While it's pretty obvious that there's no direct analogy, it seems that there are plenty of parallels between Darth Vader's mechanical hand and Wormtail's artifical silver hand given by Voldemort:

  • Both lost their original hand in service of their Master (Anakin's was lost officially serving the Republic, but he was unbeknownst acting in Palpatine's interests when fighting Dooku. And then he lost the hand again fighting Obi-Wan Kenobi, this time directly on Emperor's behalf).

  • Both were rewarded by their Master with an artificial limb

  • For both, the limb had negative consequences - Wormtail was killded by his, and Vader merely lost part of his powers (as discussed elsewhere on this site) due to reduced Midichlorian counts AND reduced lightsaber fight dexterity.

Question: Is there any confirmation from JKR herself whether this was in any way, shape or form an intentional parallel or at least some influence? Or merely a set of coincidences from using a plot element that was similar?

I'm not looking for guesses, only JKR info.

1 Answer 1


Wormtail was given his artificial hand in Goblet of Fire, which was published in July 2000. Anakin Skywalker lost his hand in Episode 2: Attack of the Clones, which was released in May 2002. So if there was any influence, it would have to be the other way around.

I am pretty sure that Anakin losing his hand is a parallel to Luke losing his hand in The Empire Strikes back. George Lucas has repeatedly said in prequel interviews that he was repeating themes from earlier movies (like poetry).

It is possible that JKR was influenced by Empire Strikes Back just as it seems she was influenced by King Arthur / the Bible / Lord of the Rings / Narnia, but I do not think there are too many intended parallels between Luke's hand and Wormtail's hand since Luke's was taken in combat and Wormtail's was ritually given to bring back Voldemort. For more, see TV Tropes on limb loss as a dramatic device.

  • 1
    Good catch on timing! I didn't realize HP is that old :) Apr 17, 2012 at 13:19
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    Wasn't it revealed in Return of the Jedi that Anakin was missing the same hand that Luke was? At the final duel Luke cuts off the hand and sees that it was already mechanical, thus realizing how much like his father he is.
    – Poindexter
    Apr 17, 2012 at 15:23

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