The Repeating History of Dumbledore
by David Haber
When we first meet young Tom Riddle in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, I believe J.K. Rowling is wording descriptions of events with it in mind for us to see similarities between Tom Riddle and Harry. But now that we know the end of the story, and now that we know more about Dumbledore himself, I have lately been thinking more about similarities between Tom Riddle and Gellert Grindelwald.
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Reader Comments: (Page 5)
"It is our choices, far more than our abilities, that show us who we truly are," Albus Dumbledore (someone was trying to think of that quote-it inspires me so I have it on my desk).
I don't believe that Tom being invited to Hogwarts was a Dumbledore thing. He was invited because he was a wizard. Dumbledore (especially at the time Tom was at Hogwarts had no say in who be allowed or not at the school). Just as Snape (when he was so mad at Harry-didn't have the power to have him kicked out). He had the requirements for the school. If there was no easily identified rule breaking to use to throw him out then he had the right to the education. To get rid of the bad seeds they'd almost have to eliminate Slytherin as a house, but that is not how Hogwarts works. I don't think Dumbledore aided Tom at all. And furthermore I don't believe Dumbledore had "feelings" for him either.
I personally believe that there is only one student relationship of Dumbledore's that could ever be questioned and that is with Harry. There are references throughout the books that Dumbledore's relationship with Harry is beyond that of the regular student, but even that relationship we understand was established in Dumbledore's head before he ever got to know Harry the boy, because he understood what Harry needed to become and felt that he needed to help him in the journey.
Posted by Kelley from Lansing, MI on December 26, 2007 07:57 AM
I noticed that Harry and Tom were related right away. I called my brother as I finished the book (as he was the only one done before me back in July) and we talked about it right away.
Also, I don't think anyone could have prevented Tom going to Hogwarts, he was after all an heir to one of the founders. They said Harry's name was down since he was a baby. I would expect Tom's was done even before he was a baby.
To say that attraction has anything to do with choices a teacher makes, is to say that McGonagall didn't kick Harry and Ron out in the CoS because she was attracted to them. That's just rubbish.
Posted by Kelley from Lansing, MI on December 26, 2007 08:30 AM
I have to agree with Dave attraction is apart of life, as human and wizards alike we use our eyes before any of our other senses. Yes there are many forms of attraction… physical, mental, sexual, and there is of course the attraction to a challenge. I feel that is this last one that is actually involved with the relationship between Tom Riddle and Dumbledore…
Albus’ relationship with Gellert was actually an attraction on all these levels. To find ones equal in all reams is well rather difficult and Albus…although yes wanting to seek the power that Gellert possessed so naturally knew that out of responsibility that one could not allow the power to posses you. Which was Gellert’s trouble all along, he did not know when or how to stop at the limit. Dumbledore tried as friend and lover to help but the “damage” had already been done. The greed for power and control has well rooted into Grindelwald.
Enter in Tom Riddle who possessed the same attributes that attracted Albus to Gellert, intelligence, talent, but also there was the greed for power. Dumbledore’s mind was perhaps flooded with the memories of his youthful love as he walked into the room where Riddle sat, but which perhaps also sent sparks to his mind that where he had once failed with Gellert he would try not to with this child. However Riddle was already a skeptic to love and showing concern or interest into anything more than his brilliant talents as a young masterful wizard caught the young Riddle by surprise and placed him on defense. Riddle quotes that all the other teacher’s liked him where as Dumbledore never trusted him. I think perhaps the other teachers were satisfied with just touching the surface of the boy where as Dumbledore wanted to dive deep into his being to again true influence.
I mean in the end it was because of this that Riddle feared Dumbledore the most….perhaps respected him the most as well….
The other thing regarding the appearance of Riddle and to that of Gellert..I feel that Rowling continues to point out first the looks of Tom from the eyes of Dumbledore and from Harry but I feel that it is not out of neither a sexual nature or of a physical one but that she is trying to point out that one’s appearance change over time when you allow yourself to be influenced…Riddle went from being an attractive 11 year old boy who had dabbled in someone evil behavior into a disfigurement of a man when he chooses to submerge himself into the dark arts.
Posted by Diamond from Dallas, Tx on December 26, 2007 10:42 AM
I think you are making too many connections with Dumbledore being , and trying to find new conclusions where there are none. We could play the 'what-if' game for hours, and though we may have fun, it's not worth it. Just because dumbledore was , you can't blame him for Tom's power in the wizarding world. That is going too far. Yes, there might be an attraction dumbledore feels, but other than that, nothing.
Posted by Talia on December 27, 2007 09:02 AM
well. if people get older they mostly lose sexual attraction as far as I know. and dubledore was REALLY old allready when he got to Tom Riddle. maybe he was when he was younger but just didn't have any sexual attraction to people anymore when he got older
Posted by carni from the netherlands on January 8, 2008 11:25 AM
potter fan is absolutely right.. ever since the outrageous revelation of Dumbledore everyone is seeing Dumbledore in the bad light. dont you think its a bit unfair? we should just ignore that unfair accusation of dumbledore and look only at what the book itself says. not J.K's opinion of dumbledore or what she has transformed dumbledore into.
Dumbledore was simply looking at the good in Riddle... simply giving him a chance.
Posted by double do from singapore on January 12, 2008 02:09 AM
Accusation? I don't see it as an accusation, unfair or otherwise. Accusation suggests that in being Dumbledore has done something wrong. Nor is it a matter of Rowling "transforming" Dumbledore. Dumbledore's have been part of her conception of his character from the very beginning. Or if she didn't realise it right off the bat, then it is something that has come to her during the writing of the stories that explains Dumbledore's character to her and makes sense of it. When you write there is always heaps more about the characters that the author knows, but that never makes it onto the page. Things like, does he like dogs? What is his favourite colour? Why is he so fond of Muggle sweets? Why does he particularly love chamber music? The author knowing all that means that the character remains consistent on the page. It gives the character depth. This is not Rowling's "opinion" of Dumbledore, this is who Dumbledore is. If she says he's , then he's . It has nothing to do with whether he's kind or cruel, loving or full of hate. Both s and s can be either good or bad people. Sexual orientation in this context has nothing to do with morality.
Dumbledore is still a great human being, but it is not a matter of him being a great human being "despite" being .
It is of course entirely possibly that being has given him a greater degree of understanding and tolerance for difference and eccentricity in other people such as Snape, Lupin and Hagrid.
Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on January 13, 2008 9:55 PM
In an interview with JK Rowling on ITV1 a few weeks ago, she said that she always viewed Dumbledore as being but she never specified with whom. However, when reading about how Dumbledore and Grindlewald were together, there is no doubt that they both .
Posted by Helene Harrison on January 19, 2008 09:38 AM
the first comment... jk rowling stated that dumbledore is . he loved grindewald. the question was "does dumbledore find true love?" and jk answered simply "dumbledore is ".
Posted by Shayna from richmond on January 20, 2008 06:14 AM
"In an interview with JK Rowling on ITV1 a few weeks ago, she said that she always viewed Dumbledore as being but she never specified with whom. However, when reading about how Dumbledore and Grindlewald were together, there is no doubt that they both ."
Yes, quite likely. And this is exactly what I mean about the author's basic concept and knowledge of the character helping to keep the character consistent on the page. Even though the books never state Dumbledore's , because Rowling KNOWS he is , his behaviour throughout the series and finally his interaction with Grindelwald always rings true. It's like actors being told to remain "in character" all the time.
Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on January 21, 2008 12:15 AM
Reading Half Blood Prince again....I love reading it knowing so much more about all the characters...especially Dumbledore. When he tells Harry to keep his invisibility cloak about him always it must be because he knows for sure that it is one of the ly hallows and he wants Harry to keep it safe...rather than because Harry is likely to be in danger while at Hogwarts...which is what I assumed before.
Posted by Joe from England on January 27, 2008 09:30 AM
i think that i've found something AMAZING here when i was thinking about the book after reading it.
I could be wrong but i think:
dumbledore overlooked something else too, something massively important to the whole wizarding society.
Dumbledore held the wand of destiny, the stick, in short the most powerful wand and all other wands were just as powerful as the wizard as Hermione always reminds us but doesn't Dumbledore say something in the final book about Harry's wand being more powerful then a normal wand because it contains Voldermort's s as well as Harry's. He says this in the chapter King's cross but surely this means that harry's wand is more powerful then a normal wand and even if it isn't as powerful as the elder wand surely it is the second most powerful wand there is meaning that in future generations the equivalent of a grindelwald want to find that if he cant find the elder wand?
Also in the last book at one point (i think either during the battle of hogwarts or when ron, harry and hermione escape from malfoy manner) harry happens to be holding three wands and does a curse at an enemy with triple effect (other words describe it in the book. does this mean that the more wands the more powerful the spell because if so it changes everything, would wizards use at least two wands in a duel?
If these points are true then dumbledore has missed much more then anyone ever thought.
Posted by Anonymous on January 28, 2008 12:44 PM
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