Study Guide

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon)

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Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon)

What, did you think Dumbledore's character development would halt just because he died two films ago? Guess again. We're still learning new things about the late, great headmaster.

He's Got Lots of Secrets

We know he's been dead for a little while now, but we assume you remember how Dumbledore kind of loved withholding certain bits of information from others? Well, he's still managing to make waves with that tendency, even after death.

When Snape gives Harry his tears/memories to view in the Pensieve, Harry learns that Dumbledore kept a huge secret from him: Harry has to die in order for Voldemort to be defeated.

So, yeah, that seems like the kind of thing that Dumbledore should have told Harry, right? Even Snape agrees that keeping that secret for most of Harry's life isn't cool.

SNAPE: So, when the time comes, the boy must die?

DUMBLEDORE: Yes. Yes. He must die.

SNAPE: You've kept him alive so that he can die at the proper moment. You've been raising him like a pig for slaughter.

Of course, Dumbledore has his reasons for keeping Harry out of the loop on this one. Would you have the strength to keep fighting if you knew that you were going to die eventually anyway? Might be difficult.

And of course, Dumbledore needed Harry to keep fighting, since Harry was probably the only person he could entrust with the Horcrux mission. So, we kind of get where Dumbledore was coming from here.

Brother or Bother?

But you know who doesn't have a lot of sympathy for Dumbledore's little ways, though? His brother, Aberforth.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione meet Aberforth when they come to Hogsmeade trying to gain access to Hogwarts, and Aberforth is a little, er, reluctant to help Harry finish up some dangerous scheme of his brother's:

HARRY: We need to get into Hogwarts. Tonight. Dumbledore gave us a job to do.

ABERFORTH: Did he, now? Nice job? Easy?

HARRY: We've been hunting Horcruxes. We think the last one's inside the castle, but we'll need your help getting in.

ABERFORTH: It's not a job my brother's given you, it's a suicide mission. Do yourself a favor, boy, go home. Live a little longer.

HARRY: Dumbledore trusted me to see this through.

ABERFORTH: What makes you think you can trust him? What makes you think you can believe anything my brother told you?

Now, Harry has definitely struggled with doubts about Dumbledore's intense secrecy and wondered whether he actually knew Dumbledore all that well, but Aberforth's anger is way more intense than Harry's frustrations ever were. Clearly, the brothers had some serious drama back in the day.

Harry isn't really interested in hearing about it, though—he's still a diehard Dumbledore fanboy:

HARRY: I'm not interested in what happened between you and your brother. I don't care that you've given up. I trusted the man I knew. We need to get into the castle tonight.

That's a pretty tremendous endorsement, if you ask us. If Harry can forgive and trust Dumbledore's wisdom even after everything they went through and all the secrets, then perhaps we can cut him some slack as well. After all, Dumbledore always did things with the best of intentions…even if those intentions didn't have the best results.

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