Was Dumbledore Really Beedle? – A Quibble Response
Abstract: A resonse to the latest quibble of the week. Could Albus Dumbledore really have gone back in time to become Beedle the Bard? Is the theory logically sound?
The question postulated is, did Dumbledore go back in time and write the Tales of Beedle the Bard? Any answer to this would need to have two parts:
a) Did he have the ability to go back in time?
b) Why would he have done so and written the stories if he could?
To answer the first part, much is made of the time turner used by Hermione in Prisoner of Azkaban. However, even without a close analysis of the text, I’m sure I remember that the one she was using was very rare and its use was frowned upon by the Ministry of Magic. She used it for time jumps of hours and not even days. Nothing is said about the capabilities of a time-turner, but one wonders if it would have the ability to flip Dumbledore back the hundreds of years necessary to create the stories and place them in the very psyche of the wizarding world. Remember that Ron says they were part of his childhood and the inference is that they are to the wizarding world what Grimm’s Fairytales or Aesop’s Fables are to ours – the stuff of myth and legend.
And the second question – why bother – is even more nebulous. If anyone has read the whole set of stories they’ll realize that there is just one out of the five stories featured in the book that is relevant to the final Harry Potter book – “The Three Brothers.” Would Dumbledore really have taken the trouble to create a mythical set of stories out of which only one would be able to guide Harry Potter in his quest to destroy Voldemort?
Would he have been able to piece together a tale that involved an elder wand – which there is no chance he could have created – an invisibility cloak (which somehow passed on to Harry – or is it really the one that featured in the story) and a stone which rolled back life (but is definitely not the Philosopher’s Stone – and please can we have the correct title for the first book – that is featured in the first HP novel).
I have a counter-theory. I think that the Elder Wand so coveted by Voldemort had little or nothing to do with the Deathly Hallows as described in Tales. I think that Dumbledore wanted Voldemort to think that it was the all-powerful elder wand in order to drive him down a path of obsession that would lead to his downfall. I’m sure he laid traps and left clues to lure Voldemort into thinking this, even to the extent of leading Harry to think that the elder wand was the one in the story – hence leaving Hermione the book.
There is ample evidence of this. Even after Voldemort steals it from Dumbledore’s tomb, it isn’t the all-powerful wand it is meant to be. Voldemort keeps on making excuses, to the extent that he kills Severus Snape, but this leads him on to ever more reckless decisions which in the end lead to his downfall – in short it offers him no advantages.
Of course, no screen writer or novelist would include something in a story that wasn’t relevant – that’s a prime rule of – at least – screen writing, but I think it is much more likely that Dumbledore simply used the story to inspire Harry and confuse Voldemort. He didn’t create the stories – they are something of myth and legend.