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Official Deathly Hallows Thread: There Are SPOILERS

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The Wrath
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You can get it from the

death dates

on

Lily & James'

tombstone

. I was actually surprised that they were so

young

when they

died

. Perhaps I find

parenthood

at

20

odd... But the

death dates

certainly confirm the deathday party calculations.

-Q

Bingo!

Edit: Also, that would put the starting date of the series about 1990... same year Rowlings mother died. Rowling always said she regreted not telling her mother she was working on Harry Potter.

Edited by Mammon
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Firstly...Voldemort did not resurrect himself with Harry's blood until the end of the 4th book. So Dumbledore spent the first 4 books grooming Harry to sacrifice himself. He may have chosen to do it anyway, to save his friends and end the war, but it irks me that Dumbledore was willing to do it even without knowing that he would survive.

I don't think it is clear that Dumbledore knew that Harry would survive, even after he knew that Voldemort used Harry's blood to resurrect himself. Even after Harry sort-of dies in HP7, Dumbledore is not convinced that Harry will succeed if he goes back to fight Voldemort. He says, "f you choose to return, there is a chance that he may be finished for good. I cannot promise it. But I know this, Harry, that you have less to fear from returning here than he does." So, basically, Dumbledore doesn't know if Harry is going to survive. In fact, he doesn't seem to care one way or the other, since he is essentially indifferent to whether Harry "goes on" to the afterlife, or returns to the living world. Dumbledore's goal was to convince Harry to sacrifice himself as the only way to finally defeat Voldemort. Whether Harry survived was unimportant to Dumbledore. In fact, if it hadn't been for Voldemort's particular bloodlust, Harry would have died in the end.

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The way I see it, you can either be angry at Dumbledore for leading Harry to sacrifice himself, or angry at Dumbledore for wanting Harry to go back, but not both. Either death is some big horrible thing, or it isn't. Personally, I thought Harry rather deserved to have a rest and be reunited with his parents after all he'd done, but I'm not upset that he decided he'd rather finish off Voldemort and have his chance with Ginny. Of course Dumbledore doesn't seem to care whether Harry goes "on" or not. If Harry goes "on" he'll see his parents, Sirius, and Remus again. If he goes back to earth, he'll see his friends and have a chance at a new life. It's Harry's decision. Dumbledore's already dead.

As for Dumbledore only "guessing" that Harry would survive, how would he have told him that, exactly?

Dear Harry,

You're a horcrux and I think there's a good chance that you'll have to sacrifice yourself to defeat Voldemort. Have fun destroying the rest of the horcruxes!

Please. I'm not exactly happy with Dumbledore's character at the moment either, but I'm not sure what else he could have done, save told Harry to run for it like Aberforth did and leave the whole wizarding world to Voldemort's whim, and let's be honest here; that never would have worked.

I'll have more words re: Dumbledore after I've finished my second reading of the book. I thought we'd done with the Harry-is-upset-because-he-thinks-Dumbledore-doesn't-care plotline in OotP. Of course, I'd also thought we'd finished with the Ron-is-a-jealous-idiot plotline with GoF too. *sigh*

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Have you read Victor Hugo?

Yes I have. Not Les Miserables though I've seen the film. I've read "The Hunchback of Notre Dame".

Heck, there's a big coincidence in Atlas Shrugged when Dagny runs across the tramp on the train and he tells her the story of the 20th Century.

That is not a coincidence. Ms. Rand is setting up a situation. If you call that a coincidence, you can call pretty much the whole book a coincidence. Infact, in Atlas Shrugged, every situation relevant to the plot is solved by the ACTIONS taken by the heroes, NOT by random chance or coincidence. For example, you don't see John Galt and others quitting because of divine inspiration or random decisions, do you? For example, you don't see John quitting because he is angry at the way the politicians restricting the freedom of his fellow citizens and just happens to cause the death of altruism in AS! Dagny does not refuse to quit in the middle of the book because of random chance or coincidence. All this happens because of the fundamental premises the heroes hold. They think, decide and act on the basis of those premises which is what advances the plot and resolves every tense situation in the book. Things don't just HAPPEN in AS. They happen because of a reason - because of the actions of the heroes - and the villains.

Compare this to Harry Potter.

Right from the beginning things are just happening to Harry Potter. His decision to not kill or stun Stan Shunpike (which almost costs him his and Hagrid's life) is a purely emotional one. His whole insecurity about Dumbledore in the beginning just because he read an article and pieces of a book written by a known hype-rouser and well, liar - showing him as totally immature and irrational. But this is just the beginning.

They go to Sirius' house and there Harry finds out who RAB was (this is not a coincidence). But later when he gives the Black locket to Kreacher, Kreacher "reforms". I just couldn't believe that scene. So an elf who has helped in the murder of Sirius Black suddenly is friendly towards a Half-Blood and a Muggle Born after an entire life of hatred towards them? And that too after he has been given a locket belonging to a family which worshipped pure-blood? This is clearly a Christian influence.

Moving on towards the infiltration of the Ministry of Magic by Harry et al. Harry manages to get the locket and escape the Ministry of Magic by stunning Umbridge and Yaxley. But he doesn't do it to get the locket. Oh no, he does it because he's feeling angry that Umbridge is shouting at the woman. Everything is caused by feelings and instincts (a fact repeatedly emphasized throughout the book) and not on the basis of reason. That Harry manages to escape is purely chance - a coincident because Harry is not you know setting a goal and working towards it. Everything is working randomly in the favor of Harry. BTW, what's even more outrageous about this scene is that the only reason they get into trouble is because Harry took Mad-eye's eye from Umbridge's door. I mean how could he risk the success of the mission and the lives of the muggle-borns in the building (I thought he was supposed to be a selfless altruist?)? And what's his reason? He felt like it (Actual words are "He couldn't just leave it there").

If you've seen National Treasure or Back to the Future or Dr. No, things don't happen because the heroes are working on vague feelings. The heroes don't get away by accident - they don't achieve anything by accident. They work towards achieving their goals. In National Treasure, Cage plans every step of his adventure. Cage doesn't just stumble upon the treasure. He focuses on solving the clues with the ultimate goal of treasure in mind. He doesn't focus on you know, whining and raging about the villain and bickering with his partners and accidentally lands up with the treasure.

In Back to the Future Part 1, Marty doesn't just accidentally save his own existence and go back to the future. He looks at the facts of reality and decides what he has to do. He doesn't for example focus on saving the girl next door and by accident, it just happens that he saves his own future.

In Dr. No, Bond is not trying to save an employee under Dr. No and accidentally ends up defeating Dr. No.

Moving on with Harry Potter, Harry goes to Godric's hollow and his wand breaks. Why does he go to the Hollow - not because he has to find the Horcrux, no Voldemort is going to relax and wait until Harry makes him mortal again and then is going to commit suicide or so Harry thinks. I mean he doesn't even acknowledge the danger of the situation he is in - no concentration on what his goal should be AT ALL. He goes to Hollow just to see his parents' graves - doesn't matter that he could have asked Dumbledore to take him there when Dumbledore was alive or he could have gone there after defeating Voldemort. And what's the purpose of the Hollow? Apparently just to malign Dumbledore and get Harry's wand broken.

Going on to the recovery of the Gryffindor sword. How does Harry retrieve the sword? Not because of his own thinking and actions but because Snape is kind enough to virtually give it to him. And then Ron just happens to arrive to save him. And then he asks Ron to break the Horcrux because of instinct (the word is explicitly mentioned in the novel). And then JKR had to add the Riddle-Harry and Riddle-Hermione kissing at which point I'm starting to think I'm reading a very badly written and cliched fan fiction influenced by C.S. Lewis rather than an actual Harry Potter book.

And after this how does Harry find the rest of the horcruxes? Well because Voldemort apparently forgot there was a connection between his and Harry's brain and simply recited the locations of the horcruxes. It was so poorly plotted and so anti-climactic. This is a problem that runs along the entire book as I've shown above. Every problem, every situation is resolved by an act of God where the God can be chance or Dumbledore.

And then the literally evil speeches by Dumbledore. These speeches are NOT the type Victor Hugo would have written. Hugo would never have written that - paraphrasing - Dumbledore had his hand blackened by the ring because he was not worthy of the hallows. This is the type of tripe I have heard from rotten religious priests and barbaric Christian mystics, not by Hugo (who was deeply religious) nor by other authors (like Shakespeare or Enid Blyton, etc.) all of whom were Christians and explicitly selfless. Not to mention the graphic detail in which Harry's self-sacrifice is described. Or how Harry tries to make Voldemort feel remorse (I expect if Voldemort had felt remorse Harry would have probably forgiven him).

Lastly, Voldemort is shown so stupid in this book. I mean he somehow seems to have forgotten that there is a connection between his and Harry's mind. Why isn't he after the contents of the prophecy? Harry explains how using the Elder Wand to him would backfire. He explains everything. And yet Voldemort has to use Avada Kedrava. As Mister Swig said, apparently he couldn't just ram a pitchfork into Harry. I mean he could have used someone else's wand. Why the hell does he have to use the Elder Wand after Harry has told him that he could face trouble in killing Harry with the Elder Wand?

BTW, and how does Harry acquire mastery over the Elder Wand. Not because he learns of its properties and exerts his effort into obtaining that mastery. It just happens that Draco got mastery from Dumbledore after disarming him and Harry got mastery from Draco previously in the book. Again a result by chance, not by choice. Harry didn't base his actions on acquiring the elder wand. It just happened to land in his hands.

Coincidence as such is not such a big deal in a story.It does?

Coincidence in the way I've described above completely destroys a story or a novel. You read fiction because it gives you a vision of life could be and ought to be (a fact shown in the essays of Aristotle and Ayn Rand). Coincidences are not the rule of life. In human life, virtually everything that happens happens because one took action towards making it happen. If in a fiction novel, everything is ruled by chance, the heroes are riding purely on luck, then the fiction is completely inapplicable to human life. It is purposeless.

Even Ayn Rand was against coincidence. She said so in one of her articles on Romanticism or in her Q&As, can't remember which.

Edited by tommyedison
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I agree that chance is one of the worst things that could happen to any work of fiction. It's what ruined the Spiderman movie for me, besides, you know, the entire altruism thing.

But you haven't listed any situation that's ruled by chance.

(I think a mod already said we didn't have to use the spoiler tag this far along in the thread? Please correct me if I'm wrong and I'll fix it.)

Right from the beginning things are just happening to Harry Potter. His decision to not kill or stun Stan Shunpike (which almost costs him his and Hagrid's life) is a purely emotional one. His whole insecurity about Dumbledore in the beginning just because he read an article and pieces of a book written by a known hype-rouser and well, liar - showing him as totally immature and irrational. But this is just the beginning.

Harry CHOOSES not to kill Stan because he knows Stan's under the Imperius curse. At the same time, however, Harry's scolded for his hesitation by Remus when they arrive at the Weasley's, so it's not as if he gets away with it.

But later when he gives the Black locket to Kreacher, Kreacher "reforms". I just couldn't believe that scene. So an elf who has helped in the murder of Sirius Black suddenly is friendly towards a Half-Blood and a Muggle Born after an entire life of hatred towards them? And that too after he has been given a locket belonging to a family which worshipped pure-blood?

Kreacher is friendly to them precisely because they gave him the locket. Note: he also decides to help them after Harry says that it would help Kreacher's favorite master, Regulus. The change was, admittedly, a little too sudden, but it wasn't unwarranted.

Moving on towards the infiltration of the Ministry of Magic by Harry et al. Harry manages to get the locket and escape the Ministry of Magic by stunning Umbridge and Yaxley. But he doesn't do it to get the locket. Oh no, he does it because he's feeling angry that Umbridge is shouting at the woman. Everything is caused by feelings and instincts (a fact repeatedly emphasized throughout the book) and not on the basis of reason. That Harry manages to escape is purely chance - a coincident because Harry is not you know setting a goal and working towards it. Everything is working randomly in the favor of Harry. BTW, what's even more outrageous about this scene is that the only reason they get into trouble is because Harry took Mad-eye's eye from Umbridge's door. I mean how could he risk the success of the mission and the lives of the muggle-borns in the building (I thought he was supposed to be a selfless altruist?)? And what's his reason? He felt like it (Actual words are "He couldn't just leave it there").

Once again, everything you listed here was based on a choice that Harry made. You say it was made on emotion, but that's discrediting why he feels that way. He respected Mad-Eye and abhorred the idea of Umbridge keeping his eye on her door. He detested what Umbridge stood for, and championed that which Mad-Eye did. It wasn't a matter of, "His eye doesn't look right here," it was a matter of, "his eye doesn't BELONG here."

As for saving the mudbloods, I think it's a grave generalization to say that Harry did it for altruistic reasons. Harry did it because he couldn't bear the thought of anyone DYING because they were wrongly accused for crimes they didn't commit. The word "instinct" here is a misnomer. Even Ayn Rand admits that when one is so in-touch with their philosophy, the decisions they make almost seem "instinctive". You can read about this in OPAR.

Harry goes to Godric's hollow and his wand breaks. Why does he go to the Hollow - not because he has to find the Horcrux, no Voldemort is going to relax and wait until Harry makes him mortal again and then is going to commit suicide or so Harry thinks. I mean he doesn't even acknowledge the danger of the situation he is in - no concentration on what his goal should be AT ALL. He goes to Hollow just to see his parents' graves - doesn't matter that he could have asked Dumbledore to take him there when Dumbledore was alive or he could have gone there after defeating Voldemort. And what's the purpose of the Hollow? Apparently just to malign Dumbledore and get Harry's wand broken.

Harry admits and is ashamed that his only motivation for returning to Godric's Hollow is to see his parents. In fact, he hides this from Hermione, who knows that they have VALID REASONS to be there. And it doesn't turn out to be a pointless visit - it's during this time that Hermione retrieves a copy of Dumbledore's biography, which provides them with Deathly Hallows leads.

Going on to the recovery of the Gryffindor sword. How does Harry retrieve the sword? Not because of his own thinking and actions but because Snape is kind enough to virtually give it to him. And then Ron just happens to arrive to save him. And then he asks Ron to break the Horcrux because of instinct (the word is explicitly mentioned in the novel). And then JKR had to add the Riddle-Harry and Riddle-Hermione kissing at which point I'm starting to think I'm reading a very badly written and cliched fan fiction influenced by C.S. Lewis rather than an actual Harry Potter book.

You're ignoring huge answers that Rowling gives to your questions. Ron finds them by using the Deluminator that Dumbledore gave him. Snape has been working for Dumbledore all along, and his job was to DELIVER THE SWORD TO HIM.

And after this how does Harry find the rest of the horcruxes? Well because Voldemort apparently forgot there was a connection between his and Harry's brain and simply recited the locations of the horcruxes. It was so poorly plotted and so anti-climactic. This is a problem that runs along the entire book as I've shown above. Every problem, every situation is resolved by an act of God where the God can be chance or Dumbledore.

This is a huge misrepresentation. Harry discovers only ONE of the horcruxes this way, and it's the Ravenclaw one (which, Harry decides, should have been obvious all along). He discovers the teacup because Bellatrix goes postal when she suspects they've been in her vault. Dumbledore had also suspected that Nagini was a horcrux since the sixth book.

I'm not even going to bother with the rest. None of these are chance whatsoever.

Edited by Catherine
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How can you fight for pacifism? It's a contradiction in terms. You cannot value the renunciation of your values, because then you'd have to renounce renunciation and you'd have a serious problem and your head would explode or something.Anyway.

The whole issue of Harry succeeding primarily because he was more often lucky than not is not unique to the final book: the entire series runs that way. Rowling is very, very consistent in her writing. If it was going to bother you, you should have put down the first book in disgust.It reminds me a great deal of The Lord of the Rings in some ways; when I first started my blog I remarked that the theme of that series could be described as something along the lines of: "Fortune favors the brave."

Harry is not and was never meant to be a detailed planner or a brilliant strategist. He's an ordinary kid dumped into the position of "hero" because Voldemort tried to kill hiim and it didn't work. The books are not about how Harry cunningly defeats Voldemort: they are about how Voldemort stupidly defeats himself, all the way from the beginning.The main character is a child and then a young adult. Would you have preferred that Rowling made Harry much cleverer and a better wizard than the hundreds of more-experienced adults that surrounded him? That would have been a reasonable story? Harry's main heroic trait was not in being brilliant or in thinking ahead tremendously well, it was in being brave and trying to do what needed to be done regardless of whether he could honestly say that he knew what he was doing.

I personally enjoy reading books about characters that screw up and suffer setbacks like, I don't know, real human beings. Galt was probably my least-favorite good character in Atlas Shrugged because (in the approximate words of Shoshana Milgram at the Atlas Shrugged 50 year party) "it was like he'd already read the book." Things like that ring false to me because I have never, ever met anyone that has already read the book. In my experience people like that tend to be suffer unpleasant shocks; I'm actually writing a novel currently where this is a conceit of the bad guys.

The fact that you've decided to wing it and take some serious risks does not mean that you aren't goal-directed: planning everything out in meticulous detail is more a sign of neuroticism than of goal-direction. The more complicated your plan, the more likely something is to go wrong, and the more invested you are in a particular plan, the harder it is for you to adapt. It is much better to keep some general principles of action in mind and be ready to adapt to a changing situation.

Btw, Harry goes to Godric's Hollow with the specific purpose of meeting with Bathilda Bagshot, he considers viewing his parents graves to be a bonus and the more emotionally immediate purpose, yes, but he doesn't seriously consider it until he has an existentially immediate reason for taking the risk. Would you have found it better if Voldemort had left some sort of complex trail of breadcrumbs that Harry could figure out to locate the Horcruxes? Voldemort should act like The Riddler? Harry was left without a clue of where to look for them and thus the fact that he didn't know where to look for them or what to plan was a logical result of that!Sheesh.

(I think a mod already said we didn't have to use the spoiler tag this far along in the thread? Please correct me if I'm wrong and I'll fix it.)
That's what I said. As you can see pretty much the entire content of every post in this thread could be considered spoilers at this point. If someone is so much of a dope that they ignore the thread title and read the thread anyway they deserve what they get. Edited by JMeganSnow
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A lot of the reviews in here are reminiscent of a movie review by Nicholas Provenzo. It's almost like some people are condemning this last book because Harry's every action wasn't preceded by some sort of thought-out, selfish explanation as to why he acted the way he did.

Despite Rowling's use of the word "selfless," all the criticisms of Harry's thoughts and actions are pretty weak.

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It appears that Rowling crafted the events in her series in order to present self-sacrifice as the only possible choice for Harry. She made his life so horrible, so intolerable, that in the end his choice was basically this: watch everything good in the world be annihilated, including your government, your society, your school, your teachers, your friends, and your self--or accept your unique role as sacrificial savior of the world and embrace your magical crucifixion. Given such a choice, who in their right mind would not welcome the killing curse?

I very much hate this kind of fatalistic, altruistic plotting. It smacks of an author who revels in self-sacrifice, as if the entire events of the world are in agreement that self-sacrifice is the natural order of things. There is an enormously complex (and absurd) chain of events that dictate that Harry must sacrifice himself. And the only thing left for Harry to really do in the end is to accept his inevitable destiny.

I consider this kind of plotting to be an attempt to pass off self-sacrifice as being natural and logical.

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Critizing whether a book is enjoyable is one thing. Critizing how the author choose to do it is another.

I can't defend that. I can't give all my memories of reading through literary critics who did nothing with their lives but bitch about people who actually could write and I can't give you the feeling of loathsomeness that gave me.

You don't know what it feels like to have hundreds of millions of people waiting for your next book, the type of immense pressures that go into that, the nagging of deadlines and publishers wanting to rewrite to make it more appealing to a certain demographic their aiming at.

Rowling poured her heart and soul into this. There is just stuff there that we don't know about, like Hogwarts with all it's secrets and mysteries and magics... Certain characters are based off people she knew in real life, they may just have followed similiar paths in their incarnation in this book. We don't know.

I just wanted to state that... I don't care if you agree with it or not. That's not to say I don't care about all of everything everyone says... just this one thing. :)

Please, don't argue about it... you're wasting your precious time. Read this, think about it, move on to the next thing.

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Since I can't edit my last post, I'll make a new one!

This is an interview (or parts of...) with Rowling. I like here answers and agree with her view on the things she said. Just thought i'd share, it might help to understand my last post a bit.

http://www.heraldextra.com/index.php?optio...Itemid=99999999

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  • 2 weeks later...

Okay, so, I said I'd write more on Dumbledore once I'd given myself some time to digest DH, so here it is:

Re: The Ariana business.

I've read some good discussions of this part of the Dumbledore backstory, particularly this one, where the author rants about discusses whether or not Albus' resentment of Ariana was believable. She concludes that it is, citing her own experiences with a handicapped sibling as an example. I agree with her conclusion. I don't think it remarkably earth-shattering to find that a brilliant teenaged Albus, having a handicapped sister, would have resented her at least a little for holding him back. I don't think this makes any real dent in his character as we knew it pre-DH. I agree with Hermione, that Harry was only really angry because Dumbledore didn't tell Harry himself. IMO, Harry is very quick to take offense when people hold out on him because he has serious abandonment issues (probably has something to do with growing up in a cupboard). This is especially true of his relationship with Dumbledore, because Dumbledore keeps a multitude of secrets and Harry tends to assume that this means that Dumbledore doesn't care about him. (More on that assumption later).

Re: The Grindelwald business

This bothered me when I first read the book, but now that I've thought about it, it makes a lot more sense. At first glance, one is tempted to say something like: O_o Dumbledore was a wizard-supremacist? What alternate HP universe have we just entered?

However, we must look at Dumbledore's note to Grindelwald in the context of what happened to Ariana. Remember that by the time he meets Grindelwald, muggles have essentially ruined Albus' family life, and destroyed his sister's health permanently. Yes, it was only a select few, but I think that makes his, er, bias towards muggles a bit more understandable, yes? He's seen the damage muggles can do first hand, and he's very keen not to see it happen again. If this means that wizards will have to control muggle society, well, he thinks, then there won't be any more Arianas.

I don't think Albus' mistake here is catastrophic to his character either. I see it like this: Albus felt helpless, lonely, and unrecognized. He saw what happened to his sister and thought, in a somewhat typical teenage fashion that, "If I were in charge, things like this wouldn't happen." Along came Grindelwald who was brilliant and acknowledged Albus' brilliance as well. Albus took to him immediately, and they started forming plots to seize power and mold the world into their own image. If Albus had a few reservations about Grindelwald, he shoved them aside, because he saw Grindelwald as his only chance to make something of himself. He thought himself invincible, that even if he made a "deal with the devil," so to speak, he could still make it work out in his favor. Then, when Ariana died, Albus saw his mistake, realized what "taking control" would really involve, and did a personality 180. He then avoided too much power for the rest of his life, because he didn't trust himself not to let it go to his head and make him return to a place where he thought all the world's problems were just a ministry ordinance away from being fixed.

After thinking about all this, I don't find this very earth-shattering anymore. So, 17-year-old Dumbledore thought he could save the world by controlling it, realized he was wrong, and changed his mind. ... okay? This makes a difference in our idea of Dumbledore-as-we-know-him-now why?

Re: The Dumbledore & Harry relationship

I think that, of all the new Dumbledore information in this book, it was the bit about him, essentially, leading Harry to get killed that had the greatest potential to ruin my image of him forever. Yes, had. I liked Dumbledore's character pre-DH and I still do now.

I think that saying that Dumbledore essentially raised Harry to die is oversimplifying a great deal. I think that Ariana's death affected more of Dumbledore's personality than just the wizard-supremacist bit. I think he also realized, after she died, that power would involve being responsible for other people. For Grindelwald, this didn't matter, because he didn't care about what happened to other people anyway. But for Albus, who had a clear sense of right and wrong, taking power and being responsible for the deaths of countless people in the process, was repulsive.

In this context, I think that Dumbledore would've hated the idea of being responsible for Harry from the beginning. He says to Harry in OotP, "I never thought I would have such a person on my hands." Think about how Dumbledore has carried around the ghost of his dead sister for over a hundred years, ie, he still sees her in the mirror of erised, still loses his head in HBP when he thinks he will see her again, etc. This is not a man who could ruthlessly send Harry to his death knowing that he is responsible without hating himself for the rest of eternity. And yet, pre-GoF at least, he knows that it is a possibility.

But, he also knows that if Harry is indeed a horcrux, if he, Dumbledore, does nothing, Voldemort will never be defeated and more and more people will die.

This only gets more and more complicated as Dumbledore grows to love Harry, and conversely, Harry grows to love and trust him. Honestly, I think Dumbledore was doing a ridiculous amount of compartmentalizing in books 1-6. He knew about the prophecy, but worked very hard to convince himself that he wouldn't have to worry about it for a long time. He began to suspect horcruxes, and that Harry himself was one, but tried to convince himself that he was wrong. (In HBP, he says that he might be wrong about the horcruxes, whereas I now think it should have been prefectly obvious even before Harry got Slughorn's memory, don't you?)

In my view, Dumbledore didn't want to lead Harry to his death. He didn't want to let Harry confront Voldemort at all. But he didn't think he had any better option, and he also realized that Harry would only let Voldemort take over over Harry's dead body, literally. So he did the best he could to ensure that Harry was best prepared to defeat Voldemort and (hopefully) live. He was torn between trying to save Harry and trying to save the world, and it wasn't his fault that they were mutually exclusive. He wanted to be able to put Harry first, felt responsible for Harry's life, but at the same time, as the "greatest wizard of the age" and mentor of "the chosen one" he felt responsible for the rest of the world too. (Speaking of which, if you want to make a case for self-sacrifice, I dunno why anyone bothers with Harry. You'd have a much better case with what Dumbledore does to himself by "sending Harry to his death." It's kind of like killing your own kid to save the rest of the world, isn't it? Well, I don't think so, really, but you could certainly argue it.) I don't think he kept other people from the truth because he was afraid they would try to save Harry. I think that he kept them away because he wanted Harry to have at least *one* adult figure who didn't have to choose between Harry's life and the life of themselves/their children/the entire world. What do you think Molly would have done, given the information that: Harry has to die, or Voldemort will kill your whole family. Add in the fact that Harry would've been falling over himself to jump in front of any AK headed for the Weasleys, and, well, you can imagine how well it would have worked out for *everyone* to know that it was Harry-or-them. Dumbledore, effectively, took the blame upon himself, and hated himself greatly for it, I might add, if the tears and self-loathing at the end of DH are any indication.

I'm not convinced that, if the blood-bond thing which saved Harry hadn't happened in GoF, that Dumbledore wouldn't have broken down and sabotaged his plan before the end anyway. That's the original reason I thought he would die in HBP (before it came out) because I couldn't see him actually, when it came down to it, letting Harry face Voldemort alone unless he was already out of the picture. For all that the plan worked in the end, Dumbledore really wasn't very good at the whole not-caring-about-what-happens-to-Harry thing.

And one more thing...

The only thing that really still annoys me about Dumbledore is how misguided his self-hatred really was. He got all worried about Harry knowing about Ariana, when that really wasn't what made Harry angry with him. Dumbledore never seemed to get that all Harry wanted was some evidence that he hadn't been imagining things when he thought Dumbledore cared. This is what made me the most angry both in OotP and DH. It's so stupid, because poor little love-starved-until-he-was-eleven Harry doesn't get worked up about being lied to, manipulated, or whatever you want to argue that Dumbledore did to him. He gets angry because he thinks Dumbledore didn't love him. He's used to everything he loves going up in smoke. So the first conclusion he jumps to whenever Dumbledore does something he doesn't like is, "the only bit of me Dumbledore cares about is my scar." I would've felt better if Dumbledore had apologized for *that*, instead of the Ariana business, or the Grindelwald business, or even the manipulation/sacrifice business. Because *that* would've been so easy to fix, if Dumbledore had taken a moment a way from feeling guilty about every mistake he's ever made long enough to give Harry a freaking hug. :o Seriously, it was his guilt that annoyed me more than anything else. Self-loathing is never flattering, but it was particularly unflattering on Dumbledore. Yuck.

... I think I'm done for now. I'm sure I've left things out, but it'll have to do for now. Love to hear your thoughts! :D

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I do not understand what Snape did for the good guys, in the long run, by sticking with Voldemort. I see no reason why he had to kill Dumbledore. It was supposedly to convince Voldemort of his true colors, but nothing significantly good became of it. Would someone explain?

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Well, for one, if Dumbledore had survived the year, things would have been even worse for Draco than they were. For another, like Dumbledore says, he'd prefer Severus to do it rather than fall into Bellatrix's or Greyback's hands. He also probably predicted that the school would fall to Voldemort eventually with him dead, and hoped that Severus would be able to protect the students. I mean, like Harry says, sending Ginny & co. into the forest with Hagrid is a pretty tame punishment considering he's supposed to be a cruel evil Death Eater.

I also think that Dumbledore intended either for Snape to receive the powers of the Elder wand, or he intended the powers to die with him, since he planned his death with Snape (and the "conquering" therefore, didn't really count). I'm still unclear on this. However, it does make clear why Dumbledore did not want anyone else killing him, because he wanted the Elder wand (superpowers or otheriwise) in hands he could trust.

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Those are some good thoughts, Tea.

No one can plan for every contingency. I think Dumbledore ordered Snape to follow through with it because he predicted Draco would fail and he didn't want Snape to *die*. Failure to kill Dumbledore wouldn't just reveal Snape's true allegiance: because of the Unbreakable Vow he would actually die on the spot. (At least, that was what it sounded like.)

It's erroneous to look at the actions of characters in a book by what they "accomplish": you evaluate by whether their actions were *consistent*, given their characterization. What the actions accomplish is up to the author and is how she demonstrates her view of the world.

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  • 2 months later...
I've read some good discussions of this part of the Dumbledore backstory [...]

Tea, have you read about what J. K. Rowling had to say about Dumbledore last night at Carnegie Hall in New York City? about his relationship with Grindelwald? HERE ...and for more information about what else she discussed at the Q and A that night, HERE

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JKR interview spoilers below.

Oh yes. I've read that, and a good deal of the resultant screaming that is now occurring within the fandom. Personally, I think it makes Dumbledore's blindness regarding Grindelwald make a lot more sense, and while I'm surprised that she chose to take that angle, I don't think it's completely out of the blue as some people are claiming. There were a decent number of people who read DH and thought there was a definite Dumbledore/Grindelwald subtext. I, of course, was too busy wondering whether Harry was going to die to notice.

I also think it's frankly hilarious, mostly because of people's reactions. I've seen everything from "Wow, this is awesome for the gay community," to "This has ruined Harry Potter for me and I'm going to burn my books," to "Great, now she's sending the message that unmarried people are necessarily gay."

Because obviously the sexual orientation of a dead fictional character who was loveless for most of his life is SERIOUS BUSINESS you guys, and we must all rise up in indignation at everyone who disagrees.

There are points where even I need to step back and say they're just books.

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I also think it's frankly hilarious, mostly because of people's reactions. I've seen everything from "Wow, this is awesome for the gay community," to "This has ruined Harry Potter for me and I'm going to burn my books," to "Great, now she's sending the message that unmarried people are necessarily gay."

Yeah, I saw something somewhere in the morning today about Rowling in the news, but until a few moments ago, I had totally forgotten to look at it. A co-worker brought it up to me, she wasn't sure what the news exactly was either so I checked. I haven't gotten a chance to look around at what's happening in fandom...perhaps I will later tonight, but thanks for the glimpse :confused: . I still want to read more about what she said. I only skimmed it, since I'm still at work.

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