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Morsmordre

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Dark Mark Half-Blood Prince
Morsmordre
Incantation

Morsmordre (morz-MOR-druh)

Type

Curse

Hand Movement

Point wand in the sky [1]

Light

Green

Effect

Conjures the Dark Mark

Ronald Weasley: "I don't get it, I mean... it's still only a shape in the sky..."
Arthur Weasley: "Ron, You-Know-Who and his followers sent the Dark Mark into the air whenever they killed. The terror it inspired... you have no idea, you're too young. Just picture coming home, and finding the Dark Mark hovering over your house, and knowing what you're about to find... Everyone's worst fear... the very worst..."
Ron and Arthur Weasley discussing the Dark Mark.[src]

Morsmordre is the incantation of the curse used to conjure the Dark Mark, the skull-and-serpent sign used by Voldemort and his Death Eaters. It is very likely that Voldemort invented this piece of magic and taught it to his followers. Only Death Eaters and Lord Voldemort know the correct way to cast the spell, although Horace Slughorn is implied to know how to cast the spell as well[2]. Death Eaters often cast it after committing a murder, placing the Dark Mark in the sky over the location of the victim's corpse. It is against the law to cast this spell, even though, beyond its symbolic impact, there's no indication the spell causes any physical damage.

Known users

Uses

Dark Mark

Morsmordre over the Quidditich World Cup

1994

Barty Crouch Jr used this spell to set off the Dark Mark during the 1994 Quidditch World Cup using Harry Potter's wand, in order to scare the Death Eaters who were disloyal to Voldemort. At first, the house-elf Winky was blamed for the act until the truth was revealed by Crouch himself under the influence of Veritaserum.

1996

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.

After the Death Eater attack on Diagon Alley and the destruction of the Millennium Bridge, the Dark Mark towered over London.

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 m
The Dark Mark00:30

The Dark Mark

Barty Crouch Jnr casts Morsmordre

ordre, "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".

Behind the scenes

Appearances

References

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