These Harry Potter Quotes Deserve To Be Bookmarked

Professor Dumbledore was wise beyond his 100+ years.

by Candace Cordelia Smith and Sadie Trombetta
Originally Published: 
The best 'Harry Potter' quotes from the books. Photo of Albus Dumbledore. Photo via Warner Bros. Pic...
Warner Bros. Pictures

This year marked 24 years since the release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and fans are nostalgic as ever for the entire Harry Potter series. Avid readers have celebrated by reflecting on what the books meant to them growing up, watching marathons of all eight movies, devouring every bit of news about the actors who play Harry, Hermione, Ron, buying all new Hogwarts swag, and even paying tribute to the beloved series by sharing the most popular Harry Potter quotes from each book.

For the last two decades, Harry Potter has enchanted Muggle readers with stories of not only magic and wonder but of love and friendship, courage and hope, and the important balance of good and evil. Though J.K. Rowling has also shared transphobic and extremely controversial views in recent years, to many Potterheads, the passages from her books remain life-changing. (The Harry Potter cast also reassured fans that it’s still OK to hold the books close to your heart despite Rowling’s views.)

Surely, as time has passed, people’s choices in favorite Potterverse quotes may have changed like the wind. On almost every page of the seven-book series, you can find a quote that is worth printing on a poster, wearing on a sweatshirt, or getting as a tattoo. According to previous data from Amazon Charts in 2017, there was one character whose quotes proved to be the most popular: Professor Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, the best headmaster to walk the halls of Hogwarts and, apparently, the best wizard to turn to for life advice. During his at least 115 years on earth, and especially during his time mentoring Harry as the Chosen One, Dumbledore doled out his supreme wisdom in the form of perfectly quotable one-liners. In fact, the talented wizard was so wise, he even gave out great advice from beyond the grave — see Book 7 below.

In honor of over 20 years of priceless life lessons, here are the best Harry Potter quotes from the books.

"After all, to the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure."


— Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Dumbledore’s notion of death being “the next great adventure” comes amid Harry’s realization that Sorcerer’s Stone inventor Nicolas Flamel was going to die. The Stone held the key to immortality, but Flamel decided to sacrifice himself as part of a plot concocted with Dumbledore to defeat Lord Voldemort. Life, death, and sacrifice for the sake of others are major themes in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and Dumbledore’s profound quote drives these topics home to great effect.

"It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."


— Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

It’s no secret that Harry’s journey in the Harry Potter series is earmarked by a number of choices made by the protagonist. But leave it to Dumbledore to explain the significance of each one. For example, when Harry feared he shared similar traits with the sinister Tom Riddle, Dumbledore told him each decision shows the strength — or lack thereof — of someone’s character more than one’s abilities. Dumbledore’s stance on choices being more than significant than one’s abilities was his way of assuring Harry that he and the boy who would later become Voldemort are not alike.

"Non-magic people (more commonly known as Muggles) were particularly afraid of magic in medieval times, but not very good at recognizing it. On the rare occasion that they did catch a real witch or wizard, burning had no effect whatsoever. The witch or wizard would perform a basic Flame-Freezing Charm and then pretend to shriek with pain while enjoying a gentle, tickling sensation. Indeed, Wendelin the Weird enjoyed being burnt so much that she allowed herself to be caught no fewer than forty-seven times in various disguises."


— J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

The term “Muggles” became a well-used term among Potter enthusiasts. Of course, the definition of a Muggle had to be explained in greater detail, which Rowling did in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. But just to iterate, if you’re reading this and aren’t of the witch or wizard variety, chances are you’re a Muggle.

"Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open."


— Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

This quote was listed as one of TIME magazine’s “Most Magical Harry Potter Quotes to Inspire You” in 2017. Who could argue with that? Dumbledore’s statement comes after a tragic end to the Triwizard Tournament and the anticipation of potential future disaster courtesy of Lord Voldemort. Dumbledore’s words inspired Harry and his fellow students and asserted that everyone has shared goals, hopes, and dreams, regardless of perceived differences.

"Youth cannot know how age thinks and feels. But old men are guilty if they forget what it was to be young..."


— Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

This quote is on the same wavelength as George Bernard Shaw’s famous “Youth is wasted on the young” sentiment. However, Dumbledore, known for having died at the age of 115, takes his thoughts a step further in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Harry’s 15 years old in the book and concerned about a number of things, including where he stands with his friends, being a fifth-year student at Hogwarts, and He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. With his young mind occupied with so much, Dumbledore’s statement about youth makes all the more sense.

"It is the unknown we feat when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more."


— Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

As Lord Voldemort wreaks havoc across multiple worlds, it’s up to Harry, Harry’s friends, and Dumbledore to figure out how to stop him. However, in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, a major plot twist is uncovered – Voldemort is afraid of death. Amid this revelation, Dumbledore tells Harry that most who are fearful of death are scared of the unknown. A universal trait among Muggles and non-Muggles alike.

"Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all, those who live without love."


— Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Another one of Dumbledore’s thought-provoking quotes comes from the final book of the Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. At the end of his journey, Harry is finally tasked with the ultimate showdown against Voldemort in a race to destroy the Dark Lord’s chance at immortality. Even with dark forces at Harry’s heels, he’s reminded that it’s those who live without love who have the worst lot in life.

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