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Harry Potter Series: Why Albus Dumbledore Shouldn't Have Hidden The Sorcerer's Stone In Hogwarts?

Updated on February 6, 2017
Freya Yuki profile image

Freya is an avid book reader who loves analyzing the plots, themes and characters of novels like the Harry Potter series.

Is there a plot hole in the Harry Potter series By J.K. Rowling?

The Sorcerer's Stone (also known as the Philosopher's Stone) is more than just the title of the first book in the Harry Potter series (a 7-book fantasy story about wizards and magic) by J.K. Rowling.

This stone is actually an important and powerful magical artifact that is said to be capable of granting immortality or extending a person's lifespan.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Also known as HP and the Philosopher's Stone. Events mentioned in this article happen in this book. Do you think that Albus Dumbledore made a mistake in deciding to hide the stone in Hogwarts? Does he even care about his students? Exactly what is going on?

 

Naturally, many would be interested in getting this stone for themselves and that includes Dark Lord Voldemort (he's the main villain / antagonist / bad guy of the HP series).

To protect the stone from any and all potential thieves, it was hidden away.

But who was in charge of overseeing the stone's security and safety?

Where did this person decided to hide the stone and what's wrong with the chosen location?

Did this person (cough Albus Dumbledore cough) actually want the stone to be stolen and did he want to endanger the lives of innocent young people considering where he decided to hide the stone?

Why Albus Dumbledore shouldn't have hidden the Sorcerer's Stone or Philosopher's Stone in Hogwarts?
Why Albus Dumbledore shouldn't have hidden the Sorcerer's Stone or Philosopher's Stone in Hogwarts?

Who is Albus Dumbledore?

Albus Dumbledore is the Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

He has many other titles as well, but what you really need to know right now is that he's the one who is in charge of protecting the Philosopher's Stone.

He's supposed to keep it safe and make sure that Voldemort (or anyone else who wants to have it) will not be able to steal it.

How does Dumbledore try to keep the Sorcerer's Stone safe?

If you've read book 1 of the Harry Potter series, then you know exactly what Albus did to try to keep the stone safe.

This is a chibi version of Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore
This is a chibi version of Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore | Source

Yup, he's really, really old. But he's also said to be wise and knowledgeable. Many people respect him and look up to him. Do you think he's competent enough to be able to keep the Philosopher's Stone safe from the hands of thieves like the Dark Lord Voldemort?

His brilliant, wonderful, super special awesome plan (not) was to bring the Philosopher's Stone to Hogwarts.

It would be hidden somewhere in the castle and there would be a multitude of traps, set up by the teachers and himself, designed to protect it.

Why did Albus think this was a good idea?

To those that have read the first book of the HP series, haven't you ever found yourself wondering exactly why Dumbledore thought it would be a great idea to hide the Sorcerer's Stone in Hogwarts?

What's wrong with Dumbledore's plan to protect the Philosopher's Stone?

Needless to say, Albus' plan to keep the stone safe was not super special awesome in the least.

For someone who was supposed to be all wise, knowledgeable and intelligent, his plan (if you could even call it that) was pretty much, if not downright, epic fail. But what's the problem anyway? Why is his plan beyond wrong?

Hogwarts is a wizarding school full of children

Yes, this has been mentioned already and, if you've read the HP series or if you recall this little tidbit from having read the books, then, of course, you know that Hogwarts is a school for little children (witches and wizards) but this really bears repeating.

Why? It's because this is the root of the problem with Dumbledore's plan.

Did anyone think about the safety of the Hogwarts students?

Hogwarts might be the safest place in the Wizarding World but it's also a school that's full of little children, many of them as young as 11 (like the 3 main characters who are first year students in book 1).

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

What, does this place look like it's only for adults? Well, don't be fooled. There's a whole lot of children here, many of them as young as 11
What, does this place look like it's only for adults? Well, don't be fooled. There's a whole lot of children here, many of them as young as 11 | Source

Who in their right minds would even think about bringing an important magical artifact, that someone highly dangerous and deadly wanted to steal, to a place that's full of little kids?

Wasn't anyone even thinking about the students of Hogwarts? Didn't anyone consider the safety of the children?

Wasn't anyone concerned with all the possible dangers and all the horrible things that could happen with the Philosopher's Stone being hidden in Hogwarts?

How come no one said anything against this plan? The Sorcerer's Stone should never have been brought to Hogwarts in the first place. How could responsible adults allow something like this to happen?

If you care about the lives of innocent kids, you wouldn't endanger them by keeping dangerous magical artifacts that dark and evil people are after
If you care about the lives of innocent kids, you wouldn't endanger them by keeping dangerous magical artifacts that dark and evil people are after | Source

You'd think there'd be at least one person who would speak out in behalf of the little children there. The lives of those kids are in danger thanks to the stone being kept hidden in their school.

Doesn't Albus Dumbledore care about the students of Hogwarts?

Considering how the headmaster decided to bring the Sorcerer's Stone to Hogwarts and hide it there, it can really make one think that he doesn't care about the students there, that he wants to endanger their lives.

Why? It's because evil and dangerous people, like Voldemort, are after the stone. Why would the bad guys care who they end up killing or hurting as long as they can obtain what they want?

There are many things wrong with book and movie 1 of the HP series. This is just some of them:

Why would the villains care if they have to hurt or kill innocent young children just to get the stone?

The Dark Lord Voldemort himself has already shown that he has no qualms killing babies (when he tried to kill Harry Potter, the main character) so, of course, he also couldn't care less if he had to kill a bunch of children just to get the Philosopher's Stone.

So, why and how could Dumbledore risk the safety of the kids like that? As the headmaster of Hogwarts, shouldn't he be thinking about what's best for the students and what would ensure their protection? Is a magical artifact more important than the lives of innocent people who didn't do anything wrong?

How did Dumbledore try to protect the Hogwarts Students and the Philosopher's Stone?

What steps did Albus take to ensure that the children in Hogwarts wouldn't be able to get to where the stone was? How did he try to protect both the kids and the Sorcerer's Stone and how did he fail in this task?

Dumbledore hid the Sorcerer's Stone in the third-floor corridor of Hogwarts and forbade the students from going there

Why that plan failed?

We've already established that Hogwarts is a school that's full of children and you know how children are. Many of them are no doubt curious (cough like Harry, Ron, Hermione, the 3 main characters cough).

Some people will want to do things just to be contrary. The more you forbid them or tell them not to do something, the more curious they will be; it's the thrill of the forbidden.

You can see some of the many Hogwarts students in this video. They're in the Great Hall (like a dining room, this is where the children gather to eat)

Since the third-floor corridor is apparently forbidden, don't you think that many will be curious and will be wondering what could possibly be hidden in that place?

Don't you think that kids will want to know more information about this especially since Albus says something like "avoid that place unless you want to die".

Would children take those words seriously especially when they know that they're in a school and they're supposed to be safe there (Hogwarts is said to be the safest place in the Wizarding World, remember?)?

Why did Albus tell them about the third-floor corridor?

What do you think is the reason why Dumbledore told the students about the third-floor corridor?

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It also makes you wonder why Dumbledore bothered to tell the students about the third-floor corridor. Why would he draw attention to that place?

Wouldn't it be better if he hadn't said anything at all? If he didn't say anything, he wouldn't have to pique anyone's curiosity.

Sure, some might still end up passing by that corridor, but, if no one knows that there's anything special there, then they would not have any reason to try to open the locked doors.

Alternatively, Albus could seal off the entire third-floor corridor and say that repairs / maintenance are ongoing so no one would go there.

If it's something boring or usual like that, the students wouldn't think it was all that interesting and they'd have no reason to go there especially if they have other things to distract them and pique their curiosity like being able to explore the rest of the magical castle.

The door that leads to where the Philosopher's Stone is located is locked

What's the problem with this?

The locked door is meant to stop both the potential thieves and any of the students who might be curious enough to want to find out what's hidden in the third-floor corridor.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone or Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone or Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling | Source

This would have been a perfectly fine idea except the locked door can actually be opened by Alohomora (a spell that can open locked doors).

This spell is something that even first year students can cast with no problems as Hermione Granger (one of Harry Potter's best friends) demonstrated when she was able to open the aforementioned locked door.

If pretty much anyone and everyone can open that locked door, then how is that supposed to help in keeping both the stone and the children safe?

Fluffy, a three-headed dog, was tasked to guard the entrance to the trap door that led to the Sorcerer's Stone

Why that plan is also an epic failure?

To address the issue with the locked door and how easy it was to bypass it, a three-headed dog named Fluffy was placed inside said locked room.

Fluffy was tasked to guard the trap door that led to the location of the Philosopher's Stone. At first glance, this seems like a pretty good idea and it might actually be able to scare off some of the curious students.

Harry Potter Book 1 Quiz:


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But what about students who are way too curious, determined and foolhardy for their own good? Would they really easily give up just because a gigantic and scary-looking dog was standing in their way?

The main characters themselves (Harry, Ron and Hermione) didn't give up even after they saw Fluffy.

Sure, they were scared but they were still curious and they still wanted to find out what was going on so they continued to research and look around for more information.

Other students in Hogwarts could have done the same. Some might try to look for the answers in the Hogwarts library.

Some might try to send an owl to their parents and relatives, asking for information on three-headed dogs. They can explain that they need the info for school.

If that doesn't work, they can always ask Hagrid (the gamekeeper of Hogwarts). After all, Fluffy belongs to him so he knows how to deal with the dog.

He's a really friendly guy so it stands to reason that many of the students would be on speaking terms with him (surely, he's not just friends with the main characters).

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

This movie is based on the first book in the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. The Sorcerer's Stone is also known as the Philosopher's Stone. This is the magical item that Voldemort wants, that Dumbledore was tasked to protect and that is said to be capable of making anyone immortal

 

They can ask him about three-headed dogs and, even if Hagrid doesn't want to say anything about this, he might still end up talking anyway.

Why? It's because he can't keep a secret.

In fact, this is exactly how the trio (the 3 main characters) were able to get the information they needed about Fluffy.

In short, Fluffy wasn't helpful in the least.

Even Professor Quirinus Quirrell (the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher who is being possessed by Dark Lord Voldemort) was eventually able to get past said dog in order to get to where the stone was.

The rest of the traps set up by the Hogwarts professors = also an epic failure

What's wrong with all those traps?

The main problem with all those traps is how three first year students (Harry, Ron and Hermione) were able to get past all of them, which meant that absolutely anyone and everyone could have gotten to the stone.

What does that tell us?

  1. The Sorcerer's Stone wasn't safe
  2. The students of Hogwarts weren't safe

This is how the Philosopher's Stone looks like. The item might seem plain and ordinary, like it's nothing special. But don't let its appearance fool you. This is an important and powerful magical artifact that even the Dark Lord wants
This is how the Philosopher's Stone looks like. The item might seem plain and ordinary, like it's nothing special. But don't let its appearance fool you. This is an important and powerful magical artifact that even the Dark Lord wants | Source

The stone wasn't safe because anyone could get past the traps in order to reach its location.

The children weren't safe because even they could get past all those traps, which meant that their lives could have been endangered if they'd tried.

Either way, their lives would have been in danger since we're talking about Voldemort here and that guy doesn't care who he kills or who he hurts.

So if he has to kill a bunch of kids to steal the stone and to get out of Hogwarts, what's stopping him from doing so? He has no morals; he's pure evil.

What do you think?

Albus Dumbledore doesn't care about the safety of the Hogwarts students - is that true?

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What's the reason why Albus Dumbledore would do something like this? Why did he decide to keep the Philosopher's Stone in Hogwarts?

That doesn't make sense at all, does it? Does he want to endanger the lives of the students?

Did he want them (cough Harry, Ron, Hermione cough) to go looking for the stone?

What do you think? What are your thoughts on this matter? Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Pic credits:

© 2014 Freya Yuki

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