Based upon this answer, J.K. Rowlings has apparently stated "You cannot destroy Dementors, though you can limit their numbers if you eradicate the conditions in which they multiply, ie, despair and degradation."

Does this mean that the number of Dementors is always either increasing or remaining the same? If they cannot be destroyed, does that mean they are immortal? Or do they die of "natural causes"?

  • 8
    Yeah, Dementors are like... the magical representation of the Entropy.
    – Kalissar
    Aug 8, 2013 at 8:05
  • I choose to think Rowling means that you can destroy individual Dementors, but you can't get rid of the phenomenon of Dementors forever. Just like the grey men in Michael Ende's Momo, the Dementors exist because people allow them to exist. So even if you go out and destroy each individual Dementor, new ones will get created later as long as there are people in the world with fears.
    – b_jonas
    Mar 29, 2017 at 10:02
  • One day, there would be nothing left in the universe, but darkness and dementors..
    – user931
    Apr 24, 2017 at 4:38
  • It's not canon, but Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality does great things with this... Nov 4, 2017 at 2:58
  • @Kalissar Then chuck them into a black hole. Nov 29, 2017 at 12:36

4 Answers 4


I interpret what JK Rowling has said to mean that however many Dementors already exist cannot be destroyed by any means, Wizarding or human, meaning there is no spell, potion, curse, etc, that will eradicate them. I expect there is the possibility that Dementors eventually die a natural death. I suspect that the number of Dementors in the world ebbs and flows with their contact with a ready supply of despair, unhappiness, degradation, hopelessness, etc. The less of these emotions they have to feed off of, the less Dementors there will be.

I think it's analagous, as JKR herself says, to depression. Depression is a condition that is never cured, but its severity can possibly be controlled with therapy, medications, and by tweaking other external factors that make it less likely for the depression to be debilitating, if that makes sense.

Anyhow, this is my interpretation of what JKR has said about Dementors.

  • 1
    Also, if it's like a fungus, they are more like a single orgnism :) Jan 12, 2012 at 14:50
  • 2
    There must be a Dementor hunting club, to keep the Dementors rounded up and contained. Otherwise there would be no end of them. There is always a ready supply of depression and despair somewhere in the world.
    – Xantec
    Jan 12, 2012 at 15:10
  • @DVK - I get your point. But it's weird that they are capable of taking orders and switching loyalties (that may be due simply to the fact that they are loyal to whoever is able to provide them with the most souls to feed on). They're like nature versus nurture amoebas or something like that, lol! :) Jan 12, 2012 at 15:58
  • @Xantec - Maybe it's a department in the Ministry and there are wizards/witches known as Dementor Herders. Perhaps its an eventual offshoot of the Inquisitorial Squad. ;) Jan 12, 2012 at 16:00
  • @Slytherincess Dementor herding ... I wonder if its anything like Nerf herding.
    – Xantec
    Jan 12, 2012 at 16:08

Harry thinks in GoF that Sirius went into a southern country and he couldn't imagine a dementor surving for long in sunshine.

I agree with that, I believe dementors can be destroyed (because I don't think they're alive either to be killed) if they are subjected to sunlight for too long and then dissolve into nothingness.

  • 5
    Did you mean "...a dementor surfing in sunshine"? :)
    – sbi
    Jan 13, 2012 at 8:10
  • 2
    In the train in part 3 the lights go out when the Dementor comes in. It think they are stronger than the light. Not that they can 'kill' the sun, but prevent the light from being around them. If you get what I mean. Me and my crappy English...
    – 11684
    Sep 11, 2012 at 14:48
  • Sunlight bleaching? Seriously?!?
    – user931
    Apr 24, 2017 at 4:40
  • I believe it is just people perceiving that the light goes out but it is an illusion Sep 25, 2018 at 16:56

What is more likely is that Dementors recognize what will kill them, and invariably high-tail it when confronted with such things.

I mean, if not even an uber-Patronus can destroy a Dementor, then why do Dementors flee when confronted with one? They could just make a tactical retreat and then return when the Patronus that forced them away has gone.


We-Know-Who spent a lot of time searching for immortality. If dementors were immortal he surely would have harnessed that ability by some dark ways.

  • 1
    This might be true, but it seems a bit speculative. Do you have any evidence of whether or not Dementors are immortal from the books? Also, both Horcruxes and Dementors have a relationship to souls…how do we know that Voldemort did not employ study of Dementors in making his Horcruxes?
    – Adamant
    Nov 15, 2016 at 0:29
  • 2
    It’s great that you’ve been helping provide some additional perspectives on various questions recently. However, we generally prefer answers that are well-sourced. Answers that are detailed and supported by quotes and references tend to get upvotes, whereas unsourced answers are often downvoted.
    – Adamant
    Nov 15, 2016 at 0:32
  • 1
    This doesn't seem to answer the question asked.
    – Valorum
    Nov 15, 2016 at 0:33

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