Friday, September 28, 2012

The face of evil had an enormous beard ... who knew...

I love Harry Potter.  It's like the great equaliser.  No matter who you are, or what walk of life you're from, you've probably got at least a passing knowledge of the stories.  I can go up to anyone, even if I haven't met them before, and ask them, "Which did you prefer, Prisoner of Azkaban or Goblet of Fire", and wham, I've made a new best friend as we discuss the pros and cons of Sirius Black versus Cedric Diggory.  But there's a point about these books that I find myself constantly disagreeing with everyone else. 

In my opinion, the Harry Potter novels have the most vile bad guy in them of all time.

I know what you're thinking.  You're wondering why this is such a scandalous thing for me to believe.  After all, I'd hardly be the only one in the world to believe that Lord Voldemort was with worst of the worst.  Ah, but therein lies the rub!  You see, I DON'T think Voldemort is the worst of villians.

In fact, I'd have to say that as far as bad guys go, he's pretty pedestrian.  Sure, he likes to kill people, and sure, he's out for world domination, but that's fairly standard when it comes to that demographic.  Lets be honest, if he didn't have at least one of these goals in his resume, we'd think him a pretty crap evil dude.  Even so, there's another character in Harry Potter who I think was much, much worse than old Mouldyshorts.

Albus Dumbledore.

Is this the face of evil?
Now, before you start getting all twitterpated and asking me what in tarnation I think I'm doing, accusing one of the greatest wizards of our age of being evil, I'd like you to think for a few minutes on his actions over the course of the books.  Hell, over the course of Harry's whole life!  The man has been ... shall we say a little negligent?

Lets look at the facts, hmm?  Dumbledore takes a baby whose just been orphaned and, knowing full well that he'll be at best neglected, at worst abused, leaves him on the doorstep of his magic-phobic Aunt and Uncle.  He does this not because he thinks that they'll take care of the baby, but because he knows he can build blood wards around the house and he wants to keep the baby alive.  Again, not out of any love for the kid, but because he knows that Mouldyshorts isn't really dead and he's going to need that kid sometime in the future.  After all, you've got to protect your assets.

Then he leaves the boy there for ten years, not once seeming to notice or care that the kid is growing up in an emotionally abusive household where he's treated like he doesn't matter at all.  In fact, I'd even go so far as to assume that was his intention all along.  After all, we all know how this story ends.  If you're grooming a kid to be willing to kill themselves on demand, you'd better make damned sure they think they're worth less than everyone else or they might just up and refuse when the time comes.

Then, when the boy turns eleven, you whisk him off to the world of witches and wizards.  Make sure he's overwhelmed with the thrill of it all and showered with friendship and admiration.  But don't forget to stick him back in that hell hole every Summer so he can be well and truly squashed again before you swoop back in and release him just before the start of the new school year.  After all, you want him to feel pathetically grateful, all the better for making sure he'll be a good sacrificial lamb when the time comes.

Lather, rinse, repeat at least seven times.

Oh, and don't forget during those seven years to turn a blind eye to glaringly dangerous situations that crop up in the castle.  In fact, why not prod the kid in their direction and see how he holds up.  Best way to see how he's coming along, and who cares if you endanger hundreds of other kids in the process.  After all, it's all for the greater good.

And it doesn't hurt if you show the kid a little familial affection.  Be the doting grandparent he never had.  Hell, he's never had any parental care, so he'll lap it up.  By the end of it, he'll be willing to do anything you say is necessary, even if that's walking in front of a loaded wand.

Then at the end of all that you should have a well trained human sacrifice, willing to march himself out and offer himself up because, after all, he loves these people, and it's not like he's worth a damn to anyone.

Oh yeah, Dumbledore's a real prince.

45 comments:

  1. Interesting, I've never heard such a critique of old Dumbly-dorr. He always was a little eccentric, on the verge of straight up loony. But you're right, he did seem to treat Harry like a bit of a commodity. Maybe that's why he had to have such a dramatic death, give him more of a "hero's" moment to improve his standings.

    So, nitwit, oddment, blubber, tweak!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always found him a bit questionable. Just his attitude that Harry had to suffer, regardless of whether he could prevent it or not, always felt off to me.

      Delete
  2. hahaha, never had read anything close to this about harry potter.
    Tom Marvolo Riddle was brought up in orphanage, he didnt turn out good so this Dumbledore had to experiment with muggle aunt-uncles. He isnt legally entitled to the kid and he is gay, come on, even in wizard world they are outcasts.
    He didnt want to deal with all lawsuits from muggles if he had kidnapped the kid.
    Look at me, playing devil's advocate for a wizard. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! You could even assume that he did, in fact, kidnap Harry! He took him straight from his blown up house to his aunt and uncle. Where was social services? Where was checking the parents will to see where they wanted him to go. Hmm, very fishy.

      Delete
  3. I'm with you. Dumbledore was a jerk from the very beginning. Never liked him or trusted him. Does it kind of concern you that we have such strong feelings about a character in a YA book?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not at all! I think everyone should have strong feelings about Harry Potter characters.

      Delete
  4. He did make some highly suspicious decisions regarding Harry...I don't know if I would classify him as the *most* vile bad guy of all time, but he's a pretty vile good guy.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I always hated that Harry had to always go back to the dreadful aunt and uncle, and the terrible Dudley. Your point is very well-taken.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! My goal is to pull the curtain back on Dumbledore and show him as the villian that he was!

      Delete
  6. You better be careful, wasn't Dumbledore outed as the gay character? You could be accused of homophobia.
    Also, I got your package yesterday. Fun times are being had with Billy Shakes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He got there safe? Great! Can't wait to hear about your adventures!

      Delete
  7. Ummmm... So I've never watched any of the movies or read any of the books... ::gasps:: I know. I've toyed with the idea of picking it up, but I haven't.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Holy crap! How have you managed that one? It's like saying you've never seen Star Wars!

      Delete
  8. I never thought of it that way. I did think it was mean that Harry was groomed to die, though. Even though by dying he saved mankind from being under Voldemort's rule. And, he DID come back to life. I don't think Dumbledore is a bad guy, but I DO think Snape is a true hero. It is a little weird to talk about these books/movies like this! I sound like a 12 year old!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think sounding like a 12 year old is the only way to talk about these books. Embrace your inner tween!

      Delete
  9. THANK YOU. I've been thinking of that for years!!! At last! Reason! :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for your sweet words! Halloween is such a big deal here and the funnest time for kids.

    ReplyDelete
  11. oh ...and yes his chubby cheeks a great to give him sweet little nibble-ee kisses on.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have also heard that he doesn't have an exotic animals handler permit yet he keeps a phoenix in his office. On school grounds!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The very nerve of him! Next thing you'll be telling me he keeps a three headed dog without making sure it's properly leashed and muzzled!

      Delete
  13. Hehe, as a long time reader of Harry Potter fanfiction (as well as the books) I will say that a lot of fanfiction authors go into this train of reasoning in great detail. No matter what way you look at it, Dumbledore can't really be considered the "good guy" in any way, shape or form. You've got to wonder how Harry Potter came out the way he did considering his emotional and physical upbriging.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He had the right to be a lot more screwed up than he was, I think.

      Delete
  14. I just wish Richard Harris hadn't passed away and had been able to play Dumbledore to the end.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally agree with you. The other Dumbledore was the worst thing EVER.

      Delete
    2. Ugh, yep, I agree. New Dumbledore was NOT a good development.

      Delete
  15. I've always wondered why no one went back in time with a Timeturner and just stopped Voldemort before he got all powerful. ._.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, the baby Hitler paradox. Personally, I wonder why no one went back and just rescued him from the orphanage.

      Delete
  16. I wondered the same as DWei! Why didn't anyone go back? And I totally agree, the new Dumbledore was horrible..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I preferred the original Dumbledore too, although the new one was easier to see as a bad guy :D

      Delete
  17. On a similar note, Cracked.com has a great article about how Glynda the "good witch" is really the biggest villain in the Wizard of Oz. And the "wicked witch" really just wants her late sister's shoes back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always thought she was a piece of work too. I think it was Mad TV that did a spoof of it that made it so obvious.

      Delete
  18. Oh dear...I mildly enjoyed the first two books, but lost interest after that. Not because the books got darker or more adult, but because the characters were acting "out of character", the plots didn't seem to make any sense at all.

    And where did the magic come from?
    Was the rationale behind the casual refusal to acknowledge the basic laws of the universe ever explained?

    Has Rowling ever heard of the three laws of Thermodynamics?

    And what about the so called teaching that was supposed to be tsking place.

    Any sign of Objectives? Learning Intenions? Success Criteria? Even any merest hint of a lesson plan?

    No.

    Just examples of 1960s based teaching, long since thrown into the waste bin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! I don't think logic played an enormous part in the series.

      Delete
  19. Would the series have been such a hit if Dumbledore had been nicer or saved Harry from some hellish situations? Bring on the evil guy?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True. I do love a nice juicy evil guy, but there was something about the way that Dumbledore was portrayed that annoyed me. If he's bad, show he's bad.

      Delete
  20. I thought that harry had to be returned to his family to keep the sacrifice that his mother made in tact. Since it came up later in the story (and saved him again) it seemed justified.

    But like you I wasn't a fan of the fact that he was allowed to be abused as he was and no one stood up and said that wasn't right.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, the whole blood wards thing seemed wooly to me. He could go back for as little as a couple of weeks while he was at school, but they made him stay there nonstop for eleven years? Couldn't they have come to some other arrangement where he visited once a year to keep the blood wards up?

      Delete
  21. Holy Crap! I thought I was the only one thinking this during the movies. How can a school, with Dumbledore's express consent, keep putting Harry and those kids in mortal danger? Why does Harry idolize him so much anyways???

    ReplyDelete
  22. Haha! I TOTALLY agree. I've been rereading the series the last few months and as an adult I keep going back to "God you're a manipulative little fucker, aren't you?"

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hі thеre Dear, arе yоu aсtually viѕiting
    thiѕ website on а гegular bаsіs,
    if so aftеr that уou will without doubt
    get fastiԁiouѕ knοwledge.

    Stop by my site :: payday loans

    ReplyDelete