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- "Alecto, Amycus's sister, teaches Muggle Studies, which is compulsory for everyone. We've all got to listen to her explain how Muggles are like animals, stupid and dirty, and how they drive wizards into hiding by being vicious toward them, and how the natural order is being re-established."
- —Alecto's prejudiced and hateful teachings[src]
Professor Alecto Carrow was a Dark witch, Death Eater and the sister of Amycus Carrow. Alecto fought in the First Wizarding War along with her brother. They did not search for Lord Voldemort after his first downfall, but were forgiven after Voldemort's return in 1995, and joined the Death Eater ranks once more in the Second Wizarding War.
After the fall of the Ministry of Magic in 1997, Alecto was made Professor of Muggle Studies; she taught the thinking that Muggles are lesser than Wizardkind, and likely taught the pureblood-philosophy as well. When Severus Snape became Headmaster of Hogwarts, she was appointed as Deputy Headmistress, alongside her brother (who was appointed as Deputy Headmaster). She loved to punish and torture the students who opposed them.
On the eve of 1 May, 1998, shortly before the Battle of Hogwarts, she was stunned by Luna Lovegood when she summoned Lord Voldemort's Death Eaters. She was then magically tied up in Ravenclaw Tower by Professor McGonagall. After the battle, she was likely sent to Azkaban along with her brother for their crimes.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Physical appearance
- 3 Personality and traits
- 4 Magical abilities and skills
- 5 Etymology
- 6 Behind the scenes
- 7 Appearances
- 8 Notes and references
Alecto Carrow was born sometime before 1981 into the pure-blood Carrow family somewhere in the British Isles. She likely acquired her wand at either Ollivander's Wand Shop in Diagon Alley or Wands by Gregorovitch at the Carkitt Market.
First Wizarding War
Alecto and her brother, Amycus, supported Lord Voldemort and became Death Eaters during the First Wizarding War. After Voldemort's downfall in 1981, they did not search for their master, believing that Voldemort was gone forever, and thus avoided imprisonment in Azkaban.
Second Wizarding War
Alecto and her brother were, most likely, among the Death Eaters that were summoned by Lord Voldemort to the churchyard at Little Hangleton on 24 June, 1995, as their absence wasn't noted by Voldemort himself.
Battle of the Astronomy Tower
On the evening of 30 June, 1997, Alecto and her brother participated in the assault on Hogwarts Castle, orchestrated by Draco Malfoy, that resulted in the death of Albus Dumbledore. When the Death Eaters arrived at the top of the Astronomy Tower, where Dumbledore was trapped, Alecto gave "wheezing giggles", as her brother made fun of the Headmaster. When Severus Snape arrived on the scene, he cast the curse that ended the Headmaster's life.
On Snape's orders, she and her brother swiftly left the Tower, panting excitedly. In the corridors below, Alecto and Amycus retreated after Snape with their arms over their heads, under attack from blasts by Minerva McGonagall. As the brother and sister descended the Marble Staircase, Harry took a shortcut and arrived on the grounds before them.
As the two Death Eaters closed in after him, one of them cast a spell that sent Harry to the ground. Harry hit one of them, who stumbled and fell, tripping up the other, with another Impediment Jinx. The two siblings then ran to the gates, and Disapparated beyond the school boundaries.
That summer the Carrows attended a Death Eater meeting at Malfoy Manor. This meeting concerned plans to capture or kill Harry Potter and take over the Ministry of Magic. During this meeting it was revealed that the Death Eaters had successfully infiltrated the Ministry and that they were aware of the date in which Harry would be removed from Privet Drive. This meeting took place during the height of the Second Wizarding War.
Appointment at Hogwarts
- "The other teachers are all supposed to refer us to the Carrows if we do anything wrong. They don't, though, if they can avoid it. You can tell they all hate them as much as we do... I got this one for asking [Alecto] how much Muggle blood she and her brother have got."
- —Neville Longbottom regarding his recently acquired scars[src]
On 1 August, 1997, the Death Eaters managed to stage a coup within the Ministry of Magic, thus gaining influence over all of wizarding Britain. One month later, as of 1 September, Alecto was appointed as Muggle Studies teacher as well as Deputy Headmistress under the new Headmaster Severus Snape.
Muggle Studies was made a compulsory core class. The curriculum was changed to include the Ministry of Magic's anti-Muggle propaganda exclusively (instead of teaching aspects of Muggle culture and science).
As one of the Deputy Heads, Alecto was in charge of all disciplinary action (along with her brother). All Hogwarts staff were obliged to report any rule-breaking student to her or her brother (although the staff did not turn students in if they could avoid it). Alecto's disciplinary measures included torture by way of the Cruciatus Curse, as well as binding students with chains, and corporal punishment in the form of beatings.
Dumbledore's Army, led by Neville Longbottom, spearheaded the resistance against the Carrows. Alecto made a slash on his face after he asked her how much Muggle blood she and her brother had. The group, which was banned after the reenactment of Educational Decree Number Twenty-Four, would sneak into the corridors at night and write on the walls with messages like "Dumbledore's Army, Still Recruiting". Michael Corner was caught releasing a first year that Alecto and/or Amycus had chained up, and he was thus brutally tortured.
When Alecto and Amycus understood they had no hold over Neville, they planned to kill him or send him to Azkaban. As they chased him, Neville vanished into the Room of Requirement, and the rest of Dumbledore's Army soon followed in his footsteps, moving into the room as both Alecto and Amycus tried to hunt them all down.
By the evening of 1 May, 1998, news of Harry Potter, Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger's break-in of Gringotts Wizarding Bank reached the student body; Terry Boot was beaten up by Alecto and Amycus for yelling about it in the Great Hall over dinner.
That same day, as Lord Voldemort became aware that Harry Potter, Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger were hunting down and destroying his Horcruxes, he told Alecto and Amycus that Harry might try to get into Ravenclaw Tower. At her urgent request Professor Flitwick, Head of Ravenclaw House, let Alecto into the common room, where she stood guard.
Alecto was keeping watch when Harry arrived with Luna Lovegood. She immediately touched her Dark Mark, letting Voldemort and all the Death Eaters know that they had got him. Alecto was immediately stunned by Luna, and Amycus demanded that Minerva McGonagall let him into the Tower. Once inside, he saw his unconscious sister but no sign of Harry, as both Harry and Luna were hidden beneath Harry's Invisibility Cloak. Aware that they were going to feel Voldemort's wrath if they did not hand him Harry, Amycus planned to pass it off on the students, and when Professor McGonagall objected calling Amycus and Alecto cowards in the process, he spat in her face. This caused Harry to use the Cruciatus Curse on him, which knocked him out. Minerva McGonagall used a spell to conjure a net, and the two siblings were tied up and hoisted into the air, where they were left dangling beneath the ceiling.
Neither Alecto nor her brother fought in the Battle of Hogwarts as both of them were kept tied-up at Ravenclaw Tower. It is likely that after the battle and the end of the Second Wizarding War they both were imprisoned in Azkaban for their crimes under Kingsley Shacklebolt's de-corrupted Ministry of Magic.
Alecto Carrow was a stocky little woman like the Weasley twins, with a wheezy giggle, much like her brother. Sloping-shouldered, she had stubby fingers and, as a Death Eater, she was branded with the Dark Mark on her forearm.
Personality and traits
- "They're in charge of all discipline. They like punishment, the Carrows."
- —Neville Longbottom, on the Carrows' love for punishing students[src]
Alecto was an extreme sadist who enjoyed torturing students or just people in general. Indeed, Neville even claimed that Alecto "made Umbridge look tame". Alecto had strong pure-blood supremacist beliefs (specifically the belief in blood purity), as she taught that blood traitors, mudbloods, and Muggles were lesser than wizardkind. She was not highly intelligent, however, as she needed Filius Flitwick to let her into Ravenclaw Tower. However, she was seemingly slightly brighter than her brother Amycus. Like Bellatrix Lestrange, she admired Voldemort and detested "blood traitors", Muggle-borns and Muggles alike; though unlike Bellatrix, Alecto was not loyal to Voldemort enough to seek him out after his first downfall, nor brave Azkaban in his name.
Magical abilities and skills
Alecto Carrow was a Death Eater, which meant she was adept in the Dark Arts. She along with her brother Amycus, gained an infamous reputation within the wizarding world, particularly during their stint as joint Deputy Heads at Hogwarts, as they severely punished students for any rule-breaking within the school.
- Dark Arts: Being a Death Eater, Alecto was a natural when it came to the Dark Arts. She showed particular skill in utilising the Cruciatus Curse, as she used it as a common form of punishment during her time as a teacher at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It can also be assumed that Alecto was able to summon the Dark Mark, having it branded on her forearm like most Death Eaters. She used this same mark to summon Lord Voldemort when she found Harry Potter in Ravenclaw Tower.
- Duelling: Alecto must have been a somewhat skilled duellist as she was an active participant in both the first and second wizarding wars and survived them both. She participated in the Battle of the Astronomy Tower; however, she was no match for the extremely powerful Minerva McGonagall, as she was forced to retreat with her arms over her head as McGonagall sent spells and insults after her in equal measure. She also wasn't quick enough to block Luna Lovegood's Stunning Spell upon discovering her and Harry Potter in the Ravenclaw Common Room (although it should be noted she was attempting to summon Voldemort at the time and her focus seemed to be solely on Harry Potter).
- Apparition: Like most adult wizards and witches, Alecto was capable of apparating at will. Alecto disapparated away from beyond Hogwarts grounds following the Battle of the Astronomy Tower.
- Teaching Skills: Alecto was a Professor at Hogwarts, where she taught Muggle Studies. Her teachings conformed to the Ministry propaganda that Muggles are filthy, stupid and like animals that have violently forced wizards and witches into hiding and that the natural order of things was being restored with wizards having supreme dominance over all muggles. Most of the students likely ignored her anti-Muggle teachings and some such as Neville Longbottom verbally opposed them; however, these students would find themselves being severely punished if they did.
- The name "Alecto" is Greek, and means "unceasing in anger". "Alecto" is known to have been derived from the earlier male name; "Alektos".
- In Greek mythology, Alecto was one of the Erinyes, also known as the Furies; they are the Greek personifications of vengeance and pangs of conscience, and are known for being cruel and bloodthirsty towards wrongdoers.
- In English, the word, "Carrow," can refer to two places. "Carrow" in Norfolk, or "Carraw" in Northumberland. The first is assumed to have its name derived from the Old English word "carr", meaning "rock", and a word of Celtic origin; "hoh", meaning "spur of a hill". While the second appears to have been named either after the plural of the Old English word "carr", or after a mixture of a form of "carr", and another Old English word; "raw", meaning "row".
- The surname may also have derived from the Welsh surname Caeriw (meaning "dweller at the foot of a hill).
Behind the scenes
- Alecto is portrayed by Suzie Toase in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and the first and second part of the film adaptations of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
- Actress Vanessa Stevenson doubled for Suzanne Toase in the film adaptations of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
- In the films Alecto is diminished to a background character with no speaking lines. In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince she takes no active part in the Battle of the Astronomy Tower, witnessing Dumbledore's death without a word and then fleeing with her fellow Death Eaters. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, she only appears during the Meeting at Malfoy Manor. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Alecto and Amycus are stunned by Headmaster Severus Snape's deflects of two of Minerva McGonagall's curses directed at himself, which either knock them unconscious or kill them (it is not made clear and the pair are not seen again, though it is unlikely that McGonagall would cast a curse that would kill). It is highly likely that Snape intended for this to happen whilst making it look like an accident.
- In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (video game), she appears as one of the foes that Harry Potter must fight. Suzie Toase also did the voice of the character for this game.
- David Yates mistakenly called Alecto and Amycus "the Carrow twins" even though they were not twins.
- Ironically, when comparing Alecto and her brother to Dolores Umbridge, the most hated character in the franchise, Neville Longbottom claims that she makes her look tame.
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (video game)
- Wizarding World
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- The Archive of Magic: The Film Wizardry of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 2 (Spinner's End) - "“You ask why I did not attempt to find him when he vanished. For the same reason that Avery, Yaxley, the Carrows, Greyback, Lucius” — he inclined his head slightly to Narcissa — “and many others did not attempt to find him." The Carrows must have been alive when Voldemort vanished.
- Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Pure-Blood" at Wizarding World lists the Carrow family as having been pure-blood in the 1930s, meaning they had no known Muggles or Muggle-borns in their family tree; however, like the pure-blood Malfoys, she may have been "one of many half-bloods" on the family tree. See Writing by J.K. Rowling: "The Malfoy Family" at Wizarding World
- "World Exclusive Interview with J K Rowling," South West News Service, 8 July 2000 - "Hogwarts just serves Britain and Ireland."
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 12 (Magic is Might)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 27 (The Lightning-Struck Tower)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 30 (The Sacking of Severus Snape)
- See this interview; "Samantha: Was snape the only death eater who could produce a full patronus J.K. Rowling: Yes, because a Patronus is used against things that the Death Eaters generally generate, or fight alongside. They would not need Patronuses."
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 28 (The Missing Mirror)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 2 (Spinner's End)
- "Are Alecto and Amycus (the two sibling Death Eaters) the Carrows mentioned by Snape in Spinner's End?" on J.K.Rowling Official Site
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 33 (The Death Eaters)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 28 (Flight of the Prince)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 11 (The Bribe)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 12 (The Patronus)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 29 (The Lost Diadem)
- Suzie Toase to reprise Alecto Carrow role in Deathly Hallows
- "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 2" The Story of Snape