Podcast Question of the Week: Episode 231

Maybe “I open at the open” would have been more helpful?

If Dumbledore had told Harry earlier in the series that he was going to die, how would that have affected Harry and his actions throughout the series?

You can hear our discussion of the topic over on our Patreon! Let us know what you think in the comments below, and listen to our next recap episode for some answers!

 

  • travellinginabluebox

    This whole thing would depend on how much details Dumbledore would relay. Would he explain that Harry is a horcrux and Voldemort needs to kill him? And obvioulsy, he could only tell that to Harry after GoF (gleam of triumph).
    Let’s assume instead of ignoring Harry for OotP he would teach him Occlumency and tell him about the prophecy, being a horcrux and needing to die at Voldemorts hands to destroy the last horcrux. What would remain the same? They would still need to go horcrux hunting. And assuming Dumbledore would take that action he would have an even more prominent role in Harry’s life, meaning he could probably convince Harry enough to not throw his life away there and then, but still havin stability (or enough stability) to go horcrux hunting and caring for his friends. In the end Harry would still accept his fate and face it, because he is not the type of person to run from problems but face them.
    But it would definitely caused an even moodier Harry at times and maybe even cause some form of depressions. However, I would think his support within his friends and the Order would be strong enough to pull him through.
    So mostly I would think Dumbledore and Harry would have more time together and doing the horcrux hunting together would definitely be helpful. The whole deathly hallows plot would become redundant in this scenario.
    Hope my rambling made sense.

    • ANOTHER Weasley

      I agree that Dumbledore should have taught Harry Occlumency himself. He screwed that up so badly! I think that is one of my biggest ARGH! things about him. Deathly Hallows would have been so different, and possibly a lot more interesting and less frustrating.

    • YoureJustAsSaneAsIAm

      This such a great train of thought, and brought to mind other great questions: If Dumbledore didn’t ignore Harry during OOTP and gave him more details about the prophecy, would Sirius still have died? Would the Department of Mysteries battle have taken place at all? For that scene played a pivotal role in having Cornelius Fudge finally realize that Voldemort was indeed back. If Harry was clued in sooner about the prophecy, how much sooner (or longer) would it have taken to get the MoM and the Wizarding World on his side?

      And if Sirius had survived, what would that mean for his and Harry’s relationship? Would that change anything when Harry walks into the forest to die and give himself up? Would the Resurrection Stone scene still be as emotionally charged without Harry asking his godfather if dying hurts?

      What do you guys think? I’d love to hear some feedback!

      • ANOTHER Weasley

        I always wonder why Harry had to forget about the mirror! I feel like that is one of the reasons Sirius died. He could have just connected with Sirius in an instant instead of sticking his head in the fire in the first place. Is it because he is so upset about everyone keeping things from him? If I was given a magical mirror, I think I would look at it all of the time. I know that isn’t what you are asking, but every time someone asks about Sirius’ death, I think of this, so I had to say it before I forgot again.

        It’s so sad how Harry can’t catch a break in OOTP. So many people hiding things from him. He needed this information so badly! Teens left to their own devices are so much more headstrong, frustrated and ready to get themselves into bad situations.

        • YoureJustAsSaneAsIAm

          That is so true! There are so “if onlys” surrounding Sirius’ death, and unfortunately it was preventable. OOTP is a rough read for me, though it has steadily climbed up the ranks in terms of which ones are my favorite. It’s such a shame that hardly any adult takes Harry seriously, which ultimately makes him take matters into his own hands.

      • travellinginabluebox

        It would have totally and completely changed the series (my hands are itching to write a new fan fic about this).
        One of the major things of book 5 is Umbridge and the ministry (as well as some students) choosing to ignore the truth and even torturing Harry. Had Harry had private lessons with Dumbledore during that time – Occlumency first to prevent Voldy from looking in his head, followed by prophecy and horcruxes information – would Dumbledore been able to prevent the quill? Or the detentions in general? I doubt he would have the power to completely get rid off Umbridge, that would just not happen with his bad reputation with the ministry.
        And the battle at the ministry would for sure not have taken place. Sirius would live and Harry would overall be less angsty because he was kept in the loop of things. So him and Sirius would probably actually use the mirrors and life would overall be happier for Harry.
        However, you raised a valid question: When (if at all) would the public start standing behind Harry and Dumbledore? I think the Rita Skeeter interview could still take place and convince some people of the truth. I would also think the DA is still happening, given the fact that Umbridge is still teaching for the year. Voldemort realizing that he cannot lure Harry out so easily would certainly try other ways to get to Harry, however, he could undermine the ministry completely on the way. But I think sooner or later he would come out in the open more prominently and people would have to accept the facts, although it could be too late then. I would love if in such a scenario the order would step up and take a more prominent role in fighting for the light.
        So much from my side – we could spin this on endlessly – would Dumbledore have to die? Would Snape die? Would the final battle take place at Hogwarts? What would change that battle given the factors Dumbledore on the light and a lot more supporters from the ministry (Imperius) on the dark side?

        • YoureJustAsSaneAsIAm

          Yes, we could indeed spin on this endlessly, but it’s so interesting to think about how if Dumbledore was more open with Harry, the entire series after that point would be altered in some way. In the case of Dumbledore dying, that begs the question if he still tried on the Marvolo Gaunt’s ring that had the Resurrection Stone inside. Since the events of Dumbledore’s past still transpired, I believed he would have still tried the ring on so he could see his family and apologize. However, the manner in how Dumbledore dies might be altered. Since we’re sure the battle at the ministry would not have taken place, Lucius Malfoy would then not fall from grace and end up in Azkaban, and Draco would not becoming a Death Eater and try to kill Dumbledore on Voldemort’s orders. So this is where it gets tricky. Would Snape still kill Dumbledore? How would Snape’s role be altered if he didn’t kill him? Would Dumbledore clue Harry in on the Deathly Hallows before he dies and have him disarm him so he becomes the master of the Elder Wand sooner? So many questions!

          • travellinginabluebox

            Exactly! Good point about the whole Draco timeline that changes. In short, would Voldemort try to get his Death Eaters into Hogwarts to either attack Dumbledore or Harry (or both). Would Dumbledore go alone to retrieve the ring horcrux? If not, might he be stopped from trying to wear it? These changes could also mean no camping and a “regular” seventh school year, with a sword and basilisk fangs at their disposal to destroy the horcruxes. Plus possibly finding the Hogwarts horcrux sooner.
            I also wonder if Voldemort would become desperate enough to use Snape as a weapon against Harry and Dumbledore and how they would pull that off.
            I might seriously write this… So much fun thinking about all the changes!

          • YoureJustAsSaneAsIAm

            Such interesting theories!! I do think that Voldemort would still try to get rid of Dumbledore, for without him around, the wizarding world seems a lot more exposed and vulnerable. I wonder if he would use more children of current Death Eaters at Hogwarts instead of it just being Draco blundering around all year. Even though vanishing cabinet idea was a good one, I’m sure there are other ways of infiltrating Hogwarts.

            I do think that if Dumbledore discussed horcruxes with Harry sooner, he would have brought Harry along, just like he did with the locket horcrux in the cave. Even Harry didn’t know about the Deathly Hallows, I’m hoping Harry would have a clear enough head to know to not put the ring horcrux on and warn Dumbledore, based on his experience with Riddle’s diary second year. It’s funny to even consider a “regular” seventh year at Hogwarts for the Trio, not having to be on the run. (Side note: I never understood why Hermione and Ron thought that Voldemort would never try and hide a horcrux at Hogwarts. Their line of thinking never made sense to me)

            I would totally read this fanfic. If you ever get the chance to write it, please let me know! XD

          • travellinginabluebox

            Will do 🙂
            First I need to sort out all this great ideas into one story line.

        • daveybjones999 .

          There are several ways that I could see the potential fallout of the alternate universe where Harry is better prepared by having a better relationship with Dumbledore, and not falling for the trap Voldemort lays for him at the ministry with Sirius not dying. Each of these will be in different comments so hopefully it won’t be detected as spam, since it seems to happen with all of my larger comments. I could potentially see the Ministry of Magic still being forced to accept Voldemort’s return without these events taking place. If we assume that the views of the students at Hogwarts mirror the views of the wizarding community at large we already see a major shift in their line of thinking. By the end of the year we already see a growing discontent with the way that the Umbridge, and by extension the ministry, is running things and I could see the wizarding community lose faith in them regardless, but it might have taken another few months or another year.

          • daveybjones999 .

            There’s also the potential that Umbridge could be removed from Hogwarts without Dumbledore returning. While we don’t see or hear of any of the students complaining to their parents about Umbridge, we know that the school’s post is being searched so there’s a possibility that the reason why this doesn’t happen during the school year is because they fear they’ll be put in worse detentions, or because of Fred and Georges actions, they now have a better way of combating Umbridge. So when they come home from the summer I could see the students complaining to their parents about Umbridge. Although there is the chance that their parents might not take it seriously, we know several students have been getting the hand detention so those students have proof and when they show their hands to their parents I could see a flood of complaints from them forcing Umbridge to be removed anyway. In the events that Umbridge isn’t removed and the ministry still continues with their stance, I could also see their fear of a rebellion from Hogwarts becoming a reality, but without Dumbledore’s involvement. That would be a really cool series of events which would make the poetic justice of Fudge being removed from office being stronger, because this time the irony of exact events that he fears happens because of his actions even greater.

          • daveybjones999 .

            Also if the ministry and Umbridge are still in power, I could see Harry not returning to Hogwarts for his final year and possible start the horcrux hunt in the 6th year instead, but this time possible he would go with Dumbledore instead of with Ron and Hermione. This is because we already see how Molly acts when they decide to leave Hogwarts when they’re technically of age, and this time since Ron and Hermione aren’t of age Molly would have been able to prevent them from going with Harry, although technically since Hermione’s birthday is in September she’s already 17 during most of the events of Half-Blood Prince so I could see her going with Harry anyway. I think if Dumbledore would allow Harry to go on a journey with him, I don’t see anyone being able to stop Harry from going since everyone trusts Dumbledore. Although Dumbledore still hasn’t got all his information at this time, I could also see him getting the information sooner because without being the Headmaster, he can now devote all of his time to running the order, and finding the memories and horcruxes instead of splitting his time among the three.

          • daveybjones999 .

            My final speculation is that I could see the ministry being taken over by Voldemort sooner. When the ministry becomes aware of him being back, it takes the death eaters over a year to infiltrate and take over the ministry, but if they still remain in the dark it would probably take them much less time. I could see them poisoning Fudge, passing it off as him dying from overwork, and putting an imperioused lackey in the position. In this case I could potentially see either it taking shorter or longer for the death eaters and Voldemort to be defeated. Also I just had the thought that a really cool band name would be Riddle and the Death Eaters. It has a nice ring to it.

          • travellinginabluebox

            Oh love all of those so much. So many new angles to look at the story. I especially enjoyed Harry and Dumbledore taking off together on a trip. That would definitely be a cool thing to explore.