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Morsmordre

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Morsmordre
Incantation

Morsmordre
(morz-MOR-druh)

Type

Curse

Hand Movement

Point wand at sky[1]

Light

Green[2]

Effect

Conjures the Dark Mark

"Then he realised it was a colossal skull, comprised of what looked like emerald stars, with a serpent protruding from its mouth like a tongue. As they watched, it rose higher and higher, blazing in a haze of greenish smoke, etched against the black sky like a new constellation."
—The Dark Mark[src]

Morsmordre is the incantation of a spell used to conjure the Dark Mark, the skull-and-serpent sign used by Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters. The Death Eaters cast their mark over the homes of anyone they killed.[2]

History

First Wizarding War

In the First Wizarding War, the Morsmordre curse was somewhat of a signature move for Death Eaters. Upon committing murder, they would cast it over the locations as a declaration of their crimes. This led the wizarding community to fear the mark's appearance, as it would usually mean death is found when it is present.

After Voldemort's first defeat, the mark became absent when Death Eaters were either rounded up or evaded justice, and due to very few wizards knew how to cast it, almost exclusive to Death Eaters. Because of its affiliation, the casting of this curse is considered illegal.

1994

Dark Mark

The Dark Mark over the Quidditich World Cup.

Barty Crouch Jr. witnessed Death Eaters torturing the Roberts family for entertainment, which awakened him from the Imperius Curse his father placed on him. He took Harry Potter's wand, which was sticking out of the boy's pocket in front of him, and cast the curse to set off the Dark Mark during the 1994 Quidditch World Cup, in order to scare the Death Eaters there for being disloyal to Voldemort. This caused mass panic to both the audience and Death Eaters alike, causing the former to run around in hysteria and the latter to Disapparate in fear of facing their master's wrath.

At first, the house-elf Winky was blamed for the act due to the culprit wand was found in her possession and the record showed it had performed the curse. Much later, the truth was revealed by Crouch himself under the influence of Veritaserum. The Dark Mark's appearance over the campsite was a huge scandal amongst the British magical community, and many citizens filed various complaints to the Ministry.

Voldemort would later comment on Lucius Malfoy fleeing at the sight of the mark as a sign of disloyalty when Lucius was hastily making poor excuses.

1996

Dark Mark Over London

The Dark Mark over the Millenium Bridge, following the Attack on London.

Igor Karkaroff was killed in 1996 by Death Eaters for betraying Lord Voldemort, and the Dark Mark was cast over the shack in which his body was found.

1997

It was cast over Hogwarts' Astronomy Tower by Gibbon when the Death Eaters invaded the castle in 1997, in order to lure Albus Dumbledore to the tower so that Draco Malfoy could kill him. However, it was Severus Snape who committed the murder, and Dumbledore's corpse was described to have fallen off the tower under the Mark's eerie green light like a great rag doll.

Etymology

The incantation of this spell appears to be derived from the French mort, "death", and mordre, "to bite". This alludes to the name of Voldemort's followers, the Death Eaters. The English word murder could also contribute. In Norwegian, Morsmordere directly translated means "mothers killers".

It may also be a reference to the word "mord", which means "murder" in Icelandic, German, Norwegian, Danish Polish and Swedish, since the spell is cast after someone has been murdered, and sounds like "mass murder".

Practicioners

Behind the scenes

Darkhand

The hand movement

Morsmordre bellatrix

Bellatrix casts Morsmordre

Appearances

References

  1. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Chapter 9 (The Dark Mark)
  3. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
  4. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - Chapter 4 (Horace Slughorn) - Dumbledore notes that the Dark Mark had not been cast when Slughorn faked his death and Slughorn stated that he knew he had forgotten something. This might suggest that he knew how to cast the spell.
  5. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - Chapter 29 (The Phoenix Lament)

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