Without a doubt, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore is one of the most complex, interesting and compassionate characters ever written. One of the stars of the Harry Potter series written by J.K. Rowling, Dumbledore is the source of so much wisdom that his quotes are utilized daily, from his advice about socks to the fact that "it takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends." He represents kindness, understanding and the power of love. He pushes for tolerance and acceptance of others as well as being a true and loyal friend, and there are hundreds of reasons why fans love him.
Dumbledore is also a pretty irresponsible headmaster. His Grand Sorcerer titles of Order of Merlin, First Class, Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards and Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot are impressive, but they do little to prepare him for taking care of an entire prep school of young impressionable witches and wizards. They also don't improve his leadership skills in the Order of the Phoenix. He'd be a much better Socratic teacher, a kind of wizarding Jesus who wears purple sandals with glittering stars and wanders around outside preaching his messages, rather than the leader of an entire school depending upon him for safety and wisdom.
From his many teaching mistakes to the outright harmful things he's done over the years, here are Harry Potter: 25 Things Wrong With Dumbledore We All Choose To Ignore.
25 He Allows Punishments In The Forbidden Forest
The Forbidden Forest is totally out of bounds... unless you're sent there as a punishment, then it's fine! There are bloodthirsty beasts, giant spiders, imposing centaurs and more but hey, you earned this by being out of bed at night.
This is the worst logic any teacher has ever had, yet it's exactly what Dumbledore allows at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Is he hoping to lose students? Maybe he thinks if a few lose their lives in the process the kids will stop being kids and all totally stay in bed at night.
24 He Groomed Harry To Be A Martyr
While we can condemn adults who groom children to do everything from compete in beauty pageants to be subservient spouses, why don't more people call Dumbledore out for grooming Harry to be a martyr for his cause? Everything Dumbledore does, from allowing Harry so much freedom and so many adventures to purposefully hiding information from the Boy Who Lived, is in preparation for something he knows and Harry doesn't: that Harry will have to sacrifice himself to save the world from Voldemort.
This is so much worse than pushing your kid to be an Olympic skater against his will.
23 He Let Others Sacrifice Themselves Instead Of Taking Out Grindelwald Himself
We might think that Dumbledore might learn from his mistakes over the years, but he continually pushes people to fight battles for him that, despite being the world's most powerful wizard, he can't seem to fight himself. Not only does this happen in the case of Harry versus Voldemort, but earlier in his life against his ex-lover, Gellert Grindelwald.
We recently saw Dumbledore push Newt Scamander to unwittingly fight against Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts series, an occurrence that one might think would change his methods years later when dealing with an even younger, more naive Chosen One. Dumbledore could have prevented so much terror and loss had he acted against Grindelwald earlier.
22 He Let The Dursleys Harm Harry
It's bad enough that Dumbledore left Harry to live with relatives who didn't like his kind, and how he did so in order to both protect him and to prevent Harry from getting arrogant. He likely also did it to help acquaint the boy with the kind of dislike he hoped Harry would combat when it came to Voldemort, although this could have totally backfired in his face.
He condemned Harry to grow up in the same kind of miserable situation Voldemort had, unloved and neglected. He could have easily stepped in and monitored the situation, but he knew Harry lived in a cupboard and did nothing about it until he was twelve!
21 He Maintains An Outdated House Caste System
The House Cup system seems cute at first glance. Who doesn't love to be sorted into their Houses or to wear random Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, Slytherin or Gryffindor gear? Stores make a killing on fan swag. But when we look a little deeper we notice how this is the very same system that divides the students, makes them not only mistrust each other but compete against one another, which is seemingly against everything that Dumbledore is supposed to be for in the first place.
Dumbledore may speak of the statue at the Ministry of Magic with disdain, but he truly does support inequality and division just by supporting this outdated system.
20 He Allows Snape To Harm His Students
No matter how much Albus Dumbledore trusts Severus Snape or relies upon him for sensitive intelligence missions, he has no reason to allow the bully to take out his frustrations on his students. Snape doesn't only bully Harry and his friends but many other students, proving that while he might have some heroic qualities he's ultimately an insecure jerk who picks on children. What adult does that?
Just as importantly, what adult allows their staff to behave in such a manner toward children? And how could Dumbledore ever expect the children in his school to fight toward wizard equality and peace when they're being taught to bully by their own professor every day?
19 He Locked Sirius Up In A Home He Hated
Dumbledore sure seems to enjoy traumatizing people who were abused as children. Not only did he make Harry stay with the Dursleys all those years, but he also enforced the rule that Sirius Black remain in his disliked childhood home, Number 12 Grimmauld Place, where he had nothing but bad memories. Dumbledore had to have known not only an alternate location, but that using this option would definitely put Sirius in danger.
Why not send Sirius to any Order location abroad? Surely there were locations in France, the Americas and elsewhere. He would have been better off sending Sirius on global missions than keeping him cooped up in that house.
18 He Totally Missed Voldemort On The Back Of Quirrell's Head
How on earth did Dumbledore miss Lord Voldemort's presence residing on the back of his own Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher? No reason was ever really given for Quirrell's turban, and between him wearing that at all times, his sketchy behavior and his obvious refusal to ever touch Harry Potter, how did no one, particularly Dumbledore, ever suspect him?
Snape was the most obvious red herring in the series, and he even turned out to be the anti-hero in the end. For someone known to see so much, Dumbledore should have seen that something was up with Quirrell.
17 He Didn't Act Against Tom Riddle After Witnessing It All With Grindelwald Firsthand
We can criticize how Dumbledore stood back and let his ex-boyfriend cause a horrific wizarding war without doing anything. We also have to wonder why he didn't take Tom Riddle down sooner after having witnessed it all happen with Grindelwald. Surely he saw the exact same dangerous cunning and hate in Tom Riddle's heart as he did in Grindelwald's?
Dumbledore makes it clear that he had misgivings about Riddle, so why didn't he do anything to prevent the young man from becoming Voldemort? From better counsel to catching Riddle in the act of his many dark deeds, it seems as if Dumbledore should have been able to nip this dictator in the bud.
16 He Plays Favorites
Dumbledore isn't a great person to have in charge because he tends to play House favorites. We ignore, or even cheer, when he awards random points at the end of the year to help Gryffindor win the House Cup once Harry's joined the House, which is just ridiculous after a year of intense hard work on behalf of all of the Houses.
Some could argue that he's balancing the scales that Snape has unfairly tipped, since he tends to take points away from whoever he feels like, but he only gives them to Gryffindor, proving that he chooses favorites.
15 He Requires Permission Slips For Hogsmeade But Not Quidditch
Why on earth would you need a permission slip to travel to a relatively safe community of wizards to buy candy and gag jokes when you don't even need one to play a sport so dangerous that your life is threatened every time you play it? The fact that Quidditch is allowed at all at Hogwarts is dubious. Merlin's beard, there are schools that have banned dodge ball after too many accidents, yet here's an opportunity to throw a bunch of underage wizards into the air, often in poor conditions, and hurl unpredictable, dangerous bludgers at them.
You're too young to Apparate, kid, but you can play Quidditch. What is Dumbledore even thinking?
14 He Left Harry On A Doorstep
Who just leaves a baby on a doorstep, especially post-1930? When Hagrid safely brings a slumbering Harry Potter to Little Whinging, Sirius Black's motorbike is really the least of our worries. Even Professor McGonagall questions Dumbledore's methods here, but we're meant to see him as a sagacious wizard who knows exactly what he's doing.
He's not. Anything could have happened. Harry could have easily been harmed by a wild animal, stolen by child harmers, and who knows what else in the hours before the Dursleys discovered him. How is this man in charge of children at all?
13 He's NOT Dumbledore In The Movies
One thing that many fans of the Harry Potter books can agree upon is that the Dumbledore we get in the movies is far from the Dumbledore created in J.K. Rowling's works. Not only does book Dumbledore offer a twinkle in his eye, much more laughter, and an incredibly dazzling wardrobe, but he's warmer, kinder. He's got an intimidating side, sure, but he's also the teacher we want to impress.
Movie-Dumbledore, particularly the one played by Michael Gambon, is more like a teacher we'd like to avoid. While we get that Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart were both unavailable, we can't help but wonder what they might have done in this role.
12 He Didn't Prep Harry For His Own Demise At Snape's Hand
Knowing that his demise was coming, Dumbledore should not only have prepared Harry Potter with details about how to continue their mission, but to also understand what was going on with Severus Snape. He could have at least told Harry goodbye, given him a clue that would have given him more direction in not only what to do but who to trust, and generally done anything other than what he did in the end, which was nothing.
In Dumbledore's defense, maintaining Snape's identity was crucial, and he didn't want to jeopardize all they'd done to protect his secrecy. Even so, there are many things Dumbledore could have done to have better prepared Harry.
11 He Chose Ridiculously Easy Passwords For His Office
While muggles can be ridiculously ignorant, choosing words like "password" and "12345" as their passwords, someone like Albus Dumbledore should know better. To protect his office from intruders, he gives it the dumbest, most easy to guess passwords that anyone, including someone as thick as Harry Potter is often known to be, can guess.
The wizard's love of sweets is well-known, so anyone can guess that his passwords might be acid pops, sherbet lemon or toffee eclairs. Someone this wise should have better protections on the room where he, you know, stores his most secretive memories in his Pensive and such.
10 He Screams At Harry In Goblet Of Fire
No matter what we can say about Dumbledore, he's almost always calm, reasonable and a steady presence at Hogwarts. That's why the fact that he screamed at Harry in the Goblet of Fire movie is so offensive. Movie-Dumbledore is so vastly different from book-Dumbledore that they could be two completely separate wizards, but this is one of the most glaring instances that many people simply let go.
Then again, some fans have recognized this and called Dumbledore out for his behavior, even going as far to create hilarious memes about it. So while this is one Dumbledorism that many fans do acknowledge, it was still allowed in the film, which is just outrageous.
9 He Let Lupin Teach Without Full Responsibility
Allowing Remus Lupin to not only attend school at Hogwarts but to also teach there was risky business. We can all agree that Remus was desperately needed at the school and the students were better for it in general, but that Dumbledore should have taken better responsibility for the risks he posed to the student body.
The fact that Lupin was ever able to transform into a wild werewolf on the premises of Hogwarts, endangering many people in the process, is outrageous. Dumbledore should have seen to Lupin's wolfsbane each month, ensuring that the potion was taken, as the most basic security precaution.
8 He Left Hogwarts Open With A Basilisk On The Loose
Most headmasters would surely close their schools if anything threatened the welfare and safety of its students, whether that threat existed in a plague, natural disaster or monster known to be living in the school. If a dangerous beast were known to be slithering around the school, surely there would be an evacuation.
Not at Hogwarts! Not only does the school remain open following the first attack of the basilisk, but once the attacks begin again in Harry's time, the school stays open even as multiple students are petrified. Closing the school isn't even suggested by Dumbledore until Ginny is taken.
7 He Didn't Give The Trio Clear Clues To Defeat Voldemort
Dumbledore not only knew that his demise was imminent due to his withering, cursed hand, but he also suspected that Severus Snape would have to take him out on behalf of Draco Malfoy in order to maintain his double agent status. So why on earth did he not better prepare Harry and his pals for the task at hand?
Leaving the trio with some fairy tales, a sword, and a Snitch and just expecting that Hermione, at least, would figure it out is just idiotic. Dumbledore should have left clear instructions for the trio to follow, which would not only have sped things up but could have saved many lives in the process.
6 He Didn't Remove The Curse On The DADA Job
According to J.K. Rowling, Tom Riddle cursed the Defense Against the Dark Arts teaching role after he was refused the position. So why didn't Dumbledore simply remove the curse? It seems like an easy bit of magic to deal with, especially given how afraid Voldemort is of Dumbledore, who supposedly is able to best him in every way. He can't even enter Hogwarts until Dumbledore is gone (save for weird circumstances, like living on Quirrell's head), but he can enact lasting curses on the school?
It makes no sense for Dumbledore to simply allow this to continue without removing the curse, especially if expects Harry to learn anything in preparation for the war.
5 He Stored The Sorcerer's Stone And A Bunch Of Dangerous Traps At Hogwarts
What should one do when the one item in the world that can pretty much guarantee immortality is up for grabs? Why, store it at Hogwarts with a bunch of dangerous traps that could easily maim, or even off, any curious students who happen to stumble upon them while simultaneously attracting anyone who's after the stone to the supposedly safe school which, we now know, truly isn't impenetrable.
It's almost as if Dumbledore had hoped to tempt a certain someone out of hiding and into a prophesied duel with a certain wizard sporting a lightning bolt-shaped scar...
4 He Hired Gilderoy Lockhart
Just how astute of a wizard could Dumbledore have been if he hired someone as incompetent as Gilderoy Lockhart as Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher? Not only does this point toward a gross error on behalf of all the students' education at Hogwarts, but it even demonstrates how little he values Harry's training even as he plans on sacrificing the young wizard to save the world the first chance he gets.
We love to laugh at Lockhart and think that he received his just desserts (perhaps a little too just), but we don't really hold Dumbledore accountable for hiring him in the first place.
3 He Didn't Deliver The News About Lily's Demise In Person To Petunia
"Remember my last," Dumbledore reminds Petunia Dursley, and we can all imagine what it might be like to receive a weird note from some batty wizard you've never met. But why did Dumbledore think it was okay to not only deliver the news of Lily and Jame's Potter's demise in a letter, but also instruct the estranged Petunia to care for baby Harry in the wake of the tragedy?
This is callous, cold, and just plain inconsiderate, let alone the fact that it might not have worked. What if the Dursleys had put Harry in an orphanage, after all?
2 He Kept A Menacing Magical Tree On The Grounds
It almost makes sense to keep the Whomping Willow on the grounds of Hogwarts in order to provide a safe place for Remus Lupin to transform, but it really doesn't in the end. It definitely still left plenty of students vulnerable and even almost resulted in the end of Snape.
So why on Earth would Dumbledore continue to allow the tree to remain at Hogwarts in the first place? It's a dangerous tree that does nothing but harm students. Surely he could have rendered it harmless with his noted powers ages ago for the safety of his students and staff?
1 He Chose Ron As A Prefect
Ron is anything but Prefect material. From his disregard for the rules to his not-so-great grades, he is the opposite of his brother Percy, who was Prefect material.
Even with Hermione's intellect and intention to follow the rules, she wasn't the perfect idea of a Prefect, but she was pretty close, at least. There were many other Gryffindors who would have been better choices than Ron, though. Dumbledore knew they'd leave with Harry anyway, so why not choose students who would finish their Hogwarts careers? Not to mention the fact that he barely even seems to know Ron.