The mystery of Aberforth?...

secret seeker

The Half Blood Prince
O.K., why give Dumbledore a brother at all?, Aberforth has had hardly any importance in any of the books, and, his exposure in the books totals about 1 page to date.
So, my question is this ... why has J.K.R. added Aberforth to the series, when she could have left him out? ... what useful, meaningful contribution has Aberforth added that justifies his existence in the Harry potter books? ...

NOTE;

Jim McManus has been cast as Aberforth, a new addition for the new film, Order of the phoenix!, so, he must surely serve a more important role somewhere, but what at this point?....
 
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Sirius Potter Fan

Night Patroll
well we know that he tends bar in the Hog's Head, and that is where the Kids meet to hear Harry's story of the Graveyard, and sign up for Dumbledore's Army, so that is most likely why he is in the movie at that point, I don't remember him playing anymore role untill HBP when DD mentions that there is someone in the Hog's Head that let him know Riddle's buddies were there waiting. (been there for a long time hasn't he?) From his description, I think he looks quite similar to DD himslef . . . he was in the order . . .possibly a twin? wouldn't that be interesting! Especialy if he is not known to be DD's brother that would give him a great way to pass information to the order that he has picked up on from time to time. and . . . could it have been Aberforth that was killed on the tower instead of DD? (that's discussed in another thread) I think it significant that he is listed by name specificaly in the credits, and not just as "the barman" That sounds like JKR has made a point to the director that he is important to be seen and made note of, and that in turn in future films he will need to be recognised as that person as well. That in turn set's our wheels rolling as to just what significant role he is to play!
 

secret seeker

The Half Blood Prince
Well, it could have been Aberforth on the tower, but that means it was Aberforth who went with Harry to the cave.
Also if it wasn't really Dumbledore, wouldn't Snape be dropping dead any day now? ...
No, Dumbledore is, sadly, dead I think. But Aberforth must know or do something to even be worthy of being named in the film, surely?...
 

Glumbumble

Time Turners
The most mysterious thing about Aberforth is that the mystery exists at all.

Aberforth is referred to directly by two wizards, Dumbledore and Moody. Both also refer directly to the barman at “The Hog’s Head.” Dumbledore makes a number of references to The Hog’s Head without referring to his brother. Neither refers to Aberforth as being the barman. Clearly Harry, although he has seen a photograph of Aberforth, does not know of the connection. In addition Sirius refers to the barman when explaining how he knew of the first meeting of Dumbledore’s Army. Even at Dumbledore’s funeral there is no special role for Aberforth or acknowledgement of their association.

HBP said:
and some people whom Harry merely knew by sight, such as the barman of the Hog's Head and the witch who pushed the trolley on the Hogwarts Express.

It seems to me that there are two possible explanations for this. Firstly there is a deliberate and concerted cover-up of the relationship and this must be for a specific purpose. This seems odd as so many people must, in theory, know of the relationship. All of the old Order members must have known if Moody knew. That would include both Lupin and McGonagall. Regulars of the “Hog’s Head” must call the barman something, they must know his name. His name appeared in the papers in association with association with goats.

The second possible explanation is that two characters have been merged together for convenience and they do not fit that well together.

Dumbledore tells us that Aberforth was “prosecuted for practicing inappropriate charms on a goat” and that “. It was all over the papers, but did Aberforth hide? No, he did not! He held his head high and went about his business as usual! Of course, I'm not entirely sure he can read, so that may not have been bravery”

Moody tells us “That's Dumbledore's brother Aberforth, only time I ever met him, strange bloke” and Sirius tells us that Mundungus was banned from the Hog’s Head and "'and that barman's got a long memory."

Yet we also know that Mundungus was apparently selling the silverware stolen from Grim Old Place, to Aberforth.

Dumbledore tells Tom Riddle that he is “merely friendly with the local barmen," when he refers to the Death Eaters waiting at the Hog’s Head.

Either Aberforth has an extremely significant role in DH, which is why his relationship to Dumbledore has been hidden or there is no significance to the character, which is why the inconsistencies occur. I tend to think the latter. I am sure, and hope, others will disagree and will present their arguments for us to discuss.
 
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secret seeker

The Half Blood Prince
We know that J.K.R. has a final say in a lot of the edititing and production of the film, and given a limited amount of running time for the films, she must have told Steve kloves and David yates that Aberforth's character in the film must be beyond that of an extra, it must be somebody who will not only appear in the up-coming film, but for D.Hallows too. ( Half-blood prince too? )
The scene in the Hogs head is an important scene, and rightly, somebody would have to be a barman to have continuity with the book's, the producers could have just hired an extra to fill the gap, as a face, but to actually label " Aberforth Dumbledore " in the cast list does show, I believe, some credit for his ( debatable ) importance.
As to what so far, I'm not too sure, but believe that it's possible for Albus to be using polyjuice potion to have the potrayal of Aberforth and vice-versa.
He could have done this for numerous reasons, mainly to mix with people Albus wouldn't or couldn't be seen mixing with?.
Maybe Aberforth was needed for that reason, and if Mundungus did sell the locket to Albus/Aberforth, then Albus could have destroyed another Horcrux, or intended to destroy another Horcrux, before his visit to the cave.
The locket could have been as much a shock for Albus as it was for Harry??.

Hope that's not too hard to follow, I did re-read it.:eek:

NOTE; Glumbumble, your first quote hit the nail on the head!.
 
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Seeker615

Ghosthunter
I think that Aberforth will play a big role in the last book.

JK mentioned in an interview that there was a member of the Order that we have not yet met properly and we will soon. I think this will be Aberforth.
 

Alz

Administrator
Staff member
I tend to agree - Aberforth was a very clever bit of writing for JKR.
She dropped his name a few times - later on in the series we find out it is Dumbledore's brother - the guy who ejected the eavesdropper etc ...
I think this is character progression and also concealment at it's best - I think he will come very much to the front in book 7 and be almost as worthy adviser to Harry as Dumbledore himself!
 

peanutgal1

Time Turners
I think that Aberforth will play prominently in book 7 because I believe he has the locket. Remember the scene when Harry sees Mundungus with the suitcase filled with spoils from Grimmauld Place? Aberforth, the tall barman from the Hog's Head had just purchased something from Mundungus and pulled his cloak tighter around his neck when Harry appeared. If he already has this item, he'll probably help Harry on the quest.
 

horcruxfinder

Time Turners
I am not sure about the locket - I think this is a good theory. I have thought the locket may be with Kreacher (brought back from the cave by RAB) and so still in Grimauld place or Mundungus stealing it from #12 and then selling to Aberforth. Why would Aberforth buy it? As it says in HBP, the "uncouth barman standing with Snape" who we know to be Aberforth, could he then know and perhaps be the only one who knows why DD trusts Snape. We know he doesn't know the content of the full prophecy as DD said so in the Weasley's yard at the beginning of HBP. But, perhaps he knows half of the prophecy like Snape and also knows why DD trusts Snape. To this end, he may provide Harry with evidence to trust Snape as well as giving him the locket to destroy - if DD let him know about Horcruxes.
 

horcruxfinder

Time Turners
One more note: As DD and Harry are leaving Hogwarts and DD is explaining to Harry how he leaves the school without detection, he says, "I sometimes offer Rosmerta my custom, or else visit the Hog's head..." Perhaps he has let Aberforth in on his plans for Horcruxes and he will then be useful to Harry in the next book?
 

Sirius Potter Fan

Night Patroll
I think that in the last year, Dumbledore has kept Aberforth informed of just about everything. I don't think he would leave Harry entirely alone, even if all that was done was for Dumbledore to leave written instructions, and several vials of memories to explore. But I think that there will be more than that. As said above, JKR has kept him in the story as a mere mention from time to time, almost as if she wanted him to be missed, but to have been there all along. We have been told that every character that will play significantly in book 7 has been introduced in the previous books. So there you are!
 

Fortescue

Totally Potterfied!
Speaking of Aberforth - I posted this just after HBP came out when we were trying to pin down Aberforth's importance to the story and possibly to Harry. Here is every mention of Aberforth in all of the first six books.

Rita SKeeter's Scoop GoF, pg 454
"An Excellent point," said Professor Dumbledore. "My own brother, Aberforth, was prosecuted for practicing inappropriate charms on a goat. It was all over the paper, but did Aberforth hide? No, he did not! He held his head high and went about his business as usual! Of course, I'm not entirely sure he can read, so that may not have been bravery...."

------

The Woes of Mrs. Weasley - OotP, pg 174
The little people in the photograph jostled among themselves, and those hidden right at the back appeared at the forefront of the picture.
"That's Dumbledore's brother, Aberforth, only time I ever met him, strange bloke...

--------

In the Hog's Head - OotP, pg 336-37

The barman sidled toward them out of the back room. He was a grumpy-looking old man with a great deal of long gray hair and beard. He was tall and thin and looked vaguely familiar to Harry.

"What?" he grunted.
"Three butterbeers, please" said Hermione.
The man reached beneath the counter and pulled up three very dusty, very dirty bottles, which he slammed on the bar.
"Six Sickles," he said.
"I'll get them," said Harry quickly, passing over the silver. The barman's eyes traveled over Harry, resting for a fraction of a second on his scar. Then he turned away and deposited Harry's money in an ancient wooden till whose drawer slid open automatically to receive it."

------pg 339

The barman had frozen in the act of wiping out a glass with a rag so filthy it looked as though it had never been washed. Possibly he had never seen his pub so full.
"Hi, said Fred, reaching the bar first and counting his companions quickly. "Could we have .... twenty-five butterbeers, please?"
The barman glared at him for a moment, then, throwing down his rag irritably as though he had been interrupted in something very important, he started passing up dusty butterbeers from under the bar.

-------pg 342

The whole group seemed to have held its breath while Harry spoke. Harry had the impression that even the barman was listening in. He was wiping the same glass with the filthy rag: it was becoming steadily dirtier.

-------

Silver and Opals - HBP pg, 245

"The street was not very busy; noone was lingering to chat, just hurrying toward their destinations. The exceptions were two men a little ahead of them, standing just outside the Three Broomsticks. One was very tall and thin; squinting through the rain-washed glasses Harry recogized the barman who worked at the other Hogsmead pub, the Hog's Head."

The White Tomb - HBP pg, 641
(This is Harry's view of the people who showed up for Dumbledore's funeral - an excerpt)

...and some people Harry merely knew by sight, such as the barman of the Hog's Head and the witch who pushed the trolley on the Hogwarts Express.

He surely has been a mysterious character throughout the series. When JKR wrote Aberforth into the story, I think she was trying not to give his identity away. But someone guessed that Aberforth was the barman at the Hogs Head. Since we never actually saw the picture that Mad Eye showed Harry in Grimauld Place, or the grizzled old man behind the bar, we only know his description through Harry's eyes. And we know he hasn't put it all together yet. But I'm sure JKR didn't want us to put it together so quickly either.
 

Rory

Time Turners
And then there is the JKR quote made to Daniel Radcliffe while she was writing DH:
“Dumbledore’s giving me trouble”
 

happy_hannah

Time Turners
i like the idea of the locket being sold to aAberforth, it would make for a nice plot twist. i think Aberforth may tell something to harry about dumbledore he doesnt know, or give him some memories of dumbledore's to look at.
 

Fortescue

Totally Potterfied!
i like the idea of the locket being sold to aAberforth, it would make for a nice plot twist. i think Aberforth may tell something to harry about dumbledore he doesnt know, or give him some memories of dumbledore's to look at.

The only problem with that theory is that if Aberforth had the locket he would have had to get it from Mundungus. The problem is that Dung was barred from the Hogs Head for the past twenty years at the time of OoTP. I'd assume that means Aberforth and he do not get along. I don't think Aberforth would buy something from him if he were not allowed into the bar.

I wonder if we will find out what got Dung barred before the end. Could be a plot twist there.
 

Seeker615

Ghosthunter
Harry it seems has not yet figured out that the barman is Aberforth yet though in one of the books (OOTP) he mentions that the man tending bar looked vaguely familiar.

I think Harry will be properly introduced to him in the last book as will we. I am sure he has loads of info to share with us!
 

horcruxfinder

Time Turners
Harry it seems has not yet figured out that the barman is Aberforth yet though in one of the books (OOTP) he mentions that the man tending bar looked vaguely familiar.

I think Harry will be properly introduced to him in the last book as will we. I am sure he has loads of info to share with us!

Good catch. I just finished a slow reread of HBP and at DD's funeral, Harry recounts who is present that he knows and who is just vaguely familiar. He doesn't name Aberforth but instead calls hiim the barman from the hogs head. So, up through the end of book 6, he doesn't know who aberforth actually is.
 

Sirius Potter Fan

Night Patroll
Aberforth Dumbledore is significant enough that WB has signed Jim McManus to play the role in OotP as well as the last two films. If he doesn't have a major part to play, why list him as such and make certain that the role of barman and DD's brother are played by the same actor? We know he's only seen in OotP as the barman, and then so briefly that the role could easily be played by a different actor (or left out completely) in the other films if he remained a background figure.
WB leaves out tons of things they think insignificant, so this must mean something that someone that thus far has been insignificant is kept in the films.
 

Alz

Administrator
Staff member
I think we have to look at the attributes of Aberforth to really understand his potential ...
He has been around, he has helped his brother out from afar (eavesdropper and also informed Dumbledore young Voldemort had company the day he came for interview) .. he was also a member of the order and was discredited in the press ... all this suggests that the guy will become important to Harry in book 7 - not least because he is still Dumbledore's well concealed brother - that there is a big enough clue - JKR had him sitting around in shadows for a long time now!
 

Sirius Potter Fan

Night Patroll
This just hit me, and I just wonder how it might affect things . . . or not:p

We know that Aberforth is Albus' brother, but . . . would it make a difference if they were twins? Harry noticed the similarities without knowing who Aberforth was. Granted they keep themselves quite differently (Albus is neat and tidy and respected, Aberforth is dirty, smelly, and "just a bar man") which would hide any striking resemblance. The only other twins we have seen in the magical world are Fred and George . . . what qualities do we see with them . . . seemingly equal in skill, equal in ambition, so much of the same mind that they finish each other's sentances. . .
Your thoughts?
 
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