HarryHarry Potter and the Philosopher’s rock introduces us to the enigma the is Professor Albus Dumbledore. However what does his response to the mysterious winter of Erised tell us about what’s to come?

Thick woollen socks. That’s what Dumbledore speak Harry that sees in the mirror of Erised during their very first ever face-to-face conversation in Philosopher’s Stone.

You are watching: What does dumbledore see in the mirror of erised

As an development to Dumbledore that pretty telling: an evasive answer, yes, yet one given kindly and also with his classic, whimsical feeling of humour that stops Harry asking any more questions. Still, it’s a long time before we uncover what the winter really reveals about Dumbledore’s deepest desires, offered how careful he is never to reveal too lot to Harry.

This is a pattern developed early on, with Dumbledore taking charge of harry’s future in the immediate results of his parents" death. Professor McGonagall is horrified to think of harry being brought up through the Dursleys, but Dumbledore is adamant that leaving him to the care of his Muggle loved ones is for the best. Later, v Harry developed at Hogwarts and also Voldemort beginning his journey ago to power, we hear repeatedly that Dumbledore is the only wizard Voldemort is fear of, and also yet he is absent when Harry comes face-to-face with the half-formed Dark mr hiding under Professor Quirrell’s turban.


Which is all part of the grand plan, together we find out much later, yet even after understanding Dumbledore for much less than a year Harry begins to wonder about his enigmatic headmaster.

‘I reckon he had actually a pretty great idea we were going come try, and also instead of protecting against us, he just taught us enough to help. Ns don’t think it’s an accident the let me uncover out how the winter worked.’ Harry Potter and also the Philosopher’s Stone

It might not be an accident, yet it is a nice unconventional method to teaching. He likewise makes certain Harry has actually his father’s Invisibility Cloak but it’s a gift offered anonymously, which again avoids Harry from asking any type of questions until Dumbledore is all set to answer them. Or half-answer them, anyway.

All of i m sorry is to say that Dumbledore is a pretty mysterious man. But his penchant for keeping particular things to self can’t hide his warmth and kindness: this is a wizard who trusts Hagrid with his life, tenderness reminds Harry not to dwell on dreams and notices and rewards Neville Longbottom because that standing approximately his friends. That a warmth that makes world trust the without concern – Professor McGonagall does watch the wisdom in his decision to leaving Harry v the Dursleys, and also everyone from Hagrid to Percy Weasley sings Dumbledore’s praises.


But of all the personalities we satisfy in Philosopher’s Stone it’s tough not come look at Dumbledore, in particular, there is no factoring in everything we later on learn. In Order of the Phoenix – five years ~ the events in Philosopher’s Stone, and only after ~ the death of Sirius – the reveals his factors for leave Harry with the Dursleys and also explains his motivation for not telling Harry the truth around why Voldemort had actually tried to kill him as a baby. Would knowing these things previously have provided Harry a much better sense of how Voldemort might shot to entrap him? could it even have quit him rushing come the room of Mysteries, and also so impede Sirius’s death? who knows, yet it’s in Order of the Phoenix that Dumbledore beginning to recognize to Harry that he may have made some mistakes.

And yet as soon as he discover the reasons behind his decisions, it seems that it was all pretty noticeable from the outset. That cares around Harry. His major objective is to store Harry safe and also as happy as possible.

Dumbledore’s thoughts on the winter of Erised make this pretty clear. Again, what we later learn around Dumbledore’s past can readjust what us think the his conversation with Harry – when he claims the Mirror gives neither fact nor knowledge, is that talking around his own experiences? Is the gentleness with which he speak Harry not to come looking for the Mirror moved by the fact that he, too, to know what it’s favor to dream of see your family again, whole and also unharmed?


But this aren’t questions we believed to wonder about in Philosopher’s Stone – and also nor, it seems, did Harry. It’s testimony to Dumbledore’s character that none of us really wondered about the wisdom that his choices, even without the complete explanations that come later.

Yet there are moments in Philosopher’s Stone the hint in ~ the darker days to come. Dumbledore’s words to Harry about the Mirror space not to dwell on dreams and forget come live. Again he might be speak of his own history – his obsession through the Deathly Hallows, perhaps, and his ignore of his household – yet he is additionally advising Harry, that will become so entwined with Voldemort’s brain that he starts to dream his dreams, other Dumbledore tries to obtain him come resist as soon as he instructs Snape come teach harry Occlumency in Order the the Phoenix.

As it later becomes clear, Dumbledore currently knows what Harry should do to loss Voldemort. In Philosopher’s Stone, that chooses no to load Harry v that knowledge, informing him just that he will know more when he is older. And in doing so, he – probably unknowingly – binding Harry to him in a means that will become increasingly important.

See more: First 2 Hours: Your Dog Sprayed By Skunk In Mouth And Nose, Pet Got Skunked


To memory the 20th anniversary of bother Potter and also the Philosopher’s Stone, every Friday Pottermore will discover themes, moments, characters and much more from the very very first Harry Potter story. Come ago next week once we watch at just how Ron Weasley"s sorcerer’s Chess an abilities revealed his hero potential.