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Why did Dumbledore have James' cloak?

by David Haber

On a new post on her official web site, J.K. Rowling admitted she made a mistake in New York when she was asked, what question have you never been asked that you ought to have been asked? She now says the question should have been, Why did Dumbledore have James' invisibility cloak at the time of James' death, given that Dumbledore could make himself invisible without a cloak?

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Reader Comments: (Page 2)

I really like the idea of Dumbledore being a Griffindor descendant. It seems to click somehow, unlike the idea of the cloak being a horcrux. Dave have you been into the spoilt milk again?

Dumbledore could have come into the possession of the sword through the course of his duties as Hogwarts Headmaster, so just because he had it isn't proof positive of his family tree. But it's suggestive for sure!

Posted by Ed R on September 14, 2006 4:19 PM

No, Ed. Butterbeer!

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on September 14, 2006 4:33 PM

"And if the cloak is a James horcrux, then it could be a significant, even crucial part of the final battle between Voldemort and Harry, as it could facilitate James to come back from the and team up with Harry to defeat Dumbledore."

...why are we defeating Dumbledore? 0.0

Sorry, I just ran headfirst into that.

Anyway. How come so many people are forgetting that the sword first appeared in HP2? I don't think that Gryffindor's sword was ever seen in Hogwarts before that moment - after all, after Harry pulls it from the hat, it goes on a special stand in the headmaster's office, and not back in the hat. So...definitely NOT a Horcrux, and from what Dumbledore says, the ONLY relic of Godric Gryffindor we have, aside from the Sorting Hat (which DEFINITELY isn't a Horcrux, I'm pretty sure Jo said that flat-out on her site). The last Horcrux cannot be a Gryffindor relic, unless Jo pulls it out of thin air.

Ok, back on track here...cloak. Hmm. The Potters knew they were being hunted by LV, we're told that. If this is such a crucial point, I don't think James would've given it to Dumbledore just in case, for his son...that doesn't seem crucial enough. I think that the idea of James loaning it to Dumbledore might work, but not for Snape - after all, Snape wasn't yet on their side, not till AFTER the Potter's . That's what was supposed to lead to his repentance (over Lily's , maybe...?), plus no matter if they were on the same side or not I can't see James ingly giving up his priceless cloak for someone he hated - look how much Sirius and Snape fought, even when they KNEW they were on the same side (or were supposed to be - I'm of the mind that Sape was under orders to Dumbledore myself, but I could be wrong).

However, Dumbledore specifically words it, "Your father entrusted this in my keeping..." James wanted Dumbledore to keep it safe. I'm at a complete loss as to WHY - maybe just because it was so rare? So that kind of leaves out loaning...

Ok, I give up. I haven't the faintest idea.

Posted by Kethry from Panama City, FL...for now on September 14, 2006 5:44 PM

Is it possible that Dumbledore is not really entirely human? A phoenix who is reborn from the ashes. Could Dumbledore BE Griffindor?

Posted by tracy on September 14, 2006 6:24 PM

Dumbledore says he doesn't need a cloak to become invisible. I think Jo meant for us to take that statement literally. But isn't it entirely plausible that it merely an metaphorical statement Dumbledore said to impress upon Harry that he is a great wizard?

As for needing the cloak to reenter Godric's Hollow, I support the idea. I feel that is just the kind of thing Jo would do. However, I do agree with the idea of GG's sword being a Horcrux. Although Dumbledore didn't even theorize that Voldemort created Horcruxes until Half-Blood Prince, isn't possible that he accidentally destroyed the Horcrux without realizing what it really is?

Just thought I'd add my two cents and see what y'all think.

Posted by Michael from Pittsburgh, PA on September 14, 2006 7:11 PM

Maybe Lily, who was very good in charms and potions did something to the cloak first, knowing that the family was in danger from Voldemort. James would have given it to Dumbledore in case something happened to them. Maybe there be some sort of a protection charm involving love on it. They keep mentioning love is the most powerful magic.

Also, Dumbledore keeps saying that the magic of love is the one magic Voldemort has no understanding of. Therefore that could be his Achilles heel. That ignorance of the power of love was demonstrated in book one, not being able to touch Harry and again in book five, when at the ministry Voldemort could not possess Harry when he was filled with love for Sirius.

Posted by Nancy from Wakefield, NH on September 14, 2006 7:13 PM

I agree with tracy. Dumbledore really could be Griffindor! I also think the the cloak to get into GH is a great theory. I really do think that the Sorting Hat is a Horcrux. Dumbledore is in league with Nicolas Flamel, credited inventor of the stone. The mirror of erised could play a role in the 7th book, as could the room of requirement. The DA definitely come into play. the portrait deal is good, too, but i think it is only logical if Dumbledore is really , which is a logical theory considering what jo siad. I think Sirius's mirror could be repaired by Hermione or Harry, or someone of the sort. there could well be a network of others who have similar mirrors. I really don't think it's likely that Dumbledore or James made a horcrux.
that was a real jumble of things, but they needed to be said!-- hannah

Posted by Hannah on September 14, 2006 7:33 PM

Maybe Dumbledore made himself invisible by using the disilussionment charm, like moody used on harry in book 5.

Posted by della street from rodchester, newyork on September 14, 2006 7:43 PM

Yes, Dumbledore could be Gryffindor. I've been mulling that around in my mind for a while. But, I also like the theory that Harry may need the cloak to return to Godric's Hollow and...could that be confirmation that he is indeed a descendant (heir) of Gryffindor? Maybe the cloak itself was a relic of GG. Perhaps only a true heir of GG can do battle with the heir of Slytherin and vanquish him. Maybe, the cloak is the key to the final battle much like the bird-like keys in S.S. enabled Harry to continue on in his pursuit of the Sorcerer's stone.

Posted by Joey on September 14, 2006 8:01 PM

Why is Godric's Hollow so significant I mean I know that is where Harry's parents were ed and that is where Harry's troubles with LV began and that is why they have to end there. But what I want to know is why did the Potter's pick Godric's Hollow and is it significant that it bears the same name as one of the Hogwarts founders and that the only horcrux Dumbledore did not have is one from Godric Griffindor. Maybe the horcrux involving GG is somewhere in Godric's Hollow.
Dumbledore being a decendent of GG would make more sense because Dumbledore is the only wizard LV always feared is it because that the two friends SS and GG became great enemies in the end that SS was scared of GG and this is something that gets passed on somehow.
I think Harry has used the invisibility cloak in all of the books, and everytime ha has used it he was trying to find out what was going on at Hogwarts and trying to fix it. As far as it being a horcrux for James I do not think this is possible because LV made his horcruxes and he was still alive barely but alive. There has been no indications in any of the books that James is alive in any way. Especially after HP4 when Harry and Lv wands connected and the echo of the last people he ed came from his wand so therefore James is and no spell can awaken the . I do agree that the invisibility cloak come in handy in the final book but just remember if the demoentrs are working for LV they can see through Invisibility Cloaks unless this one has special powers and they can not see through it.

Posted by Heidi from Painesville, Ohio on September 14, 2006 8:23 PM

I don't think it could be a Horcrux. This is a case where the obvious conclusion is the least likely. JK Rowling wouldn't "give away" something that HUGE before the last book was published. She's far to calculated and sneaky for that.

Posted by Dustin on September 14, 2006 9:28 PM

Maybe it's another red herring JKR has slipped to stir everyone up.I mean eveyone is going nuts on Dumbledore not being , maybe she wants something else to be speculated about?
But if it's not a red herring then I definitly agree with the theory that Harry needs it to get into Godric's Hollow.

Posted by Kylie from Melbourne, Australia on September 14, 2006 10:11 PM

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