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Thread: The Imperius Curse

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  1. #1
    h_vic
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    The Imperius Curse

    I'm kicking about with a story where someone will be under the Imperius and I realised I had a few questions about it.

    When someone is under a long-term Imperius (like Barty Crouch Sr) how does it work? Do they carry on with their everyday lives as normal, but with the command they've been given affecting their actions?

    How do the orders they've been given work? Is it a sort of overriding objective or it it a series of specific commands? Can their orders be varied at a later date? Can they only be varied by the person who cast the Curse? What about where Voldemort has Imperiused members of the Ministry in the past, because surely he doesn't want to have to see the person under the Curse every time he has to get the information? Could the Death Eaters vary the orders of someone that Voldemort had Imperiused?

    Would there be any signs that someone was under the Imperius apart from uncharacteristic behaviour? Might there for example be something a little empty in their eyes or anything similar?

    What about if someone was starting to shake off a long-term Imperius, like Barty Crouch Sr did? Would it be a gradual process or a sudden thing? Would it always manifest itself in the seeming mad way it did with Crouch or might it be more subtle with moments of increased lucidity? Could they eventually shake it off completely?

    Is there anything else that could break an Imperius other than the victim's own will or its removal, for example would sudden trauma break it?

    Finally, are there any limits on what you could make someone do under the Imperius?

    Any opinions would be much appreciated,

    ~Hannah

  2. #2
    A.H.
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by h_vic
    I'm kicking about with a story where someone will be under the Imperius and I realised I had a few questions about it.
    When someone is under a long-term Imperius (like Barty Crouch Sr) how does it work? Do they carry on with their everyday lives as normal, but with the command they've been given affecting their actions?
    Something like that, I think. They act as everything is normal, but their mind is being controlled. Therefore I think that there's an internal struggle in their minds going on with the one who casted the curse. I'm not really sure. But we see many people being Imperiused and all of them were able to carry on with their normal lives without complications.
    Quote Originally Posted by h_vic
    How do the orders they've been given work? Is it a sort of overriding objective or it it a series of specific commands?
    I think it's a mix of the two. I'm really not to sure and don't even have a good guess.
    Quote Originally Posted by h_vic
    Can their orders be varied at a later date?
    If the caster is in sight of the Imperiused, then yes.
    Quote Originally Posted by h_vic
    Can they only be varied by the person who cast the Curse?
    I don't think there are any answers to that in canon, so you're free to choose. I think though, that another person can cast another Imperius on said person, and then the one being cursed will be following two orders. It could get complicated if the second person were commanding against the original curse though.
    Quote Originally Posted by h_vic
    What about where Voldemort has Imperiused members of the Ministry in the past, because surely he doesn't want to have to see the person under the Curse every time he has to get the information?
    I think he would have to, unless he commanded the person to send him an Owl everyday, with new updates on what's going on.
    Quote Originally Posted by h_vic
    Could the Death Eaters vary the orders of someone that Voldemort had Imperiused?
    I don't think that they could tamper with the original curse, but they could give them a new set of orders. Like I said, it could complicate things.
    Quote Originally Posted by h_vic
    Would there be any signs that someone was under the Imperius apart from uncharacteristic behaviour? Might there for example be something a little empty in their eyes or anything similar?
    Well, Bart Crouch Sr. was acting strangley, and it says that he was starting to look dishevelled and such. Maybe an Imperiused person doesn't take care of personal higene (sp)?
    Quote Originally Posted by h_vic
    What about if someone was starting to shake off a long-term Imperius, like Barty Crouch Sr did? Would it be a gradual process or a sudden thing? Would it always manifest itself in the seeming mad way it did with Crouch or might it be more subtle with moments of increased lucidity? Could they eventually shake it off completely?
    Harry shakes off the Imperius curse easily, although it was probably because Moody was going a bit easy on him. It's perfectly possible that, even if a experianced wizard were to cast the curse, the Imperiused could shake it off.
    Quote Originally Posted by h_vic
    Is there anything else that could break an Imperius other than the victim's own will or its removal, for example would sudden trauma break it?
    It's likely, maybe.
    Quote Originally Posted by h_vic
    Finally, are there any limits on what you could make someone do under the Imperius?
    None at all. The caster has complete control of their thoughts, movements, actions, everything.
    Any opinions would be much appreciated,
    ~Hannah
    I dun have an everlasting knowledge of Harry Potter, so these are mostly just my opinions. Good luck with your story!
    Arianna

  3. #3
    LucillaJoanna
    Guest
    This is how I see it. An Imperius must be thoroughly thought out if it's long-term. When Harry used it against Yaxley, he only commanded Yaxley to hide. But as for Crouch Sr., the commands were planned. And I imagine they were voiced, like in hypnotism.

    After laying out their moves, Voldy casts the 'Imperio' and then says to Barty, "You will stay here and work by correspondence. You will attend the igniting of the Goblet of Fire. You will make certain Harry Potter remains in the Tournament by pointing out the magical contract he is in. You will remain silent about your son being at Hogwarts. You will not speak about it to anyone, especially Dumbledore...."

    The commands should be fairly consice, like this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hannah
    ]Would there be any signs that someone was under the Imperius apart from uncharacteristic behaviour? Might there for example be something a little empty in their eyes or anything similar?
    I don't think there will be some blatant sign physically. Dumbledore would have known about Crouch Sr., immediately then and Voldy wouldn't have risked Crouch Sr being so near Dumbledore and risked being found out. It won't override a person's own characteristics, either. Being under the curse affects the person, though, especially if he fights it. Thicknesse did not, his mien was different compared to Crouch Sr's.

    I think Voldy was again committing a mistake in putting Crouch under the Imperius. He only probably did it to humor Crouch Jr, in addition to Harry being retained in the Tournament. Crouch Sr was too involved in the effects of the Imperius, because he considers his son his responsibility. This conviction eroded slowly the Imperius, and thus enabled Crouch Sr to break free, the same way that Crouch Jr sometimes had lucid moments because of his passion to serve his master.

    Could the Death Eaters vary the orders of someone that Voldemort had Imperiused?
    No, I think the first Imperius holds. Or else it would have been too easy to Imperius Thicknesse again, this time in favor of the Light.

    >>It was 'in a mad way' because Crouch's will and the Imperius curse were fighting in Crouch's mind. And because the Imperius commands were very much in contradiction with what Crouch is desperate to do. How calm and how agitated the cursed person surfaces from the curse will depend on both the person and the Imperius commands, I suppose.

    >> Aside from will and strong passion, the cursed person will be freed if the caster of the Imperius dies or is gravely injured. And yes, I agree with Arianna that trauma can probably shake off Imperius, too.

  4. #4
    cmwinters
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by h_vic
    When someone is under a long-term Imperius (like Barty Crouch Sr) how does it work? Do they carry on with their everyday lives as normal, but with the command they've been given affecting their actions?
    I think you could give a general, vague order like "go about your business normally, except $insert_command_here". Otherwise, you'd end up with someone who would starve to death, soil themselves or not bathe if they had to be told "walk up the stairs", "get in the shower", $whatever_else.

    Quote Originally Posted by h_vic
    How do the orders they've been given work? Is it a sort of overriding objective or it it a series of specific commands? Can their orders be varied at a later date? Can they only be varied by the person who cast the Curse? What about where Voldemort has Imperiused members of the Ministry in the past, because surely he doesn't want to have to see the person under the Curse every time he has to get the information? Could the Death Eaters vary the orders of someone that Voldemort had Imperiused?
    This may depend upon the caster, the victim, and the orders.

    For example, say the Dark Lord casts a spell on, oh, Maureen McKinnon. He tells her "Obey everything that DeathEater1, DeathEater2, and DeathEater3 tell you." That would allow for someone else to issue orders.

    Or, if a victim is fairly difficult to control (say, Harry), perhaps more than one Death Eater could cast the curse on him at the same time (let's say, Lucius and Severus). And if they were to coordinate their commands to "obey both of us", then that could work.

    But the people who were supposedly under the curse were under it the entire time, not just cursed, curse dropped, goes about business, conducts curse business, etc. Sometimes they were under it for years.

    Quote Originally Posted by h_vic
    Would there be any signs that someone was under the Imperius apart from uncharacteristic behaviour? Might there for example be something a little empty in their eyes or anything similar?
    I think probably not, because that would alert the Ministry that something was wrong in the first place. Remember, Lucius was able to claim he'd been under the curse during the entirety of the first war, and it got him off without any punishment. And while I'm sure his money and influence and good name didn't hurt matters, I think Movie!Crouch's point of "here's the rub, how do you sort out the liars?" is a very good point.

    Quote Originally Posted by h_vic
    What about if someone was starting to shake off a long-term Imperius, like Barty Crouch Sr did? Would it be a gradual process or a sudden thing? Would it always manifest itself in the seeming mad way it did with Crouch or might it be more subtle with moments of increased lucidity? Could they eventually shake it off completely?
    Again, I think this would depend on the caster, the victim, and the situation. With both the Crouches, it was a gradual process with increased moments of lucidity. Remember how Crouch Jr stole Harry's wand at the Quidditch World Cup, but until that point he hadn't even been aware he was at the game? And he eventually did shake it off completely. Even Ron was able to learn this and he's absolute pants at the Imperius.

    Quote Originally Posted by h_vic
    Is there anything else that could break an Imperius other than the victim's own will or its removal, for example would sudden trauma break it?
    There may be a way to discover someone's under the Imperius and counter curse them, which is not necessarily removing it, because the original curse is still being cast/held.

    As for a sudden thing, something like, say, an automobile accident may jolt the victim somehow, but in most cases, I think, it would be gradual.

    The death of the caster would break it as well. Not only do we have the evidence of this when Dumbledore died, but remember all the Death Eaters who claimed to be under Imperius got away with it in part because the whole world though the Dark Lord was dead.

    Quote Originally Posted by h_vic
    Finally, are there any limits on what you could make someone do under the Imperius?
    I don't think so. Killing, torturing, stealing, abuse, even self-harm all seem to be possible and/or suggested. You may even be able to Imperius them into taking the Mark, although that may be a bad idea in general.

  5. #5
    h_vic
    Guest
    Thanks for all the help so far. It's given me a lot to think about and sparked a couple of other questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by cmwinters
    For example, say the Dark Lord casts a spell on, oh, Maureen McKinnon. He tells her "Obey everything that DeathEater1, DeathEater2, and DeathEater3 tell you." That would allow for someone else to issue orders.
    In this case, could a similar set up with an initial order to take further orders from anyone bearing the Mark, or anyone who utters a particular specified phrase, be viable?

    Also, what do you think would be the effect of using Legilimency on someone under an Imperius? What would the person searching their mind see? Would they see the Imperius, would everything just be a little 'off' or would there be some sort of shield around the part of their brain concerning their orders?

  6. #6
    cmwinters
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by h_vic
    In this case, could a similar set up with an initial order to take further orders from anyone bearing the Mark, or anyone who utters a particular specified phrase, be viable?
    Both would probably work. But unless you think the victim would be able to adhere to "obey anyone with the Mark" without having to actually SEE the Mark (viable; there's little that can't be explained away with "it's magic"!), you might want to go with a phrase.

    Then again, it could make people obey other people and not know why. That could work very well.

    Quote Originally Posted by h_vic
    Also, what do you think would be the effect of using Legilimency on someone under an Imperius? What would the person searching their mind see? Would they see the Imperius, would everything just be a little 'off' or would there be some sort of shield around the part of their brain concerning their orders?
    Hm. At first thought, I'd say go with "it would depend on the caster", but on the other hand, assuming the Ministry *doesn't* consider Legilimency a Dark Art (which I think is a very bad assumption) and that they would employ such a practice, I think you could go for it being automatically Occluded, which would make detection even more difficult.

    The thing about Occlumency is, I think that in order to be effective at it (the way Snape was against the Dark Lord), you can't just have a great big gap, or a great big black spot where something should obviously be, because that would indicate that you're hiding something. You'd have to either have fuzzy edges around something (meaning you forgot or just didn't bother to remember, like your drive home from three weeks ago), or something in its place to make it convincing.

  7. #7
    h_vic
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by cmwinters
    Hm. At first thought, I'd say go with "it would depend on the caster", but on the other hand, assuming the Ministry *doesn't* consider Legilimency a Dark Art (which I think is a very bad assumption) and that they would employ such a practice, I think you could go for it being automatically Occluded, which would make detection even more difficult.

    The thing about Occlumency is, I think that in order to be effective at it (the way Snape was against the Dark Lord), you can't just have a great big gap, or a great big black spot where something should obviously be, because that would indicate that you're hiding something. You'd have to either have fuzzy edges around something (meaning you forgot or just didn't bother to remember, like your drive home from three weeks ago), or something in its place to make it convincing.
    Hmmm, that makes a lot of sense. Do you think the Occlusion would remain in place after the Imperius ended or would it end with the Curse? Might it depend on whether the Imperius was deliberately lifted by the caster (removing all traces of it) or whether the victim fought it off (perhaps not being able to fight off the Occlusion too)?

  8. #8
    cmwinters
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by h_vic
    Hmmm, that makes a lot of sense. Do you think the Occlusion would remain in place after the Imperius ended or would it end with the Curse? Might it depend on whether the Imperius was deliberately lifted by the caster (removing all traces of it) or whether the victim fought it off (perhaps not being able to fight off the Occlusion too)?
    It seems like when you fight off the Curse you remember everything that happened, so I'd say that it probably lifts in either case.

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