By now, most of us are familiar with the quote by Ron Weasley in Sorcerer's Stone:

There hasn't been a witch or wizard gone bad who wasn't in Slytherin.

Logic states that this means that all dark wizards/witches were from the Slytherin house, but not that all Slytherin were dark wizards/witches. But how much of this was just hyperbole from an 11 year old boy?

After all, Gellert Grindelwald was arguably a "dark wizard" and studied at the Durmstrang Institute. Peter Pettigrew (who actually was a Death Eater) and Sirius Black (who was falsely accused as one) were also both from Gryffindor.

As noted in this answer and from Goblet of Fire, we know that the wizarding community is not confined to England or even Europe. We know that there are other schools. I haven't been able to positively confirm this, but it appears - and it would make sense that the other schools have their own "houses" similar to Hogwarts. Following that line of thought, it isn't a stretch to assume that other houses look for similar traits/qualities such as "potential greatness".

Seeing as that what Voldemort was trying to do would affect all wizards/witches, it would make sense if wizards/witches from other countries joined up with him.

Is there any evidence that the Death Eaters was or was not an international group?

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    Karkarov was a death eater from Bulgaria (or thereabouts)
    – Kevin
    Feb 6, 2013 at 14:51
  • 3
    Well, and let's not forget Peter Pettigrew, who was not only not a Slytherin -- he was a Gryffindor. There was Antonin Dolohov, whose name sounds as if it could be Russian. I don't think, though, that during the events of the books that the Death Eaters was an international group, but perhaps they were more far-reaching during the first Voldemort war (the one the Marauders et al fought in). Feb 6, 2013 at 15:03
  • 2
    Well, even that is demonstrably false since, as @aSlytherin pointed out, Peter Pettigrew was a Gryffindor.
    – phantom42
    Feb 6, 2013 at 16:39
  • 2
    Then one can point to Sirius Black who everyone thought was evil at the same time, but was also a Griffyindor.
    – phantom42
    Feb 6, 2013 at 17:06
  • 1
    @Kevin - make that an answer! Feb 6, 2013 at 17:44

4 Answers 4


The above answers are all correct especially when linking Karkarov to Europe. To follow on from this we know that Voldemort had lots of influence abroad. This was seen with the recruiting of the Giants with Hagrid trying to win them over first.

  • 1
    as well as the Vampires, and Werewolves (I know for sure the Vampires lived in Eastern Europe, not too sure where the Werewolves lived outside of the United Kingdom)
    – Monty129
    Feb 7, 2013 at 1:00

Though a lot of Death Eaters have foreign names, (Lestrange, Dolohov, Karkorov, they’re all good examples) they also all studied at Hogwarts, so they aren’t really foreign wizards. And they all stayed in England with Lord Voldemort after he became Lord Voldemort, so they aren’t really foreign. IF Karkorov and Dolohov were born in Russia, they would likely have studied at Durmstrang. Bellatrix was a Black, but her husband’s name is French, so he would have gone to Beauxbatons.

  • I thought Beaubatons was an all girls school? Also they wouldn't necessarilly have gone to Durmstrang. If you remember Draco said he wanted to go to Durmstrang but his mother had wanted him to stay close to her, so what country you come from has no relevance on what wizarding school you attend.
    – Monty129
    Jun 18, 2014 at 18:36
  • 2
    Beauxbatons is an all-girls school only in the movies. The same goes for Durmstrang. All-boys only in the movies. Jun 18, 2014 at 19:13
  • Karkorov and Dolohov were both men, so even in the movies, they could have gone to Durmstrang. The fact remains that every one of the Death Eaters, even those those that did not attend at the same time as Tom Riddle, studied at Hogwarts and not one of the other schools. Draco was only potentially being sent to Durmstrang because Karkorov was Headmaster there.
    – Sttro
    Jun 18, 2014 at 20:05
  • In Slughorn's memory of the Horcrux incident, Lestrange was one of the boys who had been in the room before Slughorn shooed everyone except Voldemort off to bed. That indicates that, whether or not Lestrange was British-born, he certainly attended school in Britain.
    – E. J.
    Mar 10, 2015 at 4:42
  • But do we know that Karkarov studied at Hogwarts?
    – Adamant
    Sep 23, 2016 at 7:22

The Death Eaters all seem to be British, possibly even Karkaroff.

There don’t seem to be any known foreign Death Eaters. It’s possible that foreign Death Eaters exist, but the known Death Eaters either are clearly shown to be British or their nationalities aren’t something that can be reasoned from what’s known about them. The majority of the Death Eaters, and sometimes their relatives as well, were known to attend Hogwarts, implying that whatever their original heritage was, they themselves were likely British. Even the one who seems most likely to be foreign, Igor Karkaroff, shows signs of not being nearly as foreign as his position as headmaster of Durmstrang might imply. When Karkaroff was convicted, he was tried for his crimes in Britain, and sentenced to Azkaban, the British wizarding prison.

“He was caught, he was in Azkaban with me, but he got released. I’d bet everything that’s why Dumbledore wanted an Auror at Hogwarts this year – to keep an eye on him. Moody caught Karkaroff. Put him into Azkaban in the first place.”
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 19 (The Hungarian Horntail)*

His case was also tried in Britain, further implying he’s originally ‘of Britain’.

“Very well, Karkaroff,’ Crouch said coldly, ‘you have been of assistance. I shall review your case. You will return to Azkaban in the meantime …”
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 30 (The Pensieve)

When he visits Hogwarts for the Triwizard Tournament, he calls it ‘dear old Hogwarts’ and says it’s good to be there, which implies a certain previous familiarity with Hogwarts.

“Dear old Hogwarts,’ he said, looking up at the castle and smiling; his teeth were rather yellow, and Harry noticed that his smile did not extend to his eyes, which remained cold and shrewd. ‘How good it is to be here, how good …”
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 15 (Beauxbatons and Durmstrang)

Additionally, though Krum is clearly depicted as having an accent, Karkaroff isn’t - he speaks perfect English and is never shown speaking another language.

“But ve have grounds larger even than these – though in vinter, ve have very little daylight, so ve are not enjoying them. But in summer ve are flying every day, over the lakes and the mountains –’

‘Now, now, Viktor!’ said Karkaroff, with a laugh that didn’t reach his cold eyes. ‘Don’t go giving away anything else, now, or your charming friend will know exactly where to find us!”
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 23 (The Yule Ball)

From the evidence we have, it seems more likely that Karkaroff was originally from Britain and then fled abroad after being released than that he’s actually at example of a foreign Death Eater. As no other Death Eaters seem particularly likely to be foreign, it’s very likely they were Britain-based.

  • In the "Muggle world" criminals are usually tried and imprisoned in the jurisdiction where the crime was committed not where they hold citizenship. Even if such a criminal escapes to his homeland he may be extradited. Do you have any reason to believe this isn't the case for wizards? As to the accent thing vis-a-vis Krum, with time and practice one can learn to talk like a native. Krum was like 16 at the time, Karkaroff had much more practice
    – nagamani
    Nov 13, 2018 at 4:40

Igor Karkarov, headmaster of Durmstrang and obviously not British, just from his accent. In the fourth book, he and Snape were chatting about their Dark Marks, and how they were getting darker. Only Voldemort's inner circle was branded with the Dark Mark.

  • 1
    Is the accent described in the books, or was that an addition made for the movies?
    – phantom42
    Oct 28, 2014 at 3:39
  • @phantom42 he actually speaks perfect English in the books, and AFAIK has no accent mentioned, im under the impression hes not foreign at all, as we never see him speak any other language but english even to his students.
    – Himarm
    Feb 24, 2015 at 14:13

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