What Did Dumbledore See in the Mirror of Erised?

Albus Dumbledore proved time and again that he was an extremely private person. He didn’t want to give away any of his private information. 

Many times Dumbledore lied, as Harry noticed after asking the late Headmaster what he saw in the Mirror of Erised.

Did Dumbledore Really See Socks in the Mirror?

What Did Dumbledore See in the Mirror?

Following Harry’s thoughts, we can assume that Dumbledore didn’t really see himself holding socks in the Mirror of Erised.

When we were first introduced to the Mirror in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, we witnessed a scene where Harry asked Dumbledore what he saw in the Mirror. Dumbledore didn’t hesitate to answer that question. He said he saw himself holding a pair of socks. 

Dumbledore also had an explanation for it, seeing as Harry was surprised at his answer. He claimed always to receive books for Christmas but never woolen socks. He concluded that one never had enough socks.

Apart from being aware after the fact that it was a rather personal question, Harry realized that Dumbledore might not have told him the whole truth. He suspected that Dumbledore didn’t want to reveal his deepest desires.

In our opinion, Harry was right. Considering all the secrets he took with him to his grave and how smart he was, we think that Dumbledore expected Harry to ask this question. Dumbledore prepared some silly answer he thought would satisfy the 11-year-old boy.

Why Did Dumbledore See Grindelwald in the Mirror of Erised?

We can guess Dumbledore saw Gellert Grindelwald in the Mirror of Erised because Dumbledore still had feelings for Grindelwald, even after the betrayal and heartbreak, and all the evil Grindelwald unleashed. 

Before the revelations of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, everyone suspected that what Dumbledore really saw in the Mirror was his family reunited after the ordeal they went through – his parents and sister brought back to life and his brother happily by his side.

After the scene when younger Dumbledore looked in the Mirror of Erised and saw the young and old faces of Grindelwald, we realized that he was so deep in love with Gellert that he wanted to have him back, the way he saw him when they were young, before the death of his little sister, Ariana. 

What Was Dumbledore’s Deepest Desire?

Albus Dumbledore was a very secretive and private man. We can never be truly sure of what was Dumbledore’s deepest desire, but we can hazard a guess based on given information.

We know that Dumbledore truly regretted what happened to his family. He loved them all very much and considered it a tragedy when his family broke apart, and he confessed to Harry he regretted not doing more for his family. It could be that Dumbledore’s greatest desire was to turn back time and see his family once more.

We also know that Dumbledore fell in love with Gellert Grindelwald, and he, in turn, betrayed Dumbledore’s trust and broke his heart. After seeing the scene from the Fantastic Beasts movie where Dumbledore sees Grindelwald in the Mirror of Erised, we can guess that Dumbledore’s deepest desire could be to be reunited with his love.

Because the scene we saw in the Mirror was the time of the blood oath between Dumbledore and Grindelwald, we can also assume that Dumbledore regretted what happened and would desire to change the past with Grindelwald.


The Mirror of Erised was in Dumbledore’s possession for a long time. He had a chance to look into it and study it extensively, and we know he greatly regretted his past.

The Mirror of Erised showed Dumbledore his deepest desire to save all the people he loved and cared for sincerely.