MuggleCast | The #1 Most-Listened to Harry Potter Podcast

MuggleCast 116 Transcript (continued)

Mirror of Erised

Laura: Well, first of all what we have here is that Dumbledore saw his family in the Mirror of Erised just as Harry had and he lied about what he saw. He told Harry that he saw socks and so by doing this he was keeping a distance from Harry?

Andrew: [laughs] But is it a lie though? Like, it is so stupid that Harry's...

Eric: Well no, it's not.

Andrew: ...he is joking isn't he?

Eric: [laughs] and it is funny I guess I should not have made the first point, He lied about socks [laughs] for the discussion, but...

Laura: But, I do not think that the point here is that he was trying to distance himself from Harry but I think that it was very painful for Dumbledore to look in the mirror...

Andrew: Oh yeah.

Laura: ...and see his family there.

Andrew: Yeah.

Laura: It is probably not something that he wanted to talk about.

Jerry: Mhm.

Laura: And Harry even noted that it had been a very personal question.

Dishonesty Early On

Eric: Okay. Okay so how about then, and this is the first disappointment I had. Number two, at the end of Book one in the hospital wing, Harry asked him flat out the first question and it references later in the books, he asked why Voldemort wanted to kill him and Dumbledore does not really tell him and that really is understandable. He justified it in Book 5, was it? That Harry was too young to know of the prophecy, I am kind of okay with that but lets move on to the Book 2 events.

Laura: Really?

Eric: Yeah might be, might be. [laughs]

Laura: Well see, I am kind of surprised that you would say that because I love the way that she did it in the book think the point was to show that Dumbledore was not perfect and to take - I guess the best move that he could have taken would have been to keep Harry informed about the prophecy from the start probably. Honesty is the best policy.

Eric: Hm.

Laura: So, when you look at Dumbledore, like if that were a real life scenario that would be a huge problem but he waited five years until after Voldemort had come back and Voldemort had killed people that Harry cared about to actually tell Harry what his....

Eric: Well, wait a minute you are right. Wait a minute, he only told Harry about the prophecy after Sirius was dead.

Laura: Yeah.

Eric: So maybe there is more to be gained by this whole - Laura you are right. You bring life into my own eyes, I appreciate well...

Laura: Well, I think the point is that Dumbledore was human and made mistakes.

Eric: Yeah.

Laura: And his mistake was he cared too much. And he did not want to worry Harry. So...

Eric: In this main discussion I do not want to just say that Dumbledore is a flawed character. I agree with that. I am sure we all agree with that now. I want to determine that Dumbledore was, not sinister but seriously flawed. Beyond the sort the compassion of an old man. Some of this stuff as the title or the ex-title says, "Harry was raised like a pig for slaughter." Dumbledore just basically focused all of his attention to Voldemort and that is all Harry could think about and often times ignored Harry and treated him "questionably."

Back to the Mirror

Andrew: Yeah. I sort of want to - are we going to go to all these points and try to defend Dumbledore too? Because, for the first point I sort of want to stick up for Dumbledore and say that Harry was too young at the end of Sorcerer's Stone when they were looking into the Mirror of Erised. I think that one is excusable, you cannot go into details with Harry at that point.

Eric: Well, Dumbledore could have warmed up to him and said, "You know I see my family too. We come from similar families and I know what it is like to lose a brother too." You know? He could have, you know, lose a...

Andrew: "And, that is that."

Eric: They could have said that.

Andrew: "Tell you more six years from now."

Laura: Yeah, but also think about the student-teacher relationship.

Eric: Yeah.

Laura: And I mean...

Andrew: You have to keep the distance.

Laura: ...obviously that changed a lot as the books went on as things got more serious, but I am sure at that point Dumbledore was thinking about protecting Harry by not becoming overly-involved in his life because what else could to do to Harry Potter to make Voldemort want to kill him more.

Eric: Yeah.

Laura: ...than being best friends with Dumbledore.

Eric: That is true.

Jerry: Well, I think we can safely say though, that even if Dumbledore hadn't talked to Harry about [break in audio] and Dumbledore visits the young Tom Riddle in the orphanage in that scene, and Tom Riddle asks him if Dumbledore is going to keep and eye on him, and Dumbledore says, "Of course." I'm sure Tom Riddle didn't know most of the time that Dumbledore was thinking about him, but I'm sure he was.

Laura: Yeah, that's true.

Eric: Good point, Jerry.

Asking For Answers in Book 2

Andrew: In Book 2, Dumbledore does not confide in Harry, but instead asks Harry to confide in him to guilt Harry to be entirely open with him.

Laura: What are you talking about?

Andrew: Yeah, what are you talking about?

Eric: Do you remember the scene, well at least in the movie, where Dumbledore asks Harry, "Do you have anything you wish to tell me?" And Harry really feels guilty that he is not telling Dumbledore about the voices he is hearing in the corridores.

Jerry: Yeah.

Andrew: Oh yeah.

Laura: Right, yeah, that was in the book.

Andrew: Did that happen in the book?

Eric: It's in the book as well.

Laura: Yeah, I think so.

Eric: It seems that Harry only found out that the Chamber was openned through Dobby, through Collin Crevey in the hospital wing that night, and maybe it was Dumbledore's intentional wording to say that the Chamber of Secrets has been openned again, but it just seems like sort of an off hand thing where Dumbledore lets Harry get up to his own stuff, but then when it comes time and Harry actually does find the culprit, as he tends to do, it just seems like Dumbledore is like, "Well have a way at it, Harry." You know? And he just let's Harry deal with everything, and it is one thing to let Harry be free, but Dumbledore really could have invested a little bit more time in not only just talking to Harry, but Dumbledore could have had a bigger presence in the outcome of Book 2, I think. Not that Harry needed him there, because he did fine on his own, but I think it would have been a lot less dangerous for a 12-year old in the Chamber of Secrets with a basalisk if Dumbledore was on his side. We see this great scene in Book 6 where he says, "I am with you Harry," and there is this whole Dumbledore-Harry thing. I am saying that could have happened as early as Book 2. If anything, Dumbledore the headmaster of the school, knowing so much about the school and sort of leaving Harry to his own accord with Hermoine Granger who thank god wasn't killed, but petrified searching the library and finding out what the creature was. I'm saying Dumbledore could have had a little bit more of a hand in that, don't you guys think?

Andrew: I guess so.

Laura: So, you're basically you are saying that Dumbledore should have been more involved in the investigation that the trio was doing in the Chamber?

Eric: In Book 2 it's interesting how Dumbledore behaves, because of all the uh - when Fawks bursts into flames and Harry get's sent to his office after the Justin Finch-Fletchly incident, he basically says, "I don't suspect you, but I'd like you to tell me everything you know." That's like sucking Harry dry for information and not giving any in return in a way. I mean...

Laura: Well...

Eric: ...he gets his concent sort of thing where he is like, "I am not going to convict you, blah, blah, blah," but it just seems like there is some part of Dumbledore that is never fully explained about why he doesn't really care as such. He has his own headmaster duties to attend to I'm sure, but if the whole thing is about preparing for Voldemort, Dumbledore could have been doing it a lot earlier than he was. Maybe that is a character flaw.

Andrew: I think if Dumbledore were to get involved with the trio's discovery of the Chamber of Secrets and learning more about it, I think he would have been either too afraid to give them too much information or just he didn't want to help them, because again the student-teacher relationship, helping them get into the Chamber of Secrets and discover it, he would - what's the wor for it?

Eric: I'm not saying he could help them, I'm saying he could...

Andrew: He would approve of it.

Eric: I'm saying he could prevent them. He could find it first or something. In a way, Dumbledore might not have known that Harry could speak parseltongue until at least the event at the dueling club, but I think that it just would make sense, even in the myth and the lore of the Chamber - a monster that only the heir of Slytherin could control, Dumbledore knew by this point that Voldemort was the heir of Slytherin or the current heir of Slytherin or highly suspected him or something, and there should just have been a little more caution taken by Dumbledore. We don't know what steps Dumbledore took in the school. The school was facing closure.

Jerry: Mhm.

Eric: Dumbledore himself was expelled, in what? You didn't hear it in Two? As early as Year 2, it seems like there is merrit in all of these things that the Ministry is saying. I mean all these attacks and Dumbledore is just sitting there.

Andrew: Yeah...

Laura: I just can't help but wonder what else he could do. I just don't feel like that even if he were willing to help the trio find the Chamber, I don't think that they would have confided that in him.

Eric: I don't think that they - and that's fair enough. He did ask Harry to confide in him. Harry said "no," and that's a lie. You are right in a way, but additionally, Dumbledore could find the cave, and know what you had to do to open the cave, terrific, how to pull the boat even though you can't see the chain, and that's not enough. He's not a Parseltongue. I do think, it just seems that Harry, Dumbeldore lets Harry do his discovering all year, but it just doesn't seem very wise as a parental figure or as the headmaster of a school to let your students go in danger without first knowing the extent of it yourself is quite dangerous, and no matter what Dumbledore says about wanting to give Harry a fighting chance, it just doesn't seem all that practical.

Jerry: I guess what you have to...

Andrew: Maybe Dumbledore... Yeah?

Jerry: I guess what you have to say is that looking past the actual characters themselves, if Dumbledore had all the answers and helped Harry along it wouldn't have been a very good book, would it? It would be hardly any character development and there would be hardly any story.

Laura: That's the thing.

Eric: Oh Jerry! Don't tell me it wouldn't have made a good book!

[Jerry laughs]

Eric: It would have made a great book.

Jerry: It would have been a lot shorter.

Andrew: Maybe Dumbledore would have stepped in if he had realized they weren't doing what had to be done. Or maybe he was keeping an eye on them and checking in to see what they were up to. And plus, he needs to let Harry do these things on his own so that he can be prepared for fighting Voldemort in the end.

Eric: That is exactly what we are talking about, Andrew.

Andrew: What?

Eric: We are talking about raising Harry as a pig for the slaughter, so is Dumbledore or isn't Dumbledore doing that?

Andrew: Dumbledore...

Jerry: I think if he was raising him as a pig for the slaughter, he wouldn't have done anything to help him, not anything.If he wanted to...

Eric: Why not?

Jerry: ...he would have stopped adventuring because all that stuff, built up his courage and the scars. Dumbledore would have wanted to raise him as a placid pig.

Harry "The Fighter" Serves Everyone's Best Interest

Eric: Well why not? It's in everybody's best interest that Harry is a trained fighter. It's in everybody's best interest that I'm just taking an interesting stand point here, or trying to. [laughs]

Laura: Right. Well, the question is then, did Dumbledore know that Harry wouldn't die, because if he knew that Harry wasn't going to die, then he knew that he wasn't raising him as a pig for the slaughter. Snape just thought he was. See what I'm saying?

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Well, I don't think that he thought he really was going to die, but at the same time you bring up a fair point about...

Laura: Well I think there was though.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Knowing that the blood relation or whatever since Voldemort shared Harry's blood, it tied him too the earth, etc. The thing is and I don't think you guys, I mean maybe you guys picked this up, but Dumbledore told Harry he had a choice whether or not he was actually dead at the scene. He could choose to have died at that very moment or he could chosen to go back and feign death for a little bit and then defeat Voldemort, and Harry did choose life which is a great big thing about choices, but because of the ambiguity or because of the choice Harry had to die or to live I still consider that moment as Harry's death in a way. I mean your heart can stop beating and it can still start up again. You know what I'm saying? So, I choose to believe that Harry did die when that happened, and it's simply that, you know, he chose to come back and he was able to like Neo - like Neo, you know in the Matrix? But, you know - but I choose to believe he died, and I also choose to believe death was a necessary part of the thing for Harry. That's my chain of reasoning for that, and even though he did come back.

Andrew: Mhm.

Eric: I would like to think that Harry did die, and that's why - that's where the fuel is coming saying the inevitability of Harry's death makes him being raised by Dumbledore.

Laura: Well, see, I don't think he died, though. Because...

Andrew: He died. Jo said this herself, I think.

Laura: Well...

Eric: There are points where Harry's scar hurts so much that he thinks he's going to blank out. That's almost dying, or that's almost passing out.

Andrew: All right.

Laura: Yeah, that's kind of far away from dying.

Jerry: Well, I think you can say that part of the soul that's living inside him died, and perhaps that's what allowed him to experience that...

Andrew: Yeah.

Jerry: ...near-death experience.

Andrew: That was it, wasn't it?

Laura: Yeah, but it was a near-death - see, I don't...

Eric: But, you see, he's come so close to near-death, is all I'm saying. I want something to make this special in my mind, because he's gone - Harry's gone so close to near-death. He's head has been splitting in two, he's been possessed, he's this and that, and the other thing, and it's just - that's why I just pass it off as this was a death of Harry's. I mean it was Harry's death even if...

Laura: But see...

Eric: Even if he was faking it the entire time, and maintaining consciousness. It was a death of Harry's, as far as many people are concerned.

Laura: I think the important concept here isn't necessarily his death, but his willingness to die for those people at Hogwarts, because it wasn't - I mean, yes, Lily's death was that act that actually gave Harry the blood protection, but it was her willingness behind it, her absolutely laying her life down, with no questions, that gave Harry that protection, and I think Harry having that same willingness for the people at Hogwarts is really what is important.

Andrew: Yeah.

Laura: And that's what protected them, not that he died.

Eric: Did he have this willingness, or that Dumbledore...

Laura: Yes, he...

Eric: Dumbledore himself was dead.

Laura: He walks to his death.

Eric: Everybody else was dead, you know, Harry had nothing to live for in his own mind. And please don't write in - please, he's not saying he had nothing to live for.

Laura: Wait a second. Ginny, Ron, Hermione, the Weasley's minus Fred, they were still all alive.

Eric: I was just proven wrong. I just - I stand corrected.

Jerry: You could have just said Ron.

Eric: Well, Dumbledore himself - I'm saying this could all be an affect of what Dumbledore bestowed in Harry. You know what I'm saying? That's - that again is the point of the main discussion. I'm saying that all of these thoughts could just be Dumbledore's inside Harry, and was it moral for Dumbledore to do this to Harry, to make him, you know, not value himself over anybody else, and, you know what? Maybe that's a trait Harry already had.

Did Dumbledore Brainwash Harry?

Jerry: Are you saying that effectively, Dumbledore brainwashed him?

Andrew: Yeah, he sort of did.

Eric: Well, did he - did he? That's the question. Did he is the very question and we should just continue this, because we got a lot to get through, but I'll skip it. I'll skip it.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: I mean, because...

Andrew: Well, okay, let's talk about brainwashing real quick. I don't - I don't think he brainwashed him, because he wasn't really giving him anything.

Laura: Yeah, exactly.

Andrew: He was brainwashing in the sense that - well, okay, no. He just wasn't brainwashing him. He...

Jerry: He was more like conditioning him.

Andrew: He was fooling him.

Eric: Well, hy didn't he tell him...

Laura: He constantly - he constantly gave Harry a choice.

Jerry: Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: A choice? Was that really wise, then? To give Harry a choice all the time if - I mean, if...

Andrew: Yeah, because I think this is all part of his training.

Laura: Yes. This is all part of his training to become, you know, to be able to fight Voldemort.

Eric: I still think it's like - I just think it's like giving Harry choices like faking giving him a choice, because he didn't have a choice, did he? He couldn't walk away, because Voldemort would always look for Harry. Harry would never be safe. Him and his loved ones, it's a Spiderman effect. He wouldn't...

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: I think he did always allow Harry to go out there and do these things - do all these battles, you know, and in the Chamber of Secrets, in the maze, eventually going to fight Voldemort. But I think that Dumbledore was keeping a close eye on him and was willing and ready to step in if he was ever needed. I mean, you know, like look at Fawkes coming in, in Chamber of Secrets.

Jerry: Hmmm.

Laura: Yeah.

Jerry: He was definitely keeping - I mean we view the events in the book through Harry's perspective, don't we? And it's quite clear that Dumbledore's keeping a closer eye on Harry than Harry ever realized himself, and therefore, we're kept in the dark about it too.

Andrew: Mhm.

Eric: But is that - is that moral? I'm not going to ask that question again, I'm just going to - that's good though. That's good. I mean, just let's - let's just keep going.

The Issues of Horcruxes

Andrew: Let's keep moving, and then we'll answer, "Is it moral?" Next point, Book 3.

Eric: Okay, at Book 2's conclusion Dumbledore gets all the evidence he needs that Voldemort has a Horcrux.

Andrew: Oh...

Eric: He said that to Harry in Book 5 or Book 6, actually. "I thought I had all the evidence right there at the end of Book 2 when you handed me the diary." But basically, besides standing up to Lucius Malfoy, he pretty much says his "please and thank yous," and goes on his jolly way. If Dumbledore had banned - and been particularly harsh about banning Horcruxes, and the knowledge of them, as Slughorn says, Dumbledore is "particularly fierce about that kind of talk, and who-ha." It seems Dumbledore would have banned them before that point in time, so Dumbledore would have banned the books on Horcruxes just after Voldemort left school, or certainly earlier. So, if - my chain of reasoning is that if Dumbledore knew enough about the sort of area that Voldemort was dipping into, ban Horcruxes and the books on Horcruxes from the school libraries, then it shouldn't have been that much of an epiphany to Dumbledore about the diary, and I don't think it was. In all of the story telling, Dumbledore was the one that brought up, you know, "I wish - why was it that Lord Voldemort chose to act through Ginny?" or something, and everybody was shocked, and because nobody had mentioned Voldemort, or Ginny, at that point before, you know what I'm saying?

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: So, it's like Dumbledore just got suspicions, and he got confirmation of suspicions. He basically relied on Harry, in Book 2, to bring him all the evidence he needs that - that Voldemort is making Horcruxes, and it doesn't seem like that's safe. I mean, again, it's Hogwarts...

Andrew: I'm just going to keep on going back to this training thing, because, like, you know, okay, it could come across like Dumbledore's having Harry do all his dirty work, so to speak, but then Dumbledore's also doing some dirty work on his own.

Jerry: Mhm.

Andrew: We just don't really ever hear about it. I mean, like, in Half-Blood Prince, in Order of the Phoenix, we know he's doing dirty work, we hear that - we hear that he's up to something, but we don't know what.

Eric: At least then Harry's 15. We're talking about when he's 12. You know, it's like the thing. Okay, just like the thing where originally people were saying, "Could 11-year olds find the Sorcerer's Stone?" Could they, or did Dumbledore want them to? I mean, I think it was an honest mistake that Dumbledore was in London that day, but he did come back and presumably, he actually did save Harry at the end of the first book. Presumably there was some kind of interference with what was left of Quirrell writhing, or whatever.

Laura: Yeah.

Eric: And that would be a good point to bring up in this discussion. But just... Hmmm...

Laura: I think - I think something important to remember, though, is that would Dumbledore put such a high amount of responsibility on any 11-year old's shoulders? No, he wouldn't. The reason that Harry is different is because Harry had a full-grown wizard mark him as his equal when he was an infant.

Eric: Well...

Andrew: Mhm.

Laura: So, automatically, that puts him a step above everyone else.

Andrew: Above everyone... Yeah.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Fair point.

Eric: But he's still a kid. He still needs love. He still needs all sorts of stuff that he hasn't had and, I mean, Dumbledore felt sorry for him. And I...

Laura: He does, but...

Allowing Harry to Participate in the Triwizard Tournament and Not Recognizing Fake Moody

Eric: I agree that Dumbledore's compassionate, but let's continue. In Book 4, the seemingly apparent will of Dumbledore to keep Harry safe, except that it's under Dumbledore's order that Harry becomes the unofficial fourth champion. Remember, the founding people of the schools - Beauxbatons and Durmstrang - are kind of pissed at Dumbledore. They think he's finagling a little bit and - and put Harry's name in, or whatever. And Dumbledore says, "Well you know, the rules of the Goblet say whoever comes out must go in the thing." Dumbledore could've kind of stopped Harry...

Laura: Actually, wasn't that Crouch who said that?

Eric: ...from going - from being the fourth tournament, from being the fourth champion, but, and this is what I wrote very biasedly, the culprit would only come out if Harry played the game and Dumbledore went all year talking to Moody without realizing that he was Barty Crouch Jr. What the heck? Don't you know your old friend? What else important was he doing Year Four? I mean, what was Dumbledore doing that made him sort of - and Harry was the fourth champion and that was, if you ask me, that was one of the best examples of using Harry as bait. And he did so, so blindly with Moody being or with Barty Crouch Jr. being right next to Dumbledore all year long. I mean, I'm not saying Dumbledore isn't a flawed character, because he is, but this - this is a serious flaw, I think.

Andrew: Well, the first point about Dumbledore ordering that Harry still be one of - still compete in the Triwizard Tournament. I mean, I just think that's Dumbledore believing that whatever Triwizard - the Goblet says should be done. Whatever...

Laura: Also...

Andrew: It was the rules.

Laura: Was it really Dumbledore that said that?

Eric: Is it the rules?

Laura: Wasn't it - wasn't it Crouch that said "These are the rules, and he has to compete"?

Eric: Maybe it was, but Dumbledore...

Jerry: I think you refer to Crouch in saying...

Andrew: Oh! Oh yeah, yeah. I think Laura's right. Yeah.

Eric: Hmmm.

Andrew: But I mean, well, then it could be argued that Dumbledore still didn't object.

Eric: And Dumbledore still didn't put...

Andrew: Dumbledore knew he was right.

Jerry: We don't know the level of the bond though, do we? It's a magical contract - we're told it's a magical contract. We don't know what the level of that is within...

Andrew: That's true. It's true.

Laura: Oh, yeah.

Eric: It's true though. Given what we've seen of Dumbledore's power, I wonder if he could not override it, but...

Andrew: Hell, Dumbledore was probably excited he got in!

Eric: Well, no, no...

Andrew: Maybe a little worried...

Eric: He was scared...

Andrew: But at the same time, he's training him.

Eric: Andrew...

Andrew: It's part of his training.

Eric: That's exactly what I'm saying though. Andrew, haven't you seen the movie? "DID YOU PUT YOUR NAME IN THE GOBLET?!" [laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, that's a Michael Gambon touch.

Jerry: Wow!

Eric: Scared for Harry. And by the way, we're skipping movie and Book 3 because I really had no complaints about Book 3 and Dumbledore. That was all right. He fixed everything with the time.

Andrew: Mhm.

Eric: nd Movie 3, I just wrote down the casting of Michael Gambon, but...

Andrew: See? See? Dumbledore had to step in. He had to step in.

Eric: Well, no. Book 3, I just argue it's still one of the best books, so I don't have a lot fo complaints about Dumbledore's behavior. At the same time, though, Dumbledore didn't object and Dumbledore - I mean, this is the Triwizard Tournament. You know, Dumbledore himself puts the age restriction that prevents Fred and George from putting their names in. I mean, Dumbledore himself protects this thing and then once Harry gets chosen, he lets him waltz right up. I mean, is that not - do I have no basis for any kind of evidence here? Any kind of argument?

Laura: I think Dumbledore was somewhat flabbergasted that Harry's name came out fo the Goblet. Like, that's - when you think about scenes that they copied almost exactly from the book onto the screen, that was one of them - where Dumbledore just sat there and stared at him.

Eric: Yeah, but it's times like those when you have to act.

Laura: How did this happen?

Eric: It's times like those when that's where you have to do these things.

Laura: Yeah, but he - he's not going to act in front of 500 students...

Eric: He did in the movie!

Laura: In the middle of the Great Hall.

Eric: He backed him up into the big trophy and started yelling at him.

Laura: No! He waited until they were somewhere private.

Jerry: Yeah.

Laura: That he didn't have to yell at him in front of everyone.

Eric: Still, in the book he was like "Okay, Harry, please just tell me you didn't put your name in the Goblet." And most mysterious is the - the personage that he adopted really. But I still think, I mean - and going all year with Moody, with Barty Crouch Jr. as Professor Moody, that is actually a character flaw. I mean, that's - that's pretty intense, I think. No matter...

Laura: Oh, he was far too trusting.

Eric: Well...

Jerry: Hm.

Laura: But that's what we've known about him all along.

Andrew: Mhm.

Eric: And that's fair enough. So now...

Andrew: Yeah.

Harry Neglected in Book 5

Eric: Book 5. We found out at the end of the book that Dumbledore didn't really want to be around Harry because he thought it might arise the dragon - the dragon that's inside Harry whenever he looks, sort of, Dumbledore in the eyes because Voldemort's looking through Harry's eyes, or even if he's not, the temptingness would draw Harry over the edge given the light of the new connection established between Harry and Voldemort. Now, but at the same time, you have to admit, when Book 5 opens, there does seem to be a serious amount of - well, a serious lack of news for Harry. He's really pissed nobody's writing to him about the slightest thing. Would it not be possible, and this is my question for Book 5, for anybody to have written in a letter and say, you know, "Harry, I suspect Voldemort can see into your mind and, therefore, it would be dangerous for me to contact you."? A simple explanation like that...

Laura: Well...

Jerry: That would freak him the hell out though, wouldn't it?

Eric: And again, and again, that's about - I can see a response about letting Voldemort know how much you know, but I'm trying to see if there's any kind of thing that could be done about Harry's ignorance because nobody was telling him and it was really not making matters worse or better for anyone that Harry was left in the dark.

Andrew: I agree with that. Laura, were you going to bring up a point?

Laura: Well, I was going to say that if you send Harry a letter that explicitly says, "Hey, by the way, I think Voldemort can see in your mind, so I'm not going to talk to you"...

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Is that any more awkward that any of the questions he would have had to face later?

Laura: If Voldemort...

Eric: I mean...

Laura: Well, it's not a matter - it's not a matter of awkwardness. It's a matter of if Voldemort could see into Harry's mind at that point and realize what the letter said...

Eric: Yeah. He would realize the connection himself.

Laura: Then that would be - that would be a problem. And he would have realized the connection much earlier in the book.

Andrew: Mhm.

Eric: And it was just speculation, but I think Dumbledore should have included Occlumency way before the attack on Arthur Weasley. But I mean then, one would - one would argue that he wouldn't...

Laura: Oh, yeah. Oh, definitely.

Eric: Have seen the attack on Arthur Weasley and that would be a big plot point and Weasley would have died and Tonks and Remus would be with their happy child .

Andrew: Exactly.

Jerry: There would be lots of happy rainbows and sunshine.

Eric: But, yeah...

Andrew: Well, wait, wait, wait. I mean, Jo was planning on killing Arthur anyway. So maybe he was going to give him the lessons beforehand in, like, the original - one of the original layouts for the book.

Laura: Yeah.

Eric: Well, no. I think for the plot of the book, I don't think he was going to give him lessons. I'm saying, assuming, and this is the whole thing, I guess, accepting that the books - accepting the books as books is one thing, but if you want to take them into a world and say "Was it really moral to do this?" Of course, it's how the book is written. Of course, these are all plot points. Of course, the books had to be written that way. They were, but was Dumbledore a moral character for that? I mean, now it's time to, sort of, suffer, in a way, as J.K.R. has written him, was it actually a bad idea to do what Dumbledore did? You know, no one agrees - no one disagrees rather that if the books were different...

Laura: Well...

Eric: If Dumbledore was different, the books would be completely different. That's fine, but, you know, further.

Harry: The Sacrificial Lamb

Laura: Yeah. So you're looking at this like a real world approach, like, is it morally acceptable to raise one person as a pig for slaughter for the benefit of the overall community. That's the question you're asking, correct?

Eric: Yes, and, I mean, because the thing is I don't think it's too unrealistic to make this a real world scenario only because...

Laura: No, I understand.

Eric: ...the children reading this book are going to try and take or parents are going to try and take morals. Or, you know, people always argue in essays on Harry Potter, you know, the book has so many good themes and so many good - you know? I'm just trying to pre-empt anything that people might take out of these books. And I mean, I think one of the best ways to do that is starting with Dumbledore. I mean, our hero, the wizard - the aged wizard, the genre specific old wizard, wizened old man.

Laura: Right, and I think that's a good question to ask. But I think the difference that comes in and makes what Dumbledore is doing acceptable to a point. I'm not saying that everything he did was right, because he certainly made a lot of mistakes. But, Harry also had that moral obligation to do what he did and I think that regardless of whether or not Dumbledore chose to help him, Harry would have tried to defeat Voldemort anyway. So, it was just to Harry's benefit that Dumbledore decided he also had an obligation to help Harry, or to train Harry to defeat Voldemort.

Eric: So, do you reckon that Dumbledore was simply, you know, kind of, making sure that Harry was in an environment where he wouldn't get too far in danger? Do you think that Harry was, I mean, do you think that Dumbledore was yeah.

Laura: I think Dumbledore knew Harry was going to be in extreme danger. I don't think that he was blind to that. But I think he also wanted to foster an environment in which Harry would be able to flourish, in a way.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah.

Laura: You know, to be able to find out, to test his strengths.

What if Harry Relied Too Much on Dumbledore?

Andrew: Yeah. I mean, Eric, just imagine if Dumbledore was helping him through all this. Where would he have been when Dumbledore died? After Dumbledore died? He would have been lost, he would have been too reliant, he would have been looking for Dumbledore's help and advice.

Jerry: That's a fair point.

Eric: Are you actually going to make that argument?

Andrew: He would crash and burn.

Eric: Are you actually going to make that argument, Andrew?

Andrew: What? Which one? Which part?

Eric: Because Harry still relied on Dumbledore. After Dumbledore's death...

Laura: Yeah, so imagine how bad it would have been.

Andrew: Yeah, exactly

Eric: After Dumbledore's death - no, but you made the opposite point. You said that if he didn't rely on him, then he would be in trouble, but he's - you think, or you said, in your point, that Harry learning to cope on his own was essential, because, if he hadn't learned to cope on his own...

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Yeah, that's what you said.

Andrew: Right.

Eric: But Dumbledore's will and everything left all of the pieces of the clues of J.K. Rowling's book series.

Andrew: But that's exactly what they but they needed those things. There was no other way they were going to get those items.

Eric: Right, but then it's not a case of Harry learning to defend himself; it's a case of Dumbledore fostering Harry, which is the whole point. Was it right to do that?

Andrew: That was very...

Eric: Or...

Andrew: That was a very small part of it. I mean, I'm not saying Dumbledore shouldn't help them out a little bit. He should, especially when they absolutely need it. But when they don't absolutely need it, which was proven through of the several books.

Eric: When was it proven that they don't actually need it? I mean...

Andrew: Well, they went through, they successfully unlocked the Chamber of Secrets on their own.

Eric: Well...

Andrew: Dumbledore Harry successfully fought Voldemort in Goblet of Fire.

Eric: Uh-huh.

Laura: He warded off hundreds of dementors on his own.

Eric: Well, that's...

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Actually arguable.

Andrew: He created a Patronus...

Eric: Only because of the time loop...

Andrew: ...with the help of Lupin.

Eric: It's already happened. The whole thing is somebody would have had to originally ward off the dementors, because Harry saying Harry saw himself in a time loop means that there would have eventually had to be a first one. That's just a paradox. I mean, I'm willing to just agree with you guys, but at the same time, some people agree that Dumbledore would have had to sort of mess with time and be the original person Harry saw, or something. And meanwhile, if J.K. Rowling ever felt the need to explain it, she could say that Dumbledore used Polyjuice Potion to turn into Harry to make him see himself. But...

Jerry: No. That's a very weak argument. Physics doesn't state that there has to be a first case.

Laura: Yeah.

Jerry: It's a recurring loop because there's two events that go around and around and around.

Eric: Yeah.

Jerry: I mean, he's just seeing a point in the future. He isn't seeing a first person do it and then do it again and do it again.

Eric: Well, that's a question fair enough. Just, the whole will and testament and everything about Beedle the Bard and just the fact that Hermione could say, "Accio Horcrux books" and have them fly right to her, it just seems so flawed in a Dumbledorian sense, and I'm...

Andrew: When did she ever do Accio Horcrux?

Eric: That's what she said. That's how she got every single book on how to do a Horcrux.

Andrew: Oh, she did, didn't she?

Eric: Yeah, she did. She said, "Accio Horcrux."

Laura: But what does that have to do with Dumbledore?

Andrew: Yeah, that doesn't really relate to Dumbledore.

Eric: I know.

Andrew: That is one of those loopholes. I think we've said on the show a couple of times, why can't you just accio everything?

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Why can't you accio Voldemort?

Eric: People were accio-ing me when they want to talk to me in the chat. I feel like some kind of celebrity of something and don't know why. But...

Andrew: Yeah, I get accio-ed all the time.

Eric: Yeah, you get accio-ed a lot too, Andrew. Accio Andrew. But, anyway. [laughs] But it has to do with Dumbledore, because I'm just trying to see well, okay. If Dumbledore was going to do it he should do it right and if Dumbledore, I mean, sure, he has flaws, but is Dumbledore raising Harry for, I mean, that's I don't know that I've presented the right scenarios to attack the problem correctly. Maybe a listener, maybe Muggl eMail can help. But, I mean...

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah.

Eric: I'm trying to just bring up this. It's still a matter of what Dumbledore did and didn't do.

Andrew: Well...

Eric: And, yeah.

Andrew: Let's keep moving...

Eric: Let's keep chugging along.

Andrew: ...through the rest of the books.

Dumbledore Misleads Harry at the End of Book 5

Eric: In, we're right here now. In, okay. At the end of Book 5, just quickly, "I'm going to tell you everything." Now I've written this, I've written this specifically. This is the most self-conscious we're going to get, or self-aware. Maybe that's just the fault It's a book series, constantly evolving, so, maybe it's not that much of an issue that Dumbledore said he was going to tell Harry quote quote everything, and then obviously there was more to follow that had to be spread across Books 6 and 7. So I'm saying, maybe that's not that much of a complaint, but it's still in my mind a complaint that...

Andrew: It is misleading.

Eric: It is misleading.

Andrew: I mean, it was misleading to us, too. Especially when Scholastic used that as a teaser for what was coming in the book.

Laura: Oh yeah, that was kind of...

Andrew: That...

Laura: Mean the way they did that.

Andrew: I don't think I've ever been excited in my, been more excited in my whole life. I was like, "Everything. Everything, Dumbledore?"

Eric: Really? Huh? You know?

Andrew: Yeah. Yeah. Wha? I'm saving my "Huh?" for something later.

Eric: Sorry, sorry. I didn't want to pre-empt your "Huh?"

Andrew: It's got to build up.

Laura: I really, whenever I saw that advertised, I didn't think that we would learn everything just because we saw...

Eric: No, but a damn fair amount more than we did.

Laura: Well, I don't know, I think we learned a lot.

Andrew: We did, but it wasn't everything.

Laura: The prophecy is a lot of information.

Jerry: I think also, being very dedicated fans we got a completely different concept of what the word "everything" means, as well.

Eric: It's true. I mean, I guess. I guess, it's true.

Andrew: Mhm.

Laura: I think, I think...

Eric: But that's the world J.K.R. fosters, so she should know how to deal with it and explain everything in it.

Jerry: Mhm.

Andrew: Yeah.

Laura: I think that by everything he meant I'm going to tell you what your destiny is, by the way.

Eric: Well...

Laura: Like, I'm going to tell you that either you have to die or Voldemort has to die.

Andrew: So, why didn't he say that?

Laura: What?

Jerry: I'll tell you everything about this.

Andrew: Why didn't he say that?

Eric: Then instead of saying I'll tell you everything I mean, okay, he told them that a prophecy was made. He showed him the memory of the prophecy being made by Trelawney. Okay, so that shows "oooh..."

Andrew: I guess it was everything crucial at that time.

Eric: Do you think, though? I mean...

Andrew: Yeah. The prophecy stuff is what mattered...

Eric: True, I guess.

Andrew: Order of the Phoenix.

Eric: But he didn't tell him it was Snape that found out. But then again, that would have just worked for Harry to hate Snape, which was not a good idea, considering Snape was a good guy.

Laura: And he also promised Snape that he wouldn't tell.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: See? Now Eric's learning. Eric's learning.

Jerry: It's definitely a case of pertinence, isn't it? He's only telling him what's relevant, really. What he needs to know.

Eric: What he needs to know. Well, it was hardly everything. And maybe that's just a fault of Dumbledore's - character flaw.

Andrew: Well, anyway, we said we were going to keep that point short. So, let's go to the next one.

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