Especially in the earlier Harry Potter books and films, Professor Albus Dumbledore is depicted as an odd man. From offering lemon drops to Minerva McGonagall in the wake of the Potters’ demise to telling Harry he merely desired a pair of woolen socks when looking into the Mirror of Erised, though the latter turned out to be a lie.
As the series continued, more of Dumbledore’s backstory was revealed and proved to be darker than the wizarding world made it out to be. His dark past may have contributed to his oddities as an older man. Regardless, there are some aspects of his life and of his self that do not make sense. Here are 10 of those things.
10 His Hogwarts House
Dumbledore was sorted into the house of Gryffindor during his first year at Hogwarts. While there are general qualities members of each house share with each other, the sorting into houses has been revealed to be subjective and based mostly on what the student values the most.
Given Dumbledore’s future relationship with Gellert Grindelwald and his valuing of education, he could have just as easily been sorted into Slytherin or Ravenclaw. He may have refused to allow himself to be sorted into Slytherin in order to separate himself from his father’s muggle-hating ideals.
9 His Moral Code As An Old Man
Dumbledore wanted to rectify the wrongdoings he committed as a young man, which led him to become a professor at Hogwarts, where he could train future witches and wizards. However, he also had the intention of training these students particularly Defense Against the Dark Arts so that they could fight Grindelwald and other dark wizards in his place. He repeated this line of thinking with Harry and his friends.
While it is clear that he is against the use of dark magic and did eventually face Grindelwald and Voldemort, he still basically raised children to grow up to be slaughtered, making his moral code a gray one at best.
8 His Moral Code As A Young Man
Dumbledore’s father Percival, as previously discussed, was allegedly a muggle-hater and was even imprisoned for assaulting, and, according to Deathly Hallows, Part 1, possibly killing, muggle boys. During his time at Hogwarts, Dumbledore eagerly worked to separate himself from being associated with his father’s beliefs.
However, as a young adult, be befriended Grindelwald, who also maintained anti-muggle beliefs, and Dumbledore eventually came to share Grindelwald’s beliefs, directly contradicting his teenaged self’s actions. Grindelwald was likely more charismatic and less obvious about the cruelty of his intentions, which, on top of falling in love, may have been what drew Dumbledore to Grindelwald’s ambitions and beliefs.
7 Enlisting Newt Scamander To Fight Grindelwald
Newt Scamander is a magizoologist who was one of Dumbledore’s students when he taught Defense Against the Dark Arts. In the Fantastic Beasts films, Newt clearly is not fond of conflict and even expresses his dislike of taking sides. Yet Dumbledore continually used him to fight Grindelwald in his place, sending him to New York and Paris in order to attempt to stop Grindelwald’s plans to take over the wizarding and muggle worlds.
Even though Newt’s abhorrence for violence and sides is likely what led Dumbledore to enlist him, Dumbledore still could have found someone equally loyal to fight Grindelwald in his stead.
6 Allowing Professor Snape To Teach Children
While Dumbledore was good at preventing Snape from teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts until Harry’s sixth year at Hogwarts, he still allowed him to teach children. Snape developed a reputation as abusive among students, especially if they were not in the Slytherin house.
His abuse was especially apparent when Harry attended Hogwarts, with Snape psychologically tormenting him and his friends, including Ron, Hermione, and Neville. Neville was likely the most abused by Snape after Harry, and in spite of all this, Dumbledore still allowed him to teach. It is clear later on that he was protecting Snape like he was Trelawney, but he has also shown that he can protect people at Hogwarts without employing them as teachers.
5 Allowing Snape To Teach Harry Occlumency
Snape and Harry despised each other from day one, and neither of them made any efforts to hide that fact. They openly antagonized each other and openly discussed their hatred toward each other with other people. In spite of this, when Harry needed to learn Occlumency in his fifth year, Dumbledore asked Snape to teach him.
Snape is a skilled Legilimens, but he was ultimately unsuccessful at teaching Harry Occlumency due to his unwillingness to be patient with Harry. While skilled Legilimens are not a dime a dozen, Dumbledore still had connections and could have found another teacher for Harry since he was so adamant about not teaching him himself.
4 Hosting The Triwizard Tournament
The Triwizard Tournament was an old tradition in which a student selected from the wizarding schools Hogwarts, Beauxbatons, and Durmstrang competed against each other in a series of dangerous challenges. Before the events of the Goblet of Fire, the tournament had not been held since the 18th century because of how dangerous it was.
However, Dumbledore, and the other headmasters, all agreed that it was a good idea to bring the tournament back, with the caveat that a person must be at least 17 years old to enter in order to limit the danger. In spite of even that caveat, Dumbledore still allowed Harry to participate after his name was mysteriously drawn from the goblet of fire.
3 Not Closing Hogwarts When The Chamber Of Secrets Was Open
During Harry’s second year, the Chamber of Secrets was rumored to have been opened once again, in spite of it previously being considered a legend. As a result, multiple students became petrified due to indirectly looking at the monster from the Chamber, later revealed to be a basilisk.
In spite of the great danger his students were clearly in, Dumbledore kept Hogwarts open and the still-conscious students continued their education. Dumbledore witnessed these events earlier in his career as a professor when Moaning Myrtle was killed by the basilisk. He should have noticed the signs and closed the school upon recognizing the pattern once again.
2 Allowing Draco To Conspire Against Him
In Half-Blood Prince, Dumbledore was fully aware of Draco Malfoy conspiring to kill him and bring Death Eaters into the castle. Dumbledore never directly intervened, and instead sent Snape to intervene, likely in part because of the Unbreakable Vow Snape made with Narcissa Malfoy, Draco’s mother, and Draco’s close bond with Snape.
However, Dumbledore was the headmaster and had the authority to expel, or perhaps suspend Draco from Hogwarts to create a safe environment for the rest of the student population. Dumbledore did allow Draco to return to Hogwarts in an effort to save him from himself, but doing so meant the potential for harming more students than just Draco.
1 People Blindly Following Him In Spite Of Everything Else
Dumbledore constantly made decisions that put other people at risk, whether it was allowing incompetent teachers such as Gilderoy Lockhart or Dolores Umbridge to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts, allowing Dementors to guard the campus, or allowing Harry to put himself in danger time and again.
In spite of making risky decisions and even being called out for them by people like Professor McGonagall, he still is able to inspire loyalty in people, including McGonagall. It is unclear how someone who is prone to such decision-making is able to maintain loyalty. Surely the dangerousness behind his actions should counteract all the good for which he is also known.
Next: Harry Potter: 10 Plot Holes From Deathly Hallows Parts 1 & 2 That Were Never Resolved