Dumbledore made some questionable decisions throughout his time as Headmaster of Hogwarts, but one of the most brazenly dangerous was to approve Gilderoy Lockhart’s request to start a Duelling Club.
With an unknown terror stalking the halls of Hogwarts, a Duelling Club is formed by Lockhart with the assistance of Professor Snape. It is explicitly stated that Dumbledore is the one who approved this, which is baffling when you realize he was allowing 12-year-olds to duel each other in the Great Hall.
The results are more than predictable. When the students are broken off into pairs, the first session devolves into utter chaos. Seamus Finnigan gets his face blown up again, a Ravenclaw student with the last name Fawcett gets a bloody nose, and Hermione is put into a headlock by Millicent Bulstrode.
Now, none of this was shown in the film adaptation. It would have been mildly distressing to see Neville Longbottom and Justin Finch-Fletchley lying on the ground, seemingly knocking each other out. We are, however, shown the duel between Harry and Draco Malfoy, where Draco conjures a snake and Harry reveals that he can talk to snakes. The very singular fact that a snake was able to be conjured a student shows this was a bad idea from the start.
Instead of requiring an age requirement to participate, like the Triwizard Tournament was supposed to have, Dumbledore allows any age child to participate in an extremely dangerous club, and it’s a moment in the series we all seem to overlook.
Would you have joined the Duelling Club? How old do you think the students should have been to join? Let us know in the comments below!