Phoenix tears are able to bring someone back from the brink of death, a position that Voldemort 'lived' in for several years. Did he ever attempt or even consider using phoenix tears to revive himself? Is there any indication of what that would have achieved in his 'half-life' state or whilst possessing Quirrel?

To quote the Harry Potter wikia on Phoenix tears

"It is also capable of reviving a person from any injury, even if the person is at the brink of death, similar to unicorn blood (without the cursed side-effects)."

And the effect of unicorn blood?

"The blood of a unicorn will keep you alive, even if you are an inch from death, but at a terrible price."

The effects are so similar, with the later effective even via Qurriel's body. Would Phoenix tears not have be equally effective?

5 Answers 5


I'm not sure Voldemort could convince or trick or force a phoenix to give tears to him. He could definitely not make Fawkes do that, and phoenixes are very rare so it's hard to find another one.

Remember what Dumbledore says in Chamber of Secrets chapter 18?

‘You must have shown me real loyalty down in the Chamber. Nothing but that could have called Fawkes to you.’

Fawkes comes to Harry, pecks the basilisk's eyes, and heals Harry. He continues to serve only Dumbledore's friends in later books as well. Fawkes doesn't just hand out boons to random people, he's taken a side. Just like Dumbledore says in chapter 12,

‘[phoenixes] make highly faithful pets.’

  • "...phoenixes are very rare so it's hard to find another one." Maybe he could clone a phoenix from the DNA contained in the feather within his wand.
    – RichS
    Jul 16, 2017 at 1:02
  • @RichS A phoenix is a very powerful magical creature that can resurrect on death, even if you found/cloned one, it would be near impossible to get its tears. Imagine getting tears from a tiger that that could APPERATE!! and thats not even close to a phoenix's power: it would be near impossible unless the phoenix wanted to help you. Easier to go unicorn blood as blood is easier to get (regardless of the consequences)
    – Matt
    Aug 26, 2017 at 15:14
  • @Matt Voldemort would not have to find a phoenix to get a DNA sample since his wand has a phoenix feather core. (Assuming feathers contain DNA.) Once he raises the phoenix from an egg(?), he could put in a cell than prohibits apperation.
    – RichS
    Aug 26, 2017 at 23:32
  • @RichS Except a cloning spell (which doesn't exist) would just duplicate the feature, he would need to go on muggle courses to learn muggle cloning, then find a compatible species to provide the egg (is there a compatible egg donor for a phoenix) , get the lab equipment, break his wand (weakening him, by using another), wait for it to grow, somehow stop it apperating (a phoenix can apperate in places wizards can't), somehow get it to cry and not just keep burn up if coerced..All this assumes he knows about muggle cloning & actually has DNA & it does hatch from an egg. Its just too impractical
    – Matt
    Aug 27, 2017 at 8:02
  • @Matt Cloning wouldn't be easy and requires sacrifices of time, effort, and material, but those are minor compared to gaining immortality. :-) Surely Voldemort would spare some time and effort and his old wand to gain what matters most to him - unlimited time.
    – RichS
    Aug 27, 2017 at 18:58

Phoenix tears have healing powers on the body.

Since Voldemort - prior to getting a new body in HP4 - didn't actually have a body and existed as non-corporeal soul, there was nothing for Phoenix tears to heal.

So it would have been useless to him.

  • 4
    To quote the harry potter wikia "It is also capable of reviving a person from any injury, even if the person is at the brink of death, similar to unicorn blood (without the cursed side-effects)." And the effect of unicorn blood? "The blood of a unicorn will keep you alive, even if you are an inch from death, but at a terrible price." The effects are so similar, with the later effective even via Qurriel's body.
    – AncientSwordRage
    Apr 13, 2012 at 15:30
  • 4
    @Pureferret: does that statement of the Harry Potter wikia have a canon source? Or is it just fan fiction like much of that wikia?
    – b_jonas
    Oct 24, 2013 at 7:44
  • @b_jonas I believe it's from 'Fantastical Beasts and where to find them', but I'll need to look that up.
    – AncientSwordRage
    Oct 24, 2013 at 22:56

There is a reason why not much people has Phoenix as pets. Phoenixes can just escape from any cage. Even if Voldemort was able to catch one, it would just disappear in a blink of an eye.

Only way for Voldemort to catch a phoenix would be to use Killing curse on a phoenix unaware and take it when it is a newborn chick. But again, they will grow in days and would have left Voldemort the instance it can disappear.

Phoenix song will also strike fear into the hearts of the evil(The reason for the name of Order of the "Phoenix"). So I am guessing, Phoenix has some way of detecting evil around it as well.

EDIT: Adding this from the "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them" book:

Phoenix M.O.M. Classification: XXXX The phoenix is a magnificent, swan-sized, scarlet bird with a long golden tail, beak, and talons. It nests on mountain peaks and is found in Egypt, India, and China. The phoenix lives to an immense age as it can regenerate, bursting into flames when its body begins to fail and rising again from the ashes as a chick. The phoenix is a gentle creature that has never been known to kill and eats only herbs. Like the Diricawl (see page 9), it can disappear and reappear at will. Phoenix song is magical; it is reputed to increase the courage of the pure of heart and to strike fear into the hearts of the impure. Phoenix tears have powerful healing properties.

With a Foot Note:

The phoenix gains a XXXX rating not because it is aggressive, but because very few wizards have ever succeeded in domesticating it.

So why bother going against something

  1. That has a way to weaken you (Strike fear into the hearts of the impure)
  2. Can fight you (Fawkes vs Basilisk remember?)
  3. can escape your prison at any time even if captured (it can disappear and reappear at will)
  4. Highly rare to find (From the Foot Note)
  5. Possibly detect you and fly away or bring help (Guessing this as Phoenix songs touch the souls and Fawkes was able to reach Harry based on his unwavered loyalty to Dumbledore. If Phoenix can detect a positive quality in a person from a distance, it might as well detect a negative quality)

NOTE: Point 2) has not happened when Voldemort went for Unicorn blood. But since Voldemort is known to have gathered lot of knowledge through books, he should have read the "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" as well(it was first published in 1927).

  • I can't see anything in your answer that's supported by Canon.
    – AncientSwordRage
    Apr 6, 2016 at 18:13
  • Added an excerpt from the J.K Rowling's companion book "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them" to support my logic :-) Apr 7, 2016 at 9:18
  • Excellent edit, thanks
    – AncientSwordRage
    Apr 7, 2016 at 19:01

While it may be true that phoenix tears could help Voldemort, it was also clear that Voldemort was always dependent on someone to do all his tasks during his "undead" state. He was not even matter at the moment. Thus, he needed to do whatever he could using only the things/people he could get access to near civilization (a place where he could find people to manipulate). In the known civilization in the books, we only know of one phoenix and in his state, Voldemort dared not go near its master (Dumbledore himself). So basically, no he could not have considered going after Dumbledore's phoenix a good idea.

As you have rightly pointed out, Sparky is a phoenix that Voldemort could have gone on to fight for but Voldemort had better solution than going to a different continent with which he got help from his minions (Peter).

  • 3
    +1 for Voldemort fearing Dumbledore. But there is another Phoenix in New Zealand, Sparky who would have made a fine target.
    – AncientSwordRage
    Apr 13, 2012 at 15:16
  • I don't think Sparky would be any easier than Fawkes. Sparky is a mascot of a quidditch team and I am very sure that they would have taken steps to ensure Sparky's safety. Besides, Phoenixes can just escape from any cage. Apr 6, 2016 at 11:55

In the end of Chamber of Secrets, when Fawkes heals Harry with tears , Tom Riddle says:

look even your pet is crying for you.

And then after Harry gets healed Tom says:

I forgot that phoenixes could heal with their tears.

Voldemort forgot that Phoenixes could heal so he did not search for them. He remembers their ability to heal at the end of the second book and drinks unicorn blood in the first book so he had no choice but to use the unicorn blood.

The quotes are not exact, I read the books in another language. If someone edits the answer with the real english quotes, I will accept it.

  • @Bellatrix do you think that he only knows as much as tom riddle knew at that age ? Interesting, that can be separate question itself Jul 16, 2017 at 1:08
  • Yeah, I think so but I'm not sure. :) There doesn't seem to be much evidence either way. I'll look though! :)
    – Obsidia
    Jul 16, 2017 at 1:10
  • Even if memory-Tom did have more knowledge than Tom did at that age, that he forgot while in the Chamber of Secrets doesn't necessarily mean that he permanently forgot it. However, your quote does prove that the Dark Lord did know that phoenix tears could heal at some point! :)
    – Obsidia
    Jul 16, 2017 at 1:17

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