|"Are you a wizard or not?"
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- "We wizards seem particularly prone to the idea that we can bend the nature of existence to our will. The young warlock in this story, for instance, decides that falling in love would adversely affect his comfort and security. He sees love as a humiliation, a weakness, a drain on a persons's emotional and material resources."
- —Albus Dumbledore speaking about the warlock.[src]
A warlock is the main character and anti-hero of wizarding tale The Warlock's Hairy Heart, written by Beedle the Bard and included in The Tales of Beedle the Bard. He was described as handsome, skilled, and rich young, but also cold and aloof, considering love to be a weakness and thus going to lengths to stop himself falling in love.
Removal of his heart
Believing that love is a useless thing that weakens one's power, the warlock tried to use Dark Arts to stop himself from falling in love. He removed his heart and, after inheriting his late parents' castle (to which he believed their deaths is a blessing to him), placed it in an enchanted crystal casket deep within his castle's dungeons, while keeping himself alive without the vital organ inside his body.
Courtship of the maiden
Due to his servants' taunting, the Warlock decides to find a beautiful, wealthy, and powerfully magical wife, so that he would be envied by all. He meets such a maiden the very next day. The maiden was fascinated as well as repelled by the Warlock, but agrees to attend a feast at his castle. The Warlock attempts to flatter her, but she confronts him saying that she would only believe these lovely words if he had a heart. So the Warlock takes her down to the dungeon of the castle and shows her the enchanted crystal casket, within which lay his own, still beating heart.
The maiden's murder
Due to the fact that the heart has been parted from its owner’s body for so long, it has become shriveled and hairy. The maiden asked him to put the heart back inside his chest, and so he does. The maiden is so pleased that she runs forwards and embraces him. However, the heart had become horrible and wicked in the long time that it was separated from the body. The touch of her arms, the sound of her breath in its master's ear, and the scent of her golden hair pierced it, making the Warlock murder the witch.
- "...he fell across the maiden's body, and died."
- —The Warlock's death[src]
Later, guests at his castle found the Warlock was sitting crouched over the maiden, caressing and licking her heart, while she lay dead with her chest cut open. He was trying to swap her heart with his; however, his hairy heart was strong, and would not allow it. Not wanting to be controlled by his heart, the Warlock grabbed a silver dagger, and cut open his chest, and ripped it out. For a brief moment, the Warlock knelt victorious as he held a heart in each hand, before he fell over the maiden's corpse, and died.
- "The warlock’s heart felt nothing at all. Nevertheless, she was the prize he sought, so he began to pay her court."
- —The Warlock's thoughts on the maiden[src]
The Warlock met the maiden who answered his every wish the day she arrived in the neighborhood to visit her kinsfolk. Despite the fact that he felt nothing for her, the Warlock considered her as the prize he sought, and started to court her. He invites the young maiden to a feast in his castle, in which he speaks to her using sweet and caring words, meanings of which he has no idea. She confronts him saying that she would only believe the lovely words if he proved he had a heart. The Warlock then took her to the deepest dungeon to show his most valuable treasure, his own beating heart. The maiden was terrified by the shrunken, hair-covered heart, and told the Warlock to put it back in his chest. Once he had done so, however, and the smell of her hair as well as the beauty of her skin pierced his newly awakened heart. The maiden is then brutally murdered at the hands of the Warlock, in a failed attempt to exchange his hairy heart for hers.
- "All will change, when a maid catches his fancy!"
- —The Warlock's parents[src]
Unaware of his secret, the Warlock's parents ridiculed his cold and aloof behavior. In due course, they died. The Warlock did not mourn them; he considered himself blessed by their demise, as he now reigned alone in their castle and could transfer his greatest treasure to the deepest dungeon, without their knowledge and interference.
- "The first freshness of youth waned, and the warlock's peers began to wed, and then to bring forth children. 'Their hearts must be husks,' he sneered inwardly as he observed the antics of the young parents around him, 'shriveled by the demands of these mewling offspring!'"
- —The Warlock's opinion of his peers' decision to have children[src]
The Warlock observed that his friends became foolish as they fell in love, therefore did not want to not fall prey to such weakness, resorting to the Dark Arts to cut out his own heart, so that he would never love. As his peers began to wed, and bring forth children, he deemed their parental antics as foolish, and then congratulated himself upon the wisdom of his early choice.
- "Their words dealt dreadful blows to the listening warlock's pride."
- —Warlock after the lackey's discussion.[src]
The Warlock was proud to have no wife, until he heard two of his lackeys discussing their master. The first lackey felt pity for the Warlock for he was beloved by nobody. The second lackey jeered, asking why a man with so much gold and a palatial castle has been unable to attract a wife. Their words made the Warlock lose his pride. To restore it, the Warlock wanted to find a wife superior to all others. The very next day, he met the Maiden. 
The warlock is described as having long, dark and straight hair, and while he might have been very handsome, rich, and talented, this belied his true nature of cold selfishness. When his heart parted with his body for a long time, it grew shriveled and hairy.
- "In seeking to become superhuman this foolhardy young man renders himself inhuman. The heart he has locked away slowly shrivels and grows hair, symbolizing his own descent into beasthood. He is finally reduced to a violent animal who takes what he wants by force, and dies in a futile attempt to regain what is now forever beyond his reach -- a human heart."
- —Albus Dumbledore[src]
Personality and traits
- "The hero in this tale, however, is not even interested in a simulacrum of love that he can create or destroy at will. He wants to remain forever uninfected by what he regards as a kind of sickness, and therefore performs a piece of Dark Magic that would not be possible outside of a storybook: He locks away his own heart."
- —Albus Dumbledore[src]
The Warlock was a proud, arrogant, and cold young man who decided that falling in love would adversely affect his comfort and security. He sees love as a humiliation, a weakness, a drain on a person's emotional and material resources. He is pushed to search for "a wife superior to all others" only to salvage his pride, which was severely wounded when he overheard what his servants had to say about him. At the end of the story, the Warlock had turned mad, and killed himself so he would never be mastered by his own heart.
Magical abilities and skills
- "There was once a handsome, rich and talented young warlock, who observed that his friends grew foolish when they fell in love, gambolling and preening, losing their appetites and their dignity."
- —The Warlock[src]
The Warlock is a Dark Wizard, using Dark Arts to remove his heart, while managing to keep himself alive. This ability is somewhat similar to how horcruxes operate, and is considered impossible outside of a storybook. Talented though he may be, his lack of understanding of love's powerful aspect and tampering with the first law of the Fundamental Laws of Magic has led to his ultimate downfall.
Notes and references
Altheda · Amata · Amata's lover · Antioch Peverell · Antioch Peverell's killer · Asha · Babbitty · Brigade of Witch-Hunters · Cadmus Peverell · Cadmus Peverell's fiancée · Captain of the Brigade of Witch-Hunters · Charlatan · Death · Evil Sorcerer · Gigantic white worm · Ignotus Peverell · Ignotus Peverell's son · King · Kinsfolk · Maiden · Old man · Old man's donkey · Old man's family · Peasant woman · Peasant woman's granddaughter · Sabre · Sir Luckless · Warlock · The Warlock's friends · Wizard · Wizard's father · Young woman · Young woman's child
Altheda's potion · Altheda's wand · Cloak of Invisibility · Creepers · Crystal casket · Elder Wand · Enchanted garden · Fountain · Gold statue of Babbitty · Hairy Heart · The Hopping Pot · Never-ending hill · Poisonous toadstool · Poultice for warts · Resurrection Stone · Silver chalice