In the movie, unlike the book, Harry and Dumbledore Disapparate from the Astronomy Tower. "Being me has its privileges," Dumbledore said. When they returned from the cave and Draco disarmed Dumbledore of his wand, Dumbledore didn't Apparate.

Could there be any chance that you have to have your wand to Apparate/Disapparate, or was there anything else preventing Dumbledore from Disapparating? Rowling must have approved this for it to occur in the movie.

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    When who did not disapperate? When Harry and Dumbledore returned from the cave other events began taking place which Dumbledore wanted to be a part of. Disapperating at that point would have been counter to his strategy.
    – Xantec
    Commented Jan 9, 2012 at 19:24
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    Do you think that Dumbledore actually wanted to be killed? (If he had know that he was going to be killed I suppose he would have left more information for Harry, Ron and Hermione.) Commented Jan 9, 2012 at 19:26
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    @50ndr33 Yes, that was his plan. Re-read the 7th book, in particular Snape's memories.
    – Kevin
    Commented Jan 9, 2012 at 19:29
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    It would have made an awful lot of difference if Dumbledore wasn't killed in the movie when he was in the book, so it obviously had to be that way. Anyway, I'm pretty sure it's implied but not explicitly stated that you need a wand; I'll look when I get home if Slytherincess doesn't beat me to it.
    – Kevin
    Commented Jan 9, 2012 at 19:33
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    @Kevin - "if Slytherincess doesn't beat me to it" - Ha! She's worse than Jon Skeet :) Commented Jan 9, 2012 at 19:58

6 Answers 6


A wand does not appear to be necessary for Apparation/Disapparation. The three Ds of Apparation are: Destination, Determination, and Deliberation. The actual physical act of Apparation comes during Deliberation, but is contingent upon appropriate Determination:

‘Focus your determination to occupy the visualised space! Let your yearning to enter it flood from your mind to every particle of your body!’

Half-Blood Prince - Page 360 - British Hardcover

I kind of relate Apparation as closer to Transfiguration than spell casting. It seems, for example, becoming an Animagus would require the same characteristics: form, determination, and destination (actually taking shape of the animal form.) Similarly, Apparation/Disapparation involves the transformation of one's body from one place to another. I'm not saying it's a perfect analogy, but I liken Apparation more to Transfiguration in theory than I do to, say, Charms (which requires a wand).

Dumbledore chose not to Disapparate from the Astronomy Tower the night he was killed. He and Snape had a plan worked out that Dumbledore was determined to follow through with. It wasn't that Dumbledore couldn't have Apparated away in HBP the movie, it's that he chose not to, instead facing his final moments of life. It's really not Dumbledore's style to run from anything.

ETA: I should clarify. JKR has some input into the movies, but it is limited mainly to production and script approval. Her characters are owned by Warner Brothers, and the screenwriter (Steve Kloves is the main one, I believe) has a lot of discretion in shaping the scripts. That said, JKR had consulted with Steve Kloves regarding which parts/plots cannot be altered, as they were integral to the over-arcing plot.

Here is one movie!canon discrepancy for you though: In HBP Professor Slughorn asked Hermione what her parents do for a living, and Hermione explains dentistry to Slughorn as if Slughorn doesn't know what a dentist is; however, in the movie Chamber of Secrets, one of the points on the Weasley's big family clock says "Dentist." ;)

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    Since you seem to have access to a book at the moment, would you mind looking at what Luna says in the 7th when Harry and Ron are thrown into the Malfoy's basement and Ron tries to disapparate? "You can't, [without a wand | they put an anti-disapp. jinx on it | ???]"
    – Kevin
    Commented Jan 9, 2012 at 19:39
  • Thanks for a great answer! :) I still don't like that Dumbledore spoke so little, he never told Harry about his plan, and about Snape and so on.. :( Dentist as one of the "numbers" like: Travelling, Work, Dentist? Commented Jan 9, 2012 at 19:40
  • Perhaps the word "Dentist" has different meanings between the muggle and wizard worlds?
    – Xantec
    Commented Jan 9, 2012 at 19:41
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    Thanks @50ndr33. "Ron was now trying to Disapparate without a wand" <- I think this implies it requires/greatly helps to have a wand, probably to help focus and amplify magic (as a wand is used for anyway).
    – Kevin
    Commented Jan 9, 2012 at 19:53
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    @childcat15 Sirius transforms back and forth between man and dog shape throughout most of PoA, and as far as the book shows, he goes an awfully long time without a wand after escaping prison. And of course, he's not likely to have had a wand while in prison, where he also changes back and forth with no problems. Commented Jul 25, 2015 at 11:12

First of all, in the book, Dumbledore did not disapparate from Hogwarts. No one can, period (Except maybe Dobby, but that's another topic...)

Secondly, it turns out that Dumbledore was intending to be killed, by Snape.

Lastly, while the restrictions can be removed from Hogwarts, it takes time. So, something that happens on the spur of the moment would not allow someone to easily bypass the restrictions.

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    In the movie they disapparate from the Astronomy Tower.. Commented Jan 9, 2012 at 19:46
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    Well, in the books they can't... It still doesn't change the last 2 points. Commented Jan 9, 2012 at 20:43
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    There's no maybe about Dobby: we know for a fact that house elves can and do apparate within Hogwarts. When Harry calls Dobby’s name while in the hospital wing in Half-Blood Prince to ask him to tail Malfoy, the fighting pair of Dobby and Kreacher appear and disappear with a pop—they apparate and disapparate (presumably from the kitchens) to the hospital wing. Commented Jul 25, 2015 at 11:17

Perhaps he didn't want to?

He had less than a year to live (perhaps much less), because of his carelessness when he found, and put on, the ring.

I interpret his "Please" to Snape to kill him so that Malfoy would not have to do so. Snape knew Dumbledore was dying, and I believe was the one who was able to help Dumbledore offset the effects of the curse to keep him from already having died.


You need to remember: Youcan't appararate inside Hogwarts. If they had been outside Hogwarts, Dumbledore might have apparated. You also need to remember that Dumbledore's death was planned by Snape and himself. Snape was supposed to make Voldemort think that he was on his side. House elves like Dobby can apparate inside of Hogwarts, but Dumbledore wouldn't have called Dobby or Kreacher to save him.

  • Slight problem with this argument; as Headmaster, Dumbledore could apparate into and out of Hogwarts! Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 7:13
  • @TheDoc No, he couldn't - the whole headmaster-can-do-it thing was invented by the movies.
    – DavidS
    Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 15:24

Another factor to remember that I haven't seen mentioned in the other answers: Dumbledore was EXHAUSTED after the trial in the cave. Even if he had wanted and been able to Apparate at the school--which I address below--he hadn't even been able to Apparate back to Hogsmeade from the cave, Harry had to do it.

I also agree that he had decided that it was his time to die. Like he tells Harry in book 1 when talking of Nicholas Flamel, "to the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure." He was dying from the curse already, and he wanted to die on his own terms, namely in the way most likely to frustrate Voldemort. Sure, he probably would have liked to give Harry a little more instruction about what the next year would bring, but he was confident that he'd left them with enough to get the job done.


Dumbledore, Fawkes the Phoenix and House-Elves are the only creatures that are able to dissaparate from, and apparate to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. However, Snape and Dumbledore had a pact all along, intending to get Dumbledore killed so that Harry would run into Voldemort -madly- so Harry would get killed (Harry had to be killed so that Snape could kill Voldemort after, because Harry was the last Horcrux).

Harry did indeed run into Voldemort but when Voldemort casted the Killing Curse on him he did not kill Harry, but he killed the piece of Voldemort - that he had pushed in Harry when he was a baby - inside of Harry (hence why Harry lost his ability to talk to snakes). Harry himself did not die, but the living Horcrux inside did, making it possible for Harry to kill Voldemort after all. Without Dumbledore being dead none of this wouldve been necesarry and it wouldve taken 10 more years for Voldemort to die. Only Snape and Dumbledore had figured this out, so Dumbledore gave his life to end the Second Wizarding War, like Lily did to stop the First.

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    Why would it have taken 10 years for Voldemort to die? Would he have died of natural causes after 10 years?
    – childcat15
    Commented Jul 25, 2015 at 2:56
  • The piece of Voldemort’s soul that resided in Harry was not a Horcrux; JKR has said so herself on several occasions. Commented Jul 25, 2015 at 11:19

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