At the end of Goblet of Fire, Dumbledore was in a room with a bunch of Harry sympathizers, and Cornelius Fudge.

Fudge openly admitted that he was going to reject Dumbledore's suggestions on how to fight Voldemort, didn't believe Harry, and only cared about his Minister post.

It doesn't strike me that Fudge was a powerful wizard.

Why wouldn't Dumbledore simply Imperius the stupid prat, and force him to do the Right Things to prevent further deaths?

(Couldn't have been because he was afraid of power, since he could have commanded Fudge to do anything - resign in favor of Kingsley, do 100% of what Harry tells him, make a press conference and tell everyone Harry was telling the truth).

  • And the downvote is for? Commented Jun 12, 2012 at 17:51
  • 9
    Essentially, a lack of effort in thought & research. As two answers explicitly state, and one alludes, the Imperius Curse is one of the Unforgivable Curses - Dumbledore would never do such a thing unless he absolutely had no other option (and even then, he would have great pause I'm sure). Anyone who's read enough into Harry Potter to even know of the Curses' existence should be well aware of this fact.
    – Iszi
    Commented Jun 12, 2012 at 20:36
  • 3
    @IsziRoryorIsznti - (1) Why exactly are you making an assumption that it was NOT "he had no other option" given the amount of people who died as a result; (2) Since when is philosophically disagreeing with the premise of the question a reason to DV it? (or be rude enough to assert "lack of thought")? Commented Jun 12, 2012 at 22:59
  • "Force him to do the right thing"? Dumbledore is patient, and wise and probably would have wanted people to 'learn' the truth, rather than be forced to believe it.
    – Möoz
    Commented Feb 23, 2014 at 21:31
  • 1
    @DVK-on-Ahch-To I know this is really old but I wanted to respond to your part about 'given the amount of people who died as a result'. You're forgetting how long he waited before confronting Grindlewald. And the other reasons everyone else mentioned are just as valid. No matter how many lives would be saved it'd be against his very nature; remember he at one time wanted to dominate Muggles. Now he'd be dominating the Minister? Even if he could get away with it it'd be wrong and that's reason enough to refuse it. And it'd make him (and Hogwarts) look bad to many people.
    – Pryftan
    Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 21:06

4 Answers 4


Because Dumbledore is a good guy, and understands that the ends don't justify the means. (In spite of what Machiavelli said)

There are so many things wrong with that idea, I don't even know where to begin. But I'll try:

  1. Dumbledore wasn't interested in short-term gains. He knows that you can win a battle yet lose the war. In this war, he needs allies, not enemies. Using an unforgivable curse on the Minister would have gained him tons of enemies.

  2. Had he imperiused Fudge, he'd have had to keep Fudge imperiused forever. Harry is able to identify what it feels like to be imperiused, and likely Fudge would, too. Therefore, Dumbledore would have had to keep it up forever, or deal with the fact that he had used an illegal curse on no less than the Minister of Magic. I can't imagine Dumbledore would want to live on the run from all the Aurors the Ministry could muster any more than he would want to enslave Fudge indefinitely.

  3. Dumbledore would have seen it as morally repugnant. The Imperius curse is a form of slavery. The fact that it is one of the unforgivable curses indicates that the wizarding community as a whole recognizes that it's morally unacceptable to use.

  4. Dumbledore is more careful than others about drifting to the dark arts, because he never forgave himself for the death oh his sister. The reason he never wanted Fudge's job in the first place is that he doesn't trust himself with power. Once you stray, it's ever so much easier to do it again, and he was constantly on guard against his own proclivity for doing wrong.

  • 2
    Did someone post this Q to social networks? +30 in 10 hours is... impressive Commented Jun 12, 2012 at 17:52
  • 1
    If you actually read The Prince you'll discover that, despite the famous quote, he actually adviced the opposite.
    – o0'.
    Commented Jun 1, 2014 at 21:57

The Imperius curse is an unforgivable curse.

  • 4
    What's second?..
    – NominSim
    Commented Jun 12, 2012 at 13:39
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    He got Imperiused before he could finish the answer. Commented Jun 12, 2012 at 14:16
  • Update: I agree with you and deleted the 'first'.
    – DerMike
    Commented Jun 12, 2012 at 14:28
  • DerMike, could you expand on this answer a little? It's the beginnings of a good answer!
    – AncientSwordRage
    Commented Jun 14, 2012 at 16:25

Dumbledore would never do something unright again For The Greater Good. He just thinks about Ariana and the temptation is gone.


Bear in mind that the way to the dark arts is a slippery slope and D knew that well. There is always temptation to use dark magic as a quick fix because 'it will be okay just this once'. The problem is just this once quickly becomes just this twice and the slippery slope has begun!

  • Indeed. Rudolf Höss is a great example: he wrote about it in his diary in the First World War; and it was the first step in a desensitisation process. And then he became the world's biggest mass murder... But it goes for anyone really: that's the problem with war - it desensitises death but every life is precious that should be treasured instead.
    – Pryftan
    Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 21:09

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