Saturday, 7 May 2011


As requested by dear Nikki quite some time ago, I shall tell all about the origins of Prof Dumby's name. Because here at T.E.R. we are all abut keeping our readers happy.

Alors (sorry about the odd French word but that is the langue I am thinking in right now what with all my lengthy revision):

Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore

We all know that Dumbledore's most prized possession is dear Fawkes the phoenix. In fact, Albus may be the male form of "Alba" meaning sunrise, alluding to rebirth symbols: hence alluding to Fawkes. However, Albus may also be his name as it is a Latin word for 'white'. White is always associated with good, so it could either be that Dumbledore is a good character, or it may more simply refer to his white hair and beard.

Percival, the second of Dumbledore's names, refers to a legendary knight from Wales in the time of Arthur, who was involved in the Grail quest. In Le morte d'Arthur by Thomas Mallory, Percival is both the hero and the narrator of said quest, similar to parts of Harry Potter.

Not so different to Percival, Wulfric is an Anglo-Saxon name that represents England. Wulfric means "wolf-power" and is similar to the name "Beowulf". The legendary Beowulf slew the monster Grendel as a youth. Grendel is a very similar name to Gelert Grindelwald, who was a dark wizard defeated by Dumbledore himself when he was young. Coincidence? I think not. To make it all the cleverer, Beowulf was mortally wounded by a dragon in a cave by the sea. The only one who could help him was his squire: an orphaned son of some loyal followers. Rowling never ceases to baffle me.

Brian, by comparison, is a boring name compared to all of the others. This is probably the reason why Rowling chose it, in fact, though there was a King Brian Boru of Ireland who defeated his enemies: as does Dumbledore. But it's not as exciting as Wulfric, let's be honest.

Finally, the name Dumbledore itself is an 18th Century word for 'bumblebee', and Rowling has said she always imagined Dumbledore to be wandering around the castle humming to himself. And that is what we know him by. A little anticlimatic, isn't it?

Of course, if there are any other names you are interested in hearing about, just comment below.

By Jess

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