Thorfinn Rowle was a British Dark Wizard and a Death Eater who fought in the Second Wizarding War. He fought at the Battle of the Astronomy Tower, where he accidentally killed fellow Death Eater Gibbon, burned Rubeus Hagrid's cabin, and tortured Harry Potter. On 1 August, 1997, he tracked Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger to Tottenham Court Road along with Antonin Dolohov disguised as construction workers, but the two Death Eaters were defeated and their memories were modified by Hermione to cover their escape. After this failure, Rowle was punished severely by Lord Voldemort. He also fought at the Battle of Hogwarts on 2 May, 1998.
Rowle's fate after the Second Wizarding War and Voldemort's final defeat is uncertain, although it is highly likely he was either killed or defeated during the Battle of Hogwarts, or that he was imprisoned in Azkaban with a life sentence for his crimes.
Second Wizarding War
Rowle was one of the Death Eaters of Lord Voldemort who fought in the Second Wizarding War. It is unknown if he had also fought in the First Wizarding War, though the fact that Ronald Weasley recognised him as well as Antonin Dolohov from old wanted posters suggests that he was. It's unknown if he was imprisoned in Azkaban, though if not it's most likely that he was one of the Death Eaters who did not search for Voldemort after his downfall.
Battle of the Astronomy Tower
- "Beyond them, Harry saw Tonks fighting an enormous blond wizard who was sending curses flying in all directions, so that they ricocheted off the walls around them, cracking stone, shattering the nearest window —"
- —Rowle duelling Nymphadora Tonks during the Battle of the Astronomy Tower[src]
Rowle participated in the attack on Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in 1997; he stayed below the Astronomy Tower in the main part of the Castle, and fought defenders by firing curses in all directions. He hit and killed fellow Death Eater Gibbon with a Killing Curse meant for Remus Lupin as Gibbon re-entered the battle. Later, Rowle hit a section of roof with another curse during a duel with Tonks causing rubble to rain down and the barrier to be lifted.
As battle recommenced, Rowle again fired curses everywhere, and after being hit in the face by one of Harry Potter's hexes he began to retreat from the school. During his retreat he somehow managed to make it to the grounds before Harry. He attempted to curse Rubeus Hagrid, but his curses had no effect on Hagrid because of his Half-giant blood. Instead, Rowle set Hagrid's hut on fire forcing Hagrid to rescue his dog Fang, who was inside. He was then ordered by Severus Snape, who at the time was operating in his capacity as a double-agent in open support of Voldemort, to leave the grounds and Disapparate away with Alecto and Amycus Carrow.
Luchino Caffe Duel
- "More, Rowle, or shall we end it and feed you to Nagini? Lord Voldemort is not sure that he will forgive this time... You called me back for this, to tell me that Harry Potter has escaped again? Draco, give Rowle another taste of our displeasure... Do it, or feel my wrath yourself!"
- —Lord Voldemort punishing Rowle after he failed to capture Harry Potter[src]
He was not identified by name to Harry Potter until they met face to face in the chaos following the attack on the Ministry of Magic in 1997. He and Antonin Dolohov tracked Harry, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger to a café on Tottenham Court Road via the Taboo curse on Voldemort's name after their escape from the Burrow. A fight broke out, and Rowle was stunned by Harry, who was under his Invisibility Cloak. Afterward, his and Dolohov's memories were modified by Hermione, even though she had not previously performed the enchantment. Ron recognised him and his partner, Antonin Dolohov, from an old Daily Prophet wanted poster.
Through his connection to Voldemort, Harry witnessed Voldemort ordering Draco Malfoy to torture Rowle soon after this incident and threatened to feed him to Nagini, as punishment for failing to capture Harry and his friends. His partner, Antonin Dolohov was also similarly punished. Despite this, both Rowle and Dolohov were spared though other Death Eaters were more careful about signalling Voldemort after that.
Battle of Hogwarts
- " QUIET! shouted Rowle, and with a flick of his wand Hagrid was silenced."
- —Rowle silencing Hagrid being held Hostage during the Battle of Hogwarts[src]
Harry saw Rowle once again when he entered the Forbidden Forest to confront Voldemort; Rowle was in the Death Eater camp dabbing at his bleeding lip, which means that he fought in the Battle of Hogwarts with his fellow Death Eaters. When Hagrid began to verbally protest Harry's seeming sacrifice, he non-verbally silenced Rubeus Hagrid instantly with the Silencing Charm. It is unknown if he later survived the battle, as he may have been killed in the final stage of the battle. If he did survive, he was most likely captured and incarcerated in Azkaban for his crimes.
Personality and traits
- "Fang’s in there, yer evil —!"
- —Hagrid condemning Rowle's evil personality after having set his hut alight[src]
Rowle was very cruel and extremely reckless, as he cast several Killing Curses indiscriminately during the Battle of the Astronomy Tower, which resulted in the death of fellow Death Eater Gibbon. He didn't hesitate to burn down Rubeus Hagrid's cabin while Fang was still inside, whether to distract Hagrid or simply out of sheer cruelty. He also seemed to be highly disrespectful and impatient as shown when he waved away the waitress when she arrived to take his and Dolohov's order, though this may be more due to the fact that she was a Muggle and that they were undercover. He apparently had little regard for his comrades as he did not seem to care about accidentally killing Gibbon, though he may have gotten along with other Death Eaters such as Antonin Dolohov. He showed no reluctance or resentment towards Severus Snape when ordered to flee rather to continue torturing Harry Potter, showing a willingness to take orders from higher ranking comrades. As a Death Eater and a member of the pure-blooded Rowle family, he likely held Muggles, Muggle borns, and blood traitors with intense scorn and hatred.
Magical abilities and skills
- Duelling: Rowle was a highly proficient and aggressive duellist, as he was able to hold his own against Nymphadora Tonks during the Battle of the Astronomy Tower until Harry Potter hit him in the face with a hex. He seemed to generally cause the most damage during the battle and held several Order of the Phoenix and Dumbledore's Army members at bay while his fellows cornered a weakened Albus Dumbledore and managed to survive the battle mostly unscathed. He also fought against Harry Potter, Ronald Weasley, and Hermione Granger, but was quickly defeated by Harry, who was under his Invisibility Cloak. He later fought with his fellow Death Eaters in the Battle of Hogwarts, though his actions during the battle are mostly unknown.
- Dark Arts: Rowle was able to cast the Unforgivable Curses (which require ability and genuine malice to perform); he used the Killing Curse during the Battle of the Astronomy Tower in 1997. He also fired a destructive curse that was strong enough to cause heavy damage to the Hogwarts roof, and destroy the cursed barrier.
- Charms: Rowle set Hagrid's hut on fire during the Battle of the Astronomy Tower by use of the Fire-Making Spell. The spell was powerful, as it was enough to set the whole hut ablaze and caused an "explosive bang". He was also able to cast the Silencing Charm in 1998 during the Battle of Hogwarts on Hagrid with success despite the latter being a half-giant.
- Nonverbal magic: Rowle was able to cast the Silencing Charm on Hagrid without speaking the incantation during the Battle of Hogwarts, and was able to fire multiple non-verbal spells at Tonks during their duel in the Battle of the Astronomy Tower, and later at Hagrid during his escape.
- Apparition: Being an accomplished adult wizard, Rowle was capable of Apparition. Rowle was able to disapparate from beyond Hogwarts grounds following the Battle of the Astronomy Tower.
Thorfinn is a Norse name, and may refer to Thorfinn the Mighty, an eleventh-century earl of Orkney. In the Orkneyinga Saga, he is described as "unusually tall and strong...a forceful man, greedy for fame and fortune. He did well in battle, for he was both a good tactician and full of courage." It may also link with Thor, the Viking god of thunder, and a mighty warrior of massive physical stature.
Behind the scenes
- Thorfinn Rowle is portrayed by British actor Rod Hunt in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and in the film adaptations of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
- In the book Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince he is never named, being only referred to as "The Big Blond Death Eater" or some variation. He is not properly named until the next book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, when Ron Weasley recognises him from old wanted posters.
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Rowle is present for Albus Dumbledore's death at the hands of Severus Snape. This differs from the novel where he remained behind to fight the Order of the Phoenix and Dumbledore's army members in order to prevent them from interfering.
- Also in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Rowle's role in the Battle of the Astronomy Tower is handed over to Bellatrix Lestrange, during which she burns down Hagrid's hut instead of Rowle, as he does in the book.
- In the book of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Rowle is the Death Eater to shout at Hagrid, however, in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, an unidentified male Death Eater does, possibly because Rowle's character is not as big as in the books—which is strange, considering Rowle has been in the films before and this character randomly showed up for this scene.
- Since he was featured on old wanted posters, it's likely that he was imprisoned in Azkaban following Voldemort's first defeat. If so this is ironic as his possible ancestor Damocles Rowle was the one to establish Azkaban as a prison.
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (First identified as Thorfinn Rowle)
- 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)
- Pottermore (Mentioned only)
- Wizarding World (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- Harry Potter for Kinect
Notes and references
- The Rowles were part of the Sacred Twenty-Eight and were thus considered pure-blood, at least in the 1930s. It is unknown if Thorfinn himself was pure-blood.
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 28 (Flight of the Prince)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 34 (The Forest Again)
- 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 9 (A Place to Hide)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 29 (The Phoenix Lament)
- "Thorfinn the Mighty" on Wikipedia