Born in the summer of 1881, Albus Dumbledore was raised in a magical household by his parents Percival and Kendra alongside his younger siblings Aberforth and Ariana. When Ariana was young she was seen performing magic by some Muggle children, who attacked her, causing her severe mental and emotional damage. Percival attacked the boys who had hurt Ariana, resulting in his being imprisoned in Azkaban, leaving Dumbledore and his siblings to be raised by their mother in relative seclusion from the wizarding world. An extremely intelligent child, Dumbledore excelled at Hogwarts, becoming perhaps the most brilliant student ever to study there. He was made Prefect in his fifth year, and Head Boy in his seventh. He graduated from Hogwarts at the age of seventeen, but his plans to travel the world were cut short by the accidental death of his mother at the hands of his sister. He returned to the family home at Godric's Hollow to care for his siblings, but grew resentful of the responsibility that had been thrust upon him. He cultivated a friendship with Gellert Grindelwald, a young wizard who had recently been expelled from school and sent to stay with his great aunt. The pair became obsessed with finding the Deathly Hallows and remaking the world so that Muggles were subservient to witches and wizards. Dumbledore fell in love with Grindelwald, but it is unclear if these feelings were returned. Their plans were cut short and friendship dissolved when the pair got into a duel with Albus' younger brother which resulted in the accidental death of Ariana. Extremely remorseful and terrified of his own involvement in Ariana's death, Albus gave up on his dreams of wizard domination and sought employment at Hogwarts, where he became professor of Transfiguration. He met Tom Riddle
for the first time while a professor there, and was one of the few to not trust the boy. In 1945 he was called upon to duel Grindelwald, who had become a notorious Dark Wizard. Dumbledore defeated him in what would come to be a legendary duel, and took possession of the Elder Wand. He was made Headmaster of Hogwarts around 1956. He founded the Order of the Phoenix in response to Voldemort's rise to power, and lead the forces opposed to Voldemort in the First Wizarding War. During this time he witnessed a prophecy given by Sibyll Trelawney about the one who would defeat the Dark Lord. He did his best to protect the Potter family and, when this failed, ensured that Harry Potter
would be cared for by his aunt and uncle.
Dumbledore was originally created by JK Rowling for her Harry Potter
series of books, making his first appearance in the first book in the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
. He made his first appearance in comics in Mad
Major Story Arcs
The Philosopher's Stone
Dumbledore orchestrates the arrival of the newly-orphaned Harry Potter on the steps of the Dursley's home, where Harry is protected by powerful magic. Ten years later, at Hogwarts, Dumbledore tells Harry about the Mirror of Erised, and later secretly returns his father's invisibility cloak to him. He enchants the Mirror to hide the Philosopher's Stone
from everybody save the person who sought to find but not use it. He is called away from the school on a false errand to the Ministry on the night that Professor Quirrell and Lord Voldemort attempt to steal the Stone, but realises that he is needed at the school and returns in time to rescue Harry. He then explains to Harry the nature of the magical protection left behind by his mother.
The Chamber of Secrets
Dumbledore suspects the influence of Voldemort in the basilisk attacks at Hogwarts, but cannot pinpoint how he is influencing events. He is later suspended by the school's governors due to the basilisk attacks. He is reinstated at the school following the revelation that a fragment of Voldemort's soul had been orchestrating the attacks.
The Prisoner of Azkaban
Dumbledore accepts the presence of Dementors at the school against his will. He has the grounds sealed after Sirius Black manages to sneak into the school despite other defensive precautions. Later, he saves Harry from plummeting to his death following a swarm of Dementors entering the grounds against orders. He suggests to Hermione Granger
that she might use her Time Turner to go back in time and rescue Sirius Black from being executed.
The Goblet of Fire
Dumbledore allows the Triwizard Tournament to take place at Hogwarts, and acts as judge for the entirety of the Tournament. Though he does not approve of Harry having been entered in the Tournament, he believes the boy when he says he did not enter or have himself entered. After the final task, when Harry returns from the graveyard where he had been very nearly killed by Voldemort, Dumbledore saves Harry from the false Moody, who is revealed to have been a Death Eater in disguise. He later has a falling out with Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge, who refuses to believe that Voldemort has returned to power or to take any precautions with Voldemort's return in mind
The Order of the Phoenix
Because of his continued support for Harry's assertions about the return of Voldemort, Dumbledore loses many of his prestigious positions in the wizarding world. He manages to retain control at Hogwarts, but is forced to accept the oversight of Dolores Umbridge. He defends Harry at his trial for use of underage magic, but uncharacteristically refuses to look at or speak to the boy. When the underground student organization Dumbledore's Army is uncovered, run by Harry, Hermione and Ron Weasley
, Dumbledore accepts blame for the group to protect his students from punishment, and vanishes from the school. He reappears sometime later during the battle at the Department of Mysteries, single-handedly defeating most of the Death Eaters and preventing their escape. He engages in a duel with Voldemort, and is able to defeat him. He explains what has happened to Fudge, and is reinstated to all his former positions. He later explains the content of the prophecy to Harry.
The Half-Blood Prince
Dumbledore brings Harry along to persuade Horace Slughorn to return to his position of Potion's Master at Hogwarts. Succeeding in this, Dumbledore returns to Hogwarts. After the school year begins, Dumbledore begins providing Harry with private lessons in which they examine Voldemort's past, learning of his attempts at immortality by the creation of Horcruxes. Dumbledore explains that he has been hunting these Horcruxes, one of which caused his right hand to become shrivelled and blackened. He takes Harry along to retrieve on of the Horcruxes, which is located in a cave. There, he is forced to drink the Drink of Despair, a potion which causes great mental anguish and physical weakness. Eventually, he and Harry are able to retrieve the locket and escape the cave. They return to the school, where Dumbledore is confronted by a group of Death Eaters lead by Draco Malfoy. He prevents Harry from intervening and attempts to reason with Malfoy. He is killed by Severus Snape
, who joins the Death Eaters shortly after their arrival and is secretly carrying out Dumbledore's orders.
The Deathly Hallows
Much of Dumbledore's past is revealed, as is the truth behind his death. Dumbledore appears to Harry when he is sent to limbo after being struck with a Killing Curse. He and Harry discuss regrets, and Dumbledore tells Harry that he has not yet died, and may return to life if he wishes. Harry later has a brief conversation with Dumbledore's portrait, which hangs in the Headmaster's Office.
Powers and Abilities
Dumbledore is an extremely powerful wizard, widely regarded as the most powerful of his generation, and is able to wield magic to a number of effects. He is capable of producing a Patronus, which takes the form of a phoenix. He is an expert duellist and a notable alchemist. He is also notable for his ability to Apparate silently. He has been known to understand Mermish, Gobbledegook and Parseltongue. He possesses the nigh-invincible Elder Wand, and a Deluminator of his own design.
Film Harry Potter Series
Dumbledore appears in all eight movies in the Harry Potter
series. He is portrayed in the first two films by Richard Harris, in the remainder by Michael Gambon, and as a youth by Toby Regbo.
Dumbledore appears in numerous game adaptations of the Harry Potter
LiteratureHarry Potter Series
Dumbledore was originally created for the Harry Potter
series of books. He has appeared in all seven books in the series.
Dumbledore features in numerous parodies and comedic works. Notable appearances include in the web series Potter Puppet Pals
, in a sketch on charity program Comic Relief
, and in the musical A Very Potter Musical
, among a wide range of other appearances.