|"Are you a wizard or not?"
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- "We wizards seem particularly prone to the idea that we can bend the nature of existence to our will. The young warlock in this story, for instance, decides that falling in love would adversely affect his comfort and security. He sees love as a humiliation, a weakness, a drain on a persons's emotional and material resources."
- —Albus Dumbledore speaking about the warlock[src]
A warlock is the main character and villain protagonist of wizarding tale The Warlock's Hairy Heart, written by Beedle the Bard and included in The Tales of Beedle the Bard . He was described as rich, young, handsome, and talented in the magical arts. However, he was also cold and aloof, considering love to be a weakness, and therefore went to unspeakable lengths to stop himself falling in love.
Removal of his heart
Believing that love is a useless thing that weakens one's power, the warlock tried to use Dark Arts to stop himself from falling in love. He removed his heart and placed it in an enchanted crystal casket. Unaware of his secret, the warlock's wealthy parents ridiculed him for his aloof nature, while the warlock looked down on his peers for falling in love and producing offspring. In due time, his parents passed away, which he did not mourn for them, and upon inheriting his late parents' castle, he transferred his encased heart deep within the castle's dungeons, while keeping himself alive without the vital organ inside his body. From thereon, he became contemplate with his solitude, believing that being literally heartless is his sense of comfort and security.
Courtship of the maiden
Initially content with his solitude, the Warlock was taunted by his servants that no woman would love him despite his wealth. His pride wounded, the Warlock decides to find a beautiful, wealthy, and powerfully magical wife, so that he would be envied by all. He meets such a maiden the very next day. The maiden was fascinated as well as repelled by the Warlock, but agrees to attend a feast at his castle. The Warlock attempts to flatter her by plagiarising from a poet, but she confronts him saying that she would only believe these lovely words if he had a heart. So the Warlock takes her down to the dungeon of the castle and shows her the enchanted crystal casket, within which lay his own, still beating heart.
The maiden's murderThe maiden asked him to put the heart back inside his chest, and so he does. The maiden is so pleased that she runs forwards and embraces him. However, the heart had become horrible and wicked in the long time that it was separated from the body. The touch of her arms, the sound of her breath in its master's ear, and the scent of her golden hair pierced it, making the Warlock murder the witch.
- "...he fell across the maiden's body, and died."
- —The Warlock's death[src]
Later, guests at his castle found the Warlock was sitting crouched over the maiden, caressing and licking her heart, while she lay dead with her chest cut open. He was trying to swap her heart with his; however, his hairy heart was strong, and would not allow it. Not wanting to be controlled by his heart, the Warlock grabbed a silver dagger, and cut open his chest, and ripped it out. For a brief moment, the Warlock knelt victorious as he held a heart in each hand, before he fell over the maiden's corpse, and died.
- "The warlock’s heart felt nothing at all. Nevertheless, she was the prize he sought, so he began to pay her court."
- —The Warlock's thoughts on the maiden[src]
The Warlock met the maiden who answered his every wish the day she arrived in the neighbourhood to visit her kinsfolk. Despite the fact that he felt nothing for her, the Warlock considered her as the prize he sought, and started to court her. He invites the young maiden to a feast in his castle, in which he speaks to her using sweet and caring words the got from a poet, meanings of which he has no idea. She accepted his invitation, even though she was fascinated and repulsed at him, and confronts him saying that she would only believe the lovely words if he proved he had a heart. The Warlock then took her to the deepest dungeon to show his most valuable treasure, his own beating heart. The maiden was terrified by the shrunken, hair-covered heart, and told the Warlock to put it back in his chest. Once he had done so, however, she incorrectly believed that he is healed and is now capable of true love, while the smell of her hair as well as the beauty of her skin pierced his newly awakened heart. The maiden is then brutally murdered at the hands of the Warlock, in a failed attempt to exchange his hairy heart for hers.
- "All will change, when a maid catches his fancy!"
- —The Warlock's parents[src]
- "The first freshness of youth waned, and the warlock's peers began to wed, and then to bring forth children. 'Their hearts must be husks,' he sneered inwardly as he observed the antics of the young parents around him, 'shrivelled by the demands of these mewling offspring!'"
- —The Warlock's opinion of his peers' decision to have children[src]
- "Their words dealt dreadful blows to the listening warlock's pride."
- —Warlock after the lackey's discussion[src]
The warlock is described to be young and handsome, with long, dark, and straight hair. However, his handsomeness belied his true nature of cold indifference. When his heart parted with his body for a long time, it grew shrivelled and hairy.
- "In seeking to become superhuman this foolhardy young man renders himself inhuman. The heart he has locked away slowly shrivels and grows hair, symbolising his own descent into beasthood. He is finally reduced to a violent animal who takes what he wants by force, and dies in a futile attempt to regain what is now forever beyond his reach -- a human heart."
- —Albus Dumbledore[src]
Personality and traits
- "The hero in this tale, however, is not even interested in a simulacrum of love that he can create or destroy at will. He wants to remain forever uninfected by what he regards as a kind of sickness, and therefore performs a piece of Dark Magic that would not be possible outside of a storybook: He locks away his own heart."
- —Albus Dumbledore[src]
The Warlock was a proud, arrogant, and cold young man who decided that falling in love would adversely affect his comfort and security. He sees love as a humiliation, a weakness, a drain on a person's emotional and material resources; not even the death of his parents saddened him at the very least. For fearing love, he went to the extreme to prevent himself from falling prey, by removing his heart via dark magic. He is pushed to search for "a wife superior to all others" only to salvage his pride, which was severely wounded when he overheard what his servants had to say about him. His long term separation with his heart has reduced his humanity as time went on, ultimately turning him into an unrestrained beast when he was reunited his shirvelled and hairy heart.
After returning his heart into his body, he did not feel any remorse for killing the maiden on a bestial impulse, instead he was trying to take her heart as a replacement. At the end of the story, the Warlock had turned mad, and killed himself so he would never be mastered by his own heart.
Magical abilities and skills
- "There was once a handsome, rich and talented young warlock, who observed that his friends grew foolish when they fell in love, gambolling and preening, losing their appetites and their dignity."
- —The Warlock[src]
- Magical Mastery: At the very beginning of the story, the Warlock was already said to be magically talented, and therefore it can be deduced that he is a skilful wizard. The fact that he successfully used the Dark Arts to remove his heart while managing to keep himself alive and functioning could also be seen as a testament to his being a prodigy in magic. However, it must be noted that this ability is considered impossible outside of a storybook, though it is somewhat similar to how Horcruxes operate. His inability to understand the potent magic of love became his downfall.
- Dark Arts: Among the stated talents he possess over magic, the warlock was highly adept and proficient in the Dark Arts. He performed a piece of Dark Magic that was considered impossible outside of a storybook: he removed his own heart and locked it up both physically and metaphorically to prevent himself from falling in love, while maintaining his own life without the vital organ within his body. However, this act also invoked the First Law of the Fundamental Laws of Magic, as his heart grew shrivelled and hairy, a sign of his humanity lost, showcasing his ignorance and downfall.
- Consummate Actor: The warlock has proven himself to be a skilled and charismatic actor, successfully persuading almost everyone that he has changed, charming the maiden's family into believing that the two are the most compatible pair, and plagarising a poet's sweet words (which he has no understanding of) in an attempt to seduce her. Only the maiden herself was perceptive enough to see through his charade.
Notes and references