Hello, and welcome to my latest post where I would like to talk about the ‘dark wizards’ of Harry Potter and the ‘unforgivable curses’.
There is so much to be revealed about these characters and the curses they use and if this is of interest to you, you have come to the right place!
Harry Potter is one of those movie franchises whereby the characters have so much life both on and off-screen it is no wonder why the muggle world is so intrigued by them, their backgrounds and the magical world they live in!
The above being said I would also like to uncover within this article some little-known facts about the unforgivable curses and the dark arts they relate to as this is equally as fascinating as the wizards themselves. These curses hold huge significance in the movies so it is well worth doing your research if you are a huge Potter fan and just can’t get enough of the facts!
I guess before we look at exactly who is involved in casting the unforgivable curses and dark magic, it is probably worth finding out exactly what the Dark Arts are, as this could hold the key as to why Witches and Wizards want to use them in the first place.
The Dark Arts – No Good Can Come from Them!
The Dark Arts refer to Witches or Wizards whose main interest and practice from magic are those that are used for evil and harming others or for personal gain.
There are many in the magical world who are heavily involved with the dark arts and of course, none more so than Lord Voldemort (Shhhh!).
His loyal following, known as the ‘Death Eaters’ take pride in using the dark side of magic for malicious purposes.
These spells used by evil Witches and Wizards are more readily known as ‘curses’ as more often than not, they are used against another human, both magic and muggle and the outcome for their target is never a good one!
There are three main curses which are the most sinister and these are the favourites of anyone having a passion for the dark arts.
- Avada Kedarva – The Killing Curse
- Crucio – The Cruciatus Curse
- Imperio – The Imperius Curse
It is worth noticing here that any Witch or Wizard caught deploying these most sinister of acts on any other Wizard, Witch or muggle for that matter can expect a life sentence in Azkaban!
I’d rather not thank you very much!
Let us now have a look at the curses in a little more detail
Avada Kedarva – The Killing Curse
Instant death! Need we say more?
Quite simply the worst thing that could be done to another living soul, muggle or otherwise!
Regardless of who is targeted by the killing curse, the result is still the same.
Some say that the victim’s body just ceases to function completely, but the part I find the most interesting about this awful and deadly spell is that if the victim is a muggle, muggle first responders or coroners will have no way of identifying the cause of death.
Imagine the nightmares this can cause for the poor muggle population!
The above is untrue of course in the wizarding world and the Ministry of Magic will have no trouble in pointing the finger at a dark arts practitioner when the killing curse has been executed and the corpse has been found.
Avada Kedarva is delivered from the wand of the witch or wizard and a green bolt of light and rushing sound is released by the casting murderer and directed at the unfortunate recipient.
The sad fact around this curse is that there are currently no known counter-curses a Witch or Wizard can use in defence of this killer strike!
Of course, like many other attacks, the Avada Kedarva can be dodged and even blocked by a solid object so be sure to have something close by if you fear you may be a target of the Avada Kedarva killing curse!
It is no surprise that Lord Voldemort, (Shhhh) has used this curse MANY times and some of his victims include Harry’s parents, James and Lily and Voldemort even used Avada Kedarva on his own Dad and both of his Grandparents!
What a nice guy, NOT!
However, there is one person, just one, who this curse was used on but survived the ordeal, the only person who has ever survived its use, is the one, the only, Harry Potter himself!
Crucio – The Cruciatus Curse
Another of these unforgivable curses in known as the Cruciatus which can inflict excruciating pain to anyone who is unlucky enough to receive it.
Punishment for using this curse which is sometimes referred to as the ‘torture’ curse again, is life imprisonment in Azkaban although there is an exception to the rule, if the caster is under the influence of the Imperius curse then exemptions for use of this spell can be granted. More on the Imperius curse later.
You could say the Cruciatus curse is not that bad as it does not inflict actual physical pains itself, but a mental belief of pain instead, but I am sure Neville Longbottom’s parents Alice and Frank would beg to differ. They were driven to insanity by the curse and have ended up as in-patients at the St Mungos hospital on a special ward.
The Cruciatus curse is NOT for the faint-hearted!
A closing reminder to anyone that questions Cruciatus’ power, Harry himself described the feeling as “one thousand white-hot knives, boring into the skin’ something of which, I am sure you will agree, cannot be pleasant!
Imperio – The Imperius Curse
The Imperius curse is one of those curses where you can fully understand why Witches and Wizards that are attracted to the dark arts, would favour its use.
When used, the victim is placed under complete control of the person casting the curse! Imagine what evil deeds could be accomplished with this!
This is pure mind control, what could be more appealing to the sinister Witch or Wizard?
I guess the only saving grace with the Imperius curse is that if you are strong enough, there is a way to ‘resist’ its effect, but you would have to be a wizard possessing considerable will and determination to reverse the effect of the Imperius curse.
Also, interestingly to note here, is that you also would need to be a very skilled wizard to even cast the Imperius curse as the ability to pose your will onto others is not an easy feat, it takes a great deal of both mental strength and dedication to master this terrifying and unforgivable curse!
Final Words on The Unforgivable Curses – Just Stay Well Away!
These three ‘unforgivable curses’ used in the practice of dark arts are, as we have already discovered, used purely for evil results by Witches and Wizards, you’d want to steer well clear of even considering to tamper with their use, even if it could bring about personal or financial gain!
So, let’s now have a look at a few of the bad guys of Potter land individually and find out exactly who the ones are behind the dark arts of Harry Potter.
The Dark Wizards of Harry Potter – EXPOSED!
It really isn’t surprising to find that most of the dark arts fanatics found in Great Britain hail from the house of Slytherin at Hogwarts, but that doesn’t mean all wizards do, let’s not forget that Peter Pettigrew who betrayed the Potter’s and joined he who shall not be named and changed his allegiance to dabble in the dark arts was actually sorted into Gryffindor house.
The reverse, in fairness to Slytherin, can be said about Horace Slughorn, who for example is not a dark arts supporter, I guess anything can happen at Hogwarts and your best bet is not be tempted at all by the power that these arts seem to exercise and promote.
Lord Voldemort – Yes Him!
It seems only fitting to start with the worst of them all! Voldemort, or Tom Marvolo Riddle as he was known at Hogwarts prior to becoming an absolute MONSTER!
Let’s be honest, being coined as the most powerful dark wizard of all time must boost your ego somewhat and probably why Voldemort was so upset by not being able to destroy a baby in that of Harry Potter!
But truth be known there is an interesting background to the one that they do not call by his name that is worth exploring if you yourself have an unhealthy interest in dark magic and the dark lord himself.
Tom Riddle was born in England as an orphan and categorised as half-blood. His dad, a muggle, Tom Riddle Sr, left his wife Merope Gaunt, who was a Witch and unfortunately died a short time after Tom was born, but the fascinating part to understand here is that Tom Riddle Sr only fell in love with Merope after being subject to love potion and it was after this spell was released, that Tom Riddle Sr left his wife! Incredible!
Although Voldemort had been placed into a muggle orphanage, he was then sent to Hogwarts where naturally he was sorted by the infamous hat into, you guessed it, Slytherin house.
The dark lord was actually a model student at Hogwarts even touted as the best there ever was and his good looks, charm and politeness to all was an asset to himself as well as the school, but underneath the perfect exterior hid Tom Riddle’s true self, a twisted, evil and sadistic psychopath!
There is still a mystery that surrounds Riddle as after he, pretty much excelled at Hogwarts, he did go into employment but sometime after, vanished and mysterious circumstances.
How did things get so bad that Tom Marlovo Riddle that he could not resist the temptations of the dark arts or was it just FATE that he was destined to be the best dark arts wizard, ever!
When Riddle eventually matured into ‘Lord Voldemort’, he created an entire legion, an army in fact of serving disciples that would create an era of darkness throughout England and Great Britain and the rest, as we know, was history.
Dolores Umbridge – The Aunt From Hell
Complete opposite in physical appearance to the dark lord!
Although she may look like a warm-hearted soul, Dolores Umbridge’s real persona consists of only Evil!
It didn’t take long for Umbridge to stamp her mark on Hogwarts in the movie, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, virtually taking over the school as Harry and Dumbledore were trying to ready, prepare and spread the word of Voldemort’s return Dolores was stationed to Hogwarts to keep a ‘watchful eye’ on students as prescribed by the Ministry of Magic.
Umbridge is yet another dark arts abuser, who I think also boasted a massive power trip whilst at Hogwarts as we witnessed ridiculous rules being imposed on the students almost daily, only adding to her dark desires for ultimate power.
Umbridge’s tyrannical regime and reluctance to teach students practical magic, however, did lead to Harry and crew creating the ‘Dumbledore’s Army’ and it was this new confidence that found Hogwarts students gaining so much knowledge and strength from learning how to defend themselves against attacks from dark arts fanatics.
How Did Umbridge Become So Evil?
I think the best theory behind Umbridge’s horrific and demonic personality is that it developed from a young age throughout her time absolutely despising her Mother and Brother, purely based on them being muggles!
This hatred was welcomed and even encouraged by her Father and with all this animosity in your own home, it isn’t any wonder why this hate was passed onto Dolores and created this hidden yet devastating force of evil that makes up Dolores Umbridge!
Going back to Dolores’ power-trip-ego and if we look into her time at Hogwarts, it’s hardly surprising to find that she hated her time at school, all because she wasn’t given that power and control that she lusts for, and naturally of course, she was a member of Slytherin.
Her lack of power at School must have been so incredibly frustrating to the extent that she sure made up for it once she was employed at the Ministry of Magic, and was successful in securing a, you could say, very ‘influential’ post in the ‘Improper use of Magic’ office!
This, however, was only a steppingstone and Umbridge soon rose through the ranks exercising her evil and cruel deeds on the magical community wherever she went.
Imagine having Umbridge as your Auntie!
Bellatrix Lestrange – One Wicked Witch!
I’d like now to turn our attention to yet another sadistic and extremely malevolent Voldemort dedicated follower, in that of Bellatrix Lestrange.
She has quite a significant rap-sheet with some major fatalities under her belt. Sirius Black and Dobby included and lets not forget she was accountable for sending the Longbottom’s to the ‘special ward’ as we have already discussed in this article.
She is a Witch who believes that as her family are categorised as pure-bloods, that automatically makes you a better soul than those born of half-blood and muggle persuasion and we know this to be evident because Bellatrix completely severed ties between her sister Andromeda when she decided to marry a muggle! Ridiculous!
You can get an idea of just how sickening Lestrange is because she only wed Rodolphus Lestrange to comply with the long-standing custom of pure-blood marriage and to top that, Bellatrix would never display any kind of affection towards her husband, wouldn’t even mention his name in the company of others and there was no sign of children on the horizon whatsoever. What a cold and bitter Witch Lestrange is!
Lucius Malfoy – Out For All He Can Get!
Next, Lucius Malfoy, who is very much dedicated to the dark lord and even had his own personal slave, Dobby and Lucius isn’t exactly the best ‘Master’ a slave could ask for.
Lucius somehow has a wife, Narcissa and a son who we all know very well in Draco Malfoy and they all make up one happy family.
As with Bellatrix, the Malfoy’s are extremely opinionated when it comes to a Wizard’s backgrounds. The Malfoys being pure-blood they constantly mock and view all those who aren’t pure-bloods as beneath them in terms of social status.
Owning ‘Malfoy Manor’, the family are very wealthy and again, anyone not financially well off is the scum of the earth to the Malfoys and Lucius takes much pleasure in mocking the Weasleys for their second-hand clothes and school supplies.
In my opinion, Lucius, is nothing more than a coward and a traitor and we can confirm this as when the attack happened on baby Harry and he who shall not be named was drained of his power, it wasn’t long before Lucius pretty much abandoned Voldemort and his allegiance to him!
This also confirms that Lucius’ agenda was nothing more than for personal gain and you could suggest that Lucius will just side with whoever is at the top of the food chain with hope this can aid he conquest for status, power and money.
We only need to lock at Lucius’ constant visits to the Minister on Magic, Cornelius Fudge to discover the real reasons behind Lucius’ apparent warm-hearted donations to charities and hospitals, it’s all a farce, just to claw his way to the top by any means necessary.
One evil dark lord disciple in my opinion!
Peter Pettigrew – He’s So Vile!
Although there are many more dark wizards in the wizarding world of Harry Potter that are more skilled and ferocious than Peter Pettigrew, few are viler and eviller.
I’d like to talk about Peter Pettigrew as I think we have discussed some significant forces within the dark arts community and I think Peter should be added to this list, as it was his actions that led to some of the biggest moments within the Harry Potter saga, so in my humble opinion, he cannot be ignored!
Don’t be fooled by Peter’s apparent lack of intelligence as believe it or not, his expertise around the dark arts isn’t something to overlook. Let’s not forget it Pettigrew who fooled the magic society into thinking it was indeed Sirius Black who betrayed the Potters and that by any means is not an easy feat to achieve!
The fact that he had accomplished this by turning into Ron’s pet ‘scabbers’ for twelve years has to say something about Pettigrew’s desire to achieve his goals.
But it wasn’t always this way, Peter who was sorted into Gryffindor as the hat had clearly seen great potential in him, made many friends with students from the same house and actually looked up to them and saw for himself the great magical potential they had.
Peter, being such an introvert, was also captivated by how easily his friends were accepted by others and they seemed to just ooze that popularity that he also longed for, it’s a real shame that things didn’t seem to go as the sorting hat had predicted.
Peter, before his epic evil deeds, was, in fact, a respected member of the ‘Marauders’ group which consisted of Peter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and of course, James Potter. This was when the friendship between the group really blossomed and it wasn’t long after that Lupin’s biggest secret of being a werewolf was revealed!
The interesting thing about Pettigrew here is that he, along with Potter and Black took to studying ‘Animagi’ the art of transforming into animals, the idea being that the group could then assist Lupin when he ‘changed’ and keep an eye on his whereabouts and actions!
Peter’s choice was as we all discovered in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was that of a Rat (kind of ironic!) with a tail like a worm which of course led to the nickname ‘worm tail’, whereas Potter was a red Stag with horns and Sirius Black was that of a Black Dog with a shaggy black dog with padded feet!
Now you might ask why am I highlighting the good side to Peter Pettigrew’s character so much?
The reason is that I think in by doing so, we can really get an idea of the scale of the betrayal that Peter was responsible for, these guys were supposed to be friends for life, and that life-long bond just didn’t happen!
I’ve always found Pettigrew’s involvement crucial to the story of Harry Potter. What are your thoughts on Pettigrew?
I would love to hear them, please be sure to leave a comment!
Why Do Wizards Practice The Dark Arts?
This is a question I often ponder. As we have discussed, you cannot be black and white as to say that if you enter the house of Slytherin you are destined to be evil, yes it happens, but not always.
Or you can’t say that just because you are poor that you automatically qualify as a dark lord, sometimes it’s quite the opposite, you only have to look Bellatrix Lestrange or Lucius Malfoy to discover this!
What is 100% fact though, is that something happens in a Witch or Wizards life, often early on, that triggers some deep, dark desire to dabble in practices that should be left well alone.
Having said the above, I guess you could also entertain the notion that some are just born evil and that it’s only a matter of time before an evil Wizards true colours come to fore?
What we can be sure of that is dark magic is very prevalent throughout Hogwarts and beyond, that much, we know will not change! (Deep down, do we really want it to?)
Where Does Responsibility Lie Within The Magical Community?
Again, a very important question I think that is very relevant to senior educators at Hogwarts and even as far up as the Ministry of Magic.
Yes, students will undertake defence against the dark arts classes, but maybe the idea of addressing why dark arts shouldn’t be used in the first place, would be a good addition to the annual curriculum? Food for thought I guess for those in power at Hogwarts.
What are your thoughts on why some in the magical world of Harry Potter turn to evil?
Again, I would love to hear your comments, please be sure to leave one!
Looking back at what we have discovered in this article, we find that the unforgivable curses and the dark Witches and Wizards that use them can cause catastrophic consequences for all of humanity.
Wars have been fought and will continue to erupt in the hold on these uses of evil are not eradicated, or at the very least, better controlled!
As I draw this article to a close, I hope it has given you some further information on the unforgivable curse and the dark wizards of Harry Potter.
Please leave a comment below or feel free to contact me via the about page!
I hope that you’ll find this information useful in your search and discovery of the darker side to these incredible movies, so until next time, EXPELLIARMUS!