Albus Dumbledore, the greatest sorcerer in the world (as Harry Potter called him in the Chamber of Secrets), is one of the wisest, deepest, most beloved fictional characters ever created. He serves not only as a professor to Harry but also as his guide, perhaps even a father figure.
The quotes Dumbeldore gave us over the years resonate in real life, too, including quotes about life, love, wisdom, power, family, friendship, and much more. Without further ado, here are the 40 best Dumbledore quotes from the Harry Potter movies, as well as Fantastic Beasts films.
Best Dumbledore Quotes From Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone
“It does not do to dwell on dreams, Harry, and forget to live.”
When Harry discovers the magical mirror that shows you your deepest desires, he ends up spending much time in front of it, visualizing his parents by his side. When Dumbledore learns this, he explains to Harry that, although it may seem right at the moment, dwelling on dreams never leads to great things. If you dwell on dreams, you’ll forget to actually – live.
“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends.”
At the end of the movie, Dumbledore is awarding the final points to determine the winner of the House Cup. After giving Harry, Ron, and Hermione their points for their roles in taking down Professor Quirrel, he gives out the last ten deciding points – to Neville Longbottom.
Nevill didn’t want to see Gryffindor get punished because the trio kept breaking the rules, so he stood up to them. It was cute but unsuccessful. Still, it brought Nevill the points that ultimately dubbed Gryffindor as the House Cup winners over Slytherin.
“No, no. This kind of mark cannot be seen. It lives in your very skin… Love, Harry. Love.”
This was the first time Albus explained to Harry how he could survive Voldemort’s attacks when both his parents perished so easily. Dumbledore says that it was all because of Harry’s mother, Lily, who sacrificed herself for him – and that kind of act leaves a mark.
Harry reached for his scar, thinking that was the mark Dumbledore was talking about, but Albus explains that the mark Lily left isn’t on the surface of the skin but deep within. That mark was pure, unselfish love, and it was the most beautiful thing I’ve heard in the entire film.
“I would trust Hagrid with my own life.”
This beautiful sentiment came at the very beginning of the film when we weren’t even acquainted with the characters yet. Albus and Professor McGonnagal are at Privet Drive, waiting for Hagrid to bring the infant Harry Potter there so that they can leave him with the Dursleys, as they are the only family he had.
Minerva asks Dumbledore if it was smart to leave Harry with the muggles, to which he answers they’re the only family Harry has. Then, she asks if it was smart to let Hagrid handle such an important task, and Dumbledore answers with this awesome quote.
Moments later, you see this huge, lumberjack-looking giant with hair and beard that almost completely covers his face. You can see why McGonnagal was worried, but in the end, you also see why Dumbledore trusted him – Hagrid turned into one of the most beloved characters of the franchise.
“Also, our caretaker, Mr. Filch, has asked me to remind you that the third-floor corridor on the right-hand side is out of bounds to everyone who does not wish to die a most painful death.”
This quote was hilarious to me for some reason. I mean just the way that Dumbledore tells it so calmly like he’s saying, “Dinner will be at seven.” Like, “Hey, we’re eating chicken tonight. By the way, if you don’t want to die excruciatingly, stay away from that hallway.”
Imagine being a poor guy who was in the toilet while Albus was saying this, and you had no idea about the death-trap situation. What a school, am I right?
Best Dumbledore Quotes From Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets
“It is not our abilities that show what we truly are. It is our choices.”
This was the first time that Harry learned why the Sorting Hat put him in Gryffindor instead of Slytherin. Harry wondered why it happened, seeing that he has all the skills Slytherin cherishes – the cunning, the take-action mentality, and even the parseltongue language.
Yes, the Hat thought Potter could be successful in Slytherin but chose to put him in Gryffindor – because Harry asked it to. As Dumbledore explained, Harry might’ve had the abilities to be successful in Slytherin, but the abilities don’t define a person – it is the choices they make, and Potter chose to be brave and go with his friends in Gryffindor.
“You both realize, of course, that in the past few hours, you have broken perhaps a dozen school rules. And that there is sufficient evidence to have you both expelled. Therefore, it is only fitting that you both receive… Special Awards for Services to the School.”
I loved this little tease that Dumbledore gave to Potter and Weasley after they entered the Chamber of Secrets on their own, saving Ginny Weasley, destroying Tom Riddle’s diary (later revealed to be a Horcrux), and killing the basilisk that has been terrorizing the school’s muggles.
Sure, they broke tons of rules, but in the end, they saved Hogwarts, and God knows, how many other students from being killed or petrified. Dumbledore is the Headmaster but known for bending the rules just a bit when needed.
“You will find that help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it.”
In this particular case, Harry and Ron hid in Hagrid’s house under the invisibility cloak to learn more about what Cornelius Fudge, Lucius Malfoy, and Dumbledore know about the Chamber of Secrets, the monster inside of it, and what it means for the School.
Of course, Dumbledore realizes they are there and gives them this cryptic quote, meaning they ought to ask for help, and they’ll get it, instead of sneaking around under cloaks like bandits.
“Oh, and about time too. He’s been looking dreadful for days. Pity you had to see him on a burning day.”
I remember the first time watching the Chamber of Secrets as a kid; I was taken aback by Fawkes burning into a pile of ashes just as much as Harry. And then, Dumbledore walks out, so calmly, and gives us this epic quote, explaining how the life of a phoenix works.
“Is there anything you wish to tell me?… Very well, then. Off you go.”
We’ve heard Dumbledore ask Harry this question in his office at one point in the film and then saw him ask Tom Riddle the exact same question years back, which we saw in a flashback caused by the diary.
This line from Dumbledore was so iconic and crucial for us to understand just how similar Tom Riddle and Harry Potter were as kids and as students. It is their choices that eventually separate them.
Best Dumbledore Quotes From Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban
“For in dreams, we enter a world that is entirely our own. Let him swim in the deepest ocean or glide over the highest cloud.”
This was a lovely quote from Albus, speaking about the world we live in when we’re in our dreams. Away from problems, danger, or horrible Dark Lords trying to murder us on every step we take.
I appreciated the kindness of Dumbledore here, letting Harry enjoy his own world before returning to the one that’s getting darker every passing second.
“But you know, happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, when one only remembers to turn on the light.”
As the Prisoner of Azkaban is on the loose, dementors surround Hogwarts in search of him. However, Dumbledore explains that they are not forgiving creatures and wouldn’t hesitate if you stand in their way or give them any reason to harm you.
Then, he delivers one of the most frequently quoted lines in all the Harry Potter movies – these were dark times for Hogwarts and its students, but even then, you can be happy if you just turn on the light.
The quote has a symbolic meaning, saying that we create our happiness ourselves, but also a literal meaning, saying that if a dementor attacks you, produce a Patronus charm to cast them away.
“A child’s voice, however honest and true, is meaningless to those who’ve forgotten how to listen.”
It is sad but true. Adults sometimes tend to dismiss what a child is telling them, simply for the fact that it’s a child speaking to them. Of course, kids have a great imagination, but if you dismiss their every claim as meaningless, then you’ll never know when some of the things they are saying have weight.
One needs to remember how to listen to others, be it children, adults, friends, or enemies.
“Did what? Good night.”
I loved this simply Dumbledore quote because it shows that, even though he’s the Headmaster of the school, Albus still isn’t shy to play against the rules, if it’s for the right cause – and, even if those rules are the rules of time, space, and the past-present-future continuity.
He gave Hermione the device to turn back time and attend more classes simultaneously, which Harry and she used to save the innocent hippogriff Buckbeak from getting slaughtered. That, of course, led to a chain reaction that changed history forever, but the way Dumbledore calmly distanced himself from the situation was just too perfect.
“Oh, by the way. When in doubt, I find retracing my steps to be a wise place to begin. Good luck.”
After instructing Harry and Hermione to turn back time and go save Buckbeak and Sirius Black, he advises them to be careful, as the consequences of turning back time can be “too ghastly to discuss.” However, he never tells them what to do exactly.
He only gives them this vague but powerful tip that, when in doubt what to do, all they need to do is retrace their steps and, well, change what happened. The subtle hints are Dumbledore’s jam, and this was one of the coolest, in my opinion.
Best Dumbledore Quotes From Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire
“No spell can reawaken the dead, Harry. I trust you know that. Dark and difficult times lie ahead. Soon we must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy.”
All the magic in the world can’t help you get your loved ones back from the dead. The best you can have is memories, and, as Harry learned already in his first year at Hogwarts, it’s not safe to dwell in memories, nor to live in the past.
However, I found the second part of this quote even more inspiring and memorable. Choosing between right and wrong usually boils down to choosing between right and easy. Everyone has that choice, and only those who are strong and pure will do the right thing. Luckily for the world, Harry always chose the right thing, regardless of how hard it might’ve been.
“Send a message to Azkaban. I think they’ll find they’re missing a prisoner.”
This happened when Dumbledore and the rest of the Hogwarts teaching staff realized that professor Moody was, in fact, a wanted criminal, Barty Crouch Junior, who imprisoned the real Moody and drank polyjuice potion to keep himself disguised.
The way that Albus says this quote so cold-bloodedly, knowing Crouch is returning to Azkaban, where the dementors are waiting, was just as epic as the following quote. Crouch Jr. says how he’ll be welcomed to Azkaban as a hero, to which Dumbledore responds he‘s “never had much time for heroes.”
“I never liked these curtains. I set them on fire in my fourth year. Accidentally, of course.”
This one made me laugh probably a lot more than it should have. Harry and Albus were talking, to which Dumbledore randomly reveals his dislike for the long curtains in Hogwarts.
Then he proceeds to tell Harry how he once set the curtains on fire. Accidentally. Yeah, right. It’s kind of like, ‘I hate going to school so much, I might just burn it down.’ And then you burn it down, but say it was an accident. Slick move, Albus. Slick move.
“People change in the maze. Oh, find the cup if you can. But be very wary; you could just lose yourselves along the way.”
The maze was the final contest in the Triwizard cup – and it was brutal. Even if Voldemort didn’t show up and teleport Potter to that dreadful graveyard, the maze would be extremely dangerous. Just look at what the maze did to Krum.
However, there’s a deeper, finer meaning to the quote and the task. You can translate it to everyday life, too. The maze represents your life, while the Triwizard cup is your goals. If you can achieve them, that’s great. Just remember not to lose yourself along the way, becoming someone you’re not, or doing things you don’t want to, just to get there.
“Curiosity is not a sin, Harry. However, from time to time, you should exercise caution.”
Dumbledore wants nothing but the best for Harry, and he encourages Potter to be curious because curiosity leads to a desire for knowledge, and knowledge empowers us like nothing else. However, Harry tends to be reckless when curious, going the extra mile and doing whatever it takes to get to where his curiosity leads him.
It’s not a sin, as Albus states, but it got Harry in tough situations so many times. Remember the invisibility cloak incidents at Hagrid’s, when he almost got caught? Or ending up in the same room with Fluffy, the huge three-headed dog in the first movie? Yeah, perhaps Mr. Potter should be more cautious.
Best Dumbledore Quotes From Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix
“Harry, it isn’t how you are alike. It’s how you are not.”
When Voldemort tried killing Harry Potter and his mother stepped in, the curse rebounded and almost killed the Dark Lord himself. However, a part of his soul latched onto the child, meaning Harry and Voldemort are bound forever. That’s why they had the mental connection, which Voldemort tried exploiting near the end of the movie.
Harry always focused on what makes him similar to Voldemort, thus enabling the Dark Lord to control his thoughts. However, after this quote from Dumbledore, Potter realizes he has more than Tom ever will – friendship, love, and family.
“I must have missed it, but by a happy mistake, I arrived at the Ministry three hours early.”
When Harry was put into court in the Ministry of Magic, they knew Dumbledore would be there to defend him. So, they changed the time of the hearing to three hours earlier, not letting Albus know about the change.
Well, Dumbledore showed how cunning he is, as he knew they could try to pull off something like that, so he literally arrived at the Ministry three hours earlier. That’s why he’s the best – he’s always one step ahead, even if going against the entire Ministry of Magic.
“For the same reason you tried to save Sirius. For the same reason your friends saved you. After all these years, after all you’ve suffered, I didn’t want to cause you any more pain. I cared too much about you.”
After Sirius Black was killed, Harry felt guilty, but Dumbledore explained the guilt is on him for distancing himself from Harry, thinking he’d be more protected from the Dark Lord if they weren’t as close. Potter also learned from the prophecy that Voldemort and he will eventually have to kill one another, so he asks Dumbledore why he didn’t tell him.
Then, Albus answers with the quote above. Usually, Albus operates out of sheer reason, but when it came to Harry, he just cared too much, so his actions were driven by love. It’s a heartwarming moment where we see just how strong of a bond the two have.
“Ah, I thought we might hit this little snag. You seem to be laboring under the delusion that I am going to – what is the phrase? – come quietly. Well, I can tell you this – I have no intention of going to Azkaban.”
Dumbledore is usually calm, composed, and rarely lashes out. However, that doesn’t mean you want to mess with the guy – he’s still one of the most powerful wizards in the world.
So. when Dolores Umbridge, Cornelius Fudge, and the others try to take him into custody and into Azkaban, Dumbledore bangs out this awesome quote before Fawkes flies in and helps him escape in an epic ball of fire.
Best Dumbledore Quotes From Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince
“Ah, Harry… you need a shave, my friend.”
We all remember Dumbledore for his words of wisdom, but sometimes, we forget just how funny he tends to be sometimes. I love his jokes throughout the series, and they always seemed appropriate.
From the more child-friendly remarks in the first two movies from snarky soundbites like this one, Dumbledore always had a way to make me giggle.
“Indeed. Quite successfully, I might add. Most people vomit their first time.”
Just another awesome, calm, witty remark from Albus that had me laugh. He instructs Harry to take his arm, and when he does, Dumbledore apparates them to another place. Afterward, Harry feels dazzled and asks, “I just apparated, didn’t I?”
Albus then responds with the quote above so calmly, like it’s an everyday thing to just apparate people, knowing they might just vomit later. Hey, at least it’s fast.
“Hogwarts is not a place for mad people. Hogwarts is a school. A school of magic.”
This is an amazing quote from Dumbledore speaking to a young Tom Riddle. The young orphaned boy always got into trouble for mysterious incidents revolving around other children. Everyone there knew he was different, calling him mad, but Albus knew better.
When he speaks to Tom, the boy tells him he is not mad, to which Dumbledore answers with the quote above, saying Hogwarts is not meant for mad people, but those who are different – like Tom, and like Albus himself.
“Once again, I must ask too much of you, Harry.”
For once, Dumbledore acknowledged that some things Harry had to endure throughout the years had been a huge bite to take, especially for such a young wizard. Battling Voldemort as a First-year student? Check. Stabbing the basilisk? Check. Fighting dementors? Check. It just never ends for poor Potter.
It was nice to see Dumbledore show appreciation for everything Harry had done. From the start, Albus knew what needed to be done, and he never let Potter down, nor vice-versa.
“Did I know that I just met the strongest dark wizard of all time? No. If I did…”
When Dumbledore shows Harry a memory of the first day he met Tom Riddle, Potter asks him if he knew back then what the boy would become.
Dumbledore answers with the quote above, admitting he had no idea. Had he known back then that Riddle would become Lord Voldemort, perhaps everything that happened later could’ve been avoided. On the other hand, knowing Dumbledore, he’d probably let the child create his own path anyway, even if the path he chose was dark.
Best Dumbledore Quotes From Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2
“Something that is beyond either of our help.”
Although we don’t see Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, due to the ending on the previous film, he did appear in Part 2. Although Dumbledore’s screen time was short, he gave us some incredibly memorable quotes.
This one comes while Dumbledore and Harry are talking in the afterlife. Potter deliberately lets himself get killed, as he knows that he had to die in order for Voldemort to die as well. There’s a Thing underneath the bench while Albus and Harry talk, and Potter asks what it is.
The Professor gives him the calm, warm reassurance that there’s nothing they can do for the Thing. It was actually the Horcrux, the part of Voldemort residing in Harry, that died for good.
“You wonderful boy. You brave, brave man.”
Again, this line was directed towards Harry. Despite all the skill, wisdom, and respect that Dumbledore deservingly has, he still admires Potter’s courage. And, who wouldn’t?
Harry learned that he’s one of the Horcruxes that Voldemort accidentally left behind. That means the Dark Lord can’t die if Potter doesn’t die first. So, Harry decides to sacrifice himself, after which he finds himself in the afterlife with Dumbledore.
“The Dark Lord will return! And when he does, the boy will be in terrible danger! He has her eyes.”
Here, we see a flashback of Dumbledore and Snape right after Lily and James Potter were killed by Voldemort, and Harry survived. Everyone, including Snape, thought that the Dark Lord was gone for good, but Dumbledore knew better.
He predicted the return of the Dark Lord, and as it turns out, everything he said was true. I mean, Harry died there for a moment. It doesn’t get more dangerous than that, right?
“Yes. Yes… he must die.”
When you hear this quote, and you know it’s from Dumbledore, you’d probably think he’s talking about Lord Voldemort, right? Well, you’d be wrong. He’s talking about the opposite side of the spectrum – Harry.
Dumbledore knew a fraction of the Dark Lord’s powers and soul remained in Harry after he survived the murder attempt from Voldemort, so in order for him to die, Potter had to die first. It was heartbreaking to learn that Albus knew that the entire time but waited for the right time to let others know. Snape is the first person he shared that with during this exact conversation.
“Lily… After all this time?”
This short but powerful quote is probably the best-remembered quote from the entire movie. Once again, it came as a flashback to a conversation Albus had with Snape, talking about Harry and Lily Potter.
Albus asks Snape if he grew fond of Harry, to which Severus casts a Patronus charm in the same shape as Lily Potter’s, indicating it is her that he’s still fond of, not Harry. When Albus asks him, “after all this time?” Snape answers – Always.
“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury and remedying it.”
This piece of wisdom came from Albus during his conversation with Harry at the afterlife King’s Cross. I loved this quote in particular, as it really goes to show how powerful one’s words can be. Even wizards realize what impact words can have, which is why this quote has so much weight to it.
Best Dumbledore Quotes From Fantastic Beasts And The Crimes Of Grindelwald
“Do you know why I admire you, Newt? You do not seek power. You simply ask, ‘Is a thing… right?’ And, if it is, you do it no matter the cost!”
Jude Law played a young version of Albus Dumbledore in the second film of the Harry Potter prequel series, Fantastic Beasts and the Crimes of Grindelwald. He did an outstanding job, and already in the trailer, one could feel the old, cunning Dumbledore in the role.
I loved this quote from the trailer because it really tells you a lot about both Albus, and Newt Scamander, the main protagonist of the Fantastic Beasts series.
Albus might be the better wizard, yet he still expresses admiration towards Newt. He never cares about power or how he’ll benefit from a decision. The only thing Newt thinks about when doing anything is asking if his decision is right. If everyone had the same mindset, well, the world would be a much nicer place to live in.
“Not as well as I should have done. It’s not too late to free yourself. Confession is a relief, I’m told, a great weight lifted. Regret is my constant companion. Do not let it become yours.”
Albus talks to Leta Lestrange about her brother, Corvus, saying he knows how painful the rumors about Corvus have to be on her. Something similar happened to his sister when Albus was younger.
Speaking from experience, he guides Leta not to make the same mistakes he did. I love how, even in grief, or regret, Dumbledore always finds a way to learn from his mistakes and teach others not to do the same.
“If you’d ever had the pleasure to teach him… you’d know Newt is not a great follower of orders.”
Torquil Travers heard that Newt is headed to Paris, so he confronts Dumbledore about it, saying he knows Scamaner worked under Albus’ orders. That’s when Dumbledore gives him one of his classic wise-cracking quotes, saying Newt tends to do what he sees fit, not what he’s told to do.
It really reminded me of someone that Dumbledore loved in the future. He was smart, talented, had a scar on his head… ringing a bell?
“Muggles are not lesser. Not disposable.”
Throughout the film, the main plot points revolve around the coexistence between the wizarding world and the regular muggle, or no-maj world. That coexistence led to a rift among the wizards, with one side respecting muggles, wanting peace, while the other wanted to dominate over those without magic.
Of course, the righteous Dumbledore belonged to the first side, who felt that muggles aren’t disposable or worthless. It’s proven later with Jacob Kowalski and Dumbledore giving the baker a wand – in the trailer for the third film, Fantastic Beasts and the Secrets of Dumbledore.
“Oh, we were closer than brothers.”
While Torquil Tavers and Albus talk about Grindelwald, Travers remarks how close Dumbledore was with him before Gellert became the corrupted villain he is today. It was obvious from the beginning that the two had history, but this quote from Dumbledore really drives the point in terms of understanding their former relationship.
As it turns out, Grindelwald and Dumbledore were, indeed in a relationship, so strong and serious that they actually had a blood pact between them. That’s why Albus couldn’t go after Grindelwald and needed Newt to do it instead. The pact was seemingly destroyed, but what happens next remains to be seen.