43 Iconic Words of Wisdom from Dumbledore

We reflect on the most inspiring, witty and wise Dumbledore quotes in honor of the late Michael Gambon, the man who brought Albus Dumbledore to life

There are some characters who live in our hearts forever—the kind of characters who make us brave, who make us think, who teach us how to live in a world with hope and light and love. Of all the fictional characters we turn to for inspiration, there is hardly someone more inspiring than Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the beloved Harry Potter series. The witty and wise Dumbledore quotes that line the pages of J.K. Rowling’s books and fill our screens have inspired generations. Dumbledore was one of the wizarding world’s most famous wizards, and he was a loyal and loving friend until the bitter end.

For many who think of Albus Dumbledore, images of Michael Gambon come to mind—the actor who played Dumbledore in six of the eight Harry Potter films (Richard Harris played him in the first two, before his passing in 2002). Clad in his gray robes with a long white beard and a floppy hat, Gambon was the picture-perfect Dumbledore, and our hearts were heavy to learn of his passing at the age of 82.

In honor of Gambon’s work, we have collected our favorite Dumbledore quotes from both the Harry Potter movies and books. They’re a mixture of laugh-out-loud moments, inspiring remarks about love and life, and even some deep philosophical pondering of death and the afterlife. Even if these quotes are about magic in a fictional place, many still hold true in our muggle world. And we are forever grateful to Gambon for bringing them to life.

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

1. “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”

2. “The Stone was really not such a wonderful thing. As much money and life as you could want! The two things most human beings would choose above all—the trouble is, humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things that are worst for them.”

3. “To have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever.”

4. “Alas! Ear wax!”

5. “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”

6. “One can never have enough socks.”

7. “Ah, music. A magic beyond all we do here!”

8. “Fear of a name increases fear of a thing itself.”

9. “The truth. It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution.”

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

10. “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

11. “The best of us sometimes eat our words.”

12. “I will only have truly left the school when none here are loyal to me.”

13. “You will also find that help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it.”

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

14. “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

15. “You think the dead we loved truly ever leave us? You think that we don’t recall them more clearly in times of great trouble?”

16. “You know, Harry, in a way, you did see your father last night. You found him inside yourself.”

17. “The consequences of our actions are always so complicated, so diverse, that predicting the future is a very difficult business indeed.”

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

18. “Dark and difficult times lie ahead. Soon we must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy.”

19. “Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.”

20. “We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.”

21. “You place too much importance, and you always have done, on the so-called purity of blood! You fail to recognize that it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be!”

22. “It is my belief … that the truth is generally preferable to lies.”

23. “Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it.”

24. “Curiosity is not a sin … but we should exercise caution with our curiosity. Yes, indeed.”

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

25. “Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike.”

26. “Youth cannot know how age thinks and feels, but old men are guilty if they forget what it was to be young.”

27. “By all means, continue destroying my possessions. I daresay I have too many.”

28. “We can’t choose our fate, but we can choose others. Be careful in knowing that.”

29. “Wit beyond measure is man’s greatest treasure.”

30. “Harry, suffering like this proves you are still a man! This pain is part of being human … the fact that you can feel pain like this is your greatest strength.”

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince Via MerchantVia Merchant

31. “Age is foolish and forgetful when it underestimates youth.”

32. “Have you any idea how much tyrants fear the people they oppress? All of them realize that, one day, amongst their many victims, there is sure to be one who rises against them and strikes back!”

33. Voldemort: “Nothing I have seen in the world has supported your pronouncements that love is more powerful than my kind of magic, Dumbledore.”
Albus Dumbledore: “Perhaps you have been looking in the wrong places.”

34. “It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.”

35. “We must try not to sink beneath our anguish, Harry, but battle on.”

36. “Yet, sadly, accidental rudeness occurs alarmingly often.”

37. “You are protected, in short, by your ability to love! The only protection that can possibly work against the lure of power like Voldemort’s!

38. “I am not worried, Harry … I am with you.”

39. Albus Dumbledore: “You do them a disservice by not confiding something this important to them.”
Harry: “I didn’t want—”
Albus Dumbledore: “—to worry or frighten them? Or perhaps, to confess that you yourself are worried and frightened? You need your friends, Harry.”

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

40. “It is a curious thing, Harry, but perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it. Those who, like you, have leadership thrust upon them, and take up the mantle because they must, and find to their own surprise that they wear it well.”

41. “Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living. And above all, pity those who live without love.”

42. “Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”

43. “Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury and remedying it.”

Kiersten Hickman
Kiersten Hickman is a journalist and content strategist with a main focus on nutrition, health and wellness coverage. She holds an MA in Journalism from DePaul University and a Nutrition Science certificate from Stanford Medicine. Her work has been featured in publications including Taste of Home, Reader's Digest, Bustle, Buzzfeed, INSIDER, MSN, Eat This, Not That! and more.