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Thread: The Unbreakble Vow

  1. #1
    A.H.
    Guest

    The Unbreakble Vow

    I have a few questions about the Vow and how far I could stretch cannon fact until they're... no longer cannon.

    Though it's never said as fact, we see, in HBP, that there is a 'Bonder' who oversees the two making the vow and therein 'binds' it. Do you think that the two making the vow could bind it themselves, or would they have to find someone to do it for them?

    Is it said anywhere that failure to keep the vow results in death? Or are the punishments the decision of the two making the vow?

    Do you think that, if the magic was sealed by those making the vow, it would somehow lessen the power of the spell? Say two children, not very experienced in magic in general, made a vow--without a Bonder--that they would always wash each others socks () and failure to do so would result in their clothes smelling like socks for the rest of their lives. Do you think that because the magic wasn't sealed by another party (therefore probably making the vow less powerful), instead of their clothes reeking for the rest of their lives, they would just have a sort of... almost indistinguishable smell to them?

    Can you understand any of this blubberish?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Inverarity
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by A.H.
    Though it's never said as fact, we see, in HBP, that there is a 'Bonder' who oversees the two making the vow and therein 'binds' it. Do you think that the two making the vow could bind it themselves, or would they have to find someone to do it for them?
    In Spinner's End (HBP), Snape tells Bellatrix to draw her wand and to move closer, and her wand, by touching Snape and Narcissa's hands, is the one that binds the oath. Does that mean that a third-party bonder is necessary? Since you are asking what you can get away with and stay within canon, I would say that it's easier (and is probably traditional) to have a third-party witness/bonder, but the spell itself might still work if one of the oath-swearers was also casting the Vow, holding his wand in his other hand.

    The third-party bonder might be a requirement of the spell, or it might be merely a formality. It could also be traditional because the two people swearing the oath might not trust each other. (What if the person casting the Vow to which he is binding himself "cheats" and only binds the other person with the vow?)

    Is it said anywhere that failure to keep the vow results in death? Or are the punishments the decision of the two making the vow?
    It doesn't explicitly say in Spinner's End. I don't recall what was said when Ron told about Fred and George almost putting an Unbreakable Vow on him, but given Arthur's fury when he caught them, it would seem that they could have really killed Ron. Maybe that is the nature of the spell, or maybe Fred and George actually specified "death." (They were only seven or eight at the time, so they might not have really appreciated that saying "Cross your heart and hope to die" in a situation like that really meant die.)

    Do you think that, if the magic was sealed by those making the vow, it would somehow lessen the power of the spell? Say two children, not very experienced in magic in general, made a vow--without a Bonder--that they would always wash each others socks () and failure to do so would result in their clothes smelling like socks for the rest of their lives. Do you think that because the magic wasn't sealed by another party (therefore probably making the vow less powerful), instead of their clothes reeking for the rest of their lives, they would just have a sort of... almost indistinguishable smell to them?
    Maybe. What happens if an Unbreakable Vow is badly cast by inexperienced wizards? But again, given Arthur's reaction, it would seem that even children are capable of casting the real thing (or at least, Arthur thought it was possible).

    I would be wary of making the spell too flexible, though. It's the Unbreakable Vow, not the Put Random Amusing Curses On Oathbreakers Vow.

  3. #3
    Halgy
    Guest
    Code:
    "You can't break an unbreakable vow."
    "I figured that out on my own, funnily enough. What happens if you do?
    "You die."
    I just read that bit, and the exchange between Ron and Harry goes something like that. Unless Ron was mistaken (and I don't think he was), that pretty much seals the deal that breaking the vow ends in death.

    As far as the third party being necessary, I would think so. Cannon does not say explicitly, though.

  4. #4
    Silverah
    Guest
    As far as a third party, I'd assume there's something magical in their faculty as a witness?

    You might get away with the whole "smelling like socks" bit if you specify that as the alternative for death, though death seems to be implied. At any rate, there are probably less grave forms of magical binding vows that the series hasn't explored.

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