Albus Dumbledore Was One Phrase Away from Becoming the Master of Death

Albus Dumbledore Was One Phrase Away from Becoming the Master of Death
Image credit: Warner Bros. Ent.

The Hogwarts Headmaster could have completed his lifetime dream of collecting all three Deathly Hallows with one simple ask but somehow…just ignored his chance.


  • Albus Dumbledore has been dreaming about collecting the three Deathly Hallows since he was a teenager.
  • In The Half-Blood Prince, the Headmaster had the Elder Wand and the Resurrection Stone at once.
  • Dumbledore knew Harry had the Invisibility Cloak and could have just asked to borrow it, potentially becoming the Master of Death.

As Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows reveals, Albus Dumbledore has always been obsessed with the three powerful artifacts, hooked on Beedle the Bard’s promise that the holder of all the Hallows would become the Master of Death. Having spent decades trying to locate all three, Dumbledore once came really close to it.

At one point, the Hogwarts Headmaster could have had the Elder Wand, the Resurrection Stone, and the Invisibility Cloak all at once. All he had to do was ask.

Dumbledore’s Been Obsessed with the Hallows for Ages

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Ever since he was a teenage wizarding prodigy, Albus Dumbledore has been convinced that the Deathly Hallows were real. He spoke to other wizards who believed the same, and even met his best friend turned mortal enemy this way — Gellert Grindelwald. The two brilliant mages were obsessed with finding the Hallows.

While Dumbledore and Grindelwald’s friendship didn’t last, it still bore some fruit. After defeating the first Dark Lord, the Hogwarts Headmaster got his hands on the Elder Wand — the first of the three Hallows. The most powerful magical weapon represented by the vertical line on the Deathly Hallows sign was crossed off the list.

In the following decades, Dumbledore continued his search for the other two Hallows, though more passively: his ordeal with Grindelwald severely undercut the Headmaster’s passion for these artifacts. Still, as he shared with Harry Potter years later, his dream of becoming the Master of Death remained, and he kept searching.

The One Time Dumbledore Could Finally Conquer Death

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Even before Harry’s birth, Dumbledore has been a friend of the Potters’ and their comrade in the war against Lord Voldemort. The Headmaster told Harry that he knew about James’s unique invisibility cloak and even borrowed it for study not long before the Potters’ demise. Dumbledore knew it was the Invisibility Cloak.

Since Voldemort’s fall, the Hogwarts Headmaster has had two Deathly Hallows in his possession. He later gave the Cloak back to Harry as his father’s legacy, but the location of the artifact was still known to him; it’s an important fact to take note of.

During the events of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Albus Dumbledore finally found the last Hallow — the Resurrection Stone. It was part of Marvolo Gaunt’s ring which Voldemort had turned into a Horcrux. Enchanted with his find, the Headmaster forgot all caution and put the ring on, falling under Voldemort’s curse.

Not only did this prove that Dumbledore was still obsessed with the Hallows but it also means that after Severus Snape fixed his up, the Headmaster was once step away from collecting all three Deathly Hallows. He had the Elder Wand as his primary weapon; he just found the Resurrection Stone in the ring; and he knew that Harry Potter, his protege, had the Invisibility Cloak with him at all times.

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At that moment, Albus Dumbledore could just ask Harry to lend him the Cloak. The Boy Who Lived would have happily obliged — and Dumbledore would have become the first person to have collected all three legendary artifacts at once… And, if Beedle the Bard’s story was true, the Master of Death.

Dumbledore always used to say that he was far from understanding all the intricacies of magic; he has also always been obsessed with getting a hold of all the Deathly Hallows. Why didn’t he test the Master of Death theory when the answer was one phrase away from him? We have no idea and most likely, never will.