The Battle of the Department of Mysteries
An Analysis of the Chase and Battle, June 1996
by Kendall Smiley
"[Voldemort]'s certainly not going
to take on the Ministry of Magic with only a dozen Death Eaters."
At turns exciting, suspenseful, horrific, unexpectedly funny, and in the end,
("Beyond the Veil") brilliantly captures the chaos and
confusion of battle. Harry doesn't
have time to fully comprehend everything going on around him, but we the
readers have the luxury of going back and re-reading this chapter for new
insights and revelations. Within limits, we can even make some deductions
and conclusions (mainly the identities of the
Death Eaters that
Harry and his friends encounter) that
poor Harry doesn't have the time to
make. The events in this chapter can be neatly divided into two parts:
the Chase and the Battle.
I. The Chase
After Harry picks up the prophecy,
he and the others are surrounded by twelve
Death Eaters. In classic
villain tradition, they politely inform
Harry of what they're after, why they
want it, the trap they've laid for him, and laugh and jeer at all the
mistakes he's made, giving him enough time to think out an escape. At
Harry's command, the other kids fire
at the prophecy shelves around them and race towards the exit in the
Death Eater lunges at
Harry, but he elbows him in the face.
Another Death Eater grabs
Harry from behind, but
Neville reach the exit
and seal it off, only to realize they've separated from
Luna. They then overhear
making this invaluable speech:
"Leave Nott, leave him I say,
the Dark Lord will not care for
Nott's injuries as much as losing
that prophecy -- Jugson, come back
here, we need to organize! We'll split into pairs and search, and don't
forget, be gentle with Potter until we've
got the prophecy, you can kill the others if necessary --
Rodolphus, you take
the left, Crabbe,
Rabastan, go right --
Dolohov, the door straight
ahead -- Macnair and
Avery, through here --
Rookwood, over there --
Mulciber, come with me!"
Thanks to this paragraph, we not only know the names of all the
Death Eaters present, we also
know in what pairs they're in. Since all but one of them have been at least
mentioned before now, we can even do a brief thumbnail sketch of each of
them. They tend to fall into two groups.
The first group consists of those
Death Eaters who were cleared of
any wrongdoing after Voldemort's
downfall and have gone on to lead respectable lives in the
wizarding community, despite being guilty as sin.
I call them the Respectables. Six of them were named by
GF33. Five of those are in this
chapter. The other group is made up of the ten loyal
Death Eaters who were captured,
convicted, and sent to Azkaban,
where they were freed by Voldemort in
OP25. I call them the Ten.
Here's a detailed list of the
Death Eaters involved in the
Battle. I'll put them together in their pairs (and note these pairs in this
analysis by using the '&' symbol).
one of the Respectables, father of Hogwarts student Theodore Nott.
Almost definitely the Death Eater
there's a slim chance he's the
Harry elbows in the face). His injuries
keep him out of the Chase, and possibly even out of the Battle.
Bellatrix Lestrange, one of the Ten,
"convicted of the torture and permanent incapacitation of
Frank and Alice Longbottom"
(from the Daily Prophet article,
one of the Ten, Bellatrix's husband,
and convicted of the same crime as his wife.
Crabbe - one of the Respectables, father of Hogwarts student
one of the Ten, Rodolphus'
brother, and convicted of the same crime as his brother and sister-in-law.
Jugson - the only
Death Eater in this chapter never
mentioned before now. Nothing known of this bloke.
Antonin Dolohov, one of the Ten,
"convicted of the brutal murders of Gideon and Fabian Prewett"
(from the Daily Prophet article,
Macnair - Walden Macnair, one of the Respectables,
employed by the Ministry of Magic as Executioner for the
Committee For the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures.
Avery - one of the Respectables, a childhood friend of Snape's
(along with the Lestranges). In GF, he was first in line among the
Death Eaters at Voldemort's return, crawling like a worm, blubbering
like a baby, begging Voldemort's forgiveness. In OP, he gave
Voldemort faulty (and rather stupid) information on who could handle
the prophecies. Comes across as a bit of a wuss, really.
Rookwood - Augustus Rookwood, one of the Ten,
"convicted of leaking Ministry of Magic secrets to
He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named" (from the Daily Prophet article,
only Death Eater (besides Nott) who wasn't paired off with anybody,
he apparently never encountered the kids during the Chase, since all
the Death Eaters the kids faced off against were in pairs.
Mulciber - almost definitely one of the Ten
(although never referred to as such in OP), "he specialized in
the Imperius Curse, forced countless people to do horrific things!"
(from Karkaroff's confession,
Lucius Malfoy -
one of the Respectables, father of Hogwarts student
When it comes right down to it, he was the true mastermind
behind the evil events of CS and is an all around nasty guy.
A. The Time Room
Harry, Hermione, and Neville
race toward the exit, but before they get there,
two Death Eaters force their way in. Harry Stupefies one.
The other Death Eater is about to perform the Killing Curse on Hermione,
but Harry tackles him. Neville
zaps both their wands out of their hands.
The Death Eater gets his wand first and takes his mask off. Hermione
Stupefies him, and he falls headfirst into the bell jar, his head turning
into a baby's. The kids are distracted by
Ginny's scream, and are chased
into an office by two more Death Eaters.
Unsolved Mystery: Which Pair of Death Eaters Are These?
The two Death Eaters met in the Time Room are never identified. To deduce
who they were, it's best to start by deducing who they weren't.
It seems safe to assume they aren't any other pair we know for a fact
the kids encountered later in the Chase. That rules out
Rodolphus and Jugson &
The only other clue is the fact that Harry never recognizes them, not even
when one of them takes off his mask. That definitely rules out
Mulciber & Malfoy, and probably
Macnair & Avery. Harry's never met Mulciber, but he knows
all too well. Indeed, he had no trouble recognizing
Malfoy in the
Hall of Prophecy even though Malfoy
was masked the entire time. Finally, I can't believe Rowling would intend
Malfoy to be
among this pair without ever identifying him.
Harry also knows Macnair & Avery - not as well as he knows
he does know them, Macnair in particular, whom he's seen and overheard in
conversation (you could say Harry knows Macnair better than Macnair knows
Harry). Although this is less certain, I again find it hard to believe
Rowling would intend Macnair to be among this pair and not identify him.
That just leaves one pair left, Crabbe & Rabastan. The only problem is
that Harry knows them, too. Or does he? If you really think about it, it's
obvious he doesn't know either one that well at all. The limits in what he
knows of them are intriguing. Harry has heard Crabbe's voice (at Voldemort's
but has never seen his face. Likewise, he's seen Rabastan's face
(in the Pensieve, GF30),
but has never heard his voice. Considering
all that, it makes perfect sense that this pair is Crabbe & Rabastan,
with Crabbe being the baby-faced Death Eater and Rabastan being the one
Hermione Stupefied. Through the ingenuity and precision of Rowling's
imagination, we can not only deduce the identity of this pair, we can even
tell one from the other.
I must make one final note on this mystery before I continue. It must be
admitted that later on in the Battle, Harry never recognized Macnair until
after he was unmasked. Thus, there's still a slim chance that this pair is
Macnair & Avery (in which case, the baby-faced Death Eater would have
to be Avery, a man whose face, like Crabbe's, Harry has never seen before).
Still, in the absence of any further evidence, I prefer to think that this
pair is Crabbe & Rabastan.
B. The Office
The two new Death Eaters
Neville. One of the
Death Eaters yells for the others,
body-binds the second. The silenced
Death Eater zaps
Hermione with a purple flame,
knocking her out for the next two chapters. He kicks at
Neville, breaking both
Neville's wand and his nose. He
takes off his mask. It's Antonin Dolohov,
who murdered the Prewetts. He has Harry and
Neville cornered, when he's distracted
by the baby-faced Death Eater.
Harry body-binds him.
Easily Solved Mystery: Which Pair of Death Eaters Are These?
We already know who one of them was:
That makes the other guy (the one Harry body-bound first)
Elementary, my dear Weasley.
C. The Planet Room
Harry and Neville
carry Hermione into the hallway when they reunite with
Luna. Only now
Ginny's ankle is broken, and
Ron is giggling and gibbering
like a lunatic. Luna explains
"Four of them chased us into a dark room full of planets, it was a
very odd place, some of the time we were just floating in the dark...
Anyway, one of them grabbed Ginny's foot [this is probably when Ginny
screamed], I used the Reductor Curse and blew up Pluto in his face...
I don't know what they hit [Ron] with, but he's gone a bit funny, I
could hardly get him along at all..."
They are all about to reach the exit when three Death Eaters led by
Bellatrix Lestrange burst in
and chase them into another room. To elaborate a little further on what
Luna said: it seems one pair of
Death Eaters found Ron,
Luna and managed to alert another
pair. When Luna Reducto-ed that Death Eater, she probably knocked him out,
at least for awhile. Bellatrix
and her two Death Eaters are probably the
three remaining Death Eaters from that Planet Room chase.
Partially Solved Mystery: Who Are These four Death Eaters?
Since Bellatrix seems to have
been a part of this group, it seems clear that one of the pairs was
Bellatrix & Rodolphus. As
to who the other pair is, there is no clue whatsoever. Assuming all my prior
deductions are correct (yeah, I know, pretty big assumption), the other
pair was either Macnair & Avery or Mulciber &
there's no clue as to which Death Eater
Luna knocked out.
D. The Brain Room
Harry and the others are chased into the
Brain Room. Harry,
Luna try to seal off all the doors,
but Luna is knocked out when
five Death Eaters led by
burst all at once through the door she was trying to seal.
Ron, still all funny in the head,
Summons a brain and gets entangled in it.
Ginny is knocked out by a
Stunning Spell. Holding up the prophecy, Harry
leads the five Death Eaters into the Death Chamber (the Veil Room).
Unsolved Mystery: Who Are These five Death Eaters?
All that can be stated for certain is that
Bellatrix and the two
Death Eaters she was with managed to alert the last remaining pair of
Death Eaters. If the pair that was with
Bellatrix and Rodolphus in the
Planet Room was Macnair & Avery, this new pair would have to be
Mulciber & Malfoy,
and vice versa. Nothing more can be deduced.
E. The Death Chamber
Harry trips into the Death Chamber, followed by the five
Death Eaters. Just as many
Death Eaters come from doors in
the front. Harry is surrounded by ten
Unsolved Mystery: Hey, Wait a minute! There were twelve
in the Hall of Prophecy, but only ten in the Death Chamber. What happened
to the other two? And which two were they?
It seems safe to assume that the two missing Death Eaters are among
Clearly the two missing Death Eaters
were incapacitated during the Chase. The problem is there were six
Death Eaters incapacitated at one
point or another. They are:
Two of these can be taken off the list immediately.
We know for a fact that Dolohov
took part in the upcoming Battle; he's even talking.
Jugson was no worse off than
Dolohov (if anything, he was
slightly better off since he hadn't been
Dolohov could recover in time
for the Battle, there's no reason
The only question is how did they manage to recover? My theory is that
some time during the Chase, the solitary Rookwood came across them in
their body-binds and undid all the jinxes on them. I have no proof for
this, but it does answer both how they managed to recover in time for
the Battle and what Rookwood was doing during the Chase.
Of the four remaining incapacitated Death Eaters, the one who seems most
likely to still be incapacitated is the baby-faced Death Eater. We've
never encountered this type of magic before, but it doesn't seem like
the type that can be undone with a quick and easy spell.
His partner, on the other hand, seems more likely to be up in time for
the Battle. All he was hit by was a Stunning Spell, and I don't think
that'd be enough to keep him out for so long. Ginny seems to confirm this.
She's hit by a Stunning Spell just before the Battle, and begins to
wake up just after it.
The strongest clue for who the other missing
Death Eater is provided by a
Death Eater who was there.
Harry notes that one of the
Death Eaters is "bleeding
badly". This is either Nott or the
Reducto-ed Pluto at. None of the other incapacitated
Death Eaters were
hurt so hard they were bleeding. I have no further proof, but I believe that
the badly bleeding Death Eater is
the one Luna Reducto-ed Pluto at,
just because I think he would've been closer. It seems to me that all the
rooms in the Department of Mysteries are inter-connected except for the
Hall of Prophecy. It seems you have to go into the Time Room before you
can get to it. It seems the
Luna knocked out would be more
likely to come to in time to hear the commotion and join the others in the
Death Chamber. The only problem is that all Nott was hit with was a
Stunning Spell. I think the key here lies in
Malfoy's phrase, "Nott's
injuries", implying he has more than one. My theory is that Nott was
Stupefied onto the path of several collapsing prophecy shelves that landed
on top of him. That's got to hurt, even for a wizard.
So, in the absence of any further proof, I think the two missing
Death Eaters are
Nott and the baby-faced Death Eater, whom I believe
to be Crabbe.
Even without those two
Harry is still outnumbered.
tries to come to his aid, but only ends up being a hostage. Just when
it looks like all hope is lost, in comes the Order of the Phoenix,
II. The Battle
Since there's no way to deduce any masked
Death Eaters' identity in the
Battle, I'm going to try something a little different. Every time a
Death Eater falls, I'm going to count how many
Death Eaters are remaining in
parentheses. I'm also going to add a couple of likely assumptions where
there is no further proof.
Anyway, once the Order arrives, the whole thing becomes a pitched battle.
According to the glimpses Harry catches of this battle, here's what happens,
more or less in order of events (although some of these things happened
(9 Death Eaters still standing)
(8 Death Eaters still standing).
(7 Death Eaters still standing).
(6 Death Eaters still standing).
Harry and Neville try to
slip away with the prophecy, but Harry's grabbed
by the back of the neck from a
Neville jams Hermione's
wand into the
Death Eater's eye hole
(GO, NEVILLE!), the
Death Eater recoils,
and Harry Stupefies him. His mask falls off, revealing he's Macnair
(5 Death Eaters still standing).
Malfoy lunges at Harry.
Harry tosses the prophecy to Neville
and Impedimentas Malfoy,
who gets up immediately (clearly Stupefy is more powerful than
pocket tears and the prophecy is smashed.
Dumbledore arrives, which causes most of the fighting to stop.
One Death Eater tries to escape,
but Dumbledore reels him in
Kingsley takes up the fight against
Dumbledore binds up the remaining
Death Eaters (there would be no more
than four, and that's not knowing who Lupin may have fought and defeated).
Kingsley and deflects a bolt
from Dumbledore. I'd just like to
observe here that Mrs. Lestrange
defeated three wizards in a row in one-on-one duels and was the only
Death Eater able to deflect a bolt
from Dumbledore. No doubt about it,
she's as powerful as she is loathsome.
What happens next is exciting, but fairly straightforward.
Bellatrix to the main floor,
they have their cat-and-mouse duel,
Voldemort shows up,
Dumbledore shows just how powerful
a wizard he can be, Fudge and his cronies
are made to realize they're complete doofuses, and
Voldemort escapes with
Bellatrix. By the end of the night,
all the Death Eaters who
took part in the Chase and the Battle (including, presumably, the two
incapacitated earlier) are in custody except for
A Final Note
It's interesting to note that Goyle, father of Hogwarts student
Gregory Goyle, was the only one of the
Respectables named by Voldemort in
GF33 who wasn't part of this
chapter and is therefore the only one of them almost certainly not in
custody. Also interesting to note that his son was not part of the
Harry and the others had to escape from
in order to be in the Battle (Draco
was there, and Vincent Crabbe was
there, but there's no mention of Gregory). Ah, well, it's probably just a
meaningless coincidence. After all, I think we all know by now just how
meaningless Rowling's coincidences are...