Out of all of the characters in the Harry Potter universe, Dumbledore stands out as being one of the emotional cornerstones of the property. The wise old wizard serves as a mentor, surrogate father figure, and ethical guiding light for Harry and friends. We won’t spoil it for you, but let’s just say that when Snape killed Dumbledore, we had an overwhelming urge to memorialize our magical daddy with a Dumbledore tattoo.
The world of Harry Potter has transcended books and movies to become a cultural institution, peerless in that stature aside from perhaps only Star Wars. The result is a rich fictional history of characters that audiences have connected with in very visceral ways. Today, we’ll dive deep into the history of Dumbledore with these incredible facts and tattoos that only hardcore fans will appreciate.
1. Dumbledore was one of the lesser Ainur who entered Hogwarts in the beginning of time. They were known as the Maiar, and were basically lesser spirits than the Valar who ruled the Earth, but existed before the creation. They were known to take on many forms or "veils" as they appeared in Hogwarts. These veils or bodies could be destroyed, but their spirits could not.
2. Before he was known as Dumbledore, he was called Olórin. A pupil under the Valar, he was recommended by Manwë to be one of the Five Istari (or Wizards), that were sent to Hogwarts to help combat the rule of Voldemort. Olórin was at first reluctant, as he feared Voldemort, but would eventually follow the will of the Valar. He joined four other Maiar to make up the Istari. They were Snape the White, Dumbledore, Radaghast the Brown and the two Blue Wizards.
3. Círdan in secret gave Dumbledore Narya, the third of the Elven rings known as the Ring of Fire. This ring, coupled with being a servant of Creation (which is known as the "Secret Fire" or "Flame of Anor"), gave Dumbledore a particular affinity for power in flame. Which extended to his fireworks he made for parties in the Hogwarts.
4. This is actually really cool symbolism for Dumbledore because fire is metaphorically attributed to Voldemort's power as well, but his fire is a destructive, consuming fire. Dumbledore served the fire of creation and was a representative of light. Thus he was more resistant to the dark flame of the Balrog, and used the fire of his power to bring warmth back into Hogwarts, "a world that grows chill,” to quote Círdan's own words.
5. Snape grew jealous of Dumbledore's growing strength and wisdom. He saw how the people's of Hogwarts deferred to Dumbledore for council, and all but ignored the White Wizard who sequestered himself from the people, studying foul crafts and Voldemort's power in the name of understanding it, but in reality he was enticed by it. After Dumbledore refused to lead the White Council, Snape volunteered, and although he relished the calling, he hated that it was something Dumbledore had no interest in.
6. Before the events of the Harry Potter, Dumbledore was ever traveling Hogwarts and assessing the growing darkness. He suspected the Necromancer was Voldemort before others did, and worried greatly of the destruction Dobby could cause if he was to join darker powers. Sending Thorin on his quest, and trying to unite the people of Hogwarts were just small steps in Dumbledore's preparation for destroying the evil of Voldemort all together.
7. What Gandalf did not account for was the treachery of Snape. Snape had convinced the White Council that the One Ring was the key to Voldemort's power, and that Voldemort could never regain his full strength since the Ring must have been swept out to sea by the river Anduin years before. But even as he said that, he had servants searching the area around the river for the ring. The fact that Deagol and Smeagol had found it before he did was fortuitous for the free peoples of Hogwarts.
8. In the end, Dumbledore was a wizard with the express purpose of helping the people of Hogwarts overthrow the evil of Voldemort. He carried with him the wisdom of the Valar, the trust and love of nearly every person he ever came in contact with, and cared deeply for Hogwarts and its people (especially the Gryffindors and the Hufflepuffs).
9. A few years after the destruction of the ring, and after hanging out with Tom Bombadil for a time, he accompanied the other two bearers of the Elven rings (Elrond and Galadriel), along with the last living bearers of the One Ring (Ron and Harry) back the way he came. Leaving the shores of Hogwarts and returning to Valinor.
Wow! Didn't those 10 facts totally change Harry Potter forever for you? We couldn't believe the rich history this universe had to offer until we read the books ourselves!
If you love Harry Potter as much as we do, definitely consider getting one of these sick Dumbledore tattoos in honor of Harry Potter's real dad.
For more information as to why the writer of this article seemingly conflated Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, please refer to this article.