Saturday, April 10, 2021

The Harry Potter series, summarized in four sentences

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Dumbledore (Richard Harris, Michael Gambon, and Jude Law), long-time headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, is one of the most beloved characters in the series. Gentle and kind despite the immense power he wields as a wizard, he acts as both a mentor and friend to Harry from the boy’s first year at the school onward. Harry wouldn’t find out until later, but Dumbledore helped deliver him to his relatives as a baby after his parents were killed by Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes).

However, the first of these four sentences pinpointed on Reddit reveals … well, another aspect of Dumbledore’s nature: “‘Ah yes, of course, I haven’t told you,’ said Dumbledore.”

Indeed, Dumbledore has a tendency to reveal crucial information at precisely the moment it’s needed, as well as a proclivity to hold back until he believes the time is right. This can make him feel like a bit of a plot device at times — a deus ex machina, if you will. Basically, if there’s a question in the Harry Potter universe, Dumbledore probably has the answer, but it’s mostly up to him to choose when and how to reveal it. It saps away some of the mystery and intrigue the series could otherwise have.

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