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The Harry Potter Chocolate Frog Card Theory Provides Dumbledore With A Network Of Spies

Albus Dumbledore is one of the most renowned wizards in the "Harry Potter" universe, but a new fan theory suggests the Hogwarts headmaster may have been even more of a genius than initially thought. Played by Richard Harris in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" and "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," before the role passed to Michael Gambon for the remaining six films, Dumbledore is a paragon of wisdom akin to Gandalf (Ian McKellen) in "The Lord of the Rings" franchise. 

Not only that, but Dumbledore acts as a mentor, guide, and — at times — a father figure to Harry (Daniel Radcliffe). The headmaster delivers baby Harry to the Dursleys following the deaths of his parents. Dumbledore pops up again as a mysterious figure on a Chocolate Frog Card when Harry meets Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) aboard the Hogwarts Express.

"Order of the Phoenix" introduces fans to Dumbledore's secret organization of the same name, founded to oppose Lord Voldemort's (Ralph Fiennes) evil Death Eaters. In "Half-Blood Prince," Dumbledore finally reveals the truth about Voldemort's Horcruxes (the source of his immortality) to Harry, bequeathing his crusade against the Dark Lord before perishing at Snape's (Alan Rickman) hands.

Much of Dumbledore's backstory, as well as his exploits and achievements, are common knowledge to "Harry Potter" fans — except for an emerging theory on Reddit that suggests Dumbledore might have been a master of magical espionage.

Fans on Reddit reckon Dumbledore might have used Chocolate Frogs to spy on people

Fans of "Harry Potter" took to Reddit to discuss "insane" theories that are fully plausible in the context of the story. One user, gunnerdn91, posed a theory that, if true, could irrevocably change everything fans thought they knew about the series: Dumbledore utilized his portraits on the Chocolate Frog Cards to spy on people, creating the perfect network for espionage.

It's a feasible theory. Harry is introduced to Dumbledore (somewhat) through the Chocolate Frog Card he opens on the train to Hogwarts during "Sorcerer's Stone." Ron explains that Dumbledore "can't be there all the time" when Harry asks why the headmaster's picture keeps disappearing, suggesting that there is some sentience to the pseudo-Dumbledore.

Reddit user FunkyandFresh added more evidence to this theory, writing, "And that's why in ["Order of the Phoenix"] he says he doesn't mind being kicked off the Wizengamot, so long as they don't take him off the chocolate frog cards." 

Dumbledore uses portraits to spy on people during Order of the Phoenix

This wouldn't be the first time Dumbledore has deployed portraits as spies in "Harry Potter." During "Order of the Phoenix," he uses the portraits of previous Hogwarts headmasters and headmistresses to spy on the situation at the Department of Mysteries. When Harry tells him that Arthur Weasley (Mark Williams) has been attacked by Voldemort's snake, Nagini, Dumbledore sends two portraits, Professor Everard and Professor Dilys, to help the injured patriarch.

The Chocolate Frog Cards, if utilized in the same way as the portraits in the Hogwarts headmaster's office, would provide Dumbledore with the perfect network of spies across the wizarding world. Most of these spies would be unaware witches and wizards in possession of a Chocolate Frog Card, providing a window into their environment for Dumbledore to peer through.

Dumbledore is definitely capable of performing the complex spells required to make such a scenario work. As for whether his morality would allow him to spy on witches and wizards without their consent ... Well, that's up for debate. This is the same Dumbledore who once allied with Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp, then Mads Mikkelsen) in the "Fantastic Beasts" series, after all.