Walden Macnair was a Dark Wizard and one of Lord Voldemort's early Death Eaters, who fought in the First Wizarding War. Macnair did not search for Voldemort after his first downfall, but this was forgiven after Voldemort's return. He managed to avoid Azkaban, and worked for the Ministry of Magic as an Executioner.
He participated in his master's rebirth in 1995 and also fought in many battles during the Second Wizarding War, such as the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, after which he was imprisoned in Azkaban. He escaped in 1997 and fought at the Battle of Hogwarts, where he was thrown against a wall by Rubeus Hagrid. His fate after Voldemort's final defeat is unknown.
First Wizarding War
During the First Wizarding War, Macnair served as one of Voldemort's followers. After Voldemort's defeat, Macnair, like many Death Eaters, claimed that he had been under the Imperius Curse, and thus did not serve the Dark Lord willingly, in order to avoid going to Azkaban. He did not search for Voldemort after his downfall.
Employment by the Ministry
- Macnair: "Someone untied him! We should search the grounds, the forest."
- Albus Dumbledore: "Macnair, if Buckbeak has indeed been stolen, do you really think the thief will have led him away on foot?"
- — Macnair's anger at being denied the chance to execute Buckbeak[src]
Macnair was present during the trial of Rubeus Hagrid's pet Hippogriff Buckbeak and was there when Buckbeak was sentenced to death. Macnair was assigned the job of executing Buckbeak. Though this execution was later thwarted by Hermione Granger and Harry Potter when Albus Dumbledore told them they could save two innocent lives by using Hermione's Time-Turner, which they did, which resulted in freeing Buckbeak and Macnair never actually executing him. Dumbledore then dismissed Macnair, as his services would no longer be required at the present time.
Macnair expressed his disappointment at being denied the opportunity to execute the Hippogriff by burying his axe on Hagrid's Hut wooden fence in frustration before his departure. Macnair was later sent by Cornelius Fudge to get the Dementors after Sirius Black was caught and imprisoned only to find Black gone as well when he returned with them. This was because, unknown to Macnair or Fudge, Harry and Hermione flew Buckbeak up to the tower window and freed Black from inside, sending both the Hippogriff and Azkaban escapee away from Hogwarts and into hiding.
Second Wizarding War
- Lord Voldemort: "Macnair… destroying dangerous beasts for the Ministry of Magic now, Wormtail tells me? You shall have better victims than that soon, Macnair. Lord Voldemort will provide…"
- Walden Macnair: "Thank you, Master… thank you."
- — Voldemort viciously greeting his Death Eaters in Little Hangleton[src]
In 1994 Hogwarts held a Triwizard Tournament, a dangerous tournament with challenging tasks. Harry Potter, the boy who defeated Voldemort was a champion of this tournament. That year at Hogwarts, Voldemort had one of his followers Barty Crouch Jnr pose as new Professor of Defence Against the Dark Arts Alastor Moody. "Alastor Moody" was successful in getting Harry Potter to be transported to the Little Hangleton graveyard, where Wormtail would perform the rebirth of Lord Voldemort on 24 June, 1995.
Once reborn, Voldemort called for his Death Eaters and Macnair answered the call and arrived at Little Hangleton. Voldemort expressed his disappointment in Macnair for not staying loyal and for working in the Ministry, but allowed Macnair to rejoin in his ranks, promising him human victims to kill as opposed to creatures. Macnair was grateful to his master for his forgiveness. Harry later tried to name Macnair as a Death Eater to Cornelius Fudge, who took offence to the accusation due to Macnair's employment to the Ministry.
In the summer of 1995 Albus Dumbledore had set Rubeus Hagrid a mission to gather giants in preparation for the Second Wizarding War. However, Hagrid's mission was interrupted by Walden Macnair and another unknown Death Eater. Macnair was also on a mission to rally giants for the war, but Macnair was acting under the orders of the Dark Lord and, unlike Hagrid, completed his mission successfully and managed to obtain the giants' support. This was due to the Gurg of the giants, Golgomath, as he was a violent creature who loved killing as much as Macnair, and the two were able to get along fine. Golgomath also told Macnair and his comrades that Hagrid and Olympe Maxime were in the area, and the Death Eaters attempted to weed them out, but the two half-giants managed to escape.
Murder of Broderick Bode
Broderick Bode, an Unspeakable of the Department of Mysteries was placed under the Imperius Curse late in 1995 by Lucius Malfoy and was ordered to remove the Prophecy from its place in the Hall of Prophecy. When he touched the Prophecy Record, however, the defensive spells around it were triggered and he suffered spell damage that affected his mind, causing him to believe he was a teapot. Bode was then sent to St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries where he was gradually regaining his health.
On Christmas Eve of that same year, Macnair went to St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries, disguised as a "very old stooped wizard with a hearing trumpet". Knowing Bode would eventually regain his speech and lucidity, Macnair was ordered to leave him a pot of Devil's Snare (that was mistaken for a harmless pot of Flitterbloom by Healer Miriam Strout) and a fancy hippogriff calendar.
Upon touching the Devil's Snare, Bode was strangled by it, and was found dead in his bed in the next morning.
The Department of Mysteries
Macnair was amongst the Death Eaters gathered to participate in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries in 1996. Macnair was paired with Avery in the battle's chase though their actions are mostly unknown. In the Death Chamber Macnair was one of the ten Death Eaters who surrounded Harry Potter before being confronted by members of the Order of the Phoenix. While his comrades fought the Order members, Macnair grabbed Harry by his throat and nearly managed to snatch the prophecy from him. However, Neville Longbottom prevented him, by shoving Hermione Granger's wand through Macnair's Death Eater mask's eye-hole, causing him great pain and forcing him to let go of Harry. Afterwards, Harry hit him with a Stunning Spell, before he could regain his composure.
Following the battle, it is presumed that a stunned Macnair was found and imprisoned in Azkaban. Though he would only spend a short time in Azkaban as he was known to be once again at large again by the summer of 1997.
Battle of Hogwarts
- "I know that you are preparing to fight. Your efforts are futile. You cannot fight me. I do not want to kill you. I have great respect for the teachers of Hogwarts. I do not want to spill magical blood. Give me Harry Potter and none shall be harmed."
- — Lord Voldemort to the residents of Hogwarts shortly before he attacks[src]
In 1998 when Harry Potter returned to Hogwarts after a long search for Voldemort's Horcruxes, Voldemort's army of Death Eaters, Snatchers and other creatures attacked the castle, in an battle known as the Battle of Hogwarts. Many Hogwarts staff members and students managed to put up a good defence, but Macnair accompanied by many other Death Eaters was able to get inside the school grounds and into the castle, where they engaged in a violent and bloody conflict.
Macnair was seen by Harry Potter at the Great Hall during the battle when Rubeus Hagrid, who presumably remembered him from both Buckbeak's trial and the giant mission, threw him across the Hall and against a wall, knocking him unconscious. Shortly after, Macnair's master was defeated and killed by Harry Potter.
Macnair somehow survived the Battle of Hogwarts, and was presumably imprisoned back in Azkaban for his crimes committed as a Death Eater. He was still alive by the 2010s, and he provided long interviews at undisclosed locations to trainee Aurors working for the Statute of Secrecy Task Force who were trying to combat the Calamity, about his time working for Lord Voldemort.
Macnair was described as tall and muscular, with a thin, black moustache. In 1996, during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, he attempted to strangle Harry Potter, but was stopped by Neville Longbottom, who poked him in the eye with Hermione Granger's wand; Macnair's eye became red and swollen. As a Death Eater, he bore the Dark Mark on his left inner forearm, which would have faded to a mere scar upon Voldemort's death.
Personality and traits
Macnair was described by Rubeus Hagrid as very violent and bloodthirsty. He became an executioner primarily out of his fondness for killing. This was an interest shared by Golgomath (the Gurg of the Giants) that Macnair parleyed with on Voldemort's behalf. He expressed his disappointment at being denied the opportunity to execute Buckbeak the Hippogriff, by swinging his axe into a wooden post before his departure. He also appeared to be rather brutal in his methods such as when he violently grabbed Harry Potter by the throat when attempting to get the prophecy. Despite his viciousness and sadism, he did not seem to be one of the more loyal Death Eaters, as he did not search for his master following his original defeat. He was shown to be quite sycophantic to his master following his rebirth, where Voldemort promised to give him human victims to kill.
Magical abilities and skills
- Apparition: Macnair was capable of apparition, as shown when he apparated to Voldemort's side following his rebirth in the Little Hangleton Graveyard.
- Dark Arts: Being a Death Eater, Macnair was very accomplished in dark magic and with the casting of dark charms. He was able to perform the Unforgivable Curses (which require ability and genuine malice to perform), including the Cruciatus Curse as well as the Killing Curse.
- Duelling: Macnair was a very capable duellist, as he fought in both the Battle of the Department of Mysteries and the Battle of Hogwarts along with other Death Eaters, showing him to have been skilled in martial magic.
- Wand: Macnair owned a wand that was of an unknown length, wand wood and core material.
- Axe: Macnair owned a sharp cutting axe for his job as a professional Ministry executioner.
Behind the scenes
- Macnair was portrayed by Peter Best in the film adaptations of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, although another actor, Ashley Artus, briefly portrayed him in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, there is a scene in which Harry and his friends pass by Macnair sharpening his axe before he notices them and gives Harry an unnerving smile. It's possible that this scene was included to foreshadow Macnair's role as a Death Eater.
- In one edition of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Macnair's name was spelt as it was in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban during the churchyard scene, but was later mentioned by Harry Potter as "McNair". This was later corrected.
- In the films, Macnair isn't very muscular and has no moustache, though Ashley Artus's portrayal has a beard. He also has no speaking lines in the films.
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the Battle of the Department of Mysteries is considerably different from that of the novel. Macnair is shown holding Luna Lovegood hostage at one point, which did not occur in the book.
- In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4, Macnair is an unlockable character.
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (Possible appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (Possible appearance)
- Wizarding World (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 (Appears as a generic Death Eater)
- LEGO Harry Potter
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
Notes and references
- Macnair participated in the First Wizarding War, which ended in 1981. He was not neccessarily of age during that period, as Voldemort allowed underage wizards to join the Death Eaters.
- The Death Eaters and Lord Voldemort were known to violently oppose and despise all Muggles and Muggle-borns. Though rare examples of muggle-borns being offered to join the Death Eaters existed.
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 16 (Professor Trelawney's Prediction)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
- J.K. Rowling and the Live Chat, Bloomsbury.com, July 30, 2007
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 33 (The Death Eaters)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 21 (Hermione's Secret)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 36 (The Parting of the Ways)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 20 (Hagrid's Tale)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 23 (Christmas on the Closed Ward)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 25 (The Beetle at Bay)
- Although he is not named as Macnair in the credits of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film), he is played by Peter Best, who portrayed Macnair in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film).
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 35 (Beyond the Veil)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 36 (The Only One He Ever Feared)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 31 (The Battle of Hogwarts)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 36 (The Flaw in the Plan)
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
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