Death Eater Initiation
This is something that I'm guessing certain people on these boards may have fairly strong opinions on...
What do you think happens when someone is initiated into the Death Eaters? Is it more likely a group event or just the initiate alone with the Dark Lord? Is it ritualistic? Is there likely to be an oath of loyalty of any sort? How do you think someone is marked with the Dark Mark?
If anyone has any insight, it would be much appreciated,
I've always imagined it as a ritual held with many other Death Eaters. I feel like before one actually becomes a DE (and gets burned with the mark) they probably will have to have hung around with the DEs some first. They also will probably have had to prove their loyalty in some way: given information, killed someone, done some service, etc. I think this would be different for all DEs, depending upon the circumstances. Once this proof has occured, then the Dark Lord and several DEs would gather somewhere and perform the ceremony, where they would not need be any extra acts of faith such as killings shown. There probably would be an oath.
Come to think of it, why doesn't the Dark Lord have every DE do an Unbreakable Vow for their loyalty to him?
Obviously, everything I said was speculative. Though, the idea they much wait a while until they get the mark is kind of evidenced by Draco, though his first major task, to kill Dumbledore, was assigned after he was marked.
Yeah, wasn't he stupid, mecredi? But then, Voldy was lucky he didn't, or else all his Death Eaters (except maybe Bella and Barty Jr.?) would have died when Harry was not much over one year old.
All the DE's are those snobby purebloods and halfbloods who have money, influence and talent to back their right to join. We know Snape is quite a Dark Arts star in his day. The Carrows must have delighted Voldy with their crude cruelty. Wormtail, well, we know what his ticket have been-- closeness to the Potters.
How you can write about DE initiation depends on the situation, Hannah. If Voldy is in power, then of course he will up the requirements. Otherwise, I think he doesn't even know everyone of his underlings-- most of whom are probably only Imperiused or terrorized into cooperation anyway-- except those in the Inner Circle, such as those around him in the Malfoy Manor when he killed Charity Burbage.
Also, I have long believed that the Dark Mark is a distinction. In DH, we do see that Greyback doesn't have it. Voldy probably branded Draco just to torment Narcissa and Lucius under the pretense that Voldy is 'honoring' Draco with the Mark.
As to the branding, I think it is done with the Inner Circle present, so that they can also take revenge for betrayal. See how Wormtail hid. And yes, Voldy likes grandiosity. So there probably is some ceremony, and I'm sure the branding is painful. Isn't it always? Poor cows.
My two knuts.
I don't think you would have to make an oath to Voldemort, remember Voldemort thinks that he is the most accumplished [sp?] legilimens ever, so no one could possibly ever hide anything from him. (I guess it's a shame for him that snape just happened to be better at occulmency.) I really can't spell these words...
I don't know whether a ceremony with all the inner circle would accurate though. It may have been that not every DE knew the identities of the other DEs.
Case in point ... did Severus Snape know that Peter Pettigrew was a Death Eater and had betrayed the Potters prior to the end of PoA?
As far the actual ceremony goes, I would imagine that perhaps the person's sponsor (an established/Marked DE) would be present for the branding.
*wonders when cmwinters will arrive to dazzle everyone with her flawless logic*
But before Snape turned in the Potters wasn't he not that far up in the ranks? But that is a good point.
Originally Posted by Snape's Talon
Also in the graveyard when supposedly only the most loyal returned to him (in GOF) he said all of their last names, and Lucius removed his mask.
I do like the idea of them having a marked sponsor.
CM will be here as soon as she recovers from the week from Hades.
Okay, my take on the Death Eater initiation is this:
I think it's a group event, but we know not all of the Death Eaters will be there (because remember, Karkaroff said that only the Dark Lord knew who all the Death Eaters were, and also Snape said that the Mark was used as a way of identifying each other.) I imagine whoever was at the initiation was probably a matter of strategy on the part of the Dark Lord: those that worked in the Ministry probably had some, but not all, of the other Ministry employees there, but none of the shop owners from Diagon Alley or Knockturn Alley. Family members as appropriate. In Pettigrew's case, I think it was probably only one or two others there; whoever recruited him (if anyone besides the Dark Lord did in the first place — he may have been a direct recruit) and MAYBE whoever was most in favour with the Dark Lord at the moment, but NOT the rest of the Death Eaters. In Snape's case, it may have been people with money and influence who he would have been presumed to want to emulate.
In most cases, someone probably has to bring the new recruit in. A sponsor of sorts. In Regulus Black's case (and probably also Draco Malfoy's), I imagine this person was likely to be Bellatrix Lestrange. In Severus Snape's case, I imagine this person was probably Lucius Malfoy. For Rodolphus and Rabastan, I think it was probably their father, for Bellatrix, probably Rodolphus. For Avery & Rosier, probably their fathers.
I suspect that this "sponsor" also acknowledges the fact that if their recruit screws up in any way, the sponsor will also be punished, although after a certain amount of time I doubt the sponsor will be held accountable. For example, assuming that Snape's protracted absence from the school at the end of Goblet of Fire was due to injury sustained at the hands (or wand) of the Dark Lord and/or Death Eaters for Snape's presumed betrayal, I doubt that at that point Lucius was likewise punished, because by that point Snape was acting under his own influence (and that of Dumbledore's). However, in Regulus Black's case, I assume that Bellatrix took a good Crucio or five.
I do agree that it's probably highly ritualistic and formal, with oathmaking a part of it for ceremonial purposes if nothing else. I could easily see the Dark Lord Legilimising the recruit during the process as a way of establishing complete control over them.
We know that beside the Protean Charm and very likely a binding, there's also the Trace put on the Mark. Snape said it was "burned" into them all, and I'm here to tell you, that part of the body is very sensitive and any kind of branding, marking or tattooing probably hurt like the blazes; not only during and immediately after, but also for several days until it healed. They would be conscious of every movement of their arm for several days, and every time anything touched it no matter how softly, and wearing long sleeves even in the heat of summer, and bathing could be agony.
And now for something I haven't seen anyone touch upon. It is not uncommon in a gang or organised crime faction for a new recruit to have to do something to prove their worth to the organisation. For this reason (and many others), I do not think that Draco Malfoy had the Mark in his Sixth Year (for that matter, I'm not entirely sure he has it now!) I think his task — to murder Dumbledore, or perhaps just to "get him out of the way" — was the task he had to prove his worth to the Dark Lord. I can see in Snape's case this being to murder either his mother or his father or both (blood traitor and filthy Muggle, respectively), in Regulus' case it was probably a Muggle. Bellatrix may well have showed up with ears on a necklace.
Does that sufficiently answer your question?
Amazing detail put into this. I love the ideas! 10 points.
Thanks so much everyone for some wonderfully helpful insights. I think I have what I needed now, so I guess this can be tidied away...