Just like the question indicates — if Fenrir Greyback didn't have a Dark Mark, how could he get through a barrier that required a Dark Mark to pass through it?

We see in HBP that the barrier that separated the Astronomy tower (where Dumbledore was to be murdered) and the battle required a Dark Mark to pass through.

"[...] and I'll bet you had to have a Dark Mark to get through that barrier [...]" -Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 29, The Phoenix Lament, pg. 621

We also know that Fenrir Greyback was present at the murder of Dumbledore.

"Is that you, Fenrir?" asked Dumbledore.

"That's right," rasped the other. -Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 27, The Lightning-Struck Tower, pg. 593

But we learn in DH that Greyback does not have the Dark Mark.

"I haven't got — they say he's using the Malfoys' place as a base. We'll take the boy there."

Harry thought he knew why Greyback was not calling Voldemort. The werewolf might be allowed to wear Death Eater robes when they wanted to use him, but only Voldemort's inner circle were branded with the Dark Mark: Greyback had not been granted this highest honor. -Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 23, Malfoy Manor

So, if Greyback didn't have a Dark Mark, how could he get through a barrier that required a Dark Mark to pass through it?

  • 8
    Reading the quotes you provided, i'm not seeing anything that says Greyback did get through a barrier that requires a Dark Mark. The first quote says "I'll bet" which means the person saying it doesn't actually know that the barrier required a Dark Mark to get through.
    – shufly
    Jun 25, 2020 at 21:27
  • 1
    @shufly - Also, Fenrir is a known presence. Making a magical exception for him would presumably be well within the capacity of whoever set the barrier
    – Valorum
    Jun 25, 2020 at 21:41
  • 1
    Second thing from quotes is choronology - just because there was a barrier at one point, doesn't mean there was a barrier up at the time that Fenrir was involved. It could have been dropped as no-longer-necessary, or taken down/countered.
    – DariM
    Jun 25, 2020 at 21:41
  • 2
    the death eaters could have first went up the stairs and then make the barrier
    – MBEllis
    Jun 26, 2020 at 9:46
  • 2
    @FreeMan Oh, I forgot! Thanks for reminding me :D
    – LionQueen
    Jun 26, 2020 at 16:42

1 Answer 1


There are many possibilities here :

1 . The Barrier doesn't need a dark mark to go through. Perhaps anyone who owes his allegiance to the Dark Lord can cross the barrier (eg werewolves, giants, etc.). Of course this is purely speculation.

2 . The Barrier had an exception to Fenrir. The person who cast the barrier made an exception to Fenrir. This is possible only if we assume that the barrier needs a Dark Mark to be crossed. The person who cast it might have known that Fenrir wouldn't be able to cross it so they made an exception for him.

3 . The barrier wasn't there at the time Fenrir went past. Fenrir came with the Death Eaters. And the spell may have been cast after all the death eaters had passed. Similarly, when they were coming down, the death eaters removed the barrier, to let Fenrir through.

4 . You can cross the barrier if you are with someone who has a dark mark (similar to side along apparition). So, if you are with someone who has a Dark Mark you can cross the barrier. Obviously, Fenrir and his pals crossed the barrier at thee same time.

  • 2
    Or you can pass through if you want to kill Dumbledore. That should rule out anyone on the 'right' side. Magic has a lot to do with intent. Jun 26, 2020 at 12:19
  • 3
    The Barrier was designed to be ADA compliant and therefore had an exception for service dogs. Jul 1, 2020 at 23:14
  • There is evidence in Crimes of Grindelwald that magical barriers exist that can only be (safely) crossed by people loyal to the wizard who conjured them.
    – A. Darwin
    Aug 15, 2020 at 16:30
  • 1
    @A.Darwin: Ugh... That sort of magic basically makes traitors an impossibility. "Oh, hey, loyal henchman <Insert Name>, leave your wand over there, then come on through this barrier. Wait, you can't get through? Definitely going to assume the magic is broken rather than that you've been in deep cover working for my enemies." Even mind-reading is less disruptive to reasonable plots, at least there you can claim it can only read surface thoughts, or deep scans cause brain damage so innocent people resist them. Magic that proves loyalty (more generally, intent) is the death of intrigue. Mar 24, 2021 at 14:34

Your Answer

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

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