Walden Macnair is a minor character in the Harry Potter franchise, and one of Lord Voldemort's henchmen. After Voldemort's first defeat, he works at the Ministry of Magic as an executioner for the Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures.
Walden Macnair was born before or in 1953, and most likely attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. In his youth he obtained his wand from Ollivanders. At some point during the 1970s, Macnair joined the Death Eaters.
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
After his defence was accepted, Macnair went to work for the Ministry of Magic as executioner for the Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures, a job well suited for his violent and vicious mind.
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, resulting 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 in the West Tower, 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 Hippogriff and Azkaban escapee away from Hogwarts and into hiding.
Second Wizarding War
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 Jr 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 in 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 but allowed Macnair to rejoin in his ranks.
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 other Death Eaters. 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. He is a violent creature who loves 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 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 pot of Flitterbloom) and a 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 Jr in the battles chase and at one point Macnair grabbed hold of Harry Potter by his throat and nearly managed to snatch the prophecy from him. However, Neville Longbottom prevented him, by shoving his wand through Macnair's Death Eater mask's eyehole, causing him great pain and forcing him to let go of Harry and evidently miss stealing the prophecy. Afterward, when Macnair regained composure, Harry stunned him with a Stunning Spell.
After the battle between the students and Death Eaters, the Order arrived on the scene, and Lord Voldemort himself showed up in person and duelled Albus Dumbledore. Voldemort disappeared when the Minister for Magic showed up, and 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 is known to be once again at large again by the summer of 1997.
Battle of Hogwarts
In 1998 when Harry Potter returned to Hogwarts after a long search for Horcruxes, many Death Eaters and other creatures attack the castle, in an action known as the Battle of Hogwarts. Hogwarts staff 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.
Macnair was seen by Harry Potter at the Great Hall during the battle when Rubeus Hagrid, who presumably remembered him from the trial of Buckbeak, threw him across the Hall and against a wall, knocking him unconscious. Shortly after, Macnair's master was defeated by Harry Potter. His ultimate fate is unknown, though if he survived, he was most likely captured and sent to Azkaban.
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.
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 bears the Dark Mark on his left inner forearm, which has since faded to a mere scar upon Voldemort's death.
Magical abilities and skills
- Apparition: Walden could Apparate to his master's side.
- Dark Arts: He was able to perform the Unforgivable Curses (which requires ability and a powerful bit of magic) he could cast the Cruciatus Curse as well as the Killing Curse.
After Buckbeak attacks Draco Malfoy in retaliation for mocking him during Hagrid's first Care of Magical Creatures class, Draco's father, Lucius, angered by the incident, decrees that the animal be put to death, with Macnair being ordered to carry out the execution.
Sometime near the end of the school year, as Harry, Ron, and Hermione are going down to Hagrid's house to visit him, they walk past Macnair as he is sharpening his axe in preparation for the execution scheduled for that evening.
Differences from the source material