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Avada Kedavra- Child's play to deal with

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Hw597, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. Hw597

    Hw597 Seventh Year

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    Okay I would like to begin this post by first apologising if this topic has been discussed previously. It seems likely that it has been but my admittedly casual look through the threads didn’t come up with it.


    The Killing Curse- One of my pet peeves


    Over the years the use of this curse has been something that almost universally annoys me. I suppose I will begin with how J.K. originally described the curse and how I immediately pictured it working. The curse was described as a flash of eerie green light followed by the phantom sound of wings. Once it was cast it lead to an unblockable death. Now that seemed a genuinely frightening spell. I didn’t really picture a travelling spell, I thought of it as a curse in the traditional sense of the word; a decree for your death if you like. It would be carried out by some invisible thing that would pass through anything in its way.

    Later descriptions threw that idea out of the pan and left me picturing a green spell that would pass through everything. I didn’t think it would break a shield, I imagined it would pass through them completely unaffected and leaving the shield intact.

    Then came OotP and J.K. screwed the pooch. Ever since she had Dumbledore using the statue to shield Harry from the curse, nearly every fanfic author has used that as a license to just casually shield the spell with anything that even remotely passes for a physical shield. Over the years I’ve seen authors use some to the most flimsy objects as the answer for the most notoriously dangerous curse in the world. I’ve seen bath tiles, school chairs, books, paper! and that is just off the top of my head.

    The point is, using the spell this way just reduces it to just another duelling spell. It just happens to be one that requires a specific class of response. To me, pretty much all duelling spells should work like that. What would be the point in learning various spells if they didn’t require different countering techniques. If the Killing Curse works this way, what the hell is the big deal with it. By definition it is blockable and the way a lot of authors handle it, it is far more easily blocked than a wide variety of other spells.

    Personally I like to think that statue was a beautifully executed exception to the unblockeable rule that only an incredibly mind could have recognized that quickly. The statue was reportedly large and solid Gold. Gold seems to be something that wizards are not able to create *(apart from ps). I’m taking a leap in logic and assuming that gold has some kind of magic resistant property (or something similar). Therefore a solid gold statue, of that size, would have been capable of stopping the curse. Only a master dueller would have that situational awareness and mental keenness to recognize and use the statue.

    I realise that I am playing it fast and loose with cannon rules (it’s a habit of mine) but my mind wants to do anything from accepting the idea that a piece of paper can stop that “worst” spell that wizarding world has to offer.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2011
  2. Anarchy

    Anarchy Half-Blood Prince DLP Supporter

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    Holy fuck, keep the default text color.
     
  3. Plothole

    Plothole Fifth Year

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    What you should have done is post that here.
     
  4. Evan Tide

    Evan Tide Chief Warlock DLP Supporter

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    I can't read your text without highlighting it.

    Also, I think it'd be more likely to be the size of the object, rather than other properties.

    From what I remember, the Killing Curse blows chunks out of objects when it connects with a non-living object (Or is that Fanon?).

    To me, anything adequately large would be able to block it, like say something about seven inches thick. Get something that size in the way, and it should intercept just fine. Something flimsy though, like a piece paper? It should just punch straight through and kill the target.
     
  5. Jon

    Jon The Demon Mayor Admin DLP Supporter

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    Now that you mention it. I prefered it the old way as well, with DH taken into account it could of been conceived did summon Death to reap the other person considering the lack of physical damage.
     
  6. Innomine

    Innomine Supreme Mugwump ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Edit: Apparently I had this tab open for longer than I thought.
     
  7. Alindrome

    Alindrome A bigger, darker mark Moderator DLP Supporter

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    And yet I've never seen a story where clothes block it.
     
  8. Snarf

    Snarf Squanchin' Party Bro! ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    /thread

    I laugh hard.
     
  9. Torak

    Torak Death Eater

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    That it kills without leaving a mark
     
  10. Starwind

    Starwind Headmaster

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    You realize this is asking for some sarcastic person to come along and make the obvious reply, right?

    I always thought of the AK as something that had to directly hit the target for it to work.. But that's just me.
     
  11. Klael

    Klael Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    I remember in the Ministry foyer in book 5 that the statues from the fountain got hit with the AK's and exploded.

    OotP Chapter 36, page 814:

    Another jet of green light flew from behind the silver shield. This time it was the one armed centaur, galloping in front of Dumbledore, that took the blast and shattered into a hundred pieces....

    And yeah, I don't know about the AK. If it hits your arm, or your leg, does it still kill? What if it only contacts some fingers? Clearly it requires strength to cast (of mind or will, or whatever), and I could conceive that a spell could be of insufficient strength to kill if it only hits an extremity.
     
  12. Aekiel

    Aekiel Angle of Mispeling ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I'm not sure, it seems to be a pretty all-or-nothing curse. There is no 'half-death' state if you take a weak curse, but then Crouch Jr. stated that an entire group of fourth years could cast it and he likely wouldn't be affected. So there's evidence either way.

    Harry is, of course, the exception to that rule but he has fuck loads of everything protecting him at that point.
     
  13. Klael

    Klael Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    Harry is the exception to every rule. Except for rule 34. No exceptions there.
     
  14. Hw597

    Hw597 Seventh Year

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    The part of me that isn't in denial excepts that physical objects can stop the curse. I am pretty sure that you are right and the graveyard scene had stones stopping it and exploding.
    I just wish fannon would disregard this and beef the spell up. Instead the general concensus is to go in the other direction and have dueller's casually conjuring animals and interposing pretty much anything infront of the curse.

    @ palindrome the hunt is on. Finding that and a black Harry potter are my next missions
     
  15. Damask

    Damask Seventh Year

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    I see the AK as a curse that annihilates all the nervous impulses in an animal's body, hence the instantaneous painless death. By that logic, it shouldn't affect anything else, including inanimate objects or organisms from the other four kingdoms, but then again Rowling has never been really rigorous in the development of the HP world. (On a very unrelated note, another less brought up example of her lack of scientific rigor that really bugged me--no pun intended--is Crouch Jr. (disguised as Moody) using the Cruciatus Curse on a spider and the damn thing writhing in pain. Apparently spiders don't have pain receptors, and thus can't be affected by the Cruciatus.) Also, I imagine it can be blocked in the same way that a lightning bolt can be blocked (minus the side effects of objects becoming electrically charged or getting fried).

    Were it to be truly unblockable, the spell mechanics would need to be different. It would require the wizard to intend the spell to be activated in a specific place and then for the spell to build up in that specific location only, instead of travelling from the tip of the caster's wand to that location. As far as I know, no spell in the HP 'verse is explicitly mentioned to work like that (though it would be a nice idea to play with in fanfiction). All combat spells seem to work, in a way, like guns firing bolts of light, and if one were to measure spells as physical quantities, they would be vectorial quantities, with the wand specifying the vector orientation. If you come to think of it, it's really ineffective-- why would you have a spell work like that, if all it takes for it to get blocked is for an obstacle to be located on the path between you and your target? Why not have it work in they way I've first described, if that is possible (and I assume it is, given all the things magic can do)?

    /rant
     
  16. Koalas

    Koalas First Year ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Epic trollin' bra.
     
  17. Damask

    Damask Seventh Year

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    Why, thanks for the compliment, but I must ask you-- what the hell do you mean? :) How was any of that trolling?
     
  18. Hw597

    Hw597 Seventh Year

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    The fact is most others agree with you (and with good reason considering the books) But to me unblockable, should be unblockeable. It would give the notoriety of the spell and therefore Harry's survival credence. Your options should be get out of the way sharpish or die. If you happen to have a solid gold construct around that might work, but that isn't really going to happen.
     
  19. Evan Tide

    Evan Tide Chief Warlock DLP Supporter

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    You forgot 63.

    Thing is, from what I remember of the books, no one can casually conjure something several inches thick unless their names are Dumbledore or Tom.

    It's not the spell being weakened. It's every wizard suddenly getting a buff from no where.

    Also, a majority of the curse targets we've seen have been incapacitated in some fashion or have no cover. That leads me to believe that the Killing Curse isn't something casually flung around, unless it's from Voldemort. It's an end-game sort of spell; a finisher if you don't want to leave physical evidence.

    The notoriety of the spell likely stems from the fact that no one survives a direct body shot. Harry is toted to be the first. Blocking could mean blocking the death effect once hit, not just blocking by intercepting.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2011
  20. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

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    On the original topic one of the reasons that the Killing Curse is so difficult to block is that you can't cast a shield to do so. Now, I know you covered this, but you ignored something else. Fanfic authors talk of conjuring something to block the curse, or summoning an object into its way. We know that conjuration is immensely difficult, I believe its NEWT level. Many wizards can't cast a basic protego, therefor NEWT level conjuration in a dangerous and distracting situation is going to be far beyond their abilities. The summoning of an object to block the curse...fair enough if you get the timing right. You summon something straight towards you, not sideways into the path of a curse.

    Now I don't deny that there would be other spells that could potentially be used if the solid object was in just the right position. Depending on the position of the object and the direction of the curse you could use a levitation charm, a banishing charm or a summoning charm. But it all relies on the situation being perfect. None of them is a catch all defence.

    Dumbledore animated the statues, which allowed them to act as a defence. It probably also helped that they were quite sizeable solid objects. However there is no logical reason (I know, bringing logic into this is dangerously silly) for a wall to block the curse and a piece of paper to not. They are both solid objects, so why would one work and the other not ;)

    Damask. Don't try to scientifify the way the Killing Curse works. It doesn't shut down your nervous impulses. It kills you. Dead. No means, no method. It just kills you.

    And the Cruciatus curse just causes you pain. It doesn't matter that spiders don't normally feel pain, because the curse makes them feel pain.

    Its magic...
     
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