So many of us watched the Harry Potter movies growing up, and they feel a lot like a significant part of our childhood. The films and the characters have stayed with us after all this time. However, it takes more than good writing for people to feel attached to characters – it also requires actors who play them well. Michael Gambon, who portrayed Albus Dumbledore in the franchise from 2004 to 2011, is one such example. He gave us his version of Dumbledore in the form of an endearing teacher, and that will forever be with us.
Like these moments from the films where he was exceptionally special for his students and Hogwarts:
1. He treated his students like his friends.
In the Half Blood Prince, Dumbledore sees Harry talking to a girl at the cafe. He notices that she waited for him after Harry comes out of the cafe to meet him. At the end of the night, he even acknowledges the fact that he interrupted his possible date with the girl. This was a sweet moment that was shared between the two, and the kind of bond that is rarely noticed between students and teachers.
2. He always protected his students. Even if it meant putting himself at risk.
After Umbridge discovered Dumbledore’s Army and questioned Harry, Dumbledore decided to jump in and protect him from the Ministry. He even lied about creating an army of students, just to protect them. To go against the authorities is one thing, but he did that and more. He put himself at risk, by coming up with a false story and intent, knowing well that he’d be questioned for his actions. It mattered to him to keep his students safe.
3. He trusted his students, and saw in them what others couldn’t.
It is normal to see teachers treat students as children, because that is who they are. However, Dumbledore often trusted them and let them take responsibility. In the Prisoner of Azkaban, for example, he suggests Hermione to use the time-turner to literally save lives. He also knew that she was the one person who was responsible and smart enough to use it properly – and with good intent. He usually saw what most people could not.
4. He taught his students empathy and love.
After the death of Cedric Diggory, Dumbledore not only honored him, but shared the truth behind the incident. He went on to tell his students to see each other as one, despite their differences. It was special for a teacher to show his vulnerabilities, and to be honest with his students. This specific moment also proved that Dumbledore had a lot of warmth and empathy for the people around him – which is, in fact, rare.
5. He always took a stand against the wrong.
When Crouch dies in the Goblet Of Fire, Dumbledore questions Cornelius Fudge to take action and cancel the tournament. Fudge argues that he would do nothing because people look up to the leaders for strength – and that meant inaction. Dumbledore questioned his authority and pointed out that it was important to the right thing, than what looks good to others. He was a true leader for his students and Hogwarts.
6. He cared deeply.
After a number of unforeseen events and incidents unraveled at Hogwarts, Dumbledore always managed to look at the brighter side, literally. He did so for his students, to keep things upbeat for them. He wanted to protect whatever innocence was left of them, so they had something good to look back. One of the most loved quote from Harry Potter – about finding light in dark times, comes from one such moment.
7. He was always there for the school and the teachers.
When Umbridge decided to banish Sybil as part of one of her unreasonable actions, Dumbledore took a stand. He respected Sybil for her work, and considered her a part of the family at Hogwarts. So, he stood in front of the entire school and decided to go against Umbridge and in-turn the Ministry to protect one of his teachers. He was a rule-follower, but not when it meant disregard of his teachers, or putting someone else at risk.
8. He literally fought for Harry.
When Harry lost Sirius Black in the Order Of The Phoenix, Dumbledore was just in time to save him. He saw and understood the connection between Harry Potter and Voldemort. However, he trusted Harry to embrace the light. He then literally fought a duel with Voldemort, almost putting his life at risk. He protected Harry in more ways than one – given that The Dark Lord could have controlled him at the time.