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Thread: Raising the Dead

  1. #1
    circlemidnight
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    Raising the Dead

    I know in canon that no spell can revive the dead. But one of my characters dabbles in the Dark Arts, and I was wondering if there was any device in mythology that deals with raising the dead or some device. Anything?

  2. #2
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    Well, within the series, you have the Resurrection Stone which (sort of) raises people from the dead, but the people summoned are not truly living. This however, is not Dark Magic. I don't think I can give you any advice on any suitably evil spells to try to resurrect the dead.

    However, to hark back to some myths, I find it amusing how in a few Greek myths, all one has to do to get someone back from the dead is go to the underworld and rescue the person from Hades' realm. Except, of course, the Lord of the Underworld would probably be pretty ticked off if you tried that, and would try to stop you. But it was possible and done a couple of times.

    That said, your character could attempt to go into the "beyond" or whatever it is called, and physically "rescue" the dead person and bring him/her back into the real world.

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  3. #3
    Inverarity
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    There are actually a number of mythologies in which people went to the underworld to rescue people from death.

    Asclepius also supposedly was able to return the dead to life (and was slain for it by Zeus). According to some legends, blood from Medusa's head was either a deadly poison or capable of raising the dead, depending on which side of the neck it dripped from.

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    What if the veil in the Department of Mysteries was considered to be a version of the river Styx? What if someone thought they had the power to cross through, retrieve the dearly departed and somehow get back into the MoM?

    Just some thoughts.

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  5. #5
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    In Chinese... I hesitate to call it "mythology" given the nature of Chinese folklore and the source is a giant Buddhist allegory, but in any case, Sun Wukong, the Monkey King dies and when he's sent to the Underworld, he refuses to accept that he's dead. The book of the dead has everyone's name in it, when they were born and when and how they will die, so he crosses his name out of the book and effectively Cannot die.

    He also bullies the... I don't know what they're called, the people who guard the book of the dead, into letting a king have a few more extra years of life by changing the notation in the book.

  6. #6
    Wizengamot Hufflepuff
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    In another Greek myth, Heracles fought Death (ie: the actual figure of Death) before he came to claim the body of Alcestes, who was the wife of his friend. Heracles, of course, was extremely strong and probably the only mortal capable of defeating Death.

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    There's also Orpheus, who was the greatest musician in Greek mythology. His wife died and he went to the underworld to get her back. He was able to convince Hades to let her return to the living by playing music for him. There was one condition though, and that was he could not look back at her during their journey back to the world of the living. He did and she went back to the underworld again, but if he hadn't she would have returned.
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  8. #8
    Wizengamot Ravenclaw
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    Let's also not for get the concept of simply talking of the dead from beyond the grave.

    Let's take a look at Ouija boards, for instance. I'm sure wizards don't use them, but I can just imagine some wizarding hearing about this Muggle device that can be used to talk to the dead, and they are determined to get the device for the use of the wizarding world. The fact that is made by the same company that makes Candyland, however, is a fact that eludes him.

    There are also seances, although, again, I don't think that wizards use them.

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  9. #9
    Inverarity
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    Quote Originally Posted by OliveOil_Med
    Let's also not for get the concept of simply talking of the dead from beyond the grave.
    I had to read that twice to figure out what you were saying.

    Talking to the dead isn't the same as raising the dead. We already know you can talk to the dead in the wizarding world -- Hogwarts is full of ghosts who will chat with you! And the Resurrection Stone (both in The Tale of Three Brothers and in DH) apparently lets you talk to the souls of deceased people who didn't return as ghosts.

    Raising the dead, though, Jesus-and-Lazarus style, is strongly implied to be impossible in canon. You can get a sort of fake return from the dead (e.g., The Tale of Three Brothers), but the deceased isn't really returning to life, just a shadowy semblance of life.

    (And I don't usually push my own stories much, especially when they aren't finished yet, but Alexandra Quick and the Deathly Regiment just might bring up a few of these issues, like, a lot...)

  10. #10
    Wizengamot Ravenclaw
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    But also keep in mind that not every witch or wizard becomes a ghost. I believe JK has said that a person needs to die in a state of extreme emotion distress, like Myrtle crying and then seeing the Basilisk, or Nick being beheaded.

    I think everyone else just goes on to 'the other side'. Then, just the concept of just talking to them could be applied.

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