|“||Dementors are among the foulest creatures that walk this earth. They infest the darkest, filthiest places, they glory in decay and despair, they drain peace, hope, and happiness out of the air around them... Get too near a Dementor and every good feeling, every happy memory will be sucked out of you. If it can, the Dementor will feed on you long enough to reduce you to something like itself... soulless and evil. You will be left with nothing but the worst experiences of your life.||„|
|~ Remus Lupin to Harry Potter about the Dementors.|
The Dementors are dark wraith-like creatures used by the Ministry of Magic to guard the wizard prison known as Azkaban, which all originally served as the secondary antagonists of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. They later served as minor antagonists in Order of the Phoenix and supporting antagonists in Deathly Hallows, when they turned against the Ministry and joined Voldemort's army.
Dementors appear as tall (around 3 meters), ominous figures who wear black cloaks, and glide above the ground. A Dementor's face has empty eye sockets, covered with scabbed skin. The skin has a slimy texture, as if something had decayed in water. There is a gaping large hole where the mouth should be, which is used for sucking the soul out of the victim.
Almost anyone who has seen what is under a Dementor's hood is in no fit condition to tell what they saw. Harry Potter is an exception since the dementor that nearly kissed him lowered its hood before being driven off by the patronus cast by Harry's future self.
The history of Dementors in relation to Wizarding society in Britain is inextricably tied up with one location: Azkaban. The island in the North Sea on which the wizard prison is built has never appeared on any map, wizard or Muggle. It is implied that Dementors are one of byproducts of Dark magic experiments conducted by Ekrizdis at his fortress on the island. After his death, the various concealment charms placed on the island faded, and the Ministry became aware of the mysterious site's existence.
As mentioned in Pottermore, Dementor infestation was among the horrors discovered during the expedition on the island. Fearing the reprisal of these dark entities should anyone try to evict them, the Ministry decided to let the sizeable colony remain, unmolested and unchecked. Unfortunately, the corruption within the British Minister of Magic saw the ruthless Damocles Rowle repurposed Azkaban into prison island and even worse, weaponizing Dementors as guards for the same facility. As effective as it seemed, many of the prison's inmates had their sanity scarred by the Dementors' presence. Even after Rowle was forced to step down, no improvement over Azkaban was made, let alone the act to remove the entities despite apparent threat they pose. Nevertheless, Rowle's action foreshadowed Dementor's more sinister use upon Death Eaters' takeover on Ministry of Magic where in their case, as weapons of war.
Prisoner of Azkaban
The Dementors are the secondary antagonists and the main plot elements of the 3rd film and the book it based on. They are sent by the Ministry of Magic to Hogwarts to guard against Sirius Black. Harry encounters a Dementor in the train and during a Quidditch match, undergoing Patronus training in the process. At the end of the year, Harry and Sirius are encountered by every Dementor in the school. Although powerless at first, a stag Patronus (later revealed to be Harry's future self) saves them and repels the Dementors away. After Sirius Black was proved innocent, the Dementors were removed from Hogwarts.
Order of the Phoenix
The Dementors return as minor antagonists in the 5th film and the book it based on, having sent secretly and illegally by Dolores Umbridge to silence Harry's claims of Voldemort returning. Harry blasts them off with a Patronus charm.
By the 7th film and book it based on, Dementors were in free roam, with most having sided with Voldemort and the Death Eaters. They appear shortly when they chase the protagonists as they escape from Umbridge in the Ministry of Magic. Later, in the Battle of Hogwarts, an army of Dementors on Voldemort's side invaded Hogwarts, although they are blasted away by a Patronus charm.
19 Years later
When Auror Kingsley Shacklebolt became Minister of Magic, Azkaban stopped using Dementors any longer. It is not stated what happened to them, but it can be assumed that, due to a lack of sustenance, they died out and became extinct.
Powers and Abilities
Dementors can drain the happiness and any other positive emotion out of any area. In doing so, they can trap their victims within their own miserable thoughts. Their presence makes any area cold. When they get close enough to their victim, they perform the Dementor's Kiss, where they consume their victim's soul. The victim is subsequently left in a vegetive state, and are unable to move on to the afterlife or become a ghost without their soul. The only way to beat a Dementor is to cast a partonus, this patronus can be called by thinking of something happy. Happiness is a Dementor's pure weakness. Though they can't be destroyed, they do spawn like fungi, hinting that they die off on their own. Their own weakness is Patronus Charm.
In other media
Harry Potter theme park
The Dementors also make an appearance in the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride at the Harry Potter theme park in Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. In this ride, the Dementors are trying to suck out the soul of the visitors until they get chased away by Harry Potter himself.
- The Dementors are a completely original race created by J.K. Rowling, with no reference in classical mythology. Rowling has said that Dementors represent depression, which she suffered bouts of during her lifetime and before the success of the Harry Potter series.
Other Dark Wizards & Witches