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Dumbledore always let Harry try his strengths. But in desperate times as in Deathly Hallows, is it right for him to have kept mum? During their exile, Harry asks Phineas Nigellus if he could bring him Dumbledore. But surely Dumbledore, though dead by then, but being an extremely powerful wizard, could have devised numerous ways to communicate with Harry!

At the very end of Deathly Hallows, after Voldemort is dead, we see that Harry is able to communicate to Dumbledore via his portrait regarding the resurrection stone. If he was able to do it at that time, why not much much earlier, when he was treading his path with skepticism, in thirst for the numerous truths like the Sword of Gryffindor, Dumbledore's extraordinary life, the Deathly Hallows, etc.? Wouldn't it have made everything simpler and perhaps could have brought about the death of Lord Voldemort way earlier?

  • 1) Pacing. 2) Dumbledore didn't have all the answers at the start (he only went hunting horcruxes in HBP) 3) Telling someone they need to die and getting them to agree/go along with it is hard. Better to let them figure it out. Not an answer as no quotes etc. Feel free to take this and run with it. – Baldrickk Sep 22 '14 at 16:37
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    Not all of the dumbledore's silences were abt harry's need to die.were they? .The trio spent a lot of time working out how to destroy horcruxes.Why withhold this information though? – Priyanka.Patil Sep 22 '14 at 16:52
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    telling someone that the end goal was that you had to die, in essence, because you yourself were a horrocrux(of sorts) is not a good way to spur this person on. Harry may have continued but his friends may have attempted to stop him from going on. this was "selfish" of dumbledore, but since Harry had to save the world according to prophecy dumbledore is basically just helping harry without distractions, like hey you gota die tho. – Himarm Sep 22 '14 at 17:30
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    Harry! You will go to the Dagobah System, and learn from Wizard Yoda! – DVK-on-Ahch-To Sep 22 '14 at 19:15
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    @iamserious 'mum' means silent or to keep something to yourself. – Robert Dec 29 '14 at 18:19
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  • First of all, none of the things your proposal lists would have helped Harry:

    "If he was able to do it at that time, why not much much earlier, when he was treading his path with skepticism, in thirst for the numerous truths like the Sword of Gryffindor, Dumbledore's extraordinary life, the Deathly Hallows, etc.?"

    1. Sword of Gryffindor - as per Dumbledore, it couldn't have been simply given to Harry:

      “Good. Very good!” cried the portrait of Dumbledore behind the headmaster’s chair. “Now, Severus, the sword! Do not forget that it must be taken under conditions of need and valor ("DH", "Prince's Tale")

    2. Dumbledore's extraordinary life

      In short, none of the details of his life were relevant to helping Harry (we'll discuss the Hallows later). If you have specific points/examples, please note them explicitly.

    3. Wouldn't it have made everything simpler and perhaps could have brought about the death of Lord Voldemort way earlier?

      Not that I can tell. Harry still needed to find all the Horcruxes and destroy them (note that only one of them was destroyed by the Sword; and none of their locations was known to Dumbledore to be told to Harry). Harry still needed to perform his sacrifice in order to have Voldemort kill the last soul piece residing in Harry


  • The only thing he could have told Harry about earlier - the Hallows, he didn't want to (and admitted later that it was a mistake for him to do so).

    • Dumbledore was (as he admitted, mistakengly) worried that Harry would be too distracted by the Hallows, like he was, to deal with Horcruxes:

      “Can you forgive me?” he said. “Can you forgive me for not trusting you? For not telling you? Harry, I only feared that you would fail as I had failed. I only dreaded that you would make my mistakes. I crave your pardon, Harry. I have known, for some time now, that you are the better man.”
      “What are you talking about?” asked Harry, startled by Dumbledore’s tone, by the sudden tears in his eyes.
      “The Hallows, the Hallows,” murmured Dumbledore. “A desperate man’s dream!”
      “But they’re real!”
      “Real, and dangerous, and a lure for fools,” said Dumbledore. “And I was such a fool. But you know, don’t you? I have no secrets from you anymore. You know.”
      “What do I know?”
      “Master of death, Harry, master of Death! Was I better, ultimately, than Voldemort?” ("DH", "King's Cross")

    • Hallows weren't integral to Harry defeating Voldemort as far as making Harry "The Master of Death" (and the following quote even stronger reinforces the last bullet point as well):

      “Why did you have to make it so difficult?”
      Dumbledore’s smile was tremulous.
      “I am afraid I counted on Miss Granger to slow you up, Harry. I was afraid that your hot head might dominate your good heart. I was scared that, if presented outright with the facts about those tempting objects, you might seize the Hallows as I did, at the wrong time, for the wrong reasons. If you laid hands on them, I wanted you to possess them safely. You are the true master of death, because the true master does not seek to run away from Death. He accepts that he must die, and understands that there are far, far worse things in the living world than dying.” ("DH", "King's Cross")

  • ' I was afraid that your hot head might dominate your good heart.' And let's remember it in fact did for a while. I want to say he was able to block that after the escape from Malfoy Manor but I might be remembering that wrong? So Dumbledore was actually right about this. – Pryftan Oct 26 '17 at 18:08
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Dumbledore's portrait even says that he did not tell Harry about the Hallows because it was a "side quest". Harry's singular goal was to destroy the horcruxes. Dumbledore telling harry outright about the deathly hollows might have changed Harry's priorities (or so Dumbledore thought). He gave them the hint, and let them work it out, but at the end of the day it didn't really mater. Especially confirmed knowledge the ring was the resurrection stone Harry may have spent all of his time talking to Sirius or others who had already died instead of continuing his mission.

  • Well, then Dumbledore was leaving too much to chance , considering he was the one who left the resurrection stone for Harry in the first place.Why give it to him at all if he didn't want harry to "change priorities"? – Priyanka.Patil Sep 22 '14 at 16:45
  • it didn't matter if he got the deathly hollows or not, that was the point. – Himarm Sep 22 '14 at 16:51
  • U have a point. Could you also throw some light on my comments to the question? – Priyanka.Patil Sep 22 '14 at 16:58
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    Additionally, if Harry had known that his sacrificing himself would probably not end in his death, then his dropping the resurrection stone probably wouldn't actually have counted as him sacrificing his life for his community - and so the charm wouldn't have transferred to them, enabling them to win the battle. Harry had to be kept in the dark on that one. – hairboat Sep 22 '14 at 17:32

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