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Thread: Armour in the Wizarding World

  1. #1
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    Armour in the Wizarding World

    Hogwarts has dozens, probably hundreds of suits of armour decorating its corridors. What I'm wondering is, why doesn't anyone in the Harry Potter series wear armour while fighting?

    In the Muggle world, metal armour was rendered obsolete by firearms, but in the wizarding world, the advancement of spell "technology" (for lack of a better term) is slow or even static. I'd imagine that Avada Kedavra is a very old curse (older than the Latin spells) as it comes from Aramaic, so I can't really see how armour was made outdated by the introduction of some terrible spell, since the AK is pretty much already the deadliest curse around.

    We also know that the Killing Curse and other spells are defeated by physical barriers. After all, they burst when they hit walls, and were deflected by the animated metal statues in the Ministry of Magic and Voldemort's shield in OotP. So, given that physical barriers stop deadly curses, why don't Aurors or Death Eaters wear magically-augmented metal armour? And if we take the hundreds of suits of armour in Hogwarts as evidence that wizards wore armour in the past, why don't they wear it in the present?

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    Wizengamot Ravenclaw
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    I imagine wizards wouldn't use metal armor for the same reasons Muggles don't: it's heavy, it's hard to move in, and it is obsolete on many levels. Not to mention wizards probably have their own ways of creating armor.

    When I was trying to come up with protective armor for Quodpot players, something I considered was the possibility of Graphorn hides. In my studies, I found that their hides were often used in the wizarding world as armor, and Godric nows Quodpot players take a lot of abuse for their sport. Also, wizards tend to use a lot of animal skins in their clothing, and not just for armor. Another creature to consider would be the Erumpent, a creature similar to a rhino.

    Also, I think there are some non-physical armors that could be cast through charms, though I don't think they could stand up to the Killing Curse, so that might not be what you are looking for right now, but it would still be something to take into consideration.

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  3. #3
    Inverarity
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    Quote Originally Posted by OliveOil_Med
    I imagine wizards wouldn't use metal armor for the same reasons Muggles don't: it's heavy, it's hard to move in, and it is obsolete on many levels. Not to mention wizards probably have their own ways of creating armor.
    Spells like Avada Kedavra are probably the reason why wizards never took to wearing armor in the first place. Why bother? Armor would also be useless against Crucio, Imperius, transfiguration spells, and so on.

    Not to mention, consider all the nasty things one can do to a suit of armor. It's implied that transforming a human (especially another wizard) is fairly advanced magic, but I think it would be a lot easier to turn someone's armor immobile, make it red hot, grow inward-facing spikes, etc.

    The small protection it might offer against basic "impact" spells wouldn't be worth the risks.

  4. #4
    Wizengamot Ravenclaw
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    I almost wonder how wizards would go about creating a sort of bullet-proof vest. Not that they would really need to worry about bullets (maybe arrows or other projectiles charmed to fly). I know that today, a lot of vests are made from ceramic plates and packets of dense chemical liquids.

    I still think most armors would be made from dense hides just because wizards still seem to favor wearing furs. They haven't seemed to figure out synthetic textiles.

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    You bring up some interesting points that I hadn't considered. But there is still the question, why does Hogwarts even have suits of armour to begin with, if wizards never wore it?

    Quote Originally Posted by OliveOil_Med
    I almost wonder how wizards would go about creating a sort of bullet-proof vest. Not that they would really need to worry about bullets (maybe arrows or other projectiles charmed to fly). I know that today, a lot of vests are made from ceramic plates and packets of dense chemical liquids.
    Perhaps a dragon skin vest with a powerful repelling charm on it, so physical projectiles are deflected from it?

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  6. #6
    Wizengamot Ravenclaw
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    But there is still the question, why does Hogwarts even have suits of armour to begin with, if wizards never wore it?
    What I think is...because it's cool! And maybe just that walking suits of armor would be something amusing.

    I almost think there might be some wizards who collect Muggle artifacts the way some people collect artifacts from Asia, Africa, or any other place. I feel like it would have been Godric who hunted them down. With the sword, he strikes me as a person who would be interested in weapons and warfare of any kind.

    I actually have a teacher in one of my stories who collects various Muggle weapons and hangs them on his office walls just because he thinks they're interesting and is curious about how they work and how they are put together.

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  7. #7
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    We don't actually have any proof that wizards of old wore the armour in the castle. We have no actual proof the castle was built by the Founders. Perhaps it was an already established castle, complete with suits of armour and they just magically enhanced it.

    Just something to think about.
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  8. #8
    Inverarity
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    Quote Originally Posted by OliveOil_Med
    What I think is...because it's cool! And maybe just that walking suits of armor would be something amusing.
    That's the answer, right there. Rowling never spent much time working out details like that.

    I doubt the suits of armor were ever actually worn by wizards. Wizards just thought they looked cool.

  9. #9
    Wizengamot Ravenclaw
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    But you've also have to wonder if wizards even use armor. We didn't see anything about it in the Battle of Hogwarts, even though that doesn't necessarily mean they weren't there. In cop shows, even civillians are given bulletproof vests when they are sent into a dangerous situation. We didn't read anything about armor being handed out to the students before the mattle, and I would think getting protection to students would be a first priority.

    I just wonder.

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inverarity
    That's the answer, right there. Rowling never spent much time working out details like that.

    I doubt the suits of armor were ever actually worn by wizards. Wizards just thought they looked cool.
    Yeah, I just about expected that much...

    And of course, the suits couldn't possibly have been Founder's Era, since full plate armour didn't exist until the 14th century. Guess they must have been later additions...

    But what about goblin-made armour? I recall from HBP Tom Riddle offering that lady something like 500 Galleons for it. If the Sword of Godric Gryffindor is infallible, wouldn't goblin-made armour be similarly strong and resistant to spells? Also, Hagrid mentioned in OotP that he and Madame Maxime gave the Giant Gurg (chief) a "nice battle helmet -- goblin-made an' indestructible." Though we know little of goblin metallurgy from the books, everything implies that it is very magical and virtually immune to damage, if not completely so. With this in mind, wouldn't goblin-made armour be a wise investment for an Auror?

    Tim the Enchanter

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