How did Alastor 'Mad Eye' Moody manage to survive for 9 months when he was trapped in the enchanted trunk in the 4th book?

  • 1
    One would assume that Barty Crouch Jr took care of him somehow.
    – Zoredache
    Commented Mar 22, 2013 at 8:53
  • O.o.... doesnt seem that likely since he is an auror,one who has gained an immense reputation for capture of dark wizards.. Commented Mar 22, 2013 at 9:46
  • 1
    It seems likely. Remember, he didn't kill moody. Instead, he just trapped him in a box.
    – user931
    Commented Mar 22, 2013 at 11:28

2 Answers 2


Barty Crouch Jr had to keep Moody alive, since he needed a source of hair/etc for the Polyjuice potion. There is no canon explanation, but it would be relatively easy for Crouch to ensure that Moody was fed. Dropping food and water into the trunk is a relatively easy matter. Moody was helpless in that box (no wand, unable to attack physically and too weak to do anything anyway), so Crouch wouldn't have been afraid of Moody. So I see nothing stopping him from dropping food/water into the trunk every now and then.

Addendum: As mentioned in StarPilot's comment, Barty would have had to keep Moody around for questioning anyway. Polyjuice potion just makes you look like the subject, you still need to do a convincing impersonation by acting like him/her. Barty doesn't know all about Moody, he'd need to question him if something came up.

Besides, Moody, being the paranoid guy he was (as well as being an Auror), may have had spells that would activate when he died. Aurors did dangerous things, and were hated by many, it was quite reasonable for the Ministry to want to know about an Auror's death (If someone is on an Auror-killing spree, they should be able to stop him/her before it becomes a spree). Add Moody's paranoia to this and it's very likely that he had such spells on himself.

  • It never made sense to me that he kept him alive. He is a dangerous crazy old wizard hunter. And they never said the hair couldnt be taken from a corpse. Commented Mar 22, 2013 at 15:55
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    @TheLollipopGuildmaster: He doesn't have a wand. And, one may need a live subject for Polyjuice potion. Polyjuice reflects the current state of your subject, so scars and all are mirrored. Which means that it is possible for death to break the potion Commented Mar 22, 2013 at 15:57
  • 4
    Best zombie costume idea ever. Commented Mar 22, 2013 at 16:00
  • 1
    This answer is correct. Potions did expire. And, corpse wouldn't survive much longer.
    – user931
    Commented Mar 23, 2013 at 3:52
  • 3
    Barry Junior could also question or use magic to question Moody, to better impersonate him. Plus, if any magic was used to check if Moody was alive, it would show Moody was indeed alive. Moody as a paranoid person may have created and cast spells to alert his trusted friend that he was dead, and keeping him alive but helpless would prevent this.
    – StarPilot
    Commented Mar 24, 2013 at 0:00

As far as I know, it hasn't be explicitly stated, but I believe the person being transformed into must be alive. All the instances of Polyjuice potion being used that I could find was between people who were still alive. Although that isn't evidence that you couldn't turn into someone who was dead, not that I could think of a reason to, or a part in HP where that would be beneficial.
It's also possible that he was kept alive because of the freshness of the ingredients or just in-case Crouch Jr ran out of "A bit of the person one wants to turn into."

  • Sorry, but your answer here is just dealing with why he was kept alive. The question asked was about how he survived or how he was kept alive.
    – phantom42
    Commented Mar 22, 2013 at 11:12
  • @phantom42 The how is that Crouch Jr. kept him alive, most likely with charms and potions, so that he could continue to make Polyjuice Potions.
    – Steam
    Commented Mar 22, 2013 at 12:46
  • Sure, but the closest that @mcfuu's answer gets to that is the comment about the "freshness of the ingredients".
    – phantom42
    Commented Mar 22, 2013 at 13:03

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