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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 69)

It doesn't make sense for the cloak to be Godric's. Dumbledore specifically says in HBP that the ONLY KNOWN relic of his was the sword that appeared out of the sorting hat in COS. If Dumbledore knew differently, he would have told Harry.

Posted by Kate from Coppell, Texas on July 9, 2007 3:52 PM

I agree with some of the comments here about the cloak being a horcrux of anybody. Some of the horcrux ideas are getting just a little out of hand at the moment. It doesn't make sense for Dumbledore to have used the cloak as his horcrux, nor does it make sense that it's the horcrux of voldemort as Dumbledore knows the seriousness of the situation and wouldn't have let Harry try to figure that out by himself. Neither is it James Potter's horcrux. I think we have to accept that Harry's parents are and they aren't going to come back to life in the seventh book. Also, i don't see it happening to give harry more help defeating dumbledore because there are many clues to suggest he already have all the help he needs;

firstly, Ron and Hermione be with him - yes this might not seem like much but they have helped Harry discover things in the Past.

Secondly, I'm still not convinced Dumbledore is gone, meaning he could give Harry further help in his quest to defeat Voldemort.

And lastly, the two way magical mirror Sirius have Harry - this may show up in book seven giving Harry help from Sirius.

I'm also not convinced about the cloak being the property of Godric Gryffindor. I don't really see what help this would give Harry seeing as he's used it many times and we've never seen any extra ordinarily special powers from it except of course for making him invisible.

I do think however that (like somebody already said) it may help harry enter the house in Godric's Hollow. We know that Dumbledore offered to be the Potter's secret keeper in the last days of their life and they refused, leaving sirius and peter the responsibility. But this means that the Potters and Dumby were definitely friends and they trusted each other. James could've then given Dumby the cloak as a means of entering their hideout house, sort of like a secret key, maybe?

Posted by Joe from London on July 9, 2007 8:55 PM

You all seem to forget that Dumbledore told Harry that the sword in his office was the only known possession of Godric Gryffindor. i think he would have told harry if it had been possession of Godric Gyrffindor... at this time Dumbledore was being completely honest with harry... he would not hide such a thing from him!

Posted by Leonardo from Coimbra on July 10, 2007 12:53 PM

The moment Harry got the cloak in the first book, the note mentions: "It was time it was returned to you." Returned? Why returned? This would mean he had it before. How can he have had the cloak before? An explanation would be if Harry was reborn too, just like a phoenix. Could Harry be a reborn version of his father or his grandfather?
The order of the phoenix. Can this mean that all these people or reborn and have had a previous life? This would be a very interesting and complex turn to the story.

Posted by Dirk from Workum, Holland on July 10, 2007 1:18 PM

I still think james gave the cloak to dumbldore for the order of the phoenix to use. they kept using the cloaks in the order of the Phoenix. Remember Dumbledore and Lupin thought Sirius was guilty of helping Voldemort the potters, they didn't know sirius switched with wormtail.

Posted by Pamela sue from arkansas on July 10, 2007 7:59 PM

I dont think that the sword is the only known possession of Griffindors, on JKR's website Godric Griffindor is wizard of the month, and it says that he is the original owner of the sorting hat.
Also when Harry was in Dumbledores memory when Tom wanted the DADA job, it says something along the lines of, Harry wanted to shout a warning to Dumbledore as Toms had reached for his wand. Supposing he did indeed reach for his wand, confounded Dumbledore and made the Sorting Hat into a Horcrux... not impossible.

Posted by angela brewer on July 11, 2007 05:59 AM

I think there's not that much significance to james, but to lilly, JKR mentioned a lot of times how important the eyes of harry are. Because he gets that from his mother. Remember the strange note Petunia had, when harry decided to leave the Dursleys. there is much more to the familie van lilly than james I guess. I mean that crazy little biatch of a petunia must be jealous of her sister because she can do magic.
As for harry being a descendent of Gryffindor I can not speculate on. on one hand it would make sence, but on the other its way to cliche for JKR to write.

Posted by Anonymous on July 11, 2007 10:55 AM

hmm. it doesn't make sense for it to be any of their horcruxes. because, horcruxes are banned to be spoken of in hogwarts, obviously meaning that they are a dangerous and evil magic. it wouldn't be too hard for any of them to commit a , because it can be the of a eater or voldemort supporter. and if they wore the cloak during the , that would make it easier, but of course not something chivalrous, because it would be a sneak attack and an unfair advantage. maybe that's not true, sneak attacks are okay. my point is, the good side wouldn't do something so evil. but, it would make sense for dumbledore to not tell harry. because if it was his, james', or godric's, then he wouldn't want harry to unleash it until dumbledore was , or until the final battle where harry would need them the most. and of course, if you have no recollection of your father, you would want to bring him to life, not waiting until the last moment when one of you may anyway. I guess I agree with both sides, which isn't a good place to be.

Posted by kristina from NJ on July 11, 2007 7:55 PM

okay, here's another theory. this is my problem. I have too many ideas, and it takes me very long to process them and then it's too late and I have to post another comment.

anyways, here is a quote from HBP that was in the article Magick Moste Evile.

"You split your soul, you see, and hide part of it in an object outside the body. Then, even if one's body is attacked or destroyed, one cannot , for part of the soul remains earthbound and undamaged." (HBP pg. 497/464)

this says that you cannot forever DIE if you have a horcrux. but, if your body is blasted into billions of little bits, then how would that part of your soul come back to you?

here is my super far fetched theory.
I'm backtracking and repeating the obvious, just to make it a little easier.

dumbledore wants harry to leave school to look for the rest of voldemort's horcruxes. he doesn't outright say it[from what I remember] but he implies it. and that is harry's plan.
but I doubt harry ron and hermione can do it themselves. of course, hermione can study books, but they have no help from the Order since dumbledore told harry that too many people should not know about it.[once again, from what I remember.] seeing as horcruxes are pretty much taboo in the wizarding world, books won't help them much.
harry doesn't have dumbledore's experience. what I mean is that he has not personally met with tom riddle as a teen growing up and plotting to become evil. he doesn't have connections like dumbledore does, and since he can't tell anyone about the horcruxes, I doubt that adults allow harry to go through their pensieves or tell him their stories just by asking.

and harry would probably not leave hogwarts if dumbledore was still alive for his 7th year and available to help him. so, dumbledore had to devise a way to himself in order to get harry started on his search.

and we know that dumbledore's plans can be decade-long ordeals, so he probably expected that this would happen a long time ago, therefore making his own horcrux, to help harry on his search.

now here is where the body-blasted-into-bits part comes in.
if it so happens that your body has been blasted into bits and cannot possible hold another part of your soul, wouldn't you need somebody ing enough to watch over you and your , know the whereabouts of your horcrux, and be ing to sacrifice themselves to take on your soul? wouldn't that be a little like a Secret Keeper?
that's where aberforth would come in.
it's perfect. dumbledore's brother, who hasn't done much with his life, but is always close to hogwarts, and consequently, dumbledore. maybe that was the master plan? have aberforth stay low-key, not very smart, and with a job that gives him enough flexibility to run to albus's side whenever neccessary?
he could have been informed about the date of albus's , and that would be the signal to go to harry at some specific time to ask for the cloak and become his brother to help harry.

hmm. now that I think about it, not very likely to happen.
well, some of it might be truth.
and maybe some of you could find some other clues in what I said.
I guess I'm just crazy.
mock me if you must.

okay, looking that over, I just had another idea.
this is by assuming that two things are true.
that a person could be a sort of Secret[horcrux] Keeper of someone's horcrux.
the other is that voldemort's sixth horcrux is actually harry potter's scar, or harry potter himself.
so either a close assistant of voldemort or harry could be his horcrux secret keeper. that would mean that if voldemort is completely blasted to bits by harry or someone else, that would mean that voldemort would take harry potter over himself, and that would cause problems. it would take a very long time for light side supporters to actually believe that harry is voldemort, which would give the dark side an advantage. or, it could take a long time for the dark side to believe that harry is voldemort, and that would give the light side an advantage. the latter would be more likely, because dumbledore could probably foresee it and inform the Order and other followers.
so it could be that both harry and voldemort have to at the same time.
but since harry surviving the avada kedavra was a surprise to voldemort, he may not realize this yet.
and harry would have to find out as soon as possible, before voldemort.
which could also mean that neville actually IS the chosen one, that voldemort made a mistake with harry, and that is why both of them have to pay.
harry would find the 3 other horcruxes, possible with the help of neville, or tell him at the end, and then having to himself in order to make voldemort the only part of his soul left.

okay, I have one more and hopefully last theory.

we all know that JK chooses her words very carefully.
the prophecy says "neither can live while the other survives."

maybe she isn't referring to voldemort and harry at all.
maybe she means voldemort's horcrux IN harry, and harry himself.
which could mean that there could be a chance of harry acually getting rid of voldemort's last horcrux, inside of him.
JK COULD have said "neither can live while the other does as well."
but she said while the other SURVIVES.
which is a word that can be applied inanimately, such as a plant surviving the winter, or some bread surviving the week without molding.
that can mean that harry cannot live while the horcrux within him survives.
and that could be the reason that his scar hurts. because it is actually voldemort's soul.
that much can also be said about nagini the snake.
if she is one of voldemort's horcruxes, she could be just as valueable to the light side as harry is.
showing that harry isn't that important at all.
once again proving the neville is the chosen one.

Posted by kristina[again] from new jersey on July 11, 2007 9:11 PM

the cloak couldn't be a horcrux for anyone else than Voldemort!You'd have do someone to be able to make one,and teh most important thing: Dumbledore always told Harry that an intact soul was more powerfull than a fragmented one.

Posted by Marta pereira from portugal on July 12, 2007 05:05 AM

Who ever said it was Dumbledore in possesion of the cloak? I am not 100% convinvced it his him, to be honest. Also with it being a horcrux, dont you think if it was, Dumbledore wouldn't just be giving it away, if it were (assuming he knew that it was). Also it doesn't suit the types of horcruxes that have been confirmed so far. They have all been trophies, things to look at, while the cloak is an actual object which is used, so to me this rules it out, but they are just my thoughts.

Posted by M.P.Eisfelder on July 12, 2007 05:30 AM

To all the people who say that the cloak might be a horcrux of James's or Dumbledore's, let me tell you that I highly doubt it. Why? Because making a horcrux is deeply Dark Magic. I seriously doubt James or Dumbledore were involved in Dark Magic at any point in their lives.
Was the cloak Gryffindor's? I doubt it. Why did the note say that it was time the cloak was returned to him? Because it was his father's, not because Harry had possessed it before. As for the Sorting Hat, I think JK has deliberately ommitted to mention that it is a relic of Gryffindor's. I mean, if we have been paying attention, we know. Why if not, would the sword have been in the hat in ChOS? And the hat itself says he was Gryffindor's in its song. I think there is a well plotted story behind all this... and we'll soon find out. Finally.

Posted by Ariadna from Mexico on July 12, 2007 11:58 AM

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