What's in it for the DeathEaters- (HARRY #7 spoilers)

This is for any “short answer” Harry Potter questions anybody has before starting the Final Installment. I’ll start, but please add your own.

What’s in it for the Death Eaters? Voldemort isn’t even a pure blood, and he doesn’t seem to make them more powerful or richer. Has he promised to share immortality? Why is he followed? (They can’t all be under the imperius curse.)

I think it is for power, in real life, why do people follow evil dictators: Fear and the allure of Power

and IIRC his non-pure-bloodedness isn’t a well known fact in the wizarding world, (i dont think)

Power, shared hatreds (purebloods, the Ministry government, the protagonists) and fear. A great many also perceive Voldemort to be the undisputable winner of the conflict and want to be on the winner’s side / don’t want to be on the loser’s side and die.

I think some of them are grateful to Voldemort for providing them an outlet for their own inherent thuggery, but also that some of them (Lucius Malfoy comes to mind) wouldn’t mind being the Dark Lord themselves. Also, many want to believe that they are exclusive or special in some way-denial helps a great deal with that-but the power structure and Voldemort’s genius for inciting paranoia and fear also feed that need.

As I get older I am constantly amazed at how many people out there just like to be mean. Or maybe I’m just growing more cynical.

I get the feeling that some of them have profited. I think back in his day, Lord Voldemort was able to get his followers lucrative business deals, shares of the spoils of the houses they plundered after killing the owners, etc.

I think it’s a typical henchman deal: Great benefits, okay pay, lousy retirement plan.

  1. A world in which practitioners of the Dark Arts can operate freely without censure. Freedom for the power hungry to seek power by whatever means they can.

  2. The restoration to primacy of the “old blood” aristocracy. Although some of it’s members have moved with the times and retain significant family fortunes, others have been marginalized by the newer, more vulgar wizarding world. I think this is probably the main reason; I think Rowling intended a pointed analogy to the struggle in British society between the old aristocracy and the noveau-rich middle classes.

  3. Pure speculation, not backed up by anything implied in the books: throwing off the policy of keeping the wizarding world secret, seizing control of the world, and becoming a class of overlords with the Muggles as slaves.

  4. The usual motley rabble of resentful losers, hoping they’ll do better under different management.

I agree with point 1 and 2 comparing the Death Eaters with an aristocracy, a ruling class confined only to themselves, Lucius Malfoy being the unparalleled example.

Remember how Lucius Malfoy always sneereingly looks down on the Weasleys; a working class family with lots of dirty kids and always at the brink of destitution, who also condescend to associate with muggles?

Remember the absolute power one has over the house-elves?

I think the Death Eaters want to substantiate that absolute power, including the right to use dark arts as a means to demonstrate their superiority. I think it is this allure of absolute power and unrestrained wizarding that attract followers to Lord Voldemort.

Also because I got the impression that being a pure blood family with monetary and political power was a dying tradition in the wizarding world; most wizarding families were “watered down” because of the occasional muggle married into the family. I guess the ultimate goal of these “aristocratic” wizards is to restrict the permission to do magic to pure-bloods only, and since the majority of the wizards have a “muddled” heritage, the pure-blood fraction of the wizarding world would have absolute power.


Speculation and “prediction” is one thing, fact (and spoilers) something quite else. When you have any actual, factual information from reading the real live book (or from someone who has), please put your comments in this thread (and only there, at least for the first week or so) :Harry Potter #7: (SPOILERS APLENTY): Now that you’ve read it…

For those (many!) posters who want to read the books without having major plot elements spoiled, we want to be as accomodating as we can.

There’s a nice bit in HBP where Dumbledore describes Voldemort’s school aquaintances;

Overall i’m sure there are just some Death Eaters in it for the fun to be had killing Muggles/half-breeds/etc, but I think generally his followers can be summed up in terms of three characters; Pettigrew, Lucius, and Bellatrix. Peter’s in it because he fears Voldemort and feels the best bet is to side with the powerful guy. Lucius also fears him, but he’s in it more for the power, both magically and in terms of over others. Bellatrix is a true believer that Big V is great.

I’ve only read through all the books once, so I can’t recall: Did V and the Death Eaters invent the various unforgivable curses, or did they just make them famous again?

I’ll check later otnight, but I’m pretty sure they just made them famous.

I’m pretty sure it’s the cool animated tattoos.

The power, the feeling of being special, the desire to exclude “lessers,” the enjoyment of prejudice. This attitude, of course, is short-sighted and would ultimately destroy the wizarding world altogether (through inbreeding) if unchecked. Plus this war is likely to expose all the wizards to the muggles, which could have disastrous consequences for everyone, especially the purebloods.

As a side note, I’ve long thought that Voldemort’s quest for power is actually a quest to avenge himself on the purebloods for their rotten treatment of him in school. He sees their prejudice as a weakness to be exploited–and he does. It would be a particularly sweet and subtle vengeance to cause the purebloods to destroy themselves–and Voldemort would live long enough to see it happen.

I also suspect that each Death Eater believes that he and he alone is the only one in whom the Dark Lord trusts/confides/listens. There’s a lot of allure to being the Right-Hand Man.

I will point out that at least some of the Death Eaters don’t know that he is of mixed blood. e.g. in Order of the Phoenix when Harry tells the Death Eaters in the Department of Mysteries “Voldemort isn’t a pureblood either” Bellatrix in particular is quite angry that Harry would dare suggest such a thing.

To add to what other people have said, as Sirius tells Harry in Order of the Phoenix, many wizards thought Voldemort had the right idea about encouraging the supremacy of pureblood wizards over the rest of the wizarding world, even though they didn’t appreciate his methods.

This is a constant refrain in the books, every Death Eater we meet will at one time or another say “I am (or will become after I accomplish X) Voldemort’s most trusted and most cherished follower!”

More questions:

  1. Where do wizards get their food? (As distinct from herbs useful in magic.) Are there wizard farmers? Or do they buy it from muggles? Same question applies to a lot of manufactured goods that wizards use but that it’s hard to picture them making. Do they buy things from muggles or do they have sweatshops worked by toiling house-elves? If wizards buy from muggles, what do they use for money?

  2. What religion, if any, do wizards have? They celebrate Christmas and Easter at Hogwarts but there doesn’t seem to be any chapel or prayer services; OTOH, they don’t seem to worship pagan gods, as might be expected.

  3. Do wizards get educated in anything but magic? Hogwarts seems to offer no courses in mathematics, languages, literature, non-wizardly history, philosophy, non-magical science . . . Presumably the goblins at Gringotts Wizarding Bank know accounting and bookkeeping, but where did they learn it? (They can’t know much economics, of course, if their idea of “banking” is to keep the customer’s gold in a vault. Hello, ever heard of fractional reserve lending?!)

Well, we’ve seen Hermione’s parents exchanging money in Diagon Alley, so there is an established exchange rate. I would assume that that implies that wizards can make purchases of muggle items, just like Muggles (who are in the know) can purchase wizard items.

It’s the scoring in Quidditch that puzzles me.

It’s ten points per goal, OK - but 150 points and game over as soon as the Seeker catches the Snitch. In other words, unless one side leads by *sixteen *goals or more, the game’s going to be decided by whoever catches the Snitch.

So why do the Chasers even bother trying to score goals? Surely a sixteen-goal lead is going to be nearly impossible to achieve, and even if your team *did *get that far in front, you’ve still got to wait until your Seeker catches the Snitch before the game can end. So it’s all down to the Seeker, and the Chasers might as well not be there at all.

Does Quidditch scoring make any sense to anyone else? What am I missing?