Wizard Invulnerability Not Enough Gun

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Wizard Invulnerability Not Enough Gun

Post  Elanor on Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:11 am

Wizard Invulnerability Not Enough Gun

This topic serves as an archive of a thread from the Harry Potter Lexicon Forum as hosted on World Crossing which ceased operation on April 15, 2011. At that time, this thread was still set in the "New Discussions Threads Not Approved or Placed" folder of the WC forum. Elanor

Michael Franz - Jan 1, 2009 8:00 pm
Edited by Kip Carter Jan 1, 2009 9:30 pm
In the Vertigo comic Preacher (for mature audiences only), there is a famous scene where the Saint of Killers is hit by a nuclear blast at point-blank range. He emerges from the fireball completely unscathed and utters the famous line: "Not enough gun."

Now, the reason the Saint of Killers can do that is because he has the power of the Angel of Death, and thus, divine-level invulnerability. Yet I have seen people on this board seriously suggest that Harry Potter or any other wizard could do the same and, quite frankly, I don't get it.

I've already belabored Hagrid's infamous "car crash" quote a million times, so I won't repeat it here. But we don't need that to know that wizards can be harmed by Muggles.

A fist made contact with the side of Harry's head, lifting Harry off his feet. Small white lights popped in front of Harry's eyes; for the second time in an hour he felt as though his head had been cleaved in two; next moment he had landed hard on the ground, and his wand had flown out of his hand. — Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 1

The fist in question was Dudley's. If that can lift Harry off his feet and make his head feel as if it had been cleaved in two — why can't a bullet? Why can't a bomb? Why, for that matter, can't a car?
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Wizard Invulnerability Not Enough Gun (Post 1 to 28)

Post  Elanor on Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:12 am

Solitaire - Jan 1, 2009 8:36 pm (#1 of 28)
Does it have to do with the issue of preparedness? It was pitch black, and Harry was unable to see Dudley. He was also listening for Dementors, trying to figure out where they were. Perhaps, in a car, the occupants would simply disapparate out of the car if they perceived it was going to crash. Or maybe they would slow it down, so that the impact was not so great. Perhaps Hagrid was indignant at the thought that the Potters would be traveling in a car.

I should think a gunshot or bomb could certainly kill a Wizard ... but maybe not. Consider some of the stuff the kids survive at school. Is it possible that some innate defensive magic--not unlike Harry's early, emotional magic--kicks in automatically when a Wizard is threatened by some Muggle method? Just some thoughts ...

Solitaire

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mona amon - Jan 1, 2009 8:38 pm (#2 of 28)

I've always assumed Hagrid meant that as very skilled wizards, Lily and James could have performed some spell (a shield charm or something) in time to protect themselves from the impact. If no spell is performed I assume the witch or wizard will die like anyone else. I do not think they are automatically immune to fire, impact or any of the other things that injure muggles.

Edit: Cross posted with Soli!

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Quinn Crockett - Jan 1, 2009 9:38 pm (#3 of 28)

"Yes! I'm impugning a continent!"
Count me among those who believed Hagrid was indignant at the very idea that Lily and James would have been riding in an ordinary Muggle car - something that would not have made sense to anyone who knew them -let alone that such a thing could have killed them.

But I also agree that, though a wizard might be able to better fend off an attack by gunfire or similar (using a Shield Charm, for example), there must surely be some point where an ordinary firearm (or nuclear weapon) could penetrate.

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Verity Weasley - Jan 1, 2009 10:12 pm (#4 of 28)

I would have to agree with Solitaire, Mona and Quinn. I haven't seen anybody suggest that wizards are invulnerable and could not be harmed by muggle weapons. As others have already posted, they may be better able to protect themselves against such an occurrence, but that's about as far as it goes.

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Solitaire - Jan 1, 2009 10:19 pm (#5 of 28)

I should think a Wizard would be vulnerable if he were caught unaware--shot from behind, perhaps? Then again, doesn't Werewolf lore say they are invulnerable to regular bullets? Does being magical somehow render one immune to nonwizarding methods of destruction? It would be interesting to know if Jo has spoken to this topic.

There is an interesting article called Who would win the war if wizarding England fought against Muggle England? that you might want to check out. Here is its address:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

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Dryleaves - Jan 2, 2009 1:57 am (#6 of 28)

What about Nearly Headless Nick? He was(almost) beheaded because he had been stripped of his wand and could not magic himself out of the situation.

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Madam Pince - Jan 2, 2009 11:50 am (#7 of 28)

The eyes are the windows to the soul...
Perhaps Hagrid was indignant at the thought that the Potters would be traveling in a car. --Soli

That's the way I took it.

Plus I agree with the other points -- wizards can probably protect themselves better than muggles (shield charms, apparition, etc.) but if they are not quick enough, certainly anything that kills a human can kill a wizard, too. They are, after all, human. Just humans with a particular skill -- the ability to perform magic.

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Solitaire - Jan 2, 2009 5:04 pm (#8 of 28)

Good point, Dryleaves. If they aren't armed, I guess there isn't much they can do.

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Liz Mann - Jan 3, 2009 7:25 am (#9 of 28)

Join us for the Philosopher's Stone Watch-A-Long
I too think that Hagrid meant that Lily and James wouldn't have been driving a car. It was probably unusual enough for Sirius to have a motorbike.

I expect that magic can protect wizards to a certain extent (if it kicks in at the right moment), but past a certain point they're as mortal as anyone else. If you stab a wizard or shoot them at point blank range they will die (or if you behead them, like Nick) because the damage is too great. But if they're falling from a height it might take a greater height to kill them, because they may perform involuntary magic that for instance momentarily makes their bodies stronger in the same way that adrenalin does. So they'd be injured but not as badly injured as a Muggle would. Or they'd bounce.

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mona amon - Jan 3, 2009 8:53 am (#10 of 28)

Oh yes, Neville bounces, doesn't he?

What's so strange about wizards travelling by car? It seems to be a fairly usual way for them to get to King's Cross station from their homes.

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Dryleaves - Jan 3, 2009 9:06 am (#11 of 28)

I think part of Hagrid's indignation is due to the fact that to him and to most of the Wizarding world, Lily and James Potter died heroically, defying Voldemort, and the Dursleys have been telling Harry that they "just" died.

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Solitaire - Jan 3, 2009 10:56 am (#12 of 28)

What's so strange about wizards travelling by car? It seems to be a fairly usual way for them to get to King's Cross station from their homes.

Do most Wizards have cars? I thought the enchanted Anglia was one-of-a-kind. When the Ministry cars come to take everyone to Diagon Alley and, later, to the station, Mrs. Weasley says not to get used to them as they are only there because of Harry. I can see Muggle-borns taking cars, but I tend to think most Wizards do not own cars. I wonder how they do get there.

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Madam Pince - Jan 3, 2009 12:35 pm (#13 of 28)

The eyes are the windows to the soul...
I agree that most wizards probably don't travel by car, because of the Anglia being *ahem* unusual, and also because of the comments when they were using Ministry cars. Remember, they were using them then because they were trying to be sort of "incognito."

How do they get there, then? Good question! Side-along apparition? Floo network probably? That would seem to be the easiest way for underage wizards to travel. There must be a fireplace set up near the station so that all wizarding homes could connect to it. Alas, we can only speculate...

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Solitaire - Jan 3, 2009 1:20 pm (#14 of 28)

Madam Pince, that really does seem plausible. Perhaps there is a Wizarding pub or "way station" that is imperceptible to the general Muggle public (like the Leaky Cauldron) but allows Wizarding families to apparate or travel via floo network to a destination in or just outside King's Cross, so they can walk from there.

Or perhaps there is some passageway from this "way station" directly onto Platform 9 and 3/4, rather like the one from the Hog's Head into the RoR. Remember that people apparated directly into the pub and then came through the tunnel to the RoR. Just a thought ...

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Ludicrous Patents Office - Jan 3, 2009 6:39 pm (#15 of 28)

Ron and Hermione traveled by car. Ron had to "pass" his drivers test.

I agree with Dryleaves that Hagrid was indignant because Harry was taught his parents died an ignoble death instead of a heros death.

I think witches and wizards are just a prone to injury and illness as muggles. They just have an advantage of magical medicine.

Dobby was a magical creature and he died of a knife wound. LPO

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Solitaire - Jan 3, 2009 7:52 pm (#16 of 28)

Dobby was a magical creature and he died of a knife wound.

I was reading that passage earlier this afternoon (and blubbering, just as I did when I read it the first time), and I thought about this thread.

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Ludicrous Patents Office - Jan 3, 2009 8:22 pm (#17 of 28)

I think that scene gets to me more than any of them. LPO

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mona amon - Jan 3, 2009 9:45 pm (#18 of 28)

Ron and Hermione traveled by car. Ron had to "pass" his drivers test. (LPO)

Yes, that's the one I was thinking of, more than the Ford Anglia or the Ministry cars. Both Ron and Hermione and Harry and Ginny bring their kids to the station by car.

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Solitaire - Jan 4, 2009 12:25 am (#19 of 28)

Both Hermione and Harry had lived as Muggles for the first 11 years of their lives, so auto travel was not something foreign to them, as it would have been to most other Wizards. It sounds like even Ron had to work at getting his license, since he confunded the examiner!

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Madam Pince - Jan 5, 2009 7:25 pm (#20 of 28)

The eyes are the windows to the soul...
Ron and Hermione traveled by car. Ron had to "pass" his drivers test.

I forgot about that one, LPO! Good catch. I think I've mentally blocked out the entire epilogue...

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Ludicrous Patents Office - Jan 8, 2009 9:19 pm (#21 of 28)

I tend to do that also Madam Pince! LPO

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Solitaire - Jan 8, 2009 11:03 pm (#22 of 28)

Don't forget ... Ron said he confunded the examiner! That's how he "passed."

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PeskyPixie - Aug 16, 2009 9:25 pm (#23 of 28)

LOL, Neville's bouncing reminds me of all those news reports of babies who fall from apartment buildings but end up generally unharmed. We Muggles have a tendency of ignoring magic even when it stares us in the face. Bless us.

Even when wizards travel by car I am sure that they place all sorts of safety charms on them.

Alas, earwax, I have joined the discussion long after everyone has left.

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freshwater - Nov 7, 2010 10:31 am (#24 of 28)

Connections, speculation, discussion: the best part of HP reading! Check out the on-going HP Lex Forum series re-read! Currently reading GoF...
And I reply, Pesky Pixie, long after your post, but just shortly after a small child fell from a balcony, bounced of an awning, and landing right in the arms of someone on the sidewalk. Coincidence? I think not.

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Verity Weasley - Nov 7, 2010 12:56 pm (#25 of 28)

Great catch freshwater! Perhaps a new addition to the Delaceour family?

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Choices - Nov 7, 2010 1:11 pm (#26 of 28)

*Completely Obsessed With Harry Potter*
My guess would be the Longbottom family. LOL

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Verity Weasley - Nov 7, 2010 1:24 pm (#27 of 28)

Well it happened in Paris, Choices, which is why I thought of the French Connection.

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Choices - Nov 7, 2010 6:06 pm (#28 of 28)

*Completely Obsessed With Harry Potter*
You're right, Verity. I just immediately thought of Neville being thrown out of the window by his uncle and bouncing. LOL
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