Harry Potter: 10 Unpopular Opinions About Dumbledore (According To Reddit)

One of the most fascinating Harry Potter characters, Professor Albus Dumbledore turned out to be quite the dark horse when it was revealed that he had been deceiving Harry all along. While Snape, in spite of being problematic, is considered an anti-hero for courting danger and death to save Harry, the fandom is far more on the fence about Dumbledore.

RELATED: 15 Plot Holes That Make No Sense In Harry Potter (Even If You've Read The Books)

As it happened, Harry's mentor was not the man that most had thought him to be. But that doesn't mean that the myriad complexities in Dumbledore's character go unnoticed. After all, not even in the wizarding world is everything just black and white, and fans on Reddit have been vocal with opinions about Dumbledore that are a bit off the beaten track.

cloudysasquatch feels that Dumbledore's need to mention every now and then exactly how much smarter he was than others around him spoke of insecurities on his part. "Almost every conversation Dumbledore has with someone, he has to point out the fact that he is smarter than they are," says the Redditor.

This is unpopular since most fans would agree that whenever Dumbledore alluded to his own smartness, it was the right remark at the right moment. He usually bragged, if it can be considered thus, to remind someone that they were doing something wrong. For instance, in Chamber Of Secrets, Snape informs the headmaster that Harry and Ron had flouted the Decree for the Restriction of Underage Wizardry, and Dumbledore immediately puts him in his place by reminding him that he had written several of the by-laws themselves.

Redditor OlleLemon expresses their love for Dumbledore as played by Michael Gambon from the series' third part onwards. The user, however, realizes that this is a controversial point of view and asks, "Am I the only one that loved Michael Gambon as Dumbledore?"

While both veteran actors who portrayed the grand ol' man on screen, Richard Harris and Michael Gambon, brought their own magic to the role, there has always been a general consensus that Harris was somehow a better Dumbledore. Fans have felt that Harris, unlike Gambon, was more like the lovable but eccentric old wizard with an interesting sense of humor that Rowling intended Dumbledore to be. That said, there are enough reasons why Harris was the better Dumbledore, and why Gambon wasn't far behind.

In another curious opinion, k_a_spider feels that Albus Dumbledore was akin to another pivotal character in the series, Severus Snape. According to this fan, "Both were actually pretty similar" in that neither Snape nor Dumbledore were bad people, both went over to the dark side briefly, lost a woman they had cared for, and sacrificed themselves for the greater good.

RELATED: 5 Reasons Dumbledore Was A Better Character In Harry Potter (& 5 Reasons It Was Snape)

Not many fans would have thought to compare the lives of these two powerful Potter characters. It is irrefutable that both Albus and Severus were layered, but Snape has always been considered an anti-hero for the final climactic twist in the tale, while Dumbledore receives more hate for revealing how he had always known that Harry had to die. Yet, there is food for thought in this speculation, since the trajectory of the two men's lives had indeed been similar.

"It isn't like Dumbledore doesn't care and is happy to see Harry die." This is the opinion shared on Reddit by Not_a_cat_I_promise. The fan disagrees with the majority view that Dumbledore was "some apathetic puppet master" playing with people's lives.

While this opinion has merit, it goes against the grain, as noted by the Redditor themselves. The Potter fandom widely clings to the idea that Dumbledore used Harry as a pawn for the entirety of the latter's life, bringing him up as a "pig for slaughter", as Snape famously pointed out.

pet_genius, argues along the same lines as the Redditor in the previous entry. Dumbledore, according to this Redditor, had made sure that Harry had a shot at survival, that he "needed to think he was being sacrificed," which was the only way to destroy the unintended Horcrux in him.

Once again, this opinion is somewhat in the minority. The wizard, for most fans, had rather sneakily brought the boy up with the purpose of letting him die when the time came. Many even see Dumbledore as the real villain of the Harry Potter franchise because of this.

A user whose account has since been deleted believes that Dumbledore is one of the best characters in the Potter universe. The fan gives Dumbledore the benefit of doubt, seeing how he had ensured Harry's safety growing up--"Him leaving Harry with Vernon and Petunia is a genius idea." It was because Harry had grown up away from the wizarding world that he had become a humble, selfless person, shares the user.

It is true that Harry living away from the magical universe had probably given him perspective, and had certainly ensured his safety from Death Eaters, a lot of whom had still been around after Voldemort's perceived death. But fans might have a bone to pick with this logic, since Dumbledore had only been protecting Harry so that he could be the sacrificial lamb at the right time, after Voldemort's resurrection.

beans3939 feels that Dumbledore tended to be detached, and that allowed him to take on Grindelwald despite their connection. The user opines that as far as fighting Voldemort was concerned, "a few people suffering for the entire wizarding community seems pretty fair" so that the Dark Lord didn't end up murdering every wizard who wasn't pureblood.

RELATED: 5 Times Dumbledore Was As Wise As He Seemed In Harry Potter (& 5 Times He Was Foolish)

Sacrificing a few for the greater good is a well-established utilitarian approach. Stating that Dumbledore simply lacked attachment goes against the grain of the general fandom belief that he was morally dubious and thus easily able to manipulate others.

Another opinion that brings up Gambon's performance as the wise old man comes from bsorightnow, who remarks that Gambon was the right kind of Dumbledore for the events in the later part of the series. The fan agrees that Harris was 'colorful' and 'consistent' with the character in the popular imagination, but insightfully notes that Gambon "gave the booming and energetic performance that was necessary for the character Dumbledore would become year 5 and beyond."

Gambon's characterization is purported to have been different from the picture that the books painted, despite being brilliant. So to argue that his energy, which is exactly what fans don't see eye to eye with, was necessary, is certainly not popular, albeit perhaps having some truth in it.

aAlouda on Reddit astutely observes that Dumbledore "didn't plan to sacrifice Harry" to begin with. This is backed up by a paragraph in the final book where Albus is seen telling Harry how the enchantment that Lily had placed on Harry had lived through Voldemort when he had resurrected himself with the latter's blood.

This is unpopular in the sense that, despite the little hints given by Dumbledore that he knew what he was up to, he had himself confessed that most of his plans had been based on guesswork and that he got lucky, whereas he could have just as easily failed. The majority of fans would feel that some of Dumbledore's worst mistakes in Harry Potter cost the boy wizard heavily.

Finally, Embarrassed_Mess3620 goes all out and states that the "DUMBLEDORE HATE IS SO FORCED", due to all the many good things that should have washed out his sins and made him the most redeemable character in the series.

This is controversial since many fans believe that Dumbledore was a truly gray character and he shouldn't be let off easy, even if it was all for the greater good. Simply speaking, the idea that Dumbledore had betrayed Harry and kept him safe so that Trelawney's prophecy could come true never went down well with the fandom. For everything that Dumbledore was right about in Harry Potter, there was a lot he got wrong.

NEXT: 10 Things Only The Harry Potter Book Fans Know About Albus Dumbledore



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