As we know, in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, Antonin Dolohov and Thorfinn Rowle attacked Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley at Tottenham Court Road, but they were defeated and their memory was wiped by Memory Charm.

According to this,

Remus Lupin

was killed by Antonin Dolohov during the Battle of Hogwarts - so how did he get back his memory and skills?

  • 2
    Maybe just that event got erased? (Pretty sloppy on Hermione's part, but who knows)
    – Jenayah
    Dec 29, 2018 at 10:03
  • 1
    I doubt you'll get a better answer than "He got better, go figure".
    – Valorum
    Dec 29, 2018 at 11:40
  • 3
    @FilipKočica Obliviate can erase part of your memory. Presumably Hermione's parents didn't forget how to speak English, cure teeth, etc. Maybe Dolohov was just made to forget their encounter with the trio, but he remembered being a Death Eater, how to duel etc. (it'd be sloppy from Hermione not to do a full wipe and clear one enemy off the battlefield in the process, though)
    – Jenayah
    Dec 29, 2018 at 11:57
  • @Jenayah I see, thanks.
    – kocica
    Dec 29, 2018 at 12:05
  • 1
    Obviously, Hermione didn't erase entire memory. She was quite skillful in this as she was earlier seen erasing herself from her parent's life.
    – user931
    Dec 29, 2018 at 14:50

3 Answers 3


According to Pottermore, Obliviate is a charm whose purpose is:

To erase, or modify the memory of another

With the effect being:

The recipent will lose a portion (or all) of their memory, depending on how strong the spell is

Since it was Hermione's first time casting the charm, and her intention was to just erase Dolohov's memory of seeing Harry, she probably didn't erase Dolohov's entire memory (like the backfiring charm did to Gilderoy Lockhart.

In fact, in J.K. Rowling's writing on Pottermore about "Illness and Disability", she implies that a properly cast Obliviate charm doesn't create "permanent amnesia" when she states:

[...] the consequences of curses or backfiring magic could be serious, permanent or life-threatening. This is the reason that Gilderoy Lockhart, victim of his own mangled Memory Charm, has permanent amnesia.

  • 3
    Pretty sure it wasn't Hermione's first time casting the charm. Didn't she Obliviate he rparents before that?
    – Jenayah
    Dec 29, 2018 at 11:59
  • 3
    @Jenayah That was actually addressed by JKR, as noted here: scifi.stackexchange.com/a/71922/30726
    – BMWurm
    Dec 29, 2018 at 12:06
  • @BMWurm ah, nevermind then!
    – Jenayah
    Dec 29, 2018 at 12:07

Memory Charms don’t always erase everything.

Though it is possible for Obliviate to erase all of someone’s memories, it’s more often used to erase the memories of a specific incident. It’s often used on Muggles who witness magic to erase their memories of it, and they only forget that specific incident. When the site manager of the campsite where the Quidditch World Cup has his memory modified, he remembers he’s the site manager and continues doing his job.

“Obliviate!’ he said sharply, pointing his wand at Mr Roberts.

Instantly, Mr Roberts’s eyes slid out of focus, his brows unknitted and a look of dreamy unconcern fell over his face. Harry recognised the symptoms of one who had just had his memory modified.

‘A map of the campsite for you,’ Mr Roberts said placidly to Mr Weasley. ‘And your change.”
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 7 (Bagman and Crouch)

After his memory of the Death Eaters attacking is erased, Mr. Weasley, who loves Muggles so would care about what happens to them, assures Harry he’ll be all right, he’s just a bit dazed because that’s a temporary side effect of having his memory modified and it was a big thing that needed to be erased from his memory.

“He used magic to pack up the tents, and they left the campsite as quickly as possible, passing Mr Roberts at the door of his cottage. Mr Roberts had a strange, dazed look about him, and he waved them off with a vague ‘Merry Christmas’.

‘He’ll be all right,’ said Mr Weasley quietly, as they marched off onto the moor. ‘Sometimes, when a person’s memory’s modified, it makes them a bit disorientated for a while … and that was a big thing they had to make him forget.”
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 10 (Mayhem at the Ministry)

Mr. Roberts only forgot his encounters with magic, not everything else. It’s likely the same sort of thing happened to Dolohov and the other Death Eaters. Hermione likely just erased the Death Eaters’ memories of seeing them, not all of their memories, so they’d still remember that they were Death Eaters when they ‘woke up’.

  • 5
    Well of course Hermione only erased the Death Eater's memories of seeing them - the whole point of doing a memory charm was to make the Death Eaters think it had been a false alarm, to "throw them off the scent" as Harry put it. Erasing their entire memories would have been counter-productive. Dec 29, 2018 at 21:21
  • 2
    @HarryJohnston Waking up in devastated shop after being sent to either catch or kill Harry Potter, without clue what happened, doesn't seem really inconspicuous to me.
    – kocica
    Dec 29, 2018 at 23:11
  • 3
    @FilipKočica, Harry and Ron cleared up the mess while Hermione was doing the memory charm. Harry literally says "Don't you think they might wonder what's happened if they wake up and find themselves in a place that looks like it's just been bombed?" Dec 30, 2018 at 4:57
  • 1
    They maybe cleaned up, but still... :-)
    – kocica
    Dec 30, 2018 at 19:49

It seems pretty clear from the book that they deliberately only erased the memory of the altercation and not the Death Eaters' other memories. Consider the following dialogue from chapter Nine:

"What are we going to do with them?" Ron whispered to Harry through the dark; then, even more quietly, "Kill them? They’d kill us. They had a good go just now."

Hermione shuddered and took a step backward. Harry shook his head. "We just need to wipe their memories," said Harry. "It’s better like that, it’ll throw them off the scent. If we killed them it’d be obvious we were here."

"You’re the boss," said Ron, sounding profoundly relieved. "But I’ve never down a Memory Charm."

"Nor have I," said Hermione, "but I know the theory."

She took a deep, calming breath, then pointed her wand at Dolohov’s forehead and said, "Obliviate."

At once, Dolohov’s eyes became unfocused and dreamy.

"Brilliant!" said Harry, clapping her on the back. "Take care of the other one and the waitress while Ron and I clear up."

"Clear up?" said Ron, looking around at the partly destroyed café. "Why?"

"Don’t you think they might wonder what’s happened if they wake up and find themselves in a place that looks like it’s just been bombed?"

"Oh right, yeah..."

As we can see from this exchange, what they wanted to do was to make sure that no one would realize that anything had occurred, and most importantly that no one would realize that they had been there. They chose not to kill the Death Eaters for this reason — two dead Death Eaters in a café is awfully suspicious and would immediately inform Voldemort's side that there had been some kind of run-in with opposing forces.

Entirely wiping their memories (to the point that they would be unable to perform magic) would be just as bad of an option. If two Death Eaters are discovered totally out of their minds that also immediately points to an altercation with the opposition. Therefore, all they did was remove the memories of the incident itself so that the Death Eaters could go on their merry way without anyone's suspicions being raised.

In any case, the plan didn't work so well, as we see later (same chapter) that Voldemort found out that the Death Eaters had been with Harry Potter:

"More, Rowle, or shall we end it and feed you to Nagini? Lord Voldemort is not sure that he will forgive this time.... You called me back for this, to tell me that Harry Potter has escaped again? Draco, give Rowle another taste of our displeasure.... Do it, or feel my wrath yourself!"

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.