Harry Potter: 20 Things Dumbledore Can Do (That Voldemort Can't)

Albus Dumbledore is a well known and very powerful wizard in the Harry Potter series. Some may even say he is more powerful than Voldemort. Voldemort certainly does his best to avoid dueling Dumbledore directly. And it should be noted that though his demise was ordered by Voldemort— kind of— it was not done by Voldemort himself. Throughout the Harry Potter series, we are led to believe that Dumbledore is one of the only people Voldemort actually fears. And there are many reasons for this. Firstly, Dumbledore defeated the last great Dark wizard, Grindelwald. Second, Dumbledore knows who Voldemort was before he became powerful. Dumbledore can see right through him. And, finally, there are things that Dumbledore can do that Voldemort can't.

Whether it's producing a Patronus, serving as Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, understanding Mermish and Gobbledegook, or teaching at Hogwarts, there are simply some things that Dumbledore does that elude Voldemort. Now, of course, there are some explanations for this. Dumbledore is overall a good person. Not perfect, but good. Voldemort, on the other hand, is pure evil. So that would probably account for most of the differences between them. Because of Dumbledore's goodness, those of us in the audience are immediately drawn to him. Voldemort, though, is a character we fear. In addition to the good vs evil factor, Dumbledore is a genius while Voldemort, though intelligent himself, is not at that level. So that might account for some of the other differences between the two men.

Here are  20 Things That Dumbledore Can Do (That Voldemort Can't).  

Continue scrolling to keep reading

Click the button below to start this article in quick view

Start Now

20 Produce A Patronus

Yes, that's right. Dumbledore can do a form of magic that Voldemort can't. Most likely because Patronuses require a happy memory to be created. Voldemort doesn't have very many happy memories and indeed might not understand happiness itself any more than he understands love. Dumbledore, however, likely has many happy memories to draw on and definitely understands what it means to be happy. Another reason why Voldemort may not be able to produce a Patronus is because he would not see it as a necessary spell to learn. Voldemort and his followers would align themselves with Dementors and other Dark creatures. Therefore, they would not need a Patronus for protection. Good wizards, like Dumbledore, on the other hand, would definitely need a Patronus to protect themselves from Dementors and other Dark creatures.

19 Feel Love

Though Dumbledore has been unlucky in the romantic arena, he is still capable of loving others. He cares about his friends and family and the world in general. Voldemort, on the other hand, doesn't care about anyone or anything. There is a reason for this. Voldemort is the result of a union where one half— his father— was given a love potion from the other half— his mother— and therefore does not feel or understand love. Love cannot be forced or faked, after all. If it is, the consequences are severe. So no love potions allowed in the world of Harry Potter. Not unless you want your baby to turn out like Voldemort. And no one would want that.

18 Nonchalantly Approach His Demise

If there's anyone who could be nonchalant about passing away, it's Albus Dumbledore. Although wizards do have longer lives than Muggles in the world of Harry Potter, the fear of passing away is still there for wizards. In fact, it's Voldemort's greatest fear. It's why he creates so many Horcruxes, despite the damage to his soul that the Horcruxes cause. Because Voldemort doesn't care about his soul. He does, however, care about living forever. Dumbledore, on the other hand, doesn't care. He knows that no one can truly live forever and would not want to attempt to even if he could. Dumbledore is wise enough to know that there are more important things in life than never leaving it.

17 Dumbledore Can Be Fearless

As is mentioned before, Voldemort has fears. And Dumbledore is one of them. Dumbledore himself, however, seems to be quite fearless. He is not even afraid of Voldemort, even though everyone else in the world of Harry Potter is scared of him. One possible reason for this is that Dumbledore is smart enough to know that fear is rarely helpful. Being scared because of something or someone only makes someone nervous.  And with that anxiety, comes bad decision making. In order to keep a clear head, Dumbledore does not give in to fear. That is something we could all learn from the Hogwarts Headmaster. To not let fear get the better of us. To rise above it, always.

16 Plan Things Out Strategically

Dumbledore is a master strategist. He is able to plan things to perfection, so much so that even after he is gone, his plan goes on. Voldemort, however, makes plans that don't always work. Especially when he is unable to oversee them personally. Dumbledore's plans, on the other hand, are so good that no one can mess them up. Dumbledore, as is mentioned before, is a genius. Voldemort, though intelligent, is not at genius level. Especially when it comes to planning. One possible reason for Dumbledore's expertise in planning, besides his genius, is that Dumbledore is the type to mentor people and guide them along the way. Voldemort is definitely not. Therefore, those who are helping Dumbledore with his plans will have a better sense of what Dumbledore would want them to do.

15 Predict People's Every Move

This kind of goes along with the last one. Not only is Dumbledore able to plan things out strategically. He is also able to predict someone's every move. This is definitely due to Dumbledore's intense intelligence. Not only is he intelligent, but he truly understands other people. He is able to empathize with them and get to the core of who they are. More on that later. Because of his intelligence and his vast knowledge of people, Dumbledore is able to always be one or two steps ahead of everyone else. This is definitely helpful when planning, and is probably another reason why he is such a good strategist. If you can predict people's moves before they make them, it's easier to strategize based on what they will do.

14 Truly Master The Elder Wand

Though both Dumbledore and Voldemort have used the Elder Wand, only one of them truly mastered it: Dumbledore. This is most likely because Dumbledore understands the history of the Elder Wand. Though there has been a lot of violence surrounding such a powerful wand, such things are not necessary in order to possess it. Voldemort, however, believes that in order to truly master the wand, one needs to get rid of the previous owner. That, however, is not how things actually work with the wand. Therefore Dumbledore has foiled Voldemort's plans because he knows what Voldemort is like. That Voldemort sees certain things as beneath him, such as children's stories, which is what tells the history of the Elder Wand.

13 Serve As Chief Warlock Of The Wizengamot

Harry Potter Wizengamot

The Wizengamot is the highest court in the world of Harry Potter. A Dark wizard like Voldemort would never be able to serve on such an important and respected body. Dumbledore, however, is a respected, beloved,  and powerful wizard who would be an asset to such a group.  He probably helped them make many decisions and used his intelligence, his understanding of people, and his empathy to make said decisions. Unfortunately for Dumbledore, he is eventually deprived of this honor because of his constant insistence that Voldemort has returned and is extremely dangerous. Though it really is the Wizengamot's loss. Not only is Dumbledore right about Voldemort, but losing Dumbledore means losing his intelligence and his insight into people.

12 Earn The Respect Of The Centaurs

Centaurs in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Dumbledore earned the respect of many in the wizarding world. But perhaps the most mysterious of these are the centaurs. They are quite reclusive creatures and do not always trust or like humans, Wizard or Muggle. However, they grow to respect Dumbledore and one of them, Firenze, even attends his funeral. Dumbledore is there for Firenze in a time when his people view him as an outcast and he is even offered a job at Hogwarts. Dumbledore is an unusual wizard to offer a job to a centaur but actions like that are probably one reason that the centaurs grow to respect Dumbledore. Voldemort, however, would not be likely to earn the centaurs' respect. Not only is he a Dark wizard but he probably would not treat centaurs with the care that Dumbledore did.

11 Dumbledore Was Offered The Minister of Magic Position

Yes, that's right. Dumbledore was offered the job of Minister of Magic. Such a job would also never be offered to a Dark wizard like Voldemort. The only way that Voldemort could gain control of the Ministry of Magic would be by trickery and a lot of planning. Plans that would eventually be foiled by Dumbledore's allies. So it's no wonder that Dumbledore was offered the job of Minister of Magic. He's a master strategist and a respected and powerful wizard. So what happened? Why is Dumbledore not known for being Minister of Magic? Because he turned down the position. More on that later. He would have been a great Minister of Magic, though. With his intelligence and empathy, he would make wise choices for the wizarding world.

10 ... And Refused It

Dumbledore being offered the job of Minister of Magic is not surprising for many fans. Of course he would be. He's Albus Dumbledore. A respected and powerful wizard in the world of Harry Potter. No, what's surprising is his response to being offered the job. Instead of taking it, he declines. Why? Well, it's probably because, unlike Voldemort, Dumbledore knows that power can corrupt. And unlike Voldemort, he doesn't want to be corrupted. Voldemort, if somehow offered the position of Minister of Magic, would never decline it. He would take any power he could get. Dumbledore, however, is wiser. He knows his limitations and acts accordingly. Voldemort, on the other hand, acts as if he has no limitations.

9 Recognizes Love As A Powerful, Magical Force

Voldemort, as is mentioned before, does not understand or feel love. Dumbledore, on the other hand, does. Not only that, but he knows that love is a powerful magical force. He understands that Harry's mother's love for him protects him from Voldemort to a certain extent. He understands how powerful love truly is.  Voldemort, however, does not. Love as a concept confuses him since he is not capable of feeling love for anyone. Dumbledore, however, loves his family and friends and at one point loved Grindelwald. Though he does later regret that last one when Grindelwald becomes a Dark wizard. He also shows his love and care for Harry through the way he mentors the younger wizard.

8 Dumbledore Understands Mermish And Gobbledegook

According to JK Rowling herself, Dumbledore can understand Mermish, which is the language of merpeople in the world of Harry Potter, and Gobbledegook, which is the language of goblins. Voldemort most likely cannot understand either of these languages. He would view any non-wizard magical creatures as beneath him and therefore would not consider learning their language. Dumbledore, on the other hand, can see the value in all magical creatures. And would take delight in learning their languages. Additionally, Dumbledore is simply a genius. Voldemort, while intelligent, is not a genius. So perhaps learning languages simply isn't one of Voldemort's skills. It almost makes you feel a bit sorry for him. Mermish and Gobbledegook both sound like loads of fun.

7 Invent The Deluminator

Fantastic Beasts 2 - Deluminator

The Deluminator is a handy tool that can turn the lights out anywhere by sucking the light into itself. And yes, Dumbledore invented it. Not only that, but it can also serve as a sort of GPS system that can help you find people as it does for Ron in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Ron gets the Deluminator from Dumbledore after the latter passes away. And good thing too. Or else he never would have found Harry and Hermione again. Dumbledore is always several steps ahead of everyone. Now you may be wondering, why couldn't Voldemort invent such a thing? Besides his lack of inventing genius, Voldemort is more inclined to destroy things rather than create them.

6 Domesticate A Phoenix

Richard Harris as Dumbledore with Fawkes the Phoenix in Harry Potter

This is another case like the case of the centaurs. Yet another magical creature that trusts and respects Dumbledore. Unlike the centaurs, Fawkes can't talk. Yet actions speak louder than words. Fawkes stays with Dumbledore for many years and only leaves Hogwarts for good when Dumbledore is gone. Fawkes would not be likely to trust Voldemort. Not only is Voldemort a Dark wizard, but he likely wouldn't care for and respect a phoenix like Fawkes. In addition to this, phoenixes are very loyal creatures and tend to be on the side of good. So therefore, a phoenix would not want to help or be loyal to an evil wizard like Voldemort. It takes a good person like Dumbledore to domesticate a phoenix.

5 Discovers The Use Of Dragon Blood

As is mentioned before, Dumbledore is a genius. He would perhaps be a scientist if he was a Muggle. He's the type of person to do experiments and test things out. Two of the uses of dragon's blood would be pretty handy when cleaning. Dragon's blood can apparently be used as an oven cleaner and a spot remover. How Dumbledore figured those out, we can only guess. Though he would be the type to keep things as neat as possible. Voldemort, on the other hand, would not care about simple things like this. He would also be too busy trying to conquer the wizarding world to conduct any experiments. So Dumbledore once again wins and helps people in the process, while Voldemort loses and only hurts people.

4 Enjoy Muggle Hobbies

Michael Gambon as Dumbledore in Harry Potter

That's right. Underneath it all, Dumbledore just wants to have fun. He enjoys chamber music and ten pin bowling.  Voldemort, on the other hand, would see such hobbies as beneath him due to his disdain for Muggles. Dumbledore, however, respects Muggles as fellow people and understands that they can contribute to the world just as much as wizards can. Even if it is in a different way from wizards. Voldemort would never think that Muggles could create anything special, even though his own father was a Muggle. This is another way that Dumbledore and Voldemort differ. Dumbledore, though he is a genius, is a regular person. Voldemort, though he has an average intellect, is far too full of himself to be a normal person and have fun.

3 Sees Wizards And Magical Creatures As Equals

Harry Potter and a centaur

As is mentioned before, Dumbledore has earned the trust of many magical creatures, such as centaurs and his phoenix, Fawkes. He can also communicate with merpeople and goblins because of his knowledge of Mermish and Gobbledegook. One of many reasons why he is able to earn the trust of magical creatures is because of how he sees them. He sees them as equal to wizards and deserving of being  treated with dignity. Voldemort, on the other hand, sees magical creatures as subservient to wizards. He does not really care about them and therefore cannot earn their trust the way Dumbledore can. He can ally with magical creatures but in the end he will not succeed in earning their trust.

2 Dumbledore Can Show Empathy

Empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else's shoes in order to truly understand how they're feeling. Dumbledore excels at this, while Voldemort doesn't. Of course, Voldemort isn't very good at basic human compassion or respect either. So empathy would definitely be beyond him. Understanding how other people are feeling, why would anyone want to do that? That would be Voldemort's reaction. Dumbledore, on the other hand, would relish the chance to truly understand someone else. Many students at Hogwarts would likely come to Dumbledore with their problems. He would help them and would truly understand where they were coming from. This is what makes him such a good teacher and mentor at Hogwarts.

1 Teach At Hogwarts

Fantastic Beasts 2 - Dumbledore in classroom

One thing that Voldemort could never do? Be trusted around other people's children. He would be even worse than Professor Snape in Harry Potter. Dumbledore, on the other hand, is trustworthy. You can trust him to take care of your children and use all of his knowledge, insight, and empathy, in his teaching. Voldemort may have some knowledge but he is definitely not as insightful as Dumbledore, and as we mentioned before, is not very empathetic. Besides the fact that Voldemort is a Dark wizard, why else could he not teach at Hogwarts? Well, he's no genius. Unlike Dumbledore, he has average to slightly above average intelligence. He may be good at magic but that alone does not make a good teacher. Teachers need to be able to help others master their skills and for that they need not only intelligence and insight, but also empathy and compassion as well.

Is there anything else Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter can do that Voldemort can't? Let us know in the comments!

More in Lists