No tyrant is complete without an army. For Lord Voldemort in Harry Potter, the Death Eaters were his chief soldiers.
The title of Death Eater was given to Voldemort's followers, witches and wizards who followed his orders and enforced his will during the First and Second Wizarding Wars. They had to follow strict rules in order to join these ranks and serve Voldemort.
Bellatrix Lestrange, Severus Snape, and Lucius Malfoy are among the most memorable characters who acted in the role of Death Eater.
Not everything about the Death Eaters makes complete sense, though. The Death Eaters made questionable decisions, as did Voldemort when it came to managing his followers.
The Ministry of Magic also made a number of head-scratching calls when it came to the Death Eaters, both in the aftermath of the First Wizarding War and during the Second Wizarding War.
When baby Harry Potter seemed to defeat Voldemort once and for all and the Dark Lord disappeared, each Death Eater reacted differently.
These reactions and the results that they yielded are definitely worth looking at, as they offer a great deal of insight into what does and does not make sense about the Death Eaters.
The Second Wizarding War is just as important to examine as the aftermath of the First Wizarding War, though, when it comes to the Death Eaters.
With that said, here are the 20 Things That Make No Sense About The Death Eaters In Harry Potter.
20 Rodolphus And Rabastan Lestrange Were Ignored By Voldemort
When Voldemort disappeared, only his most loyal Death Eaters-- Bellatrix Lestrange, Barty Crouch Jr., Rodolphus Lestrange, and Rabastan Lestrange-- tried to find the Dark Lord.
They tortured Aurors Frank and Alice Longbottom to the point of insanity in an attempt to extract information. For this crime and others, all four Death Eaters received life imprisonment in Azkaban.
Years later, Bellatrix and Crouch Jr. would be given crucial roles in Voldemort's return to power.
Despite facing the same fates as Bellatrix and Crouch Jr. and showing the same loyalty, Rodolphus and Rabastan were treated like any other Death Eaters.
Given their actions, they should've been given important positions like Bellatrix and Crouch Jr.
19 A Lot Of Them Went Back To Normal Life After The First Wizarding War
Some Death Eaters tried to avoid a life sentence in Azkaban by ratting out others' identities or claiming that they'd been under the Imperius Curse the entire time.
It's one thing to accept that these actions allowed them to evade Azkaban, but it's another thing entirely to accept that these Death Eaters were allowed to reenter society without consequence.
They were allowed to retain their wealth and hold many important positions, even in the world of education among impressionable children.
Just because the world believed that Voldemort was truly gone and these individuals didn't deserve prison, it didn't mean that they were no longer menaces to society.
18 Igor Karkaroff Was Able To Become A Headmaster
Many Death Eaters' identities were a secret, even among fellow Death Eaters. This made rounding them up them up difficult for the Ministry of Magic in the aftermath of the First Wizarding War.
Igor Karkaroff used this to his advantage, revealing the names of Death Eaters who the Ministry still needed to capture. In exchange, Karkaroff wasn't sentenced to imprisonment in Azkaban.
This makes sense, but Karkaroff becoming the Headmaster at Durmstrang after these events is a different story.
Even for a school like Durmstrang and their penchant for the Dark Arts, hiring Karkaroff seems like a terrible idea. He was a known Death Eater and proved by snitching that he had no problem backing out on former promises to save his own skin.
These are not qualities a school wants in a Headmaster responsible for the education and well-being of children.
17 Sirius Black Never Had The Dark Mark
When Voldemort found Lily and James Potter and took their lives despite the Fidelius Charm protecting them, everyone knew their Secret-Keeper must've betrayed them.
As the longtime best friend of James and fellow Order of the Phoenix member, it seemed that Sirius Black must've been the Potters' Secret-Keeper. Peter Pettigrew's fake demise and his "final words" seemed to confirm that Sirius was not only the traitor, but also Voldemort's right-hand.
Even without knowing the real story of Peter's betrayal, the narrative of Sirius being a Death Eater and Voldemort's right-hand should've been undone by the fact that he wasn't branded with a Dark Mark.
Only Voldemort's inner circle were branded with the Dark Mark.
The fact that Sirius didn't have one should've been damning evidence that he was innocent.
16 Lucius Malfoy's Educational Position
Lucius Malfoy avoided Azkaban by claiming that everything he'd done as a Death Eater had been under the Imperius Curse.
This should've been dubious given the Malfoy family history. Even in a scenario where this was true, though, Lucius later becoming a School Governor of Hogwarts seems like a poor decision.
Anyone who served Voldemort-- even if they were under the Imperius Curse-- shouldn't be allowed to make decisions regarding a school, its teachers, or students.
Lucius got off too easy and shouldn't have been able to occupy a position of influence.
15 Why Did Voldemort Believe Snape's Story?
When Voldemort returned to power with a physical form in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, he summoned all of the Death Eaters to him through the Dark Mark.
Death Eaters who didn't answer the summons and weren't in Azkaban would later pay the price, such as Igor Karkaroff, who was hunted down and terminated for his defiance.
Severus Snape, on the other hand, arrived two hours after the summons, claiming that he'd waited to ensure Albus Dumbledore that he was loyal to him even though his true loyalties were to Voldemort.
Even with Snape's mastery at Legilimency, which prevented Voldemort from extracting the truth from his mind, Voldemort should've seen through Snape's story.
Ever since Voldemort's disappearance, Snape would've been influenced by Dumbledore and him alone. This and the two hour delay should've been red flags for Voldemort, but he trusted Snape deeply, a trust that would lead to the Dark Lord's eventual downfall.
14 Not Every Death Eater Was A Pure-blood
Voldemort's regime largely revolved around the idea of pure bloodlines. The family tree of each Death Eater needed to solely consist of pure-blooded wizards and witches.
Any violations of this required "pruning," which was seen when Bellatrix needed to take the lives of Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks, as a werewolf and his bride could not be part of her family tree.
The problem is that few of the Death Eaters' bloodlines could actually be pure.
Severus Snape's father was a Muggle, making him a half-blood.
Even before Lupin entered the Lestrange-Black family tree, Bellatrix's sister Andromeda married the Muggle Ted Tonks, whose daughter would later marry Lupin.
The Death Eaters hated and sought to destroy those whose family trees weren't pure, yet their own families couldn't meet these standards.
13 Why Didn't Voldemort Use The Imperius Curse On More People?
When Harry departed Privet Drive with the Order of the Phoenix at the start of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, they were pursued across the skies by Voldemort and the Death Eaters.
Harry encountered an Imperiused Stan Shunpike fighting alongside Death Eaters during this pursuit. The Knight Bus conductor was no Voldemort sympathizer, yet he had no choice but to to serve the Dark Lord under the Imperius Curse.
Stan wasn't the only one like this, but it seems like there should've been far more.
Voldemort's ranks could've become far greater with more Imperiused individuals like Stan fighting alongside this Death Eaters.
12 Why Did Voldemort Want To Recruit Horace Slughorn?
Horace Slughorn was a Slytherin and the favorite teacher of Tom Riddle. Still, Slughorn was no fan of dark magic and would never willingly participate in supporting Voldemort's regime.
This throws into question why the Death Eaters would try to recruit Slughorn. After all, he was trying to conceal specific memories from Harry and Dumbledore after they find him at the start of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
It's much more likely that Voldemort wanted the Death Eaters to eliminate Slughorn as his memories revealed the truth about Voldemort's Horcruxes.
The recruitment idea was all wrong and might have been an example of how Slughorn flattered himself even with his life on the line.
11 Lucius Malfoy Shouldn't Have Been Voldemort's Right-Hand Man
Lucius Malfoy was put into a leadership position with the Death Eaters at the Department of Mysteries in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Voldemort's trust in Lucius doesn't make much sense, though.
Unlike the Lestranges-- who at this time had escaped from Azkaban and were present at the Department of Mysteries-- Lucius didn't search for Voldemort after his disappearance.
Lucius even denied loyalty to Voldemort by claiming that everything he'd done as a Death Eater occurred while he was under control of the Imperius Curse.
In the years since, Lucius also gave away the diary that Voldemort entrusted to him, a diary that was a Horcrux containing a piece of Voldemort's soul.
The actions of Lucius led to its destruction.
His lack of loyalty and failure to safeguard the Horcrux should've prevented him from leading the Death Eaters at the Department of Mysteries, where he failed again.
10 Wormtail Living With Snape
Snape lived on the street known as Spinner's End in the same home he'd grown up in as a child. When Bellatrix Lestrange and Narcissa Malfoy visited Snape there at the beginning of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, they discovered that Wormtail living there as well.
The arrangement doesn't make much sense, though.
It seemed like Voldemort wanted Snape to keep an eye on the cowardly Wormtail and at the same time wanted Wormtail to keep an eye on the double agent Snape.
Wormtail was part of the group that bullied Snape as a student at Hogwarts, though, and neither of them held any love for the other.
Both would only grow to resent Voldemort for the arrangement, and with the idea that he didn't fully trust either of them, as he constantly needed them to spy on one another, didn't sit well either.
9 The Death Eaters Didn't Capture Harry After Dumbledore's Demise
Voldemort always made it clear that Harry Potter was his and his alone to destroy. There was nothing that forbade the Death Eaters from bringing Harry to Voldemort, though.
That means that after Snape took Dumbledore's life and he and the other Death Eaters fled from Hogwarts, they should've taken Harry with them.
Harry pursued Snape and the others through the castle and across the Hogwarts grounds. They even faced one another outside Hagrid's hut.
If they'd delivered Harry to Voldemort, they wouldn't have needed to hunt him in the many months that followed.
8 Known Death Eater Associates And Sympathizers Didn't Face Punishment
Even when Voldemort wasn't in power, many of those loyal or sympathetic to the Dark Lord and the Death Eaters remained active in the Wizarding World.
Such individuals, like Borgin and Burke who sold objects of dark magic, helped keep the spirit of Voldemort and his regime alive in certain circles.
Businesses like theirs should've been shut down in order to squash the lingering fanaticism for Voldemort and his cause.
Staying open allowed Death Eaters to be transported through a vanishing cabinet into Hogwarts, which eventually led to the demise of Albus Dumbledore.
Borgin, Burke, and their ilk were only too eager to assist Death Eaters when Voldmort returned to power, providing resources that were accumulated during the years when their businesses were foolishly allowed to operate.
7 Bellatrix's Absence From Hogwarts
Numerous Death Eaters infiltrated Hogwarts the night of Albus Dumbledore's demise. Important Death Eaters-- excluding the many imprisoned in Azkaban after their failure at the Department of Mysteries-- were present at Hogwarts that night.
This makes the absence of Bellatrix Lestrange rather odd.
With no good explanation, the movies actually had Bellatrix there that night. This provided more insight into the dynamic between Snape and Bellatrix, two of Voldemort's most trusted and powerful Death Eaters.
Their dynamic was only previously seen when she and Narcissa went to see Snape at Spinner's End.
Bellatrix was too important to be absent that night, though.
6 Death Eaters With Criminal Pasts Were Allowed Positions In The Ministry
When Pius Thicknesse became Minister for Magic, the Ministry shifted gears and created an extremely pro-pure-blood agenda.
Even though the Imperiused Thicknesse was Minister, everyone knew that Voldemort was behind the new changes. Thicknesse was previously a high-ranking Ministry employee, though, and could therefore make the radical changes seem legitimate.
It's a different matter to consider that known Death Eaters-- many of whom had recently escaped from Azkaban-- could become prominent Ministry employees.
They still had criminal pasts, yet were able to hold government positions. The Ministry's new agenda couldn't completely erase their past criminality, which hardly qualified them to work in government.
5 Malfoy Manor Should Have Been Watched By The Ministry
At the start of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the Ministry of Magic had not yet fallen to Voldemort. Death Eater Lucius Malfoy and his family were living at home.
Lucius' son Draco was revealed to be the newest Death Eater when he nearly took Albus Dumbledore's life and allowed Death Eaters to infiltrate Hogwarts.
This should've made Malfoy Manor an obvious target for the Ministry at this time, yet Voldemort and the Death Eaters used it as a base.
They hatched their plans and the Ministry soon fell under the control. It could've been avoided or at least delayed with the Ministry keeping an eye on Malfoy Manor, where high-ranking official and Imperiused individual Pius Thicknesse met with Voldemort and the Death Eaters.
4 Having A Child With A Death Eater
The play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child revealed that Voldemort and Bellatrix Lestrange had a child. Bellatrix's unhealthy devotion to Voldemort makes this believable. The idea that Voldemort would have a child with her is baffling, though.
It is made explicitly clear that Voldemort was not capable of love, even when it came to the fanatical and loyal Bellatrix. She was an excellent Death Eater, but she was still a follower and never an equal in his eyes.
Voldemort created a clear distinction between himself and his Death Eaters. He needed them to enforce his regime, but he was always superior to them.
Also, he wanted to be more powerful than anyone, meaning that he would not create a future rival, even if it was his own child.
Having a child with a Death Eater threatens all of these core beliefs.
3 How Were Death Eaters Able To Blend In As Muggles So Well?
A Taboo was placed on Voldemort's name in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, allowing Death Eaters to track the location of anyone brave enough to say the name.
This is how Death Eaters Thorfinn Rowle and Antonin Dolohov found Harry, Ron, and Hermione so quickly in London.
Rowle and Dolohov dressed as construction workers, entered the cafe where the trio was, and blended in for a while before making their move.
It's unclear how they got Muggle clothes so quickly after Voldemort's name was uttered and how they were able to blend in so effortlessly. Skillfully pretending to be a Muggle doesn't seem like something Voldemort would teach his Death Eaters.
2 Narcissa's Lie About Harry Potter's Passing
When Voldemort didn't know whether Harry Potter was truly deceased or not, he sent Narcissa Malfoy to inspect the body.
After learning from Harry that Draco was still alive, she lied straight to Voldemort's face in order to reunite with her son, claiming that Harry had perished for good. Voldemort believed her and would soon be shocked and outraged to discover that Harry still lived.
Voldemort should've used Legilimency to examine Narcissa's mind and make sure that she told the truth.
After all, why should he believe one of his inferior followers?
Unlike Snape, Narcissa wasn't a gifted Legilimens who could prevent Voldemort extracting the truth from her mind.
1 Taking Another's Life Isn't a Prerequisite
When it comes to being a Death Eater, the responsibilities frequently entail torturing and taking another's life. It therefore seems like slaying another individual should be a prerequisite.
This doesn't seem to be the case, though.
When Dumbledore told Snape that he needed to be the one to end his life, Snape expressed worry at what taking a life would do to his soul. This suggests that Snape never took a life before.
If Snape was deemed the best choice to take the mighty Albus Dumbledore's life should Draco Malfoy fail, it seems like Snape was hardly an anomaly when it came to Death Eaters who hadn't taken other's lives.
Can you think of any other things about Death Eaters that don't make any sense in Harry Potter? Let us know in the comments!