It occurred to me, while watching the movies, that Harry could have died doing any number of things, and Death Eaters had plenty of chances to kill him. But Voldemort had specific orders, Harry was his to kill.

The prophecy, any prophecy, by definition, is just a telling of things to come. It isn't some law regarding what must happen. Shouldn't Voldemort, knowing this, just had someone off Harry? Was this just a long story of someone's pride being their downfall?

I'm not asking why Voldemort had to kill Harry as Dumbledore said (Dumbledore knew there was a piece of Voldemort's soul to kill). That is answered here.

What I'm asking, is:

Why didn't Voldemort just put a nice bounty on him and be done with it?

  • Yes. However, you're making a small mistake: Voldemort knowing that Harry is protected, doesn't mean that he knows that he will bind them together if he does the blood thing.
    – Möoz
    Commented Jan 16, 2017 at 1:42
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    My Lord, I'd like to volunteer myself for this task. I want to kill the boy.
    – Obsidia
    Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 0:11
  • @Bellatrix Funny. It seems your Lord hasn't told you he must be the one to kill Harry. Maybe your chance at saving your Master at last? As for why Voldemort didn't it's I think fairly simple. Pride. He wasn't going to be defeated by a baby but he was. Then again Harry escapes. And again. There was no way in hell he'd let someone else finish Harry off. You should also remember that Voldemort operated alone, in the end; he had no friends nor desired any. Doesn't mean he didn't have servants but he wasn't very (at all?) trusting of them. Ironically his pride (and arrogance) ensured his defeat.
    – Pryftan
    Commented Aug 6, 2017 at 0:47
  • @Pryftan If the Dark Lord would just let me kill the boy for him, we would be victorious!
    – Obsidia
    Commented Aug 6, 2017 at 0:56
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    @Bellatrix I'd be disappointed if you didn't. What kind of warrior would you be if you didn't? I suppose a loyal one but at the expense of your Master's demise. Lucky for Potter, the 'Boy Who Lived' ... for some years anyway. Maybe your Lord should have just waited it out until Harry died. But even if that would work it'd never suit him.
    – Pryftan
    Commented Aug 6, 2017 at 18:05

2 Answers 2


Yes. Voldemort could've won had someone else killed him. His own hubris, in the end, destroyed him. This answer outlines nicely why Harry survived Voldemort's curse--in essence, why the flaw in the plan would not exist had someone else killed Harry. Only Voldemort could've killed the piece of his soul inside Harry (I refuse to call it a Horcrux) without killing Harry himself. As to why Voldy wanted to kill Harry himself, well, we have no idea:

I understand those things that I did not understand before. I must be the one to kill Harry Potter, and I shall be.”

"any Death Eaters we run into will be aiming to capture Potter, not kill him. Dumbledore always said You-Know-Who would want to finish Potter in person."

Voldemort's arrogance was probably why he had this idea in his head, why he had to kill Harry.

But yes, by, as you suggest, placing a nice bounty on him, Voldemort would have won. And yes, he did seal his fate by protecting Harry.

  • yes you're definitely right about not calling Harry a horcrux
    – Invoker
    Commented Jan 16, 2017 at 2:51
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    @BookStriker Finally, a supporter
    – CHEESE
    Commented Jan 16, 2017 at 2:52
  • well, I just read it from J.K's interview
    – Invoker
    Commented Jan 16, 2017 at 2:52
  • As well as his pride: no way he'd let someone else finish the boy off for him. But of course arrogance would make this all the more significant.
    – Pryftan
    Commented Aug 6, 2017 at 0:48

I always figured that this was a 'pride thing'. Being stopped and virtually killed by a mere baby must have been extremely galling. Harry isn't just some opponent; his very existence is a personal affront to Voldemort, who demands satisfaction - and you don't 'contract out' satisfaction.

  • And arrogance as CHEESE points out. But the two go together if you think about it. And your wording makes me think of the memory of Riddle says to Harry in CoS though I can't recall exact wording. Something to do with making sure Harry didn't have some other power Voldemort didn't. He was relieved when he learns about the sacrifice his mother made. The fact Harry then escapes again (and giving Voldemort more fear wrt the way the wands interacted at the graveyard) and then at the Ministry. He would have been more and more desperate to finish the boy off!
    – Pryftan
    Commented Aug 6, 2017 at 0:50

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