There are long standing debates among Harry Potter fans that not everyone can agree on. One of them revolves around one of the most beloved characters: Albus Dumbledore. 

Messaging boards on Reddit are dedicated to discussing which actor accurately and best portrayed the headmaster of Hogwarts.

Dumbledore has been played by three different actors and each of them brought something different to the character. Richard Harris portrayed an old, wise authority figure in The Sorcerer’s Stone and The Chamber of Secrets, but he died months after the second film was released. Michael Gambon took over in The Prisoner of Azkaban and finished out the series. Gambon’s more flamboyant and theatrical approach caused some controversy, especially over one line in The Goblet of Fire. In the newest addition to the Wizarding World canon, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Jude Law brings the charming, mischievous side of Dumbledore that is described in the original series while maintaining an air of wisdom.

With such diverse performances from the actors, it’s difficult to discern who had the best portrayal.

Harris’ performance in the first two books captured the innocence of the first two books. The physical appearance of Dumbledore was pretty spot on, but there’s no telling what Harris would have done with the character past the first two. 

The third film shifted in tone, thanks to director Alfonso Cuaron. It was a great time to introduce a new Dumbledore. Though Gambon didn’t quite look the part — or even follow book Dumbledore closely — his interpretation brought life to the character and made him more of a persona. Some Harry Potter fans are too harsh on Gambon. He was there to listen to the director and bring his own interpretation to the role, and all of the actors who have portrayed Dumbledore were dealt a bad hand.

The film adaptations of the books left out most of Dumbledore’s development and backstory. Had that been more prominent in the Harry Potter films, it would be easy to deem one actor’s portrayal better than the other. That’s where Law’s performance stands out. As the Fantastic Beasts series dives deeper into Dumbledore’s past, fans are going to learn more about the character. It’s going to be easy to fall in love with him because we’ll get to know him better. The development that was in the books will be implemented in the film, and Law’s Dumbledore will go down as the best portrayal of the professor and headmaster.

Georgia Davis is a senior studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Who do you think portrays Dumbledore the best? Tell Georgia by tweeting her at @georgiadee35

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