43

It is said that Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody died during the 'Battle of the Seven Potters', but Ron said that it was possible he didn't. Bill said that he saw a green light (avada kedavra) used on him, but he was under attack, so he could have seen wrong due to the pressure of the situation. They also didn't find his body, so he could have run away.

Is there any proof that Moody actually died?

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    They found his eye. I doubt he would have given his eye up lightly. – Gallifreyan Dec 27 '16 at 19:57
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    No actual proof, just that he was implied to be dead and never showed up afterwards anywhere in canon. – ibid Dec 28 '16 at 2:30
48

Per the Pottermore article on Moody.

enter image description here

Note that even if he wasn't already dead (as a result of the killing curse) he'd have perished in the fall since he had no wand with which to cast a spell like arresto momentum.

‘But Bill saw him hit by the Killing Curse,’ said Harry.
‘Yeah, but Bill was under attack too,’ said Ron. ‘How can he be sure what he saw?’
‘Even if the Killing Curse missed, Mad-Eye still fell about a thousand feet,’ said Hermione, now weighing Quidditch Teams of Britain and Ireland in her hand. ‘He could have used a Shield Charm –’
‘Fleur said his wand was blasted out of his hand,’ said Harry.

  • 12
    @Valorum Am I misremembering Neville magically bouncing (no spell) at least once after falling from some heights? – Harris Dec 27 '16 at 21:10
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    @Skooba Ah, Great Uncle Algie. Pottermore as well does state that magic can be performed without a wand. High-quality magic without one takes great skill, but it's not an impossibility. – Harris Dec 27 '16 at 21:31
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    @Valorum You want me to show you a press-release though it's you who are trying to prove how canon it is? – Malcolm Dec 28 '16 at 11:03
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    @Valorum I've already explained the reason: licensed stuff doesn't have the same level of canon as Rowling's works or even the works she was involved in. There is even a question where canon levels have been discussed. It's not my personal opinion, it's your personal opinion that licensed stuff is "solid proof" despite what the community thinks. Also I never said that the answer is wrong, but saying that licensed content is a "solid proof" is rather bold. – Malcolm Dec 28 '16 at 12:18
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    Wandless magic or not, but do we really believe Moody didn't have a spare wand on him? Some people have a spare phone in glove department of their car just in case. Wand is far more important tool and Moody isn't just your average Joe. I don't think that having so obvious vulnerability fits Moody's style. – Daerdemandt Dec 29 '16 at 1:47
31

Pottermore lists Moody's death as 27 July, 1997. It doesn't get more canon than Pottermore.

Not to mention that Umbridge had Moody's eye in her door in the Ministry (this isn't shown in the films).

In the Deathly Hallows we see the door Umbridge's room is decorated with a particularly familiar eye:

enter image description here

In the books, she uses it to spy on her employees, using a telescope-like thingy mounted on the inner side of her door. Harry & Co take the eye out when they leave the Ministry, and bury it under the oldest and strongest tree they can find.

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    It doesn't get more canon than Pottermore. (With the exception of the few writings submitted by Rowling) Pottermore is just an interpretation of the books/movies. For a while they had Lavender Brown listed as "presumed dead". They've made very embarrassing mistakes in the past. I would say that anything written by the Pottermore team is the very example of something which isn't canon. – ibid Dec 28 '16 at 2:18
  • I wrote this because I agreed with this answer. Surely there may be mistakes, but at least Pottermore is always updated and monitored - whatever mistakes there are may be fixed, unlike interviews. – Gallifreyan Dec 28 '16 at 16:39
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    Quoting from that answer: Note: This only applies to Pottermore content by JKR. Pottermore content NOT known to be by JKR slides down to same level as films.. The distinction between the two is that one is a primary canon source (original content written by Rowling) and the other (recycled content written by the Pottermore team) is just interpretations of other canon sources, which despite how accurate it may or may not be still cannot be considered a canon source in its own right. – ibid Dec 28 '16 at 17:25
  • I see. Thanks for the clarification – Gallifreyan Dec 28 '16 at 17:32
11

No canonical proof

There are several reasons why one would think that Mad-Eye Moody died.

“We were just talking about Mad-Eye,” Ron told Harry. “I reckon he might have survived.”
“But Bill saw him hit by the Killing Curse,” said Harry.
“Yeah, but Bill was under attack too,” said Ron. “How can he be sure what he saw?”
“Even if the Killing Curse missed, Mad-Eye still fell about a thousand feet,” said Hermione, now weighing Quidditch Teams of Britain and Ireland in her hand.
“He could have used a Shield Charm —”
“Fleur said his wand was blasted out of his hand,” said Harry.
“Well, all right, if you want him to be dead,” said Ron grumpily, punching his pillow into a more comfortable shape.
“Of course we don’t want him to be dead!” said Hermione, looking shocked. “It’s dreadful that he’s dead! But we’re being realistic!”
(Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Chapter Six)

  • Bill saw him being hit with killing curse. He may have thought he saw the wrong thing in the rush of battle.
  • He fell about 1,000 feet There are canonical spells such as Arresto Momentum which can save someone who falls off a broom.
  • He didn't have his wand. Again we could doubt Fleur's testimony, but there are other answers as well. Wandless magic is something which is possible in the HP universe. Alternatively, someone else may have cast the spell, such as death eaters who intended to capture and torture him.
  • Umbridge ends up with his magical eye If Mad-eye was captured by Death Eaters, they would have undoubtedly removed the eye, and he may have been unable to retrieve it before escaping. If he wasn't captured, it's still possible that it bounced out when he did hit the ground and he had to quickly flee the scene.

However, the main problem with him being alive is that he never appears again in canon, and Rowling has given no indications that he is still alive. So it's probably safe to assume (like all the characters do) that Mad-Eye dies, but there is no actual proof.

Out-of-Universe, the name of the chapter is Fallen Warrior, and Mad-Eye's death does serve a purpose in setting the tone of the story. These would all indicate that Mad-Eye died, but again not actual proof.

  • 1
    Yeah. Overall, I am under the impression that Fleur didn't know if Moody don't really has a wand because they were under attack. And as far as I know, some wizard/witch can produce spell without even a wand, Albus Dumbledore is one of them. Correct me if I'm mistaken. – Invoker Dec 29 '16 at 16:22
  • @BookStriker - Dumbledore is more of an exception than a general rule. – Gallifreyan Dec 29 '16 at 19:09
  • @Gallifreian - scifi.stackexchange.com/a/118239/55866 – ibid Dec 29 '16 at 19:28
  • wandless magic can attain great complexity, but Charms and Transfiguration are very difficult without one - IIRC, Harry wasn't even able to summon his wand, which was lying 1 meter away from him. I agree that there's no actual proof though. – Gallifreyan Dec 29 '16 at 19:30
1

In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, re-read the part where they go to Gringotts to get Hufflepuff's Cup. Just as they arrive in Diagon Alley, there is a description of all these poor wizards kind of begging for money. There's this one description of a guy holding a hand over a bloodied eye-eye socket. As soon as I read this I thought it might have been Mad-Eye.

A number of ragged people sat huddled in doorways. He heard them moaning to the few passersby, pleading for gold, insisting that they were really wizards. One man had a bloody bandage over his eye.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter Twenty-Six "Gringotts"

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    I've edited in the book quote to which you are referring to, however, I think the next passage with this character disproves the theory: "Hermione looked after them curiously, until the man with the bloodied bandage came staggering right across her path. “My children!” he bellowed, pointing at her. His voice was cracked, high-pitched; he sounded distraught. “Where are my children? What has he done with them? You know, you know!”" – TheLethalCarrot Oct 24 '18 at 10:00
-1

I’m starting to think that he may have lived. The main reason is that when Dumbledore died, his freeze jinx that he put Harry (at the top of the tower) broke as soon as he dies. Also, the fact that he was secret keeper got transferred to everyone he had told the secret to. So from that we know that enchantments break when the wizard/witch dies. But the tongue tying jinx and the Dusty Dumbledore both still work when the trio go to #12. It’s possible that Voldemort had Death Eaters patrolling for anyone that was injured/stunned and falling. Then that could save their own people and capture any Order members. It wouldn’t be hard to take Madeyes eye- it was already done in Goblet of Fire and that was only one Death Eater.

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    This is highly speculative, do we have any evidence? For example a quote from the book saying that Moody set the enchantments at #12 would help support the idea that since they are not broken, he is not dead. – amflare Jul 19 '18 at 16:59
  • It's not unknown for an enchantment to outlive the wizard. Think the Sorting Hat, or some cursed object in the Blacks' cupboard. Dumbledore probably never intended for Harry to be frozen for long (we know that his death was by his own plan), while Moody could as well have intended the ghost and tong-tying jinx to outlive him. Good reasoning, but hardly backed by canon information. – Gallifreyan Jul 19 '18 at 19:30

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