Ranker Rundown: Dumbledore's Other Secrets

The latest romp through the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, has Muggles and the magically inclined alike wondering, "Wait, what exactly are the secrets of Dumbledore?"

That's for the movie to reveal, and they probably figure prominently in the ongoing conflict between a young(er) Albus Dumbledore and the infamous Gellert Grindelwald, but we've got some other secrets about the Hogwarts headmaster, and they're not the sorts of secrets you'd find in Newt Scamander's enchanted suitcase. Rather than a wand or a Time-Turner, we're providing something even more magical and secretive: context. So put away the Portkey and consider that Dumbledore currently ranks just behind fellow bearded wizard Gandalf on our Greatest Wizard Characters Of All Time list, which has generated more than 13,000 votes on Ranker.

That's just a taste of the info-morsels we've rounded up from Ranker and the cobwebbed corners of the internet. While they might not be the titular Secrets of Dumbledore, they're tastier than the most flavorful varieties of Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans.

  • Dumbledore's No Match For Gandalf Or Doctor Strange In A Magical Brawl

    Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore ranks third on the list of wizards who would win in a magical mega-duel. Although he commands a ton of respect from his students and fellow professors at Hogwarts, he likely lacks the tenacity it would take to win a duel against the likes of Gandalf and Doctor Strange. Gandalf is no stranger to magical conflict, as he has faced off against Saruman the White in the Lord of the Rings franchise and even went toe-to-toe with a flaming Balrog. Sure, that felled Gandalf the Grey, but he returned as Gandalf the White. Notably, all three wizards perished, but only Dumbledore stayed dead. 

    As for the MCU’s protector of the Time Stone, Doctor Strange fought mega-monster Dormammu with almost no experience and came out on top, though he was one of the many who "blipped" out of existence for five years. Not to mention, Strange has the benefit of foresight, as he can view alternative timelines to predict outcomes and prepare for conflict. It takes only one positive result to be victorious. Just ask Thanos.

  • Richard Harris Turned Down The Original Movie Role Repeatedly
    Photo: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets / Warner Bros. Pictures

    Richard Harris Turned Down The Original Movie Role Repeatedly

    The challenge of casting the Hogwarts headmaster in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was nothing to sneeze at. Who could bring the gravitas of the world's most formidable wizard and the twinkly-eyed sense of humor so lovingly described in the novels? The answer was Richard Harris, the notoriously hard-living two-time Oscar nominee who'd recently received a boost playing Marcus Aurelius in Gladiator. Except Harris himself wasn't exactly a Potterhead. "All I knew is that they kept offering me the part and raising the salary every time they called. I kept turning it down," he recalled in 2001.

    "Anyone involved has to agree to be in the sequels, all of them, and that's not how I wanted to spend the last years of my life," Harris said at age 71, not long before his passing in 2002. "So I said no over and over again."

    It was his granddaughter Ella, a Potter fan, who convinced Harris, telling him, "If you don't play Dumbledore then I will never speak to you again." Of course, the fact that franchise producer David Heyman is Harris's godson didn't hurt, either. 

    Actor Michael Gambon took over the role of Dumbledore after the first two films and Harris's passing.


  • Not Many People Want To Kick Back Butterbeer With Young Dumbles
    Photo: Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore / Warner Bros. Pictures

    Not Many People Want To Kick Back Butterbeer With Young Dumbles

    Now, nobody's trying to take shots at Jude Law. He is a wonderful actor who has turned in tremendous performances in the past, but unfortunately, the Ranker audience doesn’t necessarily want to hang out and chill with the acclaimed thespian.

    Law ranks 151st on the list of Famous Men You’d Want to Have A Beer With, which is several spots lower than Vincent van Gogh, a notoriously depressive man who cut off his own ear and was almost certainly not a great hang.

    While folks might rather run into Samuel L. Jackson or Keanu Reeves at their local pub, they respect Law's acting chops. The two-time Oscar nominee ranks high on Ranker's lengthy list of the Best Living English Actors. The votes currently have him ranked at No. 14, between erstwhile 007 Daniel Craig and former Hobbit Martin Freeman.

  • 2004's Sexiest Man Alive Isn't At His Sexiest As Dumbledore

    Jude Law was named the Sexiest Man Alive by People magazine in 2004, which made sense, as he had made a name for himself as a Hollywood heartthrob in the early 2000s in films like Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and The Talented Mr. Ripley.

    If you consider his lengthy filmography, you’ll notice that not many of his characters have had facial hair. Perhaps as a result, Law ranks fairly low on Ranker’s list of Actors Who Actually Look Better With Facial Hair. Ironically, in the Fantastic Beasts series, he plays one of the most notable bearded men in cinematic history. 

  • Did Dumbledore Choose Baby Harry Over Sirius Black?
    Photo: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone / Warner Bros. Pictures

    Did Dumbledore Choose Baby Harry Over Sirius Black?

    A Reddit user who shared one of the highest-voted Harry Potter fan theories on Ranker points out that despite not knowing about the last-minute swap between Peter Pettigrew and Sirius Black, Dumbledore still possessed the skill and influence to unearth the truth about Sirius’s incarceration for misdeeds he didn't commit.

    Nevertheless, Albus allowed his loyal friend to be locked up without trial because it was absolutely necessary that Harry Potter end up under the guardianship of the Dursleys so Lily Potter’s protection spell would live on.

    Harry’s Aunt Petunia was a blood relative of Lily; therefore, Harry was safest under her care, which inevitably left Sirius imprisoned. As Harry’s godfather, Sirius would have become Harry’s legal guardian if he was never sent to Azkaban, rendering the protection spell less effective.

  • Dumbledore Is More Powerful Than Popular
    Photo: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix / Warner Bros. Pictures

    Dumbledore Is More Powerful Than Popular

    He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named really feared only one wizard, and the books made that very clear, so it's no surprise that Potter fans and Ranker readers recognize Dumbledore's wizarding prowess. He easily tops the list of the most powerful wizards in the Potterverse, well ahead of fellow Hogwarts fixtures Minerva McGonagall and Severus Snape. Strikingly, Voldemort himself ranks fourth, just ahead of Hermione Granger.

    Dumbledore might have Professor McGonagall beat in the raw power rankings, but the Transfiguration teacher is running laps around Dumbledore on the list of everyone's favorite Hogwarts teachers. McGonagall's easily the most popular member of the faculty, followed by Remus Lupin, who spent one academic year teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts. In the third spot, the headmaster barely beats out Care for Magical Creatures teacher Rubeus Hagrid, who is fourth.

    Dunbledore might not be the most popular grown-up on staff, but he has by far the most sought-after Patronus. Anybody yelling "Expecto Patronum" would most like to see his signature Phoenix kicking Dementor butts, according to the rankings of all the Patronuses in the Potterverse.