry IMO was fighting blind; Snape did not know about the horcruxes was also fighting blind, I felt. And Harry is someone who understands. We saw that in POA where he gives Sirius a chance to speak; at a time when everyone including Harry thought he was responsible for the Potters murder.

Had DD expalined things to Harry and Snape, I firmly believe they could have and would have worked together and maybe even saved Snape's life, and mybe, maybe... I think, also the lives of Moody and Hedwig...

Moriath October 24th, 2007 7:59 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Can we keep this on Dumbledore and the analysis of his character? If you want to voice your disappointment about the last book, please do so in Deathly Hallows: A disappointment? v2

gertiekeddle October 24th, 2007 8:12 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods (Post 4822880)
Had DD expalined things to Harry and Snape, I firmly believe they could have and would have worked together and maybe even saved Snape's life, and mybe, maybe... I think, also the lives of Moody and Hedwig...

We definitely agree here about that Dumbledore could or should have told more. But I can't see Harry and Snape ever working together - it was Snape who asked to not reveal all to Harry and the whole polt structure (Voldemort being able to use legilimency for instance) seems to deny this possibitily for me.

So while I agree Dumbledore acted very secretive to get his plan done and this certainly is a sign of his character, he was not responsible for all what happened. Also they were in war - I don't know whether there was any possibility to save any more lifes for Dumbledore. I see it as a one of his characteristics that he didn't want to see more people dead though.

The_Green_Woods October 24th, 2007 8:27 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
I feel DD is a combination of wisdom, good nature and also extreme manipulation... IMO DD largely sees only the bigger picture and that was why his secrecy was paramount to him... because he was IMO palying with the lives of the others sometimes, only sometimes and largely, I believe when he could not avoid it, but nevertheless did chose for others if needed, I always thought and IMO surely that would not go down well with the others...

I also believe that DD thought that when presented the case fully to the Order embers who could be trusted they may not agree to be sacrificed for the greater good; like the seven Potters--that was surely dangerous and casuality ridden IMO

Was that one more reason for DD to be secretive; What do people think?

I think, this was also a factor that was a part of his character...

Moriath October 24th, 2007 8:33 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
I think that with extreme intelligence there came quite a bit of confidence, and yes, arrogance. Dumbledore was convinced that he knew best and very often, he was right. So he assumed that not telling the Order would be for the greater good. This is morally questionable but revealing every little detail would probably have resulted in squabbling and discord.

The_Green_Woods October 24th, 2007 9:40 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Moriath
I think that with extreme intelligence there came quite a bit of confidence, and yes, arrogance. Dumbledore was convinced that he knew best and very often, he was right. So he assumed that not telling the Order would be for the greater good. This is morally questionable but revealing every little detail would probably have resulted in squabbling and discord.
What you have said is very correct, but IMO the mistakes he made because of this, should I say attitude, or well extreme confidence, were very huge and DD himself admits to this in HBP where he tells harry that his mistakes have huge repercussions.

Two deaths IMO that could have definitely been avoided was Sirius in the OOTP and Snape in DH I felt...

While he need not have revealed every single detail as you have so rightly pointed out; such a thing would have surely created only chaos within the Order, the major things IMO should have been told.

Also another sad mistake I feel IMO, could have been surely avoided was to tell Snape that Harry would have lived and had he done so, I think Snape would have died happy, died, IMO thinking he had saved the child of Lily Potter...

CoeurDeLyon October 24th, 2007 6:54 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods (Post 4822922)
What you have said is very correct, but IMO the mistakes he made because of this, should I say attitude, or well extreme confidence, were very huge and DD himself admits to this in HBP where he tells harry that his mistakes have huge repercussions.

Two deaths IMO that could have definitely been avoided was Sirius in the OOTP and Snape in DH I felt...

While he need not have revealed every single detail as you have so rightly pointed out; such a thing would have surely created only chaos within the Order, the major things IMO should have been told.

I agree here. Dumbledore knew the connection between Harry and Voldemort existed. He didnt have to tell Harry all of his plans, but he could have told him what Voldemort might do, and how he might attack his mind or play tricks on it, instead of letting Snape teach him occlumency. That was a choice I never quite inderstood. Snape wasnt exactly the nicest person to Harry, and Harry was still a kid.

arithmancer October 24th, 2007 8:58 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods (Post 4822922)
Also another sad mistake I feel IMO, could have been surely avoided was to tell Snape that Harry would have lived and had he done so, I think Snape would have died happy, died, IMO thinking he had saved the child of Lily Potter...

I agree that Snape not having been told about the possibility Harry would survive is one of the more tragic aspects of his death. However, I cannot object to Dumbledore's decision not to tell him. As I understand it, for the protection to work as it actually did, for the Horcrux to be destroyed without killing Harry, Harry's love and willingness to die was a contributing factor. A willingness to maybe die (rather than surely die) might not have sufficed to protect Harry.

And as things turned out, Snape had to share with Harry what he believed to be the truth. He could not have lied, and hidden from Harry the possibility of his survival, because he communicated the secret to Harry through showing a memory of what Dumbledore told him. I think Dumbledore may have been expecting some similar method to be used, since a simple statement of the facts by Snape would probably have had little chance of convincing Harry.

As a secondary point, there is the problem of Snape's proximity to Voldemort. The only way for Harry to survive the Horcrux removal is for Voldemort to kill him. Fortunately, Voldemort had become fixated on killing Harry himself, but that could have changed, had Snape somehow messed up and given himself away, allowing Voldemort to learn all of the secrets that Dumbledore had entrusted to him. The lie to Snape protected Harry in a couple of differnt ways, as I see it.

Snape would have been happier knowing, but from a practical standpoint, he did not need to know to play his role in the plan, and the plan was safer with Snape in the dark.

Yoana October 24th, 2007 9:05 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by zgirnius (Post 4823352)
As I understand it, for the protection to work as it actually did, for the Horcrux to be destroyed without killing Harry, Harry's love and willingness to die was a contributing factor.

I thought so too. But I reread that part last night, and Dumbledore actually says that the blood protection transfer kept both of them bonded/chained to each other, so that Harry couldn't die while Voldemort is still alive. It did leave me wondering why on earth was it important for Harry to believe he was going to die. I'm still wondering.

arithmancer October 24th, 2007 9:05 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by CoeurDeLyon (Post 4823240)
I agree here. Dumbledore knew the connection between Harry and Voldemort existed. He didnt have to tell Harry all of his plans, but he could have told him what Voldemort might do, and how he might attack his mind or play tricks on it, instead of letting Snape teach him occlumency. That was a choice I never quite inderstood. Snape wasnt exactly the nicest person to Harry, and Harry was still a kid.

Dumbledore explained why he did not tell Harry all that himself, he felt it would give Voldemort an incentive to use the connection more if he thought it could be a way to use Harry to spy on Dumbledore. Also, Dumbledore did not JUST send Harry to learn Occlumency from Snape. Snape actually did explain to Harry the things you suggest Dumbledore ought to have explained, about Voldemort attacking his mind or making him do things, in addition to trying to teach Occlumency. I presume Dumbledore thought Harry might, at least, absorb that part of the lessons, since that requires no practice or liking of the teacher. He underestimated the extent to which Harry would discount anything Snape told him.

wickedwickedboy October 24th, 2007 9:34 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by zgirnius (Post 4823360)
Dumbledore explained why he did not tell Harry all that himself, he felt it would give Voldemort an incentive to use the connection more if he thought it could be a way to use Harry to spy on Dumbledore. Also, Dumbledore did not JUST send Harry to learn Occlumency from Snape. Snape actually did explain to Harry the things you suggest Dumbledore ought to have explained, about Voldemort attacking his mind or making him do things, in addition to trying to teach Occlumency. I presume Dumbledore thought Harry might, at least, absorb that part of the lessons, since that requires no practice or liking of the teacher. He underestimated the extent to which Harry would discount anything Snape told him.

I respect your opinion, but Dumbledore said that what he underestimated was Snape's ability to let go of his old grudge against James enough to successfully teach Harry Occulmency (OOTP Brit. Ed. pg. 734-35). Imo, Dumbledore blamed Snape rather than Harry because Snape was the more mature and thus should have been the person to ensure the lessons were carried out despite the aggrevation between the two participants.

Dumbledore, imo, made several similar errors of judgment along the way, however, he did seem willing to readily admit to his mistakes which is admirable. I am not certain I would say that he learned from them, because imo, he made similar errors associated with secrecy, power and control continually until his death.

The_Green_Woods October 25th, 2007 4:10 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally posted by zgirnius
I agree that Snape not having been told about the possibility Harry would survive is one of the more tragic aspects of his death. However, I cannot object to Dumbledore's decision not to tell him. As I understand it, for the protection to work as it actually did, for the Horcrux to be destroyed without killing Harry, Harry's love and willingness to die was a contributing factor. A willingness to maybe die (rather than surely die) might not have sufficed to protect Harry.
Why should it be so? There is nothing in the books, I think, to say that Harry should go into the Forest thinking he must die, instead of willing to die (and I think Harry would have still gone into the Forest) for the horcrux inside him to be destroyed.

I think DD was naturally secretive and his brilliance and enomous magical talent made him a bit arrogant, in thinking IMO, that he could think, analyse and decide better than all. This was an honest arrogance and not the arrogance we imply when we use the word normally. This aspect shows up time and again all through the Books.

It helped, I think, that he was correct in his assumptions and theories more often than not, but the few times he did make mistakes, they cost very heavily.

He sits alone IMO, in more ways than one, that sadly blinds him to the needs of individual persons and emotions -- he is almost, always seeing only the bigger picture.

In that respect it would have been fantastic had he found love after GG with Doge or any other wizard, for that would have healed him a bit and would have IMO, made him not so alone at the top and would have changed his perspective about everything...

sericana October 25th, 2007 4:47 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods (Post 4823790)
I think DD was naturally secretive and his brilliance and enomous magical talent made him a bit arrogant, in thinking IMO, that he could think, analyse and decide better than all. This was an honest arrogance and not the arrogance we imply when we use the word normally. This aspect shows up time and again all through the Books...

I totally agree. DD may have been wrong about what he chose to keep secret and what he chose to impart to others, but it was not due to any desire to imply anyone was undeserving of the information. He simply knew that his methods would lead to the end of Voldemort. He was simply to brilliant for his own good.


p.s. this isnt directed at anyone in particular, but everyone on the forum. Please stop with the use of "IMO." That silly three letter abbreviation only interrupts the flow of your arguments. we realize it is your opinion, if it wasn't yours you wouldn't write it, or it would be in quotes. thanks

wickedwickedboy October 25th, 2007 5:00 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods (Post 4823790)
Why should it be so? There is nothing in the books, I think, to say that Harry should go into the Forest thinking he must die, instead of willing to die (and I think Harry would have still gone into the Forest) for the horcrux inside him to be destroyed.

I think DD was naturally secretive and his brilliance and enomous magical talent made him a bit arrogant, in thinking IMO, that he could think, analyse and decide better than all. This was an honest arrogance and not the arrogance we imply when we use the word normally. This aspect shows up time and again all through the Books.

It helped, I think, that he was correct in his assumptions and theories more often than not, but the few times he did make mistakes, they cost very heavily.

He sits alone IMO, in more ways than one, that sadly blinds him to the needs of individual persons and emotions -- he is almost, always seeing only the bigger picture.

In that respect it would have been fantastic had he found love after GG with Doge or any other wizard, for that would have healed him a bit and would have IMO, made him not so alone at the top and would have changed his perspective about everything...

I agree with you. Imo, Dumbledore needed to share his decision making with another - or others - in order to help with perspective. While I hope he was able to have a wonderful love life, imo, he should have shared his political duties with the members of the Order. There were brilliant people all around him. I also agree that his mistakes were very costly, imo, sometimes needlessly so. However, as you indicated, it did help that everything worked out in the end - at least for those who survived. :)

The_Green_Woods October 25th, 2007 5:02 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally posted by sericana
p.s. this isnt directed at anyone in particular, but everyone on the forum. Please stop with the use of "IMO." That silly three letter abbreviation only interrupts the flow of your arguments. we realize it is your opinion, if it wasn't yours you wouldn't write it, or it would be in quotes. thanks
Hey! I thought so too, until I read a in-thread warning by Jessica who encouraged the use of IMO's and I think's so that everyone would know it is your opinion and you are not talking for Jo, when we write about the characters and the books in general.

Since then, I have been using so many IMo's inserting where ever I can and sometimes it does look silly, but in a heated discussion, it does show that what I am expressing is only MY OPINION and not what Jo meant when she wrote a character or a particular incident...

Quote:

Originally posted by wickedwickedboy
I agree with you. Imo, Dumbledore needed to share his decision making with another - or others - in order to help with perspective. While I hope he was able to have a wonderful love life, imo, he should have shared his political duties with the members of the Order. There were brilliant people all around him. I also agree that his mistakes were very costly, imo, sometimes needlessly so. However, as you indicated, it did help that everything worked out in the end - at least for those who survived.
No, no, no..., I meant that having found that personal love would have made him see persons and individuals instead of strategies and logis... At least I would hope it did.

Or do you think DD would have been the same even then? That is interesting, but it does show him to be a bit more callous than now, when IMO his mistakes can be expalined... sort of.

Chris October 25th, 2007 5:44 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jessica
2. IMO is your friend. Use it in abundance. Use it in overabundance. Make it clear that you are stating YOUR OPINION.

The above is from another thread. If there are questions about thread logistics or other things of that sort go ahead and Owl one of us staff types, so that we don't tie up thread with thread logistics and other things that are off-topic. Using "in my opinion" or "I think that" in place of "IMO" or "IMHO" is fine, too :).

And now back to discussion of one of my favorite characters, Albus Dumbledore :).

wickedwickedboy October 25th, 2007 6:36 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods (Post 4823815)

No, no, no..., I meant that having found that personal love would have made him see persons and individuals instead of strategies and logis... At least I would hope it did.

Or do you think DD would have been the same even then? That is interesting, but it does show him to be a bit more callous than now, when IMO his mistakes can be expalined... sort of.

Well I couldn't really say because we don't really know anything about Dumbledore's private life. He may have had romantic relationships we know nothing about. I do believe sharing his power (within the Order) would have had an impact though, generally having one all powerful person heading things has not worked out well in history. :)

The_Green_Woods October 25th, 2007 7:16 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally posted by wickedwickedboy
Well I couldn't really say because we don't really know anything about Dumbledore's private life. He may have had romantic relationships we know nothing about. I do believe sharing his power (within the Order) would have had an impact though, generally having one all powerful person heading things has not worked out well in history.
That is a point and probably a correct one. But if that were the case then it does IMO makes DD more culpable and more disregaring of others I think.

I truly hope that is not the case...

And how I wonder, did the others allow DD to get away with so much? Moody, McGonagall and most of the Order members are some of the smartest and more powerful witches and wizards in the U.K. To follow someone, even though he may be the most poweful or the most knowledgeable does not really speak well for them IMO.

Only three teenagers, one witch and two wizards knew about the horcruxes. Not even Snape knew about the details of Harry's lessons with DD...

Writing in the Snape and Lily thread, another thought struck me...

Snape comes running with sheer terror to DD and tell him to hide the Potters because Voldemort has chosen Harry as the child of the Prophecy.

From that point onwards Snape became DD's man.

Why did DD knowing that Snape loved Lily so much that he was willing to to anything DD asked of him, not tell Lily that Snape had come away from being a death eater and he was now working against the side he had joined in the first place? I am assuming he did not because there is nothing in cannon to say he did.

Was this another of DD's collossal mistake? Another manipulation for the greater good?

Snape could not approach the Potters because James, Sirius and Remus would kill him first. He could not write his remorse and apologize for his mistakes because they would not believe him and think it was an elaborate ploy to lure them to Voldemort.

DD IMO most likely knows this. Then why did he not tell the Poters and especially Lily that Snape has turned away from the Dark side?

Or did he and Lily did not care. IMO that would have been terrible and I truly hope that was not the case. I hope someone asks this question of our beloved author... I for one am very interested in the answer.

Goldenhair October 25th, 2007 2:37 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
1. What are your general thoughts on Dumbledore as a character through books 1-7? Do you see a difference in his behavior and/or actions between the books?
I think DD actions were extremely consistent. The only consistency gap exists from what we didn't know about him earlier.

2. Throughout the books, Dumbledore seems to always be teaching Harry something, but his lessons are sometimes hidden and subtle. What do you believe are the most important lessons Dumbledore taught Harry? Did Dumbledore adequately prepare Harry for the trials that lie ahead in book 7? Is there anything you think Dumbledore should have told Harry before he died?

No, I do think DD should have done more to secure locations of the other Horcruxes. How is it that a death eater (Bella) goes to Azkaban forever as a convicted death eater, and no one gets the right to search her vault for any dark objects. Doesn't make sense in our world, wouldn't seem to make sense in her world.

3. What did you think of the revelations of DH regarding Dumbledore's family? How did these tragedies effect the person he is now?

I think DD's single mindedness in seeking to destroy LV was a reflection of his past. He was trying to make up for his earlier failure. Similarly we see his great disdain for Draco's narrow mindedness (hating Mudbloods) as a compensation for his flawed past.

4. Why do you think Dumbledore and Grindelwald were friends? How did Dumbledore's homosexuality affect his susceptibility to Grindelwald's ideas?

JK made it clear that DD had no equals and that it was a very lonely life. I imagine he was seperate from others by his intelligence, skill and homosexuality. At what point he realized his homosexuality, we don't know. However, I imagine that his separation from other wizards due to skill and intelligence increased his lonliness and separation because of his homosexuality (and verse visa). It was a very sad downward spiral for him. Hard to believe he wasn't on some depression medications... I think it greatly affected his relationship with Grindlewald. To met someone with comparable intelligence and skills may have awakened him to his sexuality in the first place. How often are all of us attracted to others because of commonness (sexual and non-sexual). Here is a boy apart from everyone else and now he has an equal! No question there is a direct correlation.

5. Was Dumbledore right to keep so many secrets from so many people? Was this secrecy because of his sister? Because of his own homosexuality?

His secrecy was compounded by his family situation and his homosexuality...but not the cause. His secrecy was fundamental to his plan succeeding. In a world of truth potions, legilemensy and imperio, there really was no other way of keeping his plans from LV.

As an aside, do you think DD used legilemensy and imperio against Draco to get him to tell his story on the tower in Book 6. I do, I really really do.

6. What do you think of Dumbledore's recognition of his own failings? His decision not to enter the Ministry?

How few of us recognize our failings. As to his decision not to enter the ministry, well in the magic world it really didn't impede his power did it?



7. Do you think Dumbledore expected too much from Harry? Did he do the right thing? Was it fair to ask Harry to sacrifice himself?

Absolutely, Absolutely and Absolutely.
What DD expected of Harry is too much to expect from anyone. However, it was absolutely the right thing. In any war there are sacrifices to be made. DD sacrificed many to put Harry into position to defeat LV (including himself). Was every strategy correct or the best, surely not...but whose is. As excellent a job as JK did of showing us the horror of war (and the randomness and unfairness of death and destruction) she did an even better job of showing us how horrible it is to order others to what is likely their destruction. No wonder that DD guy was lonely. Of course it was fair, he asked every member of the Order to do the same. Not only that, he asked them to do the same in protecting Harry, at the possible cost of their own lives without nearly as much knowledge as Harry (not to mention much less glory).

8. Does the revelation of his homosexuality ultimately affect his character? What actions, if any, do you see differently now?

Primarily his secrecy and seclusion. I think he had a natural tendancy towards both due to his intelligence and skill, but his homosexuality probably increased that.

I do see his "pity" for Snapes unfulfilled love perhaps reflected in his own towards Grindlewald.

The_Green_Woods October 25th, 2007 4:29 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Another huge mistake that in reality cost the Potters their lives and put Sirius in Azkaban for thirteen years IMO was the way DD ran the Order of the Phoenix. He seems to place the responsibilities of trust on the members themselves, there seems to be no way to deduce any traitor within its ranks IMO.

The moment they knew there was a traitor who was passing information to Voldemort, I wonder why DD did not do a thing to find out the traitor and save James and Lily.

IMO DD seems to trust everyone in the Order blindfold.

What was this part of him, I wonder that allowed him to be so lax, in the time of war and with the knowledge of the Prophecy.

arithmancer October 26th, 2007 7:05 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods (Post 4823890)
Snape could not approach the Potters because James, Sirius and Remus would kill him first. He could not write his remorse and apologize for his mistakes because they would not believe him and think it was an elaborate ploy to lure them to Voldemort.

DD IMO most likely knows this. Then why did he not tell the Poters and especially Lily that Snape has turned away from the Dark side?

There were four Marauders ;). Let's keep in mind that little Peter, whom no one respected, was a member of the Order of the Phoenix as well, and so close to Lily and James that he was photographed standing between them in the picture Moody showed Harry at 12 Grimmauld Place in OotP.

Dumbledore did not know he was the spy, but he knew there was a spy close to the Potters. Further, it seems that the Potters did not take this seriously, because they chose a Secret Keeper among the people close to them. This seems to me reason enough not to tell the Potters about Snape. If James' sense of honor caused him to share this information with his closest friends, Peter would have doubtless betrayed Snape to Voldemort. So in this case, I think Dumbledore's secrecy was warranted.

wickedwickedboy October 26th, 2007 7:35 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
In my opinion, if Dumbledore was treating Order members during the first war as he did in the second, the members would have every right to mistrust him. The problem with that is, Dumbledore, while secretive and manipulative, did have the right idea or *guess* most of the time, so it did pay to heed his words. It wasn't like the Potters ignored him, they just obviously trusted their friends more than Dumbledore and I don't blame them. In fact, I would go as far as to speculate that if Dumbledore had been made secret keeper, it is altogether possible that we would have had the same outcome. Dumbledore's plans were often very risky and he looked to the 'big picture'. If he foresaw that Harry had to be kept safe to defeat Voldemort, and for whatever reason that meant his parents had to die, imo, Dumbledore would have gone with keeping Harry safe. That was his MO at that time imo.

The_Green_Woods October 26th, 2007 8:37 am

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally posted by zgirnius
There were four Marauders . Let's keep in mind that little Peter, whom no one respected, was a member of the Order of the Phoenix as well, and so close to Lily and James that he was photographed standing between them in the picture Moody showed Harry at 12 Grimmauld Place in OotP.

Dumbledore did not know he was the spy, but he knew there was a spy close to the Potters. Further, it seems that the Potters did not take this seriously, because they chose a Secret Keeper among the people close to them. This seems to me reason enough not to tell the Potters about Snape. If James' sense of honor caused him to share this information with his closest friends, Peter would have doubtless betrayed Snape to Voldemort. So in this case, I think Dumbledore's secrecy was warranted.
And I wonder what was DD doing with the knowledge that there was a spy who was very close to the Potters?

DD had knowledge of the Prophecy -- he knew Snape had been apprehended and thrown out half way through the same Prophecy -- sometime later Snape comes running in fear and remorse and once again informs DD that Voldemort has indeed chosen the Potters and tells DD to some how hide all of them -- even James Potter once DD says he is disgusted with Snape's attitude.

Why did DD not do more? He was in the position of the Supreme Commander of the Light forces that were fighting a battle with Voldemort -- the battle was already on -- James and Lily had already defied Voldemort Thrice -- why weren't they protected more securely -- why did DD listen to James's wish of appointing Sirius as the secret keeper when he knew some one very close to the Potters was a DE -- Was that the time to pander to James's wish -- why weren't the members subjected to more scrutiny once they knew there was a spy very close to the Potters especially when it looked like their child was the child of Prophecy?

It seems to me that DD was equally to blame for the death of the Potters as any body else...

Sure there were four Marauders and everybody was scared and suspecting every other person to be a spy -- in the army when you know you have a traitor, you try your best to flush out the dangerous weed, else it would damage the entire crop ( I think this came out plain silly but I won't change it) -- in the magial world DD could have asked every one to simply show their fore arms -- if Peter was not marked for remaining secret (though I very much doubt it) -- then a simple oath that 'I am not a death eater and I am working against Voldemort' would have sufficed.

Why wasn't that done? In a war of that magnitude when so much was at stake why did DD leave everything to the dignity and honesty of the members themselves?

Is that the best way to lead? What exactly were the motivations behind such a reasoning?

And Snape has not even come into this yet...

Since I was too carried away to post IMO's, kindly note that the entire post is my opinion only.

arithmancer October 26th, 2007 4:52 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods (Post 4824830)
why did DD listen to James's wish of appointing Sirius as the secret keeper when he knew some one very close to the Potters was a DE -- Was that the time to pander to James's wish -- why weren't the members subjected to more scrutiny once they knew there was a spy very close to the Potters especially when it looked like their child was the child of Prophecy?

You write as though you know James Potter would have obeyed an order regarding this matter. From what we have seen and been told about his personality, I very much doubt it. The Order is not a military organization with members who recognize a duty to obey all of the orders of their superiors. It's a group of people with common ideals working against a common enemy with a far looser structure.

We are told in PoA that Dumbledore offered to be the Secret Keeper for the Potters himself. (Minerva says it in PoA, "The Marauders' Map"). He was turned down in favor of Sirius Black (really Peter Pettigrew). Right there, we see evidence that the Potters did not consider it their duty to do whatever Dumbeldore said.

At the end of PoA, Sirius accuses Peter of having spied on the Order for a year. I put these things together and come up with:

About a year before the Potters died, Dumbledore confided his belief that there was a spy in the Order to several people, among then Minerva McGonagall and Sirius Black. Given that the matter concerned the Potters closely, and how close Sirius was to them, I deduce the Potters also knew. But they chose the option of Peter, with the twist that everyone would think it was Sirius. We even have a reason why they would have, provided for us by (ironically) Remus Lupin in DH - James Potter would have considered it dishonorable to distrust a friend.

It seems to me that DD did all he could for them, and their own choices limited how much he could do.

Quote:

Sure there were four Marauders and everybody was scared and suspecting every other person to be a spy -- in the army when you know you have a traitor, you try your best to flush out the dangerous weed, else it would damage the entire crop ( I think this came out plain silly but I won't change it) -- in the magial world DD could have asked every one to simply show their fore arms -- if Peter was not marked for remaining secret (though I very much doubt it) -- then a simple oath that 'I am not a death eater and I am working against Voldemort' would have sufficed.
I would imagine that Peter was either unmarked, or had some way to hide the mark when it was necessary. Voldemort can think of this elementary precaution as well as you can. (If it was this easy, surely the Ministry would have done this in rounding up Death Eaters. They surely have less scruples considering the rights of individuals). A simple oath would not help, as Peter would certainly have been willing to lie. I suppose you probably meant an Unbreakable Vow?

Quote:

Why wasn't that done? In a war of that magnitude when so much was at stake why did DD leave everything to the dignity and honesty of the members themselves?

Is that the best way to lead? What exactly were the motivations behind such a reasoning?
In a war, or in any other human enterprise, leaving everything to the dignity and honesty of the people one works with is the only way to lead (IMO). Making everyone do exactly what you want under threat is not leadership, it is tyranny. I have no experience of the military side of things, but I am quite convinced of this based on my experience in the business world. (And it seems a commonly held view out there - though I find "business books" deadly dull, I have picked up one or two to have an idea what my bosses are reading. Books on leadership I have read aren't about strategies of imposing top-down control, they are about inspiring the team with a common goal and facilitating the work of team members towards that goal.)

This discussion seems to have arisen out of your dissatisfaction with Dumbledore's handling of Snape, but it seems to me that Snape is the poster boy for why this works. Snape, a Death Eater, came to Dumbledore with his story, and Dumbledore accepted his services as a spy based on nothing but Snape's bare word that he would do "Anything" Dumbeldore asked in exchange for protection for the Potters. I don't doubt Dumbledore took some precautions against the possibility that Snape proved unreliable in the early days. That is only prudent. But he did not (as some theorists had proposed pre-DH) demand an Unbreakable Vow of service. What he got in return, was someone he could (and did) trust with his life, his death, and his greatest secret, and someone who never failed to merit that trust.

While the credit must go to Snape himself for his courage and steadfast loyalty, I don't think just anyone could have inspired them. It is also a testament to Dumbledore's leadership skills.

CathyWeasley October 26th, 2007 5:13 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by WWB
It wasn't like the Potters ignored him, they just obviously trusted their friends more than Dumbledore and I don't blame them.

I dosagree with this. IMO Dumbledore told the Potters that one of their friends was a spy. I think James especially resented this, and that is why he chose Sirius - to prove his absolute trust of Sirius. I don't think he trusted Dumbledore less - he just wanted to prove that he trusted Sirius even though Dumbledore had said one of his friends was a spy. The switch to Peter was the big mistake; I personally don't think they thought it through properly.
Quote:

Originally Posted by WWB
In fact, I would go as far as to speculate that if Dumbledore had been made secret keeper, it is altogether possible that we would have had the same outcome. Dumbledore's plans were often very risky and he looked to the 'big picture'. If he foresaw that Harry had to be kept safe to defeat Voldemort, and for whatever reason that meant his parents had to die, imo, Dumbledore would have gone with keeping Harry safe. That was his MO at that time imo.

I don't see how you can draw that conclusion at all. Given that Dumbledore berated Snape for only asking for Lily's life saying that James and Harry didn't matter as long as he got what he wanted, I cannot imagine for one minute that Dumbledore would think it all right for Lily and James to die as long as he got what he wanted - Harry alive. I also don't see how Dumbledore being the secret keeper could have had the same outcome because Dumbledore would not have told Voldemort where the Potters were which is what Peter did.

Quote:

Originally Posted by zgirnius
James Potter would have considered it dishonorable to distrust a friend.

I'm the same - I would rather be betrayed than not trust. Interestingly I would say Snape was the opposite - he'd rather not trust than be betrayed, and Dumbledore trusts, but uses secrecy and limiting the spread of information to limit any damage done by misplaced trust. I really don't see anything sinister in Dumbledore's preference for secrecy - it really seems to me to be a sensible precaution given the times and circumstances.

The_Green_Woods October 26th, 2007 5:43 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally posted by zgirnius
In a war, or in any other human enterprise, leaving everything to the dignity and honesty of the people one works with is the only way to lead (IMO). Making everyone do exactly what you want under threat is not leadership, it is tyranny
.

So is this what I understand of the statement above -- with the knowledge of the prophecy and the knowlege that Voldemort knows one half of that prophecy and with the knowledge one person extremely close to the Potters and a member of the Order is a DE, DD should have still led the Order by leaving everything to the dignity and honesty of the members concerned? -- Is there no verification needed? -- and should the members still meet to discuss matters regarding Voldemort with that unknown DE present because no one knows who he or she is -- IMO and I respectfully disagree with you -- THIS is not leadership -- unless I am missing something in the books or what Jo has said...

The other points you have raised need a lot of thinking -- the one about James Potter is so true... I will have read your post again...

Martok October 26th, 2007 5:54 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Yoana (Post 4823359)
I thought so too. But I reread that part last night, and Dumbledore actually says that the blood protection transfer kept both of them bonded/chained to each other, so that Harry couldn't die while Voldemort is still alive. It did leave me wondering why on earth was it important for Harry to believe he was going to die. I'm still wondering.

If Snape simply dragged Harry to Voldemort to be killed with him believing that Snape is the enemy, Harry would have gotten rid of the soul fragment and still survived it. However through Harry's self sacrifice, Voldemort's power has been broken. He could no longer harm anybody. That's when "the power the Dark Lord knows not" comes into play. I think Dumbledore has put much more store into the prophecy than he admitted.

arithmancer October 26th, 2007 6:53 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods (Post 4825157)
So is this what I understand of the statement above -- with the knowledge of the prophecy and the knowlege that Voldemort knows one half of that prophecy and with the knowledge one person extremely close to the Potters and a member of the Order is a DE, DD should have still led the Order by leaving everything to the dignity and honesty of the members concerned?

In PoA, we learn that Voldemort was specifically after the Potters, and that Dumbledore told them to hide for this reason, from a conversation not including Dumbledore. In other words, other people were told this information. We also learn that a member close to the Potters was a traitor, from the same conversation. We learn Sirius knew all this, back in the day. In other words, the only one of the facts you list above that Dumbledore may not have shared with anyone is the actual content of the prophecy, which is a secret he fears may be of use to Voldemort (DD knows more of it than Voldemort, after all). Yes, he absolutely should have left it to the Order members at that point. They were all warned, and could take prudent precautions to protect themselves and their fellows.

As a leader, he also provided what he felt was the best advice - that the Potters should hide, that they should use the Fidelius Charm, and that they should use him as the secret keeper because of the danger of the spy. I presume that he not only offered, but explained reminded them why this would be a good idea. Beyond that, he could and should have done no more, as I see it. Clearly, the Potters took some of this advice - they hid and used the Fidelius Charm to do it. Unfortunately, they put their trust in the wrong person.

If in your opinion DD ought to have made everyone show their forearms and swear Unbreakable Vows, how much more true is this of James and Lily Potter? They should have asked to see Peter's arm before choosing him, and required him to take an Unbreakable Vow that he would never tell the secret without their authorization before making him Secret Keeper. He was their choice, not Dumbledore's, so surely it is more their responsibility than his to make sure he was worthy of their trust?

Note I do not think Lily and James should have done either of these things...I think they should have used Dumbledore, as he offered. :)

Quote:

? -- and should the members still meet to discuss matters regarding Voldemort with that unknown DE present because no one knows who he or she is --
Yes, they absolutely should still meet and discuss, bearing in mind what Dumbledore has told them - that one of them is probably a spy. In fact, in a universe with Veritaserum, Legilimency, and the Imperius Curse, they should have acted as though there was a spy in their midst even before Dumbledore confirmed it. There are things that can be done short of Unbreakable Vows, to limit the danger. (Compartmentalization, limiting information on a need-to-know basis, etc. rather the way real-life secret organizations operate, for similar reasons, since in RL there are no guarantees).

Actually, in a universe with magic like the Imperius, there is good reason NOT to demand Unbreakable Vows of loyalty...

anabel October 26th, 2007 9:57 pm

Re: Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by zgirnius (Post 4825128)
You write as though you know James Potter would have obeyed an order regarding this matter. From what we have seen and been told about his personality, I very much doubt it. The Order is not a military organization with members who recognize a duty to obey all of the orders of their superiors. It's a group of people with common ideals working against a common enemy with a far looser structure.

We are told in PoA that Dumbledore offered to be the Secret Keeper for the Potters himself. (Minerva says it in PoA, "The Marauders' Map"). He was turned down in favor of Sirius Black (really Peter Pettigrew). Right there, we see evidence that the Potters did not consider it their duty to do whatever Dumbeldore said.

These are two quite different matters. Of course all the members of the Order would obey orders. How else would such an organisation function? But Dumbledore never ordered James to make him Secret-Keeper! He simply offered and James declined because it was inconceivable to him (and rightly so) that Sirius could ever betray him. This in no way indicates that he didn't follow Dumbledore's orders or that Dumbledore never gave orders.


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