Missing Dumbledore

Saw this short article and brief video the other day. To commemorate the 15th anniversary of the release of Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone J.K. Rowling made a few brief comments on Good Morning America.

In answer to a question about who she would introduce Dumbledore to, if she could chose anyone in the world, she would actually chose herself. She says Dumbledore is the character she misses the most. Rowling also offers a bit of insight into the writing process. She notes it felt she wrote Dumbledore from the back of her head. That is, oftentimes Dumbledore would tell Harry things that she never knew she herself knew or believed until she saw them in Dumbledore’s words.

A few quick questions for you. One, can you believe it’s been 15 years since Harry Potter has been released? How has Harry affected you and primarily your reading habits? Two, if you could have Rowling bring back any one character from the books so that they could have a chat with you, who would it be and why? Thanks in advance for your thoughts and answers.

(Oh, one more thing struck me as I watched the video clips. In all the shots of Dumbledore, they always used Richard Harris’s portrayal.) :)

9 thoughts on “Missing Dumbledore

  1. The Potter series reignited reading for me and opened a door that I still let close every now and then. I get busy and forget to feed my imagination. Harry was and is a reminder that my soul needs to be nourished by good stories…the right kinds of books. And I agree with Ms. Rowling, I would definitely want a chat with Dumbledore.

  2. Dumbledore has been my favorite since the start too. But to chat with him, I suppose I would be a bit at a loss of what to actually say to him. He’s a kind old guy, but I fear I would be just another kid to him.

  3. Personally, I cannot believe it’s been 13 years since I read the first four books (I only discovered them in 2000). Harry Potter had a huge impact on my reading habits: 1. it made me discover fan fiction, which I didn’t even know existed, 2. it made me discover fantasy as a genre, which I hadn’t read much before, except for a few children’s classics.

    The books also made me discover (and participate) in the HP online community – all the speculation back then was absolutely amazing!

    As for having a chat with any of the characters, I am afraid it would scare the daylights out of me and I wouldn’t be able to say anything. I might want to cook a good meal for Sirius, though. :-)

  4. I still remember reading the Philosopher’s Stone after resisting for ages. I was excited by a book for the first time in a long time. A children’s book was talking to me about deep and true things! I had stuck with non-fiction for so long, and here was a fantasy book speaking Truth.
    I really enjoyed watching the characters grow and deepen, and the Truth becoming more clear.
    And being part of this community, eagerly/fearfully waiting for the last book: will she deliver? Will our strong suspicions that she truly is tickling sleeping dragons be borne out? Then the absolute joy of reading about Harry at his parents’ graves and his lone/not alone walk through the forest.

    I loved Dumbledore and Harry’s conversations at the end of the books. I guess Dumbledore is my parents and grandparents, gone now, who might sit with me now at the end of a trial and still say, ‘You’re loved, you’re doing OK, I’m proud of you.’ So me wanting to sit with Dumbledore and chat with him is really wanting to catch up with Dad and Mum, to hear again the love that Dumbledore reminds me of.

  5. revgeorge, why am I not surprised that you noticed this? :)

    “In all the shots of Dumbledore, they always used Richard Harris’s portrayal.”

  6. Reading the Hogwarts saga affected me greatly. It opened my heart so wide by the end of Goblet that I just let it wash over me like tidal waves of emotion for the next three volumes. I never cared so much for a character before or felt so invested in his success. His transformative experiences remain inspirational. I have always been an avid reader, but Harry just touched me like no other had done. He is a spiritual figure for me, a mythological icon. Following a couple read throughs, I began to focus on the artistry of the writing and deep analysis of her subtext. Then I found the online fans. I had never checked out fansites and discussed a beloved book before , so that was pretty cool. I love books over a broad range of genres, but Harry is special and I can’t imagine anything to replace it. I am always reading it even with other books at the same time. It never seems stale or strange to be rereading the same pages. It feels like a normal place to be. If I could meet anyone I would want to meet Harry. Just to know he’s alright.

  7. 1.) Yes, I can believe it’s been 15 years since the first Harry Potter book was released. The first time I read the first three books, I read them aloud to my youngest, my son who is now twenty years old. My two daughters, who had already read them on their own, and my husband listened along. Afterwards I re-read the books on my own, and I have read and re-read them ever since, without ever stopping. Now I listen to the books on CD, read by Stephen Fry, over and over and over in my car. I don’t listen to anything else when I’m driving, not music or other books. As soon as I finish Deathly Hallows I begin again with The Philosopher’s Stone.I lost count many years ago of how many times I had read them.
    I never, ever get tired of the stories; in fact I am enchanted anew by each book every time I read it, and I see more details every time as well. I know that the books would have been lifesavers for me if I had known them when I was a child. My favorites at that time were by Madeleine L’Engle and C.S. Lewis. In fact, even when I first read the HP books, the world that JKR created felt familiar, nostalgic, like home to me. I feel somehow like I’ve always known the characters and places. So in some way it seems like my entrance into the Harry Potter books was much longer ago than fifteen years ago.

    2.) Well, I can’t say I read more since reading the Harry Potter series, because I’ve always had my nose in a book since the day I first learned to read. I was reading some young adult and children’s books before Harry Potter, because when my kids were younger I read to them every day. But I guess I would say that I read more YA and more fantasy books, always hoping to find more characters and places that feel as much like friends and home as those in the Harry Potter books. (I’ve always loved good books about magic.) I’ve realized that children and teens in good books have a freshness and a curiosity and a subversiveness about them, way beyond any adult protagonists, who are usually stuck in their own neuroses and quirky in meaningless ways.

    3.)If I could have JKR bring back any character(s) in the series for me to talk to, I would definitely choose Professor McGonagall and Hermione. I love both of them, and I’ve always felt that although it’s not revealed in the series (because the books are told from Harry’s point of view) that Professor McGonagall was a mentor for Hermione as much as Dumbledore was for Harry. The only place that this really shows is in Prisoner of Azkaban, where McGonagall has asked for and received permission for Hermione to use a Time Turner so she can take extra classes. And even there, we don’t see the conversations that took place between the two of them; they are only mentioned by Hermione briefly when she has to explain to Harry what the time turner is. I would love to talk to either Minerva or Hermione, preferably both of them, and with the three of us together, too. I think we’d be great friends and have loads to talk about.

  8. I have always read a lot, so HP hasn’t caused me to read more. But I have never read and reread any books so much as I have the HP series.

    There are many characters that I would like to talk to, but the top of the list is Professor Snape. I know that he was rehabilitated somewhat in Book 7, but I would like to know why he was so childishly mean to Harry and his friends all the time. Another question I have is why did Dumbledore let Snape get away with this behavior?

  9. Charlie, you must be really optimistic. :-) Do you really think Snape would listen to you? Or that he would be able to come up with anything other than that Harry was not only mediocre as a student, but also as arrogant as James was?

    phoenixsong58, I also listen to Stephen Fry reading Harry Potter over and over again and can’t seem to get tired of it. I am at book six at the moment.

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