In the graveyard scene in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Voldemort looks around at the Death Eaters, and lectures the ones who disappointed and failed him. When he reaches a wide gap of 6 people, he says three of them are dead, one was too scared to return, one has forever left him, and one is his most loyal servant.

" (...) Your exploits at the Quidditch World Cup were fun, I daresay... but might not your energies have been better directed toward finding and aiding your master?”
“My Lord, I was constantly on the alert,” came Lucius Malfoy’s voice swiftly from beneath the hood. “Had there been any sign from you, any whisper of your whereabouts, I would have been at your side immediately, nothing could have prevented me —”
And yet you ran from my Mark, when a faithful Death Eater sent it into the sky last summer?


He had reached the largest gap of all, and he stood surveying it with his blank, red eyes, as though he could see people standing there.
“And here we have six missing Death Eaters... three dead in my service. One, too cowardly to return... he will pay. One, who I believe has left me forever... he will be killed, of course... and one, who remains my most faithful servant, and who has already reentered my service.”
The Death Eaters stirred, and Harry saw their eyes dart sideways at one another through their masks.
“He is at Hogwarts, that faithful servant, and it was through his efforts that our young friend arrived here tonight....

Who are the three Death Eaters, and which one of them is the loyal, the cowardly, and the betraying? The obvious answer is Barty Crouch Jr. is loyal, Karkaroff is cowardly, and Snape is betraying. But if this is the case, why didn't Voldemort kill Snape, and why did he give him a second chance?

Did Voldemort refer to Snape as one of the missing Death Eaters at his rebirth?
My question is different from this one because I wasn't asking about Snape specifically, but rather for different possible interpretations of the passage. There is no one correct answer, but the other question only provides one answer, which is a bit one dimensional.

  • 4
    Pretty sure it's Karkaroff, Snape, and Crouch Jr., in that order.
    – Kevin
    Commented Oct 9, 2015 at 5:44
  • @Kevin I would tend to agree :) Commented Oct 9, 2015 at 5:48
  • I was thinking, maybe the one who left him forever is Crouch Jr., since Voldemort knew he would be caught and therefore killed. This makes Snape the loyal one and Karkaroff the coward. What do you think? Commented Oct 9, 2015 at 6:00
  • @LordVoldemort I have reviewed the answer from the question linked and think that Alex does a brilliant job at linking the two quotes, showing that Snape is indeed the one who has left Voldemort forever and that by process of elimination we can see that the coward must be Kakaroff and the faithful must be Crouch Jr. There is no way he could have known about the current events at Hogwarts by this time all he would know is that Crouch Jr is performing a task for him and the other two haven't shown. Commented Oct 9, 2015 at 6:12
  • Crouch Jr would have told him about Karkaroff and Snape though how K gave up names and S was with Dumbledore. Commented Oct 9, 2015 at 6:14

1 Answer 1


Karkaroff would be the cowardly betraying death eater as he gave up a lot of death eaters to escape Azkaban (also kind of a betrayal) but not only that he ran away as soon as the dark mark burned.

Crouch Jr would be the loyal as he returned and found his master when none of the other death eaters did. (other than Pettigrew)

Snape would be the betraying cowardly as he swapped sides and hid even from Azkaban and is now hiding from Voldemort (by not showing in the graveyard). After GoF when Snape returned to Voldemort, he explained his cowardly nature betrayals as spying for Voldemort and gave him information as proof. (Information predetermined by Dumbledore). The ultimate show of his loyalty was when he revealed the date and time of Harry Potter's relocation. (Also predetermined information)

This is at least my interpretation of the the events that would precede the classifications given to the death eaters that are missing. I can understand that either Karkaroff or Snape can be Cowardly or Betraying. The classifications bare little meaning the point is that Snape could redeem himself through valuable information.

Edit: After reviewing both the Quote and @alexwlchan's Excellent answer I must correct to Karkaroff as Coward, Snape as Left me forever and Crouch Jr as most faithful servant.

  • 5
    Definitely your edited version. When Karkaroff was captured, he showed he'd do anything to save his own skin, like a coward. Snape is a lot of bad things, but I think even Voldemort would agree that no coward is going to play double agent between the two most powerful wizards of the age.
    – Kevin
    Commented Oct 9, 2015 at 6:31
  • Your last sentence is an absolutely brilliant point. @Kevin Commented Oct 9, 2015 at 7:32

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