Of Myth, Fantasy and the Death of Albus Dumbledore

Well, Rowling did it. She really did it. She said that a “major” character would die and she was true to her promise. Yet despite her warnings, the ultimate revelation of Dumbledore’s death nevertheless sent shockwaves through her millions of readers, including yours truly. Yet in retrospect, to me he seemed the most obvious choice from a plot development point-of-view. I would have offed him had I been Rowling, despite the reaction I knew such an incident would cause with my readership. It fits the storyline perfectly, as far as I’m concerned.

Still, as this site entails, Dumbledore’s murder begs one question: Is ol’ Albus truly dead? Frankly, I have my doubts, and it has nothing to do with any clues Rowling may or may not have in HBP. Part of her genius as an author is that she leaves just as many red herrings in her work as real clues, forcing us to guess wildly what will happen until after the fact. Rather, my doubt comes from death possessing a unique fluidity and transience, in deep connection with the supernatural and myth, which is not without precedent in fantasy works. In fact, the genre is replete with death/rebirth examples, not only in modern literature but going back thousands of years to the ancient myths and folklore that are modern fantasy’s progenitors.

It is important to note that, since the entire Harry Potter saga is, at its core, a children’s story, the majority of its readership are still young people who have not been around long enough to be thoroughly read in the genre, although one would hope that current education hasn’t degraded to the point where the most basic stories are now out of the curriculum. By seeing that death and rebirth are well established within the genre, as well as the many forms they take, then perhaps Rowling’s younger audience will understand Dumbledore may not be dead after all, or that his death, if it is final, will have a more profound and positive result than we now perceive.

As such, I will barely focus on the sonata of the Harry Potter saga itself, but instead plant my attention squarely on the cacophonic symphony that is all myth, folklore and fantasy that came before it, and present to you, dear reader, with the tiniest snapshot to illustrate my claims.

First, let’s take a look at two of the most influential early civilizations in Western culture, Egypt and Greece. Ancient Egypt’s religion was almost entirely based on the notion of death as a transient state. Aside from the phoenix myth, which Rowling has tied closely to Dumbledore, one of the most well-known Egyptian death/rebirth stories relates to the murder of the god Osiris by his brother, Set, and his subsequent resurrection because of his wife, Isis, which signified the ancient Egyptian’s view of nature’s self-renewal.

The ancient Greeks had many cyclic, death/rebirth myths. Zeus saving his siblings after their father, Kronos, ate them is one. Another Greek death-renewal myth concerned the death god Hades and his wife, Persephone. According to this story, winter occurred during the time of year Persephone spent with Hades to the netherworld, her absence reflecting, like Osiris’ annual death and rebirth, the death and rebirth of nature.

Jumping centuries ahead to the middle ages, we find the legend of King Arthur and his own personal wizard, mentor and advisor, Merlin, the archetype for almost every wizard character in modern fantasy. This story, which has been and continues to be reinvented and reinterpreted countless times in both print (Sir Thomas Marlory’s Le Morte d’Arthur, The Once and Future King by T.H. White, The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley and many others) and cinema (Camelot (1967), the adult-oriented Excalibur (1981; sorry kids, not for you), the made-for-television stinker Merlin (1998) and again, others), nevertheless (most of the time, anyway, depending on how the legend is interpreted) depicts Arthur’s loss of Merlin near the end of the story that is tied directly to death or is in some way symbolically death-like. Yet there also is the promise of Merlin’s return when he is needed, or he actually does return. Arthur himself makes a bid for rebirth when, though mortally wounded at the end of his legend, he is taken to Avalon to sleep until England needs him once more.

From this perspective, we can view Harry as a kind of Arthurian hero. Near the end of his quest, he must now rely on his own skills to see him through, whether Dumbledore comes back or not.

gandalf

Next, on to the 20th Century and modern fantasy. My first example needs even less of an introduction than Rowling and Dumbledore: J.R.R. Tolkien, his masterpiece The Lord of the Rings, and Tolkien’s own nod to Merlin, Gandalf the Grey. In Fellowship of the Ring, as the Fellowship is trying to escape Moria, Gandalf battles a Balrog, a demon from Middle Earth’s First Age when Sauron was just a glorified yes-man to that world’s original Dark Lord, Morgoth. He defeats the Balrog, but in the process Gandalf himself experiences a form of death, only to be reborn as Gandalf the White, a more powerful transcendent being. Tolkien leads us on initially, making his readers believe Gandalf is indeed gone until a good way into the second book, The Two Towers.

Michael Moorcock, one of the “New Age” fantasy and science fiction writers of the latter 20th Century, has built an entire career out of death and rebirth. The adventures of his Eternal Champion, a single name for an infinite number of heroes inhabiting an infinite number of alternate realities known as the multiverse, take up almost every title in his huge catalogue of novels and short stories. Each Champion fights and dies for the Cosmic Balance, only to be reborn in a different universe to fight and die all over again.

Other modern fantasy works, such as in the dark fantasy/horror sub-genre, also make the use of death and rebirth, but to more terrifying effect. H.P. Lovecraft, viewed by many as the father of modern dark fantasy, in his own fiction weaves a threatening undertone of dead, mad gods that once ruled the earth and mean to live once more and rule again. This darker side of the death/rebirth motif lives on in the Potter novels, as Lord Voldemort regains his power and body in a new bid for tyrannical power.

I should also note fantasy’s many appearances on both the big and little screen (some already noted above), much of the time, in the author’s opinion, falling well short of the genre’s great potential in that medium. One movie, despite its shortfalls, does rate a mention concerning the transient nature of death and life in fantasy. The Paramount Pictures/Disney debacle, Dragonslayer (1981), is framed around a wizard’s magical faux death, as well as some of the best special affects for a dragon ever done in cinema, outstripping even the CGI work in Dragonheart (1996).

One of the better examples in cinema concerning fantasy’s take on death’s temporary nature comes from the original Star Wars movie trilogy. Granted, this is science fiction, but it borrows liberally from fantasy, particularly concerning the death of its wizard, Obi Wan Kenobi. “You can’t win, Darth,” Kenobi says in his last duel with Darth Vader during the first movie, A New Hope (1977). “If you strike me down I will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.” And this is spoken to a character that, as the story goes, was conceived by The Force! When he dies Obi Wan does become more powerful, so much so he can even return from the dead in spirit form.

If Rowling brings Dumbledore back, how she will do it? There are many other ways in Fantasy to rise from the grave besides those noted here. Or she can, as she has done so many times in the past, think up a new solution.

But we also must consider, just as we must now consider the possibility that Harry himself will die in the last book as Rowling also has hinted at, that Dumbledore is gone and gone for good. Does this invalidate him as a character, or his affect on the rest of the storyline? Certainly not. Harry and Company now have something that Voldemort and his Death Eaters have already proved they are incapable of comprehending: a martyr. When everyone thought Voldemort was killed in his first encounter with Harry, did the Death Eaters regroup? No. They scattered, were arrested, feigned ignorance or pretended to be cursed. We don’t even have to look at myth or literature to see examples of martyrdom’s power. Martyrs played a central role in early Christianity’s growth, and our televisions show us daily examples of sad, deluded fools blowing themselves up on what they think is martyrdom’s path. Harry and Company now have a symbol from which to derive a continuous and unlimited stream of inspiration and motivation to defeat Voldemort and his chumps.

In the end, we must place our faith in Rowling, just as she as a writer places her faith in the muse she follows as she writes. Her readership has been with her for the past sixth books, and the most important thing they need to believe is that she, like a good ship’s Captain, will guide them through the storm and resolve Dumbedore’s death with satisfaction, even if it is in a way that none of us expect. That is another aspect of Rowling’s work I find admirable, as I’m sure you do, too. And like everyone else, I’ll have to wait another two years to find out.

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David Nagore
David Nagore

David Nagore lives in Tucson, Arizona with his wife and three kids. A University of Arizona graduate with a BA in Creative Writing, his fiction and nonfiction work has appeared in Dream International/Quarterly, Tucson Weekly, Western Outdoor News and others. A great lover of speculative fiction and fantasy in particular, his daughter turned him on to Harry Potter when she made him promise to take her to see the movie version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone. An admitted literary snob, he read the book before taking her, and before he know it had read every volume published to that point.

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Luis Morinigo
Luis Morinigo
17 years ago

well, i agree with you, but I also think that JK Rowling kills for good, as we saw in the goblet of fire. We all expect Dumbledore to be alive somehow. I personally think he wants everyone to believe he is dead, so the dead eaters and Voldemort will feel free to do whatever they want till they reach Harry Potter. And at the moment Harry and Lord Voldemort have to face each other, Dumbledore will appear to help Harry. Because everybody knows Dumbledore is the only wizard Voldemort is afraid of.

krista
krista
17 years ago

dumbldore IS dead… and i am pretty sure he will become a ghost. T_T

banita
banita
17 years ago

if dumbledore helped harry it would really take the fun out of the 7th book kinda harry should do it himself add on to his chocolate frog card

nox
nox
17 years ago

great article (: especially the movies and shows cited! i love star wars too. dumbledore the new obi-wan?

Neel Bhagalia
Neel Bhagalia
17 years ago

We all expect Dumbledore to be alive somehow. I personally think he wants everyone to believe he is dead, so the dead eaters and Voldemort will feel free to do whatever they want till they reach Harry Potter. When Voldemort And HArry Face each other dumbledore will be invisible and at the last moment that dumbledore is about to die dumbledore stops LV and therefore harry finishes LV with avada Kedavra Curse.
Just ideas
Nice syt

Dawn
Dawn
17 years ago

Excellent literary comparison. For anyone else who enjoyed this article, I’d recommend ‘The Hero with a Thousand Faces,’ by Joseph Campbell.

sat
sat
17 years ago

all citations are good.AB is no gandalf.i think AB transfigured fawkes into himself and himself into fawkes.snape killed fawkes (in AB’s shape).in the funeral fire is seen,it is fawkes’ rebirth!fawkes was seen by harry for a fleeting moment.AB as fawkes sang the lament trying to say he is alive.

michael
michael
17 years ago

I don’t know wether Dumbledore is dead or not.

It would be more likely to assume he is, and assuming that Snape is not evil, D must have forced Snape to kill him.
His sacrifice keeps Draco alive, proves Snape’s ‘loyalty’ to Voldemort and gives Harry the strength to face Voldemort himself. Although I believe D will probably send Harry a message from the afterlife, to let him know that everything will be all right or something. Perhaps Sirius will be there as well…

Theories about Fawkes being a Horcrux: I doubt them.
Dumbledore is not the sort of person to do that.
Because with his death, he would become the thing Voldemort also was, not dead-not alive. He would live a tormented existence, which would not be suitable for a man who would easily embrace death to save others.

Reading Dumbledore’s death in HP6 was a shock, but hearing that there will be more news about him in HP7 gives me comfort. But considering the circumstances, D has died a honourable death.

I miss him already: I’m going to read the other five books just to ‘see’ Dumbledore ‘alive’.

(Yes people, Albus Dumbledore is a fictitious person, read the other books and he is alive!)

Mandy
Mandy
17 years ago

I completely agree with michael. prehaps this ‘message’ will be from the new appointed painting? BTW What is with the said paintings in the head’s office? do they have all the thoughts, feelings, even MEMORIES that the one in the picture once had?

oh and also…

For the second person who posted on here he will not be a ghost. I repeat-

DUMBLEDORE WILL NOT COME BACK AS A GHOST!

Nearly-headless-
oops. I mean Sir Nicholas says so when Harry questions him!
that would just be stupid anyway

And just for the record…I believe that Regulus Black stole the Horcrux and it is probably in the attic of Number 12 Grimmauld Place and Kretcher is like worshiping it right now.
ok not right now cause this IS a fiction book
(i found that out when I didn’t recieve a letter of exceptance. lol)
That’s why it won’t open.
so yeah

Anonymous
Anonymous
17 years ago

if dumbledore is dead and which i know he cant be, wouldnt he live in grimauld place?

Spike
Spike
17 years ago

Just some things that came to mind reading this article.

J. K. Rowling did say we shouldn’t expect Dumbledore to do a Gandalf, so I don’t think he’ll come to life the way Gandalf did.

BUT

In almost all the legends/stories about Merlin most of them do say that Merlin will come back. Not necessarily as a living person, but maybe as a ghost or maybe in the minds of people, or maybe undead (*snicker*) or maybe as a vision. Maybe Dumbledore will come back kind of like the way Cedric and Harry’s parents came out of Voldemort�s wand.
Maybe he won’t come back at all. I don’t really know.

neetanjali
neetanjali
17 years ago

hi dave. i’ve been reading all the seemingly incredible theories circulating on this amazing site for the last 8 hours..non stop.. and i must say that i am duly impressed by your ingenuity. is it posible that dumby didn’t destroy the philosopher’s stone and may come back to life using it.. quite far fetched? but surely not impossible? is there any existing proof that dumby actually destroyed the stone…we only have his own word as proof in the 1st book..but maybe he has some reason to lie? maybe even nicolas was not aware that the stone has not been destroyed.
also..is it possible that hermione is the transfigured form or horcrux of lily potter since she’s way too intelligent for her age and has some similarities with lily. has hermione been sent by dumby?
anyway.. i may be too presumptuous in my theories.. but i do feel that jkr might have initially planned to revive dumby in the last book… or atleast his faked death was meant to be a surprise up her sleeve… but a super sleuth like yuo ruined her twist completely.. and now she’ll DEFINITELY NOT bring him back to life.. because that’s what we all are anticipating…thanx to you.

Dave Haber
Dave Haber
17 years ago

I’m flattered that you think I (or collectively us on this site) could sway what JK writes. I doubt it sincerely, however. Anyone can tell that JK has weaved a massively complex story. You can’t just change a major plot point of such a complex story in the ninth inning. Also, she said many years ago in interviews that she’s had the whole story planned out all along. I really doubt she could change it now.

Neetanjali
Neetanjali
17 years ago

i think that nicolas flamel was alive till the end of book 6..he had enough elixir left to sustain him that long… and he fits well into Dumbledore’s scheme of things.. because the whole plan of faking DD’s death was hatched by dd,snape and flamel… on the tower on that fateful night..snape deliberately messed up the Avada Kedavra curse or spoke a non verbal spell to cause the desired effects.. and as DD was thrown off the tower he broke his fall with a spell or was rescued by Fawkes.. and the dead body that was discovered later was nicolas who had been transfigured as DD.. afterall dd has been a teacher of transfiguration at Hogwarts… or to stretch this point further…maybe it was nicolas who was with Harry throughout that evening..even during the quest for the horcrux in the cave.. since nicolas was going to die soon anyway without the elixir…

i dont have any evidence to substantiate this…just a hunch and loads of serious wishful thinking.. we DD fans can go to any extent to keep him alive!

anyway.. it does seem awfully strange that a wizard like dd supposedly the greatest wizard of all time, is killed so easily by snape… so why didn’t snape kill or capture Harry too… surely it was quite easy to do that with DD gone.. it does prove that there’s more going on there… than meets the normal eye!Kudos to this site for keeping our hopes alive…

Prit
Prit
17 years ago

Guys, i am sorry to say but Dumbledore is dead in this scheme of things. Has every one forgot about LOVE the most powerful magic of all? Didn’t harry’s mother sacrifice herself for him? Now it was Dumbledore’s turn to do it for his most beloved pupil. Avada Kedavra was pointed towards Harry and Dumbledore came in between so he has magic of love again and You-know-who will trust Severus blindly. Harry will also get magical gifts from Severus, just like he got from You-know-who or may be also from Dumbledore. Severus is on Harry’s side all along.

Ella
Ella
17 years ago

first and foremost…
brilliant theories. it amazes me the parallels that have been made to other books and the entire genre
but JKR has said herself she is no follower of the fantasy genre authors.i don’t think she’s bringing dumbledore alive again (if he’s truly dead..) i think snape is in fact..on the side of dumbledore; but harry has to complete this thing with voldemort alone. in addition, it proves snapes loyalty and saves draco and snape (the unbreakable vow). if dumbledore is dead, i bet rowling will make a way for him to communicate with harry…and maybe sirius will be there with dumbledore. there was a reference to the mirrors – the ones in the order of the phoenix, when sirius gave harry one, and he smashed it after sirius’ death, in an interview with rowling she said they’d come back or they’d be important later, something of that nature. so perhaps those will be used?
thank youu for doing this. it’s pretty much a great way to get you thinking about the whole series even if it turns out none of the theories on here turn out to be true…although some of them are boumd to be close

Chuck
Chuck
17 years ago

Another possibility is that Dumbledore is dead and that all his memories in the Pensieve will be available to Harry. Harry then becoming the continuation of Dumbledore. Anyone else noticing that Nevelle’s life is parrallel to Harry’s? I think perhaps Harry will become the Merlin to Nevelle’s Arthur.

Robert B.
Robert B.
17 years ago

For nearly a year now I have thought that perhaps Dumbledore was really Wormtail who had drank Polyjuice Potion. Wormtail may have been swayed by Snape to help Dumbledore since he was staying with him when the sisters visited his house. Dumbledore has a blackened, mangled left hand which he states is from destroying the ring horcrux. But Wormtail has a fake left hand made from silver…perhaps it couldn’t be fully disguised so an explanation was created. Also, at the end of year 3, POA, Dumbledore tells Harry “Pettigrew owes his life to you. You have sent Voldemort a deputy who is in your debt…When one wizard saves another wizard’s life it creates a certain bond between them…and I’m much mistaken if Voldemort wants his servant in the debt of Harry Potter. This is magic at its deepest, its most impenetrable, Harry. But trust me…the time may come when you are very glad you saved Pettigrew’s life.” So I suppose that is my guess. I like this site, very informative and makes you think. Let me know what you think of my premise.

Chibby
Chibby
17 years ago

Rather that have Pettigrew be ‘Dumbledore’ I think in the end Pettigrew might be the one to kill Voldemort, instead of Harry.
After all, Pettigrew is disgusted by him (GoF), and only follows Voldemort out of fear… Also, he has a ‘debt’ to Harry (PoA).
When Harry meets Voldemort (or his end at Voldemorts hands?) Pettigrew can have quite a par to play there…

Tazkia Khan
Tazkia Khan
17 years ago

I Refuse to believe that Albus Percival Wolfric Brian Dumbledore is dead! He is the greatest wizard in the world!

Chikky
Chikky
17 years ago

HI! DAVE I MUST SAY THAT YOU ARE A GENIUS! Well,I think that Dumby had died much before the sixth book…and voldemort had drunk the polyjuice potion and transformed into Dumby…he saved harry many times because he wanted to gain trust….and he didn’t kill harry till now ‘so that he could make all the teachers,students and especially harry to trust him…the teacher’s were also there to keep an eye on everything that happened…and when Dumby died in the sixth book…well they didn’t find his wand so that proves no one died in HBP…AND MAYBE the horcruxes which Dumby destroyed were not real Horcruxes….It may be doubtful…but anything can happen…..Any DOUBTS!

Anonymous
Anonymous
17 years ago

Please don’t call Albus Percival Wolfric Brian Dumbledore Dumby! any way, you-know-who, would not possibly be albus, because, he hated him more than any one, and he would have taken the advantage of killing harry many times throught the series. and also why would you-know-who tell harry about horcruxes when he really believes that he is the only one that knows about them?

abz
abz
17 years ago

dumbledore is/was dumbledore he knew too much too be wormtail’ remember’ wormtail was supposed to be a stupid wizard? ‘seeking the protection of others’! sirius will come back and draco and harry will do something together im preatty sure draco will have changed sides we all saw at the end of that last chapter the fact that he lowered his wand. hes not a killer. sirius is so comin back and the departement of mysteries is going to be immportant! i can tell!

v.v.interesting about the light colour though. because it has stated that harry saw green light quite a lot of times and that all the ohers were killed with green light so if dumbedore was killed with blue light that means theres something going on ill have to check that.

and btw dd not comeing bk as a ghost as only people who were afraid of the after life came back as nick said and dumbledore merely said that dying is starting a new adventure or something so we kno hes not afraid. and besides why doesnt harry just talk to the portrait dumbledore? they dont forget stuff do thay?

Patty
Patty
17 years ago

abz,

My take on the portaits is that they are one step up from the moving photographs that otherwise exist in the wizarding world. I think they are not the real people but some kind of shadowy representation of the person.
You have a good point. Why didn’t Harry talk to the portrait of Dumbledore? I think there will be some interaction between Harry and the portrait when Harry needs some info. I think the reason that Dumbledore in the portrait was apparently slumbering was to dissuade Harry from interacting with it right then. I think Dumbledore planned all along for his death to benefit Harry and the fight against Voldemort and the portrait will give the details to Harry when he is ready to hear them.
I don’t see Draco changing sides. I think he is too much of a wimp to risk angering Voldemort by taking a stand. He will go along, spineless, to the very end. Unless his mother’s life is at stake. Then he might be able to find some backbone.

robert  gornall
robert gornall
17 years ago

I have read with interest some of ideas being floated by your contributers. I think the bigest clue to the fate of Dumbledore lies i the following fragment.

Harry thought for one heart-stopping moment, that he saw a phoenix fly joyfully into the blue (HBP pg 645/601)

JK is a real genius when it comes dropping hints, this fleeting thought of Harrys, I think we will find is far closer the truth than any us can imagine.

neville
neville
17 years ago

dumbledore put a horcrux on fawkes (his phoenix) and had snape kill him on his orders

Patty
Patty
17 years ago

Robert,
The phoenix flying joyfully into the blue may have been Dumbledore’s spirit off on the next great adventure in death. I don’t see that Dumbledore can still be alive, but I think he will have left directions for Harry to continue on with.

Neville,
I can’t believe that Dumbledore would do something so evil as create a Horcrux for himself. He has dedicated his life to destroying Voldemort. He wouldn’t act like him. Even Professor Mcgonagal in book 1 says Dumbledore is too noble to use such dark magic.
Dumbledore, being the great wizard that he is will have found a way to support Harry beyond death.

Ashley
Ashley
17 years ago

Patty–
I happen to agree with you on the fact that Dumbledore is too noble to use Dark Magic. it says that in black and white.

Karen
Karen
17 years ago

I do not think Dumbledore made a Horcrux. But, it won’t surprise me if Dumbledore ends up being shown as less then totally always good and honorable in book 7. With everything not so black and white. I think we will see that he has often had to make choices, very hard choices, that have caused people to die, and suffer. I think it has been a case of doing what would cause the least amount of death and destruction and suffering. But that won’t erase the death, destruction and pain that might have been caused by the decisions that he did make. I can see some as having not agreed with the decisions that Dumbledore has made, and I can see Snape possibly being one of them.

Marina
Marina
17 years ago

There are more ways of supporting someone other than coming back to life. As mentioned before, JKR said Dumbledore will not do a Gandalf. I believe Dumbledore is dead, and it is a logical decision. Harry, throughout the books, had been through major developments as a wizard, always guided by Dumbledore as a mentor. Yet the prophecy says only one can defeat Voldemort. That one is Harry, because Voldemort marked him as his equal. This means that, eventually, in his development, Harry has to become independent of his mentor, he has to do this alone (albeit with the support of his friends and the whole wizarding world, but still). If Dumbledore was still alive, it would prevent Harry from fulfilling his destiny, namely killing Voldemort, because Dumbledore loves Harry too much to actually risk Harry going off and looking for LV. And his death is precisely the motivation Harry needs to turn his back on Hogwarts and get his revenge. Don’t take me wrong, I love Dumbledore, and I was immensely sad when he was killed, but I think, considering everything, it is just not likely that he will be back in the flesh in book 7. In everyone’s education, whether at university or of life, one eventually has to loose the mentor (not specifically in this way, but eventually everyone has to become independent). However, if someone is not physically present that does not mean he is not there. I think Dumbledore will be important in book 7, but in another way. I think Harry will find strength from the memory of him (and maybe from his portrait, which is, I think, a kind of echo of the soul, not a Horcrux, not an actual part of the soul, more a sort of recreation of it). I think the memory of Dumbledore will provide Harry with what he needs throughout book 7, namely the sense of safety and protection Dumbledore gave when he was still alive, and, most importantly, a feeling of LOVE, as mentioned before the strongest possible magic. Harry loved Dumbledore, and this love (and from it the anger from his death) might just be the final thing he needed to enable him to kill Voldemort.
Moreover, as to saying Dumbledore created a Horcrux, that is just blasphemism. I’m sorry guys, Dumbledore might not have been a saint, but he was way too noble and loved life way too much to actually consider doing something that debasing.
Dumbledore might be dead, but I believe, as Harry himself said, one is not actually dead until he is forgotten. The way he might come back to life might just be that, in the hearts and minds of those who loved and respected him.

Olga
Olga
17 years ago

Marina, I completely agree with your comment. I believe Harry’s strength will come from within, from his heart. And it’s there where all his mentors (his parents, Sirius and Dumbledore) remain alive.
Great site!

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
17 years ago

Marina, I think you are absolutely right about Harry finding strength from Dumbledore even though he is dead. Dumbledore says something very like that to Harry at the end of POA. “You think the dead we have loved ever truly leave us?”
The lesson in Chamber of Secrets is not dissimilar; that Dumbledore will never be gone while people are loyal to him.
In every book Dumbledore has made Harry see some of the most profound truths about life, frequently relating to loyalty or love and its power.
Finally Harry has to face Voldemort possibly armed only with his wand and the knowledge that love, as the Song of Solomon tells us, “is as strong as death.”

Harry himself understands at the end of HBP that he has to accept that all his protectors are gone; his parents, Sirius and Dumbledore. I think he also knows that he is not really alone.

Chuck Dubbs
Chuck Dubbs
17 years ago

yes marina i agree that dumbledore is dead though i dont think he will be back in the seventh because dumbledore being alive would prevent the showdown between harry and voldemort from ever happening. i also think snape is good (though i still can never forgive him) but his proving his alegiance to voldemort will gain him very important knowlege as to what voldemort plans. Also i have a question does anyone think harry will graduate from hogwarts or will he drop out to persue voldemort.

Ashley
Ashley
17 years ago

Chuck–
I think Harry will return to Hogwarts, but I don’t think he will take any classes or anything. I just think he will look for clues as to where the Horcruxes are.
Similarly, can you flunk a grade at Hogwarts? Like, if you had a few T’s or something or you failed everything, could they hold you back a year?
Also, if you miss a year of school (i.e. Harry’s last year) can you return to finish out the school year? If Harry misses the last year of his education and defeats Voldemort, could he go back to Hogwarts when he was 18?

Katherine
Katherine
17 years ago

Dumbledore said He’ll always come back to Hogwarts when there are those who are truly loyal to him remain there. Maybe Harry has to go there to talk to Dumbledore one last time or to destroy the last Horcruxes, and he will see Dumbledore one last time. The last Horcrux (not in Voldemort) has to be there because I think Hogwarts is the chief Deathly Hallow!

Monkeeshrines
Monkeeshrines
17 years ago

During some recent “research” I was reminded of Nut, the Egyptian goddess of the sky, who was often described and depicted with star-like speckles, or wearing a star-spangled dress. Stars were symbols of the spirits of the dead who had gone to join the gods so as to maintain the order of the world and keep chaos at bay. I can’t help but compare to Albus always wearing those purple robes glittering with stars. Perhaps another parallel to mythology all the while was right in front of our eyes, as if to say he needed to die in order to keep, well, order.

voldemort
voldemort
17 years ago

The fact that JK established the whole idea of Horcruxes and then the murder Dumbledore in the same book just can’t be a coincidence. There has to be a clue somewhere in the book that can solve at least some mystery.

Emilio
Emilio
17 years ago

I think that the death of Albus had to occur on this book, so as to have Harry decide what he was to do, and to have him properly meet Aberforth once Harry has assimilated Albus’ death during the summer.

If Albus’ death happened at the begining of book 7 and he immediatley met Aberforth he would be substituting a mentor figure for another, without having the time to think, and allowing Aberforth to guide him, instead of helping him.

Ashley R.
Ashley R.
17 years ago

Emilio–
I have never thought about it that way. You are absolutely correct though. And also, if Dumbledore had died at the beginning of DH, where is the dramatic climax of HBP? You would end the book with thousands of clues, but none as theory-worthy as Dumbledore dying, and absolutely no climax! Taking the death of Dumbledore out would make the story a lot more boring. Then you are crying all through DH, since the death is at the beginning, when in HBP it was at the end. Dumbledore’s death and Aberforth’s appearance being seperate ties into both the Muggle world and the Magic world.

Voldy-locks!–
At first glance, I wouldn’t think it is a coincidence that Dumbledore was killed (on Voldy’s orders- keep that in mind) the same book where Harry finally learns the secret to Voldemort’s immortality.

However, bear in mind that at the beginning of the book, Snape, Narcissa, and Bellatrix were discussing Draco’s “task” from the Dark Lord, which I firmly believe was killing Dumbledore. Also, at the end of OotP, Dumbledore was responsible for 1.) exposing Voldemort to the MoM and 2.) making sure Harry wasn’t killed, which would have been good compensation, in Voldemort’s opinion.
I’m sure Voldemort has been fuming since that incident, and wanting to be sure that Dumbledore was killed. I don’t think it had anything to do with the Horcruxes.

Joe
Joe
16 years ago

People have mentioned that “greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”… perhaps this applies to Dumbledore rather than to Harry…

I love the way Harry and Dumbledore become equals or rather come to have an adult relationship as equals (rather than teacher and pupil so much) at the end of OotP and throughout HBP. Perhaps Dumbledore’s comment at the end of HBP that he is not afraid because he is with Harry means that he now believes Harry is ready to go on alone…the torch has been passed from one to the other so to speak.

Apprentices always have to go and face evil before they complete their training…it’s part of the mythology…

Aubrey
Aubrey
16 years ago

i think that since dumbledore’s favorite bird is the phoenix, and they burn up when they die, that he will come back to life (like the phoenix) because his coffin went into flames, he will be born from the ash.

Aubrey
Aubrey
16 years ago

i think that Harry is the horcrux, because if he is, then he will have to kill himself to be able to kill Voldermort, and as the prophesy says “one must die, if the other survives”.the only problem is, who will kill Voldermort? one of my freinds said that Neville was going to save the day in the end. i don’t belive them. do you?

Garth
Garth
16 years ago

I disagree with all the sayings that Dumbledore is the ONLY wizard Voldemort has ever feared. didnt he fear harry? didnt he think that harry would rise up and defeat him one day? i did, and that means he had to fear harry for what he was and will be.

Tom K
Tom K
16 years ago

Dumbledore is still still alive-somewhat. He is a horcrux in Harry Potters mind. Well-atleast half of him. When he learns that there are seven-horcruxes instead of one-horcrux.
Dumbledore knows he is to old and Harry is not ready to take on Voldemort. SO, he sets his plans. He has to convince SNAPE to help him.
When Dumbledore and harry return from the cave Dumbledore is dying. They see the dark mark and Dumbledore knows that Snape can’t save him. As they are riding the brooms, Harry hears Dumbledore muttering in some strange language. AGAIN.
Harry thinks he is undoing the charm when his broom shudders. Dumbledore has cast the horcrux spell on HARRY!
When they land on the tower, Dumbledore tells harry to get Snape. He turns and is hit with a spell and is stiffened.
Snape appears, Dumbledore softly says, Severus-pleading.
Then he says-PLEASE SEVERUS. This not a plea NOT to kill him. BUT-YOU absolutely must DO-IT. Snape does the Avara kedavra and Dumbledore is blasted into the air, DEAD.
This completes the horcrux spell and put the horcrux into Harry Potter.
At the funeral Harry gets strange thoughts in his head and wonders what is wrong with him. He tells Ron and Hermione
that he is going back to Godric Hollow. He has had the idea in his head since that night dumbledore dies. He just has a feeling he has to go there.
The prophecy said-he would have power the dark lord did not know about. Voldemort is in for a NASTY surprise.