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Post  Potteraholic on Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:43 am

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. It was copied/saved by Lady Arabella and reformatted/reposted by Potteraholic. ~Potteraholic

Jim the Potty - Nov 18, 2003 1:17 pm
Edited by Kip Carter Nov 17, 2005 2:18 pm

I can't believe nobody's started a thread about Dementors yet...

I'll get the discussion started with a theory I've been thinking about for a while: could Occlumency be used to defend yourself against Dementors?

Snape describes Occlumency as 'the magical protection of the mind against external penetration'. External penetration of the mind seems to be EXACTLY what a Dementor does: sucking out your good memories and forcing you to remember your worst. Also, the patronus charm may not be the only method of defence: Lupin says in PoA, 'There are - certain defences one can use'. Note the word defences, plural, implying more than one method of defence.

Thoughts and comments about this theory? Or Dementors in general?

Jim the Potty. :^)

Proud to be Potty about Potter!


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Dementors  Empty Dementors (posts #1 to #50)

Post  Potteraholic on Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:06 pm

Choices - Nov 18, 2003 12:35 pm (#1 of 507)

Interesting, Jim. Perhaps Lupin didn't teach Harry how to do Occlumency because he (Lupin) was not good at it like Snape is and maybe Occlumency is even more difficult to master than producing a Patronus. I do think it is probably better to scare the Dementors off with a Patronus before they get close enough to start sucking the happy memories out of you. At that point you are in real trouble and Occlumency could be a last resort to prevent the kiss of death. I definitely think we will see more of the Dementors, and Harry will be taught more about Occlumency - this time by Dumbledore himself - to better prepare him for the final showdown with Voldemort.

Madame Librarian - Nov 18, 2003 3:30 pm (#2 of 507)

Jim, there was a fairly long-ish thread on Dementors. We had a go at discussing whether they might be related to Lethifolds, or whether they lived in that un-place beyond the veil.

The thread probably had too little activity after a while and died a quiet death, or had the essence sucked out of it. I will see if I can dredge it up with a search. If I do I'll tell where to find it.

Ciao. Barb

EDIT: OK, my search came up with discussions on two threads (other than this new one):

Lethifolds, when will be see them?

The Veil and what happens to Sirius.

Check those out, some good stuff.

Ciao. Barb

::StinkerBell:: - Nov 18, 2003 3:39 pm (#3 of 507)

What I wanted to know was... If your soul is sucked out of you, so you had no thoughts, you didn't know you were living. How would this be a punishment, if you didn't know you were being punished? It would just like on life support. No brain activity. You’re just there. It wouldn't be worse than death.

Maybe you're left with a vast and empty sense of loss, StinkerBell; and a deep hatred of 'soul' music......

::StinkerBell:: - Nov 18, 2003 3:46 pm (#5 of 507)

Oh my gosh... You crack me up!

Madame Librarian - Nov 18, 2003 3:51 pm (#6 of 507)

Are we sure that the just because one's soul is sucked out (odd word construction, there, hmm) that one has no thoughts? I had always imagined that you still had your mental faculties, but no feeling, no emotion, you were a zombie. It's hard to wrap one's brain around the concept of "no soul," but I think it's not meant to mean that you're a just body without a mind. That would actually be a less awful fate than what I think since you would be oblivious to your condition so it wouldn't really affect you.

Ciao. Barb

I Am Used Vlad - Nov 18, 2003 8:53 pm (#7 of 507)

There is an afterlife in the Harry Potter books: you either move on, like Sirius, or become a ghost, like Nearly Headless Nick, but either way you still exist after death. If your soul is sucked out by a Dementor, perhaps you cease to exist when you die. That would make the Dementor's kiss a fate worse than death.

Jim the Potty - Nov 19, 2003 8:34 am (#8 of 507)

Madame Librarian, I am aware of those threads but I thought it would be a good idea to have one thread to discuss all things Dementor-ish.

I've got some lengthy posts to type up soon with a few random thoughts about Dementors and more evidence to support my Occlumency theory

Jazhara Ravenclaw - Nov 19, 2003 6:08 pm (#9 of 507)

I think the soul is sort of that intangible thing that encompasses conscience as well as emotion, as well as being something that makes us human. Something that makes us care for our well-being, as well as allowing us to interact with others and give purpose to our lives. To be stripped of that, I think, would be worse than death. Imagine living, but being unable to feel. You might not have to feel pain, but you would never fell happiness either. You'd simply be left with the memories of happy times, knowing you could never experience them again. It would take away the parts of life that really make it life. It would be sort of living in a bunch of emptiness. No wonder Dementors induce such terror.

One of the most interesting things (I thought) that came up on one of the old Dementor threads, was the idea of how they come into being. I think the consensus ended up being something along the lines that they're formed somehow from everyone's ill feelings spread out around the world. How these feelings are then concentrated and then formed into a "being" is sort of hard to even think about, as it's a pretty abstract concept... Thoughts becoming something tangible enough that they're able to interfere with people's thoughts and even force them to think of specific things... even stealing their very soul... Talk about an interesting but hateful villain!

Is it very clear how the Dementors were being controlled when they were guards for Azkaban? Not really. Maybe they were offered something (like souls ^-^) in exchange for being guards. Although, how do they manage to communicate with them in the first place? Or keep lots and lots of them from attacking all at once?

Blast - Nov 20, 2003 5:29 pm (#10 of 507)

Maybe when you go through the veil you become a Dementor. If this was the form of execution in the past, maybe these rotting pieces of some sort of beings are the dredge of Wizardom. BTW how does Fudge et al. Communicate with these beings. Can they talk? Dumbledore tells us that it is not in a Dementors nature to understand pleading or excuses. Were the Dementors denied this? Do people such as Crouch Jr. eventually become Dementors? Why does Voldemort call them his natural allies?

popkin - Nov 22, 2003 2:13 am (#11 of 507)
Edited by Nov 22, 2003 2:17 am

Jazhara Ravenclaw - Nov 19, 2003 6:08 pm (#9 of 10): Is it very clear how the Dementors were being controlled when they were guards for Azkaban? Not really. Maybe they were offered something (like souls ^-^) in exchange for being guards. Although, how do they manage to communicate with them in the first place? Or keep lots and lots of them from attacking all at once?

I'm pretty sure that the Dementors are offered the despair of the Azkaban prisoners, and an occasional soul, for their cooperation in keeping the prison secure. The availability of despair to feed on can't be enough, though, to keep the Dementors from running amok. The Ministry must have had the ability to punish Dementors if they strayed beyond set boundaries - or else they would be clustered everywhere, and not just in Azkaban. Does a patronus do more than just repel a Dementor? Can it destroy one? Or a hundred?

Someone (can't remember who) said that LV would offer the Dementors something better (than the despair and occasional souls to suck out at Azkaban) and they'd break their alliance with the Ministry. Now that LV has renewed his alliance with the Dementors, I wonder where they'll turn up next.

BTW, Jim, I think your theory about Occlumency being used as a defense against Dementors has merit. It seems so obvious, yet I never thought of it 'til you made the suggestion.

Choices - Nov 22, 2003 8:47 am (#12 of 507)

Perhaps in the Wizarding World, good wizards and witches go beyond the veil when they die and move on to another plain, but evil wizards and witches die and become Dementors - miserable, soul-less beings who prey on others and seek to steal their souls and their happiness because they (Dementors) have none.

Madame Librarian - Nov 22, 2003 11:41 am (#13 of 507)

OoP, chapter 38 (US--pg. 845) from the "Prophet" article Hermione is reading aloud (the article is quoting Fudge):

"It is with almost equal regret that we report the mass revolt of the Dementors of Azkaban, who have shown themselves averse to continuing in the Ministry's employ. We believe that the Dementors are currently taking direction from Lord--Thingy"

popkin, as to your comment, "LV would off the Dementors something better...," I looked in OoP and PoA for statements like that but came up with zip. There is an exchange between Sirius and the others at the dinner table at 12 GP where he says that the goblins could easily be swayed to join the DEs if they were offered greater freedoms (see the Goblin thread). Is that possibly what you were thinking of?

On the whole topic of Dementors, I agree, it is a big question in my mind as to how you make deals with them, how do you control them. They are almost scarier that LV himself!

Ciao. Barb

Susurro Notities - Nov 22, 2003 7:00 pm (#14 of 507)
Edited by Nov 22, 2003 7:00 pm

Like your theory Jim the Potty. Maybe Occlumency is how Sirius endured in Azkaban.

Denise P. - Nov 22, 2003 8:49 pm (#15 of 507)

I think there is a lot more to Dementors and I would dearly love to know what. I am basing this on an interview I read where JKR said she has *150* pages of background notes on Dementors. Yikes! They must play a fairly significant role beyond that we have seen already if they warrant 150 pages that will never be in the books.

popkin - Nov 23, 2003 3:40 am (#16 of 507)

Wow. I'm really surprised that she'd have 150 pages of notes on the Dementors. I didn't think they were all that complicated.

Denise P. - Nov 23, 2003 7:16 am (#17 of 507)

Exactly popkin! There has to be something important that will be revealed if she took the time to have that many notes on them.

Jazhara Ravenclaw - Nov 23, 2003 10:59 am (#18 of 507)

Well, also considering that Dementors are (as far as I've heard) original, it would make sense that she would have to come up with all the background for them to make them consistent throughout her writing. I hope we see more of them in the next books, they're really interesting to read about. Just think about Voldilocks coming in with his army of Dementors, etc *shiver*.

Madam Poppy - Nov 23, 2003 6:54 pm (#19 of 507)
Edited by Nov 23, 2003 6:55 pm

While looking through my binder of JKR interviews I found one from Canadian Press - October 25, 2000. A boy asked JKR how Dementor s breed.
"I was just so pleased that he thought about it and pleased that I had the answer," Rowling told The Canadian Press. "These evil creatures don't by the way breed but grow like a fungus where there is decay."

Blast - Nov 23, 2003 7:10 pm (#20 of 507)

Sounds like Dementors are somehow related to wizards then. Maybe Dementors are Wizards who do not become ghosts or those that go on . maybe some Wizards are not allowed to go on and must just decay and become Dementors. If this is the case, maybe bad Wizards don't fade away they just decay. Sorry for the bad poetry, I'll just go iron my hands for that.

Pinky - Nov 23, 2003 8:17 pm (#21 of 507)

~*turns on iron for Blast End Newt*

Perhaps it's more like there is an area of magical decay (like what Grimmauld Place was turning into before Mrs. Weasley arrived), slowly a shadow grows over this decaying area, darkness gathers, and a Dementor arises from the shadow and slips into the world.

popkin - Nov 24, 2003 2:41 am (#22 of 507)

If Dementors can be generated from decay, they must also be able to be destroyed. I wonder how.

zixyer - Nov 24, 2003 2:46 am (#23 of 507)


Weeny Owl - Nov 24, 2003 2:46 am (#24 of 507)

A little Lysol and a good scrubbing, perhaps?

timrew - Nov 24, 2003 11:03 am (#25 of 507)

"These evil creatures don't by the way breed but grow like a fungus where there is decay."

So, whatever you do, don't get athletes foot.

Killian - Nov 24, 2003 4:05 pm (#26 of 507)

Dementors creep me out so much (maybe that's because they remind me so much of Ringwraiths from LotR?) As to the growing like a fungus where there is decay, I wonder if it just means that they kind of come into being in places where there isn't any hope or happiness, and if that's the case then does that mean that places like Azkaban are the ultimate Dementor breeding ground because there's nothing in that place that would make a person feel happy? Or maybe the evil wizards like the Malfoys are helping to grow them in their basement, along with who knows what other dark creatures. Smile

timrew - Nov 24, 2003 4:14 pm (#27 of 507)

I would imagine that the best breeding ground for Dementors is the places they hang out, Killian. They go there (like Azkaban), they spread their decay and misery, and they grow.

I think this is where JKR gets close to some situations in the real world. Only all of our 'Dementors' are in human form!

Jim the Potty - Nov 30, 2003 7:48 am (#28 of 507)

Dementors/Occlumency theory - Canon evidence

Lupin on Dementors:

"Dementors are among the foulest creatures that walk this earth...they drain peace, hope and happiness out of the air around them... every good feeling, every happy memory, will be sucked out of you ...You will be left with nothing but the worst experiences of your life...incapable of a single cheerful thought"

Snape on Legilimency:

"The ability to extract feelings and memories from another person's mind...those who have mastered Legilimency are delve into the minds of their victims and to interpret these findings correctly"

(emphasis put on certain phrases by me to highlight similarities)

Snape on Occlumency:

"This branch of magic seals the mind against magical intrusion and influence" "The magical defence of the mind against external penetration"

Jim the Potty - Nov 30, 2003 7:58 am (#29 of 507)
Edited by Nov 30, 2003 7:58 am

Other points of interest -


"I don't pretend to be an expert at fighting Dementors Harry - quite the contrary..." - We know Lupin is able to produce a Patronus strong enough to repel at least one Dementor. This doesn't make him an expert but why did he say "quite the contrary"? This infers he is quite bad at fighting Dementors, so is he especially bad at Occlumency? What impact could this have on the plots of the final books? Could this also be why Lupin chose to teach Harry the Patronus charm instead of Occlumency?


"I have absolutely no intention of being sent to Azkaban. I could break out of course..." - How could Dumbledore get past the Dementors at Azkaban? With a Patronus? He is no doubt strong enough to do this but he'd need a wand which would surely be confiscated upon entering Azkaban. With Occlumency? This is wandless magic but is Dumbledore an Occlumens? Probably, but there is no direct canon evidence - just because he is a Legilimens he is not automatically an Occlumens. Whatever he intended to do, his statement seems to back up the theory of the Patronus not being the only method of defence against Dementors.

Jim the Potty - Nov 30, 2003 8:02 am (#30 of 507)

More thoughts on Dementors...

# Beast, Being or Spirit? - Dementors are not listed in FB, so they are not Beasts. But are they Beings or Spirits?

# Connection to Lethifolds - The two creatures are eerily similar. It's interesting that Lethifolds are Beasts but Dementors are not...

# Communication - Speaking? Why have we never heard one speak? Telepathy? This could back up the idea of Dementors being Legilimens...

A-is-for-Amy - Nov 30, 2003 8:34 am (#31 of 507)

Lupin on Patroni:

"The Patronus is a kind of positive force, a projection of the very things that the Dementor feeds upon - hope, happiness, the desire to survive - but it cannot feel despair, as real humans can, so the Dementors can't hurt it."

My question is this: If a patronus is made up the things that Dementors feed upon, why do they flee from it?

I Am Used Vlad - Nov 30, 2003 9:24 am (#32 of 507)

"If a patronus is made up of the things that Dementors feed upon, why do they flee from it?"

In OotP, Harry's patronus physically attacks the Dementors, using its antlers to throw the Dementors off Harry and Dudley. If this is how it works, it makes me wonder how effective Hermione's otter of Cho's swan would be at repelling Dementors.

And Jim, I love your theory on Occlumency.

Jazhara Ravenclaw - Nov 30, 2003 9:28 am (#33 of 507)

Amy- With the Dementors fleeing from what they feed on, I think it's because they are formed of the opposite, so they might be able to consume amounts of it from inside people, but when its projected towards them in a concentrated form, it is bad for them. Sort of like the idea of people drinking too much water and drowning themselves form the inside. We're some 95% water, and water is good for us to drink, but in excessive amounts it can kill us. This might be the same sort of thing with Dementors and happy feelings.

Jim- Wait, about Dumbledore. At the end of OotP, didn't Dumbledore say something about that he would have taught Harry Occlumency himself if he had had the time, but thought he would give the responsibility to Snape because Dumbledore had other things to concentrate on at the time, but now thinks he should have done it himself anyways? This way, what Dumbledore said could definitely be true, and he cold use Occlumency to stave off the Dementors and escape from Azkaban.

Jim the Potty - Nov 30, 2003 11:37 am (#34 of 507)

Well-spotted Jazhara! We now have quotes directly from the books to tell us that Dumbledore is an Occlumens and he can fight Dementors without a wand...

There must be a flaw in this theory. Is there any more information on Dementors or Occlumency that we missed and disproves the theory?

A-is-for-Amy - Nov 30, 2003 11:49 am (#35 of 507)

Umm... the only thing I can think of is maybe the eye-contact thing? Does Occlumency normally require eye contact, or is it only Legilimency? PoA describes the Dementors' eyes thusly: "Where there should have been eyes, there was only thin gray scabbed skin, stretched blankly over empty sockets."

Sly Girl - Dec 2, 2003 6:17 am (#36 of 507)

Ok... I've just had a minor breakthrough regarding Dementors and I want to share it-

Read the section in OOTP when Harry and Dudley are fighting and Harry becomes aware of something happening. JKR goes into unusual detail about the arrival of our friends in dirty black cloaks. Specifically, she actually seems to over do certain descriptors.

Now go find your Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (pity, if you don't have this book, it's invaluable sometimes) and read the section on Lethifolds - specifically the part where old Flavius Belby recounts his run in with one.

Notice any similarities? You should.

NOW Go to Book One, The Forbidden Forrest Chapter and read the bit where they hear something moving through the undergrowth.... and re-read the section where Harry and Draco encounter Voldie drinking the blood of the unicorn. Again, you should spy some very interesting similarities.

So what's my point? Well, I do find it interesting that for all intents and purposes (Lupin's fine words on the matter notwithstanding) the only thing we know to completely chase away a Dementor (so far) is a Patronus. It is also the only thing that will chase a way a Lethifold. Coincidence? Hardly. Specifically since I think JKR meant for us to read that bit in Fantastic Beasts because she has a 'Ron Weasley' quote directly above it, which both draws your attention and distracts you at the same time.

2nd- I had always assumed that the 'slithering' that was going on in PS/SS was because of Voldemort's connection to all things snake-like. But what if it wasn't? What if, in his transfigurations and infusions he gave himself through out the years, trying to cheat death, what if he did something involving a Lethifold? Not turn into one, per se, but what if he has a bit of a Lethifold essence inside him? Or at the very least, has an affinity with these specific creatures. It would explain why he expects the Dementors to return to his side at the end of book 4- because I truly believe that Dementors, whatever else they may be are very connected to these creatures and vice versa...

Any one still with me?

I Am Used Vlad - Dec 2, 2003 2:25 pm (#37 of 507)

Sly girl, even if Voldemort has "a bit of a Lethifold essence inside him," would that make him sound like one as he moved through the forest. I wouldn't think so, especially considering he was just a face on the back of Quirrell's head at the time. Your theory is interesting, though.

Sly Girl - Dec 2, 2003 3:47 pm (#38 of 507)

All I said was that the descriptions were similar, which to me, is significant because JKR doesn't waste words nor descriptors. It is farfetched, to think he has Lethifold in him and therefore sounds like one (and I never said that by the way- just that the sounds could be something other than what I had originally thought), but I do think he may have some sort of connection to them as do the Dementors. But, never mind.

shepherdess - Dec 5, 2003 11:00 pm (#39 of 507)


I also thought of Lethifolds in connection with Voldemort in the forest. But what if it's the other way around-instead him having a little bit of Lethifold in him, could he have been possessing one at the time instead of possessing Quirrell? There's nothing saying he had to stay on the beck of Quirrell's head all the time.

Sly Girl - Dec 6, 2003 12:03 am (#40 of 507)

True- good point. And we do learn that he can possess small creatures, usually snakes in GoF, right?

shepherdess - Dec 6, 2003 12:16 am (#41 of 507)


So, can he possess a Dementor? Oooh! A new way for Voldemort to rid himself of enemies-kiss them! Now that would be ironic for a man who has no warm feelings for anyone!

Madame Librarian - Dec 6, 2003 6:45 am (#42 of 507)

It is a brilliant juxtaposition on JKR's part to create creatures so horrible whose mode of attack is a kiss. We do have the existing metaphor in our language of the "kiss of death," which conjures the image of the angel of death kissing his victims, but JKR has enhanced, this let us say, to a horrific degree.

Ciao. Barb

I Am Used Vlad - Dec 6, 2003 12:13 pm (#43 of 507)

But what if it’s the other way around-instead of him having a little bit of Lethifold in him, could he have been possessing one at the time instead of possessing Quirrell. There's nothing saying he had to stay on the back of Quirrell's head all the time.

But Quirrell was in the forest. Voldemort tells Harry that "Unicorn blood has strengthened me, these past saw faithful Quirrell drinking it for me in the forest." SS p. 293, American. Plus, Lethifolds are only found in tropical climates.

As to whether or not Voldemort can possess Dementors, I don't think he needs to, now that he has his body back. He's much more dangerous as himself than as a Dementor.

Matt Allair - Dec 13, 2003 11:27 am (#44 of 507)

I read Sly Girl's point as, what if Lethifold and Dementors are related? I can see the connection and while other's points are valid, I can't say we should rule out the possibility. Nice detective work, Sly Girl!

Blast - Dec 13, 2003 12:28 pm (#45 of 507)

Maybe Dementors and Lethifolds were both formed originally from the negative aspects of Human Kind. As a race we are not the most happy or well-adjusted members of the planet. Thoughts can leave deeper wounds and maybe these thoughts can linger after death to rot and decay and manifest themselves as a new entity.

ElfWorks - Jan 1, 2004 12:31 pm (#46 of 507)

On a lighter note.... is anyone else amused by JKR's use of chocolate as a sort of antidote to Dementors? I just love this!

(any excuse to eat chocolate!)


A-is-for-Amy - Jan 1, 2004 1:01 pm (#47 of 507)

It makes one wonder if would also help recover from a foiled Lethifold attack.

timrew - Jan 1, 2004 1:01 pm (#48 of 507)

I remember seeing a TV documentary on chocolate; and one of its properties is that it can give you a feeling of well-being and happiness. Maybe JKR knew this, and this is why she uses it as an antidote to the Dementors.

Madame Librarian - Jan 1, 2004 2:45 pm (#49 of 507)

Many women of all ages, but especially those of childbearing age and beyond have known this for eons, tim. JKR is just using her shared, innate woman-goddess knowledge here and giving all her female fans a tiny little "wink-wink-I-know-you-understand-me-here" moment.

Ciao. Barb

ElfWorks - Jan 1, 2004 3:02 pm (#50 of 507)

Madame, you have hit the nail on the head! I wasn’t sure how much I should allude to...... Wink


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Post  Potteraholic on Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:29 pm

vball man - Jan 6, 2004 9:45 pm (#51 of 507)

I think that the only way to get rid of a Dark Lord is to turn it into a Dementor. I think that they're actually people - or the remains of them. That's why they're not beasts, and don't appear in FB. There's no proof but it does explain a few things: -Dumbledore hates them a lot (because one of them is Grindelwald, who he defeated) -Odd words are used for getting rid of a Dark Lord (rather than killed, they are defeated, or vanquished.) -Dementors bear resemblance to humans - hands, clothes, upright. -Dementors bear more resemblance to Vol's new body. Skinny, pale/grey. -Dementors behave in a similar way to death eaters. (They both seem to enjoy the suffering/death of good people.) -Dementors are Vol's "natural allies." -Being a Dementor would surely be "worse than death." The Dementors, in fact seem ashamed of what they are. One time when Harry sees one he notices its scaly hand and it immediately pulls it into its cloak. -JKR has written a 150 booklet on the history of Dementors. That's a lot. But if they are the many Dark Lords who have been defeated over the centuries, they would have a history.

See also: my Recurring Boy who Lived (RBL) Theory. I'll post it as a new thread and see what you all think.

Hem Hem - Jan 7, 2004 9:04 pm (#52 of 507)

Check post #19 of this thread, vball man. I don't know if it's a direct contradiction, but it's certainly something to answer to!

Again, I'm intruiged by the theory, but feel that more needs to be explained.

vball man - Jan 7, 2004 10:31 pm (#53 of 507)

Madam Poppy - Nov 23, 2003 6:54 pm (#19 of 52) While looking through my binder of JKR interviews I found one from Canadian Press - October 25, 2000. A boy asked JKR how Dementor s breed. "I was just so pleased that he thought about it and pleased that I had the answer," Rowling told The Canadian Press. "These evil creatures don't by the way breed but grow like a fungus where there is decay."

I was glad to read that they don't breed. If they bred, that would mean that they reproduce themselves. That would contradict their originating from wizards. Also, JKR already knew the answer. JKR had already decided that they don't breed.

So what does she mean that they "grow like a fungus where there is decay." I'm not sure if she means that they grow there from nothing or if they just get bigger. If they grow from nothing, that does contradict my theory.

Gina R Snape - Jan 9, 2004 8:54 pm (#54 of 507)

Darn. Somebody already posted my Lysol spray theory.

I think a Patronus would work against a Dementor regardless of the form it takes. A swan might poke its beak and flay its wings at the Dementor, for example.

I would guess a Dementor gets confused trying to suck out the happiness and it can't, so it gets afraid. Then it's overwhelmed with happiness and can't handle it.

Lynn Allen - Jan 16, 2004 6:56 pm (#55 of 507)

I suspect a Dementor's existence is less physical and more a manifestation of primal emotion, fear and despair. Do they actually have a body or is what wizards perceive the way minds choose to interpret an intangible and dreadful spirit? Remember what happens when a Patronus defeats a Dementor: "An enormous silver stag erupted from the tip of Harry's wand; its antlers caught the Dementor in the place where the heart should have been; it was thrown backward, weightless as darkness, and as the stag charged, the Dementor swooped away, bat-like and defeated...The Dementor's eyeless face was barely an inch from Dudley's when the silver antlers caught it; the thing was thrown up into the air and, like its fellow, it soared away and was absorbed into darkness." (OotP Am ed. pgs 18-19).

My theory is that what wizards "see" as a Dementor is an illusion that dissolves into darkness leaving no cloak or other evidence of a body upon defeat. But when one arrives, it brings with it the basis of its existence--darkness, fear and despair.

And what was Voldemort before he regained a physical body? He was a spirit that preyed on living things, just like a Dementor. Perhaps the essence of Voldemort is the same evil energy that might become a Dementor? Maybe that is why Dumbledore called Dementors a natural ally of Voldemort--they are both essentially spirits of evil.

It didn't surprise me that Harry's first vision of his nemesis was in the Forest as LV fed on a unicorn (SS). He looked and acted something like a Dementor. What did surprise me was that the evil thing would flee from the centaur, Firenze. (For a while I thought it was because Dumbledore transformed himself into Firenze...until Book 5 showed that to be wrong). Any thoughts?

vball man - Jan 17, 2004 5:02 pm (#56 of 507)

I agree. Seems strange that Vol flees from a centaur. I can only say that at the time, we didn't know much about who the cloaked figure was. We accepted it because it happened. Now it seems suspicious. I think that it is just one example of the fact that JKR could have done more with book 1. She was limited by not having a dedicated audience. If she tried to sell a 700 page children's book as her first book, it wouldn't have found a publisher.

Your comments about Dementors being spirit are interesting. I do remember reading that part and briefly wondering the same thing. They don't seem to go through walls, though. They have to actually stop the train to get on in PoA.

I very much like the idea that evil Dark Lords become Dementors. This, I think, is the "thing worse than death" that DD speaks of to Tom.

Any ideas why Dementors are not listed in Fant Beasts AWTFT? Surely they are just as much a "beast" as a Lethifold. JKR has written herself 150 pages on the history of the Dementors. I think its clear that she didn't want us to have info on the Dementors.

fidelio - Jan 20, 2004 8:46 am (#57 of 507)

In FantBeasts, JKR leaves out just about everything that might be considered to be a being--that is, to be able to engage in rational thought. The introduction to FantBeasts makes it pretty plain that although they ask to be classed as Beasts, the Centaurs are in fact Beings. The Dementors can be communicated with, and appear to be able to make independent decisions--Dumbledore and Voldemort both speak of having them as allies, not as animals working for one, and I don't think you'd call an animal like a Niffler, a Krup, a Hippogriff or a Clabbert an ally, although they are all useful in different ways. Therefore, although they are uncanny, I do think that Dementors are technically Beings, not Beasts.

Madame Librarian - Jan 20, 2004 9:21 am (#58 of 507)

I agree, fidelio. More being than beast. Just want to point out, though that they must have their animal-like instinct very close to the surface based on a comment someone (DD, I think) makes in PoA at the Quidditch match. Something to the effect that the Dementor-guards will be very hard to control because there were so many souls around. *shivers in utter disgust and terror*

But overriding that is their ability to enter into contractual and complex "business" arrangements and follow the politics of pre-war conditions. They are definitely sentient. I this were "Star Trek," they'd be classed as humanoids...nasty, sure, but clearly humanoid.

Ciao. Barb

Jazhara Ravenclaw - Jan 20, 2004 4:51 pm (#59 of 507)

or perhaps incorporeal humanoid.. even more of a classification Smile Maybe the Dementors are a combination of different things. One quote posted earlier on this thread claimed that they grow sort of like a fungus. Perhaps we're getting hung up on the words, having no other great way of saying it. Dementors could be some sort of transformation, where a defeated Dark Lord of some kind was used as a post-mortem host.

So the body of a dark wizard, perhaps so bad/evil, continued to have some sort of bodily representation after death. This combined with those primal emotions mentioned by Lynn let loose in the world would feed this "growth"/parasite thing, and over time change what once was a izard body into something undeserving of a solid representation, based on its dark and fearful origins. Because the Dementor was bred from something that once was human, it retains some ability to communicate with present day wizards, at least on a basic level, understand each other's needs.

Thus, the Dementors could be some type of growth that has "demented" a dark wizard's old body beyond recognition, and coming from such a horrible background to gain the ability of actually taking someone's soul.

Does it ever mention what happens to a Dementor after it "kisses" someone. We have heard of the effects on whoever gets kissed multiple times, but what of the Dementor? Could it be that the kiss is the every Dementor's goal, to gain a soul and the ability to finally be at peace, and cease to exist as this horrible being? Just some food for thought... Smile

Madame Librarian - Jan 20, 2004 7:20 pm (#60 of 507)

I just want to bring up the point that makes them especially creepy/weird...they're blind, aren't they? *shivers again* And they don't really walk, just float a bit above the ground. I wonder what happens if you touch them (or they you, I don't mean the--ack--kiss). Do they have substance? Maybe non-corporeal humanoid is exactly right.

Ciao. Barb

I Am Used Vlad - Jan 20, 2004 8:52 pm (#61 of 507)

They seem to be corporeal, Barb. In PoA, " a pair of strong, clammy hands suddenly attached themselves around Harry's neck." p. 384 American. In OotP, "a second Dementor was crouching low over him(Dudley), gripping his wrists in its slimy hands, prizing them slowly, almost lovingly apart..." p. 18-19 American.

I would say they definitely have substance.

lys potter - Jan 20, 2004 8:54 pm (#62 of 507)

Wasn't there a line in OotP where Harry and Dudley are attacked that mentions that the Dementor was grasping Dudley's face "almost lovingly"? That makes me think that they have substance, otherwise they wouldn't be able to turn the face of their victims toward them for the kiss.

Now I'm shivering!

vball man - Jan 20, 2004 10:54 pm (#63 of 507)

Ok, that makes sense, Fidelio, but why should Dementors be left out of FantBeasts?

Centaurs and Merpeople are in there, aren't they? I'll have to double check...

Dragonesss - Jan 21, 2004 12:48 am (#64 of 507)

Maybe, to be a "beast" you need to be alive in very literal, grounded, metabolic level - eat, sleep, breed? Fear-eating Boggarts are not in the FB ether.
Any thoughts about where do those unfortunate sucked souls go? Where is Crouch's Jr. soul now?

fidelio - Jan 21, 2004 9:40 am (#65 of 507)

Centaurs and Merpeople are in the beast category because they both specifically requested that they be classed as such, although most in the Wizarding World acknowledge that they are, in fact, beings. Judging by the way the discussion over Being vs. Beast goes in the introduction to Fant Beasts, their choice may have been made as a way of firmly disassociating themselves from the shenanigans of wizardkind. I'd suggest going back and reading the introduction again, and seeing what sense you get out of it--that's my take, that it's an isolationist response, because they don't want to participate and be exploited by human wizards--which doesn’t say much for the quality of their past relationships, does it?

Bash - Jan 28, 2004 3:36 pm (#66 of 507)

The Lethifolds do have a small physical presence, but not substantial enough for Reductor curse etc to work on them. Dementors have no physical presence, though they can interact with matter sometimes.

Doris Crockford - Jan 29, 2004 11:15 am (#67 of 507)

Why don't Dementors just suck up a Patronus? It's made of all of the things that Dementors love and suck out of humans, so I thought that they should just eat it, which would delay the time it takes to kiss their victims. Or are Dementors 'afraid' of all of that happiness?

Bash - Jan 29, 2004 11:25 am (#68 of 507)

You drink a little water at a time, but you can't take a massive highly concentrated torrent of water. Pure highly concentrated happiness must have different properties to little wisps of dilute happiness Doris.

vball man - Jan 29, 2004 12:32 pm (#69 of 507)

My feeling is that Dementors suck the happiness out of you, then feed on your despair.

So they don't actually feed on the happiness. That's why a Patronus works. It has no despair. The Happiness can't be sucked out of it, because that's all it is.

It's kind of like "death-eaters" They eat death, but they don't take death away from those they kill. The death eaters bring death to their victims as the "eat death."

This is why I think that Dark Wizards can be turned into Dementors. It leaves them with their perverted desire to kill and torture, but takes their wizard powers. That would be "worse than death."

Bash - Feb 22, 2004 8:58 pm (#70 of 507)

I just recall that JKR said on TV that the Dementors are "depression personified." The Patronus charm involves concentrating on a happy thought/memory and if it is only partially successful, it holds the Dementors at bay temporarily and if the thought is corporeal, or very clear, then it drives the Dementors away. The Dementors behave like depression. Depression can be driven away if the one suffering can concentrate on a single very happy memory.

I expect that JKR left them out of Fantastic Beasts because she intends to include their history later on. I expect they grow like fungus where there is decay in the aftermath of some magical disaster, like the equivalent of a nuclear holocaust.

Chris. - Feb 29, 2004 2:30 pm (#71 of 507)

Maybe the Dementors weren't around when Newt Scamander wrote FB?...

A certain Dark Wizard, Grindelwald could have opened a certain veil (Now where could that be? ) and released the soul-sucking creatures.

Julia. - Feb 29, 2004 5:11 pm (#72 of 507)

That could be Kingsley, but I can't see them as just 'coming out of the veil.' JKR herself said that Dementors come from places where there is fungus, and I don't recall anywhere around the veil being described as fungal. I think Dementors come from somewhere else. Does anyone remember any place being describes as fungal? Thank might give us a clue as to the origin of these little soul-suckers.

vball man - Feb 29, 2004 10:10 pm (#73 of 507)

The peanuts at NHN's deathday party had fungus. If there were baby Dementors in the bottom of the bowl, it's good that Harry didn't take any. :-)

Otherwise, Ron looks at a leaflet on the cultivated Fungus Trade when they're considering careers.

Have a good night.

icthestrals - Mar 1, 2004 8:49 am (#74 of 507)

I had proposed way back when that they were breeding in the overflowing dumpster next to the visitors' entrance to the MOM! Convenient for the MOM to then take them to Azkaban. heh heh

Bash - Mar 2, 2004 8:42 am (#75 of 507)

Somehow I don't think they were grown DELIBERATELY by the current MoM, as they are really far more a threat than a help by any way of looking at it. JKR said that they don't breed, but "grow like fungus where there is decay."

icthestrals- Mar 2, 2004 9:13 am (#76 of 507)

Sorry Bash, I was joking in my suggestion. I don't really believe that the MOM breeds Dementors. It was more of a dig on the MOM since they were messing up and seemingly "decaying from within."

Julia. - Mar 2, 2004 1:05 pm (#77 of 507)

Nice play on words there, icthestrals. Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if the MoM was breeding Dementors, it would give them something else to study at the DoM. I think the people at the DoM would be very interested in how they work, as they're so unusual.

scully jones - Mar 2, 2004 5:58 pm (#78 of 507)

They're probably just from some swamp in the middle of nowhere.

Mare - Mar 3, 2004 12:54 am (#79 of 507)

Or from between some giants toes, seems like a mouldy place to me...

icthestrals - Mar 3, 2004 6:18 am (#80 of 507)

Thanks Julia. I have my moments.

Bash - Mar 7, 2004 8:49 pm (#81 of 507)

I expect there is no known way of destroying a Dementor as yet, otherwise even the Ministry would have the sense to get rid of them. Their pact with the Devil in allying with the Dementors must be because the Dementors cannot be disposed of as yet. However, we live in hope.

Pigwidgeon - Mar 30, 2004 5:28 pm (#82 of 507)

Well, this looks like a good a thread to post this thought / theory I have.

I was thinking: what powers do Dementors have, besides leeching happiness, bringing despair and, oh yes, flying? Do they have any other Wizarding type powers.

Something just hit me as my best friend and I were talking about the end of Prisoner of Azkaban. The ending sequence after our intrepid heroes leave the Shrieking Shack goes something like this: they exit, Lupin turns into a werewolf. Sirius turns into a dog, fights Lupin, they disappear for a while. Then, Harry hears howling sounds, which turn out to be Black, who is in HUMAN form and surrounded by a bunch of ravenous Dementors. He is on all fours and yelling "Nooooo," as if someone had turned him back into a human, like he and Lupin had just done with Pettigrew.

But the question is: WHO did this?

Could it have been the Dementors? Unlikely. Sirius says earlier on he was able to escape the Dementors eventually because they really couldn't "see" him in dog form. As a canine, they wouldn't have know what -- or who -- to look for.

Pettigrew? Possible, but unlikely. He hightailed it out of there pretty quickly, and is pretty timid. It is possible he quickly changed back into a human and did this, but ... it's unlikely.

How about ... Snape? We know he's a powerful wizard, we know he HATES Sirius and wants to feed him to the Dementors, and he had the opportunity. But he was asleep, right? But we don't know when precisely he woke up! Snape says he woke up after the Dementors left, and Harry and Hermione notice he's awake when he loads the students on stretchers and gets them back in the castle. But we don't know how long he had been conscious!

Any thoughts?

Rod Beecham - Mar 31, 2004 4:29 am (#83 of 507)

Wow! Now that's a REALLY interesting idea, Pigwidgeon. Where did Lupin (as a werewolf) and Black (as a dog) go? How did their fight conclude? Where did Lupin (still a werewolf, as he must have been) go? Did Black change himself back into a human being, or did someone else?

My first question is: Can another witch or wizard force an Animagus to return to human form, or is only the Animagus him/herself able to do that? The Snape-did-it theory hinges on this.

Pigwidgeon - Mar 31, 2004 4:58 am (#84 of 507)

Well, it says in PoA (my favorite of the series, by the way) that Lupin headed off into the dark forests in the throes of his lycanthropy. Sirius must have broke off at some point.

But as to your second question: it doesn't make sense for Sirius to have turned HIMSELF back into a human -- it would have been safer for him in his dog form around the Dementors. Besides, he's found on all fours, like he was just transfigured back.

Now, that is an interesting question, whether Animagi are the only ones who can force another Animagus to show their true identity. Both Lupin and Sirius cast the spell to show Scabbers to be Pettigrew. But Black is an Animagus, and Lupin can be seen as a reluctant Animagus of sorts. My guess would be no, that it can be cast by any competent wizard, since the Animagus talent (at least so far) has been portrayed as being rather rare. But it is an interesting question, and I certainly can't say for certain.

Catherine - Mar 31, 2004 5:31 am (#85 of 507)

Good question about why Sirius changed back into a man. I'll give my reading of this scene:

Sirius could resist the Dementors in Azkaban because he was innocent. He was obsessed with his innocence, and his desire to avenge the Potters and revenge himself against Peter. These weren't happy thoughts, so the Dementors couldn't suck them out of him. These thoughts kept him relatively sane and allowed him to keep his powers intact.

But after the Shrieking Shack scene, Sirius has happy thoughts. He finally has hope that his name will be cleared; he has been reunited with his godson, the son of his best friend; he thinks that Harry is coming to live with him. So all of the things that the Dementors prey upon--hope, joy, the desire to live--were present in Sirius, and put him in a much more vulnerable position. Also, Sirius was swarmed by them, which makes them very difficult to fight. Finally, Sirius is in terrible physical condition--Rowling describes him as very thin, skeletal, and corpse-like. Madame Pomfrey mentioned at the start of PoA that Dementors have a terrible effect on "those already delicate."

vball man - Mar 31, 2004 10:28 am (#86 of 507)

I've wondered this for some time. I don't see Sirius turning back to a man on his own. And I'm pretty sure that Snape was still out. Here's my explanation.

Sirius in felt by the Dementors while in Azkaban. They know what he feels like as a human and as a dog. They interpret his dogginess as that he's loosing his mind. Sirius escapes. The Dementors are mad. That much we know.

My theory: Sirius runs off as a dog. The Dementors feel him and recognize his soul from his time in Azkaban. They force him back into a man so they can kiss him.

Padfoot - Mar 31, 2004 11:33 am (#87 of 507)

Can Dementors only suck the souls out of humans? Sirius would still have a soul to suck out regardless of the form he chooses to be in. Just because we haven't seen a Dementor "kiss" an Animagus in animal form doesn't mean they can't.

timrew - Mar 31, 2004 1:14 pm (#88 of 507)

Yeah, but would you want to snog a dog? Look where they put their noses!

Padfoot - Mar 31, 2004 1:31 pm (#89 of 507)

Haha. Are Dementors that picky? Their arms/hands look decayed, so I don't visualize them as being very hygienic (or for that matter, particular/ choosy).

Denise P. - Mar 31, 2004 1:57 pm (#90 of 507)

Didn't Sirius say that he managed to escape from Azkaban in his Animagus form? If I am remembering that correctly, that points to Dementors not being able to sense or care about animals or he would not have been able to get past them. I will have to look in PoA for what it says about his escape.

vball man - Mar 31, 2004 9:10 pm (#91 of 507)

Here's Sirius' thoughts:

"They feel their way toward people by feeding off their emotions.... They could tell that my feelings were less -- less human, less complex when I was a dog... but they thought, of course, that I was losing my mind like everyone else in there, so it didn't trouble them.

Pigwidgeon - Apr 1, 2004 9:23 pm (#92 of 507)

Denise -- you are pretty much right. Sirius says the Dementors knew he was different in dog form -- less human, but thought he was going insane like the other prisoners. pg. 372 "It's so much harder for them to sense animal emotions that they were confused...."

Emily - Apr 28, 2004 1:04 pm (#93 of 507)

How many Dementors do you think there are? And are/were all of them under Ministry control? Fudge says so, but there were a lot of things he said that were wrong. *coughVoldemortcough* Can they be killed?

TomoÈ - May 10, 2004 9:53 pm (#94 of 507)
Edited May 10, 2004 10:55 pm

Maybe Sirius turn back to his human form so he could produce a patronus and push the Dementors away from HRH. Unfortunately, after all those ruined hopes in one night, he didn't succeed to find enough happiness to perform the spell.

rambkowalczyk - May 29, 2004 6:30 pm (#95 of 507)
Edited May 29, 2004 7:30 pm

It is possible. After all he only changed into a dog to protect them against the werewolf. Or he may have changed back once the werewolf went into the forest forgetting Dementors were in the area. He would have been preoccupied keeping Peter in custody.

vball man - Jun 4, 2004 10:48 pm (#96 of 507)

Seeing the Dementors in PoA movie has made me wonder again about something that has bothered me since reading PoA.

Fudge wanted it kept quiet, but Fudge went out to Azkaban the night Black escaped. The guards told Fudge that Blacks been talking in his sleep for a while now. Always the same words: 'He's at Hogwarts... he's at Hogwarts.'

So Dementors can talk???

Marie E. - Jun 5, 2004 8:37 am (#97 of 507)

Maybe it's not so much talking as communicating somehow.

haymoni - Jun 5, 2004 9:01 am (#98 of 507)

I can't imagine that the Dementors were allowed to run Azkaban all by themselves. I figured that there would be guards that were wizards, possibly a warden, some administrative staff, etc. Maybe these wizards were given a constant dose of Cheering Charms to help them through the day. I assumed Fudge had gotten his info from one of them.

vball man - Jun 5, 2004 9:56 am (#99 of 507)

In Rosmerta's:

"Rosmerta, dear, I don't like them any more than you do," said Fudge uncomfortably. "Necessary precaution... unfortunate, but there YOU are.... I've just met some of them. They're in a fury against Dumbledore -- he won't let them inside the castle grounds."

They seem to be able to let Fudge know what they're upset about.

haymoni - Jun 5, 2004 10:00 am (#100 of 507)

Hmm - why would Fudge be able to communicate so well with the Dementors???


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Dementors  Empty Dementors (posts #101 to #150)

Post  Potteraholic on Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:43 pm

Marie E. - Jun 5, 2004 10:13 am (#101 of 507)
Edited Jun 5, 2004 11:13 am

Because Fudge is EEVVIILLL.

Sorry, too much coffee.

vball man - Jun 5, 2004 10:23 am (#102 of 507)

The more I think about it, the stranger it is. I don't see Fudge being able to conjure a patronus. So he's totally vulnerable to the Dementors. Only fear of punishment would keep them from attacking someone like Fudge, either outside Hogsmeade, or at Azkaban. There doesn't seem to be a way to punish them. Even the Patronus just drives them away. So it is conspicuous that they leave some people alone, and attack Harry so fast.

haymoni - Jun 5, 2004 2:03 pm (#103 of 507)

Maybe Fudge has no joy, no happy memories - just the nervous twitch of twirling a bowler hat - nothing much to suck up there.

(Actually the movie POA gives new meaning to "sucking face", does it not?)

rambkowalczyk - Jun 5, 2004 3:18 pm (#104 of 507)

Perhaps Fudge is gifted at languages.

Marie E. - Jun 5, 2004 3:31 pm (#105 of 507)

Well, he had trouble at the World Cup, understanding the Bulgarian Minister of Magic.

rambkowalczyk - Jun 6, 2004 12:56 pm (#106 of 507)

Guess he isn't that gifted. Unless this is a "flint" we have to assume there is an unnamed person at the Ministry who translates Dementor-ese for Fudge. Maybe Delores Umbridge.

S.E. Jones - Jun 7, 2004 12:51 am (#107 of 507)

Maybe there is some kind of magical device that allows you to communicate with a Dementor?

As for punishment, the threat of being driven from their constant, reliable source of food (i.e. Azkaban) would probably be enough to keep them from attacking Fudge.

My question is, how do they know Fudge is Fudge and Sirius is Sirius, etc? They don't have eyes. And, Dumbledore said they don't distinguish from their prey and someone who simply gets in the way, but did he mean that they wouldn't mind Kissing an innocent (which I know they wouldn't) or that they honestly don't know the difference? They seem to, though, don't they.....

vball man - Jun 7, 2004 9:17 am (#108 of 507)

This is not an exact quote, but...Crouch, Jr., explaining his escape from Azkaban: "they sensed one healthy person and one dying person entering to visit, they sensed one healthy, one dying leaving." The Dementors mixed up Barty, Jr. and his mom. So it seems that they have only a sense of the person, and easily mistake one person for another.

Sirius says that they're blind, and mistook his "dog emotions" for madness. So it seems that they are not even very good at "feeling people."

So how do they always seem to spot Harry??? I think it is not Harry that they recognise, but the powers Harry carries. They may know that Harry is the enemy of their friend (Vol). But how would that help them recognise Harry and target him? A bunch of charged up teens playing Quidditch surely would feel similar to the Dementors.

Hagsquid - Jun 7, 2004 9:31 am (#109 of 507)

Harry has the memory of his mother's death. Maybe they can sense that.

I wonder why they don't prey on Neville also...

Catherine - Jun 7, 2004 9:42 am (#110 of 507)

I also wonder "where do Dementors come from."

If they are "born" from evil, soulless individuals--then perhaps some of them "know" about Harry Potter because they were Death Eaters in their former lives and therefore want to neutralize him. I don't really believe this, it's just wild speculation.

My most plausible explanation for this, though, is that Harry's "soul" is somehow "more" and they can feel that, and that perhaps his mother's sacrifice left more "love" in Harry, and they can sense that, too.

Jazhara Ravenclaw - Jun 7, 2004 2:31 pm (#111 of 507)

About the guards at Azkaban talking: Maybe some people that work at the ministry, and make a big mistake, they get sent to kind of watch over Azkaban as a punishment. So there could be some wizards who oversee at Azkaban, since the Dementors have a hard time differentiating between prisoners and non-prisoners anyways. This way there's someone who can communicate with visitors and officials like Fudge who come to check up on things, and also to keep the Dementors in line, keep them from performing the kiss on all the prisoners there, etc.

It must be a really boring, horrible and unhappy job, though, so I doubt there would be any volunteers, so maybe they just rotate people there that have messed up a lot at the ministry Wink

S.E. Jones - Jun 7, 2004 7:00 pm (#112 of 507)

Interesting thought there, Vball man. I was just wondering this morning if they maybe were able to single Harry out so well for another reason, though. Maybe because he's been marked by death once before or because he's been so touched by Lily's love that he's a tastier treat to them than most others?

Lady Nagini - Jun 8, 2004 1:34 pm (#113 of 507)
Edited by Jun 8, 2004 2:35 pm

Well, in PoA, Lupin says something to the effect that Harry has more pain and loss in his past than most others, and is therefore more vulnerable to the effects of the Dementors. And we don't know about the frequency of attacks or effects on anyone besides HRH very well anyway, since the attacks are focused on the trio.

Pigwidgeon - Jun 10, 2004 6:47 pm (#114 of 507)

Well, here's my idea: I know earlier we were speculating how Dementors are created/where they come from. I've always wondered if Dementors were wizards who had their souls taken by Dementors, or Dark Wizards so twisted and corrupted by evil, this is a form they take. This could explain why at least some Dementors seem "attracted" to Harry -- perhaps, in their twisted way, they somehow "remember" him.


Bash - Jun 10, 2004 8:04 pm (#115 of 507)

JKR said they "grow like fungus where there is decay" which would indicate that they were never organisms of any kind.

vball man - Jun 10, 2004 8:53 pm (#116 of 507)

Woo - Pigwidgeon - I like the second one (that Dark Wizards become Dementors).

In PoA, Lupin tells Harry, if it can, the Dementor will feed on you long enough to reduce you to something like itself... soul-less and evil. You'll be left with nothing but the worst experiences of your life. I don't think that he's talking about the "Kiss," since after that you have no memories at all. But that "soul-less" statement - I'm not sure what Lupin means.

JKR hasn't given us much info on the Dementors, considering what she has said about their importance in the books. Inside the story, Hermione and Dumbledore, (the main info givers) don't give much info either. If I was Harry, and they attacked me on the train, I'd be looking them up in the library and finding out what they're all about. Or asking Hermione. Of course, there's nothing in FB.

shepherdess - Jun 10, 2004 10:16 pm (#117 of 507)

We know that when a Fidelius charm is placed on a house, the house becomes invisible to the eyes of anyone who hasn't been told the location by the secret keeper.

But Dementors don't have eyes; they're blind. They locate people by sensing their presence.

Could a Dementor find someone inside a house with a Fidelius charm on it?

Prefect Marcus - Jun 11, 2004 7:19 am (#118 of 507)

Could a Dementor find someone inside a house with a Fidelius charm on it?

Oooo, good question, shepherdess! I think not because a Fidelius charm seems to work on more senses than just sight.

Diagon Nilly - Jun 11, 2004 8:58 am (#119 of 507)

"I've always wondered if Dementors were wizards who had their souls taken by Dementors, or Dark Wizards so twisted and corrupted by evil, this is a form they take."

Sort of like how a Ringwraith is made in "Lord of the Rings". I like this idea. In relation to "JKR said they 'grow like fungus where there is decay'" it could be what happens in cases of severe manic depression in a wizard...depression that's so severe it's more of a psychosis that eventually consumes the wizard (mental "decay"). This could be the result of constantly being "fed on" by a Dementor (which will result in there never being a lack of guards for Azkaban) or randomly occurring neural glitch. However, I don't think losing your soul would turn you into a Dementor, only constant exposure could do that. Losing your soul would be more like becoming a vegetable (and thusly a prime candidate to be a contestant on "Elimidate.")

Padfoot - Jun 11, 2004 9:06 am (#120 of 507)

Diagon Nilly

So if you get locked away in Azkaban you could become a Dementor? The inmates all go through a severe depression. If so, that might mean that existing Dementors are former criminals. We know DD didn't want Dementors around because he knew they would go straight back to Voldy. This fits with that. But why on earth would Fudge place former criminals as guards to newer ones?

Diagon Nilly - Jun 11, 2004 9:42 am (#121 of 507)
Edited by Jun 11, 2004 10:42 am

The Dementors seem to be easily controlled by people in power judging by how fickle-y they changed sides during VW I and will probably do in VW II. Maybe once a prisoner becomes a Dementor, they're more easily mold-able, like play-doh, except they don't smell as good. Perhaps the Dementors don't do anything unless ordered to do so...except feed on happiness (that's what's in their nature and essential for their survival). So perhaps they're not generally dangerous unless ordered to be (foul, but not dangerous). I quoteth Bruce Willis from "The Fifth Element" in saying "They won't fight if you kill the leader." Also, a prisoner who’s become a Dementor would pretty much have their spirit broken by then, that would make them easy to order around.

shepherdess - Jun 11, 2004 6:50 pm (#122 of 507)

So, Marcus, you think the Fidelius charm is designed to block emotions? Why would that be necessary? It seems like a lot of trouble to go through just in case, maybe someday, you might need to hide from Dementors. Then again, maybe that's why the charm was invented in the first place. Ah, but then it wouldn't need to make the house invisible, because the Dementors can't see.

Ok, I'm sorry, I'm going in circles here. But I guess what I really want to know is could the Dementors have located Sirius at 12 Grimmauld Place (had they been in the vicinity for some reason)?

Wait a minute! How did the Boggart that was in the cupboard, get into #12? They also depend on emotion (well, at least fear). Unless Boggarts can see houses even with a Fidelius charm on them. But this thread is for Dementors.

Wendelin the Weird - Jun 11, 2004 6:58 pm (#123 of 507)

Hmmm... now I know taken literally the JKR quote leads us to believe that Dementors were never created of something previously existing. "They grow like fungus where there is decay".

Well, if you drink unicorn blood you are cursed to live a half-life... I’m thinking zombies - that’s what the appearance of them reminds me of. Consider if a dark wizard messed with powers he ought not to.. drinking unicorn blood to conquer death and wasn’t able to die but relinquished to living in a rotting human corpse? In a sense he had died at some point - his soul left his body and he seeks to take another soul to feed and fill the emptiness. But his body continues on without a soul... zombie-like

I see what she is saying as a metaphor "grows like a fungus from decay". You'll never have 2 Dementors making love per say for reproduction *shiver* so they are created otherwise... but not necessarily forming out of pure nothingness. Where there is death, a Dementor is often at hand. Perhaps this is why some of the darkest wizards cannot be killed - they are less than alive already. And perhaps the Philosopher’s Stone could provide true immortality - preventing the cursed half-life one would be sentenced to after drinking unicorn’s blood. I imagine Nicholas Flamel looks no older now that he did the day he first drank the elixir of life....

Just odd theories... please blow holes in it now. hee hee

{Oh! And I was pleasantly surprised to read that someone had made the link between Legilimency and Dementors too! WOW! It came to me the other day as well... *Twilight Zone music*}

Lady Nagini - Jun 11, 2004 9:05 pm (#124 of 507)

Wait a minute! How did the Boggart that was in the cupboard, get into #12? --shepherdess

I assumed it was in there before the Fidelius Charm was placed on the house.

vball man - Jun 12, 2004 8:03 pm (#125 of 507)

One young Canadian boy earlier asked her how Dementor s breed.

"I was just so pleased that he thought about it and pleased that I had the answer," Rowling told The Canadian Press.

These evil creatures don't, by the way, breed but grow like a fungus where there is decay.

I was thinking about this and whether it definitely means that the source of Dementors is "decay." We know three things from this interview. 1. JKR had already thought of the answer. 2. Dementors do not "breed." 3. Dementors grow like a fungus. It seems to me that JKR has avoided the question. She never really said how they reproduce, or how new Dementors are made. She only said how they grow. What do you guys think?

Bash - Jun 12, 2004 9:55 pm (#126 of 507)

I think that the Dementors are sterile, but that more recent decay causes more Dementors to come about.

Isabella S. - Jun 23, 2004 11:28 pm (#127 of 507)

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is not very exhaustive, is it. I mean, where does Fluffy fit in?

Surtseystwin - Jun 27, 2004 8:22 am (#128 of 507)

There has been some discussion on the PoA movie thread about whether Dementors do or do not fly. I would never in a million years have pictured them flapping around up in the sky as they were in the movie. I always have pictured them upright, towering, and hovering just above the ground as they glide across toward their victim.

The argument that they do fly is based on the lines in OotP that say one "swooped away, batlike" and the other "soared away," however, in the Dueling Club scene in CoS, JKR has Professor Snape "gliding over like a large and malevolent bat," and no one presumes that description is suggesting that he was flying at the time.

I think the verb "soared" is the one that is trickiest, but the Quidditch match against Hufflepuff in PoA clinches it for me. The Dementors couldn't stay away because all the emotions running high were like a feast to them. If they could fly, wouldn't they have risen to the level of the cheering students in the stands? It would have brought them much closer to their source of "nourishment." Instead, when they arrive at the stadium, they move onto the field, and stand there, looking up.

Prefect Marcus - Jun 27, 2004 10:49 am (#129 of 507)

I've always figured Dementors were like chickens. Able to fly, but not very high, nor very far.

Catherine - Jun 27, 2004 12:20 pm (#130 of 507)

LOL, Marcus! At least we aren't comparing them to penguins!

timrew - Jun 27, 2004 2:03 pm (#131 of 507)

LOL, Marcus!

The Song Of The Dementors, "I want to Soar Like a Chicken, and Feel the Wind Beneath My Wings!"

vball man - Jun 29, 2004 9:13 am (#132 of 507)
Edited Jun 29, 2004 10:13 am

The song of the Dementors, line by line:

"I want to Soar Like a Chicken, and Feel the Wind Beneath My Wings!"

"And I will make you sicken, as you think of awful things."

Who's next?

Catherine - Jun 29, 2004 10:37 am (#133 of 507)
Edited Jun 29, 2004 11:54 am

(SONG OF THE DEMENTORS, continued from Vball man and Timrew...)

It's always freezing cold in my shadow, All the sunshine I do erase. Your patronus is just pathetic vapor, I press my rotting self against your face...

You tried to keep your mouth shut tight against me, But the glowing tic-tac rose high above! I sucked real hard and thought, "Mmm, spearmint!" Now that's a flavor I really love!

(Back to Chorus)

NOTE: The "glowing tic-tac" image courtesy of Gina R Snape in her review of PoA in PoA movie thread.

S.E. Jones - Jun 29, 2004 5:27 pm (#134 of 507)

Guys, as much as I love humming the "Song of the Dementors" to myself (and you know I do ), this isn't the Chat thread.....

Catherine - Jun 30, 2004 4:37 am (#135 of 507)

Apologies. I guess if we want to continue this, we'll have to soar like a chicken to the chat thread....

Aeoliano - Jul 13, 2004 8:51 pm (#136 of 507)

Madame Librarian,

I would like to hear what you found out about the origin of Dementors? They sound an awful lot like the Nazgul from the Lord of the Rings.. were they once human-like?

-- A.

Aeoliano - Jul 13, 2004 8:56 pm (#137 of 507)

Well, if you drink unicorn blood you are cursed to live a half-life... I’m thinking zombies - that’s what the appearance of them reminds me of. Consider if a dark wizard messed with powers he ought not to.. drinking unicorn blood to conquer death and wasn’t able to die but relinquished to living in a rotting human corpse? In a sense he had died at some point - his soul left his body and he seeks to take another soul to feed and fill the emptiness. But his body continues on without a soul... zombie-like

THIS sounds like a Barrow Wight from Fellowship of the Ring.. pretty creepy sounding..

I wonder if one could use a song instead to ward off Dementors instead of a Patronus?

-- A.

Pigwidgeon - Jul 17, 2004 2:26 am (#138 of 507)

Here's something to be considered: can a Dementor be destroyed, or is it immortal? If it can be destroyed, what spell would do that? Obviously only a wizard of Dumbledore's caliber could probably cast it, either that or Dementors are a "protected" species by the ministry.

haymoni - Jul 17, 2004 10:11 am (#139 of 507)

Yes, the Patronus just drives them away - doesn't destroy them.

I suppose if you kept a Dementor where there was nothing to feed on, it might "starve".

Chris. - Jul 17, 2004 11:43 am (#140 of 507)

"There are - certain defences one can use," said Lupin. "But there was only one Dementor on the train. The more there are, the more difficult it becomes to resist."(PA, Ch10, P141, UK Edition)

So the Patronus is not the only charm or defense that can be used against Dementors. The next bit of Harry and Lupin's conversation interested me.

"I don't pretend to be an expert at fighting Dementors, Harry - quite the contrary ..." (PA, Ch10, P141, UK Edition)

So Lupin doesn't pretend to be a expert, he is one?

Aeoliano - Jul 18, 2004 8:50 pm (#141 of 507)

The very etymology of Grendel's name indicates "the grinder" or "the destroyer" (Kiessling, "Grendel: A New Aspect," p. 194), a name quite appropriate for a draugr, who were known to kill by crushing their victims to death. Grendel wreaks his revenge upon the living, destroying what he cannot have. Like the draugr, Grendel is a creature of the night. He is deogol dÊdhata deorcum nihtum (l. 2775, "the hidden doer of hateful deeds in the dark night"), the scrian sceadugenga (l. 703, "the gliding shadow-goer"), who moves through the landscape of shifting shadows and intermittent moonlight so characteristic of the undead: Sceaduhelma gesceapu scrian cwoman wan under wolcnum (ll. 650-651a, "the shadow-cloaked shape comes gliding, black under the clouds.") Grendel conceals his actions beneath a mist, –a com of more under mistleoþum Grendel gongan (ll. 710-711a, "Then he came from the moor, under hills of mist Grendel went"), and the intermittent moonlight suggested by the clouds and mist may be responsible for the gleam of light from Grendel's eyes: him of eagum stod ligge gelicost leoht un fÊger (ll. 726b-727, "from his eyes came an ugly light, most like a flame").

Dementors sound like grendels... or draugr

Madame Librarian - Jul 25, 2004 9:41 am (#142 of 507)
Edited Jul 25, 2004 10:42 am

I shifted this post from the "Grindelwald" thread because I had drifted badly O-T, but I still feel my point is worth pondering. I'm responding to post #35 on that thread.

Ooooh, vballman, I really like the suggestion that somehow that Dementor is "embarrassed" to have its hand seen. What a contradictory, but fascinating, trait that would be. Might it imply that Dementors have some sort of previous existence as humans, and did have souls or consciences? Maybe they "kiss" other humans in search of a replacement soul.

This jives a little bit in how ancient cultures viewed lepers. Remember, the disease was thought to be visited on those who had sinned in some way (read Leviticus, Hebrew Bible, laws on purity and cleanliness, can't give you a clue as to which chapter and verse). The advanced stage of the disease could lead to sufferers losing surface skin and even fingers, toes, lips, and worse. (I am so creeping myself out here, aaackkk.) They dressed in hooded rags and if not confined to a leper colony--different cultures had different ways of dealing with this--they roamed the countryside begging. A little bell was attached to their hoods to warn others not to come near. Obviously, I'm generalizing here. Some lepers were probably horrid, scarred, desperate people who didn't follow the "rules," and became associated with dreaded visitations on unafflicted folk.

Uh oh, sorry for drifting O-T. Is there still a Dementor thread? I'll shift this over there.

OK, did that.

Ciao. Barb

Dr Filibuster - Jul 25, 2004 2:30 pm (#143 of 507)

Barb, I never thought that I'd feel so sorry for Dementors. Welcome back.

Madame Librarian - Jul 25, 2004 2:39 pm (#144 of 507)

Hey, thanks, Dr. F. I took a much-needed break, but here I am, whacko ideas and all.

Ciao. Barb

sailto mist - Jul 26, 2004 4:58 pm (#145 of 507)

to: Interesting thought there, Vball man. I was just wondering this morning if they maybe were able to single Harry out so well for another reason, though. Maybe because he's been marked by death once before or because he's been so touched by Lily's love that he's a tastier treat to them than most others?

I thought that Harry was always targeted by the Dementors because he was full of the substance that Voldemort detested (love? - something positive). Dementors are attracted to/suck the (happiness, and all other) positive feelings out. Since Harry is full of these positive forces-they target him more than others.

Detail Seeker - Jul 28, 2004 12:49 pm (#146 of 507)

Where do you get it from, that they go for Harry in special ? In OoP, they were unleashed on him and Dudley, true. In PoA at the lake, we do not know, what sent them to the lake (Pettigrew, perhaps ?). Whenever a Dementor came along, Harry reacted stronger than anyone else, but there are no signs, that they came for Harry. They searched the train, they came to the stadium because of the amount of emotions, there (At least, that’s the theory).

So, in the only case, we definitely know, that they went after Harry, specifically, that was done on Orders. At the lake, they were either starved or had their order - and a scent - to go after Sirius and extended that onto everyone in his surrounding, which was Harry, then.

Also, as they feed on happy thoughts, that Harry does not have many of, does not make him a favourite prey for the Dementors.

vball man - Jul 28, 2004 2:27 pm (#147 of 507)

Well, look at the Quidditch match against Hufflepuff. There were certainly many students closer to the Dementors than Harry. Yet, they attacked only Harry. If they came because of the "feast" of everyone's "emotions running high" as Lupin says, then why didn't they attack other people at the feast? It seems that Lupin isn't right. If they came for a feast, why only attack Harry?

The train: Neville also has horrors in his past (we think), but he was only mildly affected. In MovPoA, the Dementor does look (or sniff) around the cabin, then turns to Harry and starts sucking. I know its not canon, but I think that's part of what JKR was so impressed by in the movie.

Then by the lake: In BookPoA, Harry, Sirius, and Hermione were by the lake. There, Harry is still conscious when Hermione passes out. So in this case they did not "suck" happiness from Harry. They went straight to the Kiss for Harry and Sirius. They did suck happiness from Hermione. So they did treat Harry and Hermione differently, even though they were both bystanders in their quest for Sirius. Why? 1)Random acts of violence. 2)Harry is the co-holder of Dark Power (my theory) and they desperately want to suck out that power. 3)They were upset at Harry for trying to protect Sirius with a patronus.

Laurelin - Jul 28, 2004 11:34 pm (#148 of 507)
Edited Jul 29, 2004 12:37 am

I think it's at the time very difficult but also very interesting to mix the "Dementor-attacks" from the book and the movie, as Detail Seeker has pointed out, the Dementors didn't go for Harry especially, rather they affected him more than others (as it's said in the book... Harry reacts stronger because there are horrors in his life others do not have). In the book the Dementors come to the game because they are attracted by the high emotions generated by it in the spectators... since they suck the happiness out of their surroundings, they also affect Harry, nothing suggests in the book that the Dementors do attack Harry as they do in the movie, if I remember correctly, they are several feet below him, floating, but close to the ground(!) (that's one of my major problems with the movie... those movie-Dementors fly!!! :? ) Anyhow... Harry falls of his broom, but nothing in the book suggests that he was a primary target of the Dementors. (Same is true for the scene in the train)

When the Dementors really attack Harry and try to suck his soul out, Harry does what Dumbledore warns them against, he opposes a Dementor! The Dementor wants to do what is right with him: perform the kiss on a convicted, escaped criminal, and anybody who opposes him in this is likely in league with this criminal and will get treated the same way, will get "kissed"...

Now, this is all very different in the movie... JKR has said that some scenes gave her shivers because they were foreshadowing future events and I can imagine scenarios that involve a revelation that the Dementors did indeed go actively after Harry, even back in PoA, for the time being though, I see nothing suspicious in the book-Dementors attitude towards Harry... (well, that changes of course in OotP, but that's way after the events in PoA under very different premises, Voldemort had not yet returned, nor did it look like he would any time soon...)

vball man - Jul 29, 2004 10:18 am (#149 of 507)

the Dementors didn't go for Harry especially, rather they affected him more than others (as it's said in the book... Harry reacts stronger because there are horrors in his life others do not have). This is Lupin's idea of why - it may not be correct. but close to the ground Fred estimated his fall to be fifty feet.

Laurelin - Jul 29, 2004 11:33 am (#150 of 507)
Edited Jul 29, 2004 12:34 pm

True, that's Lupin’s explanation, but one that I cannot find fault with for the time being.

Yes, Harry fell fifty feet, but the Dementors were on the ground, not up in the air: Before he'd had time to think, Harry had taken his eyes off the Snitch and looked down. At least a hundred Dementors, their hidden faces pointing up at him were standing below. (PoA, chap. 9, p. 194 Brit. PB)

The one suspicious thing is that "the "faces" of the Dementors pointed up, but IMO this is not strong enough evidence that they were there especially for him... he was probably just very attractive because of his high emotions during the pursuit of the Snitch... Smile

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Dementors  Empty Dementors (posts #151 to #200)

Post  Potteraholic on Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:49 pm

vball man - Jul 29, 2004 12:03 pm (#151 of 507)

Ok...I think most people interpret it the way you do.

I remember about a year ago, before MovPoA, before BookOoP, I had this same discussion with other people. They agreed with you. I felt then as I do now that the Dementors were after Harry in particular (train, Quidditch, and lake). When JKR's interview about MovPoA came out she said that some things were interpreted so that later we'll think the director/writer knew things about Bk6. Based on what I thought about Dementors, I predicted that they'd go after Harry in particular. Then in MovPoA, they did! I was very happy about that. It makes me more confident in my interpretation.

But, alas, it doesn't prove my point at all. Your objections make sense.

Laurelin - Jul 29, 2004 12:26 pm (#152 of 507)

vball man, after having watched PoA and reading JKR's interviews I had the same idea that the Dementors behaviour might be one of the things that showed special insight of the filmmakers into JKR's story, but there is IMO really nothing in the book PoA, that justifies this belief... IMO(!). You might still be the one who is correct in the end though... I think I have posted something in the movie-clue thread about it back in June (yep, I did...(#413 of 614) Very Happy There is the remark of Lupin that the Dementors seem to have a special interest in Harry (which after having read OotP, really isn't new news, but could be regarded as a clue... they might now be really looking for Harry to kill him; in PoA, I think they only tried to kill him because he opposed them when they tried to perform the kiss on a convicted murderer... BUT we might find out that already back in the days of PoA, the Dementors considered Harry - or the Potters in general - as their enemies who ought to be dead... one more reason why James could have told Lily about them when Petunia was eavesdropping).) I am open for almost everything... Very Happy

vball man - Jul 29, 2004 1:00 pm (#153 of 507)

The first time I read OoP, I thought that the Dementor behaviour was proof of my position. The Dementors seemed to have tried to kiss Harry without any permission. But the second time through, I that noticed that Umbridge sent them. I still don't know if Umbridge told them to attack, or to kiss.

Padfoot - Jul 29, 2004 1:50 pm (#154 of 507)
Edited by Jul 29, 2004 2:50 pm

How does a Dementor attack? I thought they just kiss someone as their form of attack. Is there another way I am missing here?

haymoni - Jul 29, 2004 2:09 pm (#155 of 507)

I always thought a Dementor Attack meant that they sucked the happiness out of you.

The ultimate is the Kiss.

vball man - Jul 29, 2004 8:43 pm (#156 of 507)
Edited Jul 29, 2004 9:43 pm

Harry initially passed out when the Dementor "attacked." Later, he was fully conscious on two occasions when the Dementor was trying to kiss him. So it seems to me that they have two weapons: 1) Sucking happiness 2) Kissing. And that the Dementor can choose which to use. The one that attacked Barty, Jr.: The moment that - that thing entered the room," she screamed, pointing at Fudge, trembling all over, "it swooped down on Crouch and - and -" It didn't seem to spend any time sucking.

Lupin: "...the Dementor lowers its hood only to use its last and worst weapon."

In MovPoA, however, they seem to have only one weapon: Sucking. Then, after sucking for a while, a glowing tic-tac comes out of your mouth. Who knows what they do then. I suppose that they eat the tic-tac.

TwinklingBlueEyes - Jul 30, 2004 5:48 am (#157 of 507)

Vball, I almost fell out of my chair with the reference to a glowing tic-tac!

vball man - Jul 30, 2004 6:22 am (#158 of 507)

I think that the Dementors are said to have putrid breath, so maybe they need a tic-tac!

Padfoot - Jul 30, 2004 10:00 am (#159 of 507)

Ok, I see what you mean about the two forms of attacking. Thanks for the clarification. And ewww... to eating the tic-tac soul.

Solitaire - Aug 4, 2004 4:43 pm (#160 of 507)

Sorry if this has been addressed already. If it has been answered in a lengthy response, please point me to the right post. Thanks.

Okay, my questions ... Once a Dementor kisses a prisoner, the prisoner is pretty much wasted, correct? There is no bringing him or her back to any degree of "human-ness," right?

If this is the case, why were Bella and the other DEs not Kissed upon incarceration in Azkaban? This would have prevented their escape, would it not?


ex-FAHgeek - Aug 4, 2004 5:38 pm (#161 of 507)

---quote--- If this is the case, why were Bella and the other DEs not kissed upon incarceration in Azkaban? This would have prevented their escape, would it not? ---end quote---

It's the same difference between life imprisonment and the death penalty in the real world. Either way, the point is to remove the criminal from society, but the common view is that death is the worst thing that can happen to someone (of course, Dumbledore says otherwise...) and thus life imprisonment has various other noble advantages (mercy, etc.)

Archangel - Aug 17, 2004 3:59 am (#162 of 507)

Could Dementors be vampires that were vanquished or finally killed?

As a vampire they feed on blood to live. But now they're dead, they suck souls/happy feelings to live. Certainly a fate worse than death in my book...

Madame Librarian - Aug 17, 2004 9:40 am (#163 of 507)
Edited Aug 17, 2004 10:42 am

Captured DEs may be important sources of information about plans and other undercover DEs. Would a Dementor's kiss prevent them from providing this? Hmmm. Good question, but not critical.

Ciao. Barb

Solitaire - Aug 17, 2004 2:16 pm (#164 of 507)

I like your idea about the Dementors being dead--or perhaps we should say undead--vampires, Archangel. It makes sense to me.

Solitaire - Aug 17, 2004 2:18 pm (#165 of 507)

Barb, apparently the Dementor's kiss renders one pretty useless. Hence Dumbledore's anger (end of GoF) that Fudge has Barty "kissed" before even talking to him and getting a "statement."


shepherdess - Aug 17, 2004 3:16 pm (#166 of 507)

JKR has said that Dementors grow where there is decay. So they can't be vampires, or dead people.

(Solitaire, are you aware that, after posting a message, you have thirty minutes to edit it? This cuts down on the number of messages.)

Archangel - Aug 17, 2004 6:05 pm (#167 of 507)

Shepherdess, why not? Doesn't the dead decay? So if they grow where there is decay, couldn't we construe that they grow where there is death? The Dementors are dead -- Harry made a comment about seeing something like its hand looks like dead and it's rotting -- they need to feed on souls/feelings in order for them to continue to exist.

Siriusly - Aug 25, 2004 1:39 pm (#168 of 507)
Edited Aug 25, 2004 2:43 pm

If the Dementors suck all the happiness out of you and you are only left with bad memories, but you’re a DE and your bad and that's what you like, is it really a punishment? Or are DE members left with happy memories, like Barney the Dinosaur and children's choirs, does that make them feel that they will "never be mad or angry" again?

timrew - Aug 26, 2004 4:35 pm (#169 of 507)

LOL, Siriusly! I think any Death Eaters left with happy memories would sing this song (to the tune of The Wizard Of Oz)........

"We're off to see the Dark Lord,
The wonderful Lord Voldemort!
If everra weverra Lord there was,
If everra Dark Lord there was!

If everra weverra Lord there was,
Lord Voldemort's one, because, because,
Because of the 'orrible things he does!

Didderly-didderly dum!

We're off to see the Dark Lord,
The wonderful Lord Voldemo-o-o-rt!"

Eponine - Aug 26, 2004 4:42 pm (#170 of 507)

I'm glad I wasn't drinking anything. That would have been a SPEW for sure!

TwinklingBlueEyes - Aug 26, 2004 6:37 pm (#171 of 507)
Edited Aug 26, 2004 7:38 pm

Unfortunately, I was...thank you Tim, once again the king of SPEW!

haymoni - Aug 28, 2004 4:11 pm (#172 of 507)

Very nice, Timothy!

The first time I read "Dementors" I thought of that guy with the late night radio show - Dr. Demento - was that his name?

He played all the weirdo parody songs, ala Weird Al Yankovic.

I think you would have made the cut, Tim!

popkin - Aug 30, 2004 2:45 am (#173 of 507)

Barty Crouch Jr. had his soul sucked out by a Dementor. Could it be that in JKR's world a person cannot die if they don't have a soul? Maybe that's how a Dementor is born - as a soulless person decays it is compelled to find a soul so it can die. So it wanders the earth sucking the souls out of people, but never being able to incorporate another's soul into its own decaying body, and never finding the true death (or rest) it seeks.

I am beginning to think that somehow this is the fate worse than death that Voldemort is facing.

Solitaire - Sep 2, 2004 10:54 pm (#174 of 507)

Popkin, your explanation of how a Dementor is "born" makes perfect sense. Excellent! And you are correct that it would be a fate worse than death, if it is indeed his fate ...

Phoenix song - Sep 3, 2004 9:21 am (#175 of 507)

Popkin: I'm impressed with your theory about the birth of Dementors. It makes perfect sense! It's creepy and chilling, but it seems to be right on the mark.

popkin - Sep 3, 2004 2:49 pm (#176 of 507)

Thanks. It's always nice when someone likes a post and says so.

Tessa's Dad - Sep 19, 2004 6:07 pm (#177 of 507)

After reading several posts in the Lexicon, I had a thought in my mind concerning the Death Eaters and the Dementors. In the ‘Goblet of Fire’ Voldemort calls the Dementors ‘our natural allies.’ Could this be a quasi-symbiotic relationship? The Death Eaters consume some portion of the ‘bodily death’ and the Dementors consume the ‘souls death?’

Together the two groups could eliminate all of their opposition.


Jessalynn Quirky - Sep 25, 2004 4:03 pm (#178 of 507)

Good point, but does that mean that Lily and James' souls are gone forever? Very disturbing.

Solitaire - Sep 25, 2004 5:41 pm (#179 of 507)

Lily and James were not "soul-sucked" by Dementors. They were killed by Voldemort.

Phoenix song - Oct 7, 2004 9:12 am (#180 of 507)

I am making this post in answer to a debate on the "Good Old Aunt Petunia" thread regarding whether or not Squibs can see magical creatures (like Dementors) that Muggles can not see. I did not want to stray too far off topic there, and felt that it would be more appropriate here. I feel that Mrs. Figg's description of the Dementors at Harry's hearing in OoP proves that she did not see the Dementors, but was aware of them by correctly interpreting the feelings that they "inspire". I believe that it was obvious from her description at the trial that she had not seen them.

'On approaching the mouth of the alleyway I saw Dementors running--'

'Running?' said Madam Bones sharply. 'Dementors don't run, they glide.'

'That's what I meant to say,' said Mrs. Figg quickly, patches of pink appearing in her withered cheeks...

then... 'Oh,' said Mrs. Figg, the pink flush creeping up her neck now, 'They were big. Big and wearing cloaks.'

Harry felt a horrible sinking in the pit of his stomach. Whatever Mrs. Figg said to the contrary, it sounded to him as though the most she had ever seen was a picture of a Dementor, and a picture could never convey the truth of what these being were like: the eerie way they moved, hovering inches over the ground, or the rotting smell of them, or that terrible, rattling noise they made as they sucked on the surrounding air...A dumpy wizard with a large black mustache in the second row leaned close to his neighbor, a frizzy-haired witch, and whispered something in her ear. She smirked and nodded.

'Big and wearing cloaks,' repeated Madam Bones coolly, while Fudge snorted derisively. 'I see. Anything else?'

'Yes,' said Mrs. Figg. 'I felt them. Everything went cold, and this was a very warm summer's night, mark you. And I though all happiness had gone from the world...and I remembered....dreadful things.'
(OoP, Ch 8, pgs. 144-145)

It seems to me to be pretty clear that Mrs. Figg didn't really see the Dementors. She felt them as was able to know that they were there, and that there was more than one of them by the degree of what she was feeling. So I don't think that Squibs are able to see Dementors. I just think that they know a Dementor when they "feel" the coldness and all of the depressing feelings that they bring.


haymoni - Oct 7, 2004 9:51 am (#181 of 507)

In all fairness, though, how many wizards have actually been exposed to Dementors?

It's not like they are all over Diagon Alley sucking up everyone's shopping emotions or hanging out at people's homes like The Burrow.

Ron seemed very unfamiliar with what Dementors do.

I'm guessing the average, law-abiding wizard tries "to avoid familiarity with pirates"...I mean Dementors.

So, what I'm getting at is that it may not be so unusual that Mrs. Figg doesn't know EXACTLY what a Dementor attack is like or what a Dementor looks like.

Solitaire - Oct 7, 2004 10:12 am (#182 of 507)
Edited Oct 7, 2004 11:13 am

Phoenix song, I think you MUST go back to the end of Chapter One and the beginning of Chapter Two to get an accurate picture of what Mrs. Figg did or did not see. After all, she was nervous at the hearing and she was reciting a memory. That doesn't mean she did not see Dementors; neither do Harry's feelings.

I posted the following response to your comments on Aunt Petunia's thread (italics denote quoted sections from the book), as I believe they clearly show that Mrs. Figg knew exactly what Dementors were and most likely saw them ...............

Harry had just cast the Patronus Charm, repelled the Dementors, and had gone toward Dudley. He was getting ready to see if he could get Dudley up when he heard someone running behind him.

... instinctively raising his wand again, he spun on his heels to face the newcomer.

Mrs. Figg, their batty old neighbor, came panting into sight. Her grizzled gray hair was escaping from its hairnet, a clanking string shopping bag was swinging from her wrist, and her feet were halfway out of her tartan carpet slippers. Harry made to stow his wand hurriedly out of sight, but--

"Don't put it away, idiot boy!" she shrieked. "What if there are more of them around? Oh, I'm going to kill Mundungus Fletcher!"
.... Chapter One ends here.

Chapter Two.
"What!" Harry said blankly.

"He left!" said Mrs. Figg, wringing her hands. "Left to see someone about a batch of cauldrons that had fallen off the back of a broom! I told him I'd flay him alive if he went, and now look! Dementors!"

She then goes on about Dung and Mr. Tibbles ...

The revelation that his batty old cat-obsessed neighbor knew what Dementors were was almost as big a shock to Harry as meeting two of them down the alleyway. "You're--you're a witch?"

"I'm a Squib, as Mundungus knows full well, so how on earth was I supposed to help you fight off Dementors?"

If she can't see Dementors, how did she know they were there? Did she just hear Harry cast the Patronus charm and know enough about magic to realize that Patronus Charms are only used to repel Dementors? Did Mr. Tibbles tell her they were there? I don't think so. It sounded to me like she was on her way to follow Harry--after Mr. T told her Dung had deserted his post--when the Dementors attacked. She saw and felt them.

Can you think of any other way she would have known there were Dementors there, if she had not seen them? After all, Harry had not yet used the word Dementor.


Phoenix song - Oct 7, 2004 11:55 am (#183 of 507)

Solitaire: I think that we can just agree to disagree on this point. I think that the canon supports my theory, and you do not. I think that the more telling version lies at the hearing, and you think that it's after the attack by the Dementors. It is okay for us to see these things differently.

I think that she was on her way to Harry, (after being warned by her cat that he was alone), and saw the lights all go out, and felt the coldness of the approaching Dementors, and felt the draining of her happiness and from that knew that there were Dementors after Harry. I also think that Dumbledore would have warned her to watch out for these things. He would have to have wondered if the Death Eaters or if the Dementors (Voldemort's natural allies) would have tried to have gotten to Harry! I do not believe that she saw them. Her description of them was not accurate at all, and Harry and the council remarked as to that. Her description of the feelings of them was accurate. Therefore, I think that she felt the Dementors and knew what they were. I believe that since she was put in place to keep an eye on Harry all of these years that she would have been a Squib of some experience, and would have known these things. I think that Dumbledore would have warned those watching Harry to keep an eye out for these things now that Voldemort had returned.

I also think that it is telling that when she "describes" the Dementors that large patches of pink appear on her face and neck. I think that this is an indication that she is trying to hide a lie. It's okay with me if you disagree and see this as a sign of nervousness. Just please note that the pink patches only appear when she is describing those things that I don't believe that she's seen first hand.

I am not trying to deny that Mrs. Figg knew that there were Dementors present before Harry had even told her. I am trying to point out from her own testimony that it doesn't really seem as if she used the sense of sight to determine that they were there.

Also, Ron did know the affects that the Dementors had upon his father whenever he visited Azkaban. It seems as if all of the adults have had experience with how the Dementors affect people: Dumbledore, Hagrid, McGonagall, Lupin, Madame Pomfrey, Arthur Weasley. Why not the person that Dumbledore had put in place to guard Harry all of his life?


TwinklingBlueEyes - Oct 7, 2004 5:39 pm (#184 of 507)
Edited Oct 7, 2004 6:41 pm

...strolls in, looks around, picks out my campground.

I am in the camp that thinks Mrs. Figg SAW the Dementors from JKR's description of not just the trial, but the attack.

""Don't put it away, idiot boy!" she shrieked. "What if there are more of them around?" More of what? What did she see? I do not see her saying "more of them around" as being afraid of a "feeling". I do see her being totally nervous testifying in front of the "full court". That even amazed Arthur, for a simple violation of "underage magic".

Figgy is a Squib, another one of those "creatures" that is not fully recognized by the wizarding world. Beneath notice. Her case of nerves is totally understandable. Fudge had tried to pass everything said in Harry's behalf so far in the trial in a discrediting light, toward Dumbledore, as well as Harry. Figgy's physical description of Dementors sure sounded like something she'd seen in a picture, but her description of how they MADE HER FEEL rung a bell with the court. They then realised she had "seen" them, and attitudes changed.

Just my opinion, but the campfire coals are just right, got hotdogs, and s’mores! And of course, butterbeer. Stoat sandwitches (sandwiches) in the cooler.


Prefect Marcus - Oct 7, 2004 5:57 pm (#185 of 507)

Hey Twinkling, got any spare matches? I left mine back home.

I, too, am inclined to think she actually saw them. For one thing, it would be an easy thing to determine if Squibs could or could not see them. The consequences of her lying would be devastating.

Okay, they lucked out that the panel was unsure of that fine point. But there would be nothing to prevent anyone of those 50 people to look up the information after the trial and nail her for perjury, and Dumbledore as an accomplice.

The risks were just too great for her to lie.

Solitaire - Oct 7, 2004 8:44 pm (#186 of 507)
Edited Oct 7, 2004 9:45 pm

I can't believe Dumbledore would have brought Figgy as a witness if she had not actually seen the Dementors, either. He knew the seriousness of the situation, and I doubt he would have asked her to lie. I believe he would also know if it were possible for Squibs to see Dementors--and whether or not she was lying. As you say, we must agree to disagree on this point. Smile

LOL Twinkles! It's been a long time since we've had any stoats!


Paulus Maximus - Oct 8, 2004 7:19 am (#187 of 507)
Edited Oct 8, 2004 8:24 am

"For one thing, it would be an easy thing to determine if Squibs could or could not see them."

Would it? How?

How many Squibs are in Azkaban?

And how could you justify sending Dementors on an innocent Squib, on the chance that she might have been lying?

Phoenix song - Oct 8, 2004 7:30 am (#188 of 507)
Edited Oct 8, 2004 8:30 am

Thank you, Paulus Maximus! I was beginning to feel like a regular old Charlie Brown. (As in, "Why is everybody always picking on me?")

I don't think that it would be easy to verify either. Also, Mrs. Figg could always just claim that she must be a "higher degree" of Squib than one who said that they weren't able to see, because she was able to see. It's nearly impossible for someone to deny that another person has or has not seen something. Could I really determine that another person does not see something as purple that I see as blue? Since I can't get into their head to see what they can see, I would think that it'd be very difficult.


TwinklingBlueEyes - Oct 8, 2004 8:27 am (#189 of 507)
Edited Oct 8, 2004 9:29 am

I wasn't picking on nobody. I was just saying what I saw her see, and if no one else can see what I saw her see, then I guess they didn't see what I saw. If no one else see's what I saw, then that's fine, we don't see eye to eye, or even see in the same way, but we can agree we see what we saw.

That said, did anyone see where I put my butterbeer? My vision seems to have dimmed somewhat. :-)

Edit: Are Dementors blind?

Phoenix song - Oct 8, 2004 8:42 am (#190 of 507)

TBE: Sounds clear as mud to me! Pass over some butterbeers, I'm afraid that I'm beginning to sober up! (It'd make it more difficult for us to see-saw!) What fun!! You sure do have a way with words.

I know what you mean about the Dementors. They seem so much like the Nazgul (LOTR) that I've wondered that as well. (Nazgul can't see, they just feel and smell if I'm not mistaken.) I don't know if there's any proof about the Dementors. I'll try to look it up when I return. (I MUST go shopping today. I hate even the thought as this weather is so yucky!)


Prefect Marcus - Oct 8, 2004 10:29 am (#191 of 507)


Just how hard do you think it would be for the Ministry of Magic to find out if Squibs could see Dementors?

Surely somebody in the ministry would know that bit of arcane knowledge. If not, there would be reference books. Surely somebody, somewhere would be an expert on either Squibs or Dementors. In the unlikely event that none of the above was unavailable, how hard would it be to take a Squib to Azkaban prison for a few minutes and find out if they could see them?

Fudge and his henchmen (and henchwomen) were doing anything and everything they could to discredit Dumbledore. They were obsessed with it!

Knowing this, do you really think Dumbledore would risk being a party to perjury?

Elanor - Oct 8, 2004 10:29 am (#192 of 507)

LOL TBE! Your post was perfect "to eemprove my Eeenglish", I had to read it three times to get it but I did it! So I see what you saw and I tend to agree with what you saw.

BTW, we know that Dementors are blind: Sirius said (PoA, p.272 paperback edition) : " 'I could transform in my cell...become a dog. Dementors can't see, you know...' He swallowed. 'They feel their way towards people by sensing their emotions...' " Phoenix Song, you're right, it reminds a lot the Nazgul. Nazguls were human at the beginning, the 9 kings of Men, I wonder if Dementors were human first too...

TwinklingBlueEyes - Oct 8, 2004 12:00 pm (#193 of 507)

"BTW, we know that Dementors are blind"

Thank you, after that last post of mine I couldn't SEE how to remember. :-)

vball man - Oct 8, 2004 12:40 pm (#194 of 507)

Dumbledore is an excellent Legilimens. I don't believe that he doubted that Figg saw them. Based on the fact that Dumbledore called her as a witness, I think that She saw them. Regardless of what most other or any other Squibs can see, I think that DD thought that Figg could see them. I doubt that DD was mistaken, or deliberately deceptive with his witness.

Paulus Maximus - Oct 8, 2004 1:11 pm (#195 of 507)
Edited Oct 8, 2004 2:14 pm

"Surely somebody in the ministry would know that bit of arcane knowledge."

Surely someone in the Wizengamot would have said something either to confirm or to question Figg on that point if it were common knowledge. Fudge shouldn't have had to ask Figg whether Squibs could see Dementors. He could have asked "somebody in the ministry who would know that bit of arcane knowledge".

If Figg could see the Dementors, why did she say that they were running?

Prefect Marcus - Oct 8, 2004 1:14 pm (#196 of 507)

If Figg could see the Dementors, why did she say that they were walking?

Are you saying that a nervous Squib being cross-examined by a wizard court would never make a slip of the tongue?

Paulus Maximus - Oct 8, 2004 1:36 pm (#197 of 507)
Edited Oct 8, 2004 2:42 pm

It might have been a slip of the tongue.

But Harry suspected that, contrary to what Figg said, she had never seen a Dementor outside of a textbook. Between that and the fact that she lied about the reason for being at the scene of the attack (saying that she was on the way to get cat food or something, when in fact she was there to keep an eye on Harry), it seems far more likely to me that she lied about her ability or lack thereof to see the Dementors as well.

What she said about the chill and the horrible memories was far more convincing than the reason for being there (which sounded rehearsed, read: made up) and the visual appearance of the Dementors (which sounded like it was taken out of a textbook), and we know for certain which of them were undeniably true...

ligulas - Oct 8, 2004 1:40 pm (#198 of 507)

Why did she tell Harry to keep his wand out incase there were more Dementors about? It might just be that she is not as good as describing them because she was a long way away. Squibs might not see things in exactly the same way as a magical person. A magical person would have more words to describe them because they have experience of strange creatures.

Prefect Marcus - Oct 8, 2004 3:08 pm (#199 of 507)

Why would Dumbledore risk being involved with perjury if Squibs could not see Dementors?

Bash - Oct 8, 2004 3:13 pm (#200 of 507)

I expect Mrs. Figg just isn't articulate and was nervous at the time of the trial.

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Dementors  Empty Dementors (posts #201 to #250)

Post  Potteraholic on Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:55 pm

The One - Oct 8, 2004 4:03 pm (#201 of 507)

There will people in the Ministry that know if Squibs se Dementors or not. It is a stupid lie if it is a lie!

Phoenix song - Oct 8, 2004 4:34 pm (#202 of 507)
Edited Oct 8, 2004 5:36 pm

Of all of the questions that have been bandied about on this forum, I'm surprised that this one has people so divided. I can see the more elaborate theories doing this: Is Neville really Harry's twin?; Is Dumbledore the giant squid?; Is Lupin really James?; Was Snape in love with Lily?; Will Petunia become a wizard?; Will Pansy become the future Mrs. Potter. I can see all of these questions being more controversial and divisive, but can a Squib see a Dementor? I must admit to being surprised.

I was discussing the question with Round Pink Spider today. She offers another explanation that is a common ground between the two "campgrounds" of thought. It may be that somebody watching Harry from afar, (possibly on a magical mirror, one of her cats, or however it is that Dumbledore tracks Harry), notified Mrs. Figg that Mundungus had deserted his watch and that Harry was being attacked by Dementors. She rushes on the scene (remember how frazzled she was) too late to see the Dementors but in time to see/feel the effects of them and to see the remains of Harry's patronus.

At the trial she testifies to having seen them, (when she actually didn't this time), and therefore the pink patches on her face that indicate a lie. She would normally have the ability to see them, but was unable to do so this time because of the dark and because they were retreating when she arrived. So the ability to have seen them may have been there, but the opportunity was not.

I don't think that Dumbledore had anything to do with encouraging Mrs. Figg's testimony. She was actually reporting what happened, and it was her testimony that helped to seal Harry's freedom and secure him the future use of his wand. (Which we're all aware is monumentally important.)

I am not saying that Dumbledore encouraged or even knew how Figgy was planning on testifying, but she did nothing wrong in stating what had actually occurred. When Madam Bones says, "That's what you saw, is it?" (OoP, Ch 8, pg. 145) Mrs. Figg responds by saying, "That was what happened." (OoP, Ch. 8, pg. 145). She told the truth, "That was what happened."


vball man - Oct 8, 2004 5:39 pm (#203 of 507)
Edited Oct 8, 2004 6:40 pm

When Madam Bones says, "That's what you saw, is it?" (OoP, Ch 8, pg. 145) Mrs. Figg responds by saying, "That was what happened."

I always thought that was an odd exchange. Very interesting. No proof, but very appealing scenario, Phoenix Song!

Madame Librarian - Oct 8, 2004 7:20 pm (#204 of 507)

Okay, I suppose I should chime in here with yet another take on poor Mrs. Figg's ability to see or not to see (sounds familiar somehow...good line for a monologue).

We've pretty much determined that whether she can actually see them or not is irrelevant at this point because her testimony at the hearing, though shaky at first, accomplishes what it needs to when she goes on about how Dementors make one feel. She was convincing enough for the panel. So then, what was the point of planting this little bit of confusion in our minds and in Harry's? JKR has written two distinct and separate scenes where Figg is speaking directly about the Dementors, and seems to offer the reader and Harry a different sense of what it is she's experiencing (feeling and seeing vs. feeling only). Is it possible that we're supposed to be unsure at this stage in the story as to Figg's true nature and/or abilities? We've already had one surprise in OoP (Harry, too), that she's more than just a batty old neighbor who babysits now and then. Now there's a hint at more mystery surrounding her.

I'm going out on a limb here, but I think it's possible that DD instructed Figg not to sound too sure about what she saw, but to still manage to convey that there were indeed Dementors in that alley. I think he wants Harry, or even high mucky-mucks in the MoM to disregard Mrs. Figg as just a harmless old lady. I think there's still more to Figgy that is waiting to be discovered.

Now, where did I set my stoat sandwich down?

Ciao. Barb

Phoenix song - Oct 8, 2004 8:44 pm (#205 of 507)

Madame Librarian: "I'm going out on a limb here, but I think it's possible that DD instructed Figg not to sound too sure about what she saw, but to still manage to convey that there were indeed Dementors in that alley. I think he wants Harry, or even high mucky-mucks in the MoM to disregard Mrs. Figg as just a harmless old lady. I think there's still more to Figgy that is waiting to be discovered."

Wow! That's the second time tonight that you've made me go "OH!". Dumbledore could be playing upon the Ministry's arrogance in order to allow them to continue to underestimate batty Mrs. Figg. That was probably why he allowed her to come to court dressed so ODD! Wow! That's been bothering me forever. I kept thinking, "Surely Dumbledore knows that they will have a hard time taking her seriously if she's wearing ratty bedroom slippers and the like! He was only hoping that they would take her seriously enough to get Harry free of the charges, and then continue to disregard this "nothing" (in their minds) Squib. If they aren't taking her seriously, then it will be easier for Dumbledore to continue to use her effectively!

JKR is a tricksy, tricksy little hobbit! (Okay, Gollum was channeling through me for a moment.) She's really tricky and bloody brilliant, of course.

Good catch, Barb!


haymoni - Oct 8, 2004 9:05 pm (#206 of 507)

Marcus - Dumbledore would have used any means necessary to make sure that Harry returned to Hogwarts that year. I think risking perjury wouldn't have troubled him at all!

Prefect Marcus - Oct 8, 2004 9:10 pm (#207 of 507)

Dumbledore would have used any means necessary to make sure that Harry returned to Hogwarts that year. I think risking perjury wouldn't have troubled him at all!

So Dumbledore would risk having the sole witness to the attack get thrown out because of Perjury?

haymoni - Oct 8, 2004 9:22 pm (#208 of 507)

Yep, that's what I'm saying.

I think the man was very confident that Arabella would give them enough testimony to confirm that the boys were indeed ATTACKED by the Dementors and that Harry acted in self-defense.

That was all he needed to prove - he wasn't trying to show that Harry didn't use magic or that he didn't do it in front of a Muggle - he just needed to defend Harry's right to use magic.

Solitaire - Oct 10, 2004 12:23 pm (#209 of 507)

I believe she saw them. It couldn't have been Mr. Tibbles who told her, because he ran away to tell her that Dung had deserted his post. If someone else had been watching Harry in addition to Dung, why would she have been so upset?

More to the point, if someone else had been watching Harry and witnessed the attack and told her about it, it would have had to be a Wizard, if only Wizards can see Dementors. And if that was the case, then why didn't THAT WIZARD whip out his wand and do something? Why did he leave Harry to cope with the Dementors all on his own, when he would have known Harry was underage and not supposed to be performing magic?

Sorry ... I haven't yet seen enough evidence to believe that someone else witnessed the attack and told her what to say.


Paulus Maximus - Oct 10, 2004 6:11 pm (#210 of 507)

"More to the point, if someone else had been watching Harry and witnessed the attack and told her about it, it would have had to be a Wizard, if only Wizards can see Dementors."

You don't have to see a Dementor to know that it's there. Even Muggles can sense the chill and darkness...

vball man - Oct 11, 2004 9:44 am (#211 of 507)

Wow, Barb, et al. Interesting. Dumbledore seems to be able to orchestrate things ahead of time.

I wonder if Dumbledore had those cauldrons knocked off of a broom. If Mundungus had been there watching Harry, then he would have had to testify:
"Yes, I saw the Dementors."
"And you're a wizard?"
"And what were you doing in Magnolia Crescent? Why were you following Harry Potter?"
"Right. Well, I'm a"

Paulus Maximus - Oct 11, 2004 9:56 am (#212 of 507)

If Mundungus had been there, the Dementors wouldn't have come...

Or, if the Dementors had come and Mundungus were there, Dumbledore wouldn't be stupid enough to call him as a witness.

Bash - Oct 11, 2004 11:55 am (#213 of 507)

The Dementors came because Mundungus left. Dumbledore INTENDED Mundungus to stay and ward off the Dementors; NOT otherwise. If he had warded them off then Potter would not have been in trouble for performing underage magic in a Muggle area.

vball man - Oct 11, 2004 7:33 pm (#214 of 507)
Edited Oct 11, 2004 8:35 pm

The Dementors came because Mundungus left.

We don't know that.

We don't even know that Mundungus can make a patronus.

Solitaire - Oct 11, 2004 8:46 pm (#215 of 507)
Edited Oct 11, 2004 9:48 pm

Perhaps Dung was there because, as a Wizard, he can Disapparate and Apparate instantly to where Dumbledore is. Mrs. Figg, on the other hand, would have to send an owl. It would take longer. If a "bad guy" showed up, too, Dung could use a wand against him; Mrs. Figg could not.

Madame Librarian - Oct 12, 2004 7:12 am (#216 of 507)
Edited Oct 12, 2004 8:13 am

It is not necessary that DD orchestrate the whole thing, starting with those tempting cauldrons to get Dung out of the picture. No, he just needed a quick moment to consult with Figgy before the hearing. Remember, there was quite a bit of time between the incident and the hearing. And, he may have a standing arrangement with her on these matters. If she's truly meant to present herself as a somewhat less than sharp Squib, she's probably been involved in this deception for a long, long time, perhaps for as long as Harry's been at Privet Drive. She might be quite able to role-play as she did at the hearing without much of DD's input.

DD's good, but I don't think his powers extend to creating elaborate situations, or choreographing complex plot twists of his own devising to accomplish a certain outcome. He has, perhaps, some vision, some control for very immediate things, and, of course, his true wisdom of how people think and act in certain situations. (Sorry, I don't mean to yank this discussion in an off-topic direction.)

Ciao. Barb

vball man - Oct 12, 2004 9:57 am (#217 of 507)

It is not necessary that DD orchestrate the whole thing

True, but we only get Harry's perspective. We don't know what is going on behind the scenes. Maybe DD's just pacing. Who knows? (JKR, but she's not telling, yet.)

Prefect Marcus - Oct 12, 2004 11:03 am (#218 of 507)

We have to assume that Murphy's Law, "Whatever can go wrong, will", is operative in the Wizarding World, as well as the Muggle world. Therefore, I have a hard time believing Dumbledore makes a habit of creating complex scenarios with multiple chances of things going wrong.

Therefore, the simplest solution by far is the fact that Squibs CAN see Dementors. There is far less that can go wrong with that one.

TwinklingBlueEyes - Oct 12, 2004 2:25 pm (#219 of 507)

You know, logic can take a lot of fun out of some things... thanks goodness logic is not a commonly shared trait among wizards...

:-) ...toddles off to another thread...

Prefect Marcus - Oct 12, 2004 4:13 pm (#220 of 507)

Don't feel bad, TBE. I don't think it is logical that a mortal enemy could impersonate a close friend of Dumbledore right under his nose for ten months, and Dumbledore doesn't suspect a thing.

Ann - Oct 13, 2004 8:23 am (#221 of 507)

May intrude with a non-Figg question about the Dementors, here? I just read this entire thread **whew!** and I'm curious that no one has yet addressed the historical question: What side were the Dementors on in VW I? You would assume that they would have allied themselves with Voldemort, as the giants did. Voldie himself calls them "our natural allies" and Dumbledore confirms that Voldemort can offer them far more than the ministry can. But he doesn't say they were on Voldemort's side the first time around, which is odd.

I wondered whether this might mean what someone suggested above, that Dementors are a recent creation, and perhaps weren't around for VW I. But this seems unlikely, since they are "depression personified" and surely that has been around for a while. And in fact it can't be true, since, just to complicate things, we have Petunia's statement that they guarded the wizarding prison at Azkaban during the time that James was courting Lily. Assuming she was telling the truth, that means they existed and were on the ministry side during VW I. And that would seem to be confirmed by Fudge's trust in them, which you would expect to be rather less if they'd deserted before.

Any thoughts? (Oh, and does anyone think it is significant that the Dementors' greatest advocate in the ministry is named Fudge, as in Chocolate Fudge?)

vball man - Oct 13, 2004 3:49 pm (#222 of 507)

What side were the Dementors on in VW I?

I've wondered the same thing, but never remembered to post it. The Dementors were back in the service of the ministry by the time the post-VWI death-eater-round-ups were going on.

Paulus Maximus - Oct 13, 2004 4:06 pm (#223 of 507)

Interesting point. Voldemort's "natural allies" were guarding Azkaban (where Voldemort's followers were being detained) before Voldemort's downfall.

On the other hand, Sirius did mention that some people who opposed Voldemort were as wicked as Voldemort's supporters. They may well have accommodated Dementors as well as Voldemort could have done.

I can see Dementors being Crouch Sr.'s "natural allies" as much as Voldemort's.

Grimber - Oct 14, 2004 3:49 am (#224 of 507)

Dementors and giants were among Voldemort’s followers in the first war. Think its mentioned more than once since PoA. Its why DD stressed so much to Fudge at end of GoF to remove the Dementors from Azkaban and send envoys to the giants soon as they could, before Voldemort could get them back on his side.

Paulus Maximus - Oct 14, 2004 9:06 am (#225 of 507)
Edited Oct 14, 2004 10:07 am

Dementors guarded Azkaban during Voldemort's first reign of terror, too. And Azkaban was a wizard prison back then, too.

Hmm... whose "wizard prison" was it? Maybe it was Lord Voldemort's stronghold, occupied by the MoM after his downfall...

Or maybe Dementors were as much Crouch Sr.'s natural allies as Voldemort's, and the absence of a Crouch Sr. after Voldemort's rebirth is what makes it necessary to remove the Dementors from Azkaban this time.

Bash - Oct 15, 2004 3:28 am (#226 of 507)

There is no clear or unequivocal reference to indicate that the Dementors were allied to Voldemort originally.

Grimber - Oct 15, 2004 5:48 am (#227 of 507)
Edited Oct 15, 2004 6:54 am

GoF page 631 is just one reference but Ill let Voldemort tell it himself.

The Dementors will join us ... they are our natural allies ... we will recall the banished giants ... I shall have all my devoted servants return to me

DD tells Fudge right away to remove the Azkaban from the Dementors control... that the Dementors will join him the instant he asks them.

don't think i need to dig for anything more

Paulus Maximus - Oct 15, 2004 9:58 am (#228 of 507)
Edited Oct 15, 2004 11:05 am

"DD tells Fudge right away to remove the Azkaban from the Dementors control... that the Dementors will join him the instant he asks them."

From what Petunia told us, the Dementors guarded Azkaban prior to Lily's death (and Voldemort's subsequent downfall) and Azkaban was a wizard prison (as it is today).

So why did the Dementors guard Azkaban rather than fight for Voldemort? Did Voldemort not "ask them"?

Madame Librarian - Oct 15, 2004 10:09 am (#229 of 507)
Edited Oct 15, 2004 11:10 am

Maybe they get "paid" with souls, and at that time the MoM was able to convince them that the tide of the war would favor the good side and many prisoners and captives would be available for them to kiss. They struck a deal, and even though the tide may have been turning to favor the DEs, the attack on Godric's Hollow changed that. The Dementors opted to stick with their job at Azkaban.

Ciao. Barb

Edit--Even if VWI seemed to be in the bad guys' favor, they tended to out and out murder their victims rather than let them be left to the Dementors.

vball man - Oct 15, 2004 10:14 am (#230 of 507)

This changes the subject a bit, but this question is nagging me. JKR seems to have well done motivation for her characters.

So do Dementors subject themselves to Wizards? In other words, why don't Dementors feed off of wizards and Muggles all the time? Muggles can do nothing about it - although based on what JKR has said about "Dementors" in her life, I wouldn't be surprised if Muggles can make patroni. They wouldn't be able to see either the Dementor or the patronus.

Even Wizards can't really punish Dementors. They can send them away, but couldn't they just go feed off of someone else?

Grimber - Oct 15, 2004 11:48 am (#231 of 507)
Edited Oct 15, 2004 12:51 pm

JKR already provided us with the answers how can Dementors be working for Voldemort and some guard Azkaban. It’s just in bits and pieces and not spelt out by some all-knowing characters like DD or Hermione.

K we know Dementors were guarding Azkaban when Pet overheard Lily and James, we don't know WHEN this was though other than after the 6th year of Lily/James in Hogwarts to sometime before Harry was born. (Dursleys appeared to have refused to have anything to do with Potters before Harry’s birth)

At this time they also were working for Voldemort. How could the MoM control enough to guard the prison? Well, we know the ministry really doesn't actually have control over the Dementors. They will follow the Ministry's orders until their hunger/drive is so great it compels them to do otherwise.

We know one of the most powerful wizarding spells they have to use against Dementors is the Patronus. A concentration of good/happy thoughts that will attract Dementors away from victims but on contact will drive a Dementor off. i.e. the happy thoughts from a Patronus are harmful but not fatal to a Dementor.

But the charm is difficult to use even by skilled witches and wizards, and not enough power to force a Dementor into submission not alone force a 100+ ( over 100 were guarding the school in PoA so add in more for those still guarding Azkaban at least)Dementors to submit to the ministries orders.

Instead the MoM then must have a power that the Dementors fear that will be used against them, something that can destroy them. Fear of this power being used is what the ministry is relying on to keep the Dementors in check.

Lets start with Loony Luna. Misinformed thought, she does point us in a direction. Heliopaths ( she says the MoM has an army of these fire creatures to combat the Dementors). Though highly doubtful by all, she is correct that the ministry does have something they can use against them.

Let’s puzzle that power out...

We know Harry is more effected by a Dementor’s presence than other people ( chill, dread feeling in others, Harry nearly passes out) 2 Times Dementors seemed to have been attracted to him even though other people were around. (Quidditch match and defending Sirius. Both of which Harry was experiencing heightened feelings of happiness or love. (his first happy thoughts for making a patronus was of Quidditch, and love for his new found godfather))

What’s Harry got that the Ministry also has? Remember that room in Dept. of Mysteries Harry couldn't unlock? Remember DD telling Harry he has a great power within him. One that drove Voldemort out of him when Vold tried to possess him (in the MoM). The same power that is held in a room that is always locked and constantly studied in the Dept. of Mysteries?

What was that power Harry used to drive Voldemort out of him? Happiness at seeing Sirius again, love for his godfather. The same power that the Ministry has locked up, the same power that attracted the Dementors to him in the Quidditch match. The same power that made the Dementors ignore Sirius (the prisoner the Dementors wanted SO badly) and go after Harry.

Obviously a power the Ministry cannot control, but it radiates an effect like a Dementor but happiness and warmth (Luna’s idea they are fire creatures). So in the war vs. Voldemort, they trap a few Dementors using this power and threaten to destroy them if they don't follow their orders.

Why not use the power to guard the prison? How would happiness and love keep prisoners in? Might reform some but not keep them from escaping. Instead, you imprison them DEs then exile the Dementors to Azkaban allowing the Dementors to continue to exist as long as they stay on the island and follow Ministry orders.

Problem is now Ministry hasn't used the power for some time. Dementors are starving for souls. Dementors all flee to Voldemort at the promise to feed themselves. Azkaban is wide open.

Solitaire - Oct 16, 2004 1:42 pm (#232 of 507)
Edited Oct 16, 2004 2:43 pm

Vball man, perhaps all of the depression in the Muggle world is really caused by the Dementors around us. Ya think?

Grimber, Remus tells Harry that the reason so many Dementors went to the Quidditch match was NOT because of him. They were there because they were getting hungry. "... I don't think they could resist the large crowd around the Quidditch field. All that excitement ... emotions running high ... it was their idea of a feast." That many Dementors were not going to get much of a feast from the few happy memories in Harry's head. Harry was affected by their presence, but he was not the real reason they were there.

The Dementors suck all of the happiness out of people and leave them with only the unhappiest of thoughts. Harry's life is full of unhappy thoughts, the worst being his mother's murder and Voldemort's cackling laughter as he killed her. Harry doesn't have too many happy thoughts to hang onto, so Dementors affect him much more quickly and strongly.

Sirius tells Harry he was not affected by the Dementors because he knew he had not done anything to be in Azkaban in the first place. Since that was not a happy thought, they didn't bother sucking it out of him. It was the thing that kept him sane, I guess.

What I find fascinating is that the very thing the Dementors feed on--people's happy thoughts--is the thing it takes to produce the Patronus to drive them away.

Grimber, about the Dementors working for Voldemort when James and Lily were killed--how do we know this? Where does JKR tell us this information?

In the graveyard scene of GoF--following his rebirth--Voldemort tells the DEs the following: "The Dementors will join us ... they are our natural allies." He says join, not rejoin, which makes me doubt they were originally with him in the first Voldemort war.

It is true that they are Voldemort's natural allies. After all, Voldemort brings distrust, betrayal, hatred, prejudice, murder, evil--all of the negative things--with him. The Dementors are about as negative as one can get, so they would certainly be "natural allies" of those who thrive on negativity.


haymoni - Oct 16, 2004 1:42 pm (#233 of 507)

I think Muggles can be affected by the Dementors, but perhaps the soul-sucking thing doesn't work on Muggles .

Solitaire - Oct 16, 2004 1:46 pm (#234 of 507)

Drat, Haymoni! Harry stopped them from attempting to "kiss" Dudley, so now we will never know. We have been robbed of that knowledge, and all to save Dudley. **sigh** It hardly seems fair, does it?

TwinklingBlueEyes - Oct 16, 2004 2:05 pm (#235 of 507)

Thank you for that SPEW Soli!

...toddles off muttering something about having to buy more paper towels and Windex...

haymoni - Oct 16, 2004 2:17 pm (#236 of 507)

Unless Dudley isn't a Muggle...!

Phoenix song - Oct 16, 2004 2:21 pm (#237 of 507)

Well...Jo has said that "Dudley is just Dudley." She's tricky with her wording (Tricksy little hobbitses) but I think that he's probably "all Muggle".


Solitaire - Oct 16, 2004 7:58 pm (#238 of 507)

Sorry, Twinkles! I got caught earlier this morning by TomoÈ and Tessa's Dad, over on the Hermione thread (#813 & 815). Actually, I think they were much funnier than I was!

Haymoni, I'll admit that when I typed the above post, that thought sort of flitted across my mind, too ... what if the Dudster isn't a Muggle? It would be interesting to know if there are any past instances of Dementor-Muggle soul-suckings.

I have also wondered if, in JKR's world, the Dementors who are all around could account for the number of Muggles who suffer from things like Depression and agoraphobia. If Dementors truly are "out there" and hanging around in the world at large--now that they have left Azkaban and joined forces with Voldemort--maybe we will see more Muggles suffering from unexplained emotional disorders. Just a thought ...


vball man - Oct 16, 2004 8:05 pm (#239 of 507)

Hey, Solitaire, just to put in my 2 cents, I think that Lupin was trying to explain why the Dementor went to the Quidditch match. I think that Lupin got it wrong. I do think they were there for Harry.

This makes sense in light of RBL theory, but also without it. The Dementors are Vol's allies, so they would naturally be Harry's enemies.

Solitaire - Oct 16, 2004 9:04 pm (#240 of 507)

Maybe ... but Voldemort was not truly "back" yet in PoA, and presumably the Dementors were under Ministry control at that time. According to what we saw in the Pensieve scenes in Dumbledore's office, they were also working for the Ministry during the last Voldemort war.


vball man - Oct 16, 2004 9:17 pm (#241 of 507)
Edited Oct 16, 2004 10:18 pm

Well, that's true, but regardless of why they were at the match, they were, at that moment, out of control. Not overall control, since the ministry ordered them to Hogwarts.

So I'm not saying that they were already serving Vol. Maybe they just wished they were. And given a chance at Harry, they took it.

Paulus Maximus - Oct 17, 2004 10:18 am (#242 of 507)

"He says join, not rejoin, which makes me doubt they were originally with him in the first Voldemort war."

Odd that such "natural allies" wouldn't unite the first time...

Or perhaps it isn't so odd, if Voldie and the Dementors knew little enough about each other. On the other hand, it seems like every wizard knows about Dementors...

Madame Librarian - Oct 17, 2004 2:52 pm (#243 of 507)
Edited Oct 17, 2004 3:53 pm

Is it possible that Dementors or grown (inadequate words) during the first conflict by the MoM as a cadre of soldiers or guards? Maybe imported is what I mean if the connection with Lethifolds, which are from tropical climates, is true. This would be an experiment that goes bad in some ways...a sort of super soldier nightmare. They're too good at what they do.

If it's something like this, maybe they simply didn't exist (or exist in England) before Voldemort's time.

Just a thought.

Ciao. Barb

Solitaire - Oct 17, 2004 4:13 pm (#244 of 507)

Barb, have you read Popkin's theory about Dementors? It makes sense ...


Madame Librarian - Oct 17, 2004 7:15 pm (#245 of 507)

Yes, I had, but, of course, I re-read it just now. I find it intriguing, but I wonder how many soulless (sp?) people there are to be the sources of the Dementors. I mean, there had to be an original group of soulless to start things off.

What I suggested was a way of answering the question of why the Dementors weren't on Voldemort's side from the get go. As others have pointed out, they do seem more DE-like than anything else. JKR's terms of description with the black hoods and being faceless, etc., are suggestive of Voldemort himself.

It's late. Sorry for any incoherence.

Ciao. Barb

Ann - Oct 17, 2004 9:05 pm (#246 of 507)

Okay, here's a wild late night idea: what if the Barb is right, and Dementors were created only in the course of VWI, which is why Voldemort didn't manage to recruit them. I said they had to have been on the Ministry side, since Petunia says she heard about them from James (probably) or one of Lily's other friends ("that horrible boy"). But suppose she's lying! What if the reason Petunia loathes the wizarding world and is a Muggle is that she started out as a truly incompetent witch, and accidentally managed to create Dementors? She was "made to live as a Muggle" as punishment, but knew that it had been decided to make the Dementors prison guards. If this is the case, no wonder she spends all her time peering suspiciously out the window.

Solitaire - Oct 17, 2004 10:41 pm (#247 of 507)

My first reaction was to laugh, Ann. But upon consideration, the idea makes sense. The Dursleys themselves are rather like human Dementors. Not only have they kept Harry relatively imprisoned, they have managed to suck all of the joy out of his existence whenever they've had the opportunity, haven't they? Hmmmmmmmmm ... **Dragging my tired self to bed to ponder these amazing ideas**

Madame Librarian - Oct 18, 2004 8:56 am (#248 of 507)

Ann, my goodness, that would make for an interesting chapter!

Seriously, JKR could make it work. Starts out funny with Petunia blurting out, "Dementors? Dementors! I should know. Ha! I'm the expert you idiots. [She's ranting at Vernon and Dud, who are staring at her in stunned silence, cowering in a corner of the kitchen.] used to be...I was once a--a--witch! [At this Vern squeezes his eyes shut and cover his ears while shaking his head vigorously. Dud's lower lip is quivering and he tries to say something. Nothing comes out.] Don't worry, you two. No more. No more. See this clean kitchen? That's the only thing I'm good at. That's it. I was so terrible, I did horrid...I was shunned and exiled to this...this...Muggle existence."

Only JKR would do it better.

Ciao. Barb

vball man - Oct 19, 2004 7:40 pm (#249 of 507)

Now we're getting somewhere!

Grimber - Oct 19, 2004 10:20 pm (#250 of 507)

Sorry for the late response. For the Dementors working for Voldemort, the only real clue ( and i think its important but its not in a word for word " they supported him before" context )

is end of GoF when DD telling Fudge to Azkaban from the Dementors control.

GoF pg 707

"... knowing you have put Lord Voldemort’s most dangerous supporters in the care of creatures who will join him the instant he asks them" " ... you will be hard pressed to stop him regaining the sort of power he had thirteen years ago"

how would DD know Dementors would flock over to Voldemort’s side by just asking them unless it has happened before? We know Voldemort would offer Dementors freedom to Dementor kiss Muggles and the like freely, but If the Dementors were Loyal to the ministry they wouldn't turn against them simply if Voldemort asked them to. This is the very first thing DD told Fudge to do once he said Vold was back and alive. This would point to that DD knows Vold and Dementors have a relationship of some form and Dementors would do his bidding on a word. Vold wouldn’t have been able to establish this sort of relationship with Dementors in the 14 or so years he’s been in a far off land trying to regain his strength. So it had to be before his downfall

What sort of power could Voldemort have that could rival 100+ Dementors before if Dementors weren't following Voldemort the first time around? We get no indications there is a more feared creature in the WW world ( other than supposedly creatures that even WW think are myths ) that would be followers of Voldemort.

For the Quidditch match. During the match the Dementors all seem to be looking up at him PoA page 178 ' at least a hundred Dementors, their hidden faces pointing up at him, were standing beneath him.

I know this could have been Harry’s imagination they were all looking at him but what if he wasn't. We know later (OotP) that Harry is full of the power ( according to DD) that drove Voldemort out of him when Vold tried to possess Harry near the end in the MoM. This power being Love and Happiness (Harry's thoughts of rejoining Sirius at the time Vold was possessing him). SO how did this power attract all the Dementors to him on the pitch? One of Harry's happiest thoughts is his flying his broom, in fact here were times at Hogwarts that was the only thing he looked forward to.

So Harry is zooming around in the rain, doing something he loves to do the most. Happy with what he’s doing at the moment. Very strong sense of happy emotion running through him. Gets over charged by the power of Love and Happiness that DD says is so strong in Harry. His happiness would seem like a lighthouse beacon in a storm to Dementors that have been starving for months.

The drawn to the large crowd would be a likely explanation for someone to come up with that didn't know of Harry and his 'hidden' power

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Dementors  Empty Dementors (posts #251 to #300)

Post  Potteraholic on Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:59 pm

Paulus Maximus - Oct 20, 2004 7:04 am (#251 of 507)

"how would DD know Dementors would flock over to Voldemort’s side by just asking them unless it has happened before?"

Harry told Dumbledore what Voldemort said about Dementors being his natural allies.

If Harry told him everything else, why not that?

vball man - Oct 20, 2004 8:44 pm (#252 of 507)

When Harry tells the Dursleys that Dementors can "kiss" you, Vernon doesn't know what that means. Harry explains about the soul-sucking. Then Petunia seems surprised and horrified. She then shakes Dudley to test if he still has a soul.

So it doesn't seem that Petunia has much knowledge about Dementors.

Which reminds me of another thing. People have been wondering if the Dementors helped Vol in VW1. Petunia's knowledge of Dementors would have come from during VW1. Petunia's whole knowledge of them seems to be, "They guard the wizard prison, Azkaban."

She does not say, "They are followers of Voldemort."

Grimber - Oct 21, 2004 1:51 am (#253 of 507)
Edited Oct 21, 2004 2:58 am

We don't know how much time passes between when Pet heard about Dementors from James and Lily and when Voldemort first started his war on the world.

We know James and Lily weren’t really an 'item' until at least their 6th year (Snape’s memory Harry scene was in their 5th year). And the Order never accepted anyone that hadn't finished school as members and the Order never was created until after Voldemort had already started his rampage on the WW world. So we have at least a 2-3 year time span minimum from when Pet could have heard anything and when the Order would have been created.

From accounts of the time of Snape’s memory ( Remus and Sirius telling harry about school days ) Voldemort hadn't shown his true colors or intentions yet. So may not have made the move to get the Dementors on his side until Voldemort was ready to make his move against the WW world. Or he had but ordered the Dementors to remain at Azkaban until Voldemort made his move in order to keep his contact/control of the Dementors secret until the last moment.

I'm still looking, but I swear there was another reference that Dementors served Vold before. Sure if its there I'll find it, I’m currently a bit disappointed in Hogwarts maps that can be found, so I'm regoing over the books and extracting any and all passages that reference Hogwarts and its surrounds to build a better map (maybe if I get enough info I'll start a 3D walk through map). So if I come across any other references on Dementors Ill be sure to jot them down.

TwinklingBlueEyes - Oct 21, 2004 4:21 am (#254 of 507)

Gimber, check this thread, there is a lot of good info there about the grounds and layout of Hogwarts. Might save you some time.

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

MickeyCee3948 - Oct 23, 2004 7:17 pm (#255 of 507)

Dumbledore tells Professor McGonagall in PS/SS not to be upset with the other wizards who are celebrating that they have had little to celebrate for 11 years. That tends to make me believe that WW1 has been going on for 10 years before Harry was born or 2 years before James and Lily started school. Correct me if I'm wrong.


TwinklingBlueEyes - Oct 23, 2004 9:56 pm (#256 of 507)
Edited Oct 23, 2004 10:58 pm

Struck me as the time since Voldie vaporised after Harry was born. The, in this case, first war or recent one was 1945. (Check Chocolate Frog card, Albus Dumbledore). The ones who were celebrating 11 years were probably the "younger" generation, those who grew up in Voldie's height of power, and then he went "poof", and for 11 years they worried and wondered. The "older" generation, i.e.: the original Order already did their bit and "vanquished" evil until the mouldy snake reared his head again in the present time (Voldie). I can't do timelines except in my minds eye, but I see first war beginning before 1945, and hopefully ending with book 7.

OK, I confess, I was born a dreamer. Unfortunately all I do gets in the way! :-)

Solitaire - Oct 23, 2004 10:47 pm (#257 of 507)

Wouldn't the first VWar have begun sometime after Tom Riddle graduated from Hogwarts and following Grindelwald's defeat? It would seem that the first VWar began around the time James and Lily arrived at Hogwarts (early 1970s). Here is a link to a Lexicon page with detailed information on Voldemort/Tom Riddle.

According to Lexicon information on Lily, she and James were married right out of Hogwarts, at which time they joined the Order. Here is also a link to information about the Order of the Phoenix, both the 1970s Order and the current Order. Perhaps these will help.


Ann - Oct 24, 2004 12:26 pm (#258 of 507)

TBE, the mention of 11 years during which the Wizarding World has had precious little to celebrate is made only 24 hours after the vaporization of Voldemort. So he and his DEs had presumably been killing people openly, sending their green Dark Marks into the sky, and otherwise making everyone except themselves unhappy since a year or two before James & Lily started Hogwarts. During at least the last part of that time, the Dementors guarded Azkaban. I can't imagine they would have deserted Voldie once they'd gone over to his side. So I'm virtually certain that they never were on his side. There's also the fact that Voldie says "They are our natural allies," which to me implies that they haven't been previously, but for obvious reasons he thinks they will be easy to suborn (as does Dumbledore). And if they'd been Voldemort's allies before, I suspect Fudge wouldn't trust them quite so implicitly. (One wonders what hold the Ministry thought they had over them?)

I'd forgotten this thread for a bit, only to return to see my own demented suggestion that the Dementors were an accidental creation of Petunia's (post #246 above). Vball man objected that she can't have created them, since she doesn't know about their soul-sucking capabilities; but in fact, that fits in quite nicely: If she created them and their awfulness was immediately recognized (as I think it would have been) and she was punished by the forced removal of all magic power and shunning by the magical world before the Dementors' full powers were understood, she might not have known about their kisses. If this is the case, imagine her horror to learn both about that and the fact that Dudley came so close to being kissed. One almost feels sorry for her!

But reading over the comments since, it occurs to me that the strongest argument for this is not Petunia's constant looking out the window, but her obsessive cleanliness. Remember that JKR told us that the Dementors aren't born but grow out of rotting rubbish and the like. Perhaps Petunia didn't use to be so clean...perhaps she created the conditions.... That would easily explain her current fanaticism about keeping everything disinfected!

I stand by my wild, improbable hypothesis!

Solitaire - Oct 24, 2004 2:11 pm (#259 of 507)

Ann, I always thought the rotting and decay referred to the rotting and decay of death, not just of rubbish.

As for Fudge and the Dementors, some feel Fudge (read down about halfway to find where he is named) was once a DE. Could that give him some affinity for death and decay?

I don't know how I feel about the DE connection; but there is some sort of connection, I think, with the Dementors. His name, Fudge, is a form of chocolate, which is used to ameliorate the effects of the Dementors. I can't help thinking this is important.


Dr Filibuster - Oct 24, 2004 2:17 pm (#260 of 507)

Solitaire, fudge isn't a form of chocolate.

Solitaire - Oct 24, 2004 2:35 pm (#261 of 507)
Edited Oct 24, 2004 3:50 pm

Well, MY fudge certainly has chocolate in it!

Edit: Let me rephrase that ... I've never actually tasted any kind of fudge without chocolate in it. In fact, chocolate is the predominant flavor in all fudges I've ever tasted. Whenever I've heard something described as tasting "fudgy," the speaker was referring to the chocolate taste.

I suppose there are other kinds of fudges, but I haven't tasted them. Where I grew up, fudge is chocolate fudge. Just info about why I equate fudge with chocolate ...


Dr Filibuster - Oct 24, 2004 2:48 pm (#262 of 507)
Edited Oct 24, 2004 3:48 pm


The thing that puzzles me is the old question; how do the Dementors communicate with Cornelius (chocolate flavoured or not)?

Ann - Oct 24, 2004 6:18 pm (#263 of 507)
Edited Oct 24, 2004 7:19 pm

Solitaire, what JKR actually said was that Dementors "don't breed. They grow like fungus where there is decay." I guess it was the fungus reference that made me think of Petunia's cleaning fetish. But a lot of things decay that aren't exactly dead--or at least, not in the sense that we usually use the term--for example, old vegetables, spoiled food, and so forth. That's what suggested garbage and dirt.

Perhaps I'll try my nutty idea on the Petunia thread, since I still think it's a possible explanation for her cleaning fetish, and no one seems to be posting there today.

Jennifer Metz - Oct 25, 2004 10:23 pm (#264 of 507)


I've often wondered what happens to the people who get their soul suck out of them. Do they have a special ward or place for them?


Solitaire - Oct 25, 2004 10:24 pm (#265 of 507)

Could Dementors originate from the decaying remains of evil wizards who were never properly interred?

haymoni - Oct 26, 2004 5:04 am (#266 of 507)

Jennifer - I've wondered the same thing. I would guess, since it is usually criminals that have their souls sucked, that there is an area at Azkaban for them. However, for those unfortunates who stumble across a particularly hungry Dementor, there may be an area at St. Mungo's.

Steve Newton - Oct 26, 2004 5:22 am (#267 of 507)

If a Dementor is interrupted before completing the soul sucking what happens to the suckee? Half a soul? Or is the sucking instantaneous?

haymoni - Oct 26, 2004 6:06 am (#268 of 507)

Wow - a person with half a soul! Maybe that's what happened to Voldy!

Madame Librarian - Oct 26, 2004 8:15 am (#269 of 507)

I don't know if I can articulate this thought well, but here goes:

OK, we see how a patronus is invoked--the wizard thinks happy thoughts, their happiest if possible. The proper incantation--"Expecto Patronus!!"--and the intensity of that happiness gotten from remembering produces a patronus. The stronger the happiness, the stronger the patronus. Clear enough.

Dementors are supposed to be embodiment of depression. I believe that's what JKR said, and didn't Lupin or Sirius explain them that way too sort of (books not nearby right now)? So is it possible that a wizard could invoke a Dementor when he or she sinks into a deep depression? How would that figure in with what we've been told about them arising from decay and fungus? Not sure, but maybe it's the depression that's the trigger. Sure would be a lot of both depression and fungus/rot around places like Azkaban. Maybe they can be "created" there, and it was a natural jump to hire them. That would serve two purposes--they'd be effective guards (and well-paid in their own view), and it would keep them from bothering the general wizarding society.

Only a half-baked theory, but it does have that nice parallel aspect with patronus magic.

Ciao. Barb

timrew - Oct 26, 2004 2:47 pm (#270 of 507)

I suspect a person with half a soul would feel 'mildly okay' as opposed to 'Good!' when they hear soul music........

Paulus Maximus - Oct 26, 2004 2:52 pm (#271 of 507)
Edited Oct 26, 2004 3:53 pm

"Expecto Patronus!!"

What, "I, being a Patronus, am looking for"?

"Expecto PatronUM" means "I am looking for a Patronus" in Latin. The endings matter more than the placement.

Madame Librarian - Oct 26, 2004 3:11 pm (#272 of 507)


Ciao. Barb

timrew - Oct 26, 2004 3:29 pm (#273 of 507)

That was a bit like the, "Romans Go Home" part of "The Life Of Brian"

vball man - Oct 27, 2004 8:53 pm (#274 of 507)

I suspect a person with half a soul would feel 'mildly okay' as opposed to 'Good!' when they hear soul music........

Wouldn't rhyme with "I knew that I would."

timrew - Oct 28, 2004 11:56 am (#275 of 507)


I feel mildly okay,
Every day, now!

TwinklingBlueEyes - Nov 10, 2004 8:38 pm (#276 of 507)

Ok, this may sound a little off the wall...alright, I concede, it's me!

How exactly does one "control" a Dementor?

I mean, we have seen several people's descriptions of them and the reactions they cause. We have also seen them "controlled". Working for the Ministry, ordered by Umbridge, gone down to "speak to" by Dumbledore, "guarding" Fudge.

How would one "control" a Dementor?

dizzy lizzy - Nov 10, 2004 9:13 pm (#277 of 507)

Bribery?? Crossing one's fingers and toes and hoping for the best?? Having an ID card or similar?? or all of the above!

No seriously it is a good question, how do you talk to a Dementor without it going for you? There must be something other than a patronus charm that the Dementors recognise. It must be a verbal control of some sort because you really wouldn't want to be up and close to one.

Having said that; are Dementors made by someone or something or do they just be??


Jessalynn Quirky - Nov 11, 2004 4:10 am (#278 of 507)

Maybe you can't, but Umbridge was able to by promising the Dementors that if they did what she said, they would get a feast (Harry).

Remember that the Dementors seem to "like" Harry, (OK, you can all shudder and throw dung bombs at me now) because he has complex emotions.

So yeah, bribery.

Archangel - Nov 12, 2004 9:32 pm (#279 of 507)

Re: Dementors "liking" Harry

Dementors are like worst memory connoisseurs. Since everyone has their own worst memories, it's up to the Dementors to sort of gauge which person has the most and the most satisfying for them. I think even if you have someone who had a lot of bad things happen to him but those bad things are petty or trivial (like being forgotten in a supermarket at age of 3 or falling down the stairs during graduation), the Dementors would probably rather go with someone who has one bad thing happen to him like being witness to your mom being AK-ed.

Quality over quantity, I think. Too bad for Harry, he's gone through a lot of bad things that are well... pretty bad.

Also, not sure if this has been raised here but do you think Dementors sleep and dream? If they do, do you think they get to see/feel the experiences of the souls they sucked? Could they be affected by them (the souls) in the long-run and maybe that's one way of bringing their destruction?

Could a Dementor possibly "mind-say" to another, "Hey, you can have this soul. I'm passed my cheerful soul quota for the month. I'm actually starting to like butterflies and bubbles."?

TwinklingBlueEyes - Nov 12, 2004 10:36 pm (#280 of 507)

"Umbridge was able to by promising the Dementors that if they did what she said, they would get a feast (Harry)."

As much as Dumbledore loves feasts, I cannot see him controlling them in this manner. Back to my original question, how does one "control" a Dementor?

Solitaire - Nov 13, 2004 9:06 am (#281 of 507)

Twinkles, where does it say in the book that Umbridge promised the Dementors a feast? I can't find that line. I agree with you about Dumbledore. Based on his comments to Fudge about the Dementors at the end of GoF, I find it difficult to believe that Dumbledore would even "do business" with Dementors. It just is not his style.


TwinklingBlueEyes - Nov 13, 2004 2:25 pm (#282 of 507)

Soli, I quoted what Jessalynn said in post #278.

I think the idea of Dementors "feasting" came from Lupin saying they just couldn't resist showing up at the Quidditch match because there was so much high emotion coming from the game that it would be like a feast to them. I get the impression that Umbridge ordered them to attack Harry in the alley. Fudge commandeered one (as a bodyguard) to kiss Barty. And Dumbledore went down to "speak" to them after the castle had been searched for Black.

I also get the impression that Dumbledore seems to abhor the Dementors more than most wizards. Makes me wonder why. Is it for just what they are and stand for, or maybe something more personal?

vball man - Nov 13, 2004 2:32 pm (#283 of 507)

I think you're right about DD hating Dementors more than most wizards.

Here's from POA in the pensieve: Dumbledore made a small noise of dissent through his long, crooked nose.
"Ah, I was forgetting . . . you don't like the Dementors, do you, Albus?" said Moody with a sardonic smile.
"No," said Dumbledore calmly, "I'm afraid I don't. I have long felt the Ministry is wrong to ally itself with such creatures."
"But for filth like this . . ." Moody said softly.

Solitaire - Nov 13, 2004 2:48 pm (#284 of 507)

Okay, Twinkles. I do remember Remus' comment about that in PoA. I agree that Dumbledore seems more negative about the Dementors than other Wizards.

Vball man, do you mean PoA or GoF?


vball man - Nov 15, 2004 9:47 pm (#285 of 507)

# smacks himself in the head* Oh, yeah!

Bash - Nov 17, 2004 7:34 pm (#286 of 507)

Most likely I think it's an allegiance of sorts. Remember Crouch is able to yell at them i the Pensieve trial? They must understand verbal speech.

Mrs.Lily - Nov 23, 2004 12:36 pm (#287 of 507)

I'm not sure if this has been mentioned yet but in OoTP ch.1, it seems that the darkness is caused by the Dementors "sphere of influence." Do you think this could be a subtle foreshadow of the prophesy or do you think their "magic" (for lack of a better word)is only effective within a certain circumference. If that is the case I would think it would be useful information for the future when the Order will probably have to fight the Dementors because I think the Dementors will align themselves with Voldemort.

vball man - Dec 10, 2004 11:34 pm (#288 of 507)

Whoa! JKR said in "Extra Stuff"-"Miscellaneous" that Figg never did see the Dementors!

haymoni[/b] - Dec 11, 2004 4:23 pm (#289 of 507)

Then our beloved Dumbledore is not above manipulating a situation to fit his needs!

TwinklingBlueEyes - Dec 11, 2004 5:08 pm (#290 of 507)

"Then our beloved Dumbledore is not above manipulating a situation to fit his needs!"

Dumbledore never said she "saw" Dementors, "We do, in fact, have a witness to the presence of Dementors in that alleyway," OoP 142 US.

Edited for clarity: He didn't of course didn't lie, just choose his words carefully. :-)

haymoni - Dec 11, 2004 5:11 pm (#291 of 507)

The witness testified that she saw the Dementors. Dumbledore used her testimony to save Harry.

I'm not faulting Dumbledore - If he's willing to mess with time to save an escaped prisoner and a hippogriff, I'm sure he's willing to use a Squib to save The Boy Who Lived!

TwinklingBlueEyes - Dec 11, 2004 5:47 pm (#292 of 507)

I entirely agree!

...toddles off in a flurry of thought...still trying to get the rhythm of the waltz...butterbeer time.

legolas - Dec 15, 2004 4:25 pm (#293 of 507)

It also says that she could sense them-the effect they had and I guess she knew what a patronus was-she must have had a knowledge of the magical world. She just put two and two together and came up with Dementor. Harry never said that there were Dementors about. She knew without being told because she told him to keep his wand out incase there were more.

vball man - Jan 7, 2005 9:41 am (#294 of 507)

I posted this in the clues in PoA about what's coming thread. Thought it belonged here, too.

What is the total that we know about the physical description of a Dementor from the books?
And how does that compare with them in the movie?

Towering to the ceiling - not really, in movie he seems the height of a man, but floating. cloaked...Its face was completely hidden beneath its hood - this is not so in the movie. The cloth covering him does not hide his face well. Glistening, rotted hand - in the movie Hand only visible for a split second; the Dementor seems to hide it from Harry - not in movie. Seem to glide on the ground, not fly (in PoA at the Quidditch game, "At least a hundred Dementors, their hidden faces pointing up at him, were standing beneath him.", and later they glide around the lake, not over it.) - in movie they fly.

One of the biggest differences is that in the movie, their cloaks cover them poorly. So in the movie, we get a lot of details that are not in the books. To me, the movie Dementors seem more like rotted people. In PoA, their mouth is "a gaping, shapeless hole." That's all we get of his face. Pause the movie where the Dementor comes face to face with Harry on his broom. You can see stretched out reddish-grey skin over a human skull. It even has a tooth - upper left incisor, I think. There's a nose also, I think. Later, the Boggart Dementor seems to actually have a human skeleton. Harry never sees their bodies in the books.

Basically I'm saying that they have been shown as more distinctly human than in the books.

Madame Pomfrey - Jan 10, 2005 7:50 pm (#295 of 507)

Dumbledore has mentioned that there are things worse than death. I wonder if he can mean the life of a Dementor .Maybe they were once dark wizards who have had their souls sucked out by a death kiss (shapeless gaping hole)and their bodies slowly deteriorate over time(rotted hand).Voldemort has said that they were the DE's natural allies. Then again, how would a Dementor have originated?

haymoni - Jan 11, 2005 5:12 pm (#296 of 507)

Almost like vampires - a Dementor kisses you and you become a Dementor.

MickeyCee3948 - Jan 11, 2005 5:17 pm (#297 of 507)

Perhaps that is the way you get away from being a Dementor. Like a flying ace. You suck out 20 souls, thereby getting 20 new Dementors and then you are allowed to retire to the graveyard.


Snuffles - Jan 13, 2005 2:04 am (#298 of 507)

Lol MickeyCee, i can see it now "Oh go on don’t be a spoilsport let me suck out your soul, i only need one more for a full house!"

Madame Pomfrey - Jan 13, 2005 5:48 am (#299 of 507)

LOL. But seriously, do you think that being a Dementor is the end product of having your soul sucked out? This makes perfect sense to me only how would a Dementor have originated? Was it some kind of immortality spell that backfired?

vball man - Jan 13, 2005 7:23 am (#300 of 507)

What keeps the Dementors from running amok? I mean, why wouldn't they go about sucking on people (wizards and Muggles , alike) all day long?

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Madame Pomfrey - Jan 14, 2005 5:49 am (#301 of 507)

That Vball man is another good question. I have a feeling now that they are no longer under ministry control we will see a lot more of them. Not only that, we have yet to see a Dementor's kiss. Ewwee I know it will be gross.

Solitaire - Jan 15, 2005 8:08 pm (#302 of 507)

Barty Jr. has been "kissed." Does this mean he is now a Dementor?

vball man - Jan 15, 2005 9:18 pm (#303 of 507)

I don't think that a person does not become a Dementor when he is kissed.

We aren't told what happened to Barty, but I think it would have been news around the school if he became a Dementor. I also think that Lupin would have explained that Dementors were former humans, if he knew.

I do theorize that there is another way for a person to become a Dementor. But virtually no one alive knows about it.

Solitaire - Jan 15, 2005 11:03 pm (#304 of 507)

Can you imagine what must have to happen to someone in order for him to turn into a Dementor? They are so vile and disgusting that it must be some horrible process. I hope Jo tells us someday ...


Madame Pomfrey - Jan 16, 2005 6:01 am (#305 of 507)

If they do not turn into a Dementor once they are kissed what happens to them? It is something described as "worse than death". Does this mean that they become a soulless entity stuck in limbo, a walking zombie or something else? Maybe in book 6 we will find out what became of Barty after the kiss.

Mrs Brisbee - Jan 16, 2005 6:45 am (#306 of 507)

Is there a consensus on WHY Barty Crouch Jr. was kissed?

Madame Librarian - Jan 16, 2005 9:38 am (#307 of 507)

Re-posted from the "Clues in the Movies" thread. It really is better suited to this discussion:

Yeah, I think in FB (help here with an exact citation, someone, please!) Dementors are said to arise (grow?) where there is fungus and rotten material. Or was that Lethifolds?

Doesn't sound like they were once humans, but I suppose the fungus-rotten business could be from--sorry--corpses. [*shudders at revolting image*]

Ciao. Barb

I Am Used Vlad - Jan 16, 2005 9:53 am (#308 of 507)

These evil creatures don't, by the way, breed but grow like a fungus where there is decay.

The quote is from an 2000 article in the Canadian Press. Fantastic Beasts, oddly enough, does not have an entry on Dementors.

Solitaire - Jan 16, 2005 12:09 pm (#309 of 507)

Is there a consensus on WHY Barty Crouch Jr. was kissed?

In GoF (Chapter 36, p. 702-703, US ed.) Snape tells us that Crouch felt his personal safety was in question, so he insisted on bringing a Dementor into the castle. McGonagall is furious.

"The moment that thing entered the room," she screamed, pointing at Fudge, trembling all over, "it swooped down on Crouch and--and--"

Farther down ... "By all accounts, he is no loss," blustered Fudge. "It seems he has been responsible for several deaths!" Note that Fudge takes matters into his own hands here and passes judgment--a permanent, irrevocable judgment--with no trial or official questioning at all.

"But he cannot now give testimony, Cornelius," said Dumbledore ... "He cannot give evidence about why he killed those people."

"Why he killed them? Well that's no mystery, is it?" blustered Fudge. "He was a raving lunatic! From what Minerva and Severus have told me, he seems to have thought he was doing it all on You-Know-Who's instructions!"

By eliminating the only available witness to Voldemort's return (other than Harry, whom he is able to discredit), Fudge can chalk up all the murders to Barty and sweep everything else under the rug--which he does all throughout OotP.

The real question that needles me: Why does Fudge do this? Why is he afraid of an unarmed DE when Snape and McGonagall are armed and standing right there beside him? Does Fudge have something else to hide? Does Barty Jr. know something about Fudge that he does not want to become public knowledge? What is Fudge really afraid of?


MickeyCee3948 - Jan 16, 2005 2:28 pm (#310 of 507)

Solitaire, I like your new Avatar and I agree with you that Fudge seems a little anxious to get rid of Barty, Jr. DD's comment aside their seems to be more to it. Seems like Fudge was very nervous about Barty being able to talk.


Madame Pomfrey - Jan 16, 2005 2:39 pm (#311 of 507)

Some believe Fudge to be one of the missing Death Eaters. I think there is more to it than this but I can’t pinpoint it. Maybe Fudge was aware of Crouch senior's madness at the time and chose to ignore it. Maybe he wanted Crouch out of the ministry for some reason or other. Who knows? With Fudge anything is possible.

Solitaire - Jan 16, 2005 9:08 pm (#312 of 507)

Thanks, Mikie. I did a search for cats that played Mrs. Norris. It wasn't easy, but this is one of a couple that came up. I knew the first time I saw her that she was a Maine Coon--my favorite breed--and I was right!


Mrs Brisbee - Jan 17, 2005 6:46 am (#313 of 507)

Thank you, Solitaire.

Somehow it had never connected that Fudge must have ordered the Dementor to Kiss Crouch because Crouch was an escaped DE. I had this idea that that the Dementor did it on its own, but that never quite felt right.

Could it have been fear of finding out what was really going on that caused Fudge to order it? Ignorance is bliss for Fudge, it seems. I wouldn't be surprised to find out it was something more sinister, though.

haymoni - Jan 17, 2005 10:05 am (#314 of 507)

I KNEW I read that Dementors grew like decay!

I couldn't find the quote.


Solitaire - Jan 17, 2005 11:21 am (#315 of 507)

I don't know, Mrs. Brisbee. Over the months, I have shifted in and out of the "Fudge is the missing DE" camp. I do believe Fudge is a self-serving Slytherin, but I can't make up my mind if he has the guts to have ever been a DE. Probably not. I think you could be correct. "Ignorance is bliss" sounds just like him.

I'm not necessarily sure he would have had all that much to lose by admitting Voldemort's return from the beginning, which has been the argument of some for his behavior throughout much of OotP. I think it just seemed the easiest course of action at the end of GoF. I do believe he was afraid of the jeers that would probably have come from people like Malfoy, who did not want it to be known that Voldemort was back. So he made a decision to ignore it. Unfortunately, it will prove to be his undoing when all of the gory details emerge ... I guess.


Prefect Marcus - Jan 17, 2005 2:46 pm (#316 of 507)

I have my doubts that Fudge actually ordered the Dementor kiss on Barty Junior. I suspect that the Dementor acted on its own.

When he was defending the kiss, Fudge was justifying his bringing the Dementor into the castle. If somebody died because of his decision, it was, "Oh well. No big loss." If he hadn't of justified the kiss, he would have had to admit that he had made a mistake that cost a man his life.

This justification could also help explain why he refused to believe Harry, Dumbledore, and Snape. If he did, he would have had to admit the Dementor was a mistake.

haymoni - Jan 22, 2005 7:27 pm (#317 of 507)

I have such a hard time picturing that scene - Fudge walking into Hogwarts Castle with this Dementor.

Did the Dementor "behave" or did he try to suck the happiness out of Fudge as they walked along? Maybe Fudge isn't the happiest of people.

How does Fudge communicate with the Dementors in the first place?

Did the Dementor sense (They can't see.) who Barty, Jr. was and start sucking face to protect Voldy?

Why didn't Minerva zap the Dementor with a Patronus Charm? I can't believe she isn't powerful enough to conjure one.

Just a few thoughts...

Archangel - Jan 22, 2005 8:53 pm (#318 of 507)

Haymoni, my impression was that McG was too late when she got to Crouch and probably even a Patronus Charm would no longer work once the Dementor is already performing the kiss.

haymoni - Jan 23, 2005 7:31 am (#319 of 507)

Dumbledore asked Minerva to stay and stand guard over Crouch.

I suppose the Dementor would have affected her a bit. She said something about it "swooping" down on Barty, Jr. Maybe everything happened so fast she didn't have time to react.

TwinklingBlueEyes - Jan 23, 2005 9:56 am (#320 of 507)

Dumbledore asked Minerva to stay and stand guard over Crouch. I took that to mean to make sure Crouch Jr. didn't go anywhere if he woke up. Somehow I can't see Minerva turning her wand to the doorway whenever anyone appeared, esp. if it was an authority figure such as Fudge. I think she'd feel reasonably safe at Hogwarts and would see no reason to have to protect Barty from anyone there. I do think that when an entirely unexpected thing happened, Fudge showing up and the Dementor moving so fast, caught her completely off guard.

Madame Pomfrey - Jan 23, 2005 12:52 pm (#321 of 507)

Those are good questions Haymoni. "How do they communicate?" in particular. How were they under ministry control? What exactly did Voldemort mean when he said "they are our natural allies".

I am used vlad: "These evil creatures don't, by the way, breed but grow like a fungus where there is decay”. A fungus is described as a plant that lacks chlorophyll and therefore is dependent on other life forms for food. So it sounds like they feed off of dying or dead things in order to be born so to speak. Why would something this vile want to suck out happiness from others? It doesn't make sense to me but it does seem logical that Voldemort is like that being he has fed off of unicorns, Nagini etc. Does this make sense or do I need St. Mungo's?

I Am Used Vlad - Jan 23, 2005 6:55 pm (#322 of 507)

According to Lupin, a Dementor will suck the happiness out of you in order to turn you into "something like itself...soul-less and evil." PoA 187

Solitaire - Jan 24, 2005 10:48 am (#323 of 507)

If Firenze is correct, Voldemort has already doomed himself to "a half life, a cursed life," by drinking the Unicorn blood. Voldemort is feeding off the life force, if you will, of these creatures--their blood.

Dementors feed off the souls of people (Wizards and Muggles alike, I assume), and many feel the soul is part of the life force. Madam P, it makes sense to me. Of course, I could probably benefit from a stay in St. Mungo's myself.


haymoni - Jan 26, 2005 8:00 pm (#324 of 507)

Technically, Quirrell drank the unicorn blood - I'd say he was pretty cursed!!!

Emily - Feb 23, 2005 2:13 pm (#325 of 507)

Mme. Pomfrey: What exactly did Voldemort mean when he said "they are our natural allies"?

I think he meant that Dementors are naturally evil, they will join someone evil whenever the chance is provided.

Any other opinions?

Albus Silente - Feb 23, 2005 3:17 pm (#326 of 507)

well, i think Dementors could be (COULD!) evil wizards who got their soul sucked out. this would explain why they are evil, why they drain happiness- which surely is not in the nature of an evil wizard and why they instantly would rejoin the dark side. maybe even defeated Grindelwald is among them...

Muggle Doctor - Feb 23, 2005 6:34 pm (#327 of 507)

Gryffindor Ghost said this:

perhaps it was the effect of the chocolate, Lupin always advised eating some after encounters with Dementors.

on the ship/ship thread.

And that made me think of Harry's future career, with Voldemort gone and all his agents needing to be mopped up. Particularly our dark hooded friends...

"Greetings, I am Harry Potter, the Great Dementor Hunter. My stag patronus is feared by Dementors everywhere! As payment, I demand a roof over my head, a cupboard under the stairs, and a limitless supply of chocolate bars."

Albus Silente, this is a good theory. Brings to mind the Lord of the Rings - in particular the Nazgul, who were the evolutionary (?? devolutionary ??) end point of the nine Human Kings who accepted Rings of Power from Sauron. Certainly Peter Jackson's rendition of the Nazgul was quite similar to the film image of the Dementors, and although this isn't the place to discuss the films, it DOES bring the parallel to mind. Mind you, both film! Nazgul and film! Dementors owe a great deal to the Western World's perception of the Grim Reaper, and given what Dementors have the power to do, this is no surprise.

(And OOPS I see that Nazgul have already been discussed above... never mind...)

What could you possibly offer somebody that would make them become a Dementor? Unless, of course, that somebody has no idea of the price they have to pay.

Then we come back to the opening premise of this thread: using Occlumency to defend yourself against the Dementor's mind-intrusion. What if you said Legilimens instead? You would probably find out a great deal you didn't care to know! Reminds me of a beautiful line from David Eddings: "Khwaj will understand your thoughts; pray that you never understand his."

(I don't think Occlumency would work - the mind and the soul are two very different things, at least in my book. The only thing it MIGHT help with is the ability to concentrate on finding that happy memory.)

vball man - Feb 23, 2005 9:16 pm (#328 of 507)

Albus Silente, I do, of course, think that Dementors are dark wizards. Not just any dark wizards, though. I think it is just those who have done what Voldemort did to be immortal.

It's worse than death, so it satisifes Dumbledore's remark to Voldemort.

It would explain why they are "natural allies."

It would also explain why the Dementors took a special interest in Harry. (I know that it is suggested by Lupin that it is because Harry has horrors. But Lupin has horrors, too, and they didn't go after Lupin.)

I think the greatest desire of the dark wizard is power. That is why he does the transformations. That is why he abuses and kills. That is why life as an anonymous, life-hungering, powerless, disgusting thing is the perfect punishment for him.
That is why, as a Dementor, he desires to feed off of Harry. Harry is now carrying Voldemort's powers. By trying to kill him they can have a taste of those dark powers again.

I do not think that dark wizards are turned into Dementors by having their souls sucked out by other Dementors. I think that something Harry does will turn Voldemort into a Dementor.

Solitaire - Feb 23, 2005 11:54 pm (#329 of 507)

I do not think that dark wizards are turned into Dementors by having their souls sucked out by other Dementors

Well, boo, vball man! Here I thought I had it all figured out ... a Dementor was just a soul-sucked Dark Wizard like Barty Crouch, Jr. Now I'm back to square one!

Do you suppose the Dementor is born when the physical body of a soul-sucked Wizard decays and dies? Just a thought ...


Albus Silente - Feb 24, 2005 4:18 am (#330 of 507)

vball man, but... if the Dementors were just power-hungry and there for (?) go for harry, why didn't they do just the same with Dumbledore - the greatest wizard ever since? (sorry for my's not my mother tongue)

vball man - Feb 24, 2005 9:02 pm (#331 of 507)

Solitaire, I suppose its possible. The idea is that the body can't die, but it can decay and ruin.

Albus, I would say that he Dementors would go for Dumbledore. Dumbledore would fight them off, of course.
- He says tha he could easily escape from Azkaban.
- He also is one wizard who dislikes Dementors more than the average wizard. "Ah, I was forgetting . . . you don't like the Dementors, do you, Albus?" said Moody with a sardonic smile. Since, Moody is described as "sardonic," I would say that he doesn't agree with Dumbledore's opinion. Plus he had to remind himself. He actually forgot his friend's opinion of them.

Solitaire - Feb 26, 2005 12:48 am (#332 of 507)

Well, Vball man, maybe soul-sucked people don't die--that is, not in the sense that regular people do. What do you say to this idea ...

An Evil Wizard is soul-sucked. With no soul, he probably wastes away rather quickly. I mean how would he manage to eat and drink? His body would eventually rot and decay, and, since he really can't die, he becomes a Dementor, doomed to wander the earth, trying to soul-suck others in an attempt to replace the soul--and the happiness--that were sucked out of him. Only he is dead now, so it does him no good ...

What do you think?


Madame Librarian - Feb 26, 2005 6:43 am (#333 of 507)

I'd like to go on record that I don't think Dementors are created when an evil wizard is soul-sucked (what a phrase, huh?). That's just too direct for my tastes, and I think JKR has better stuff in store for us when it comes to Dementors and their origins (if she goes there at all).

No, I believe a Dementor victim is still going to eat, drink, breathe, etc. I visualize them as comparable to zombies--moving through life in a trance, reacting mostly on instinct to bodily needs. They would be quite healthy (maybe) physically, even elementary thinking would take place. Automatic reactions like not walking off the edge of a steep cliff or wading into deep water would be intact. They would even respond to simple questions or recognize others. They might experience hunger or the need for sleep, but not in a driven way. Their voices would be monotone, their stare a bit glazed over. Catatonic is how you might describe their state.

Because the soul is such a subjective concept, I offer this as only my opinion when it comes to this part, but I don't think soul here refers to a religious version of soul. I really don't intend to get into a debate on that, but I just wanted to say that because what I imagine is a human being devoid of feeling or caring or interest in anything around them other than how it may affect a physical need. Yet even a harsh hunger would not get much of a rise, the victim would just slowly starve--I picture him/her sitting in a corner or curled into a ball just waiting. What other words might apply? Um...think blank, automaton, shell.

Ciao. Barb

vball man - Feb 26, 2005 10:30 am (#334 of 507)

Well, Solitaire, when you put it like that, it is very appealing. I think it might work. I only have two problems with it.
1) Other wizards have been soul-sucked(phrase appears to be catching on). If they had actually turned into Dementors, I think we'd know about it. So, what about the death-avoided wizard? As I understand your description, the immediate effect of the soul-sucking would be similar to any other normal wizard. But over time the death-avoided wizard would be come a Dementor. I think that would lack dramatic effect. If I were writing (which I don't), I would have whatever Harry (or, less likely, Dumbledore) does to Voldemort have an immediate effect of turning him into a Dementor.

So Harry has a horrific battle with Voldemort - Harry, on the brink of death, does - something? - and a terrible sucking sound occurs. Harry's scar bursts open, and he feels a huge rushing through it. He looks up to see what happened to Voldemort. And there, before him, rising from the floor where he had been was - 'Where did that come from?! Expecto Patronum!'

Harry is the only living wizard who knows what happened to Voldemort. The only one who knows where Dementors truly come from. And Harry will always wonder when he meets a Dementor, if this one is the one who killed his parents and many of his friends (I assume that's to come in 6 & 7). So Harry, like Dumbledore before him, has a unique disdain for Dementors.

2) It would not be worse than death if the death-avoided wizard has his soul sucked out. In order for it to be punishment, he has to be in there, starving for power and fame.

Barb, as far as your assessment of the normal wizard after having been soul-sucked, I agree. Trance-like monotone automatons.
Here's Lupin on it:
You can exist without your soul, you know, as long as your brain and heart are still working. But you'll have no sense of self any more, no memory, no. .. anything. There's no chance at all of recovery. You'll just exist. As an empty shell.

So I'd have to say that they would not know who they are or who anyone is. Actually, it would be worse than not knowing yourself. It seems to me you would have a personal amnesia. Meaning that not only do you not know who you are, you would not know that you should know who you are.

Solitaire - Feb 26, 2005 10:34 am (#335 of 507)

Very well, if you don't like soul-sucked ... I suppose it comes down to what you believe the "kissed" victims are like afterwards. At the end of GoF, we read the following: Harry ... knew what the Dementor must have done. It had administered its fatal Kiss to Barty Crouch. It had sucked his soul out through his mouth. He was worse than dead. This doesn't sound like there is much left ... much "going on" in the mind of such a person. I wonder if he even could answer simple questions or recognize anyone.

Dumbledore went on to say that "he cannot now give testimony, Cornelius." This makes it seem to me that a "kissed" victim must now be something like "undead." I mean, he can hardly be said to be alive, yet he is not physically dead. Still, the "essence" of what made him a person is gone.

Remus tells Harry, in PoA, "If it can, the Dementor will feed on you long enough to reduce you to something like itself... soul-less and evil." Perhaps this is the reason why it was so crucial--to Dumbledore as well as to Harry--that Sirius not be "kissed"--because he was good at heart ... a fact which makes me dislike Snape all the more for desiring this end to Sirius.


Lina - Apr 4, 2005 1:42 pm (#336 of 507)

I have read only around 150 last posts, so I hope you won't send some Dementors to me if I mention something that was discussed before that...

I saw a programme on TV about JKR (probably most of you saw that too). There she described the flat where she lived while she was writing the first books (very much like mine, just a little bit smaller) and she said that that was the moment when she invented the Dementors. It made me see the Dementors like something that causes depression, they suck out all your happy feelings and happy feelings are the only weapon you have to fight them. If she said that they grow up from decay and rot, I can very well imagine it, because depression really grows up from sort of this in our lives. I don't know if she is going to explain exactly how they are created, but I can just feel the situation that makes them grow as well as Muggles (and Squibs) can feel the Dementor's presence but can't see them.

The way I see wizards with their souls sucked is very much like Madame Librarian's, except I see those wizards tending to commit a suicide. That would be something like the biggest amount of depression. They should probably be kept somewhere, like a department of St. Mungo's.

The problem that raised in some recent posts and I find it really interesting is the communication with Dementors. In the PoA, they come to the Hogwarts express and they do suck happiness, but none of the student's was kissed. It means that someone has told them to search the train but kiss only Sirius if they find him. Lupin even yells at them and doesn't make a Patronus. At least that is what we see. At the trials in the pensieve scenes, they don't go around attacking audience or judges, they just keep the prisoners. Even in the Azkaban prison, they don't kiss the prisoners, just make sure that they don't escape. In the PoA (Chapter "Grim Defeat", page 125, Bloomsbury paperback edition) DD says "I must go down to the Dementors. I said I would inform them when our search is complete." It means that there are other means to communicate with Dementors apart from casting a Patronus. And there is the way that Ministry takes them under control, I just don't know what it is. Maybe it is just enough to talk to them to be understood. But what is really necessary to be obeyed?

And now the reason for which I came to this thread: how much harm can Dementors do to a person who does not have happy thoughts at all? Sirius said to Harry that the thought of him being innocent kept him from going insane, because it was not a happy thought and Dementors could not steal it. This is the question that was raised on Snape's thread, but I'm even more curious if they can do any harm to Voldemort? In PS/SS Hagrid says that he is not even sure if Voldemort is human enough to die. I think that his humanity remains in question even after him getting his body. Is there anything left to be sucked with a Dementor kiss? Does it mean that there are people to whom Dementors can't do any harm? I think that most feelings of Bellatrix were hatred. Did Dementors have any affect on her?

I just hope that I will not be demented for making such a long post. And I have almost not even mentioned Mrs Figg...

Ponine - Apr 4, 2005 4:23 pm (#337 of 507)

Lina - I really like your post!! I think you raise a lot of interesting questions, and I would love to hear other people's thoughts.

My main question about the Dementors is that as they do/did hold an official position as wardens or keepers or whatever, are they approached as individuals, or do they have a leader, whom all communication goes through? As you have brought up, there are several instances where the Dementors seem to follow orders and do not attack or attempt to kiss anyone. Also, I have been wondering; if I have understood correctly, they feed off of happy thoughts, and suck them out of you. Why would it then be in their best interest to have LV reign? Would they not risk 'starving'? And what happens to a Dementor who has no one to feed off?

Miriam Huber - Apr 4, 2005 11:49 pm (#338 of 507)


to back up your thoughts: People were astonished that Sirius was not mad when he broke out of Azkaban after twelve years. But the ten DEs who broke out in OoP were at least as long in Azkaban as Sirius and they are obviously not mad, either. Dumbledore says something like the ministry made his allies the creatures that would most naturally follow Voldemort -- like: trying to fight evil with evil.

All this points out to me that you are right and that the Dementors obviously are not that dangerous to "bad" people than the are to "good" ones (sorry that childish expression, I think you understand what I am trying to say?).

Lina - Apr 5, 2005 1:15 am (#339 of 507)
Edited Apr 5, 2005 2:15 am

Oh, Miriam, I was not aware of that when I was writing my post, but it really seems that the final outcome is indeed that Dementors are more dangerous to good people then to the bad ones. That is what makes them the natural allies to Voldemort even if they don't really work for him.

I wonder if Occlumency could help against them too?

Mrs Brisbee - Apr 5, 2005 5:14 am (#340 of 507)

Perhaps Occlumency would make the person "invisible" to Dementors. Don't Dementors feel their way towards people by the emotions?

Miriam Huber - Apr 5, 2005 8:54 am (#341 of 507)

I was rather skeptical what Occlumency could do to Dementors, but your idea is really great, Mrs. Brisbee!

Hermy - Apr 5, 2005 2:51 pm (#342 of 507)

I keep wondering if a Dementor could be used for good.

A Dementor makes you remember the worst memories. Lockhart has lost his memory. What would happen if the healers used a Dementor on Lockhart. Would he then be able to remember more of his past? or could it help break the Longbottoms from their insanity?

Cornelia - Apr 6, 2005 12:35 am (#343 of 507)

That would be a very drastic cure, I think it’s cruel, but it might work with Lockhart, but what if he only remembers the horrible things after the Dementor-dosage, that wouldn’t be an improvement.

I don’t know if the Longbottoms have forgotten their past, and if a Dementor attacks them, they would probably only see Bella and Co torturing the beloved husband/wife.

So I don’t think it would be a good’s far too risky.

Solitaire - Apr 6, 2005 9:58 pm (#344 of 507)

I keep wondering if a Dementor could be used for good.

Hm ... that makes one wonder if a Dementor is susceptible to the Imperius Curse. Wouldn't that be necessary to control it?


Paulus Maximus - Apr 7, 2005 10:41 am (#345 of 507)

Maybe that's how Umbridge controlled them...

haymoni - Apr 7, 2005 3:17 pm (#346 of 507)

I wondered how Fudge could bring that Dementor into the castle and not be affected. Was the Dementor eager to kiss Barty Jr. because he was following Fudge's orders or was he doing it to shut Barty up before any more news of Voldy's return came to light?

The Pensieve scenes had Dementors bringing in the Lestranges et al. Nobody in the courtroom seemed to be affected either. Can the Dementors control themselves?

Dumbledore - Apr 7, 2005 4:42 pm (#347 of 507)

I think there is some evidence in the books that Dementors CAN be controlled in some way, but in my opinion I think the more important questions are:

a.) How would one communicate to them what they want them to do

b.) What would be their motive to listen?

c.) Why would they consent to being under Ministry control in the first place?

Solitaire - Apr 8, 2005 1:34 am (#348 of 507)

Very provocative questions, Dumbledore. I'd like them answered, as well.

Patchwork Girl - Apr 8, 2005 5:24 pm (#349 of 507)
Edited Apr 8, 2005 6:25 pm

Here goes. My first ever post in the Lexicon.

I think there's evidence of the Dementors being what DE becomes if he chooses not to go on. Wizards can be ghosts, but I think an evil wizard would become a Dementor.

Why? Well, first there's Nick's comment about how only a wizard can become a ghost. In true JKR fashion, I think that statement has a double meaning. It's just such a simple statement and those can have more than one meaning in her books. Even Harry's reaction to it is so 'well that's easy.' Am I explaining that well?

Second, it may have been foreshadowed in both PoA the book and movie. Malfoy and co. dress up as Dementors at the Quidditch game in the book. In the movie, the three of them toss their hoods up and pretend to be Dementors when they're teasing Harry during Hagrid's first class. It was a bit creepy and makes me think it's one of the things JKR meant when saying the director unknowingly foreshadowed some things.

Maybe when the evil wizard dies and is afraid to go on, they can't hold onto their souls, stay with the soul in the human plane, unless they 'repent' for lack of a better word. In that scenario, the soul itself is too pure to stay with an evil conscience. It can't stick around unless the wizard can admit that they shouldn't have done all that wicked stuff.

The above could go something like this: Malfoy dies and is too afraid to go through the veil. But his soul says no way, now that we're free of this body I can't condone your behavior. If you can't see you've done wrong, it's goodbye Charlie. So Malfoy’s conscience and thoughts are stuck without any possible structure and turn into this soulless thing of pure evil. It'd be pure evil (well, mixed with fear I guess) and would grow into a Dementor.

I think it explains Vold saying he was 'less than the meanest ghost'. He was only the 'evilness' part after getting blown up. This 'thought evil conscience' part remained and went sliming away to Albania. One of the experiments he did may have involved trying to force the soul to stay earthbound OR he may have done something to give the evil thought part a form to keep it from rotting and turning into a Dementor.

Wendelin the Weird - Apr 23, 2005 10:07 pm (#350 of 507)

Hmm interesting thoughts. I have a little different take on the same dark wizard theme.

It seems like there are ways to try and alter yourself with dark magic that isn't very ethical. For instance, Voldemort's quest for immortality, his return to a body from inhabiting snakes, the fact that he had done so much dark magic on himself that people suspected that he wasn't human enough to die. That ties in with your last post, actually, Patchwork girl.

I would suspect there are other ways to have a half-life than just drinking unicorn's blood. It seems the parallel is that drinking unicorn blood is feeding off the innocent. Its the same thing that DEs do in a way - they get a feeling of power from torturing and controlling people they see as 'less worthy' or beneath them. The more cruel they are, the more power they seem to have - because the power of fear is immense.

Dementors feed off people’s fears and emotions - which is like an energy vampire in a way. Ever meet those people who just seem to suck the life right out of you - drain you emotionally? I picture them being like that only a hundred times worse.

In a sense, I guess I see it literally that people who are beyond a normal death due to dark magic become Dementors, as do the Dementors soul-less victims. I also suspect that there is some strange link between them and Lethifolds. Perhaps they inhabit Lethifolds in some manner - or possess them? I haven't figured this out yet. They both shirk the Patronus charm - they both are/wear dark cloaks... Maybe a Lethifold sneaks up on a victim, sucks the life out of them, and the soul-less evil remnant inhabits the Lethifold as a Dementor? Then as an undead being, the Dementor must feed on the energy of the living to stay... undead? So does this mean that a Dementor can be killed or somehow destroyed? So far it doesn’t seem that way, but I bet there must be something that can do them in.

As for the communication issues, I find it interesting that Fudge has MacNair bringing the Dementors to the castle for Sirius Black, especially since we see later that he is a Death Eater. It seems that may Voldemort already had a Death Eater in place working on convincing the Dementors to switch loyalties even back in PoA.

The DEs who escaped Azkaban didn't seem entirely demented (bad pun) from their stay in Azkaban. Bellatrix appeared to be a bit crisp around the edges, but maybe its part of her personality to be a bit fanatic.

Er, I think I’m too tired to have a point, so Ill stop now. hee hee

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Dementors  Empty Dementors (posts #351 - #400)

Post  Potteraholic on Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:13 pm

Solitaire - Apr 24, 2005 6:33 pm (#351 of 507)
Edited Apr 24, 2005 7:35 pm

I'm curious ... is there a way to destroy a Dementor? Obviously it cannot be AK'd. A Patronus Charm will disperse Dementors ... but can they be permanently destroyed?


Ydnam96 - Apr 24, 2005 6:49 pm (#352 of 507)

Solitaire, I think that may be a key component to the rest of the series!

Eponine - Apr 24, 2005 7:16 pm (#353 of 507)

My sister and I were actually talking about this tonight.

One young Canadian boy earlier asked her how Dementor s breed.

"I was just so pleased that he thought about it and pleased that I had the answer," Rowling told The Canadian Press.

These evil creatures don't, by the way, breed but grow like a fungus where there is decay.

Based on what JKR has said about them, we decided it might just take a good bottle of Windex.

MickeyCee3948 - Apr 24, 2005 8:05 pm (#354 of 507)

Ah, just send them all to #4 Privet Drive. That should stunt any growth.


Wendelin the Weird - Apr 24, 2005 9:39 pm (#355 of 507)

"These evil creatures don't, by the way, breed but grow like a fungus where there is decay. "

I’ve read that before and have tried and tried to grasp her meaning here.

From what I can best gather, she is saying that like a fungus, they grow out of death. Fungi feed on decaying matter and as a result grow larger, shoot out spores, and reproduce as the spores land on other decaying matter. It’s a never-ending cycle of reproduction without in a sense 'giving birth'.

How this relates to the Dementor's kiss is boggling. Once they have extracted a soul, what do they do with it? What happens to that soul and what happens to the body from which it came? It sounds like she is saying that they don't reproduce or create a new Dementor by the process of the kiss, but what is the result of it?

Also, Sirius was saying in GoF (in Snuffles cave) how he remembered seeing how excited the Dementors got when they could sense a prisoner was about to die. You would think that if they fed off of a prisoner's emotions they wouldn’t be so thrilled at the idea of one dying and no longer being something they could feed off of. That is, unless they get some other valuable thing from the death.

Perhaps the death from the fall into despair caused by having your emotions sucked out of you leaving only the darkest moments is what causes someone to become a Dementor after death? There is no goodness left within them and they seek to feed that emptiness by stealing the pleasing emotions from the living? It might explain why the overwhelming happiness of the Patronus charm causes them to flee - it would be too much for them to bear. Rather like enjoying your favorite song until someone turns the volume up to a deafening level.

Just brainstorming ideas here. And I agree, there must be a way to destroy Dementors, if there is a way for them to reproduce like fungus. Otherwise the world would be crawling with them, right?

So maybe the way a Dementor dies or is freed from its condition is by taking the soul of someone else? Perhaps one cannot die/move on without a soul?

Solitaire - May 8, 2005 10:31 pm (#356 of 507)
Edited May 8, 2005 11:32 pm

These evil creatures don't, by the way, breed but grow like a fungus where there is decay

But what kind of decay are we talking about ... physical decay or decay of the soul or spirit? Certainly the "essence" of one's humanity must begin to decay at some point, after one has given oneself over to a life of cold-blooded evil. While I doubt she will become one, I can imagine someone like Bellatrix--who no longer seems to have a "heart," in the emotional sense of the word--being slowly "demented" ...


Ms Amanda - May 9, 2005 2:36 pm (#357 of 507)

There's a lovely discussion on exactly this topic on the Recurring Boy Who Lived Theory thread, too. VBall Man has an interesting take on how Dementors grow where there is decay.

Solitaire - May 9, 2005 10:16 pm (#358 of 507)

Yes, I've read it. I am curious, though, about the kind of decay Jo meant. She did not specify, did she? There is physical decay and--I believe--decay of the spirit and soul.

Solitaire - May 14, 2005 8:35 pm (#359 of 507)

I was just reading the scene between Riddle and Harry down in the Chamber, when Riddle laughed about Ginny and scorned and ridiculed her love for him. I noticed the following passage:

... So Ginny poured out her soul to me, and her soul happened to be exactly what I wanted ... I grew stronger and stronger on a diet of her deepest fears, her darkest secrets ..."

That sounds rather "Dementor-ish," to me. Do you suppose there is any connection there?


vball man - May 14, 2005 10:04 pm (#360 of 507)

Seems that way to me, too. The other thing in this vein is the enjoyment of torture and death of the death eaters.

Bellatrix. MacNair, Voldemort himself. They all seem to enjoy the suffering of their victims. Even the name "death eater" suggests that they are feeding on death and suffering. This seems to be the food of Dementors, as well.

Choices - May 15, 2005 5:36 pm (#361 of 507)
Edited May 15, 2005 6:37 pm

Actually I thought it was just the opposite, I thought Dementors fed on happy thoughts. That is what they suck out of people - all their happiness. The Patronus Charm is only cast if the caster can think of his/her most happy experience and then that is used as a shield or barrier between the caster of the Patronus and the Dementors. Sirius said he had no happy thoughts in Azkaban and that is why the Dementors didn't affect him much.

vball man - May 15, 2005 9:00 pm (#362 of 507)

Right, Choices, this has come up before. Let me see if I can explain what I mean.

Lupin says, "The Patronus is a kind of positive force, a projection of the very things that the Dementor feeds upon -- hope, happiness, the desire to survive -- but it cannot feel despair, as real humans can, so the Dementors can't hurt it."

Yes, the Dementors feed off of happiness, etc. But I don't think that the Dementor actually feels happy does it? I see it more like the Dementors just wanting to take away the happiness of others. Not that they enjoy it themselves - they just "feed off of" the taking away of happiness.

The same thing would be true of "death eaters." It seems that they "killed" on a regular basis. What did they take from their victims? Life. But they aren't called "life eaters." That would be appropriate if they are actually feeding off of what they take from their victims. "Death eater" would mean that they feed on death, taking that death away from others. But they don't - they give death to the victim. Sort of named the opposite...well, it made sense before I started typing...

Lina - May 15, 2005 11:44 pm (#363 of 507)

You do make sense, vball man. I just think that JKR made a great job in describing a real life. It is not possible to make a definition of everything. It reminds me a picture book my kids have. About a puppy who wants to find out what is happiness. He asks a bird, and a bird says that happiness is flying, he asks a rabbit and a rabbit says that it is all in carrots and so on. The source of happiness is not the same for everybody, but the feeling is quite the same and understandable. The same is with despair and hurting. I think that we are taking away the magic from the tales by trying to make the definitions for everything. There are many forms and shapes of evil all around us, by trying to make a definitions of evil, we are in a danger to omit some of them, but if we describe the feeling, than we can feel exactly what is the doing of evil and what of good.

I think the same can be applied to decay. It is not about what is rotting but about the feeling that the rotting of something, whatever it is, makes in us.

Choices - May 16, 2005 9:57 am (#364 of 507)

Well said Lina - I like that very much! :-)

I can see your definition too Vball Man. Thanks

Lina - May 16, 2005 1:49 pm (#365 of 507)

Thank you, Choices!

haymoni - May 18, 2005 3:27 pm (#366 of 507)

Because Dementors feed on happy thoughts, I always thought it odd that they went after Harry.

Let's face it - the kid doesn't have a whole lot in the way of happy memories.

He would be nothing but a snack for a Dementor.

applepie - May 19, 2005 5:56 am (#367 of 507)

I must admit that this has always been on my mind as well. I know DD says that a Dementor will not distinguish between the one they hunt and the one who stands in their way, but it seems as though they always manage to single him out in the come? Unless they were already out of the ministry's control and were sent in on him by Voldemort?????

vball man - May 19, 2005 7:42 am (#368 of 507)

Two things to quibble on, applepie.

I don't think that you can blame Voldemort for the way Dementors go after Harry.
This is most prominent in PoA. Voldy didn't have much influence then.

The "one they hunt and the one who stands in their way" statement was Movie, not books, so it's not real reliable. Although they do seem to behave that way (see Dudley Demented).

applepie - May 19, 2005 9:15 am (#369 of 507)

True...sorry about that. Sometimes the books and movies kind of "mesh" for me...

vball man - Jun 9, 2005 9:23 pm (#370 of 507)

I noticed this in my pre-HBP re-read:
"Molly, how many times do I have to tell you? They didn't report it in the press because Fudge wanted it kept quiet, but Fudge went out to Azkaban the night Black escaped. The guards told Fudge that Blacks been talking in his sleep for a while now. Always the same words: 'He's at Hogwarts... he's at Hogwarts.'

Then there's DD:
"I must go down to the Dementors," said Dumbledore. I said I would inform them when our search was complete."

It seems that not only can Dementors understand spoken words, they can also speak.

Joao Paulo Costa - Jun 15, 2005 3:15 am (#371 of 507)

Hello, I just though of something about Dementors

(Previous note: because I do not have the time to read the 370 posts before this one, I apologize in advance if the following has been already suggested. If so, I would appreciate if somebody could direct me to the date of the relevant posts. Thank you.)

My question is: In what way do Dementors work as a group, or as a society among themselves?

In Earth, many species work together. Besides human, who have a complex social structure, I am particularly thinking of other mammals (lions, wolves, elephants, etc...), fishes in the sea (together for protection reasons or to help moving without trying so much), and e.g. migrating birds (it is less trying for them to fly long distances together).

Do Dementors form a group? If so, is there any hierarchy? A leader and most influent Dementors "guide" the others? If they form a group, how do they take decisions? Would there be "dissident" Dementors that, for example, would not have worked for the MoM for some unknown reason?...

Any thought on this?

Ydnam96 - Jun 15, 2005 9:53 am (#372 of 507)

My guess is that Dementors are probably more solitary beings. They may hang out in groups because no one else will be around them, but I don't see them as the type to have "pals" or anything of the sort...

Choices - Jun 15, 2005 11:35 am (#373 of 507)

I don't think we can really have too many thoughts about Dementors because JKR hasn't told us what to think. She has not given us much information about Dementor society, so anything we think, aside from what she has told us, would be strictly speculation and really wouldn't answer any questions.

TwinklingBlueEyes - Jun 15, 2005 8:32 pm (#374 of 507)

And back to a question I asked 900 years ago... how does one communicate with a Dementor? Fudge does, Dumbledore does, Toadywart did, both Sirius and Hagrid survived them.

Maybe Bella beat Sirius not just because of his arrogance, that may not have been the case. He may have been a much more powerful wizard before he went to Azkaban, but as we have been told, contact with Dementors robs a wizard of his powers. I can see Sirius going into the fight with his pre-prison attitude. Never realizing the price he paid for keeping his sanity. It would take a very strong individual to retain that, a real belief in self.

After 13 years, it would seem to me to be another red flag to Dumbledore to question Sirius's role in the Potter's deaths. Something is missing here...

Lina - Jun 16, 2005 2:03 pm (#375 of 507)
Edited Jun 16, 2005 3:04 pm

TBE, I agree with you (again). I see DD as a strong individual who can approach Dementors without being harmed. Fudge, I find more difficult to imagine, Umbridge I can't imagine at all.

DD did say that he has to report to Dementors, Umbridge did send them after Harry. For this, the most simple explanation is that they can understand the human language.

About the guards that you, vball man, mentioned, I remember, while I was reading it, that I imagined the human guards being in Azkaban too, supervising the Dementors. But this, indeed, brings up other questions: who would be those guards? Wouldn't this job be as bad as the prison sentence itself? Can anyone be condemned to be around Dementors and earn for living that way? I don't know. Either that, either Dementors can talk too. So, why we've never heard them talking yet?

There is a possibility that there are more weapons against the influence of the Dementors. One of them might be Occlumency. It is possible that Lupin figured out that of all the weapons, the Patronus charm would be the most suitable for Harry and that's why he thought him this instead of something else. And that the human guard at Azkaban can only be a good Occlumens (with a very good wage). And that the Legilimency could be the way of listening to the Dementors.


There is still a big question that I cannot see any shade of an answer: How at all did the humans make Dementors obedient, at least for a small peace of time. Did they promise something, or blackmailed them in any way, why would Dementors guard Azkaban and not wander around?

Choices - Jun 16, 2005 5:08 pm (#376 of 507)

They were probably offered free rein to suck out all the happiness they would big banquet.

Solitaire - Jun 17, 2005 12:17 am (#377 of 507)

Interesting questions, Lina. There are still many things we need to know about the Dementors.

vball man - Jun 17, 2005 6:27 am (#378 of 507)

Yeah - not only do wizards seem able to talk to them, but also they seem to be able to talk to Dementors.

demiguise - Jun 17, 2005 10:35 am (#379 of 507)
Edited Jun 17, 2005 11:36 am

"madam librarian-We had a go at discussing whether they might be related to Lethifolds, or whether they lived in that un-place beyond the veil."

Haven't seen this thread (I'm new) so i don't know if this has been thought of or not. i think that when Lethifolds die they transfer their powers partially to something else (maybe a wizard that was evil or something) and they become the Dementor. (the Lethifold being the cloak)

lkb - Jun 28, 2005 3:05 pm (#380 of 507)

Yeah, I was wondering how Dementors came to be...its not like there are little baby Dementors running...uh...floating around...

Maybe they are something like a ghost? Dead, but...not quite dead?


frogface - Jun 29, 2005 12:38 am (#381 of 507)

Well I've always found quite odd how Patronus' (or is it patroni for the plural?) have to be produced with a spell whereas Dementors seem to be more constant creatures. They seem like complete opposites to me, almost like positive and negative atoms, which leads me to believe they have similar backgrounds. Maybe Dementors are the result of some horrible dark magical spell to produce despair among a dark wizard's enemies, but for some reason have a longer life span than Patronus'....or Patroni Razz

Paulus Maximus - Jun 29, 2005 1:20 pm (#382 of 507)
Edited Jun 29, 2005 2:21 pm

Patroni is the correct plural form of patronus, if you speak Latin.

It doesn't seem to stop Harry from saying "patronuses", though...

Patronus' however, is the possessive singular...

/end ramble

Miriam Huber - Jun 30, 2005 12:22 pm (#383 of 507)

I am quite sure JKR said somewhere that Dementors kind of "grow" where there is sorrow, fear, despair - so I would interpret they are like despair having become "condensed", "independent". They are surely not humans and they aren’t mentioned in FBWFT, either. So I think they are not "living" in the normal sense of the word - meaning, biologically, being able to reproduce.

Lina - Jun 30, 2005 2:15 pm (#384 of 507)

Something like viruses, between living and dead?

haymoni - Jul 1, 2005 4:08 pm (#385 of 507)

Nope - like mold!!!

Ms Amanda - Jul 1, 2005 6:48 pm (#386 of 507)

I think the fact that they are not mentioned in fantastic beasts demonstrates that they are a "being."

Lina - Jul 2, 2005 12:29 am (#387 of 507)

I find the mold very good comparison. It fits into JKR's description.

vball man - Jul 2, 2005 10:09 am (#388 of 507)
Edited Jul 2, 2005 11:10 am

Well, I don't agree that they sound at all like mold.

In the books, they are definitely humanoid:
They have hands.
PoA - There was a hand protruding from the cloak and it was glistening, grayish, slimy-looking, and scabbed, like something dead that had decayed in water...
They have mouths.
PoA - they clamp their jaws upon the mouth of the victim and -- and suck out his soul. They "breathe" from "under their hood."
PoA - And then the thing beneath the hood, whatever it was, drew a long, slow, rattling breath,
They have heads with wasted human features:
Where there should have been eyes, there was only thin, gray-scabbed skin, stretched blankly over empty sockets. But there was a mouth... a gaping, shapeless hole, sucking the air with the sound of a death rattle.
They are capable of manual labor - they buried Crouch's mom after her death.

In the movie PoA, Dementors had rib cages. In fact, they seem like wasted humans with rotten tissues on their skeletons. The one that attacks Harry in the air during the match even has a front tooth.

Look at the USA Today article:
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"I really got goose bumps when I saw a couple of those things, and I thought, people are going to look back on the film and think that those were put in deliberately as clues," Rowling says in an interview released by Warner Bros., which is distributing the movie.

Cuaron, for his part, says "in a way, it was intuition, but everything is so emotionally eloquent, the book gives you all the hints."

Rowling cites Cuaron's "good intuition about what would and wouldn't work" in his film version, which is a less by-the-book take on her novel than the previous two films. It's also shorter.

She particularly was impressed by his vision of the otherworldly prison guards, the Dementors.
The subject is her being impressed by the "intuition" of the director. The next thing they say is that she was "particularly impressed by his vision of....the Dementors."

As far as the description of them growing "like fungus where there is decay," she dodged the question, really.
She was asked how they breed.
She said that they don't breed.
She then said that they "grow" blah-blah-blah. She never said where they come from. Growth is not an origin of something. It is a expansion or maturation of something.

haymoni - Jul 2, 2005 11:32 am (#389 of 507)

I don't think they are MADE of mold, or COME FROM mold.

They just don't reproduce - they grow out of decay - they grow like mold.

vball man - Jul 2, 2005 3:53 pm (#390 of 507)

OK - so you're suggesting budding...or fission?
I have trouble picturing that, too.
Sorry - maybe I'm missing what you're trying to say...

Ms Amanda - Jul 2, 2005 4:16 pm (#391 of 507)

I think JKR is saying that they are a being, but that these beings don't breed. Neither are they made of wizards, or if they are she hasn't said so.

So, picture "decay" as a kind of spore, and the Dementor grows from that. Like an emotion made solid.

Actually, I think there have been suggestions that Peeves the Poltergeist is also a being that was never a wizard and instead is basically made from the high emotions of the teenagers in Hogwarts. I picture Dementors coming from basically that same process, with much sadder, deeper emotions being concentrated in one place.

haymoni - Jul 3, 2005 7:26 am (#392 of 507)

Yeah! What she said!

Solitaire - Jul 3, 2005 7:55 am (#393 of 507)

It makes one wonder ... how active is Peeves during the summer, when there are no children around?


MickeyCee3948 - Jul 3, 2005 7:56 am (#394 of 507)

Even Peeves needs a vacation.


Paulus Maximus - Jul 3, 2005 11:17 am (#395 of 507)

Peeves probably goes into hibernation over the summer...

...wait... that's a contradiction...

vball man - Jul 4, 2005 9:44 am (#396 of 507)

I have a question for mold-origin promoters - What would fill 150 pages of Dementor history?

I Am Used Vlad - Jul 4, 2005 10:36 am (#397 of 507)

vball man, the 150 pages on Dementors was just a rumor. Here's what JKR said on the subject at the 2004 World Book Day Chat:

Kirk Wilkins: Will you ever publish all your notebooks of information on the series? I am very interested in reading 150 pages on the history of the Dementors! JK Rowling replies -> lol Who said there were 150 pages on the Dementors??? I certainly didn't! I don't think I'll ever publish my notebooks. Too many revealing doodlings!

vball man - Jul 4, 2005 2:17 pm (#398 of 507)

Thanks, Used Vlad,

Here's where I got that:
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I'm not sure what that was.

Lina - Jul 5, 2005 12:16 pm (#399 of 507)
Edited Jul 5, 2005 1:17 pm

I think that that quote is about a programme that BBC made about Jo and I even think that I watched that one, I just remember her talking about the entrance to the Diagon Alley and finding that drawing only after the scene in the film was done.

Firstly, I think that 150 pages is an expression, saying "a lot", and secondly, IMHO, by the "history of Dementors" it is not meant the real history of their originating, something like a wizard who invented them, but the history of her imagination and Dementors reaching their shape in her imagination. That's how I see it. In that very programme, she goes to her old apartment where she created them and talks about how she felt when she was living there and how they came to existence. My own opinion (and I'm not trying to impose it, just describe) is that she really didn't care to describe the "making" of Dementors to be something like making a Basilisk, as if they are something that you don't make intentionally. They just arise where is decay and despair. Now, the really good question would be: Is it possible to destroy them at all? Since it seems that there is more and more depression all around the (real) world, it looks that they just keep arising. Actually, today is one of the "Dementors day" for me (don't worry it's not too bad) and whenever those days come, I just keep thinking how well and realistic did she describe them. I like the Ms Amanda's description "Like an emotion made solid". Imagine a group of people, if one of them is in bad mood, the others have to be in a really good mood to help this one out. If they are not, it is very likely that one person in a bad mood will make all other feel worse, soon they will all be in bad mood. That's a presence of a Dementor. What is the way to send him away? Think happy thoughts! That is a Patronus. Try to imagine. There is always something happy that you can think of. If you think happy enough, the bad mood will go away. You can decide to think happy and that is the way that Patronus works. You can just wait for something happy to happen (like a nice sunrise in the morning after an anxious night), than you will be in a bad mood for a longer time, but that was a Dementor who was passing by you. Or you can feel so despaired that you wish for death, that is a Dementor's kiss.

I think she really described them perfectly, I could almost touch them.

Thank you for pointing to this quote, Vball man.

demiguise - Jul 7, 2005 4:05 pm (#400 of 507)

maybe the Dementor s are like basilisk' they are created by some mix of creatures. mean the basilisk is born from an egg hatched under a toad. who new, i mean it could be something like that done. demiguise.

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Post  Potteraholic on Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:19 pm

Anna L. Black - Sep 12, 2006 3:07 am (#451 of 507)

If I remember Lupin's explanation in PoA correctly, then yes - the kissed person exists physically, his body is still there (and functioning too, I think). I think that being kissed by a Dementor is "worse that death", because your soul ceases to exist, and you can't "move on". Nearly-Headless Nick talks about that too, in a way - ghosts are afraid to move on, so their souls never reach whatever-it-is-that's-beyond, but most of the people do (and also remember Luna's words in the end of OotP, about meeting her mother one day, hearing voices behind the veil, etc.)

Steve Newton - Sep 12, 2006 5:03 am (#452 of 507)

This reminds me of the secret that Snowden told Yossarian. ‘The spirit gone, man is garbage.’

Choices - Sep 12, 2006 8:39 am (#453 of 507)

I think it is much like being in a coma - you have to be fed and cared for, but there is no awareness of life or what is going on around you.

Laura W - Sep 13, 2006 2:02 am (#454 of 507)

"Yet, the only person we know of that has been kissed, Crouch Jr., is referred to as "dead" (by Harry, when he lists all the DADA teachers in OOP)."

Maiden, if I may; I believe the exact quote was, "One sacked, one dead, one's memory removed and one locked in a trunk for nine months."

# sacked - Lupin
# dead - Quirrell
# memory removed - Lockhart
# locked in a trunk - the real Moody.


Steve Newton - Sep 13, 2006 5:12 am (#455 of 507)

As I recall it Harry's planned defense at his hearing in OOTP was that it was OK to use magic to protect your life. A Dementors attack does seem to be considered killing in the Wizarding World.

Madame Pomfrey - Sep 13, 2006 7:23 am (#456 of 507)

I can't help from thinking that Dementors and Inferi are linked. Isn’t it possible that Inferi are the product of someone kissed by a Dementor?

journeymom - Sep 13, 2006 11:29 am (#457 of 507)

Except that Inferi are dead bodies. Perhaps Voldemort has been using Dementors to attack victims and make them soul-less, and then he ruthlessly kills them and dumps them in the lake.

legolas returns - Sep 13, 2006 11:59 am (#458 of 507)

Didn’t he kill loads of people in the last war. It’s much tidier to put them in a lake to defend something than having them out at night. Not to mention the smell.

Thom Matheson - Sep 13, 2006 7:42 pm (#459 of 507)

With the right spell wouldn't any cemetery full be possible Inferi? Or can they only be from dead wizards and witches?

legolas returns - Sep 13, 2006 10:08 pm (#460 of 507)

I am sure that any corpse would do but it might be that Voldemort’s has a particular preference.

wolf~ears - Dec 20, 2007 7:41 pm (#461 of 507)

I'm new to this discussion and I'm sorry if this has been answered, but I haven't seen this question exactly. I think (and correct me if I'm wrong, because I don't have the quotation), that it says something in the sixth or seventh book about Dementors multiplying as things get worse, because they feed off despair or breed where there's misery. But Dementors feed on happiness and suck it out of people, don't they? So if everyone is miserable wouldn't the Dementors have less to feed on?

Would it be like one of predator-prey cycles, where the Dementors get loose, increase as they have more access to prey, than the prey decreases and eventually the number of Dementors will decrease, and people will start recovering, providing more prey for Dementors again, and so on?

PeskyPixie - Dec 20, 2007 8:44 pm (#462 of 507)

I think they breed when the nesting ground is teeming with misery and despair.

wolf~ears - Dec 21, 2007 1:10 pm (#463 of 507)

Aha. Maybe Dementors transform happiness into misery, but can also sustain themselves on misery, and happiness is not their necessary food.

I have sometimes suffered from severe depression (depression is something that has been mentioned on this thread), and I realized when I read the HP books that a lot of bad mental health among Muggles is probably caused by unseen Dementors. I think it's a wonderful thing in these books that they reflect things in the real world, present them in a very entertaining way, and encourage people to fight back. I think making a Patronus may be a metaphor for combating depression by focusing on things that really give you joy.

Choices - Dec 21, 2007 2:44 pm (#464 of 507)

Very good thoughts on depression and Patronuses, Wolf~Ears. I think you are absolutely correct.

haymoni - Dec 22, 2007 2:58 pm (#465 of 507)

I still love that chocolate was the remedy when it came to Dementors.

It always makes me feel better!!!

TwinklingBlueEyes - Dec 24, 2007 1:35 am (#466 of 507)

Haymoni! Good to see you around! Chocolate and old friends always make me feel better too!

Solitaire - Dec 25, 2007 9:34 am (#467 of 507)

I thought of the Dementors yesterday, when I was watching A Christmas Carol. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come floated along looking very Dementor-ish, with those long, claw-like "hands." **shivering**


Solitaire - Jul 21, 2008 9:19 pm (#468 of 507)

Having just reread the entire series, I am curious about something. If Dementors can breed, can they also die? If they don't die and continue to breed, wouldn't their numbers get out of control?

Orion - Jul 22, 2008 4:32 am (#469 of 507)

Rowling said that they feed on despair, so I imagine if people get happier they don't have anything to feed on and simply fade away and dwindle into nothingness. They are purely magical beings which can't even be seen by Muggles , so their "real-ness" is partly in the eye of the beholder, isn't it? The Patronus, with which you can drive them away, is only an embodiment of inner happiness, the Dementors an allegory of depression.

I don't have the impression that they breed in the natural way. There would have to be he-Dementors and she-Dementors (with high heels?) and my mind refuses to picture that. Maybe they breed like viruses, by infesting living beings. or by cleavage.

Solitaire - Jul 22, 2008 7:10 am (#470 of 507)

I do not want to think about how they breed ... possibly like bacteria? It has to be something horrid if they smell like rotten garbage. In HBP, remember that Fudge told the Prime Minister that they were breeding. I just wondered what happens to them eventually. If they don't at least "fade away," their numbers could be a real problem.

And yes, I realize what they are. I am simply talking about them in the context of Harry's world.


Orion - Jul 22, 2008 8:09 am (#471 of 507)

I think they breed like fungi, I only couldn't remember before what they remind me of. One of them is growing bigger until something breaks away. And when they disappear, they sink to the ground as a dirty puddle and get swallowed by the soil. Nothing of them remains, they simply disappear.

TwinklingBlueEyes - Jul 22, 2008 5:59 pm (#472 of 507)

Thank ya'll for that very vivid mental of Dementors "breeding".

'Tis interesting, JKR's description of what causes Dementors to breed and thrive. Yet, to repel them, or at least hold them at bay, it requires happy thoughts. How many happy memories can a depressed person summon? And that's just to repel them, how do you KILL them?

Solitaire - Jul 22, 2008 6:06 pm (#473 of 507)

Twinkles, that is what I want to know. There has to be a way to keep their numbers from overtaking every other group of creatures ... doesn't there?

TwinklingBlueEyes - Jul 22, 2008 6:29 pm (#474 of 507)
Edited Jul 22, 2008 7:36 pm

One would think...but, this is JKR's world view, and maybe she doesn't see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Edited to add: I have been very disillusioned with JKR and her lifestyle and way of approaching things since she has received mega-rich status. I can see where her view of the origins and upkeep of Dementors has changed since we first met JKR 10+ years ago. But either her views have changed, or mine have, regardless, the last two books just haven't "meshed" for me. Methinks that is why I so very seldom post anymore, I respond to our "family", but not so often to the topic of this forum. And that edit was all for a different thread

Solitaire - Jul 22, 2008 6:37 pm (#475 of 507)

True. Isn't it great that some of these interesting threads are active again? I hope the rereads activate other interesting but "dormant" threads. I've missed them!

TwinklingBlueEyes - Jul 22, 2008 6:42 pm (#476 of 507)

To continue what should be continued on some other thread...

Soli, would you like to start a thread about perhaps the changes in personality and writing styles we have witnessed in the past, ahem...years? Lots of years for some of us, and maybe some of our old discoursers, is that a word, will put their 2 cents worth in.

Solitaire - Jul 22, 2008 7:37 pm (#477 of 507)

Twinkles, I'm not sure what you mean. Do you mean changes in Jo's writing style and the characters' personalities? If your discussion can't fit one of the threads in the Potter-Pouri Group Discussion Folder--and there are a couple in there that might be a good place to try it--I think it would be neat for YOU to start the new thread. Really!

PeskyPixie - Jul 23, 2008 7:35 pm (#478 of 507)
Edited Jul 23, 2008 8:35 pm

I've wondered about Dementor overpopulation as well. I like the idea of them breeding like bacteria, with happy thoughts (a patronus in their strongest form) as antibiotics!

wolf~ears - Jul 24, 2008 12:08 am (#479 of 507)

I don't think we need to worry about Dementor overpopulation unless there's too much misery, which there probably is, but people have the means to fight back. It seems to me like a feedback loop, since Dementors create misery and misery allows them to breed. And as people learn to make Patroni, they get more practice of thinking in just the way that can defend them against depression, i.e. Dementors, and it will be hard for the Dementors to breed, and to remove the happy thoughts . I recently read an article about the brain that said that tending to think in either an optimistic or pessimistic way actually affects the chemistry of your brain so that you continue to think more that way. It's hard to change course but it can be done. (at least I hope so, because I tend to think negatively). Life is such a mixture, I don't think either side has really gotten the upper hand.

MichaelmasGal - Aug 16, 2008 9:19 pm (#480 of 507)

Can you kill a Dementor? Do you think in the After Voldemort wizarding world they are still guarding Azkaban?

rcs - Aug 17, 2008 1:44 am (#481 of 507)

No, they're not guarding Azkaban anymore; JKR has said that. As for killing a Dementor, I think that perhaps a sufficiently powerful Patronus (one on Dumbledore's level, perhaps), or maybe several of them, might be able to do that, provided that they could confine the Dementor into a small enough space to keep it from getting away.

Solitaire - Aug 17, 2008 1:09 pm (#482 of 507)

Yeah, maybe Prongs could kick them into oblivion ... or Shacklebolt's Lynx could rip them apart! **happy thought**

Choices - Aug 17, 2008 4:20 pm (#483 of 507)
Edited Aug 17, 2008 5:20 pm

I don't think you can kill a Dementor or even get rid of them, at least not forever. As long as there is a world with people in it, there will be misery, sadness and depression and the Dementors will thrive upon it. There aren't enough "happy pills" being made to ward off Dementors.

Solitaire - Aug 17, 2008 6:45 pm (#484 of 507)

Good point. I'm curious, though ... Once Voldemort was forever vanquished, feelings of joy and relief must have flooded the Wizarding community at large. Do you suppose Dementors would have "died of starvation"--faded into nonexistence, really--without that negative energy to sustain them? Just a thought ...


Choices - Aug 18, 2008 7:40 am (#485 of 507)

They might have "seemed" to disappear, but I think they were just biding their time. Depression, sadness, defeat, etc. will always be with us - even with Voldemort gone - and the Dementors could be just waiting in the wings to make their appearance again.

shepherdess - Aug 18, 2008 9:49 am (#486 of 507)

But if they're living things, they have to die sometime, somehow. Everything does.

If there's less misery, wouldn't that mean less food available for them. Even if that doesn't kill all of them, perhaps their numbers are at least decreased due to starvation of some?

Orion - Aug 18, 2008 11:30 am (#487 of 507)

Are they really living things, or just some sort of half-life, similar to viruses?

Choices - Aug 18, 2008 4:41 pm (#488 of 507)

That's what I thought Orion. They may be technically "alive", but not like a human - more like a virus or a plant, etc.

tandaradei - Aug 19, 2008 2:57 pm (#489 of 507)

I'm just guessing out of assumption of Jo's worldview ...

I don't think you can kill Dementors ... in the same way that you can't overcome "dementedness" in the real world.

PeskyPixie - Aug 27, 2008 7:38 am (#490 of 507)
Edited Aug 27, 2008 8:41 am

While a Dementor may be compared to a virus, I don't think that plants belong to this same group. (Plants and viruses belong to different kingdoms because they are so vastly different.)

Solitaire - Aug 28, 2008 10:02 pm (#491 of 507)

I think Dementors are attacking the HP Lexicon and Forum.

shepherdess - Aug 28, 2008 10:14 pm (#492 of 507)

And they must be breeding and multiplying.

John Bumbledore - Sep 5, 2008 4:48 am (#493 of 507)

Everyone, repeat after me...

Expecto Patronum!

<)B^Dò John Bumbledore

Michael Franz - Sep 16, 2008 7:23 pm (#494 of 507)

JKR said that Dementors could not be killed, but she also said they could multiply. If that were true, then they would continually grow in numbers until they consumed the entire world. Of course, she never said they couldn't die. Those prophecies are tricky, you know.

Solitaire - Sep 17, 2008 8:04 pm (#495 of 507)

I think they may be multiplying here ... although it isn't foggy. Still, there hasn't been much joy out by my school.

Dryleaves - Sep 17, 2008 10:44 pm (#496 of 507)

Solitaire, try some chocolate!

Solitaire - Sep 18, 2008 5:51 am (#497 of 507)
Edited Sep 18, 2008 6:55 am

Actually, I do have some chocolate-covered pistachios that I bought a few days ago ... as I was afraid I might need them this week. I find that, if I keep them tucked away where I will not see them in the ordinary course of my day (I'm an "out of site, out of mind" girl), then I will probably forget about them until I REALLY NEED them. Psssst! This really only works if you do not have other people in the house who try to find goodies you may have squirreled away.


Choices - Sep 18, 2008 7:43 am (#498 of 507)

Healing and "feel better" charms to all those under the weather. My cold is better today, but my financial spirit is feeling the ravages of the Dementors - Just two weeks ago I invested some money in AIG and now this has to happen. Dementors are trying to take down the Stock Market and jinx my finances. :-( Just stuffing my meager money under the mattress is sounding better and better. LOL

Orion - Sep 18, 2008 8:55 am (#499 of 507)

Pssst, Soli, I've found the perfect hiding place for chocolate: A folder with a really boring labeling! Nobody will ever look there. My favourite chocolate is Ritter Sport. I don't know in which countries you can buy it. Try it by all means if you can get it! Dementors got me today, but reading in the forum makes me feel all warm and cuddly. The forum is a virtual Patronus.

Dryleaves - Sep 18, 2008 9:55 am (#500 of 507)

Quadratisch. Praktisch. Gut.

This is all the German I know. Almost.

Solitaire - Sep 18, 2008 8:55 pm (#501 of 507)
Edited Sep 18, 2008 10:01 pm

Trader Joe's carries Ritter Sport chocolate. I've not tried it ... but I've seen it right there at the check stand every single time I go through it! Orion, I live alone, so nobody ever bothers my chocolate.

Ich studierte die Deutsche Sprache drei Jahre im Gymnasium. Aber ich habe sehr viel vergessen.


Orion - Sep 19, 2008 4:18 am (#502 of 507)

Wow! Impeccable, Soli.

Solitaire - Sep 19, 2008 8:03 pm (#503 of 507)
Edited Sep 19, 2008 9:25 pm

Danke sehr, aber ich habe viel meines Wortschatz vergessen. (I had to check my cases there ... and I'm not sure they are right. I think a Dementor is clouding my brain!)

Solitaire - Dec 28, 2009 11:12 pm (#504 of 507)

I was looking up something on C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters, and I saw something that reminded me of the Dementors. Apparently Wormwood's punishment for letting his "Patient" slip through his hands (that is, die and go to heaven) is having his "spiritual essence" consumed by other demons. Sound familiar?

PeskyPixie - Jan 11, 2010 7:52 pm (#505 of 507)

Yikes, frighteningly familiar.

'Wormwood', eh? (Hah! I just realized how Canadian that last sentence sounded!) I'm amazed at the Wormy names in kid-lit. The Lord of the Rings has Wormtongue, while we have our beloved (heavy sarcasm on 'beloved') Wormtail.

Madam Pince - Jan 12, 2010 4:58 am (#506 of 507)

Pesky, if you haven't read The Screwtape Letters, you ought to. It's very entertaining. It would be right up your alley, I would think. It's not that long of a read, either.

I agree about the Dementor/demon connection. I always thought JKR intended the Dementors to represent depression, and people frequently use phrases like "haunted by demons" or such when referring to depression.

Solitaire - Jan 12, 2010 7:13 am (#507 of 507)

Madam Pince, I agree about Dementors/depression. Her "cure"--chocolate--is actually believed by some scientists to contain elements which combine to elevate moods. I know it certainly elevates mine!

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