Voldemort wanted to kill Harry with AK when he was 1 year old, which was understandable since he could not predict that that spell would rebound at him.

After acquiring a new body and thinking he has the same protection as Lily, he tried killing Harry with AK again before the final duel. Again, understandable, since he thought the protection would help him as well.

But when the second AK rebound, rendering him unconscious, that should have at least raised some alarms that something is wrong with the spell's effects on HP. He saw that AK didn't have an effect on the boy the second time.

So why did he keep using AK on him in the final duel?

I hope that there is something more to it than "third time's the charm" or "if I just keep pounding him with AK, it will get him eventually".

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    Technically it was even three fails, but the one in... Fire... cup... Don't know the English title... The one in the fourth book wasn't specific to AK, Harry would have reflected any spell. Dec 15, 2017 at 19:11
  • @Fabian, During GoF events, V just resurrected, with confidence that Harry will not have another chance, so he did AK without hesitation. I was more into why he tried AK after he know just before finale the spell rebound from Harry TWICE. Dec 15, 2017 at 19:27
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    Turns out that, like Lockhart, Voldemort is only good at one spell. He wants to take down bad guys non-lethally, but is secretly afraid that his Death Eaters will laugh at him when the spells fail. Dec 15, 2017 at 19:50
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    Because he's a schmuck?
    – Valorum
    Dec 15, 2017 at 23:07

4 Answers 4


It wasn't simply that specific spell but it was a combination of several factors that caused spells to backfire on Voldemort. Lets go in chronological order:

Voldemort trying to kill Harry as a baby - He initially doesn't understand the protection Lily put on Harry.

Voldemort tries to kill Harry at the end of the tri-wizard tournament - He thinks he has overcome the problem of the protection but was unaware of the twin cores of the wands.

Voldemort tries to kill Harry at the start of book 7 - Voldemort agains believes he has overcome the twin core problem by using Malfoy's wand instead of his own. Backfires because Harry's wand still recognises wand and ends up destroying Malfoy's wand.

Voldemort "kills" Harry in the wood - Voldemort finally got the most powerful wand in order to again overcome the limitations of his previously weilded wands. Appeared to initially work.

Final battle - simple arrogance really, Voldemort still had the most powerful wand ever and refused to believe that it would not work for him.

So the short answer is that Voldemort was actually able to piece together part of why it didn't work each time so believed it would work because he'd overcome these issues one at a time.


The final duel takes place after Harry has died and used the Resurrection stone. This got rid of the last Horcrux inside of Harry, hence allowing Harry to finally kill Voldemort completely.

Voldemort was unable to kill Harry the first two times because of the protection of Lily's "Love Aura" charm. This wore off when Harry was 17.

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    Here we are talking from V point of view. He didn't know any of that, he was only aware of 2 spells rebounding into him. So why was he still trying to use AK after it rebound TWICE? Dec 15, 2017 at 18:42
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    After Voldemort kills Harry, he finally realizes that Harry was the last Horcrux. Remember,V knows how the destruction of a Horcrux feels. This is why V breaks down from weakness after Harry's death.
    – Balerion
    Dec 15, 2017 at 19:09
  • Meaning V realized Harry was not longer under protection of his Mother + horcrux partition, he decided to take another chance? Dec 15, 2017 at 19:25
  • I just realized I answered the question wrong. Please see my edited answer.
    – Balerion
    Dec 15, 2017 at 19:35
  • @Chris I thought that Voldemort feeling when the horcruxes were destroyed was a movie-only thing. In the books, didn't he have to go personally check on the horcruxes to see if they were destroyed? If he felt something when they were destroyed, he would have known without checking (although not perhaps which ones). Dec 15, 2017 at 19:51

It may have been that Voldemort was a bit arrogant wanted to prove himself by killing his enemy and not just using something like "Stupefy". If you look at the 4th book and the fact that he told all his Death Eaters to stay back in the second attempt to kill Harry, you can definitely see his arrogance showing through.


Lily’s protection is not specific to avada kedavra, it’s specific to Voldemort. Notice how simple silencio charms didn’t work on the people for whom Harry had willingly tried sacrificing himself. No curse would have worked on Harry even in the final battle because Lilly’s protection was ‘live’ as Voldemort has used Harry’s blood to revive his body. Also the elder wand would not harm its true master in any way so it doesn’t matter which curse was used, as long as it was going to harm Harry, Voldemort was doomed to fail that’s the flaw in the plan

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