Mail Bag: How About a Doppelganger for Dumbledore? Who is Not the Dark Lord?

Do I get exotic even Quixotic questions in the mail? I sure do. I confess this one sat in my inbox for quite a while as I tried to figure out how to respond.


f38722022I was wondering if you ever had come up with a Doppelganger for Dumbledore other than Grindelwald?

I’ve been re-reading Looking For God in Harry Potter (I also have How Harry Cast His Spell near for reference!) and in that second ed. you have no Doppelganger for Dumbledore but you added Grindelwald in 3rd ed. (Spell).

I just read all seven Potters for about the 15th time and I think I have a non-Jekyll and Hyde Doppelganger for Dumbledore; Can you think of who it is?

Steven M

Here is what I came up with (after the jump). If you want to play, take your best guess before reading what follows. If you came up with Steven M’s answer, I definitely want to hear about it in the comments section!

f39081958Dear Steven M,

Fascinating Questions!

(1) No, I haven’t come up with a Doppelganger for Dumbledore other than Grindlewald.

(2) Can I think of who you believe is a “non Jekyll-and-Hyde Doppelganger for Dumbledore”?

Wow. Here’s my best guess…

  • Mother and father die when he is young. 
  • Famous before his time. 
  • Misunderstood and persecuted by Press and Pure-bloods. 
  • Voldemort hates his guts and wants to kill him (maybe a little afraid of him, though).
  • Gryffindor. Sword of Gryffindor winner.
  • Hallows holder. 
  • Man with a ‘saving people thing’ and no tolerance for the Muggle/Mud Blood intolerant.
  • FOH (Friend of Hagrid)
  • Secret keeper
  • Victor in single combat with the Most Evil Wizard of the Age

I’m going to guess Harry Potter. It’s either him or Molly Weasley.

With admiration,


Forgive me, but I was quite pleased with that answer, especially the Molly Weasley teaser I threw in as a torment. It turns out, though, that my best guess — with 10 associations — was not the doppelganger Steven M was thinking of.

Hi again!

Well I never thought about Harry but it does seem very plausible.

Also I’m interested in the Molly Weasley Theory:

  • Both Gryffindor
  • Both in Order of The Phoenix
  • Both substitute-like parents for Harry?

What are your others for Molly?

However, my Doppelganger is probably one almost nobody would think of. I saw it the last two times I read Order of The Phoenix. Especially in giving people second chances and believing the best of people when others did not.

ChoSo I see Cho Chang as a Dumbledore Doppelganger.

  • Second Chances:
    Cho = Marietta Edgecombe      Dumbledore = Professor Snape
  • Same people on the believing in others when others did not. In fact Dumbledore seems to also have believed in Marietta to a small degree
  • Almost Veela like transformation when angered:
    Cho = Quidditch Loss   Dumbledore with the Death Eaters at Phoenix ending.
  • Both have symbolic birds as their Patronus
    Cho = Swan (Grace/Graceful)    Dumbledore = Phoenix (Resurrection)
  • Both Members of Special Forces Fighting against the Dark Side
    Cho = D.A.    Dumbledore = Order of Phoenix
  • Some type of spoken power at stopping Filch harassing Harry:
    Cho = Telling Filch she saw Harry not sending Stinkbombs and he stops the harassment and leaves.
    Dumbledore stops Filch accusing Harry of Killing Mrs. Norris in Chamber of Secrets.
  • Both have Long Hair
  • Both have some type of power over Harry just by smiling or looking at him.
    Although Cho wins bigger points because it also works just when he  sees her.
  • Both are mentally gifted:
    Cho = Ravenclaw House 
    Dumbledore wins more points here with just the Chocolate frog Card attributes.
  • Both make an unexpected return in Year 7
    Cho because she had graduated and yet came back to fight with her D.A. comrades.
    Dumbledore because Ms. Rowling fed us about a hundred Red Herrings that, “Dumbledore was dead and could not be brought back,” and yet he did in his potrait and with Harry at the Heavenly King’s Cross Station.
  • I also think Cho may have a sweet tooth like Dumbledore because of her usually bubbly personality and her liking of Madam Puddifoot’s shop, and her likeness to Dumbledore who we know has a sweet tooth!

Well, feel free to disagree!



PS As a Pottermore Ravenclaw I might be biased!

f38696614I’m reminded of one of Steve Vander Ark’s answers to fans with crackpot theories about Deathly Hallows before it was published. He walked them through a logical syllogism based on presence and absence from various books and scenes in the first six books to demonstrate that the Giant Squid killed Dumbledore. It was meant of course to be an ironic demonstration that speculative proofs were by nature necessarily preposterous. As often as not, the person to whom SVA was speaking went away half-convinced that Dumbledore met his end at the ends of a most unexpected foe.

If you have given the question of Dumbledore’s story foil any thought, please let me know what you think of my best guess and Steven M’s Cho Theory.


  1. Well, I definitely did not expect Cho. The first name that popped into my head–without any thought–was Dobby. But, after a little more thinking, I decided on Snape. (Before scrolling down and reading your excellent argument for Harry, and then the very well defended choice of Cho.)
    So, here is my very quick analysis of Dumbledore/Snape:
    1. Both have complicated relationships with their parents.
    2. Both try to hide their past, even the best parts of them.
    3. Both are thwarted in love by choosing different paths from the ones they love.
    4. Both suffer the loss of a person they deeply cherish because they poured their hearts into the wrong pursuits.
    5. Both make redeeming choices. Snape chooses to dedicate his life to protecting Harry and overthrowing Voldemort–slayer of Lily. Dumbledore sets himself up against all those who would perpetuate evil, also takes on protecting Harry, and even faces and overthrows the one he loved.
    6. Both are highly respected, if not feared, by Voldemort.
    7. Both give up their lives to defeat Voldemort.

    That’s what I have so far, though I believe there is probably much more to the Dumbledore/Snape theory. 🙂

  2. Wow! I would never have thought of Cho! But another point in favor of that theory would be how Harry initially is infatuated and can see no weakness in either…and is later troubled by and doubts that individual; while, in the end, he comes back to appreciate each one as a good albeit imperfect friend. Or did I miss something? Thank you for bringing us back to seeing new in the old.

  3. The Interwebs have been ablaze with Rowling’s approval of a reader’s theory that Dumbledore is Death.

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