Your Weekend Creature Comforts: The Dementor


Hello there Rowling fans, your favorite weekend creature column is continuing our month long venture in to the magical world of Harry Potter creatures with one hell of a monstrosity this week: the dementor. These creatures are so vile and evil they could easily have their own spot on our devilish Horrors or Villain Spotlight columns, but since they are fresh in my mind as I re-live the third novel in the Harry Potter series, I’m going to bring them to you here first.

We are first introduced to dementors in Harry Potter and the Prisoner From Azkaban. They are referred to as Azkaban guards initially, and until one makes Harry pass out on the Hogwarts Express everyone assumed the guards were some elite group of wizards rather than soulless monsters.


According to many wizards, they are among the foulest beings on Earth. Dementors average about 10 feet high, humanoid, and are all covered in a dark cloak. Not many people have the misfortune of seeing what they look like under that cloak, but of course poor unfortunate Harry gets a glimpse so we all now know what we would see if one lifted its hood for us: their body resembles a decaying corpse, and their eye sockets are emptied though covered in scabbed flesh. Without eyes, they are technically blind though they can sense beings and are aware of their locations around them because of their perceiving their emotions. The only sound they make is a rattling, sucking noise, which is there perpetually indrawn breath that is sucking the happiness and joy from anyone within their immediate vicinity. And they float freely, traveling from place to place by flying.

When a dementor enters the area, there is a diffuse chill and darkness that starts to cloud the air, and everything feels like it is hopeless. And muggles cannot see them. I found it interesting to discover that J. K. Rowling created dementors when she herself was going through a period of clinical depression, and the dementors are literally a metaphor for depression in muggles. In the novels they are more of an embodiment of fear.


What dementors need to survive is human emotion. They suck all the joy and happy occasions from your memory if allowed to, and feed on it. The dementor’s kiss, which is essentially a form of execution, is when the dementor lifts it’s hood and clamps it’s mouth parts to yours, then proceeding to suck your entire psyche from your body, leaving you a soulless vegetative body.

There are several encounters with dementors throughout the Harry Potter novels after the third book. And while they might seem like they lack intelligence, the dementors are smart enough to align themselves with Voldermort and the evil wizard faction.

I think my favorite encounter with the dementors throughout all the novels was when they blatantly joined the darkside, and were found imprisoning all the suspects at the Ministrey of Magic being questioned about their magical heritage. Our lovely Umbridge was the inquisitor, and her house cat patronus kept them at bay. It was one of those scenes that was very well replicated in the movie, and once Umbridge was stunned, silencing her patronus, the dementors didn’t hesitate to attack the fleeing prisoners, only to be saved by Ron, Harry, and Hermione.


Well, that’s it for this weekend’s creature edition. Next week we will be wrapping up our month long adventure in to the creatures of the Harry Potter world.

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Posted on November 23, 2013, in Books, Creature Comforts, Movies and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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