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The Origins of the Dementors

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ethanpalmer, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. Warlocke

    Warlocke Fourth Champion

    Sep 17, 2006
    The armpit of Ohio
    Wizards are cowards.

    This is demonstrated in pretty much every book. It's why Voldemort became such a huge issue, instead of getting stamped out while he was still trying to grow facial hair.

    They also suck at magic. Witness a population that, for the most part, can't produce a proper shield charm, let alone a Patronus.

    So... along comes a creature that is scary, can eat your soul, forces you to relive your worst memories, and is hard enough to kill that no one knows how to do the deed, and they've come up with a specific charm that wards them off instead... AND can handily be used for the secondary (or, perhaps, primary) function of calling someone and saying, "HELP! There's a dementor after my fuckin' ass!"

    Do you suppose any of those wizards would be inclined to even make an attempt at finding out what could kill a dementor? Or would they run like a bitch?

    I said, Would They Run, Like a Bitch? :awesome

    Hence, a legend/illusion of indestructibility.

    I hate it when I get a 24-hour dementor, but I just take some Theraflu and I'm good to go.

    Seriously, though, they can breed... If they couldn't die somehow, the world would have been overrun with them eons ago.

    Or do they just evolve themselves?

    Here's an idea I'll never have time (read: enough interest) to fiddle with: The dementors are actually a system for reforming and reincarnating evil souls. A soul consumed by a dementor spends its time 'in' the creature being forced to reflect upon the evil in the world, from a front row seat, so to speak.

    Why do people relive their worst moments when dementors are near? Because that's part of their primary function! They're getting a taste of what's happening to whoever is inside that thing.

    When the soul consumed by the dementor has spent the required amount of time 'reflecting', the dementor's physical form vanishes/dissolves/discorporates and the reconditioned soul, certified neutral, and with that 'new soul' scent, is reincarnated in a new baby.

    Who do we really see them go after in canon, when they aren't being directly controlled by an agent of the ministry? Criminals, Dudley ('nuff said, he was a total jackass up to that point), and a boy who had an irredeemably evil soul stuck in his forehead. Maybe those mysterious muggle deaths being blamed on the dementors were all evil people...

    The dementors are a mechanism of reincarnation, recycling souls until the entirety of the sapient races have elevated themselves out of the cycle of death and rebirth. Their "breeding" is directly proportional to the amount of evil that has to be pruned away from the soul energy that they take in.

    More evil in the world = more dementors, and they will always be around, until everyone has moved beyond the cycle of reincarnation.

    And is the real reason the Killing Curse is so "unforgivable" because something about how the curse kills allows the soul of the victim to slip through the cracks, escaping the cycle of reincarnation, to move on in an imperfect "as is" state?

    Or maybe the dementors aren't just a pitstop on the way to rebirth, either. Maybe they actually break the souls they consume into pieces, siphoning away the negative energy to fuel themselves, and breed, then reassembling what's left of the various souls into a new soul, which gets reincarnated. They are literal machines of soul reconstruction and rebirth.


    It could always get creepier... What about the souls of people who aren't Kissed by a dementor?

    One could assume that all souls are consumed and recycled, it's just that it's harder to tell that a dementor is consuming a 'wandering', disembodied, soul than it is to tell they're sucking the soul out of a living person.

    But it could be that the system isn't perfect. Maybe the dementor is just another creation of wizards, its origin deep in the forgotten past. It wouldn't be the first time a high-handed wizard went to the next level of arrogance.

    , they can't consume the souls of everyone who passes on, because they are a very limited, fallible creation of ordinary, if powerful and magical, humans.

    Forget horcruxes. This was an earlier (and now forgotten) attempt by wizards at achieving immortality!

    Aaaand the souls they 'process' aren't reincarnated into new infants, they Possess muggle infants, either forcibly merging with a fetus's proper soul, or booting it out entirely.

    Maybe it doesn't happen in utero... it happens later, and inexplicable infant deaths are what happens when the possession fails.

    But, hey, they're muggles; so, who cares, right? :facepalm

    Which does shed a disturbing light on the question of "What, exactly, are Muggleborn and where does their magic come from?" :fire

    Of course, it may not have been early wizards who created the dementors. I'll give you a clue.

    Last edited: Sep 17, 2011
  2. Zeelthor

    Zeelthor Scissor Me Timbers

    Aug 22, 2008
    @Sesc. How is it rididulous? No other creature, mundane or magical, is entirely unkillable or even close. If dementors cannot die and keep breeding, that'd seriously screw things up after a while. Someone mentioned they do die off on their own, but how? Is there a lifespan or is it just if they starve?

    The theory that they are a parasitic life-form fed by our fear is a fair one, but I still don't buy that they'd survive being doused in fiendfyre, no matter what.

    I get what you mean by them being an idea and your example about it being almost impossible to squash an idea rings very true if one for example looks on the American war on the Taliban.

    People here are a bit too smart to argue with :(
  3. H_A_Greene

    H_A_Greene Professor –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

    Aug 30, 2009
    High Score:
    Don't worry, old chap; you just have to spend enough time in the debates to pick up the best aspects zinging back and forth until its natural to contribute at the same level.
  4. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

    Dec 20, 2007
    Blocksberg, Germany
    I was talking about your proposal that everything "can be solved with [...] violence". It was only tangentially related to Dementors.

    I didn't explain how the impossibility to kill them relates to their ability to die (or perhaps better, their ability to disappear, because they need to live to be able to die, of which I'm not convinced), because I did that in the post before. I'll repeat it though -- it's simply the reverse of what we see in HBP. If there is less fear in the world, there are less Dementors. I think it really is that simple.

    Perhaps the problem is that one needs to stop thinking of them as kinda-people-like things wearing odd cloaks. They are magical. And as such, they sure can be impossible to kill.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2011
  5. ViolentRed

    ViolentRed Professor

    Dec 11, 2010
    Unkillable isn't the same as immortal. It's never said in the books Dementors can't die. Or maybe simply fade away.

    I like to think Dementors are created from darkness and misery and after a limited amount of time simply decay back into the insubstantial. So if you lock a Dementor into a room and check back so many years later, the room will seem a little darker than it should be and give you a bad feeling, but that's it. And that feeling will probably fade away again, especially if many happy people are around.

    I don't think Dementors really need to feed on anything. They suck away happiness, because they thrive on fear and misery. There wouldn't be much to enjoy in Azkaban for them otherwise, seeing as most prisoners lose any sense of happiness pretty quickly. They probably don't even need souls, seeing as there seem to be too many Dementors to properly feed with criminals sentenced to the kiss. If most Death Eathers got of with Azkaban after the First War the amount of kissed criminals can't be all too high. I wouldn't be surprised if they simply enjoyed eating/destroying souls. Causing unrepearable damage for nothing but their own pleasure seems to fit such Dark creatures.
  6. Damask

    Damask Seventh Year

    Dec 6, 2010
    How about a new Dementor being created every time a (magical?) person commits suicide? If Dementors are supposed to symbolize depression, and breed wherever there is despair and misery, it would kind of make sense for them to "breed" by driving someone bonkers enough to take their own life. Simply sucking the happiness out of people is what they do for a living; a culmination of that is probably what "breeding" requires. (For a specific example, in the summer after the 5th year, when Voldemort's return was made public, it is possible that the more cowardly survivors of the First War took their own lives out of fear of what there may come, thus boosting the numbers of Dementors. Just sayian.)

    As for how they might disappear... We may go about it the wrong way by considering them beings in their own right, with needs and lifespans and deaths and whatnot. They are the embodiment of an emotion, therefore they survive for as long as that emotion persists in the general populace, and cannot be destroyed in the same manner that the emotion itself cannot be destroyed. In other words, if it can't awaken a warm and fuzzy feeling within a psychologically normal individual, it probably can't do anything to harm, repel or destroy a Dementor. (Maybe they gain a fainter, less corporeal form or eventually completely fade away if they can't find enough sorrow to thrive on, much like watching a failed Patronus in reverse.)
  7. Dark Syaoran

    Dark Syaoran Golden Patronus Admin

    Jun 4, 2005

  8. Blazzano

    Blazzano Unspeakable

    Aug 6, 2009
    So the Dementors have to be stabbed with an ancient, arcane knife, which breaks the foul magic holding them together (though the tattered cloaks)? :awesome

    Actually, if it weren't for the unfortunate link to LotR, that would be a fairly interesting way of doing it. It would fit in with Warlocke's coward theory, I suppose - i.e. with just a tiny handful of wizards in history actually trying and coming up with a way to kill them.

    Bonus points if it's set up so that the magic in the knife only works right if you personally stab the Dementor with it. No magicking the knife into the target.
  9. Dark Syaoran

    Dark Syaoran Golden Patronus Admin

    Jun 4, 2005
    Personally, before HBP, I always saw them as unkillable creatures that could only be repelled successfully with the Patronus charm. When they introduced breeding, that threw everything for a loop.

    As of now, I still believe they are unkillable but people are right in saying that they should have taken over the planet if the damn things were truly immortal and could breed.
  10. Silens Cursor

    Silens Cursor The Silencer DLP Supporter

    Nov 23, 2008
    The other side of reality
    I still hold that the whole 'breeding' thing was a linguistics choice by Fudge - he doesn't exactly understand why there are so many more Dementors around, so he says they're 'breeding' to put it in a context he can understand.

    In fact, I'd prefer that the whole Dementor origin remains a bit of a mystery - that way, describing them as an unknowable, potentially indestructible creature that feeds on fear and eats souls, it all adds to the mythos of these creatures, making them that much more creepy than if you try to explain it all.