In Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, Hermione reads the story about the three brothers. At some point the following is said about the second brother:

"Drunk with the power that the elder wand had given him, he bragged of his invincibility."

My question is: what is the meaning of "drunk with the power..." ?

Does it mean he was literally drunk, and died while being so (easy target while drunk).

Or, was he technically sober, but metaphorically drunk, thinking he is invincible, therefore causing him to draw attention? I would imagine that if someone brags he is invincible, there would be challengers of some kind to prove him wrong, therefore killing him.

(I am not a native English speaker, so it sounded quite ambiguous to me.)

closed as off-topic by Au101, vap78, Kalissar, Politank-Z, Cherubel Apr 19 '16 at 5:53

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question does not appear to be about science fiction or fantasy within the scope defined in the help center." – Au101, vap78, Kalissar, Politank-Z, Cherubel
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 11
    This would be more appropriate on English Language Learners SE. – Era Apr 13 '16 at 17:59
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    "Drunk with power" is a common English expression, see here for some attempts to convey the meaning. – Hypnosifl Apr 13 '16 at 18:06
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    Because the movies are nonsense – ibid Apr 13 '16 at 18:36
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    This seems like more of a fit for ELU. english.stackexchange.com – Möoz Apr 13 '16 at 20:24
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    This is solely about interpreting a metaphor in a story, it has nothing to do with SF&F – Au101 Apr 13 '16 at 22:28

In this case, 'drunk with power' is just another form of 'mad with power'. He had the world's greatest wand, making him the most powerful wizard ever. He wasn't actually drunk, just really over-confident of his powers and abilities.


This line is from the film version of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:

Drunk with the power that the Elder Wand had given him, he bragged of his invincibility.

In this case, he was so convinced that the Elder Wand made him unbeatable that he claimed that no one could defeat him. Essentially, the power made him act as if he were drunk, i.e. foolishly.

In the book, it is more clear:

Leaving his enemy dead upon the floor, the oldest brother proceeded to an inn, where he boasted loudly of the powerful wand he had snatched from Death himself, and of how it made him invincible.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard

Indeed, he did later get literally drunk:

That very night, another wizard crept upon the oldest brother as he lay, wine-sodden, upon his bed.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard

This is not, however, what the quote references.

  • 1
    It's too bad you quoted the movie. And first, to boot.. -1 for using the movie as equivalent to book canon. :) – Slytherincess Apr 13 '16 at 18:08
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    The question is asking about a line from the movie, how was he supposed to answer the question without referring to the movie... – Probst Apr 13 '16 at 18:30
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    @Slytherincess The quote that the OP was referring to is from the movie. That's why I had to address it first. I established the superiority of the book canon later on! I know that JKR is the one true way. Please reverse the Slytherincess seal of disapproval ! :) – Adamant Apr 13 '16 at 18:32

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