Dumbledore and Grindelwald sealing their Blood Pact

A blood pact is a type of magically binding agreement between two parties who share their blood. It could be made by the parties cutting their hands with their wands and interlacing them and making the desired oath. Upon doing this, two glowing drops of blood would raise from their palms and mingle into one. Thereafter, a vial would take shape around it, enclosing the drop, signifying that the deal was struck. Once made, the vial was supposedly impossible to destroy,[1] though Albus Dumbledore was willing to try to destroy the one he had once made with Gellert Grindelwald.

Known uses

Dumbledore and Grindelwald


Dumbledore seeing himself and Grindelwald in the Mirror of Erised, sealing their Blood Pact

During their teenage years, Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald made a blood pact where they swore an oath never to fight each other - presumably as a fail-safe to ensure no rift were to set them apart in their grand endeavor to ignite the revolution between the magical and the non-magical aggregations wherein the former was intended to prevail in the end to mark an era of sovereignty over the latter, with Albus and Gellert spearheading it equally as unified leaders with neither wizard lesser or greater than the other.[2][1] By 1927, Grindelwald still possessed the vial from this pact to protect it from Dumbledore, so that Dumbledore would not be able to ever attack him directly.[3] However, the pact worked both ways and was therefore a double-edged sword, as while it protected Grindelwald from Dumbledore, it also prevented Grindelwald himself from personally eliminating Dumbledore, the greatest threat to his cause.

Newt and Dumbledore talking at Hogwarts

Newt giving Dumbledore his blood pact pendent at Hogwarts

It nevertheless served Grindelwald well by leaving Grindelwald personally undefeatable at the hands of Dumbledore but knowing fully well Dumbledore may still be capable of interfering in his revolution, he searched for a way to kill his rival should he act against his army. Eventually, Grindelwald discovered the extremely powerful Obscurus, Credence Barebone was the only one potentially capable of killing Dumbledore, and so planned to use him as a weapon against his rival. However, during the Battle in the Lestrange Family Mausoleum at the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, France, Grindelwald's vial was stolen without his knowledge by a Niffler belonging to Newt Scamander. This occurred even while Grindelwald had already begun swaying Credence against Dumbledore.[4] Scamander subsequently brought the vial to Dumbledore at Hogwarts shortly thereafter, so he could attempt to destroy it.[1]

However, the terms of the pact would not stop Dumbledore from finally defeating Grindelwald many years later in 1945. It's unknown what the consequence of breaking the pact should be and how they managed to get around it, if they had in fact managed to destroy the blood pact by then.

List of Blood pacts

Behind the scenes

  • The nature of the restrictions of the pact or possible consequences for breaking it are unknown.
  • The timing of Gellert Grindelwald and Albus Dumbledore's pact is unknown and, if made in advance, whether it should have prevented the three-way duel between Gellert, Albus, and Aberforth that resulted in the death of Ariana Dumbledore.
    • It is currently unknown, but possible that Ariana's death was a consequence of Albus breaking the blood pact by trying to defend Aberforth from Gellert.
  • Considering how Dumbledore seemed unsure that he could destroy the blood pact between him and Grindelwald in 1927, it is currently unknown how Dumbledore was able to ultimately fight Grindelwald in their legendary duel in 1945, 18 years later. It could be that Dumbledore thoroughly researched blood pacts for years, eventually finding a way to terminate his. This could explain why it took Dumbledore so long to finally engage Grindelwald in one-on-one magical combat (though Dumbledore's lingering love for Grindelwald, and his fear of Grindelwald being able to reveal to Dumbledore who truly had killed Ariana, were additional reasons).
  • In many cultures, blood is seen as a prevailing symbol of life. The tradition to affirm a contract, alliances or vow in blood, was regarded as making the deal irreversible in nature and involved a solemn ritual that involved the mixing of two drops of blood as a sacred seal.


See also

Notes and references