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New Revelations

by David Haber

On August 2, 2006, at the second night of the Harry, Carrie, and Garp event at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, J.K. Rowling says Dumbledore is . But is that the whole story? How does what J.K. has said relate to all of the clues and theories on this site?

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Reader Comments: (Page 19)

Hi! I was really sad when I heard that Dumbledore is really ! But maybe Rowling just bluffed! Hope so!

Posted by Alex from Poland on January 10, 2007 09:10 AM

I'm sorry, but I really do think Dumbledore is . Have any of you considered what the books are really about? . Or perhaps more accurately, the fear of . Voldemort's fear, not Dumbledore's. Dumbledore most definitely does not fear . is part of the natural order which should not be subverted. Therefore this is a moral choice. Dumbledore accepts , therefore he is able to live fully. Riddle is obsessed by control over everything, and he sees as the final thing he has to defeat in order to be in control. Therefore terrifies him. The further he goes with his horcruxes, the less human he becomes. In fact, in psychological terms, he is, I believe quite deliberately, portrayed as a psychopath.
Look at the name Tom Riddle chooses to hide behind - Voldemort. Like Malfoy, the name is French. Malfoy quite literally means "Bad faith" or even "Sick faith". Look at "Voldemort", broken down into its constituent parts; Vol-de-mort. "Voler" is French for "to fly" or "to flee" "de" in this context is probably "from" and "mort" of course means "". Voldemort means "flight from ". And that is what the whole thing is about. I cannot see any way in which Dumbledore can cheat and remain himself. Certainly not by making a horcrux, which I suspect, like the Unforgivable Curses, would require real evil intent.
An "Obiwan"? Well, maybe. But for heaven's sake, give Rowling credit for some originality and stop expecting her to follow in the footsteps of Tolkien or George Lucas.
Also, just a thought, does our collective horror at the of Dumbledore and refusal to accept it, our constant looking for ways around his , not to mention ways to circumvent the creeping of age for ourselves, tell us something about the relevance of Voldemort's fear of to ourselves?
As for how did Dumbledore know about Horcruxes? Easy. I'm ing to bet that Grindelwald had one. I think I read somewhere that we find out more about Grindelwald in the last book.

Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on January 10, 2007 6:40 PM

I liked your refreshing comment. Yes, we cling to the hope until Book 7 comes out, that Dumbledore is still alive. After reading so many posts, I am torn between YES and NO.

Should Dumbledore have actually d on the Astronomy Tower, I still believe it was all planed and Snape was well-informed.

With the addition, that he be around in DH to help Harry in his quest of the Horcruxes and defeating Voldemort.
Is it not peculiar, that we all know that Dumbledore, before he became Hogwarts Headmaster, was the Transfigurations Master and never had been seen in action? Or was that, as some assume, Dumbledore transforming into a Phoenix on the day of his ��?

I wholly support the theory that Voldemort went after Grindelwald after he left his job at �Borgin & Burkes�. Just like I commented on �Dumbledore is not � page 12. If, he was able to flatter and delude so many (except Dumbledore), why not this Dark Wizard?

Now I wouldn�t be surprised if it was Voldemort, who betrayed Grindelwald after he found out how to make a Horcrux. I had this �crazy� idea that maybe Grindelwald made a living Horxrux out of Voldemort�but that does not make sense, because Jo has said that Grindelwald is .

Posted by Mistral from Switzerland on January 11, 2007 12:39 PM

Mistral, I wouldn't be at all surprised if you were right about Voldemort having something to do with Grindelwald. Maybe he sought Grindelwald out after leaving school to learn how to make a horcrux. Although that would have been right in the middle of World War II which might have been interesting! BTW, does "Grindelwald" have a specific meaning in German? Can't find my German dictionary. I know "wald" is wood as in forest, but what about "Grindel"?
I am sure you are right and that Snape was in on whatever happened up there, but I really think that Dumbledore ing sacrificed himself.
I suspect that what we find out about Grindelwald in the last book is that he had a Horcrux as well, which Dumbledore had to destroy first. Perhaps the memory is somewhere at Hogwarts and Harry get to see it?

I assumed that the phoenix Harry sees flying away from Dumbledore's grave was a manifestation of Dumbledore's soul, since his patronus was a phoenix.

Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on January 11, 2007 5:26 PM

The translator at says the German words "grindel wald" in English mean "standard forest".

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on January 11, 2007 6:59 PM

As a fan of the "Ultimate Unofficial Guide to the Mysteries of Harry Potter" I am familiar with the word Rowlinquistics" JO's use of wordplay, but in this case... never occurred to me that "Grindelwald" could have a hidden meaning. For the simple reason that for all Swiss people Grindelwald is the name of popular village in Switzerland;-) I quote:

"The "glacier village" of Grindelwald is enveloped in a real scenic and unique alpine landscape.

I went and I googled the name Grindelwald.. like Dave said, "Wald" means forest in English. Wikipedia specifies "Grindel" as a city in Germany and as a plow beam.

When questioned about "Grindelwald" in 2005 by Melissa and Emerson, JO said:

"Is it coincidence that he d in 1945,� and I said no. It amuses me to make allusions to things that were happening in the Muggle world, so my feeling would be that while there's a global Muggle war going on, there's also a global wizarding war going on". Asked if he had any connection to...she answered with "no comment"!

So it is in all probability, simply a fitting name Jo chose for a Wizard who lived in a far away country.

Posted by Mistral from Switzerland on January 12, 2007 12:33 PM

I have another idea how JK could end the story without having to or sacrifice Harry and still prevent authors from writing further sequels: perhaps Harry can finish off Voldemort by sacrificing his own magical powers, thereby surviving, but as a sqib or a muggle or whatever. Or perhaps Neville actually s Voldemort and because of that Harry loses his powers. He could still be with his friends, marry Ginny and have little wizard kids. OK, books on that could be written, but so could stories on Hermione's and Ron�s future or stories on Hogwarts.
As for Dumbledore, I favour the idea of his being a Phoenix. JK said that he is , but she didn't say that he couldn't be reborn, perhaps he'll be somebody else?
And Harry as a horcrux who has to himself sounds too dark to me, but only SHE knows for sure.

Posted by Kira Dahmann from Berlin, germany on January 12, 2007 3:15 PM

No comment, eh? Sounds to me like there might be something there, Mistral. Oh, well. We can but wait and see. I'd noted you are in Switzerland, which of course is partially German speaking - hence my question to you. Thanks for the info. I must find out something about Grindelwald, the village.

Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on January 12, 2007 3:16 PM

I still don't believe that Dumbledore is , I have stud the books so laboriously that I had found all of the theories everyone else has, but possibly a few more too (my brain is far to active when it comes to Harry Potter plots)... firstly, to add to the Avada Kedavra spell mechanics, JK had Dumbledore explicitly say (in H.B.P) something to the effect of, "the avada Kedavra curse usually leaves no evidence at all of its use, your scar Harry is the only exception"... so hence this supports the theory that Avada Kedavra wasn't used... JK Rowling wouldn't make an error in writing something like that then at the end of the book 'BLAST Dumbledore off the balcony' (so physically violent) this isn't based in the fact it doesn't just sound like the Avada Kedavra... Rowling actually writes that the spell has never left a trace (Harry's scar being the ONLY exception)

Also, a press release from JK Rowling has just been released saying "don't expect Dumbledore to pull a Gandalf, actually I should be more explicit, Dumbledore is " even though she has said this... I haven't forgotten that Albus Dumbledore has a bother called Aberforth Dumbledore... maybe he's the Dumbledore that is .
this may also explain why the Dumbledore pulled a memory (for him and Harry to explore in the pensieve) out of a glass phial instead of his own memory... because he wasn't Albus... he was Aberforth... and the memory wasn't his he had to be given it by the real Dumbledore!

This is a little random, but I think Regulus black is still alive too - it may explain how he came into possession of the locket, (parchment inside being written by one R.A.B) I think that he faked his (it is said in the books that one of Voldemort's eaters actually ed Regulus... maybe this is how Dumbledore can fake peoples s and make it look so complete) otherwise... if Regulus Black did steal the Horcrux then why would he have hidden the fact that he had taken it by only saying his initials.. surely Voldemort, the darkest & smartest etc wizard of all time wouldn't have been able to guess at who R.A.B (especially if its his follower) is... doubtful.

Also... to add to your "unbreakable vow" theory.. remember how Snapes hand twitched in Narcsissa's hand as they spoke the vow... but he didn't pull away?... and the hand that the grasped with is also the hand that Dumbledore had injured? well I have a theory too... it is mentioned in the book about "splinching"...or something' where an inexperienced wizard can send his/her body parts to another location when they are trying to Apperate accidentally?... could not an experienced wizard do the same? but on purpose? and it could be a hand, a hand that when is 'splinched' twitched in Narcsissa's hand as a vow was being spoken over it.. and the hand could become blackened and burned by the magical fire ribbons (that were supposed to coil around Snapes hand... but it was actually Dumbledore's... I know I may sound neurotic here but its possible I am right, Dumbledore's blackened hand is not explained thoroughly and I think the instances are related because Dumbledore actually took the curse into his hand... and the hand... obviously cant its owner or some such other theory... s and doesn't the whole of Dumbledore's body because it is temporarily detached from it (If the unbreakable vow is broken then the person s... in this case... just a hand... expanding further... Dumbledore may have known this (or thought fast) destroyed the black jewel ring Horcrux on it too in the process of the unbreakable vow being broken... he does say that his blackened hand is related to the destruction of the Horcrux)... again... maybe just a Coincidence that the hand that is blackened is the same as the hand needed to make the Unbreakable vow
... but I think not
.... I'm full of more theories but my fingers are tired... I hope i'm right.. I don't want to say goodbye to Dumbledore...

Posted by Gem from Australia on January 14, 2007 02:36 AM

The most telling part about Rowling's comments in response to Rush's question is her acknowledgement that the central tension as the series wraps up is the question of Snape's loyalty.

Let's assume that Albus Dumbledore is indeed .

If so, and Snape is loyal to Voldemort, there's no dramatic tension. Book 7 becomes 800 pages of Horcrux destroying and wizard fights. We know where everyone stands. It's basically a video game with lots of boss battles and no story.

If, on the other hand, Snape is not loyal to Voldemort, we have a *far* more interesting seventh book.

As others have mentioned, the other truly compelling piece of evidence is Dumbledore's behavior just before his . If he truly trusts Snape implicitly, then why would he instantly be begging for Snape to spare his life? Surely he'd require some evidence of Snape's intent before assuming that Snape was planning to him. Instant grovelling for mercy is completely out of character for Dumbledore, as Rowling points out (first time Harry had seen that).

Dumbledore's pleading only makes sense in the context of a plea for Snape to carry out Dumbledore's plan wherein Snape must Dumbledore.

Posted by Salty Dog from Washington, DC on January 15, 2007 2:35 PM

salty dog, snape plays a redeeming character in nearly all the books, a far more interesting story is that snape has been loyal to voldermort all this time, but after seeing what voldermort is prepared to do he changes his mind and helps harry, dumbledores plea was real, he pleas because snape opens his mind to dumbledore (right before he s him) and lets him see that he has played him all along, the plea is not because dumbledore is scared its because he realises that harry was right about snape all along and realises the danger he has put harry in. this would be far more interesting, dont you agree?

Posted by beki from liverpool, england on January 16, 2007 04:42 AM

First of all, I love this site! I still believe that Albus Dumbledore is not ; JKR never says it's specifically him, so it could be his brother. Maybe that explains the hand, the clue about the jam, and pouring of his memories instead of using his wand. Also, maybe the pleading from Dumbledore in the tower isn't to save him, but to finish what Snape is supposed to do as quickly as possible. I also find it interesting that no one tries to talk to Dumbledore's portrait on the wall. I know he's sleeping, but others have been woken up for much less serious problems! Lastly, we're all wondering where's Dumbledore's wand and why we don't see Dobby; maybe Dobby came back and took it after everyone left?
Just my own random thoughts... I can't wait until book 7 comes out!

Posted by Michelle from canton,MI on January 18, 2007 3:39 PM

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