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Thread: The name "Death Eater"

  1. #1
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    The name "Death Eater"

    When I read GOF the first time where the term is first mentioned, I thought it sounded a bit ridiculous actually, like the name of an Iron Maiden song (no offence to any fans out there! )

    I can see for example the Carrows being impressed by a name like this, but in my mind people like Lucius Malfoy would prefer to go under a name like The Knights of Walpurgis.

    Does anyone know if the name Death Eater had any other significance than being scary and morbid? Does it reference or mean anything specifically?

  2. #2
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    I think in some ways they just chose the name, and then made it scary not by what it actually meant (because it is quite silly) but just by the reputation it had. Like "Klu Klux Klan" really is silly syllables that don't seem to mean anything, but because of what they were, and the reputation they built up it became scary.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LollyLovesick
    When I read GOF the first time where the term is first mentioned, I thought it sounded a bit ridiculous actually, like the name of an Iron Maiden song (no offence to any fans out there! )

    I can see for example the Carrows being impressed by a name like this, but in my mind people like Lucius Malfoy would prefer to go under a name like The Knights of Walpurgis.

    Does anyone know if the name Death Eater had any other significance than being scary and morbid? Does it reference or mean anything specifically?
    Canon doesn't say anything about the significance of the name "Death Eater," so its meaning (or lack of meaning) is totally up to you. I think it might vaguely refer to Voldemort's desire to conquer death (HAHA, Death! Take that! I eat you!), but since Voldemort didn't go around advertising his quest for immortality, most people would probably think it's just supposed to be scary-sounding.

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    I agree with Tim, I think it has to do with Voldemort's desire to conquer death.

    Also, it makes their organization sound completely evil - the Knights of Walpurgis sound more likely to have some good ideas.

    Apparently, Walpurgis still has a negative meaning, but it doesn't sound as immediately and absurdly cartoonishly evil.
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  5. #5
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    The word Knight also often has good connatations (the knight in shining armour, etc.)

    Also, it fits with Voldemort's name, which, when translated literally, means fly from death or steal from death. I think that the name Death Eater ties them closer with Voldemort in that way, so it is more than just a creepy scary thing, but a connection in terms of names, as I never found the name "Death Eater" scary.
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  6. #6
    Sailing Girl
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    I agree with Tim the Enchanter here, he wanted to show off and have a name that, when just heard, sounds scary. But, when you think about it, it is a little pointless and over the top.

    Just to add to welshdevondragon's point, I thought they were called the Klu Klux Klan because 'ku klux' is the sound a shotgun makes when you shoot it. I'm not sure, though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sailing Girl

    Just to add to welshdevondragon's point, I thought they were called the Klu Klux Klan because 'ku klux' is the sound a shotgun makes when you shoot it. I'm not sure, though.
    Apparently it was after a Greek word, kuklos, meaning circle, ergo they were going for something along the line of "Circle of Brothers".

    I don't think the Klan wanted the meaning of their name to necessarily be known to outsiders though. They were probably aiming for something easy to remember, and say, without an obvious meaning.

    Death Eater - easy to remember, easy to say, though with a distinctly more obvious kind of meaning and connotation.
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