Dumbledore Explains, part 3

03 Oct

I’ve finally reached the “Dumbledore fills in the missing details” at the end of Order of the Phoenix, and my annoyance with the headmaster continues unabated.

Despite claiming (and I quote) “I am going to tell you everything” (pg. 735—emphasis mine), he only reveals the wording of the prophecy, and attempts to explain his decisions. The prophecy is a big deal, but there’s some other significant details that Dumbledore could reveal, but chooses not to:

Voldemort’s horcruxes

Horcruces? Horcruxii? Whichever, Dumbledore has known (or at least suspected) about since the finale of Chamber of Secrets, when Harry explained about the diary. We know he was already in the process of searching for them—he goes after the ring during the summer holiday.

Harry being a horcrux

His scar is more than a mere “connection” to Voldemort (a half-truth that Dumbledore perpetuates in the discussion), but more significantly Harry needs to sacrifice himself in order to defeat Voldemort. Though, in all fairness, he’s probably trying to avoid depressing Harry too much—Harry needs to understand that there is an onus on him, but they’ll get nowhere if he loses all hope. It probably is better that this detail isn’t confirmed until the last minute.*

Deathly Hallows

These may not have been significant at this point (not becoming an issue until Voldemort began searching for the Elder Wand), but Dumbledore certainly knew that he had the wand and Harry had the cloak. Wouldn’t he at least want to share something of this with Harry?

Why Snape is trustworthy

Yet again, Dumbledore admonishes Harry about trusting Snape, without giving him the slightest reason to, seemingly forgetting that respect must be earned, and brushing over Snape’s poor behaviour (though he at least admits this time that Snape can’t get over his grudge).** Again, Harry is told he must endure abuse from adult authority figures (Snape, and the Dursleys) because reasons.

But, no, none of these topics are touched on (even to suggest that they will have further discussions in the following year). Was this because it was clear Harry wasn’t in the mood for that sort of talk? That’s a charitable interpretation. Various other aspects of the conversation show that Dumbledore continues to mislead and manipulate. He makes grandiose statements. He deftly steers conversation away from topics he doesn’t want to discuss. He maintains a grand plan that only he knows all the details of; a risky proposition should something happen to the old man (spoilers?). Even Snape knows more than Harry, but nobody trusts Snape, so it’s not like he can instruct anyone else (barring exceptional circumstances).

* It could even be argued (given Dumbledore’s reaction to the nature of Voldemort’s resurrection at the end of Goblet of Fire) that Dumbledore already believed Harry would survive, but couldn’t reveal this beforehand as a genuine sacrifice was required (Harry had to believe he was going to die).

** To be completely fair, the secret of Snape’s loyalty is not Dumbledore’s to tell, but that just means that in everyone else’s eyes Dumbledore has nothing to back up his unwavering support, making him seem even less sensible.

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Posted by on October 3, 2014 in Harry Potter


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