Is Dumbledore God? No. Definitely not. Well, maybe. Let me ask: If Voldemort can be evil incarnate — the devil, why can’t Dumbledore be a God-figure? And then there are those traits Harry shares with Jesus: his willingness to sacrifice himself in order to defeat Voldemort and save the Wizarding world. I can hear the collective intake of breath from the bible belt – but it is my belief that had JK Rowling called her characters Romulans or Martians, the Christian world would not have such a knee-jerk reaction to her books. Creating a ‘wizarding and witch world’ was one of JK Rowling’s biggest sins. Those adjectives are loaded with evil. Had Rowling set her story in space somewhere and made it a sci-fi story, there would probably be a scientific reason why this race could change things with words and by waving a ‘stick’. The reason might be rational and plausible, not leaving these abilities in the murky world of magic. So, if we change the names of the races to something less provoking, then what are we left with?
One thing we are left with is a very complicated story. After recently re-reading and absorbing the last four books of the Harry Potter series, I am very aware that it is a long and convoluted tale. At the very least, detractors have to give JK Rowling credit for putting a great deal of thought and planning into the story of Harry Potter. These details enrich the story. This is partly why this series of books has gripped hearts and imaginations around the world. The big themes of this tale are some of our old favourites: good overcoming evil, and the power of love.
Particularly in the final stages of the story, there are parallels between how God calls us to solve problems in the Bible, how Harry finally solves the problem, and how good overcomes evil. It doesn’t have a lot to do with guns, (especially big ones), bombs or swearing. Those seem to be how most Hollywood action stories end, and how the Good Guys win. When we can no longer tell the Good Guys from the Bad Guys perhaps the story has lost any moral ground it might once have had?
Initially I was reluctant to see Dumbledore as God, or Harry as The Saviour. I’m still not comfortable with it, but I am open to seeing the God-like traits Harry and Dumbledore possess.
Dumbledore could see the Big Picture. He had planned out some events in advance. This is very God-like. In one of the later books in particular, Dumbledore distances himself from Harry. Harry doesn’t understand this and is hurt by Dumbledore’s behaviour. There are events in motion of which Harry is not aware. Dumbledore explains all at the end. In our own lives we scratch our heads, or are angry, when things happen to us that we don’t understand. Why did God let this situation happen to us? Are our brains so big that they obviously contain all the answers in the universe? God must get a headache watching our arrogance and arrogant behavior. But God knows the Big Picture in each of our lives, and sometimes, with hindsight, so do we.
Dumbledore gives Harry the choice about how to end things with Voldemort. Again, just like we are given choices. We can also chose what God advises, or follow our own drives and emotions. Revenge, anger and hatred are common solutions in movies and the world. Not so in Harry Potter, nor the Bible, though those emotions are well covered in both books. By the time Harry faces Voldemort for the last time, he calmly follows through with his plan. Love and sacrifice are the Bible’s solutions, and are reflected in the overcoming of Evil in the Harry Potter books as well.