‘Harry Potter’: Is Albus Dumbledore A Good Parental Figure?

The Harry Potter series is known for many things: Harry’s lightning bolt scar, his fights with Voldemort, and the death of his parents. Because of this tragic loss, Harry spends a lot of time searching for parental figures. One of the parental figures that Harry finds is Albus Dumbledore.

Albus Dumbledore is known, within the world of Harry Potter and outside of it, for his wisdom. Yet is he a good parental figure? Find out, ahead.

Michael Gambon (Albus Dumbledore) of Harry Potter
Michael Gambon (Albus Dumbledore) at the premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 | Ferdaus Shamim/WireImage/Getty Images

Who is Albus Dumbledore in ‘Harry Potter’?

Albus Dumbledore is known within the world of Harry Potter for being a powerful and respected wizard. He is famous for his defeat of Gellert Grindelwald and led the fight against Voldemort in both the First and Second Wizarding Wars. Yet that is not how he starts out.

Albus Dumbledore is born sometime in late August in 1881 to Percival and Kendra Dumbledore. He is the couple’s first child. Later he is joined by Aberforth and Ariana. Unfortunately, Dumbledore, somewhat like Harry, suffers early losses.

His father Percival dies in Azkaban, where he went for attacking three Muggles who assaulted his daughter Ariana. She was six years old at the time. This attack left her unable to control her magic, and at the age of 14, she causes an explosion that kills her mother. Ariana herself later dies, the casualty of a duel between her two older brothers and Grindelwald.

Dumbledore’s early losses make him a better person, yet he never gets over them, especially the death of his younger sister Ariana. This would seem to suggest that Albus Dumbledore of Harry Potter is a good parental figure, as he cares deeply about those he loves. But is he? Maybe not.

Reasons why Dumbledore is a bad parental figure

Hold on, Harry Potter fans. Hear us out. Dumbledore definitely has his flaws as a parental figure. First of all, he left Harry with the Dursleys.

Though he had good reasons for doing so, the Dursleys mistreated Harry and poor Harry shouldn’t have had to go through that. Dumbledore probably could have intervened somehow, but he didn’t. Dumbledore also occasionally keeps important information from Harry, such as the fact that he is a Horcrux and needed to sacrifice himself to defeat Voldemort. Though both of these things would have been hard for Harry to deal with, he still deserved to know.

All of this would seem to suggest that Dumbledore is a bad parental figure. But is he? Perhaps not.

Reasons why Dumbledore is a good parental figure

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Albus Dumbledore of Harry Potter certainly has his flaws. However, he is overall a good person. And that is one thing that makes him a good parental figure.

Dumbledore also is always there for Harry. In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Dumbledore even defends Harry in court when Harry has to go to the Ministry of Magic for defending himself and his cousin Dudley from Dementors. Harry could have been in big trouble in this situation but luckily Dumbledore was there to get him out of it. Dumbledore also believes in and trusts Harry, which likely improves Harry’s self-esteem.

Having the most powerful person you know trust you implicitly certainly can’t hurt. Dumbledore gave Harry the confidence he needed to face Voldemort and that is very important. He also taught Harry almost everything he knew, and that definitely helped Harry defeat Voldemort in the end. Overall, Dumbledore is a good parental figure and Harry is better off for it.