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I'm trying to reconcile two quotes from J.K. Rowling. She said that Dementors can't be destroyed:

You cannot destroy Dementors, though you can limit their numbers if you eradicate the conditions in which they multiply, ie, despair and degradation.

-- J.K. Rowling and the Live Chat, Bloomsbury.com (July 2007)

and that the weather became nicer now that the Dementors are gone:

Do the Muggles notice that there aren't any weird things going on now that Voldemort's gone?

Yes, the world seems a much sunnier place (literally - with the Dementors gone the weather gets better!)

-- J.K. Rowling and the Live Chat, Bloomsbury.com (July 2007)

How are the Dementors "gone" if they can't be destroyed? There was some conjecture that Dementors can die a 'natural' death (whatever that would mean for a Dementor) but it seems that the weather improved quite rapidly. Did the Ministry "contain" the Dementors somehow or did they die naturally fairly quickly?

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    They may be back in Azkaban... that's why the weather is good elsewhere. – n611x007 Jun 20 '12 at 8:17
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    I recall reading that they don't use dementors to guard Azkaban anymore. – Dason Jun 20 '12 at 13:53
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I think the best way to reconcile the two quotes, is to assume Rowling means that numbers can be reduced, when she said 'limit their numbers'.

Even if they can't be destroyed by wizards, they may simply fade into nothingness, if the conditions that cause them to multiply are eradicated.

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I don't take that second to mean that the dementors are gone. I read it as the dementors being reduced in numbers, and therefore not as dank a presence over the world. It feels sunnier and happier and brighter with the reduced numbers of dementors, but will dementors ever be fully eradicated? I don't think so and that's the conclusion I've come to by reading J.K. Rowling interviews and the books. Of course this is a YMMV thing, so that's not to say I'm definitely right.

The first and the second quote are not mutually exclusive. In the first, JKR is telling us the number of dementors can be reduced by controlling or eradicating the conditions in which they thrive, and the second quote reflects how the world is a better place with the reduced number of dementors (not zero dementors). Eradicating dementors, as I interpret it, would be impossible. It would be as impossible as us Muggles trying to rid the world of all pain and misery. It's just not going to happen. But we can change the conditions in which we live with strife to better protect ourselves against negative forces.

So my answer is that I don't think the dementors died off at all. Their numbers are merely reduced. Like any negative force, dementors cannot fully be contained, but, as JKR says, the conditions in which they multiply and thrive can be controlled to a certain degree.

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    I guess I don't understand what you mean when you say they didn't die off but their numbers reduced? How did their numbers reduce exactly? I understand you're saying the reason for the numbers reducing is the condition in which they thrive is not around anymore but how do the numbers literally go down if they don't die? – Dason Jun 18 '12 at 1:38
  • I'm joining to Dason's question. If dementors won't die, how could they be reduced in number? On the other hand, if they are never reduced, will the whole world end up as a huge starving dementor bowl? – n611x007 Jun 20 '12 at 8:16
  • I would think they would still be limited by the law of entropy. Since they need to "feed" they must be able to be starved by depriving them of food. I would take "can't be destroyed" to mean you can't kill them with spells, swords, guns, 16 ton anvils, etc. Again, that would not preclude starving them to death. – pleurocoelus Mar 8 '14 at 16:55
  • @pleurocoelus - Now that is an interesting theory that makes a lot of sense. If the Dementors are deprived of human souls, how could they continue to exist? – Slytherincess Mar 8 '14 at 17:00
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Think inside finite space: If you are limiting their numbers, others would escape to other places not in your problem domain.

For the second quote, Dementors gone from muggle world.

  • So the numbers don't go down but they become more spread out? – AncientSwordRage Jun 18 '12 at 8:30
  • @Pureferret Exactly... Their effects on weather are limited to near-by places, afterall. – Captain Cold Jun 18 '12 at 8:37
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I reckon that the "reducing numbers" thing doesn't mean they die, it means they don't multiply/have babies there so there aren't as many more.

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