The Potter Discussion: Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts and the Wizarding World Fandom

Dumbledore is a Death Eater

September 11, 2022 Sound Owl Media Episode 147
The Potter Discussion: Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts and the Wizarding World Fandom
Dumbledore is a Death Eater
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, we discuss Dumbledore's role as a Death Eater. Enjoy!


  • Dumbledore would give false advice. If he was working with Voldemort, sending students and staff to their doom would only help the cause. And Dumbledore is a center for information and advice. 
  • But what would cause this sudden turn to the dark side? Well, it would have to be something far in Dumbledore's past that was big enough to leave an impact and give him time to mull it over. Something like Ariana's death? If the situation had been a little different and Dumbledore had been the one to kill her, he might not have recovered. 
  • Would Snape be in on it? With Dumbledore and Voldemort working together, Snape might not have as much of a role. But that might not be true. Snape has an inside line to every side in the battle, and even with Dumbledore having the same, Snape knows different people and can get different information. Overall, Snape is better in the know that out.
  • Much More!

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Welcome to the Potter discussion.

Welcome back to the Potter discussion, discussing Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts and Wizarding World fandom. I'm your host, Oscar, and this is episode 147. Thank you all for joining us me today. This is going to be a wonderful episode. It has been far too long since I've been back in the studio. A week is too long for me. So if that gives you any context today we have a lot on our plate because we are discussing an episode that was given to me by a listener, listeners, I should say, over on the topic suggestion form on thepotteriscusion comcontact or just in the contact section. So thank you tobe in June for sending this idea in. But I think I said it was the Maria's episode, but because that was the first idea that they sent in. Now this is the Dumbledore episode and kind of playing around the idea that Dumbledore is a Death Eater. But this episode is on a bit of a somber note because on this past September 8, 2022, that day marks the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Queen Elizabeth was a strong leader and a good person and this really is the end of an era. So that is who this episode is dedicated to. And kind of on a bit more of a happy note, september 8 is also the two year anniversary of the Potter discussion. Yes, we have made it two years. Bit of an abrupt shift, I am sorry. But we are now in the three year stretch of time for the pilot discussion. And I can finally say I've been doing this for years and that's a milestone. That's exactly why I've been wanting to get to this point. Just so I can say, yeah, I've been podcasting for years, because now it's true. So I've got that saying under my belt and I'll be using it forever. So there we have it. A couple of announcements there, but without further ado, let's get into today's episode. So the first thing I want to talk about in relation to this episode is kind of a general and overall topic. How does this affect the story? Because that is, of course, the main issue here. Dumbledore is a very pivotal character here in any part of Harry Potter. He plays a huge role in it. He is involved with Voldemort, with Harry, with the trio as a whole, with the entire student body, all the staff, with every going on. He is really the eye in the sky kind of person with the Harry Potter stories in general. So really understanding where he's coming from and how it would affect the story as a whole if he were to turn out to be a Death Eater is, I think, the first place we should start because that is really the main issue here. And there are a couple little things in here that I want to go over first. And foremost all of Dumbledore's tips and guidance. He is a genius. Dumbledore is very smart. He knows everything that goes on around here and he really understands the inner workings of the castle and the people in it. So naturally he would be giving tips and advice and guidance to all those that come for it because of course help will be given to those at Hogwarts, to those who deserve it, as he said in the Destiny Halos. And there are very few people who don't deserve it. So he pretty much gives help to everyone who wants it, which aligns with the first version of that saying help would be given to anyone at Hogwarts who asks for it. So what does this mean? If Dumbledore was dead or if he was on the dark side, if somehow he got turned, I think that would all be a lie. I think all of the things that he told people to do or say or get or put your adjective here rather I think that would be a lie. I think it would be false. It would be on a very calculated track. However, it may not be 100% in the wrong direction because if you said hey Dumbledore, I want to take a walk, so which way should I go? He goes oh, jump in the lake and swim down, there's a great walking path there. No, you wouldn't do that because that makes no sense. But if you said oh, you should go by the walk past Hagrid's cabin, go around and there's a lovely path through a very friendly, no deadly creatures forest, you should go down. Like that is something he would do. It's not saying it's indirectly sending someone to their doom, which is exactly what he would do because he wants to play the long game. That is really the game that has to be played because Dumbledore has to pose as a person on the good side because he is the head of operations there and he has to use that to his advantage because if he immediately said I'm a Death Eater, you shouldn't trust me, I'm on the dark side now, no one would do anything. They would just say great, you're Death Eater. It's a shock, they would be sad, they would be shocked. It would be a big moment, but that would be it. So what dom do I have to do is he would have to somehow use other people on the good side to his and Voldemort's advantage because if they were switched sides they would still be an entire army on the other. So that would be pointless. So the long game is what they're trying to play here. Which is why, as I said before, he wouldn't just give you the exact wrong answer, he would just tell you something that may not be the most helpful kind of middle of the road, something that would hurt as much as it helps. So that's kind of what I was thinking because it makes a lot of a difference thinking how much Dumbledore changes the story is interesting. He tells Harry where to find the Horcruxes. He is advising you rid of the phoenix and the Sabbath hogwarts even to think before that maybe he was with Grindelwald before that. This stretches so far back because if he really was evil. If the greater good path was for him maybe there would be less Hogwarts. Maybe there would be a different school a for the greater good school kind of like a derm spring Hogwarts hybrid because Dumbledore is still somewhat of a good person like Grindelwald I think he cares about people and he doesn't want to destroy them. I think Grindelwald is kind of the kind of person I thought Dumbledore would be very powerful, smart and kind of knowing what's everything going on. I mean, Dumbledore knows everything that goes on around here and Grindelwald knows what's going on around everywhere if that gives you any context. But of course it was Grindelwald's pride and all that whole discussion is for a different day. But Grenadwald's personality was not the ideal type for his role although Devil Doors is, which is scary because if Devil Doors were to turn into a Death Eater that would be the end of the world, that would be it. Everyone would just perish because having the two most powerful wizards on one side and everyone else like minus half the world on the other, that's so uneven. That's so uneven. And I think this is more multiplication than addition here because I think Dumbledore and volunteers'power together is exponentially more powerful than just Voldemort. It's not Dumbledore plus Voldemort, it is Dumbledore times of volume that makes any sense. It's kind of like crossing the beams in Ghostbusters. There's so much more potential. So that is kind of my thinking around his Dumbledore's role in school and in the Order of the Phoenix. But the other part that occurred to me was about Snape because Snape is playing the double agent. So my question here is does Snape believe Dumbledore is good or bad? Because this is another thing that we would look out for and I think this is way too complicated and brain melting of a subject to completely dive into because it's very easy to visualize and think about in the story we know because it is Voldemort on one side. Dumbledore on the other. Snape on both but now if Dumbledore is on both sides and they were talk. Dumbledore and Voldemort were talking and Dumbledore and Snap were talking and Voldoran and Snap were talking and they were like how would that work? Because then they would have to decide if Snape is good in the end he is on the bad side but if he is good and Dumbledore knows that he's playing a double agent but Dumbledore tell Voldemort and when they do anything about it because then snipe could be used to their advantage. But then on the flip side Snipe is a powerful wizard. Snake would just say hey we're both on wolves side so you don't have to play the double agent anymore. Well that would make any difference because they need someone else on the other side going back and forth who has an excuse because he is a dark mark. Snape, snape is an evil wizard. It's unfortunate but he did do some pretty bad things in his past and he does continue to do them although he is motivated by his love for Lily to not be an absolute monster. He keeps morality but he is not 100%. However then we have to go into the rabbit hole of would they then put someone else behind the lines? Would they try to turn someone else on the staff or would they leave Snape or would Voldemort and Dumbledore kill Snape just to get him out of the way because he knows that Dumbledore is on both sides. He's the only one who does who is also on the good side. So this is a rational for sure you can think of actually I encourage you someone out there, Toby and June if you're listening or someone else who is keen on this subject please do some thinking on this because I really want to know. I'm going to be thinking about it this whole week because I really want to come up with an answer because this is really interesting. Really thinking about where the tides are and how Snape would make a difference is such a fascinating thing. I think Snape as a character is really fascinating. I mean there are so many things about that power dynamic between Voldemort and Snape and Dumbledore in the books without Dumbledore on the decade side as well. But if he is that just completely changed the tables. So there is so much here to unpack and so much more to discuss. So I'm going to leave it here for now because I do want to move on but in a future episode perhaps we can touch on the subject again because this is not going to be forgotten. Another part of this equation that I was really thinking through while making this episode is about Harry. Would Harry know? That is the question at hand for this section of the episode. Would Harry know and what would he do if he found out? That is really what I want to talk about now because Harry and Dumbledore work very closely together and they are definitely two people that are closely related not only in their goals but also their intentions which I think is important here. So would Harry know? No, I mean no, it's that simple because Harry is on the side of good. He was 100% on the side of good. He despises Voldemort for killing his parents and he wants not only revenge but he wants to save the world. From Voldemort's reign, which becomes apparent in the later books when Voldemort is talking about taking over the world, turning everyone into a slithering and calling it a day which may not be desirable for several people, including Harry, maybe just a bit. So Harry would definitely want to take up the mantle of destroying Voldemort and it makes a lot of sense because Voldemort is a bad person. He wants to, like I said, destroy the world, take over, whatever. And Dumbledore is the head of this kind of operation. He is the peak person. He's at the top of the list. He's the head of this organization. He is the operator supreme. That's what they call the people who do drive tractors, the Operator Supreme. Dumbbells at the top of this whole thing, so Harry doesn't have to be. Of course Harry would if he was given the chance and like we saw in books, in the books, he was very involved, he was very invested in helping, in becoming part of the Order, in saving serious, in going to the Ministry of Magic and then fighting Voldemort and then doing this, doing that, finding horses, all this stuff Harry's very intent on. But he doesn't have to head the organization because that's the one that's job. So Harry wouldn't find out for a while, which is kind of my next point here, because like I was saying, the downtown is ahead of this whole thing. He knows what's happening. He knows everything that goes on around here. How many times am I going to say that that is a huge advantage, literally knowing everything well, knowing as close to everything as you can be is one of the most powerful tools a person can have in general, not even a wizard. But if you know a lot of things, then you will go very far in life, which holds true for Dumbledore, might I add. So seeing Dumbledore in this position in terms of Harry, in terms of looking through his eyes is a good thing because there's a person who is doing well and that person is powerful and smart and moral and he is doing the right thing. So I'm glad, says Harry. Meanwhile, Dumbledore is colluding with Voldemort and Snape and all the Death Eaters and creating plans to kill and destroy and blow up and all that kind of stuff. So that really is perfect for Donald Voldemort. So Harry does not know. Harry absolutely does not know, and he will not find out anytime soon, but like always, he will eventually find out. He will eventually know that something is up because Harry's smart and to his credit, Harry knows that there are things that need doing and things that are already done. So he can understand really where the Order is going. He can understand the general plot of his own life. But to that end, I think it would be very difficult for him to see the true man inside dumbledore because we saw just how much he cared about Dumbledore. We see that he believes Dumbledore, he trusts him. He's devastated when Dumbledore is killed along with the rest of the wisdom world. But that I think would also work against him in the Deathly Hollows we saw that Harry really cared about Dumbledore, which we knew. But the trick here is Dumbledore also had a lot of secrets and he didn't want all those secrets to get out. Of course he could not stop them from somehow escaping from somehow making their way into the public which is acceptable because Rita Skeeter always has her quick quote Quill, ready to go. But Harry is not one of those people who knows all the secrets. He does not read every newspaper. He does not believe every rumor. So finding out something about Dumbledore that Dumbledore perhaps kept hidden from Harry for a time would be shocking. And we saw that Harry was not pleased with many of the things that he saw about Dumbledore. So that I think is when he would find out. We saw the confusion and the mistrust of himself when he realized that Dumbledore is not the man he thought he knew and kind of helped along by some wedding guests perhaps in some newspapers. I think Harry did develop some doubt about Dumbledore but it was all kind of resolved in the end when he met with Dumbledore in Kings Cross and they had to talk and that was that. So I think they definitely made their differences meet. But in this case I think that is impossible because the Dumbledore's a Death Eater and that got out. That would be major. That would be huge. That would be probably the biggest story. Even bigger than Voldemort coming back because it's worse than that. Dumbledore is a bit more powerful than Voldemort. Now we knew which is why he managed to beat Voldemort upon several occasions. Why he managed to defend Hogwarts and know Tom Riddle and kind of stay on top of them, stay superior. It's not by much mind you. It is not by much but Dumbledore does have the upper hand. Now that is slightly mitigated because Baltimore has thousands upon thousands of supporters and that is kind of what gives him an edge. But dumbledore. If it is dumbledore versus Voldemort, dumbledore is more powerful. So where does this leave us? Well, because Dumbledore had the upper hand we can kind of see how that would affect the wizarding world when it got out that he was a Death Eater knowing that Voldemort is an evil wizard is fine. He's never worried. He's an evil wizard and he's back and that's great. But then realizing that an even more powerful wizard is turning evil in Voldemort who we thought was good is even more shocking. So that is why I think it would be so much of a shock to the wizarding world and so much of a shock to harry. So what would he do? What would Harry do? That is the core question of this talking point. Well I think Harry would be very confused and very angry and very distraught and sad about himself, about Dumbledore, about the world, about Voldemort about everything that's going on. I think there's a wall of emotion, just a barrier that is impossible to penetrate a fortress that he builds just to escape the world and I think it would deeply affect him. I think Harry would struggle to get out of bed in the morning. He wouldn't be able to find all the Horcruxes. The Voldemort would have the upper hand for sure just because he trusted Dumbledore. That simple fact. I think very few people in the world can put their complete trust in one person which is I mean of course Harry doesn't because he trusts Ron and Hermione and McGonigal and I mean Snape at the end to some degree so there are other people that he trusts but the vast majority I'd say at least 90% of the trust that he has is put into Dumbledore and that is all taken away. I mean it's like missing a step on the stairs but like a thousand times worse at the same time. Every second, constantly every day. Just that feeling of just complete emptiness of mistrust of just pure less confusion of just disgustingness. It's like deep. And that kind of feeling is exactly what Harry would be experiencing. And that I think makes sense because Harry is a very stubborn person which is kind of hard to see because he's the main character. He's perfect but not quite. I mean that's a whole other episode. But Harry is like yeah Dumbledore is good, he's good, he's good. He drains that into his memory, his mind, everything and then suddenly boom he's not good. Dumbledore is a death theater. He is evil. He is all these things and Harry would just not be able to take it really. He would really have a hard time going through that. A very hard time going through that and I think Voltmer would win at that point. The shock alone would be enough to take Harry out of the battle which is really something that speech in and of itself. So that is when I'm going to leave this. But with that let's move on. Now there is yet another topic that I find absolutely fascinating and one that I think would definitely tell us more about Dumbledore and that is why would he go over to the dark side if he is this great moral person in the books and in the future in the story we know if he's great. If he's kind. If he knows how to deal with people. If he knows how to talk to people and then suddenly bam he's evil in a different universe. How does that even happen? What changed? Well I was racking my couple of brain cells. I have left. And I was really thinking this was the thing that I really struggle with. And usually with an episode it just flows because there's so much I have to say. But this was different because there was so much more in this little ball of Dumbledore to the dark side than we could ever talk about. So the answer that I came up with. And the answer that I am confident about. That Dumbledore turned to the dark side because Luca and my father sorry. I have to say once Double Door turns to the dark side because of Ariana. His sister. That he thought he killed or he's Grindelwald. Or maybe it was above four. That is why I think he would go over to the dark side. Because that is a very traumatic event that happened in his past that even haunts him if he's on the good side. So I think what would change is it would be a bit different. So it wouldn't be dumbledore and grindelwald and abaford. It would just be dumbledore and grindelwald. And what would happen is they would draw their wands and then Grindelwald would bait Dumbledore into casting a Killing Curse and then maybe he would redirect it. Maybe he would just dodge out of the way Grindelwald, I mean, and the Killing Curse would hit Ariana and that would be it. Dumbledore would have killed Ariana and he would have known that it was him because they didn't really quite know. It could have been any one of the three of them. So when they understood who it was, I think that is a key moment. So that is really where I think everything changed because Dumbledore at that point and he got to school, I think he was old enough to understand how the world worked. He was definitely a teenager, though. He would have been similar to how Harry would have been like when he realized that Dumbledore was a Death Eater. I think it would have absolutely destroyed Dumbledore. I think it would have kind of led him down a very dark path and he would have kind of gone almost a bit off the rails, if you know what I mean. His brain may not have been the same as it was. So I think this is really a villain origin story here. He would have been devastated and destroyed by the death of Ariana and that would have kind of changed something in him fundamentally to then lead him down the path of a Death Eater. So that's kind of what I'm imagining here. That's really what I see when I imagine Dumbledore turning to the dark side. That's the event that I see happening. But it's time for one more thing that I'll talk about, and this is a good one. So the final topic for today, and this is another thinker, this is another one that I think is difficult to work through, but we will try nonetheless. So the question I'm now asking is would Dumbledore choose to die? Would that happen? Is that still a possibility? And the answer is simple. But the reason I think is more complicated. So the answer is yes, simple enough. Dumbledore would choose to die because we saw how much of a devastating effect it had when he was on the good side. And of course they wouldn't be as devastated because it was the loss of a good person if he was a Death Eater. But it would be the shock. I think that would be the main issue here. So this is where it gets complicated because this is another multi layered situation here. At the time of his death, they would not know, the good people would not know that Dumbledore was actually a rather demoralized person and they would not know that they think he is good, he is perfect, he is their savior. He is the person that would save them from Voldemort in the death years. That is still who Dumbledore is in the minds of the people at this point. So when Dumbledore dies, I think the setup can stay this ending. Snape can still kill him because that's how it works. So Snape kills Dumbledore, that whole thing happens. The wizarding world is in shock. The good guys are just paralyzed. It's like Basilisk time here. They're all just shocked at what happened. Dumbledore is a huge figure. He is good, he's the leader of the revolution almost and he is awesome. And then that's the reaction that we saw. And then that shock would be almost tripled when it is revealed that Dumbledore is a Death Eater. And that I think would be the tipping point where everything would fall apart. Fudge, or I suppose fudge is not enough at this point. But I'd say Scrimjaw would be destroyed because then he knows he doesn't have a close relationship to Dumbledore. But at that point I think it is important to note that scripting drawer is the person at the head of the operation after Dumbledore. So knowing that the person before you was a Death Eater is not good and that would be tough on him. And then it kind of goes down the line of Harry then being absolutely shocked like we said before, the trust and everything, then the entire order, then Hugwarts and all the magical schools and really the world it all kind of just comes together as this triple quadruple layer of just nothingness. It all kind of amounts to just empty. Everyone's just empty at that point and nothing else left, which is exactly what the plan would be. And that's the reason that they would do it. That's the reason that Voldemort and Snake would still continue to plan to kill Dumbledore because that shock would win. And if Dumbledore was as motivated to destroy all good in the world because he doesn't think anyone else deserves it after Ariana's death, then he would absolutely give his life to do that. And if it was almost a guarantee that the world would be thrown into disarray if Dumbledore did die and then he was a Death Theater, that would be the perfect opportunity to take and destroy Dumbledore and Hogwarts. So that is it. That is the episode. Thank you so much for listening and thank you to Toby and June again over on the topic suggestion form. Again, like I said at the beginning of this episode, go ahead and check out thepodterscusion comcontact if you want to submit something and you can also check out I'm very proud of it. It's up and running. All the episodes we've got actually a hall of fame too, if you want to check out some episodes that I think are my favorite and quotes section of my favorite quotes ever. So that's fun and there's a lot of stuff over there. So thank you for listening to the episode and please go ahead and check out that. You can also send me an email. My email is That is and I'm at theposteiscusion on Instagram and at Potteriscus on Twitter. Again, thank you for listening and as always, remember that happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light. I will see you later.

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