Harry Potter: Real Reason DADA Teachers Kept Changing Wasn't the Curse
Tom Riddle might have cursed the Defense Against Dark Arts Professor’s position, but it wasn’t his magic that caused Harry to have a new DADA teacher every year.
- Lord Voldemort cursed the DADA teacher’s position when he was rejected by Dumbledore.
- Dumbledore could have destroyed the curse himself or hired the Curse Breakers for it.
- The Headmaster didn’t do it because the curse indicated that Voldemort was still alive.
Even Albus Dumbledore himself confirmed that Tom Riddle — or Lord Voldemort — had cursed the position of the Defense Against Dark Arts teacher. The curse was very real, causing grim fate for every DADA Professor since then, but it all comes down to one person, and it’s not Voldemort. It’s Headmaster Dumbledore himself.
Here’s why the decades of fractured and inconsistent DADA education at Hogwarts is Dumbledore’s fault as much as Voldemort’s: he deliberately didn’t lift the curse.
Could Dumbledore Lift Voldemort’s Curse?
Throughout the series, Lord Voldemort is referred to as “the most dangerous Dark wizard ever.” Everyone is terrified of him; even Albus Dumbledore admits that his former student has become way too advanced in Dark matters. It’s safe to say that whatever curse Voldemort put on the DADA teacher’s position, it was a strong one.
But we also see that, while adept in Dark magic, Voldemort lacked the fundamental understanding of magic — unlike Dumbledore, his rival and the only man who both didn’t fear the Dark Lord and was feared by him. The most brilliant wizard of the past generations, the Headmaster knew way more about magic than his former student.
During the First Wizarding War and after Voldemort’s fall, Dumbledore had more than enough time to research the curse and break it. If it was too advanced for him, there were professional Curse Breakers like Bill Weasley who specialized in that and could take down even Ancient Egyptian curses, let alone Voldemort’s little hex.
Either the Headmaster, the most brilliant wizard in the world, or the Curse Breakers, the professionals capable of destroying ancient magical protection, could have gotten rid of the DADA curse for decades. But Dumbledore neither did it himself nor hired specialists. Why, you may ask? Because he wanted the curse to remain intact.
Why Did Dumbledore Need the Curse?
After Voldemort’s fall, almost everyone in the Wizarding World was convinced the Dark Lord was defeated for good. The only person who stated the opposite was Albus Dumbledore, and some of his close followers believed him. But have you ever wondered why the Headmaster was so sure Lord Voldemort didn’t meet his demise?
The Defense Against Dark Arts curse wasn’t lifted — which it would have if the Dark Lord was truly gone. Year after year, Dumbledore watched the same pattern unfold — he hires a new DADA teacher, and something terrible happens to them after a year — and he saw it as direct proof that Voldemort was still somewhere out there.
Thanks to the curse, Dumbledore knew Voldemort wasn’t destroyed. Assuming that even after his next destruction, he could still be able to return, the Headmaster didn’t want to interfere with the curse so it could continue indicating the Dark Lord’s state of being. One teacher a year was an acceptable sacrifice for such an advantage.
We’re convinced that without a need for it, the curse would have been destroyed in next to no time: Tom Riddle was no match for Dumbledore or the Curse Breakers. The quality of Defense Against Dark Arts education was the price the Headmaster paid to always be sure whether his arch-nemesis was alive or dead. And that’s fair.
At least, this is our theory.