I recently came across a theory that Voldemort used Bertha Jorkins' unborn foetus to live in until he could get his body back, in Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire.

Is there any canon evidence/suggestions of this theory?

As far as I can remember, Voldemort 'damages her mind and body beyond recognition' when he tortures her for information, and breaks the Memory charm that made her forget Barty Jr. Later, he also praises Wormtail at having helped him obtain this body temporarily. But that doesn't necessarily prove anything.

  • 14
    Don't make me relive those memories. Nov 3, 2015 at 18:37
  • @brindha - Just FYI, I'm assuming people are voting to close largely because of their discomfort at the subject matter rather than because they feel this is genuinely opinion-based.
    – Valorum
    Nov 3, 2015 at 20:18
  • Voldemort uses torture to break through her memory charm, he does not put a memory charm on her. Barty Crouch Sr did that (to make her forget about seeing Barty Crouch Jr) and it ruined her memory and made her scatterbrained and forgetful. Obviously getting through this memory charm was what allowed Voldemort to learn about Barty Crouch Jr and formulate his Death Eater at Hogwarts disguised as Moody plan
    – Au101
    Nov 3, 2015 at 20:19
  • 3
    @Richard I voted to close because there is nothing to indicate that she was pregnant.
    – Rogue Jedi
    Nov 3, 2015 at 21:02
  • @Au101 I got a little mixed-up there, you're right. Edited!
    – Brindha
    Nov 4, 2015 at 4:17

2 Answers 2


No. There's absolutely no canon confirmation (in the book texts, supplementary materials, films, Pottermore or interviews with JKR) that indicate that Bertha Jorkins was pregnant, nor that Voldemort wanted her for any other reason than the memories she carried about Crouch Jr. and her knowledge of the Triwizard Tournament.

Whoever came up with this fan-theory seems to have based it purely on their own interpretation of the quote that JKR gave in 2007, that the way in which Voldemort came by his rudimentary body made her editor feel physically sick:

JKR: I see it as a series of things you would have to do. So you would have to perform a spell. But you would also-- I don't even know if I want to say it out loud, I know that sounds funny. But I did really think it through. There are two things that I think are too horrible, actually, to go into detail about. One of them is how Pettigrew brought Voldemort back into a rudimentary body. 'Cause I told my editor what I thought happened there, and she looked as though she was gonna vomit. And then-- and the other thing is, how you make a Horcrux. And I don't even like-- I don't know. Will it be in the Encyclopedia? I don't know if I can bring myself to, ummm... I don't know.

  • Thanks, I never heard about that interiew. There's something so sickening about this theory I had to know if it was true.
    – Brindha
    Nov 4, 2015 at 4:26

We do get a description of what Voldemort's body was like after Wormtail's clumsy care, but before the regeneration proper:

It was as though Wormtail had flipped over a stone, and revealed something ugly, slimy and blind - but worse, a hundred times worse. The thing Wormtail had been carrying had the shape of a crouched human child, except that Harry had never seen anything less like a child. It was hairless and scaly-looking, a dark, raw, reddish black. Its arms and legs were thin and feeble, and its face - no child alive ever had a face like that - was flat and snake-like, with gleaming red eyes.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - pp.555-6 - Bloomsbury - Chapter 32, Flesh, Blood and Bone

And there's nothing really to suggest it was a human fetus. Voldemort is also capable of talking and holding a wand, which would surely be beyond the physical capabilities of a fetus that wasn't developed enough to show. And if Bertha Jorkins was showing, I feel her pregnancy would've been remarked on in the books - because it would have been very relevant to her not reappearing.

All in all, I think it's just a fan theory - I don't believe you'll find anything in canon to confirm it, or even offer tentative support. That said, that would be to be expected if it was really not suitable for the audience and really, really unpleasant.

  • Yes, think it might just be something that went viral. And I think it would have been possible to strengthen the body(no matter its original capabilities) using Nagini's milk-what Wormtail did. We don't know what messed up ways Voldemort follows. Speculation, ofcourse.
    – Brindha
    Nov 4, 2015 at 4:23
  • @Brindha well exactly. He could have begun with a foetus and then used magic to transform; but he is certainly not in the form of a foetus when he murders Frank Bryce, tortures Wormtail in Harry's dream or is reborn. So the "theory" clearly isn't based on his body, since none of the available evidence points that way and what we do have points to something that isn't/is no longer a foetus. There's no hint Bertha was pregnant either. So what is it based on? Well, nothing. As you say, it's just speculation. Less than speculation
    – Au101
    Nov 4, 2015 at 4:57
  • Of course, one day, Jo may reveal that this is exactly what happened. Nothing I've said here precludes that, it's one of many, many things that would fit in with her interview quite nicely. But, for the time being, we ain't got no reason to believe it. It's just a reckon. And all the evidence we do have points (in my analysis, anyway) away from it. But, I'm not saying it wouldn't fit - it would. It's just that nothing we have makes me think so, in fact, everything we do have makes me think it's unlikely.
    – Au101
    Nov 4, 2015 at 5:02

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.