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Thread: Origin of Avada Kedavra

  1. #1
    gene24
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    Origin of Avada Kedavra

    Hi all,

    Any ideas on how or who created the Killing Curse? Do you think it was something Voldemort created, or something that had already been invented before he rose to power? Do you think the original creator had created it for murder, or for some other not-so-violent purpose?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by gene24
    Hi all,

    Any ideas on how or who created the Killing Curse? Do you think it was something Voldemort created, or something that had already been invented before he rose to power? Do you think the original creator had created it for murder, or for some other not-so-violent purpose?
    Avada Kedavra predates Voldemort - it's one of the three great, dark, Unforgivable Curses, after all.

    According to most sites, the incantation Avada Kedavra is derived from Aramaic or perhaps Hebrew. Since Aramaic is for all intents and purposes an extinct or at least very endangered language today, this spell should be really old - it's likely an ancient, terrible curse, that could quite possibly predate Latin-based curses like Crucio and Imperio.

    The inventor of the curse is probably unknown. And since Avada Kedavra is used to instantly kill people, I don't imagine it was designed for anything apart from murder.

    Tim the Enchanter

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim
    since Avada Kedavra is used to instantly kill people, I don't imagine it was designed for anything apart from murder.
    My friend actually has a theory about this. Does it ever specify whether or not it will kill living creatures besides humans? If it does, the theory runs so: It can be used to kill nasty microscopic things, so you could purify water etc. with it.

    Running with that idea,

    Quote Originally Posted by gene24
    Do you think the original creator had created it for murder, or for some other not-so-violent purpose?
    It might have been created for a process such as purifying water, or even for pest control. But of course, people being what they are, after some time someone would have noticed how it could be used for more violent purposes.

    But that's just repeating my (rather radical) friend's ideas. I can't see that happening though, to be honest. According to...someone, I think Bellatrix? You have to mean it. So I would guess it's completely a malicious spell. Of course, then again, it could always just be so complex a spell when performed on a human rather than the hypothetical pests killed by the original spell that it needs a lot of will behind it. -shrug-

  4. #4
    Inverarity
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    Quote Originally Posted by minnabird
    My friend actually has a theory about this. Does it ever specify whether or not it will kill living creatures besides humans?
    Well, we know it kills foxes.

    If it does, the theory runs so: It can be used to kill nasty microscopic things, so you could purify water etc. with it.

    It might have been created for a process such as purifying water, or even for pest control. But of course, people being what they are, after some time someone would have noticed how it could be used for more violent purposes.
    It's a nice theory, but I don't think it works. First of all, as you pointed out, we know that it requires murderous intent.

    We also know that the Killing Curse is special because it can't be blocked. There are plenty of other lethal spells (Molly didn't AK Bellatrix). There must be a reason why wizards don't go straight for the Killing Curse whenever they're dueling to the death, aside from it being illegal. Maybe it's exceptionally difficult and not many wizards can master it, or maybe you have to be really murderous to use it, but no reasonable explanation fits the vermin-ridding theory. There are surely easier, non-Dark spells that can be used to get rid of rats and the like.

    Also, as far as purifying water: for wizards to have developed the Killing Curse for that purpose, they'd have had to understand germ theory centuries before Muggles did.

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    Originally posted by Inverarity:
    Also, as far as purifying water: for wizards to have developed the Killing Curse for that purpose, they'd have had to understand germ theory centuries before Muggles did.
    That's true, and wizards don't seem to have that good a grasp on scientific things, for example Molly's reaction to stitches.

    On the purification of water line, it could have been used for hunting, after all, it does kill foxes. I don't know if it'd be classed as 'murderous intent', but you are intending to kill something. However, it's refered to as Dark Magic, and would you use a Dark curse just to catch your lunch? Also, as Inverarity said, maybe you do need to be a powerful witch or wizard to use it (Moody told Harry's class that if they were to all get their wands out and curse him, he'd only get a bloody nose), so perhaps it was created specifically to murder.

    On the lines of who created it, I've just remember that there was a character called Emerick the Evil, perhaps that why he was known as evil. There are no dates for him on the Lexicon, so it could have been him. It says that he was a known possessor of the Elder Wand and that he 'was slaughtered for it by Egbert the Egregious.' Perhaps he used the wand to create the spell.

    Just a few thoughts.

    Sarah x


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    I have a question about the killing curse.

    During the battle of Hogwarts, surely it would have been easy for the DEs to win, all they had to do was cast avada Kedavra at the pupils/order, and they'd be done. I understand why the order dont want to use it, they dont want to kill te DEs, but more stun them or whatever. But surely people like Bellatrix would have gone straight for AK? She doesnt care about who she kills does she? Maybe not all DEs would cast it because they dont really want to kill people, maybe they dont believe in Volders as fully as they could, or as fullt as Bella does. Also, can we assume that everyone at the battle of Hogwarts that was killed was killed using AK? How else could they have died? Falling debris? Are there other spells that could cause death?

    Anyow, I have to go. I was ust curoious as to why you think Bela didnt just AK anyone in sight.

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    Is Bella in those beginning scenes? I don't have my books on me but I can't remember if it says anything about the inner circle (people like Lucius, Snape and Bellatrix) fighting in the beginning. Maybe it's just my imagination that she doesn't.

    Yes they could have just used AK on all the kids, but the kids were fighting them back, sending Stunners and other curses at them while the DEs were trying to kill them. I think that the AK curse takes immense skill and power to preform, and would you necessarily have that power with the adrenalin of battle whirring round you, and spells being thrown at you from all angles? I think that the natural reaction to having a curse miss you would be to either hide or fire one back, and would someone be able to summon up the power to do so in that split second? I think that if they got the chance to use it then they would, but usually didnt have the few seconds that it took to compose the power needed before another spell hit them. I have absolutely no idea if any of that makes sense!

    Sarah x


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    I was ust curoious as to why you think Bela didnt just AK anyone in sight.
    I wondered that too. It would just be eaiser. Maybe she didn't do it because the AK is a slower spell? It sounds really stupid now, but to me it makes sense. It takes more energy to preform an Unforgivible Curse, so that could tire someone out. It would also put someone at a disadvantage. In the book for some DE, they had more than one student to focus on. If he focused on only one student, it gave another student the advantage to Stun him.

    With Bella, she had three students at a time. They were pretty skilled for their age, and if she only chose to target one with a killing curse, she would get hit too with something else. If she wasn't fighting more than one person at a time, than I have no idea why she just didn't kill them. Maybe she didn't want it on her record?

    I also agree with Sarah. If I was a wizard in battle, I would rather Stun them and have them out of the way rather that try to kill them and miss.
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    I was ust curoious as to why you think Bela didnt just AK anyone in sight.
    Voldemort wanted to avoid undue bloodshed, so not too many precious Purebloods would get killed. Notice that he tried to turn Neville Longbottom, rather than just simply kill him.

    I suppose his Death Eaters were instructed not to kill students if they could avoid it. However, I also think that the nature of the Avada Kedavra spell makes it difficult to cast it in the heat of battle, so I agree with Sarah on that part.

    Tim the Enchanter

  10. #10
    mahogany_wand
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    I remember reading something about the meanings of Avada Kedavra in one of those HP companion books.

    In the book The Magical Worlds of Harry Potter by David Colbert, the author makes a point of mentioning some historical facts. Apparently in the ancient Middle East, an Aramic phrase "Abhadda kedhabbra" which meant "dissapear like the word" and was often used for healing illness and such. Also, on my own, I was thinking about it, and I thought that "kedavra" sounds an awful lot like "cadaver", the corpses that medical students learn on. A killing curse and a corpse? Sounds to me like JK was inspired a little bit by the medical world.

    I, however, think it must have been invented for the purpose of taking life. It might have come about by accident, but once people knew about what it did, it was definitely used for that purpose.

    Just throwing in my two cents.

    ~M_W

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