Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

by: J. K. Rowling

Albus Dumbledore

Characters Albus Dumbledore

The name Albus is the Latin word for white, which suits Albus Dumbledore perfectly. Not only is his long trademark beard a snowy white, Dumbledore is also a good wizard, wholly committed to white magic, standing firmly against the Dark Arts. As headmaster of Hogwarts, Dumbledore is openly dedicated to using his powers to serve the greater good. Consequently, Dumbledore is self-sacrificing and benevolent, ready to risk his own life to preserve the happiness of others. When Harry and Dumbledore reach what they believe to be Merope’s locket, Dumbledore insists that Harry pour the entire basin of potion down his throat, no matter how much he may protest. Likewise, at the close of the novel, Rowling leaves the possibility open that Dumbledore has, in fact, insisted that Snape murder him to save Draco from becoming a killer.

Dumbledore appreciates Harry’s strong, unwavering heart and often lets Harry get away with things he might discipline other students for. Unsurprisingly, Dumbledore was offered and refused the position of Minister of Magic three times, because he prefers to work at Hogwarts and is clearly not enticed by promises of empty power. Unlike most members of the Wizarding community, Dumbledore will freely speak Lord Voldemort’s name. When Dumbledore is killed by Snape, his funeral is attended by students, teachers, Ministry officials, giants, merpeople, and various other human and nonhuman mourners. The diversity of the crowd speaks to Dumbledore’s welcoming, nonjudgmental nature.