The Phoenix Files: Albus Dumbledore’s Ancestry and Other Little Things

An Original Essay by Mini Kumar (ann_lupin)

(Note: All book quotes are from the UK editions.)

The reason I want to write this File (a part of Folder #2) is to address some concerns about Dumbledore that were not raised by Christopher Stephen. About Albus Dumbledore’s ancestry and some other minor hints about him given in the books, that is. Let’s analyze his names first:

Albus: Latin for “white” (can be taken as “pure,” because according to J.K.R, he is the “epitome of goodness”).

Percival: French for “pierce the veil” (The Veil of Death, anyone?). Sir Percival was part of King Arthur’s court.

Wulfric: German origin. Wulf: wolf; Ric: power, rule (compare to Beowulf). Could be a title bestowed upon him for defeating Grindelwald (Grendel?). For more information, go to the HP-Lexicon.

Brian: Four wizard names and one Muggle name, a half-blood, maybe (read: HBP).

Dumbledore: Old English for bumblebee. Jo says that Dumbledore roams around the castle, humming to himself. It could be a pun at his Animagus, looking at all the “buzzing” references.

Another interesting observation: Dolores Jane Umbridge is an anagram for “Dumbledore goes in jar.” MuggleNet’s theory is that there could be a link between Dumbledore and Rita Skeeter. But I beg to differ because I think it’s (yet) another Animagus clue.

Come back to his ancestry. As mentioned above, I think that he’s a half-blood. But being a half-blood doesn’t mean that you cannot be an heir of a very great and powerful wizard. What I am trying to suggest is that Dumbledore is the heir of Merlin, the Prince of Enchanters. I don’t know if Merlin had married someone or not; but I don’t think the Arthurian view will matter. Jo manipulates myths and legends to her liking.

Preposterous claim, some of you might say, but let’s look at the clues *clears throat significantly*:

Nothing like this man (Dumbledore) had ever been seen in Privet Drive. He was tall, thin and very old, judging by the silver of his hair and beard, which were both long enough to tuck into his belt. He was wearing long robes, a purple cloak which swept the ground and high-heeled, buckled boots. His blue eyes were light, bright and sparkling behind a pair of half-moon spectacles and his nose was very long and crooked, as though it had been broken at least twice. – PS/SS, page 12.

This “wise old wizard” image can also be applied to Merlin.

Albus Dumbledore, currently Headmaster of Hogwarts. Considered by many to be the greatest wizard of modern times, Professor 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. – Dumbledore’s Chocolate Frog Card, page 72, PS/SS.

As far as we know, Dumbledore is the only living person featured on the Chocolate Frog Cards. He also received the Order of Merlin, First Class. Now it has been reduced to an honorary title (unfortunately) given to a few non-deserving people like Lockhart, Fudge and Pettigrew. But in Merlin’s time, the Order of Merlin was an organization, which framed rules to curb the use of magic against Muggles. This reminds me of the Order of the Phoenix (the organization, that is) although it is specifically anti-Voldemort and anti-DE. This “Order” factor doesn’t look like a coincidence to me. Both of them are/were highly respected and powerful wizards.

On a related note, this is the information given on Merlin’s Famous Wizard Card:

Merlin Medieval, dates unknown, considered the greatest wizard of all times. Sometimes known as the Prince of Enchanters. Part of the court of King Arthur.

The Prince of Enchanters thing is very interesting. Maybe this is a clue suggesting that the Half-Blood Prince is the heir of Merlin and not Godric Gryffindor or his heir.