Who is Albus Dumbledore

Albus Dumbledore

To person

Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore (* 1881 † 1997) is Harry's headmaster at Hogwarts and becomes a father figure for him. In the magical society he is considered one of the greatest magicians of his time. Harry gets some information about him on his first trip to Hogwarts from a trading card of famous wizards and witches, which is contained in a chocolate frog box (picture of Albus Dumbledore (101)).
The life dates given correspond to those given by Joanne K. Rowling when Albus Dumbledore was recognized as Wizard of the Month in September 2007 on her website: Dumbledore's year of birth is then 1881, his year of death (erroneously dated 1996) must correspond to her other current ones Dates will be 1997.
These data contradict an earlier interview statement in which the author stated that Dumbledore was around 150 years old when Harry started school. (JKR-Int on October 16, 2000)

Dumbledore is over 100 years old in Harry's first year. His thick hair and beard reach Dumbledore's waist. They now shine silver-white, 50 years ago they were maroon. His long nose has a few curves in different directions, as if it had broken several times and grown together crookedly. His blue eyes usually look benevolently over the little half-moon glasses he wears for reading. Dumbledore's slender, erect figure in long wizarding robes and a floor-length cloak looks impressive. When Dumbledore gets angry for once and acts accordingly, he exudes enormous strength and power. Usually he comes across as friendly, humorous and a bit crazy. He secretly enjoys the pranks and disrespect of his students and likes to eat sweets, which he also offers colleagues and students at any time. The passwords of the gargoyle guarding the entrance to his office are always the names of some candy. He also has a particular preference for raspberry jam.

Dumbledore knows a lot, partly from his long life experience, partly from his research;

  • He discovered and described the twelve uses of dragon's blood (HP I / 6)
  • He has also worked with Nicolas Flamel, the only maker of a philosopher's stone in alchemy.
  • Until the early summer of 1995, Dumbledore was in the position of "Very High Beast", chairman of the International Association of Wizards (HP I / 4) before he was removed from office by an intrigue by the British Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge (HP V / 5) .
    Dumbledore has been rehabilitated and has been a member of this body since June 1996 (HP V / 38).
  • He has been the grandmaster of the Wizengamot for many years, the supreme court of the British wizarding community until early summer 1995, and he had to give up this position temporarily because of the machinations of the Minister of Magic Fudge (HP V / 5).
    He was rehabilitated and reinstated in June 1996 (HP V / 38).
  • He was also awarded the Order of Merlin 1st Class.
  • Dumbledore also learns a lot because he also deals with the world outside the wizarding community and z. B. reads Muggle newspapers that magicians usually don't care a bit about.
  • He saves his experiences in a pensieve, with the help of which he can occasionally let Harry participate in previous experiences.
  • Dumbledore has a strong relationship with the mighty, magical phoenix bird, which is created again and again when it is destroyed in fire. The phoenix Fawkes is Dumbledore's companion, who supports him with all his might, and Dumbledore's Patronus has the shape of a phoenix.

Dumbledore at Hogwarts

Dumbledore was a member of the Gryffindor family as a Hogwarts student (JKR answers fan frequently asked questions).
Even then, his outstanding magical talent was evident. Dumbledore taught Transformation at Hogwarts until he turned it over to his colleague Prof. McGonagall to take over the post of Headmaster from Armando Dippet. Although he was offered the position of Minister of Magic several times, he preferred to remain Headmaster of Hogwarts (HP VII / 35).
During his time as headmaster, Dumbledore openly talks to the student body about social conflicts such as the return of Voldemort and propagates tolerance within the school. He promotes international friendship and advocates respect for other magical and non-magical beings.
Dumbledore's way of running the school is not without controversy. Racist-minded magical people are bothered by his Muggle-friendliness and his rejection of black-magic teaching content. His recruitment policy is also increasingly coming under public criticism: He does not distance himself from half-men like half-giants or centaurs. He doesn't exclude a werewolf like Remus Lupine from being a student or a teacher.
He gives some people protection at Hogwarts, according to Sibyll Trelawney, whom he considers a bad teacher himself, but still lets them live within the secure school building at Hogwarts. He also trusts Severus Snape despite his past as a Death Eater. Dumbledore's opponents tried several times in vain to get rid of the headstrong headmaster.
In the 1992/93 school year, Dumbledore was briefly suspended from his headmaster's office due to an intrigue by Lucius Malfoy (HP II / 14).
In the 1995/96 school year, Dumbledore leaves school to protect Harry and his DA. The school management takes over the Grand InquisitorDolores Umbridge (HP V / 27), appointed by the Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge, at Hogwarts.
Dumbledore reacts calmly to the attacks, which are supposed to undermine his social authority: All that matters to him is to remain in the chocolate frog collection series and, above all, to continue to be the headmaster of Hogwarts.
In June 1997, Severus Snape kills Dumbledore. After his death, he was the first former headmaster to be buried on the school grounds on the banks of the Great Lake. A magical fire, white bright flames and white smoke enclose Albus Dumbledore's corpse in a white marble tomb.
The continuation of the school is under a new ominous omen: In the 1997/98 school year, Dumbledore's murderer Severus Snape takes over the management of the school.

Dumbledore's fight against black magic

Dumbledore not only fights against black magic teaching content as headmaster, but also campaigns personally against black magicians:

  • In 1945 he defeated the powerful black magician Grindelwald, who was angry especially in mainland Europe, in a famous duel.
  • The terrible black magician Voldemort regards Dumbledore as the only wizard he has ever feared. It was Dumbledore who later became 11-year-old Tom Riddle Lord Voldemort called, personally delivered the news that he was a wizard and was going to be admitted to Hogwarts Magic School. Even then, Dumbledore noticed Riddle's dangerous interest in using his magical powers to dominate others. Throughout his school years and thereafter, Dumbledore closely watched Tom Riddle, aka Voldemort, and found out some things that are not clear to him himself. During Voldemort's first reign of terror, Dumbledore organized the resistance against him and kept Hogwarts as a safe place. The resistance movement he initiated, the so-called Order of the Phoenix, awakened Dumbledore immediately when Voldemort returned in June 1995. For years he has hoped to be able to defeat the black magician Voldemort with Harry's help.

Dumbledore and Harry

Dumbledore knows from a prophecy that it is in Harry's power to defeat Voldemort. He actually wants to hide the whereabouts of Harry and his parents safely with the Fidelius Charm, but the Potters tragically reject his offer to become their keeper of secrets. Instead, they rely on an unsuspecting friend to keep their secrets.
He had already made plans for Harry's future life before Harry met him himself. After James and Lily Potter are betrayed to Voldemort and murdered by him, Dumbledore determines that Harry will grow up with Lily's sister's family. With Lily's blood relatives, Dumbledore can expand the magical protection with which Lily has surrounded her son through the sacrifice of her own life. As a gentle leverage that Harry can grow up with the Dursleys, Dumbledore uses an incident from the childhood of Petunia and Lily. At that time, Petunia wrote to the headmaster asking her to teach her magic too. Dumbledore kindly wrote back to her that he could not because she was not born with magic powers. His letter of appeal to take in the orphaned Harry followed up on the correspondence at the time and made her uncomfortably aware that Dumbledore still remembered her earlier request very well and could expose her (J. K. Rowling answers unanswered fan questions).
Until Harry's eleventh birthday, Dumbledore will keep himself up to date on the unsuspecting Dursley neighbor Arabella Figg. Then Dumbledore ensures that Harry can return to the magical world. He also tries to maintain Harry's protection inside and outside the school.
Voldemort took Harry's blood for his rebirth ritual so that he could touch and attack him safely. Dumbledore suspects and hopes that as long as Voldemort's own blood was pulsing, this blood connection would maintain the protection Lily had given her son (HP IV / 36).
However, he was not entirely sure what this would mean if the two confronted (HP VII / 35).
He knows that the adolescent Harry will face the fatal alternative of being pursued and killed by Voldemort or of killing Voldemort himself, even if it should cost his own life. That is why Dumbledore is hesitant to explain to his protégé what is in store for him. In the school year before his death, Dumbledore introduces Harry to his difficult task, lets him experience what drives Voldemort and finally finds out with him what Harry has to do to defeat Voldemort.
During the battle at the Astronomy Tower, which ends with his own assassination, Dumbledore magically ensures that Harry is not endangered and cannot actively intervene. Already in the summer of 1996, Albus Dumbledore knew that due to carelessness a deadly black magic curse was draining his strength and would kill him within about a year. Even then he gave Severus Snape the order to kill him prematurely if he asked for it (HP VII / 33).
As the white tomb around Dumbledore's body emerges, Harry briefly has the impression of seeing a phoenix fly away.

Dumbledore's secrets

Albus Dumbledore learned as a child to be silent about his family and their living conditions. After his death, some things from his past come to light that are blown up into scandals:

  • When Albus was around ten years old, his father Percival Dumbledore was sentenced to a prison term in Azkaban for attacking three neighborhood Muggle children, which he did not survive. Albus' single mother, Kendra Dumbledore, led a very secluded life with her three children. The existence of the Dumbledore's youngest daughter was kept secret by the family. Kendra Dumbledore was killed under somewhat unexplained circumstances when Albus was just graduating from high school. At that time, Albus, as the eldest and of legal age, had to take care of his younger siblings, the 2-3 year younger brother Aberforth and the constant care sister Ariana. Some time later, Ariana also died. What was behind her illness and death and why the two parents had such a tragic fate never made it to the magical public. Aberforth reports what really happened back then. It also becomes clear that Aberforth's accusation that Albus was to blame for Ariana's death always stood between the brothers and that Albus burdened himself with this self-reproach throughout his life (HP VII / 28).
  • Dumbledore never revealed that he was enthusiastic about the lure of power of the Deathly Hallows during a two-month intense childhood friendship with Gellert Grindelwald. But while Grindelwald wanted to achieve his own invincibility by doing this, Albus Dumbledore saw his own power as a means of creating a society for the good of all. Dumbledore only realized after Ariana's death that their supposed common ideas of the Greater Good were completely different and how much he had been wrong in Grindelwald. Therefore, from then on, he mistrusted his handling of positions of power.
  • Based on his own experience, Dumbledore made this deathly Hallows a secret for Harry that is only gradually being revealed. He wanted Harry to be able to use the Resurrection Stone in the final fight against Voldemort to bring back the people he had lost. On the other hand, Dumbledore wanted to avoid that Harry, like himself, from the power-promising lure of the Sanctuaries would get carried away.
  • Albus Dumbledore deliberately kept a secret that he had owned the Elder Wand since 1945, which had changed hands so often in a bloody manner. When he dueled with his former friend Grindelwald, he had seized the always victorious wand (the trick Dumbledore used to trick the recognized owner of the invincible wand into a duel so that the wand regarded him as the new victorious owner is not known). The victory over Grindelwald made Albus Dumbledore himself the new owner of the powerful elder wand.
  • Dumbledore kept Snape a secret at Severus' request, which led him to stand up reliably for the resistance against Voldemort and for Harry's survival. Snape has always loved Lily Potter, Lily's brutal murder by Voldemort shook him so much that he switched to the "good" side and became a member of the Order of the Phoenix and a spy for Dumbledore (HP VII / 33).

Dumbledore as a commentator and foreword writer


Joanne K. Rowling found the name "Dumbledore", an old English term for "bumblebee" suitable for this character, because Albus Dumbledore, as a music lover and jovial person, certainly likes to hum a song to himself.
That the naming conceals meanings that the author plays with when Madame Maxime twists it with her accent.

Links to the article

Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter films

Dumbledore's character as conveyed in the books appears falsely in the later film adaptations as rather authoritarian-tyrannical.


  • Translation review: In the original German translation of Volume 1, the information text on the chocolate frog card about Dumbledore still said that he had it "six uses of dragon milk" discovered and described. The original English text has always stated that it is the "twelve uses of dragon's blood " acted and the incorrect German rendition was also corrected very soon.
  • Dumbledore and Grindelwald: In interviews during her USA / Canada trip in October 2007, the author explained what was behind the very intense childhood friendship between Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald: Albus Dumbledore was homosexual and the relationship with Gellert Grindelwald at that time was a violent love affair (Original quote: New York, 10/19/07).
    This makes Dumbledore's transfigured perception of their common ideas, as well as his final decisive disillusionment understandable.

Albus Dumbledore in the Fantastic Beasts series

In the second film Fantastic Beasts 2: Grindelwald's Crimes of the five-part film series, we get to know Albus Dumbledore in his mid-forties. He teaches Defense Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts.
On his initiative, the magizoologist Newt Scamander traveled to the USA in 1926 to release the thunderbird Frank. Dumbledores' true request for the trip was to track down the black magician Gellert Grindelwald, whom he suspects to be in New York.
At another meeting in London in 1927, Dumbledore asked Scamander to travel to Paris to protect the ObscurusCredence Barebone from Grindelwald.
After Newt's departure, Dumbledore receives a "visit" from the head of magical law enforcement, the narrow-minded Torquil Travers, and his Aurors among them Theseus Scamander, the older brother of Newt and Leta Lestrange. After Dumbledore refuses to intervene in the fight against Grindelwald, Travers ties him up with administrators and forbids him to continue teaching "VgddK". Dumbledore can still ask Theseus not to smash the meeting that Grindelwald probably wants to convene in Paris. After the Aurors leave, Albus Dumbledore meets Leta Lestrange, who has retired to a classroom. Both share their painful experiences about the death of a sibling.
In the room of wishes in front of the mirror Nerhegeb it becomes clear why Dumbledore cannot intervene in the fight against Grindelwald. Albus and Gellert made a blood pact, a "non-aggression pact," during their brief relationship as teenagers. The two have connected their drops of blood together and locked them in a vial that Grindelwald is now wearing on a chain on his vest.
Newt Scamanders Niffler steals the vial during Grindelwald's event in the amphitheater under the Lestrange family's mausoleum in Paris. Scamander returns the precious piece to Dumbledore.