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How competent is Dumbledore?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Pikachu, May 21, 2023.

  1. Pikachu

    Pikachu Banned

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    Book 1 - fails to recognize Quirrelmort and bails when he moves for the stone
    Book 2 - Yes he is removed as Headmaster but he still didn't do anything about COS and the basilisk
    Book 3 - Sirius makes multiple break ins and yet he still fails to catch him
    Book - Fails to recognize Moody is an imposter, Crouch Sr is under imperious, his age line fails, portkey Triwizard cup, fails to convince the minister the dark lord is back.
    Book 5 - Harry and his friends have to fight against death eaters to save the day. Ok he does show up to battle Voldemort but should have arrived way sooner. School kids should not be fighting against the likes of Bellatrix Luicius Dolohov
    Book 6 - Katie is almost killed, Ron poisoned fails to do anything about Malfoy and death eaters attack Hogwarts. Bill is scared. Last thing you need is Bellatrix fucking Lestrange in your school. If it wasn't for Harry teaching DADA in book 5 half the kids would be dead by book 6 when the death eaters attacked.

    Honestly if i was on the Hogwarts board or the minister of magic I would get rid of Dumbledore for his sheer incompetence in keeping the safety of his school and students.

    I'm not even going to talk about how he failed to pick up on the Dark Lord in the making Tom Riddle when he was a teacher or failed to solve the Cos basilisk back then either.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2023
  2. Slayer Singh

    Slayer Singh First Year

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  3. Spanks

    Spanks Chief Warlock

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    He correctly guessed everything that would happen after he died down to Ron having a brief meltdown during the Horcrux hunt and planned a way to bring him back to Harry and Hermione’s location should he abandon them. He knew Harry would willingly sacrifice himself for others and do what needed to be done. If anything he is very good at reading people’s characters. The only one he ever missed apparently was Wormtail.

    So I’d say he’s pretty competent.
     
  4. haphnepls

    haphnepls Seventh Year

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    I mean what do you do if you see one of your students is going bad? I think you're being over-optimistic here. All you can do is to try your best to dissuade them, and I think Dumbledore did try. There's this bit when Voldemort goes to apply for DADA post, and he said something like: ...ah, love, the old argument... which somewhat suggested they've been talking power earlier,

    I personally always thought Dumbledore was a complex, well-written character, that always did what he thought best, based on his knowledge and experiences, and with flaws as well.
     
  5. Republic

    Republic The Snow Queen –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

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    Also remember that in children/teen/YA series like this adults have to be incompetent to a degree otherwise none of these stories would ever take place.
     
  6. TRH

    TRH Groundskeeper

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    This does remind me of a thread I wanted to start at some point where we'd list things that Dumbledore was definitely or probably dead wrong about. One example I had in mind was in the cave in HBP where Dumbledore figured the potion in the basin wasn't supposed to kill the drinker because Voldemort would be more interested in learning how somebody had gotten that far since nobody was supposed to know about his horcruxes in the first place. But then it turned out that no, it didn't immediately kill the drinker, but it was part of a deathtrap along with the inferi in the water. And considering the last horcrux Dumbledore dealt with also had a lethal protection placed on it, he really should have known better by that point.

    That being said, Dumbledore is clearly not infallible, but he gets most things right and knows more than anyone else about what's going on a good 90-some percent of the time.
     
  7. arkkitehti

    arkkitehti High Inquisitor

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    Honestly if DH was all according to the plan, then the plan was utterly ridiculous and Dumbledore was completely out of his mind, even if things ultimately ended up as the did. Unless you say that Dumbledore secretly did some kind of magical ritual that ensured that the plan would succeed. Doctor Strange at least had the benefit of actually seeing millions of alternative endings before giving up the time stone.

    But as Republic mentioned, it was necessary for the story. Honestly I think Dumbledore became victim of his own hype: he would have been a far better character if he wasn't constantly touted as this greatest wizard of all time. Simply having Dumbledore as a competent but humble (yet flamboyant) headmaster would have worked just fine, and allowed Dumbledore's mistakes to be just that: mistakes. And obviously the Dursleys were just comically unnecessarily cruel towards Harry with no clear benefit to the story or anyone's character arc.
     
  8. Slayer Singh

    Slayer Singh First Year

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    That is one thing most people miss - Voldemort is the greatest wizard of all time. Dumbledore was against the greatest wizard of all time, and had to plan and move accordingly. Dumbledore went ahead with the only choice he had. He shouldn't even should have had to plan for the situation where they messed up and lost Grimmauld Place as a hiding place, and yet he did, while also predicting Ron's meltdown, and subsequent desire to return. He calculated and gambled a lot of things, but did what he could to the best of his ability.
     
  9. Shinysavage

    Shinysavage Madman With A Box ~ Prestige ~

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    I'm not sure I buy Voldemort as the greatest wizard of all time overall. In certain areas, specifically dark magic, definitely, but Dumbledore is pretty much toying with him in OotP (granted, with the aid of Fawkes), and seems to have a much broader range of expertise.
     
  10. Slayer Singh

    Slayer Singh First Year

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    I liked The Merging's explanation for this - Dumbledore admits he is the superior duelist, but Voldemort is the greater wizard (quite contrary to what I used to believe myself until very recently).

    In the duel in OotP, they're quite evenly matched - the only difference is their composure. Of course, their composure is quite important, as it gives insight into their confidence regarding the duel, but Dumbledore has a rather unfair advantage here. He knew they were going to duel, and was able to sketch out a brief outline in his head before the duel even began. The statues of the Wizard and Witch didn't take any damage when Dumbledore animated them, even the Killing Curse bouncing off them. However, the centaur shattered, and the House Elf and Goblin weren't even used. It's almost like he wanted the plinth empty, and Voldemort played right into his hands.

    Add to this the fact that Voldemort seemed to genuinely fear Dumbledore in a one one one duel(he missed when shooting a Killing Curse, when his feet were firmly on the ground and his opponent was basically strolling towards him in a straight line. I'm not buying the greatest dark wizard of all time does that, unless too influenced by emotion), and he is at a significant disadvantage.

    The way Bellatrix also seemed to fear for her master simply because of Dumbledore's presence seems to indicate they may have duelled once, in the first war, and Dumbledore won by a fair margin. Or maybe he saw the memory of Dumbledore and Grindelwald's duel and knew he couldn't reach that level. I think Dumbledore, aside from his immense skill in all areas of magic, had an even greater aptitude as a duellist. There is no other way he defeated Grindelwald, who'd been on his campaign of taking over the world for decades, and if the Fantastic Beasts films are to be believed, at the forefront of most important battles, when he was only 'a shade more skilful'. It took him hardly more than a couple of months to get from being rusty to almost unmatched, if he joined the war in 1945.

    However, being the greater duellist doesn't make you the greater wizard. We know Dumbledore has said twice, that Voldemort's skill at magic surpasses his own - once in CoS, where he calls Voldemort the best student to have ever walked the halls of Hogwarts, and in his conversation with Harry after Sirius' death, where he says even the best of his defences couldn't keep Lord Voldemort out, because his knowledge of magic is greater than perhaps any other wizard. So, Dumbledore himself seems to believe that Voldemort is better. We know he isn't one for false modesty, after all. When it comes down to knowledge of magic, Voldemort is greater. Maybe Dumbledore is better at Charms and Transfiguration (and maybe alchemy, if it's linked to Transfiguration), but Voldemort has the edge in every other area (Potioneering, Dark Arts, and the thousand things having the suffix 'mency', etc. JKR never expanded much on the other areas of magic, and I'm too lazy to go back and read through all of Taure's posts on magical theory and stuff).

    In conclusion, I think Dumbledore is the greater duelist, but Voldemort is the greater wizard.

    (Of course, if you find any evidence to the contrary, I'll happily take it. I very much liked believing Dumbledore was the greatest wizard, and would love to go back to it, but my friend decided to ruin it for me.)
     
  11. Arthellion

    Arthellion Lord of the Banned ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    So as rep said, adults become incompetent in order to create conflict for the child protagonists.

    The issue is when this incompetence causes a cognitive disconnect/threatens suspension of disbelief in later books as the adults are shown to be much smarter/more capable. It's one of the reasons manipulative dumbledore is such a prevalent theme in fanfiction. It solves the cognitive disconnect between wise and powerful Dumbledore and incompetent dumbledore.

    Onto the Dumbledore vs. Voldemort debate...I honestly find power scaling to be a different endeavor on HP than in many other forms of media. It's not a shounen anime. It's not a story about becoming more powerful. Rather, it's much more human. Most wizards are like your average person with a gun with death eaters and aurors being more akin to having the skill of a soldier irl. But soldiers can be killed by civilians with a gun. The soldier might have more skill, but the gun is a great equalizer. It's how you have Molly Weasley taking out Bellatrix.

    It's only when you get to Dumbldore/Voldemort tiers of power that you enter into something more akin to shounen or maybe star wars might be a better analogy with that power tier being more akin to forces users vs one another and the lower power tiers just average people with blasters.
     
  12. LT2000

    LT2000 Heir

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    This is true, but man. What I wouldn't have given to see him straight up laugh his ass off at Fudge's educational decrees in Book 5, bodily throw Umbridge out of Hogwarts and dare anyone to try and do something about it. Same deal in CoS with Lucius and the Board of Governors.

    'Want to sack me? ROFL try and make me leave bitch.'

    Sometimes the guy with the big stick needs to be the bully.
     
  13. Republic

    Republic The Snow Queen –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

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    Aside from the fact that again, that way there is no book, you forget that this is the exact opposite of Dumbledore's character.
     
  14. LT2000

    LT2000 Heir

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    I don't necessarily agree in either case. I think there was enough going on in both of those books that these specific plotlines could have been removed and it wouldn't have hurt things too much.

    Like, Voldemort had just come back. Focus more on that and less on maliciously inept bureaucrats and things would have still been good.

    Instead, Albus is just kinda literally letting the Death Eaters and their bought pawns win because he doesn't want to be a meanie.
     
  15. Slayer Singh

    Slayer Singh First Year

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    Dumbledore kinda had his hands tied up - he still had to follow the law, to a certain degree. He couldn't just abandon Hogwarts, not give it up and disappear off to somewhere. That would only serve to tarnish his credibility even more. I think he got an enormous amount of political power as well in HBP, because he'd stood his ground against the bloody government without (apparently) breaking any laws unless in self defence, and turned out to be right in the end.

    Besides, we don't know much of the actions of the Order, because Harry didn't. From the reactions of Death Eaters in the DoM(one of them flat out fled), Bellatrix's fear for Voldemort in the Atrium(just because Dumbledore was present, and this is the Dark Lord's most fanatic follower), and Snape's own reactions when he went to beg for Lily Potter's protection('You disgust me', and the contempt in Dumbledore's voice) voice, and when Dumbledore stormed into Barty Crouch Junior's office, where one look from him was enough to show why even Voldemort feared him. There was also the sense of heat radiating from him when he flat out told Fudge he wouldn't obey the Minister for Magic, and he spoke in a 'thundering voice' after his duel with Voldemort in OotP.

    This seems to suggest Dumbledore is only the benevolent Headmaster in the school, and talking to allies. Against Death Eaters, he may be calm, but he still looks furious and flat out tells them that they're disgusting. He orders around Aurors in the face of the Minister for Magic. Just because we don't see him go into beast mode too many times doesn't mean he doesn't.

    Ins short, the impossibly patient and ever forgiving demeanour is for his students, not everyone in the world.
     
  16. Pikachu

    Pikachu Banned

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  17. Shinysavage

    Shinysavage Madman With A Box ~ Prestige ~

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    There's no particular reason to think he knows about the quill, is there? And she only resorts to the Cruciatius curse once he's gone.
     
  18. Pikachu

    Pikachu Banned

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    If his students are being subjected to the blood quill in detentions he has to know right? The idea he is not aware of it is ridiculous.
     
  19. Slayer Singh

    Slayer Singh First Year

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    I love how you conveniently ignored that corporeal punishment at Hogwarts included dangling students by their wrists/ankles to the dungeon ceilings before Dumbledore came along. Perhaps Filch even said something about whipping, and Umbridge was about to authorise it via the ministry, which means that the law itself allowed them to dole out such punishments.

    The wizarding world sees corporeal punishment very differently. People don't wrap their kids in wool and hide them away from the world. Note that Molly Weasley did not send another letter to ask if Ron was alright after ramming the car into the Whomping Willow, she just assumed he would. Children have iron balls hit their heads at hundred miles an hour and only get knocked unconscious. The resilience is far too high for a cut to be given that much attention. It most certainly wouldn't be classified as torture, if whipping and dangling you in the bloody dungeons isn't.

    If that is still not convincing enough for you, the series took place the 1990s, not 2029s. The approach to children was still very different, even for muggles. If you said you were 'depressed' or something, you'd just be labelled off as an attention seeking brat who had to be introduced to 'the cane'. Not hitting children was only an idea, and not particularly well liked. Smeltings authorised kids hitting each other with sticks.

    Dumbledore couldn't possibly do anything, and that's because he still has to follow the law to a certain degree. He cannot take every matter into his own hands. He most certainly can't storm into the ministry and take over - that makes him a tyrant, not a leader. Dumbledore would much sooner let Gandalf have the One Ring than give himself the politically the most powerful position (Minister for Magic), when he also happens to be one of the greatest wizards to have ever lived, and has a weakness for power. If he does, Voldemort may be dealt with sooner, but by that time Dumbledore would know how powerful he can truly be, and have experienced that. No one can step away from that. He wouldn't become a dark wizard, but rule in a way that would make 'good' look 'evil'.
     
  20. Shinysavage

    Shinysavage Madman With A Box ~ Prestige ~

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    Harry specifically refuses to tell him or McGonagall, and I highly doubt Umbridge was submitting a detention plan to him. There could be some merit to the argument that people should have spotted the scars, but as far as we know only Ron spotted it, and that was while Harry was still covered in blood, so presumably they weren't *that* distinctive.
     
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