The Harry Potter fandom never sleeps, and now community members at r/HarryPotter are engaged in a debate over a very serious question: What if Dumbledore was a Slytherin?
In the decade since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows concluded Harry's story, fans have grown up and come to more than a few realizations about J.K. Rowling's wizarding world and its inhabitants. For instance, Snape comes across as something akin to a Byronic hero in the story, but has been unmasked as a small, cruel, and bitter man by Potterheads who have read and analyzed Harry Potter for the last 20 years.
Like his co-conspirator, the venerable Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore has been taken down a notch or two by Potterheads some of whom believe that, in spite of Harry's love for him, the Hogwarts Headmaster manipulated the Boy Who Lived, and used him to meet his own ends.
So when Reddit user micgs asked r/HarryPotter if Dumbledore was actually more of a Slytherin than a Gryffindor, there was hardly a hue and cry over the question. According to the poster, a Slytherin Dumbledore would have brought some much-needed balance to the house that Rowling portrays as a den of lying, thieving, power-hungry brats, whose only purpose in life is to serve the Dark Lord. "Dumbledore was brilliant, powerful, cunning, and a little arrogant who also had some extreme views when he was younger and hanging with Grindewald," micgs wrote. "[P]utting him in Slytherin would have made him an even better contrast with Voldemort, and the only difference is that one chose to use his powers for good and the other for evil."
As some of micgs' fellow Redditors pointed out, Dumbledore had traits from all of the Hogwarts houses. "He was likely a hatstall," said eyl327, "[who], like Harry, ... chose to be in Gryffindor rather than Slytherin." Dumbledore's wisdom and studiousness would have made him a good fit for Ravenclaw, and "[h]e found value in everyone," according to Redditor PotterYouRotter, "in a way that would [have made] Helga Hufflepuff proud."
In spite of all of Dumbledore's other traits, the Potterhead community agreed that his famous comment — "It is our choices Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." — suggests he chose to be in Gryffindor, just as Harry did. Although it's true that Harry's mentor ran with a Muggle-hating dark wizard for a while, and was ambitious to a fault, it's also important to note that Dumbledore made a conscious effort to not amass loads of power. He was self-aware enough to understand how much a position of authority can change a person, particularly someone who wants to be in dominion over others. As a proud Slytherin, I'll be the first to tell you that Dumbeldore's avoidance of power is not a very snake-like quality, but I won't say no to claiming him as an honorary housemate, even if he probably did turn down the opportunity to be one of us.