- Albus Dumbledore may have used his Chocolate Frog cards as informants in the wizarding world to gather valuable information.
- Losing his Chocolate Frog cards in Order of the Phoenix would have been a major blow to Dumbledore, as they served as a source of intelligence for him.
- The theory of Dumbledore using Chocolate Frog cards as spies raises concerns about privacy and ethics, suggesting that Dumbledore may have crossed ethical boundaries to gain information.
Albus Dumbledore was very fond of the Chocolate Frog cards in his honor, and a Harry Potter theory would explain why. Though they never played a major part in Harry’s story, Chocolate Frog cards often contained useful bits of information about famous witches and wizards. The magically animated amphibian treats always came with a single card, and young members of the wizarding world commonly collected these and traded them like American baseball cards. It seemed in Harry Potter that the least rare of these cards was the one dedicated to the Hogwarts headmaster himself, and Dumbledore may have taken advantage of this to serve his own purposes.
The first time Harry opens a Chocolate Frog, he gets a card with Albus Dumbledore’s image on it. Throughout the Harry Potter series, the Boy Who Lived collected several other famous witches’ and wizards’ cards, and, eventually, he, Ron, and Hermione all got Chocolate Frog cards celebrating their great deeds. This honor was a sort of proof of fame reserved for the most notable figures of the wizarding world, past and present. Though Dumbledore had received much more prestigious honors, he joked that he cared the most about his Chocolate Frog cards, and a Reddit theory provides an excellent reason why.
Dumbledore Used His Chocolate Frog Cards As Informants – Theory Explained
Albus Dumbledore had the baffling ability to know what was going on nearly everywhere in the wizarding world. He knew whatever mischief Harry was getting up to, he understood Ron and Hermione’s personalities (despite never having spent much time with them), and he had a solid idea of the various goings on at the Ministry of Magic as well. In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Dumbledore knew to send Harry’s school letter to the Weasleys, with Arthur even stating “Doesn’t miss a trick, that man.” Aside from Divination (a subject Dumbledore despised), it seems the only way he could know this is through some rather sneaky informants.
A theory on Reddit suggests that Dumbledore took advantage of his Chocolate Frog cards to act as his informants. Since this wizarding world treat was so popular, and Dumbledore was among the more common cards a person could get, this could make some sense. Dumbledore often took advantage of the headmaster portraits in his office at Hogwarts to send messages and even spy at other locations, so it stands to reason that he could do the same with his Chocolate Frog counterpart. It would likely require a bit of magical tampering, but as clever as Dumbledore was, this would surely have been within his abilities.
Dumbledore Feared Losing His Dedicated Chocolate Frog Cards In Order Of the Phoenix
In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Dumbledore was stripped of many honors the wizarding world had bestowed on him. When it was mentioned that he had been removed from the Wizengamot, he stated that the treatment from the Ministry of Magic didn’t bother him a bit, so long as he wasn’t removed from the Chocolate Frog cards. Of course, this simply seemed like one of Dumbledore’s quirky ways of lessening the tension. However, if this Harry Potter theory is true, then it could be that the headmaster was being lightheartedly truthful.
At a time when he had lost a good deal of his influence in the wizarding world, Dumbledore’s Chocolate Frog cards might have been the best way for him to stay informed about what was happening in the wizarding world. Suppose the Minister for Magic himself had one of the Dumbledore cards tucked away in his desk. In that case, the headmaster might have been able to get a few tidbits reported back to him about how the wizarding government was handling (or not handling) the Dark Lord’s return. Therefore, it makes sense that of all his accolades, the Chocolate Frog cards would have been the honor Dumbledore would least like to lose.
Ron’s Philosopher’s Stone Line Supports The Chocolate Frog Theory
Of course, the semantics of how Dumbledore would use Chocolate Frog cards is a little more complicated. The theory depends on the idea that the images on these collectibles can travel between the cards spread throughout the wizarding world. Of course, Ron’s line to Harry the first time they met on the Hogwarts Express in Harry Potter implies that this is precisely the case. When Dumbledore’s image disappeared from Harry’s card, Ron said, “Well, you can’t expect him to hang around all day, can you?” This indicates a single, or at most a select few, tiny Dumbledore figures that must hop around from card to card.
In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, it is revealed that the subject of a portrait can travel to other portraits of themselves, even if they are miles away. This is why (in the books) Harry, Ron, and Hermione stole Phineas Nigellus Black’s portrait from Grimmauld Place. Since the old Slytherin headmaster had a portrait in the headmaster’s office at Hogwarts, they hoped Professor Black could give them information about what Snape had been up to. Inversely, Snape used the same portrait to spy on Harry. If all this was possible, and Chocolate Frog cards worked the same way, then this Harry Potter theory could be perfectly viable.
Phineas Nigellus Black’s portrait was how Snape knew where to leave the Sword of Gryffindor in the Deathly Hallows book.
The Dumbledore Chocolate Frog Theory Has Some Problems
Like any theory, the “Dumbledore’s Chocolate Frog cards are spies” theory has some problems. First, if Chocolate Frog cards worked the same way as other magical portraits, it’s surprising that no one would have become suspicious of them before. It would be awfully risky to partake in the chocolaty treat if a wizard had some secrets to keep. It’s possible that the company that produces the Chocolate Frogs took some security measures to reassure customers that the cards couldn’t get up to mischief. Perhaps, unlike headmaster portraits, the figures on the cards were only smart enough to move but not to communicate more than a couple of basic phrases—but Dumbledore’s magic could have changed this.
This brings up the next problem with this theory—it depends on Dumbledore being extremely unethical. It would be a massive breach of privacy to rig his Chocolate Frog cards to report back to him, even by Dumbledore’s standards. It’s especially problematic considering the people who would be the most likely to collect Chocolate Frog cards would be children, and parents finding out their son or daughter’s professor was spying on them through their toys would be quite the disaster. Of course, Albus Dumbledore tended to play fast and loose with the idea of ethics, so perhaps this Harry Potter theory falls right within his character.