The Burrow: Albus Dumbledore as the Half-Blood Prince

by David Conison

Of course, by now, everyone has a theory about who is the Half Blood Prince, the title character of J.K. Rowling’s newly announced Harry Potter book. The only tantalizing bit of information that Ms. Rowling has given us is that the Half Blood Prince is neither Lord Voldemort nor Harry (of course not Harry, for who would title a book Harry Potter and [essentially] Harry Potter?). I’ve read many articles, as well as posts, speculating who this mysterious new figure is, but Albus Dumbledore, surprisingly in my mind, seems unlikely to many, seems most likely to me.

Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore is perhaps one of the most enigmatic, yet loveable characters in the series of Harry Potter books. Yes, I hear you shout, but how does this make him the Half Blood Prince? Well, for several reasons; but first, I would like to give a little background on dear Professor Dumbledore. We first meet him in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. We overhear Minerva McGonagall say

“I know you haven’t [any reason to fear saying Voldemort]…But you’re different. Everyone knows you’re the only one You-Know-oh, all right, Voldemort, was ever frightened of.”
“You flatter me…Voldemort had powers I will never have.”
“Only because you’re too-well-noble to use them.”

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. 1st American Edition, Page 11

Later, on Harry’s first train ride to Hogwart’s, we read Dumbledore’s Chocolate Frog card, which says:

“Considered by many the greatest wizard of modern times, Dumbledore is particularly famous for his defeat of the dark wizard Grindelwald in 1945, for the discovery of the twelve uses of dragon’s blood, and his work on alchemy with his partner, Nicolas Flamel. Professor Dumbledore enjoys chamber music and tenpin bowling”

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. 1st American Edition, Page 103

Right, so even in the first hundred or so pages of the first book we know a few things about Dumbledore: 1) He is immensely powerful, perhaps more so than Lord Voldemort. 2) He is rather peculiar and 3) he is relatively famous. However, as the series progresses, that remains almost all we know about him! Why do we know so little about a seemingly very important character? JK Rowling leaves all sorts of unsolved mysteries about Dumbledore dangling throughout the series For example, where does he go during Chamber of Secrets and how does showing loyalty to him summon Fawkes? Also, Where does Dumbledore go into hiding during Order of the Phoenix and what does he do besides head the Order? I believe in Book 6, we will find out just how powerful Albus Dumbledore is, what he does for the Order, where he goes, etc. JK Rowling, I don’t believe, would put in a character like this without explaining it later. Furthermore, she said it was neither Voldemort nor Harry, which leaves only one really powerful wizard left-Dumbledore. I believe Dumbledore will be the Half Blood Prince and play a pivotal role in the second to last book.

In my final argument, we must examine the title itself – Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Half Blood Prince can be taken many ways. Prince, however, does not have to be taken literally. Here is the Webster’s definition of a prince. Pay particular attention to the fourth entry:

1a: Monarch; King
1b: The ruler of a principality or state
2: A male member of a royal family
3: A nobleman of varying rank or status
4: A person of high rank or of high standing in his class or profession
Connotations: Knight, King, Champion, Hero, Valiance , Bravery, etc.

Notice in the fourth entry speaks of a person of high standing in his profession; a well respected headmaster, for example. The connotations themselves speak of a Champion, a heroic person and the like. Remember in Goblet of Fire this quote by the newly resurrected Voldemort:

“[about why his Deatheater’s did not return] And I answered myself, perhaps they believed a still greater power could exist, one that could vanquish even Lord Voldemort…perhaps they now pay allegiance to another…perhaps that champion of commoners, of Mudbloods and Muggles, Albus Dumbledore?”

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, First American Edition Page 648

Notice Voldemort’s choice of words? That’s right, a champion of Mudbloods (half-bloods). One as, if not more, powerful than Lord Voldemort. One who is a knight, a prince for the common-folk of the wizarding world. One who can help Harry Potter, who can fight evil, and perhaps even sacrifice himself for the good of the people. A Half Blood Prince