1. Hi there, Guest

    Only registered users can really experience what DLP has to offer. Many forums are only accessible if you have an account. Why don't you register?
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Want some serious feedback about your writing? Enter the Q3 2019 Story Competition!

    Topic(s): EITHER
    - What the Professors get up to in the summers.
    - Ritual Magic!

    Word count: 17.5k max (no minimum)
    Deadline: September 9th
    Check out the Competition Page
    Dismiss Notice
  3. The Q3 2019 Story Competition has 17 DAYS LEFT! (September 9th)

    Check out the Competition Page and get writing folks!
    Dismiss Notice

Making sense of Dumbledore Bashing

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Magnum, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. Magnum

    Magnum Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2019
    Messages:
    46
    Gender:
    Male
    1. The most frustating part of Dumbledore bashing is his stealing of money from Harry's Trust or Family vault.

    It is mostly never explained except in few rare fics why he steals Harry's money. It's not like Dumbledore has any descendant to whom he could leave his family fortune. He has only one brother who hates him.

    One the rare fics where they do explain it , the reason is usually to payoff the members of Order Of Phoenix. But that's also contradictory too because most of the members of Order Of Phoenix are Aurors or Professors or have some other day job.

    He lives at Hogwarts where food is. provided Most of the things provided at school are likely handled by Hogwarts account including teachers salary. He is a Headmaster ,So he is most likely highest paid member of Staff.

    He also doesn't live extravagant lifestyle like Lucius Malfoy.

    So this really begs the question if this is just a plot device to smear his character if authors don't have enough plot points to potray him as a bad character.

    2. Dumbledore's no killing rule and second chances - Fanon or Canon? Maybe I've been reading too much fanfiction, but was Dumbledore really that gung-ho against killing? Did he really give second, third, fourth etc chances to some didn't deserve it? Or did fanon - like with many aspects - take it too far?

    3. Lemon Drops. A scene either with the old man present or just him being the topic of conversation, where the words 'old coot', 'meddling', 'greater good', etc. are thrown around, and then his fondness for a certain (potion-laced,) confectionery comes up.

    Why is it always lemon drops?

    In the British versions of the books, he doesn't even have lemon drops, instead they were sherbet lemons, which was changed in the American release. However, Dumbledore is fond of other kinds of confectionery - at least in the movies - for instance the cockroach cluster incident in his office.

    What I want to know is why there appears to be so little variation in Dumbledore's sweet selection in fanfiction, to the point where it's actually refreshing to see a story where he doesn't just offer everyone and their mum a lemon drop.

    4. Evil!Dumbledore - where he usually conspires to commit child abuse, neglect of duties, kidnapping, brainwashing, abuse of power, etc. Usually involves Dumbledore paying off the Weasley family and Hermione to spy on Harry; Dumbledore promising Ginny's hand in marriage to Harry and the Potter fortune as part of the Weasleys' payment, Love potions, Order creepily watching him 24/7, magical blocks on Harry's magical core, tracking charms recording every moment, obliviations etc. Why...just...why? It doesn't fit in with the canon portrayal of Dumbledore at all.

    5. Greater Good -
    I've read a bunch of really horrific variations on this and I'm kinda curious where this comes from.

    On a side note, what's the worst Dumbledore you've ever read?
     
  2. Agayek

    Agayek Totally Sirius DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Messages:
    3,385
    A bit of both, really. The best example of this in canon is Malfoy in HBP; he went above and beyond, doing everything in his power to keep Malfoy alive and free, despite having every reason to come down on him like the wrath of god. There's a wide variety of reasons for it, obviously, and it's not nearly as simple as "Dumbledore just hates killing", but he's very willing to give someone a second chance. In fact, as far as I can remember anyway, the only person he canonically felt was beyond redemption was Voldemort.

    That said, he's neither blind nor stupid, and he's not so slavishly devoted to the idea of second chances that he will sacrifice someone else for it (even if he would gladly sacrifice himself for same). He's willing to see the good in just about anyone, and he'll do his best to reach it, but he's not above shanking bitches if they force his hand.

    Generally, this is a flanderization of Dumbledore's reasoning for putting Harry with the Dursleys. In essence, the logic goes that Dumbledore left Harry there instead of another home where he'd grow up happy as part of a grand master plan to deal with Voldemort, and the moral quibbles inherent to leaving a child to be abused were excused as a necessary evil for "The Greater Good".

    It's doesn't really fit very well with canon, but if you squint and give yourself a couple of head injuries, you can kinda see how someone got the idea (and then, naturally, it exploded in popularity with the edgy teenagers who were looking for reasons to hate him).
     
  3. kelkorkesis

    kelkorkesis First Year

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2017
    Messages:
    26
    High Score:
    0
    I've never understood this. Even deep in my teenage angst, Dumbledore was too cool to be hated for me.
     
  4. Agayek

    Agayek Totally Sirius DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Messages:
    3,385
    Yes, but he was the authority figure ultimately responsible for why Harry was bullied and abused for most of his childhood, and since these are edgy teenagers, they're not able to parse the story without projecting themselves onto the protagonist, and as a result, blame Dumbledore for the Dursleys being awful people.
     
  5. Niez

    Niez Second Year

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2018
    Messages:
    52
  6. Silirt

    Silirt Auror DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2018
    Messages:
    656
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    If you exclude just killing the sixteen year old, which Dumbledore would most likely not do as the headmaster of the school he attends, there's not really a lot he can do about the kid, even if he were certain that Draco were a Death Eater. Azkaban has had one breakout at this point, and it probably won't be the last one, unless of course the war starts and he can just walk out of prison because the Minister is a puppet. What's the point of putting him in prison for a year tops? Dumbledore seemed to prefer to use Malfoy in his own murder plot, which worked out rather well, and he played the part of the naive old man to fool Harry, so I suppose there were pathologically stupid people reading the books who were fooled as well.

    Dumbledore moved past the greater good ideology around the time he defeated Grindelwald. His stated reasons in the canon for leaving Harry with the Dursleys involved the blood wards, and a throwaway line from the first book, that he must at all costs be kept from realizing he is a wizard for the length of his developmental years. Placing him with a normal muggle family would probably have him growing up happily and it would be unlikely for him to figure out he was the savior of the wizarding world, but the Dursleys made a special effort to 'stamp it out of him', and he was surprised at the existence of magic and a magical world despite the numerous incidents of accidental magic he performed. Leaving Harry with the Dursleys was a cruel way of keeping his head from swelling, and he admits to the knowledge of his own cruelty in book five, at the same time he confesses to Harry that he never told him about the prophecy.
    What people in 'the fandom' can't seem to get past for some fucking reason is that it's not as simple as 'Dumbledore does everything for Harry's benefit, however little he likes it' or 'Dumbledore is hurting Harry by being too nice to him'. There are examples in canon of being nice to Harry to his detriment and being mean to him to his benefit, but that's too complicated for some people, so they think he only goes one way or the other and have a problem with it, or perhaps they think he should have. This brings in another component- 'the fandom' isn't one person. Even if it's something as simple as including magical trunks in your story, only a few of them will think 'yeah, that's reasonable, there were magical trunks in canon' and the significantly more will respond with 'RRREEEEEEEEE that's so 2005! We're not supposed to like that any more!' There's literally no way of writing Dumbledore that pleases everyone.
     
  7. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign –§ Prestigious §–

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2013
    Messages:
    118
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    The Holy Moose Empire
    High Score:
    1,826+3348
    Making sense of bashing? You'll sooner make sense of denying climate change, or antivaxxers.

    Bashing stems from people disliking a character and wanting to take them down for it, because they're not good enough to write a character well or just don't want to try. Notice that as a rule, in stories with bashing, the protagonists (the characters the author likes) are also poorly written, just skewed in a different direction.
     
  8. Johnnyseattle

    Johnnyseattle Headmaster DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,077
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cascadia
    [​IMG]
     
  9. darklordmike

    darklordmike Unspeakable

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Messages:
    709
    Location:
    Where The Lemonade Is Made
    Eh, I'm no fan of Dumbledore bashing, even though I used it in my awful first fic long ago. It almost always indicates a shitty, unoriginal story.

    But let's not pretend there's no logical reason for the 'manipulative Dumbledore' cliche. It's more complicated than edgy teenagers needing someone to hate, even though that's part of it.

    Manipulative Dumbledore became a thing because he's so contradictory in canon. It's an attempt by writers to make sense of the contradiction between his kindly persona and his behavior. Lots of people have made the case that Dumbledore isn't 'manipulative' in the pejorative sense, especially Taure. Those efforts are mostly convincing. I agree that he does try to walk a middle ground between manipulating Harry for the sake of the war and giving him his freedom.

    The real problem with Dumbledore is his negligence. He hides a valuable stone in his school to lure a Dark Lord. He doesn't even lock the door hiding a lethal beast. He lets Voldemort roam around the school for a year. Even if he is giving Harry the 'freedom' to test himself, Dumbledore has no way of protecting the other students in this scenario. He's betting their lives that Voldemort won't, for example, poison the kids of his enemies. He was then willing to let an 11-year-old confront Voldemort. The traps were obviously designed for Harry and his friends to bypass. Is that a test that a well-meaning adult creates for a child?

    There are numerous examples of this negligence throughout canon. He puts everyone's lives at risk to redeem Draco Malfoy. 'I'm sorry that your daughter died, Mr. and Mrs. Bell. I should have protected her, but it was more important to give a murderous little turd the chance to redeem himself.' Right.

    Let's also not forget that he set up a scenario where Harry would willingly sacrifice himself. Even if Dumbledore had no choice in the matter, he informed no one but Snape of the plan, and there was no back-up plan. He gambled everyone's lives on Harry's willingness to follow obscure clues and then sacrifice himself. What was his plan for the Order and everyone else? Wishing them all good luck?

    The ultimate reason for his negligence is because he was mostly a plot device for JKR. You can't have a children's adventure story with competent, responsible adults. That's why nearly all of them involve absent or dead parents. There's no story if the adults do their jobs. Dumbledore fell victim to this device, especially in the early books. By the time JKR tried to turn him into a coherent character later, the damage had been done.

    So 'manipulative Dumbledore' is an attempt to (a) make sense of the contradictions in his character, and (b) give people a more complex villain to hate. Rooting against Voldemort is kind of boring at this point.

    Obviously I'm not defending the mustache-twirling Dumbledore who steals Harry's money, doses with him potions, and actively tries to murder him. That's just stupid. But there's more to the manipulative Dumbledore trope than edgy teenagers being edgy or writers simply being stupid.
     
  10. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros. Moderator

    Joined:
    May 27, 2010
    Messages:
    1,232
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Philippines
    Also doesn't make sense because the Order is by nature a voluntary (and viligante) organization. I'd argue the type of person willing to put their life at risk to fight the series' "great evil" would probably not be doing so for financial gain.

    I think his "no killing rule" stems from two examples - Draco Malfoy and Gellert Grindelwald. I doubt that this means Dumbledore has never killed before, but I can sort of see how the idea came about.

    Darklordmike puts the reasoning for Dumbledore bashing better than I can: Dumbledore is just flawed enough, just inconsistent enough, and in a position of authority in the series which makes him the perfect scapegoat for everything that ever went wrong for teens.
     
  11. Starwind

    Starwind Headmaster

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Messages:
    1,072
    The idea of Dumbledore paying them for risking their lives makes it seem more like an army that he's organising rather than a group of vigilantes with a common goal - the fact he requires them to be of age to sign up says a lot.

    Stories like to bash people in positions of power for not training the protag to be a marysue pretty much. The same way that fics bash decent parents like James/Lily a lot of the time in the wrong boy who lived stories and what not.

    Dumbledore doesnt have a no killing rule. That would be naive to think so. Obviously Draco was 16, theres a reason Dumbledore wouldnt want to kill a boy hes seen grown up since he was 11, no matter how flawed, he's the headmaster of a school of kids, if he did want to kill Draco he would have to be pretty callous.

    The whole Dursleys angle is stupid. We saw what happened to Frank and Alice in the aftermath of the war, proving Dumbledores point. Sure growing up in a wizards family mightve been possible, but then he wouldve had an arrogant little prick called Harry to deal with.

    Anyway, didnt you post that you were leaving?
     
  12. Methos

    Methos Professor DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2016
    Messages:
    494
    High Score:
    0
    Dumbledore took great risks 6th year, for such a wise man the explanation leaves foul taste.

    1) Katie Bell, she was cursed nearly to death coming in touch with that gift to Dumbledore.
    The assumption is that, Draco Imperious two people to get it done, in book 6 the unforgivable where considered quite taboo (until book 7 where they are used willy nilly)
    Katie was saved by Harry quick thinking, just because no one was died, doesn't mean "saving" Draco soul is worth keeping him around.

    Ron poisoning, again quick thinking prevent a death here.

    Lets look at the masterpiece of sixth year, allowing Draco to create a breach in Hogwarts defenses to allow an invasion of Death Eaters to the castle, which ended only with one casualty.
    You have to ask your self, are those death eaters that incompetent ?
    Is Draco "soul" worth the risk of the rest of Hogwarts students ?

    Further by allowing Draco to do as he want in 6th year, what message Dumbledore send to other students ? where are the consequences of your actions ?

    Dumbledore failed his role to his students that year, in order to save one student he put at risk the entire castle.
    Draco should being kicked out the moment he gained that mark, and moved to the DMLE hands to squeeze information out of him.

    This is one of the many issues with Dumbledore, he is brilliant wizard, but the worst headmaster possible.

    The situation isn't binary as you claim and you make assumptions.
    1) Growing knowing you are famous => leads to be arrogant little prick (seems to be fanon).
    2) Dumbledore had no other options, he had numerous options but he always pick the most lazy ones, that allowed him to reach his goal.

    In the end, Harry went willingly to his death, even in the dream/train station Dumbledore admits it was a bet.
    He raised Harry to be a martyr, Harry went to meet Voldemort thinking he will not survive and be with his parents/godfather/friends
    That is seriously fucked up situation.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
  13. Starwind

    Starwind Headmaster

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Messages:
    1,072
    I think you're not looking at the big picture.

    Dumbledore knows the vows Severus took. He knows hes dying. And he didnt know what Dracos plan was other than to kill him.

    Obviously planting Severus further in the spy role would benefit Harry later on, and honestly, having Draco try to kill him all year round is probably safer than Draco failing and not knowing whats coming/Severus dying from failing to protect him.

    Katie was an accident/incompetence from Draco.

    Ron was just coincidence.
     
  14. Methos

    Methos Professor DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2016
    Messages:
    494
    High Score:
    0
    How many accidents and coincidences need to happen until he realize Draco is a danger to school.
    Bottom line, the school was invaded by death eaters, it was suppose to be a massacre, but for plot reasons to not overshadow Dumbledore dramatic death it ended with only Dumbledore dying and Bill getting scared.
    Reread book 6 last chapters to remember how many and whom where at Hogwarts the night of Dumbledore death.

    Edit:
    On top of everything, his duty as headmaster is to the school, sacrificing everyone well being for a single student is not his job.
    If he want to save Draco he can do it using other tools, the order of the phoenix, the DMLE, himself if he leaves Hogwarts with Draco.
    --- Post automerged ---
    Dumbledore is great wizard, I don't deny it. However I question his reasoning and competency as headmaster of Hogwarts.
    Just because you are the most powerful/smart/wise wizard does not mean you are excellent or even average Headmaster.

    Dumbledore bashers don't bother to differentiate between his various actions.
    They pick one action and paint the rest in the same color.
    As others said white/black mentality is boring and shades of grey require higher skill at writing from the average author.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
  15. Goten Askil

    Goten Askil Seventh Year

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2015
    Messages:
    235
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    France
    Your argument is quite biased, Methos: according to you everything bad is Dumbledore's fault, but everything good is because of luck or plot reasons. That's disingenuous. If the risks are his responsibility (and they are), then the results are too. It's not because of "plot reasons" that there wasn't any victim at the end of year 6, it's because HE called the Order as protection.

    You can argue that his bets were too risky in favor to Draco, but the success of this bet is also his responsibility: he does take a lot of risks, but he does a lot to ensure his success, and in the end he does succeed so you can't forget that.
     
  16. Methos

    Methos Professor DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2016
    Messages:
    494
    High Score:
    0
    You miss my pointed completely, as headmaster he shouldn't take those risks at all.
    Draco already proved he is willing to use unforgivable at the first incidence.
    Further did Dumbledore knew for sure how it will end? my judgement is base on the risks he took and for what reason.
    Just because he was lucky and no one was hurt in the final showdown of book 6, does not make his reasoning appropriate for an headmaster.

    Bottom line he turned Hogwarts into a battle ground to save Draco from crossing the final line, as long Draco is using Imperius and other spells it is fine, but killing isn't.
    Lets look at it even further, he is going to be dead by the school year end, what are the chances all his attempts to save Draco were pointless, and as a DE he will kill and murder.
     
  17. kira and light

    kira and light Slug Club Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2013
    Messages:
    197
    Location:
    Germany
    I think you are really unfair to him, I agree that he is kind of a bad headmaster having hired people like Lockhart and so on.

    But he is also in a unique position it's not like a headmaster irl would have the weight of the world on his shoulders and be the only one powerful enough to stop the world being taken over by Grindelwald and Voldemort.

    So if he would just sit back and only concern himself with their school life and safety the world would already be fucked and people would complain why he didn't do something eventhough he could have stopped it.

    He also did not know that Draco would be able to bring Death Eaters into Hogwarts through a Vanishing Cabinet though I agree that he did fuck up with Ron and Katie.

    He did take risks with Harry sacrifing himself to destroy the Horcrux but it's not like he wasn't looking for his best interests.

    Without that Voldemort would still be immortal and chasing Harry forever so he would be dead anyway so the risks of Harry dying and achieving a asspull victory was better than him definetely dying.

    The other stuff like the traps in PS or leaving Harry with the Dursleys are more of a result of the early books being far more childrens books than young adult she wanted Harry to have adventures or give him the underdog background so Dumbledore as the ultimate authority figure gets all the shit for Rowling trying to twist the plot in this way
     
  18. Goten Askil

    Goten Askil Seventh Year

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2015
    Messages:
    235
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    France
    I did get your point, I was questioning the validity of your argument. And you're doing it again: why do you choose to say it's luck and not preparation that caused no one to be hurt? You think he shouldn't take any risks, fine, but be fair about it. Or else also say it was unluck or "plot reasons" when his decisions backfire.

    Fact-check: he didn't know about the Imperius before the end of the book. Draco was in detention with McGonagall when Katie received it, which is a pretty good alibi. The reasonable conclusion is that Draco had an outside ally potentially more dangerous than himself. All the more reason to keep observing him.

    Also fact-check: he didn't turn Hogwarts into anything because he didn't know what Malfoy was trying to do, that was the whole point of him refusing to speak to Snape. The only reason it was a battleground is because Dumbledore left to find a Horcrux (something a little more important to student's long-term safety than a 16-year-old trying to kill him) and called some security. Otherwise, it wouldn't have been a battleground, it would have probably been a (mud-)bloodbath.

    And of course Dumbledore couldn't know for sure there wouldn't be any victim, what's bashers' obsession with him knowing everything and every consequence? He was simply trying his best, and because he's more talented than most, his best is actually enough to win the day. So no, he didn't know for sure that Harry would survive the war, but he devised a plan to give him maximum chance, and the plan worked. You and most bashers call that luck, others call that intellect and preparation.

    I don't even know why I'm responding, everyone (me and you both) just interprets what is said and unsaid in the books in favor of their own preconceived opinion and call that "proof".
     
  19. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Messages:
    5,755
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Blocksberg, Germany
    Yes. The point -- if you want to make it -- is that precisely this is why he shouldn't be Headmaster to begin with. A headmaster should be able to solely dedicate himself to students and school life, and not have a thousand other things on his plate that then lead to interference between the respective duties.

    That said, I guess I'm pretty agnostic; there is the different standard on what is normal and what is dangerous, and given the structure of the wizarding world, anyone who was Headmaster would be in a prestigious, powerful position, so the duties would always be more than just concerning themself with the students.
     
  20. Methos

    Methos Professor DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2016
    Messages:
    494
    High Score:
    0
    I will try to make my point more clear:
    Risk assessment:
    Should I keep someone in school whose goal is to kill me, and is desperate enough to not care about a clean job.
    That is my argument, after Ron being poison it was clear how far Draco is willing to go.
    Just because his schemes didn't kill anyone yet, does it mean he isn't a murderer ? When you fire AK at someone, and by intervention of another unforeseeable force you don't hit your target, does it make your a murderer or not ? does Draco soul only harmed if he succeed ?

    Dumbledore bashers don't care about nuance, I don't claim he is dumb/moron/evil/manipulator/a hack.

    My claim is that Dumbledore made numerous of mistakes during the books series which are wash over as a counter response to his bashing.

    I don't bash him, I look at his actions and judge base on them, I don't claim he is all powerful all knowing, further I claim he should have known that as well.
    I think Dumbledore main issue his hubris, he doesn't take other people consul, for decades there isn't anyone he see as equal who can offer him such and is interested in giving him.
    He ends up a self made trap, he doesn't get feedback for his smart plans to see them from different angles.

    He is alone at the top for decades and it took the toll on him.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
Loading...