The usage guidance excerpt for reads:

Albus Dumbledore, a powerful wizard, is the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and a major character in the Harry Potter series

And the wiki states:

Albus Dumbledore is a major character in J.K. Rowling's franchise and served as Harry Potter's mentor and guide as he grew into wizarding. He is a powerful wizard and the headmaster at the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Dumbledore knew Harry's past and, as such, took great care to make sure he had the resources to face the trials he suspected were coming.

He was portrayed by two actors in the film series: Richard Harris (who died after filming the second movie) and Michael Gambon.

I believe this is obsolete as it does not account for following (Spoilers alert for those who haven't read/watched Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince):

Albus Dumbledore was no longer the head master of the school because of being dead and everything.

Which is why I believe we should use past tense here instead of present tense. Should It be edited to represent up to date information without giving away too much?

  • @Skooba that's what I think as well. Plus it's not like using the past tense would be like a spoiler.
    – Aegon
    Jun 17, 2016 at 11:31
  • Spoiler in Tag wiki ;O Jun 17, 2016 at 11:50
  • 2
    Never stopped Professor Binns.... Jun 19, 2016 at 13:12
  • @DVK-in-exile I have always found it curious. Don't they say that only those wizards remain behind as ghosts who perform the required magic prior to their deaths? Binn died naturally and I don't recall any indication of him doing magic like headless nick. Yet he remained.
    – Aegon
    Jun 19, 2016 at 13:24
  • 2
    @Aegon Sounds like you have a question for the main site ;-) re: Binns.
    – Möoz
    Jun 20, 2016 at 2:56

2 Answers 2


I went over some other character tags, including and , and it seems like they take a different view of how to structure the tag wiki, tense-wise.

For Voldemort:

The major antagonist of the Harry Potter series of books by JK Rowling, a powerful evil wizard who seeks to cheat death and rule the world

The major antagonist of the Harry Potter series of books by JK Rowling, later adapted to film. A greatly feared dark wizard, he seeks to dominate both the magical and non-magical societies in Britain and maybe further. He is completely amoral and unable to understand loyalty (vs intimidation), friendship, or (most importantly) love.

What we see here is a description that tries to address the character in general terms, not in any specific point along the fictional timeline. You don't need to address his actions in the books, but look at it as an encyclopedia entry about him, either in-universe or out: he is the main antagonist in the novels, since we're not before or after reading them, he just is. He is completely amoral, when describing him, not at any point in time.

And for Vader:

Darth Vader is the primary antagonist in the original Star Wars films. Wearing a black armoured life-support suit, he features in all three original films. As a master of the dark side of the Force, Vader became the scourge of the Jedi, leading the Great Jedi Purge. [..]

Darth Vader is the primary antagonist in the original Star Wars films. After a battle with his former master he was badly damaged by lava; Vader is seen in a black, armoured life-support suit. [..]

This gets a bit more complicated. It seems the tag wiki here is written from a point in time of when the character is first introduced, in Episode IV - he fell into lava and became the scourge of the Jedi before the first point in the narrative, so it's not an occurrence in the plot (though it would later be, in the prequels), but a static description of the character as characterized.

Don't Kill Dumbledore

Judging by these, I think that a better update to Dumbledore's tag wiki would be along the lines of:

Albus Dumbledore, a powerful wizard, is the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry throughout most of the Harry Potter novels, and a major character in the plot.

Don't change "is a major character" to "was a major character", because he still is a major character, in the sense that the books still exist and he's still a major character in them. Instead of "he is a powerful wizard", go for "he is one of the most powerful wizards in the Harry Potter universe", which is true because it describes his position in the story and universe, not in a given point in time.

And remember, there's no need for the tag wiki to be fully detailed, or even up to date with everything that's happened, just the snapshot of the character that encapsulates them. Would you say it would be wrong to say that "Harry Potter is a student at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry" because the final scene skips years ahead, placing the "last known point" of the plot when he is no longer a student? I don't think so. His being a student is his essence, in the novels, just like Dumbledore's importance lies in his being the headmaster.


You may be running into problems as you were suggesting to edit one word, which even though changes the meaning entirely could still considered trivial.

I suggest adding the years Dumbledore was actually headmaster (which I do not remember off the top of my head). This would make the update a bit more substantial and accurate. With new materials coming out as well (Cursed Child) we are going to be seeing the current Headmaster it probably could be updated.

Personally, I had to skip that review because it made me sad... I think to a lot of the HP fandom Dumbledore will always be the headmaster.

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