Movie #6 – Was Dumbledore’s Death Foretold?

Rochelle September 17, 2015 @ 11:39AM
Was Dumbledore's Death Foretold?

Remember that moment at the end of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince when Albus Dumbledore was killed by Severus Snape and his lifeless body plummeted off the top of the Astronomy Tower to the ground below? Of course you do! That was the moment for almost every Potterhead when the world as we knew it no longer made sense. How could Dumbledore die?

Well, it turns out that there is a bigger question than the one I asked above. Should we have foreseen Dumbledore's death? The answer to this question is, "Yes."

It turns out that there was foreshadowing in the sixth movie. But there also was foreshadowing in one of the books that wasn't included in any of the movies. So, the truth behind this mystery can be found both in a movie and a book.

Why Is This A Movie Mystery?

I suppose this isn't really a movie mystery in the sense that this isn't something in the movie that was confusing. Snape killed Dumbledore, initially making Snape look like a murderer. In the final movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt. 2, we found out that Dumbledore planned his death with Snape the summer before Harry's sixth year of school started, and Snape wasn't the bad guy Harry Potter thought he was.

But have you ever stopped to wonder if there was any foreshadowing of Dumbledore's death? Author J.K. Rowling was incredibly thorough with this series so it makes sense that she would have given at least one subtle clue to Dumbledore's eventual demise.

It turns out that there was foreshadowing, both in the sixth movie, and in the third book.

Molly Weasley Foreshadowed Dumbledore's Death

This answer comes from the movie... Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

The most obvious foreshadowing occurred at the beginning of the sixth movie. Early in the movie Dumbledore delivered Harry to the Weasley family's burrow late at night without first notifying Molly Weasley. This is the conversation that followed:

Molly: "Why didn't you let us know you were coming?"
Harry: "I didn't know. Dumbledore..."
Molly: "Oh! That man! But then, what would we do without him?"

You can watch this scene in the video below.

Sybil Trelawney Foreshadowed Dumbledore's Death

This answer comes from the book... Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

If you haven't read the book series then you won't realize that Sybil Trelawney, the Divinations teacher, foreshadowed Dumbledore's death as early as the third book during an event that took place during Christmas break.

Harry, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley stayed at school for the holiday and ate their Christmas lunch in the Great Hall. Also at the table were Dumbledore, Snape, Minerva McGonagall, Pomona Sprout, Filius Flitwick, Argus Filch, and three unnamed students. If you count them (and you need to for this foreshadowing), you will find that there were 12 people at the table.

However, this number may not be accurate. A bit earlier Ron and Harry were in their dormitory and Harry saw that Ron's pet rat Scabbers had lost both weight and hair. Harry reflected on how Scabbers was rarely out of Ron's pocket, insinuating that Ron almost always had Scabbers with him in a pocket. If true, then that meant that Scabbers was in Ron's pocket at the lunch table and you need to recount the number of people at the table. Why? Because Scabbers was not a rat but a wizard named Peter Pettigrew who was hiding his true identity by magically taking on the form of a rat.

At some time during the meal, Trelawney entered the room to join them. Dumbledore stood up from the table and conjured a chair so that Trelawney had a place to sit. Here is what happened next:

Professor Trelawney, however, did not sit down; her enormous eyes had been roving around the table, and she suddenly uttered a kind of scream.

"I dare not, Headmaster! If I join the table, we shall be thirteen! Nothing could be more unlucky! Never forget that when thirteen dine together, the first to rise will be the first to die!"​

So, who stood up first when Trelawney entered the room? It was Dumbledore.

We don't know who the three unknown students are so we don't know if they died during the course of the series, but I doubt it since they weren't important enough to be given names. However, we do know the names of the remaining 10 people at the table. Which one of the 10 died first? Yes, it was Albus Dumbledore. Perhaps Sybil Trelawney wasn't quite the fraud people at Hogwarts believed her to be...

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