The most recent film in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, The Secrets of Dumbledore, has opened the door to Albus Dumbledore’s past in a way that the Harry Potter series never could. It has shown audiences the lead-up to Dumbledore’s most notorious battle and how Dumbledore became the complex character he is. In many ways, the professor’s conflict with Grindelwald was everything he needed to prepare for his future rivalry with the Dark Lord, Voldemort.
Die-hard fans know that while Harry was the Chosen One, Dumbledore was the real mastermind behind Voldemort’s defeat. The rivalry was a complex battle of wits between the two most powerful wizards of all time, but it can still be summed up simply by a few good memes.
It Was Foolish To Come Here Tonight, Tom
Above all else, Voldemort resented his Muggle upbringing. He had always known that he was somehow better than the “regular” children he grew up around in the orphanage, and learning he was a wizard was everything he needed to solidify that idea.
For that reason, his Muggle father’s name, which he already saw as painfully common, had to go. The name “Voldemort” became his way of exercising fear and control over the wizarding world, but Dumbledore wouldn’t allow it to work on him. Calling Voldemort “Tom” was a simple way of Dumbledore telling him that he was not afraid.
Dumbledore And Voldemort Had More In Common Than They Realized
Harry always feared that he was too much like Voldemort. They came from similar backgrounds, but the key is that Harry never used his sad childhood to justify hurting others, nor did he develop a thirst for control or power. Ultimately, it was Dumbledore who had the most in common with the Dark Lord.
Like Voldemort, who can be summed up in Harry Potter by his desire for power, Dumbledore once wished to rule over Muggles. He was on a steady climb to power when he realized that the consequence of such aspirations was the loss of love. Dumbledore hated that he understood Voldemort, but it was ultimately why he was able to help Harry take him down.
Voldemort Had No Limit
When Dumbledore began to gain power in his youth, he quickly learned that he wasn’t willing to make the necessary sacrifices. The dark path that he was on could only result in more death, so he chose a better way and avoided the temptation of power at every turn.
The same cannot be said about Voldemort. Time and time again, the Dark Lord proved that he would stop at nothing to achieve power, which he felt was owed to him. If he had to break into the grave of his rival and steal a wand from the corpse’s hand, so be it.
Voldemort Always Found A Way
Despite the countless protections Dumbledore promised would keep Hogwarts safe, Voldemort always found a way to get in. Year after year, he infiltrated the castle in one form or another, often using one of the several Harry Potter Defense Against the Dark Arts teachers.
This has led many fans to wonder how often Dumbledore allowed Voldemort’s plans to unfold, especially since he always seemed to understand the importance of destiny in the world of magic. Perhaps, Voldemort was unknowingly playing right into Dumbledore’s hands.
Dumbledore Knew Voldemort Best
Since Dumbledore had come so close to going down the same path as Voldemort when he was young, he was uniquely equipped to understand the Dark Lord. For this reason, Dumbledore often had tidbits of wisdom to pass on to Harry that would help the Chosen One understand and make sure that he didn’t follow a similar path.
The old professor knew that Voldemort kept all his followers at a distance and never developed any lasting emotional relationships. Voldemort saw this as a strength, but his rival knew that this was exactly what would lead to his downfall.
Dumbledore Could Outthink Them All
From Harry’s very first year at Hogwarts, it became clear that Dumbledore was the one calling all the shots. He had set up such effective security around the Philosopher’s Stone that there was no way that Voldemort could ever get his hands on it. Still, Harry took matters upon himself to protect it.
That isn’t to say that Harry’s efforts were for nothing. Dumbledore knew that Harry was the answer to destroying Voldemort, and he saw in Philosopher’s Stone that the young boy would stop at nothing to do what was right. From that year on, Dumbledore began to construct his plan to take down his evil rival for good.
Teaching Voldemort Must Have Been A Nightmare
Dumbledore is an excellent example of how great power requires great responsibility. He was born a talented and clever wizard who knew he could achieve anything he wanted. For a time, his goal was power. But, over the years, these aspirations turned to teaching.
Of course, this didn’t end up being a quiet job instructing magical youth. Dumbledore’s job at Hogwarts is how he ultimately met Voldemort and, years later, Harry. Teaching powerful wizards with important destinies was no easy feat, and the years of teaching the futures of the wizarding world, including Voldemort himself, took their toll.
The Secrets Of Dumbledore
From the moment that Dumbledore met Tom Riddle, he was concerned that there was more to the boy than meets the eye. Voldemort’s younger self unintentionally revealed his violent tendencies to the school professor in his excitement at learning he was exceptional, and he was never able to hold that back.
So, while the other teachers, especially Headmaster Dippet, believed Tom to be a talented and charming child, Dumbledore knew better. When the Chamber of Secrets was opened, Dumbledore had little doubt about who had done it. Of course, no one would have believed him, so the rivalry began.
The Battle Of Minister For Magic Politics
When it came to power alone, Voldemort was no match for Dumbledore. The Dark Lord may have believed himself to process power that Dumbledore did not, but he still avoided a face-to-face confrontation whenever possible. So, instead of battling the old-fashioned way, Voldemort counted on his Horcruxes in Harry Potter, and took to politics to handle Dumbledore.
The natural rivalries and ambitions within the Ministry of Magic were all Voldemort needed to keep Dumbledore from having as much power as he could have. The Ministry was equipped with natural allies to the Death Eater’s cause, like Dolores Umbridge, and he was very nearly successful at getting Dumbledore out of his way.
Dumbledore Is The Winner
Despite Voldemort’s efforts to create Horcruxes and achieve immortality, he died at a relatively young age for a wizard. He believed wholeheartedly that he had achieved his goal to the most that it was possible, but in many ways, his own actions were precisely what cost Voldemort victory in Harry Potter.
Dumbledore, who had also sought a method to prolong his life in his youth, understood that the fear of death was the perfect way to ensure it. The Deathly Hallows had been a perilous quest for countless wizards, who should have focused on their loved ones instead. Ultimately this understanding is why Dumbledore lived a long life and Voldemort did not.
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