HPfGU #40168

Arthur Weasley With Imperius -- Now, With New Canon!

RE: Arthur Weasley With Imperius -- Now, With New Canon!

This message contains much reprise of my pet "Arthur Weasley With Imperius" speculation. It also, however, includes some brand new material, which can be found towards the end of the defense.


Massive Road Trauma (Gee, that's a bummer -- hope it gets better) wrote:

My apologies if this has been discussed before.

I was re-reading Goblet of Fire last night, and came across a chunk of text that jumped out of me (although maybe after reading this board for too long, I'm looking for subtext).

Hey, if you don't take that Egg under the surface of the water, then how are you ever going to be able to understand what it's really trying to tell you?

Subtext is good. We like subtext. ;-)

MRT, you have made my day. "Imperio'd Arthur Weasley" is one of my all-time favorite pet theories (see messages #37121, 34232), and learning that somebody else was struck by the possibility upon reading GoF (even while out on a subtext hunt) makes me so happy, because if someone else saw it there without prompting...why, then it just must be true!

Right? Right?

Here is my defense for the notion that poor Arthur Weasley was indeed a victim of the Imperius Curse at some point in time during Voldemort's first rise to power. Much of this has been snipped from previous posts on the subject, but I've now added Yet More Canon, for those who like their speculations crunchy and wholesome and nutritious.


Canonical evidence for Arthur Weasley With Imperius

1) Evidence that there were many genuine victims of the Imperius Curse.

I believe that there were indeed at least a few wizards who really were placed under the Imperius Curse against their will during Voldemort's first rise (rather than just claiming that they had been to escape punishment for their crimes).

In the Pensieve chapter of GoF, Karkaroff names Mulciber: "he specialized in the Imperius Curse, forced countless people to do horrific things!"

In Chapter Four of PS, Hagrid tells Harry that after Voldemort's disappearance: "People who was on his side came back ter ours. Some of 'em came outta kinda trances. Don' reckon they could've done if he was coming back." Nor do I think that Hagrid is talking about the likes of Lucius Malfoy: Hagrid seems steadfastly unimpressed with the Malfoys and their claims of innocence.

Crouch/Moody supports this assertion in Chapter 14 of GoF: "Years back, there were a lot of witches and wizards being controlled by the Imperius Curse. . . .Some job for the Ministry, trying to sort out who was being forced to act, and who was acting of their own free will."

When talking to Harry about the dark days of Voldemort's rise, both Hagrid and Sirius emphasize the difficulties of knowing who could really be trusted. This is consistent with a situation in which a number of people are not only turning traitor willingly, like Pettigrew, but also being manipulated against their own volition.

Canon has also provided us with examples of people being so manipulated. The unfortunate Elder Crouch suffers under the Imperius through most of GoF. During the Third Task, poor Viktor Krum is not only placed under it, but also forced to cast Cruciatus while under its influence. We have been given hard evidence to support both the truth of the assertion that the curse is indeed difficult to resist and the implication that one can be forced to act very much against ones own inclinations or desires while under its control.

So although nearly everyone we have seen who claims to have been a victim of the Imperius Curse in canon has been lying, I nonetheless believe that there were quite a number of genuine victims of the curse during Voldemort's first rise to power.

2) Targetting of younger ministry officials as part of the Death Eater modus operandi

We already know that Voldemort had an interest in infiltrating the Ministry. Rookwood of the Department of Mysteries was the big fish that Karkaroff was able to offer up as part of his plea bargain in the Pensieve scene.

We also know that Voldemort's organization sought to make use of the ministry's younger and more vulnerable workers, people who had access to documentation but were not likely to be under very close supervision. We see evidence of that in Ludo Bagman's trial, also in the Pensieve chapter.

It seems quite likely to me that they would have achieved this end not only by deceiving the gullible (as with Bagman), but also through judicious use of the Imperius Curse. In fact, Crouch/Moody implies as much in Chapter 14 of GoF, when he says: "Gave the Ministry a lot of trouble at one time, the Imperius Curse."

At the time of Voldemort's first rise, Arthur Weasley would have been a relatively young and likely low-ranked ministry official: precisely the sort of person most likely to be targetted by the Death Eaters for exploitation.

3) Arthur's particular hatred of Lucius Malfoy

Lucius Malfoy's lame and childish taunts about Arthur's failures as a provider are enough to goad him to initiate physical violence. This may simply be read as evidence that the two were at Hogwart's together: there certainly is, to my mind, a marked schoolboy flavor to their relationship. I do believe that they were likely at Hogwarts together. And of course, they have some serious political disagreements as well.

None of this suffices, though, to account for quite the degree of bitterness that I detect in Arthur's attitude towards Lucius Malfoy. It strikes me as highly significant that although there is a strong cultural prohibition on speaking to ones children about the days of Voldemort's rise, and although we often see evidence that the Weasley family abides by this prohibition, Arthur has nonetheless apparently gone out of his way to talk about Lucius Malfoy's role in the war to even his younger children.

As an eleven-year-old boy just starting school, Ron already has knowledge of the precise details of Lucius Malfoy's acquittal. At the beginning of PS, he tells Harry:

'I've heard of his family,' said Ron darkly. 'They were some of the first to come back to our side after You-Know-Who disappeared. Said they'd been bewitched. My dad doesn't believe it. He says Malfoy's father didn't need an excuse to go over to the Dark Side.'

This is very specific knowledge for a kid who was raised in a culture that displays a pathological aversion to the idea of ever talking—or even of thinking—about those days. The Weasley parents do not seem to make a practice of speaking to their children about such matters. Ron doesn't give the impression of knowing about the Longbottoms, for example. He doesn't recognize the Dark Mark when he sees it, either. For that matter, he doesn't even know what the Dark Mark is. And yet he happens to know the specific grounds on which Lucius Malfoy was acquitted ten years ago?

Why would Arthur have told Ron about Lucius Malfoy's acquittal, when he's never even explained to the boy what the Dark Mark was?

Well, if he really had sincerely been placed under the Imperius Curse at some point during Voldemort's reign, then the fact that Lucius Malfoy got off on the same claim must have really rankled. It might even have rankled badly enough for him to have told his younger children about it, in spite of the evident reluctance of wizarding culture—the Weasley family included—to speak of such matters.

4) Crouch/Moody's DADA Class

The "The Unforgivable Curses" chapter of GoF, which MRT cited in his (?) message is, to my mind, by far the strongest evidence for the notion that Arthur Weasley was one of Voldemort's Imperius victims.

Although "several hands...[rise]...tentatively into the air" when Crouch, as Moody, invites his students to name the Unforgivables for him, he chooses to call upon Ron. He has already, at the very beginning of the DADA class, identified Ron as Arthur Weasley's son. Ron names the Imperius Curse, adding that he knows of it because his father has mentioned it to him. This seems to please Crouch immensely.

'Ah, yes,' said Moody appreciatively. 'Your father would know that one. Gave the Ministry a lot of trouble at one time, the Imperius Curse.'

Now, we all know what Crouch is. He's a sadist, isn't he? He's a sadist, and he's a show-off; and he is sly. He just loves to entertain himself by making double-edged statements with malicious secondary meanings. Just about everything he says throughout the novel has some nasty message lurking beneath it. So is it possible that there could have been a second meaning underlying that "your father would know that one," as well as some reason for him to be so very "appreciative" of Ron's answer?

Oh, yes. I think that's possible. I think that's definitely possible.

I also see a certain symmetry emerging in this chapter if we accept as our starting hypothesis that Ron's father was indeed, at one time, a victim of the Imperius Curse. Crouch calls on Ron to volunteer the name of the Imperius. He calls on Neville to volunteer the name of the Cruciatus. I feel absolutely certain that he was just dying for Harry to raise his hand, so that he could force him to speak the name of the Avada Kedavra. Alas for Crouch, though, Harry is an ignoramus, and so he was forced to call on Hermione instead. All the same, he did go out of his way to draw the class' attention to Harry after his demonstration of the curse, as well as forcibly reminding Harry that the Avada Kedavra was how his parents died. Crouch is just like that. He's clever and cruel, and he has some...well, let's just say some serious parental issues.

5) Hints of a Weasley family weakness to Imperius

Harry is a freak in his ability to shrug off the Imperius Curse—that much is clear—but the text also implies that Ron may have an unusual degree of difficulty with this task. On their way to lunch after DADA class, in Chapter 15, Ron is "skipping on every alternate step. . . .Moody assured him the effects would wear off by lunch-time."

No other student is shown to suffer from such lingering after-effects after any of Moody's classes. Even Neville Longbottom, who is not only a poor student but also the character that JKR usually selects to serve similarly slapstick comedic functions in the text, is never shown having this problem.

This is particularly odd because nowhere else in canon is Ron depicted as a poor student. He does have some difficulties in CoS, but only because of his broken wand; he doesn't take Divination at all seriously, but then, neither do any of the other male Gryffindor students. Ordinarily, Ron is canonically depicted as a perfectly average student. So why the trouble with the Imperius Curse? He's not really a weak-willed person at all.

Well, could it be a family trait? Riddle's diary did quite the job on Ginny too.

6) Arthur Weasley's unwillingness to risk exposure to the allure of the Veela during the QWC.

It seems reasonable to me that someone who was once victimized by the Imperius Curse—particularly by forces as hostile to ones personal inclinations as the Death Eaters were to Muggle-loving Arthur Weasley—would be particularly on guard against falling prey to similar mental magics a second time around. Indeed, one might even be a bit phobic about that possibility.

A month or so ago, Irene and the Catlady were having a discussion about the mystery of the "third time Imperius" line in the graveyard scene of GoF ("And Harry felt, for the third time in his life, the sensation that his mind had been wiped of all thought..."). In the course of that discussion, either Irene or the Catlady (I can't remember which, sorry) proposed that perhaps the first time had actually been Harry's exposure to the Veela at the QWC.

The Catlady wrote:

Hmm. Does that suggest that Veela magic is a form of innate and perhaps automatic Imperius Curse? The command "Desire me!" cast on any and all men in the vicinity?

Irene then added:

That would explain also why Harry is handling it better than Ron. Oh, and does it mean that there is more to Arthur Weasley than meets the eye?

She provided this bit of canon:

'Aaah!' He suddenly whipped off his glasses and polished them hurriedly on his robes. 'Veela!'

Yes. It is suggestive that, isn't it? Unlike Irene, though, I don't view it as evidence that Arthur is unusually resistant to the allure of the Veela. Far to the contrary, I think it shows that he is— or perhaps merely fears himself to be—even more vulnerable than ordinary men. Just look at what he does. He lets out an exclamation, and then he very quickly takes his glasses off, under the pretext of needing to clean them.

We never see him put them back on his face. My guess is that he didn't do so until the Veela were once more safely out of his range of vision.

Arthur does not want to see the veela.

Now, sure, Arthur's a married man and all. He's a family guy. I get that. But he's still a man, isn't he? And surely there is no particular stigma attached to drooling a bit over the veela, is there? Even if Molly found out about it somehow (and she's not even there at the QWC, so it isn't that Arthur is trying to spare her feelings in any immediate sense), she would understand. She wouldn't like it much, maybe, but she'd hardly throw a frying pan at him for it, would she? I doubt it. So why on earth does Arthur seem so eager to get those glasses off of his face?

Well, if the allure of the Veela is kin to, or even feels anything like the Imperius Curse, then quite possibly he's unusually skittish about that. It scares him. He doesn't want to be exposed to it, and so he tries to reduce the Veela's power to affect on him by rendering himself effectively blind, thus removing the entire visual component from the Veelas' seductive powers.

6) Implications of a Voldemort-related skeleton in the Weasley family closet

Of course, if poor Arthur Weasley really had spent some time under the Imperius Curse back in the bad old days, then clearly no one has ever told Ron or the Twins about it. While Ron doesn't care at all for those spiders, Crouch's Imperius demonstration doesn't otherwise seem to bother him at all—he thinks that it's cool—and he has no negative reaction to Crouch's comment about his father. Similarly, the Twins show no signs of distress over Crouch/Moody's DADA class; on the contrary, they are overflowing with enthusiasm about it.

The older children, on the other hand, would likely know about it, because they would have been old enough to remember their father being questioned and then absolved by the MoM. Bill and Charlie would know. Percy might or might not, depending on how astute a child he was, how careless adults were about speaking of the matter in his presence, and whether or not Bill and Charlie understood that it was a secret Not For Younger Ears.

So is there any evidence in the text that Bill and/or Charlie are hip to something about their father and his relationship to the past, something that the younger children in the family do not know about?

I think that there is.

At the end of _GoF,_ in Chapter 36, when Dumbledore announces his intention of sending a letter to Arthur to enlist his help in convincing other Ministry officials of the truth of Voldemort's return, Bill immediately volunteers to go to him in person.

'I'll go to Dad,' said Bill, standing up. 'I'll go now.'

It's a fast response. It also has the feel of a preemptive strike. Bill wants to convince Dumbledore not to send Arthur a letter at all. "I'll go right this very second. It will be just as fast as the post. Just please don't make my father learn this news from a letter."

It's touching, that, but it is also really very suggestive. Why precisely is Bill so concerned about Arthur's feelings when it comes to this topic?

I think that Arthur was an Imperius victim, and that Bill knows it.

I think that we also see evidence of this in Chapter Nine of GoF. There are peculiar undercurrents to all of the exchanges between Arthur and Number One Son Bill in this chapter. Again, Bill seems to be playing a protective role. He is the one to change the subject away from the Dark Mark, when Arthur seems to be becoming dangerously emotional on the topic and when the silence following Arthur's faltering seems to be dragging on for too long (Dangerously long, perhaps? Long enough that Bill fears that it might provoke a confessional?).

When Bill does change the subject, he does so in a brisk, no-nonsense tone which seems to me to be quite deliberately intended to lower the emotional temperature ("Buck up, Dad").

His attempt to pull the conversation out of these dangerous waters fails, though. Harry asks what Death Eaters are. Ron brings up the Malfoys. Arthur is still responding emotionally: he laughs hollowly, he speaks about the DEs with undeniable bitterness. Bill is not pleased. The next time that he chimes into the discussion, in response to Ron's continuing to pursue the matter of the Dark Mark, his tone is actively irritable: "Use your brains, Ron."

The matter is not all that easily dismissed, though, is it? The rest of the conversation makes particular emotional sense once we assume that Arthur was indeed an Imperius victim, and that eldest son Bill is aware of that fact.

Bill's summary of the likely motivations of the ex-DEs at the Cup starts to venture into some very dangerous territory here:

'If they really were Death Eaters, they worked very hard to keep out of Azkaban when You-Know-Who lost power, and told all sorts of lies about him forcing them to kill and torture people.'

This is an interesting line, in part because it seems to be largely a parroting of what we already know Arthur has told Ron about Malfoy. Clearly this is a big issue for Arthur -- and he has seen to it that it has become a source of particular indignation for his children as well.

It's also interesting, though, because it begs the question of why precisely Bill is bringing this subject up again, when previously he seemed to be working to deflect attention away from it. What's up with that?

It's been eating at him, I think, the question of precisely what Daddy did during the war. It's not really a comfortable line of thought at all, is it, even if Bill accepts that his father was essentially innocent? It can't help but trouble him. Just what did his father do while under the Imperius, anyway?

As I read it, Arthur's next line is designed to reassure him. Although he is ostensibly answering Hermione, his answer doesn't strike me as really directed at Hermione at all. It's directed straight at Bill. Hermione asks whether whoever conjured the Dark Mark was doing it to show support or to scare the DEs away. Arthur acknowledges that the answer to that question is unanswerable, and then leaps to point out that only Death Eaters were ever taught how to conjure the Dark Mark. It's very much as if he wants to reassure Bill that he was never himself forced to do such a thing. (Although it's not really very much of a reassurance, is it? "Torture and murder, perhaps, but let me tell you something, son -- I never shot that Dark Mark up into the sky!")

7) Suggestions that the Weasleys feel themselves to owe a debt of gratitude to Mad-Eye Moody

This marvellous bit of canon was provided by Abigail, the last time that Imperio'd Arthur came up on the list (at a time when I was sadly away, else I would have commented more, er, promptly on it). I will therefore defer to her own words here.

Abigail cited evidence of a special relationship between Arthur and Moody as a defense for the idea that Arthur may at one time have been an Auror.

(For more on Arthur-as-Auror, check out Abigail's message #37136 and its follow-ups. Abigail, the Catlady, Barbara, and many other people whose names aren't leaping to mind right now have done a lot of really good stuff on this spec, but I'm not going to summarize it here because...well, I'd just be here all day if I did that, wouldn't I?)

In message #37136, Abigail wrote:

Has anyone suggested the possibility that Arthur Weasly was, at some point before the fall of Voldemort, an auror? The thought came to me when I was thinking about the implied closeness between Arthur and Moody. Amos Diggory calls on Arthur to bail Moody out when his flying trashcans attack muggle policemen, and the reactions from Molly and the older Weasly children seem to suggest the kind of closeness you might see between former colleagues:

'"I'd better hurry - you have a good term, boys," said Mr Weasly to Harry, Ron and the twins, draggins a cloak over his shoulders and preparing to Disapparate. "Molly, are going to be all right taking the kids to King's Cross?"

"Of Course I will," she said. "You just look after Mad-Eye, we'll be fine."


"Did someone say Mad-Eye?" Bill asked.


"Your father thinks very highly of Mad-Eye Moody," said Mrs Weasly sternly.'

In all fairness, Charlie does ask, a few sentences later, whether Moody was a friend of Dumbledore's, but I believe he says this as proof that Moody is not insane as George claims him to be.

Later on, Abigail acknowledged that this could also serve as canonical suggestion for Imperio'd Arthur:

Or perhaps Moody was respnsible for breaking the Imperius curse placed on Arthur - if such a thing is possible, I imagine Moody would be the one to do it. That would put Arthur strongly in his debt. Like I said in my previous message, I see no conflict between Arthur-with-Imperius and Arthur-as-auror, so either way, this works for me.

Leaving Auror!Arthur out of this for now, I do think that a bond of gratitude is strongly implied by both Arthur's willingness to bend the law to help out Moody and by the canonical exchange that Abigail cited. Even if Moody had nothing to do with breaking Arthur's Imperius—I myself consider it far more likely that the curse simply dissipated upon Voldemort's discorporation, as it did with so many of its other victims—the Weasleys would still have reason to consider themselves quite deeply in Moody's debt if he had been the Auror assigned to investigate Arthur's case.

We know that a number of the Aurors were not exactly gentle with suspects during that period in history. Crouch had authorized them to use the Unforgiveables on suspects, which means that they were allowed to use torture in their attempts to uncover the truth. And apparently, a number of them did just that: Sirius claims that some of the Aurors descended to the level of Death Eaters in the last years of the conflict.

So given all of that, I think that if I were Arthur Weasley and I had turned myself into the Ministry when my Imperius Curse had been lifted, then I would feel very grateful indeed to have been treated with kindness or consideration or even plain old human decency by the person investigating my case. Grateful enough that my wife might rebuke our children rather strongly for poking fun at the fact that the man's a wee bit unstable these days? Yup. Grateful enough that I would happily go out of my way to use what little clout I have to help cover up for the guy's minor legal indiscretions some thirteen years later? Oh, you betcha. In a heartbeat.

<Elkins pauses, suddenly struck by the image of a marriage between Evil!Moody and Stockholmed!Arthur, then shakes her head. Another day. Another day. And probably that's one for the Bay.>


So I hope that's reassured you, MRT. You're not the only one here malicious enough to have found themselves contemplating Imperio'd Arthur Weasley. ;-)

If you really want twisted, though, then how about combining Imperio'd Arthur with a Missing Weasley Child scenario?

This is a favored combination for those who like their speculations Dark, bloody and horrific (in TBAY terminology, those who wear "featherboas"). For some reason, I'm guessing that someone named "Massive Road Trauma" might just be a featherboasish sort of person. So here, submitted for your approval, is a quick run-down of "Missing Weasley Child."


Evidence people have cited to support the notion that the Weasley family lost a child during Voldemort's first rise

1) The large gap in age between Charlie and Percy.

Some people have also come up with attempts to organize the Weasley children's names according to an alphabetical schematic in order to bolster the notion that there was a third son, now deceased, born between Charlie and Percy. This is really not at all my favorite line of speculation, though (no offense intended to its adherents), so I'm not going to get into it here. If you're curious about it, though, then you can find a very long and animated discussion of this speculation in the archives from early April. A keyword search for "Weasley names" or "Seventh Son" should do the trick.

2) Ron's description of the composition of his family to Harry in the first book.

From Chapter Six of PS:

. . . . 'Wish I'd had three wizard brothers.'

'Five,' said Ron. For some reason, he was looking gloomy. 'I'm the sixth in our family to go to Hogwarts.'

Both that look of gloom and the fact that Ron says that he is the sixth to go to Hogwarts, rather than the sixth son, have been held by some to suggest that Ron had another brother who did not live to reach the age of eleven.

3) The Weasley family's traumatized response to allusions to or reminders of Voldemort's first rise

The Weasley family seems to have been unusually psychologically scarred by Voldemort's first rise to power. The entire wizarding world is pathological in this regard, true, but the Weasleys strike many people as carrying even more emotional baggage about Those Dark Times than average wizards. Of Harry's peers, Ron shows the strongest aversion to hearing Voldemort's name spoken outright. Of course, he is also the only one of Harry's close friends who was raised within the wizarding world, so this alone could account for it, if only there were not so many other indications that the Weasley family carries some form of severe yet secret trauma.

Take that clock, for example. That paranoiac grandfather clock in the Burrow, the one with the special setting for "mortal peril." Is that really a normal thing for wizarding families to have in their houses?

Well, maybe it is. Maybe it is. And yet, I notice that when a situation arises in which some of her family members might actually be in mortal peril, Molly doesn't seem to be able to bring herself to look at it to find out for sure. When the rest of her family returns home from the QWC in Chapter 10, for example, she runs out to greet them, practically deranged with relief to see them all safe and sound.

'Arthur -- I've been so worried -- so worried -- '

Molly is in quite a state. She is described as "pale" and "strained." She hasn't dressed. She's still clutching her copy of the _Daily Prophet,_ although she lets it fall out of her "limp" hand once she has thrown herself into Arthur's arms. In places, she is described as if she might even be tottering on the edge of a nervous breakdown.

'You're all right,' Mrs. Weasley muttered distractedly, releasing Mr. Weasley and staring around at them all with red eyes, 'you're alive....Oh boys...'

Why didn't she check the clock?

Don't tell me it's a FLINT. It's not a FLINT. JKR didn't forget about the clock, and she didn't want her readers to have forgotten about the clock either. She describes the clock again in the very same chapter. The clock is described in full, with special attention paid to that "mortal peril" setting, not four pages after her description of Molly's near-hysterical relief to see her family safely home. And Molly looks at it, too, to see if Arthur is on his way home from work yet.

So Molly uses the clock. She uses it on a daily basis. The one time she can't bring herself to look at it, apparently, is when someone in her family might really be in danger.

This is suggestive. People who have suffered through the agonies of knowing that a loved one has become trapped in a dangerous situation nearly always describe the worst part about that situation as "not knowing for sure." The relatives of those who are "missing in action" in times of war, those who are "as yet unaccounted for" when there has been some terrible disaster -- these people always claim that they just want to know, that even knowing that their loved one had been killed would be far better than the terrible uncertainty. Right?

Molly's different, apparently. Why would that be?

Perhaps because that clock has given her bad news before?

Arthur's explanation of the significance of the Dark Mark in Chapter 9 is also not only highly emotional, but also highly suggestive:

'The terror it inspired ... you have no idea, you're too young. Just picture coming home, and finding the Dark Mark hovering over your house, and knowing what you're about to find inside ...' Mr. Weasley winced. 'Everyone's worst fear ... the very worst ...'

There was silence for a moment.

It does sound rather as if he's speaking from personal experience, doesn't it?

4) Congruence with the Seventh Son/Ron Is A Seer theory

Some people believe that Ron shows evidence of unconscious prophetic talents throughout the canon, and that this might JKR's way of foreshadowing a plot turn in which Ron will be revealed to be a seer.

I have never quite been able to swallow this one myself, but again, if you're interested, there has been plenty of discussion of it in the past. A keyword search for "Seer" or "Seventh Son" should yield plenty of material for you to mull over.

The relevance of Seer!Ron to "Missing Weasley Child," of course, is that if Ron really does have a (now deceased) older brother, then that would make him a seventh son. There is strong evidence that Arthur himself comes from a large family. As the Catlady wrote in Message #37174:

Btw, I remain troubled by Draco's statement that "all the Weasleys" have red hair, no money, and more children than they can afford. Sure, he was just quoting Lucius, but it seems to me that Lucius would not have thought of saying such a thing unless there was more than one Weasley who had numerous children.

I agree with Catlady that this comment only really makes sense if we assume that the Weasleys' tendency to have many children is a multi-generational phenomenon. Arthur himself must come from a large family. It is therefore possible that he is himself a seventh son, which would make Ron a Seventh Son of a Seventh Son -- held by Western folklore to imbue one with prophetic powers.


Of course, if you combine "Arthur Weasley With Imperius" with "Missing Weasley Child" then it gets rather difficult to avoid wondering whether poor dear sweet mild-mannered Arthur Weasley might actually have been in some way responsible for his own son's death.

Such a line of inquiry might also lead you to wonder whether the running parricide motif of _Goblet of Fire_ is ever to be paralleled by a motif of filicide in some future volume.

Indeed, if you think overmuch on such matters, then you might find yourself noticing the hazy figure of Unwilling Filicide Arthur Weasley stepping slowly out from the murky shadows of canonical suggestion.

But this is such a thoroughly sadistic line of speculative thought that I myself would naturally never dream of suggesting it to anyone.


Posted June 21, 2002 at 1:37 pm
Plain text version

Comments and References

Kristen wrote

Hi. I really like all your theories, but don't agree with the seventh son one. On JK Rowling's personal site, she says that Arthur is one of three brothers, and no females had been born in the Weasley familiy for generations before Ginny. So, Arthur couldn't have been the seventh son there. :) Just wanted to pass along the info.

Elkins wrote:

Thanks, Kristin!

On JK Rowling's personal site, she says that Arthur is one of three brothers, and no females had been born in the Weasley familiy for generations before Ginny. So, Arthur couldn't have been the seventh son there. :) Just wanted to pass along the info.

Thanks! Yup, I saw that. The posts on this archive were mainly written back in 2002 (with a couple from 2003), and all but one of them before OotP was released, so there's a *lot* that's since been proven wrong. :-D

I'm glad you're enjoying the theories, though.


guza wrote:

Hi, hope you odn't mind a stranger commenting.

I've been reading some of your posts today, and I can't pull myself away.

Just thought I'd add a bit more to your theory here. You talk about Arthur's particular hatred of Lucius. While reading that bit, I kept thinking about just how -possible- it is that -Lucius- was the one to put the Imperius Curse on Arthur.

I have nothing to back this claim up, except for the fact that in OotP, Lucius put the Imperius on Sturgis Podmore in order to try and make Sturgis force his way into a top-security door at the Ministry. (I think this was the Dept. of Mysteries door).

So yes... I think Lucius could be quite proficient at casting this curse, or maybe he was Voldemort's only chance, since, at this point, the other DE's hadn't escaped yet.

In any case, really, really interesting theory. :)

guza wrote:

Umm, okay. I'll just post the comment again. It doesn't seem to have appeared.

Apologies if I am not noticing something or doing something silly.

Basically my comment was about the fact that it is possible that Lucius was the one to put the Imperius on Arthur (assuming that your theory turns out to be correct) - hence Arthur's particular hatred of him.

The only 'evidence' I had to back this up, was that in OotP, Lucius cast the Imperius on Sturgis Podmore in order to make him try to force his way into a top-security door in the Ministry.

Because of this, I thought that Lucius must be quite proficient at casting the curse, and might have done it to other people during the 'first war'.

But, yes... Really interesting theory. I've been glued to this site for awhile today. :)

I hope this comment will work.

Elkins wrote:

Hi, Guza. No, of course I don't mind! I'm glad to hear from you.

I also found it interesting to learn in OotP that Lucius has a way with Imperius, and it did make me wonder whether it might not lend more weight to this speculation. I've been sort of out of the loop on the HP fandom this past year, so I'm not sure whether anyone (on HPfGU or elsewhere) has compiled any new defenses of Imperio'd!Arthur since OotP, but if I were to do so, I'd definitely throw poor Sturgis Podmore into the mix!

"Seventh Son of Seventh Son," on the other hand, has been recently shot down by JKR. I was never a very big fan of "Seer!Ron" anyway, to tell you the truth, but it's always sad to see a perfectly good theory sink to Davy Jones' locker.

::moment of silence for Ron, the Seventh Son of a Seventh Son::

Dead Weasley Child himself, though, I thought gained some support from OotP.

I'm glad you've been enjoying the posts.

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TBAY: Arthur Weasley With Imperius Curse and Small Craft Advisories
from Overanalyzing the Text

Some new canon for Imperio'ed!Arthur. This one is notable mainly for coining the metaphor of the approaching "hurricane" of Book Five's impending release... (Read More)

fourth-rose: Or is it just because I don't like Ginny?

My darlings, forgive me, for I've been neglecting you.

But the WIP finishing frenzy is in its final stages, and besides, I'm trying to complete my re-read of all the HP books before DH comes out.

While I was reading OotP, I noticed something I had overlooked so far: after the battle at the Ministry, Dumbledore tells Harry that Voldemort could not successfully possess Harry because of some special power he has, and I think in HBP it turns out that Harry's special power is the ability to love, isn't it? (I haven't reread HBP yet...)

However: what, then, does it tell us about poor Ginny that Voldemort could possess her just fine?

donnaimmaculata: GoF Stuff

Listening to GoF during the past few days, I realised that it is probably the HP novel that annoys me most. (I kinda liked OotP, because the form corresponded with the plot quite perfectly: the loose endings, the illogical actions, the annoying behaviour of the characters serve to emphasise the stagnation and frustration the characters experienced. In a way, Rowling made most readers feel quite as frustrated as the characters do, and while I don't think she did it on purpose, it worked quite well for me. Plus, I very much appreciate that she didn't have the characters forget their petty old grudges (yes, I'm looking at you, Snape) and stand united against their mutual enemy. But I digress.)

So, there are quite a few things that annoy me about GoF (even if I ignore the completely preposterous Triwizard Tournament frame story). But before I come to them...

pauraque: CoS 3

CoS 3: The Burrow

'Well,' said Fred, 'put it this way -- house-elves have powerful magic of their own, but they can't usually use it without their masters' permission.[...]' (27)

'Well, whoever owns [Dobby] will be an old wizarding family, and they'll be rich,' said Fred.
[George:] '[...]House-elves come with big old manors and castles and places like that, you wouldn't catch one in our house...' (27-28)
More info on the nature of house-elves, the extensive discussion of which is still going in Chapter 2. I've been mostly sitting back and watching, and loving you guys for being so smart. . . .

psilan: I am one sick, sad, sorry, little man

Why, do you ask? Because I spent my lunch break musing over a series of articals/essays in regards to literary analysis of the Harry Potter series. Some of them extrapolate from the books and make predictions. Some of them have unfortunately been proven wrong by now, I think - but still, the skill with the references and the sheer amount of "cool - I never noticed that before" is just staggering. Here are the links to the essays, in case there are more unfortunate souls willing to be sucked in: . . .

parauque: GoF 14

There was a theory discussed in Chapter 13 that I'd never heard before: Trelawney is reading Voldemort's horoscope via the scar. Scarcrux ahoy!

GoF 14: The Unforgivable Curses

[quote]The next two days passed without great incident, unless you counted Neville melting his sixth cauldron in Potions. Professor Snape, who seemed to have attained new levels of vindictiveness over the summer, gave. . . .

narcissam: When Character Hate Goes Bad

Many good and beautiful things have been written about character hate. I was there, applauding vigorously, when the astonishing fact was pointed out that fictional characters are incapable of having hurt feelings. I remember vividly the wild declaration that people are entitled to their own emotional reactions. And I was charmed when I read the argument that, if we are allowed to feel positively towards our favourite characters, there seems no reason to forbid negativity towards others.

On that last count....

pauraque: CoS 18

The Arthur-Imperius theory comes primarily from skelkins, who has several posts about it on her site. As far as I can tell, the chronologically first one is here, but if you do a search, there are more...