Harry Potter’s Albus Dumbledore: Did the dangers justify his actions?


Albus Dumbledore is often viewed as an old genius and the greatest thing at Hogwarts. Yet he put so many of his students’ lives in danger in Harry Potter. Did the dangers of Voldemort justify the actions of the headmaster?

Harry Potter fans love Albus Dumbledore. He has always been viewed as a wise wizard and the best thing for Hogwarts, but he put many students’ lives at risk. There’s no denying that had he been a muggle headmaster at a muggle school, he’d have been fired and investigated for his actions.

But the argument could be had that there were too many dangers to act in a way that kept the students safe, especially when it came to Harry Potter. He’d already been through one Wizarding War and knew a second was on its way. Did the dangers justify his actions?

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There was no guarantee Harry Potter would have powers

While we knew Harry as the Boy Wizard and the Boy Who Lived, there wasn’t any guarantee that this young son of two powerful wizards would have any powers of his own. Genetics didn’t guarantee powers. After all, Hermione was born of two muggle parents and Filch’s parents had magic but he didn’t. Genetics wasn’t everything in the Harry Potter world.

Dumbledore may have feared that Harry wouldn’t have powers. He could have been looking for any way of protecting the world just in case.

When Harry did show his powers, he then needed to make sure the young boy was ready; a boy who had no idea about magic. That certainly explained the interest in Harry, knowing the prophecy meant that one must die.

That didn’t mean others needed to be put at risk

While the dangers may have justified actions for Harry, there were far more students put at risk. Hermione was given a time-turner, just so she could take all the classes she wanted and then went back in time to save Sirius and Buckbeak from impending death. He ignored signs of trouble in Goblet of Fire, which led to Cedric’s death.

Harry Potter needing help was understandable. He’d never grown up with magic and needed help from the very first day. It was all about teamwork in the end, but Dumbledore routinely allowed others to be put in danger for this prophecy. While it may have been a war, these were just kids who had no idea the graveness of the events.

Others were against many of the actions and decisions. Even Snape had argued back at times—although his dislike of Harry’s dad James and therefore his dislike of Harry might have partially been to blame for that.

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This wasn’t a time of war yet

Dumbledore took action at a time of peace. He arguably started building Harry up long before there were even signs that Voldemort was back, before Goblet of Fire. His actions then may not have been justified just by potential danger.

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However, as Voldemort was building strength, his actions were justified. They were the actions of a man who had already been through one war and could see the dangers of another—and from a man who had seen a world after World War I and then lived through World War II and see the potential risks of the enemy winning.

He knew that it would take more than Harry to defeat Voldemort. While Harry was the one to kill Voldemort, Dumbledore knew that Harry would need friends. However, there may have been a better way of preparing them—like actually giving all proper defense lessons. But the idea was that he was preparing soldiers for a war and not children from life after school.

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Do you think the dangers justified Albus’ actions? Did he put the students’ lives at risk? Share your thoughts in the comments below.