Many Potterheads have a bit of an obsession with the inner-workings of the Death Eaters, the villainous organization from the Harry Potter series. We want to know all there is to know about these evil-doers, but this may have to do with the fact that many fans seem to gravitate toward the baddies in general. Maybe it's because they somehow connect with the worst aspects of our nature that have come to life in characters like Bellatrix Lestrange, Wormtail, Barty Crouch Jr., Fenrir Greyback, or Lucius Malfoy. Or, perhaps they're just blown away by the fact that these people would follow a man like Lord Voldemort.
Not only did most Death Eaters follow Voldemort until the very end of his reign, but they also followed some particularly odd rules that he set for them. Being a Death Eater wasn't as easy as simply wearing a hood and doing evil deeds. There was a lot that was expected of them, and if they broke faith with The Dark Lord in any way, they would experience his wrath.
However, not every Death Eater followed Lord Voldemort's commandments perfectly. In fact, some of them loved to break certain rules that he had made. Some characters disobeyed Voldemort's rules in secret, while others did it in the open. This list will delve into all of the above in order to feed the appetites for those who are completely taken with Voldemort's inner circle.
Here are 15 Weird Rules Death Eaters Must Follow (And 5 They Love To Break).
20 Follow: Keep The Bloodline Pure
Although Lord Voldemort had a bit of a hypocritical past when it came to this particular rule, he did encourage his Death Eaters to keep their bloodlines "pure." Of course, not every member of the Death Eaters was a pure-blood. In fact, a lot of them were half-bloods. There was even a self-loathing Muggleborn or two, but they certainly were teased and shamed for their less than "perfect" status. Additionally, they weren't allowed to marry Muggles or creatures like werewolves during their time as a Death Eater.
In most cases, Death Eaters didn't really need to be told about this rule. This is because they shared Voldemort's horrible beliefs-- which is why they joined him in the first place.
19 Follow: Receive The Dark Mark
Receiving the Dark Mark was a must for any member of Lord Voldemort's inner circle. Groups like the Snatchers weren't required to get this tattoo, but if you were to consider yourself a Death Eater, you positively had to. These snake and skull tattoos had many purposes. First and foremost, it was branding. It served to remind each individual that they belonged to the Dark Lord, and he alone controlled them.
It also acted as a kind of telephone. It would burn if Voldemort required the wearer's presence, or if he was near. Additionally, they could summon him if they needed to thanks to this magical marking. Those who had the marking found that it faded into a scar once Lord Voldemort was vanquished.
18 Love To Break: Call Voldemort When Potter Is Found
Voldemort was very clear; if any of his Death Eaters were to come across Harry Potter, they had to call him. Voldemort would swiftly come and rid the world of Potter himself. Of course, this rule was only applied to the Death Eaters after Lord Voldemort returned at the end of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Throughout the final few books, multiple Death Eaters came across Harry and chose not to call Lord Voldemort. In most cases, they simply tried to take him out themselves, such as when Dolohov and Rowle encountered him in the cafe in The Deathly Hallows. In other cases, such as Bellatrix's attack on The Burrow, they simply left him alone as he had multiple allies with him. Regardless, there's just no way that Lord Voldemort would have been happy about this.
17 Follow: Never Use Voldemort's Name
As a term of respect, the Death Eaters would often refer to Lord Voldemort as "The Dark Lord." Voldemort demanded this, as making his name a forbidden word was a great way to instill a sense of insecurity and duty amongst his ranks. Essentially, he wanted them to worship him. This is why they would most commonly refer to him as "My Lord" when conversing with him.
Even though some Death Eaters were closer to Voldemort than others, they all followed these rules. This is even true of Severus Snape, who would seldom even call Voldemort by that name when in Dumbledore's presence. Above all, Voldemort's real name "Tom Riddle" was strictly forbidden. If anyone dared to say it aloud, they would be punished.
16 Follow: Obey orders without question
Follow the rules and don't ask questions. This was something that every Death Eater knew to do instinctively, though Lord Voldemort was sure to remind them on occasion. Each Death Eater knew that they would be required to do certain things, some of which they may not have wanted to do. In other cases, Voldemort made pretty unusual requests. This included asking Bellatrix Lestrange to house something of his in her vault. Although she had no clue what he was entrusting her with, she was honored to fulfill his request.
However, in other instances, such as when Voldemort asked for Lucius Malfoy's wand, they were less than thrilled to do what they were told. The smart ones knew to follow this rule without making a face, saying anything, or rejecting it.
15 Love To Break: Tell Voldemort The Truth
Lord Voldemort made it very clear that the Death Eaters were to tell him the truth at all times. If he caught them in a lie, then chances were they wouldn't have the chance to lie again. He was pitiless about this, but that didn't mean the Death Eaters, as well as his other followers, didn't manage to slip one past him now and again.
The most famous example of this is the true allegiance of Severus Snape. He continuously lied to the Dark Lord for years, as he was a double-agent for Dumbledore. Even Voldemort's loyal followers tended to lie to him. Lucius did on occasion, as he wanted to save face. Additionally, Lucius' wife, Narcissa, claimed that Harry Potter was defeated even though she saw he was alive.
14 Follow: Dark Clothing
Every organization, especially the bad ones, should have a color scheme. For the Death Eaters, it was black, dark green, and dark blue. There were very few times a Death Eater would wear a color or shade that didn't fall under this umbrella. This even applied to their day-to-day wardrobes, as opposed to the outfits they'd wear when attacking their enemies. Seldom would you catch them in something bright and flashy.
The dark clothing that they'd wear was an extension of Lord Voldemort himself. He preferred to wear long, flowing black robes. This showed that he was kingly, as well as confident in his control, whereas the Death Eaters tended to wear tighter outfits that mimicked his style, but kept them physically and emotionally constrained.
13 Follow: Put Their Life On The Line
The Dark Lord required that each and every member of the Death Eaters put their lives on the line for the greater cause. Not every one of his Death Eaters would see action, but should the occasion arise, they were expected to throw aside their lives. Some Death Eaters, such as Bellatrix Lestrange and Antonin Dolohov, didn't seem to have much of an issue with this rule. This was usually because of two different reasons. Firstly, they were skilled enough to know that they could handle themselves on the battlefield. Aecondly, they were deranged enough to believe that they were passing away for the "greater good."
On the other hand, there were some members, like Wormtail and Draco Malfoy, who were less than pleased with this rule.
12 Follow: Face Voldemort's Wrath
One would have thought that the Death Eaters would have had enough with Lord Voldemort's temper at some point. After all, it was pretty dramatic. To put it mildly, the guy acted like a total jerk at times. He also wasn't shy about swiftly ending someone's life just because he was mad. Then again, the Death Eaters probably knew what they were getting into when they signed up for the job. In fact, it's highly probable that they were made to put up with Voldemort's unruly temper.
It could have been used as a deterrent against bad behavior. If the Death Eaters stepped out of line, they would have to endure his wrath. Knowing this probably caused them to be a little more loyal and hardworking.
11 Love To Break: Wear Masks
During the First Wizarding War, Lord Voldemort required his Death Eaters to wear masks. This not only intimidated their enemies, but also concealed each individual's identity. At the time, this was extremely important as the Death Eaters needed to infiltrate the Ministry of Magic, as well as gain inside information on Aurors, Muggle-borns, and The Order of the Phoenix. It was hard to do that if everyone around them knew they were a baddie.
At the beginning of the Second Wizarding War, the same rule applied. However, not every Death Eater liked to follow it. Members like Bellatrix Lestrange chose not to wear a mask. By being open about their identity as a Death Eater, it proved that they were loyal to the Dark Lord and didn't care about any of the repercussions.
10 Follow: Keep Sending Kids To Hogwarts
When he was younger, Lord Voldemort actually wanted to teach at Hogwarts, but he was denied any opportunity to because Albus Dumbledore didn't trust him. Still, Voldemort's opinion of Hogwarts didn't precisely get tainted. Sure, he didn't like the headmaster, some of the teachers, as well as some of the curriculum (I.E. Muggle Studies), but on the whole, he thought it was the best way to gain a magical education.
Because of this, the Death Eaters were required to continue sending their kids to school, even when its leaders were in open rebellion against Voldemort. This may have seemed like an odd choice, but in the end, it worked in his favor as he had kids on the inside who could be tempted to work for him.
9 Follow: Come When Called
As mentioned earlier, the Death Eaters were given a tattoo that would burn every time Voldemort summoned them. Not only could The Dark Lord summon all of them at the same time, but he could also hand-pick the ones he wanted to call. When any of the Death Eaters were summoned, they were absolutely expected to show up. If they didn't, there would be repercussions.
We first saw how this worked in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire when free Death Eaters were summoned to the graveyard on the night that The Dark Lord returned. Many of the Death Eaters came, even though they knew that Voldemort would be angry with them. They knew that things would have been far worse for them had they not come.
8 Follow: Infiltrate the Ministry
One of Voldemort's main goals during both the First and Second Wizarding War was to overthrow the established order. This meant taking over the Ministry of Magic and putting his people in charge so that they could run the country in a way that fit with Voldemort's ideology. In order to accomplish this, some Death Eaters were required to infiltrate the Ministry.
First, they did this through influence, money, and social power. Later, they had to be more sneaky. Then, when the time was right, they had to physically overthrow it. Once a puppet Minister was put into place, certain members of the Death Eaters (like Yaxley) had to keep an eye on things to ensure that nobody would get out of line. In short, they were more like guards than soldiers.
7 Love To Break: Don't Know One Another
During the First Wizarding War, the Death Eaters were required to wear masks that concealed their identities. This allowed them to infiltrate various organizations that still trusted them. It also made sure that the Death Eaters didn't know one another in case any of them were captured and forced to give up their accomplices. However, this rule didn't exactly stick.
In many cases, the Death Eaters were well aware of who they were working alongside. Some were family, so naturally, the conversation would have come up. Other times, they were able to find out. This ended up being a mistake for some. When Igor Karkaroff was put on trial, he was able to name a number of Death Eaters, who were all captured and sent to Azkaban.
6 Follow: Send The Dark In The Air To Spread Fear
The first time we saw the Dark Mark was at the beginning of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire after the attack on the Quidditch Cup game. Barty Crouch Jr. conjured the Dark Mark in the sky to strike fear in the hearts of all of those who weren't loyal to Lord Voldemort, as well as the Aurors sent to battle his followers. The Dark Mark was conjured a few times throughout the Harry Potter series, as the Death Eaters followed Voldemort's orders.
The Dark Mark worked much like an evil Bat-Signal. Not only could it call Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters to a location, but it would also cause others to be frightened off. It was also used as a sign of victory, like when it was sent into the air after the demise of Albus Dumbledore.
5 Follow: Induct Children Into The Organization
It was really challenging for the children of Death Eaters not to become a member themselves. Lord Voldemort wanted his minions to induct their children into his ideology and make them part of his army. Draco Malfoy is the leading example of this, but so are Crabbe and Goyle. All of them had parents who worked for Lord Voldemort, and thus didn't have much opportunity to think for themselves.
When Voldemort took over Hogwarts at the end of the Second Wizarding War, he had Death Eaters installed at the school. Not only would they keep the kids in line, but they would work to brainwash the students into following the Dark Lord's wishes.
4 Follow: Eliminate Those Who Reject Voldemort
Not only did the Death Eaters have to put their own lives on the line, but they also had to take the lives of others. Anyone who disobeyed, fought against, or merely rejected Voldemort's ideology and rule was seen as an enemy.
Enemies were to be taken out. In some cases, family members of the Death Eaters themselves were targeted. The Death Eaters knew that they had to fulfill their master's wishes, otherwise dire consequences could be in store. For some Death Eaters, like Bellatrix Lestrange and Antonin Dolohov, ending the lives of Voldemort's enemies was downright fun, but for others, like Snape, it was exceedingly difficult.
3 Love To Break: Don't Try To Take Out Harry Potter
Once Lord Voldemort came back at the end of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, a new rule was enforced. His Death Eaters were told that Harry Potter was his to take out and his alone. Although he wanted his minions to capture The Boy Who Lived, he didn't want them to take away his "right" to finish him off. The Death Eaters clearly didn't like this rule very much.
On several occasions, Death Eaters attempted to take out Harry regardless of whether or not Voldemort was around. Even Bellatrix Lestrange attempted to finish Potter off in the film for The Half-Blood Prince. The only thing that stopped her was Snape, who got away with saving Potter because it sounded like he was following the rules.
2 Follow: A Hierarchy Within The Ranks
Everything in life has some sort of hierarchy. This happens in nature, as well as in organizations like The Death Eaters. Voldemort knew that it was easier to control a large group of individuals if they knew that they could climb the ladder. Death Eater was considered a noble position, as many of Voldemort's followers weren't granted such a title.
Within the ranks of the Death Eaters, certain individuals had more power than others. If they were loyal and did good work, they would climb higher and become closer to Voldemort. Additionally, if they disobeyed him or didn't fulfill a task, they would be demoted. As an example, Lucius Malfoy was the second-in-command throughout the First Wizarding War, but by the end of the Second, he had lost favor with Lord Voldemort.
1 Follow: Forget That Voldemort Is A Half-Blood
In truth, many of the Death Eaters probably had no clue about the reality of Lord Voldemort's heritage, but it would have been impossible for all of them to be kept in the dark. Those in the know wouldn't have dared say anything about the fact that Lord Voldemort was actually a half-blood. If they did, they would have been punished for it. Therefore, they knew that they had to obey this rule even if it caused them to worry about Voldemort's worthiness.
On the other hand, all of the Death Eaters knew just how powerful Lord Voldemort was. It didn't really matter what his heritage was. All he had to do was be stronger than the rest and uphold their ideology.
What rule do you think is the strangest in Harry Potter? Let us know in the comments below!