In Deathly Hallows, the Death Eaters kidnap Luna to stop her father Xenophilius publishing more provocative Quibbler issues. Harry, Ron, and Hermione learn this when they visit the Lovegood house, ending in Xenophilius unsuccessfully trying to hand the trio over to the Death Eaters. They assume the kidnapped Luna is in Azkaban (“probably teaching the other inmates about Nargles and Crumple-Horned Snorkacks”).

They later hear on Potterwatch that Xenophilius’ failure to turn them in has landed him in Azkaban.

Later, when the Snatchers capture the trio, they take them to Malfoy Manor, where Voldemort has set up headquarters. When the trio is thrown into a cellar, they find themselves sharing a cell with Mr Ollivander and Luna.

Ollivander has been kidnapped to provide Voldemort with information about wandlore—especially the connection between Harry and Voldemort’s wands—so it makes sense that he should be kept close at hand, rather than in Azkaban.

But why was Luna kept at Evil HQ, Malfoy Manor, rather than thrown in Azkaban?

She doesn’t seem to have been of any particular importance to Voldemort directly—the whole point of abducting her was just to silence her father. If Xenophilius was just thrown in Azkaban, why was Luna different?

  • 1
    I suspect that even a Death Eater has the decency not to send a 16 year old girl into an adult correctional facility.
    – TGnat
    May 14, 2015 at 16:46
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    @TGnat But they had no such scruples about letting Greyback loose on Hermione, or indeed any of the other children he killed and disfigured. I sincerely doubt mercy has anything to do with it. May 14, 2015 at 16:48
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    the death eaters were punishing ol xeno by making sure he didn't see Luna, so it would make sense to take him where Luna wasn't being held when he was arrested. May 14, 2015 at 16:59
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    Where's the first place Harry and company thought to look (should they try to track her down), according to your own question? Jun 30, 2016 at 18:19
  • @JanusBahsJacquet: Near the end of the story, the Malfoys are shown to not be irrevocably evil, at least compared to Voldemort. That doesn't mean they didn't do some bad things in the past (Greyback), but when Voldemort ramps up his evilness, the Malfoys start seeing that this isn't what they wanted after all, at least not to the extremes that Voldemort takes it to. Sending Luna to Azkaban could even have been the straw that broke the camel's back, as Luna is so obviously soft and meek and an innocent hostage rather than someone who needs to be punished.
    – Flater
    Sep 4, 2017 at 10:19

5 Answers 5


I’ll flesh out my comment into an answer. I have a few suggestions for why they might keep her in Malfoy Manor, not Azkaban:

  1. She has valuable information about Dumbledore’s Army (the DA).

Luna is one of the leaders of the DA, and I’m sure the Carrows know it. I bet the other Death Eaters do as well – remember, the DA is one of the few pockets of organised resistance, and would be on the radar of the Death Eaters. (Or, more likely, something they tease the Carrows about whenever they leave Hogwarts.)

The Carrows already have Luna trapped at Hogwarts, so they wouldn’t go after her just for this reason. But if the other Death Eaters happened to pick her up? They might bring her in for questioning – she’s more useful than your average witness.

  1. She’s a known troublemaker.

As leader of the DA, she’s been stirring up trouble for the Carrows at Hogwarts. And as Neville explains, the DA have been doing so without the Carrows knowing how they communicate. That must be infuriating.

If I were the Death Eaters, I’d want to isolate her from anybody who is anti-Voldemort, especially in Azkaban. You don’t want to run the risk of her stirring up more rebellion.

  1. They can keep Xeno in the dark about what’s happened to her.

Xeno will stay in line for as long as he thinks Luna might escape unscathed. When the trio meets him, he doesn’t know if she’s dead, imprisoned, or something else. By keeping her completely isolated, they can stop anybody finding out what’s happened to her.

By contrast, if they sent her to Azkaban, word might get around the prisoners that she was still alive. Even if they keep Xeno away from her, it’s still conceivable that he’d find out she’s alive. Better to keep her totally isolated.

  1. Some of the Death Eaters have a personal score to settle.

Remember that two years ago, Luna fought toe-to-toe with Death Eaters in the Department of Mysteries. She was just fifteen. I’m sure some of the Death Eaters remember her, and would appreciate the chance to let her know how they feel.

Does that need you to keep her at Malfoy Manor? Probably not, but it might get her picked out from a group of prisoners going to Azkaban.

  • 4
    Small nit: when you say "She has valuable information about the DA," my brain read that as "She has valuable information about the Dark Arts." Perhaps spell out "Dumbledore's Army" in the header and then continue to abbreviate it in the detailed explanation.
    – Ellesedil
    May 14, 2015 at 19:53
  • @Ellesedil Good point; I’ve changed it.
    – alexwlchan
    May 14, 2015 at 20:02
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    They may also have known that she was close to Harry, and either hoped to question her on his possible plans or hoped/feared that he would try to rescue her. May 15, 2015 at 6:32
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    Maybe even Draco had something to do with it. He was already troubled by all that "being evil" thing and he might've said that she was valuable just so she wouldn't be sent to Azkaban, kinda like when he didn't tell on Harry when he was captured by saying he wasn't sure it was really him. I'm pretty sure Draco knew it was him.
    – Vic
    May 15, 2015 at 16:12
  • I’m almost certain that he knew Luna was alive. The dialogue between the Death Eaters and Lovegood when they arrive (just before the trio escape) would suggest that. And why would he have summoned them otherwise? You could say that he was only hopeful but in the end the Death Eaters said something very specific that said without a doubt that she was alive.
    – Pryftan
    Sep 23, 2018 at 23:06

While I'm not aware of a canon answer, I can think of a few reasons.

  1. At least before Voldemort took over the ministry, Azkaban was open to at least some visitors (see Fudge visiting Azkaban, Crouch Sr. and his wife visiting Barty Crouch Jr, etc). Having Luna in Azkaban meant risking that someone not loyal to the regime would see her and start asking questions (though the general climate of fear might have already precluded this).

  2. Before Xenophilius was sent to Azkaban, it would helpful to have Luna relatively close by in order to quickly be able to torture or kill Luna should the need arise. And since Luna had been close to Harry and the gang, it also meant that she was readily available for anyone to question (again, should the need arise). While the Deathly Hallows didn't point this out, Luna could have easily identified Harry and the gang under torture if Draco had been unable to do so.

  3. After Xenophilius was sent to Azkaban, having Luna at Malfoy Manor meant that he was still separated from her. So in effect, not only was he in a crappy prison, it still meant that Voldemort still had Luna to keep him in check. So being the general bad guys that they were, the Death Eaters were happy to keep them separated. And given the Malfoy's status at the time, what better place to put them than the resident servant's house?

  • i second this!. May 14, 2015 at 17:53
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    I’ve upvoted this answer, because it raises good points. Even so, regarding 1.: There’s a big difference between pre- and post-Voldemort Azkaban. Pre-Voldemort, it was essentially like our prisons, run by a basically benevolent ministry with the purpose of protecting the community and resocialising criminals; visitors would be allowed here. Post-Voldemort, it was more like a dungeon: a way to remove unwanted elements from sight and keep them downtrodden. Allowing visitors at all seems quite out of character here, especially ones that were not trustworthy by the Regime. May 14, 2015 at 18:22
  • Regarding 3: Why would they have needed to keep Xenophilius in check when he was already imprisoned and quite powerless? Even if Luna had been in Azkaban, it is presumably quite a big place, so they could easily have kept father and daughter from each other. But since their main objective in kidnapping Luna (to have the Quibbler stop printing pro-Harry stuff) had already succeeded, and Xenophilius was unimportant to them otherwise, why even bother keeping them apart anymore? May 14, 2015 at 18:22
  • Regarding 2: This is a very good point (coupled with @alexwlchan’s comment to the question). I had neglected to think of Luna as more than just her father’s daughter here. She was, of course, also a member of the DA (whose existence I’m sure Draco must have blabbed about), and many of the Death Eaters would even recognise her as being one of the kids that went with Harry to the Department of Mysteries at the end of Order of the Phoenix. This might indeed make her a valuable informant, though they don’t seem to have taken much advantage of this point. May 14, 2015 at 18:25
  • Lovegood was sent to Azkaban? Huh? Then how did he betray the trio?
    – Pryftan
    Sep 23, 2018 at 23:02

When the Carrows were directing Hogwarts, Luna was was one of the ringleaders of the students who were trying to resist the Carrows's rules and give them a hard time. Neville Longbottom says as much in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows chapter 29.

‘These have been great,’ said Neville, beaming at Hermione. ‘The Carrows never rumbled how we were communicating, it drove them mad. We used to sneak out at night and put grafitti on the walls: Dumbledore's Army, Still Recruiting, stuff like that. Snape hated it.’

‘You used to?’ said Harry, who had noticed the past tense.

‘Well, it got more difficult as time went on,’ said Neville. ‘We lost Luna at Christmas and Ginny never came back after Easter, and the three of us were sort of the leaders. […]’

So perhaps the Carrows hoped that the Death Eaters could get useful information from Luna about what the students were doing in Hogwarts, or were hoping they could threaten the other students if they made example on Luna. After Neville has disappeared from Hogwarts, perhaps they were even hoping Luna could guess where he was hiding.

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    +1 for quoting the source material. I like this answer the best since it confirms that Luna was regarded as one of the leaders of the DA, hence giving the Carrows a reason to bring her in for questioning. May 15, 2015 at 16:50

She wasn't in Azkaban because she was innocent and the takeover of the ministry was delicate. If it got out that they took Luna, the daughter of someone writing the truth of the conspiracies, it could have caused uprisings. You have to remember at the time Voldemort wanted to keep the wizarding world divided, at least the ones that were half-blood and the ones that were full Muggle-born. A child in Azkaban with no prior history of incident. Death Eaters are smarter than that.

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    How would anyone have known that she'd been sent to prison, though? The Death Eaters control the Prophet and all the propaganda streams. That's how they got away with sending all the innocent Muggle-borns to Azkaban. Sep 3, 2017 at 23:00

It's not in-canon, but I'm speculating that they originally kept Luna in the basement for ready access to keep Xenophilius under control. After Xenophilius was sent to Azkaban I think they discovered that Luna was helpful in keeping Ollivander alive. He seems in bad shape and needs a full-time caregiver and no one else in the Manor is willing and/or capable.

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