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Armour and the Killing Curse

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Bramastra, Sep 30, 2015.

  1. Bramastra

    Bramastra Groundskeeper

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    Could the Killing Curse go through Armor?
     
  2. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Presumably yes, but I suspect there's room for leeway in fanfiction. If a physical object can block it, then surely some kind of armor could. However it might be a one-time only sort of deal, with it's own dangers.

    If wearing a metal chestpiece will block one killing curse to the chest, great... but it doesn't do you too much good if the killing curse causes it to explode into your chest after doing so. Maybe a protective charm on your chest to protect from the armor, which is protecting from the curse, etc.

    But in general something the wizard is wearing doesn't seem to do the trick.
     
  3. Rayndeon

    Rayndeon Professor

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    We've seen the Killing Curse deflected off walls IIRC in HBP. In other circumstances, it seems to explode objects IIRC. It might be a hit or miss deal and probably depends on how thick and sturdy the actual armor is.

    It seems implausible that a Killing Curse striking a one-foot thick plate of steel would actually succeed in killing the bearer of the chestpiece (as absurdly unwieldy such armor would be). If you can agree with that extreme existing, it seems like it should be a matter of haggling down the optimal level of thickness, flexibility, and durability. (The optimum might still be unwieldy - clothes and robes don't exactly impede the Killing Curse so the actual point at which armor makes a difference might require really high thickness/durability requirements)

    A safer and more flexible option might be some kind of thick riot shield. Hit it with a Featherlight Charm and fight with shield on one hand, wand on the other.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2015
  4. KGB

    KGB Death Eater

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    I would suspect that any armor/shield used in combat would be rather susceptible to transfiguration, or animation charms.
     
  5. Rayndeon

    Rayndeon Professor

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    Would it be significantly more susceptible than just outright being transfigured into a ferret? I don't think there should be a significant difference in preventing yourself from being ferreted as well as preventing your armor/shield from being ferreted.

    In addition, maybe those Shield Hats the Weasleys came up with could be used to defend against that kind of transfiguration or animation charms. So, you'd have Shield... shields.
     
  6. Quiddity

    Quiddity Unspeakable

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    I disagree. In my view, it explodes objects because it interacts badly with having nothing to kill, and deflects because, again, there's nothing to kill.

    Putting on armor makes that part of you, conceptually. It hits the armor in the chest, it's hitting you in the chest - it's become an extension of you, in the same way you might say Lancelot struck Arthur [with his sword]. There's no reason why an extreme would have any effect: if normal clothes don't block it - and we know they do not - why would extra-super-thick clothes? It's patently absurd. The same argument would have the Killing Curse be caught in the folds of Dumbledore's robe.

    The Killing Curse kills when it strikes something that can be killed. It doesn't kill to a certain distance, and it's only blockable if a separate object is in its way.


    A shield is a bit of a grey area, because in carrying it one could argue it's not quite a part of you to the same degree. Still, it would only stop one shot, if it's counted separately, and would look very stupid.
     
  7. KGB

    KGB Death Eater

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    Human transfiguration is referred to as being significantly more difficult as inanimate to inanimate.

    Now you are just building power armor.
     
  8. Atram Noctem

    Atram Noctem High Inquisitor

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    What if you staff your robes with a bunch of guinea pigs before going to battle, so that when the Killing Curse hits your robes, it kills one of them instead?
     
  9. Bill Door

    Bill Door The Chosen One DLP Supporter

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    Then you get distracted in the middle of a battle by Guniea pigs biting you in the balls and you go down in history as a massive idiot with a strange fetish.
     
  10. Peter North

    Peter North Dark Lord

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    If this was Voldemort fighting he might not have that problem.
     
  11. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros. ~ Prestige ~

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    Questions of practicality aside, I suppose it would theoretically kill the pig instead of you.
     
  12. Atram Noctem

    Atram Noctem High Inquisitor

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    Well, I would obviously immobilize them before, maybe keep them glued to a middle layer with a Sticking Charm, or give them Draught of Living Death.

    (This is all theoretical, of course :colbert:)
     
  13. Peter North

    Peter North Dark Lord

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    So...Best advice is not to get hit with a killing curse?
     
  14. Blorcyn

    Blorcyn Unspeakable DLP Supporter DLP Silver Supporter

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    Nine out of ten mums agree.

    (see: Lily)
     
  15. Puzzled

    Puzzled High Inquisitor

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    You could make something like disconnected armor that is charmed to float a foot or so away from you while you wear another layer underneath. The killing curse hits your floating armor, destroys it, and your second layer takes the physical impact. As long as you keep its deadliness, if it touches you you're dead I think people will give you some leeway.
     
  16. Rayndeon

    Rayndeon Professor

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    Sure, but significantly more difficult enough to make a difference in a fight? Remember Fake!Moody was able to transfigure Draco Malfoy pretty much immediately - maybe he could have shaved off some fraction of a second or something by transfiguring Malfoy's robes instead, but it doesn't seem to be a big enough difference in a fight. Maybe that additional fraction of a second is significant enough as far as spell deflection or shielding is concerned -- I dunno.

    I'm all for power armor. :p Iron Man's red-and-gold highlights are in keeping with Gryffindor colors...

    I agree with this bit.

    Hmm, saying that it's "part of you, conceptually" is a pretty complicated philosophical matter of just what counts as a part. I don't want to bore anyone to death when I bring up dreaded mereology, but I brought up the ridiculous example for a reason. Let's say I strap on a 10-foot thick block of stone to my chest, which I am barely able to hold onto because of a Featherlight Charm or something. You hit the block in the center with a Killing Curse -- is the implication that it's somehow able to transmit to me and kill me? Because that sounds kind of silly to be honest -- and if you can agree that that extreme is silly, it's just a matter of haggling down the minimum amount of thickness, durability, and flexibility.

    Maybe there's some sort of magical equivalent of conductance, dependent on material, thickness, and other physical properties that determines whether or not the Killing Curse will ultimately transmit to the intended target. Otherwise, you'd have to say something like not even a 10-foot thick slab of stone strapped to your chest will make a difference as far as getting AKed.

    Two things about that -- one, it seems both implausible and as far as I can tell, there's no indication in canon that the Killing Curse proceeds forever. As in, if I shoot a Killing Curse into space, there's a point at which it dissipates away. Maybe you can tweak canon that way and make wands veritable railguns or something, but it doesn't seem awfully likely. Second, again, I guess I sort of am suggest it retains its "killing power" up to a certain distance when striking a material -- dependent on material, thickness, durability, etc. Otherwise you get scenarios like the slab of stone I mentioned before.

    Again, sometimes we see the Killing Curse bounce off, other times we see it destroy objects. I imagine it depends on the material, thickness, etc -- it'd probably destroy a vase, but we saw it bounce off a wall in HBP, IIRC. Nonetheless, a one-shot shield is still better than nothing, will let you move back into or transfigure additional cover, and looks are irrelevant to functionality here.
     
  17. Fenraellis

    Fenraellis Chief Warlock

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    I'm surprised nobody else thought to point out the canon-relevant likely unintentional spelling of the thread title as a related argument.

    On that note, it's apparent that sufficient amour(and a dash of magic) does help against the killing curse to some degree.
     
  18. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    This thread was created out of a place for questions that don't deserve a thread, Fenraellis. In other words, the title is mine, and I default to BE :p

    Considering the OP -- we can be pretty certain that summoning solid objects into the path of a Killing Curse is a safe way to stop it. Dumbledore does this, and he wouldn't risk trying out a maybe-solution. We also see the object in question getting destroyed. So I consider the question of whether attaching objects of the kind to yourself as protection works as pretty academic -- any armour that survives exactly one hit either way isn't worth the effort, and when you are battling Killing Curses, you better make sure your reactions and Summoning Charms are up to snuff.
     
  19. Quiddity

    Quiddity Unspeakable

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    Yes, it is silly - but what's silly is not that that occurs, but that someone was wearing a 10-foot thick block of stone.

    My premise is more to work the other way - if a Killing Curse is not blocked by clothing, and we know that it is not, why would wearing thicker clothing (/armour) be effective? And then we take that to it's logical extreme, your block of stone. So it seems natural that that would hit.

    We also have other indicators that armor of any sort wouldn't work, that being the fact that there is no mention of it in the series.

    I'll go into your theory and the implications of it below.


    This is where the problem arises. You are approaching magic as some sort of gun or advanced laser, where AKs are shot and can be blocked or deflected. This 'real-world' or muggle-esque approach, explaining it in terms of an advanced version of weapons we posses is going to lead to the conclusion you have.

    I am, on the other hand, approaching this as a conceptual version of magic. I've no interest in explaining that in depth, as there have been countless threads on it, but Taure's headcanon does a decent job of articulating it.

    I'll simply address the specific arguments here.

    The Killing Curse, I would theorize, bounces off walls and destroys objects not because of a difference in 'thickness' or 'magical condubility', but rather because what has occurred is conceptually different. When an AK hits a wall, it has missed its target, or the target is behind the wall, or something similar. The intent is mistaken, as it were, so bounces off harmlessly. When an object is conjured between the two, the concept to murder is still there, as the target is just behind it, so they interact violently, with the explosion seen. Something very similar happens with the way the Killing Curse is interfered with when Lily's sacrifice and Voldemort's acceptance of it interferes with the Curse sent at Harry.

    To see a Killing Curse as blocked by clothing, or armour leads to a problem - that being that the Killing Curse's effect is a binary thing. You are killed, or not. You don't recieve an electric shock, the size of which may vary, you don't get stabbed, the depth of wound may vary; no. You die, or do not. The idea that the Curse has "Killing Power" implies otherwise - could it be partially blocked by armour, and if so what happens? Why isn't the effect dampened by clothes, or distance, and so on?

    If you shoot a Killing Curse into space, who are you shooting it at? If you know and know where they are then it would, otherwise you probably couldn't even cast it.
     
  20. AmerigoCorleone

    AmerigoCorleone Seventh Year

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    Eh -- if that was the case, then the Killing Curse would only work on naked people.
     
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