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Thread: Dark Marks

  1. #1
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    Dark Marks

    I've always thought that the Dark Mark is always visible on the Death Eaters' arms, but they start burning and look much clearer when Voldy-poo is calling them. I never doubted this until a friend said that they aren't visible AT ALL normally and are visible only when Voldemort calls them... What is it actually? Is there any cannon proof for either?



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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sainyn Swiftfoot
    I've always thought that the Dark Mark is always visible on the Death Eaters' arms, but they start burning and look much clearer when Voldy-poo is calling them. I never doubted this until a friend said that they aren't visible AT ALL normally and are visible only when Voldemort calls them... What is it actually? Is there any cannon proof for either?
    Dark Marks are always visible - they're magical tattoos. Yes, they do become clearer when they burn, but they never fade away completely. Even when they are not activated, they are still visible and can affect the bearer, judging by how Snape unconsciously touches his forearm in Goblet of Fire when Voldemort is mentioned, if my memory is correct.

    Even after Voldemort's first fall, all Death Eaters retained their Dark Marks. However, it is unknown what would happen to Dark Marks after Voldemort's final defeat in Deathly Hallows, since he's dead for good. But I doubt they'd just disappear. They have some powerful magic built into them.

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  3. #3
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    I think they might have faded after Voldemort's first fall. After all, it would be hard for Malfoy and the others to say they weren't deatheaters if they had the dark mark. If the mark faded, then started to reappear as Voldemort gained power again.

    What's more, Sirius didn't know about the dark mark in GoF, or at least he said he didn't know why Karkarov would show Snape something on his arm. This would suggest two things. First, that he was lying to protect Snape (unlikely, given that he hated Snape) or, second, that the original Order (and by logical extension the Ministry) didn't know about the Dark Mark yet. They definitely would have discovered the marks when they caught deatheaters.

    Finally, when Snape shows Fudge his mark at the end of GoF:
    “There. The Dark Mark. It is not as clear as it was an hour or so ago, when it burned black, but you can still see it. Every Death Eater had the sign burned into him by the Dark Lord. It was a means of distinguishing one another, and his means of summoning us to him."
    Snape had to explain what it was to Fudge. Likewise, the phrase "but it's still visable" seems to indicate that it is rather difficult to see, suggesting that it fades somewhat over time. I don't think they fade completely, though.

    But think how stupid it would be to brand yourself with such a condemning mark. If it were ever seen, they'd be locked up straight away. It would be like writing "I do Heroin" on your forehead; sure, drug dealers would be able to identify you and be able to tell that you want drugs, but the cops would probably have a few questions for you. And any attention from authority is the last thing druggies (or deatheaters) want.

  4. #4
    Inverarity
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    I seem to recall a few scenes in the book where the Death Eaters try to hide their Dark Marks. Wasn't Harry convinced (correctly) that Draco had one in HBP, so he was trying to spot it?

    If it were only visible when Voldemort summons them, then they wouldn't be able to use it to identify themselves to each other.

    Yes, it is rather stupid to tattoo everyone in your secret conspiracy like that, but Voldemort did lots of stupid things in the books. Also, wizards wear long-sleeved robes, so presumably their forearms aren't usually visible.

  5. #5
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    Judging by Molly's reaction to the Dark Mark at the Quidditch World Cup it was known to be a symbol of the Death Eaters, but maybe the general public didn' t know about the tatoos.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elf
    Judging by Molly's reaction to the Dark Mark at the Quidditch World Cup it was known to be visible to the Death Eaters, but maybe the general public didn' t know about the tatoos.
    Yes, people knew what the Dark Mark was but I do not think they knew that the Death eaters had it branded on their arms as a tattoo. I believe the Dark Mark is always visible but faded after periods of disuse. So it would have faded considerably over the years Voldy was away but still could be seen. It would be like any type of scar I think which fades over time.

    Remember the conversation overheard in GoF between Karkaroff and Snape? They discuss how it is becoming darker not how it has appeared again. Sorry, I'm at uni with no access to the books for proper references.

    Since few people knew about the marks outside of the DE's then I don't think it would have been a largely incriminating factor for people like Lucius. Also, Lucius could probably perform a disillusionment charm or something to disguise it if he had to (although because it is dark magic would a disillusionment charm work???)

    As Inverarity said it is stupid for Voldy to brand his minions like that but it's typical Voldemort. He wants to leave his mark on everything.

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  7. #7
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    I'm still very undecided about this. If the Mark was visible then the Ministry would have been able to round up all Voldy's followers very easily. Equally, Sirius could have proved he wasn't a DE because he didn't have the Mark.

    I think Snape reacts more to the feel of it, and so does Draco when Madam Malkin gets too close.

    Perhaps it's something that can be magically hidden, rather like the charmed Galleons that Hermione imbues with the Protean charm. They're not visibly different until activated.

    When Harry is in the graveyard in GOF, he sees the Dark Mark on Pettigrew's arm, and Voldy says

    "It is back,"he said softly,"they will all have noticed it ... amd now, we shall see ... we shall know ..." From GOF page 560 The Death Eaters UK Paperback.
    He then presses his finger to it and Harry sees it go jet-black.


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  8. #8
    Inverarity
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    Quote Originally Posted by Equinox Chick
    I'm still very undecided about this. If the Mark was visible then the Ministry would have been able to round up all Voldy's followers very easily.
    How? Are they going to make everyone in the wizarding world file past and roll up their sleeves?

    Equally, Sirius could have proved he wasn't a DE because he didn't have the Mark.
    Assuming that every single follower of Voldemort has a Dark Mark, which was probably not true even when his following was still small. It could have been argued that Sirius had just turned traitor, and his betrayal was supposed to earn him full DE status.


    OTOH, Voldemort's words do seem to imply that maybe it's something that faded when his power went away. And Snape would have had to be awfully vigilant to ensure no one at Hogwarts ever saw his forearm, for all the years he taught there.

    Still, I think, at best, it's a mark that appears without the wearer's control. Maybe it does fade except when invoked, but neither Voldemort nor his followers know where they might be when the Dark Lord decides to summon them, so they're still going to have to effectively keep their forearms covered at all times, just in case.

  9. #9
    Seventh Year Gryffindor
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carole
    I'm still very undecided about this. If the Mark was visible then the Ministry would have been able to round up all Voldy's followers very easily. Equally, Sirius could have proved he wasn't a DE because he didn't have the Mark.
    Well - they could have claimed that they were Imperiussed into receiving the Dark Mark... After all, no cow asks to get a mark either, you just do it and the cow can't do anything about it. They just say that they didn't ask for it and don't remember where it came from, and the Ministry would have a hard time proving it definitely.

    The same way, they probably said that Sirius, since he was a spy, received no Dark Mark so that none of his friends would notice.

    Hmm... I don't know what my opinion on the visibility is though. Maybe they'd fade a lot, so that you can hardly see them, like a very old scar, and only grow stronger if Voldemort himself is strong.
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  10. #10
    Sixth Year Hufflepuff
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    One reason why I think the Dark Mark is always visible is that perhaps, Voldemort wants to impress upon his followers the finality of becoming a Death Eater-- once you're one, there's no turning back. The Dark Mark is with you for all your life, your reminder that you are his servant.

    ...what a load of waffle. >.>



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