We know that Lily’s enchantments flow through Voldemort’s blood and that Harry is tethered to life as long as Voldemort lives. Thus, having already killed the Horcrux in Harry before the final duel, Voldemort’s Avada Kedavra would rebound and kill himself anyway, regardless of the Elder Wand. Right?

It would be like the first time Voldemort tried killing Harry as a baby, except this time without Voldemort having Horcruxes to keep him alive. Why would Harry even bother casting Expelliarmus? Is the Elder Wand even important here?

  • How is this primarily opinion-based? Especially considering that it can be answered from the books. – Alex Jul 3 at 22:18

It worked once, but may not work again

We are not sure (and Dumbledore does not say that explicitly) that if Voldemort strikes Harry with a death spell again, the same protection would work. It could only apply to the situation when Harry contained the seventh Horcrux. Otherwise, Dumbledore would tell Harry not to fight back, or at least hint it. This does not happen.

It is only a theory

When Harry talks with Dumbledore on King's Cross, Dumbledore makes some conclusions here and there. But what if he makes a mistake with these judgements? Of course, Harry was ready to die, but he did not want to. And taking such things for granted in a matter of life and death would be unwise.

Why fight back? Why not?

It is natural to fight back, even if Harry knew 100% that Voldemort cannot harm him, he could still fight back instinctively.

Out-of-universe - final battle

Imagine the scene if Harry drops the wand and says "try to harm me"! It would appear that Harry has nothing to do with defeating Voldemort, but only cleverly using Mother's protection charm. It is not a Hero's way to win.

  • Yes I like your answer. I didn’t really consider things in Harry’s shoes...of course he’s going to fight back. It is nice to consider though that even if Harry was wrong about the Elder wand, Voldemort would still be killed by his own curse by the power of love. – Laturo Jul 3 at 20:05
  • About your last point, would it really be worse than Voldemort killing himself with his own wand? – user102803 Jul 4 at 17:03

No, in the first time Lily only protected Harry. But we knew from the 4. Part that this spell is broken now because Lord Voldemort has Lily's blood too, so Voldemort wouldn't get killed.

  • Voldemort only believes he has gotten around the obstacle of Lily’s protection, but actually by taking her enchanted blood he unknowingly keeps it alive and thus Harry is still protected as long as Voldemort lives. – Laturo Jul 3 at 18:30
  • I think about the fact that in the fight before he got hit by the avadacedavra too and the spell doesn't got reflected so why there – user118347 Jul 3 at 19:40

It’s unclear what’d happen then.

If Harry chose to let himself be killed after the Dark Lord’s soul piece in him had been killed, instead of choosing to fight, it’s unclear what would happen to either of them. When explaining what happened between the Dark Lord and Harry, J.K. Rowling stressed that the most important factor was their choices.

It is important to state that I always saw these kinds of magic (the very deepest life and death issues) as essentially un-scientific; in other words, there is no “Elder Wand + Lily’s Blood = Assured Survival” formula. What count, ultimately, are Harry and Voldemort’s own choices. They have each been given certain weapons and safeguards, but the power of these objects and past happenings lie in how they are understood, and how they are used or enacted upon. Harry has a deeper and truer understanding of the meaning of the objects and past events, but his greatest powers, those that save him, are free will, courage and moral certainty.
- F.A.Q. - What exactly happened when Voldemort used the Avada Kedavra curse on Harry in the forest? (J.K. Rowling’s website)

Since J.K. Rowling makes it clear there’s no scientific formula governing what happens in these sorts of life and death situations, if Harry chose differently in that final confrontation, it could have affected the outcome in ways that wouldn’t be predictable from the events as they did occur. It’s therefore not possible to accurately predict what would happen if Harry chose not to fight and let himself be hit.


I think you may be confusing three different issues. The first issue is that there was a piece of Voldemort's soul inside of Harry. The existence of that piece of soul tethered Voldemort to life – he could not be killed as long as Harry remained alive. That was taken care of when Voldemort "killed" Harry in the Forbidden Forest. At that moment Voldemort actually killed the portion of his own soul that was housed in Harry, thus leaving himself open to being subsequently killed.

Then there was a separate tether that kept Harry alive as long as Voldemort remained alive. This was because Voldemort regenerated his body using Harry's blood. Therefore while Harry's blood still flowed in Voldemort's veins, Harry could not be killed. This was explained in Chapter Thirty-Five of Deathly Hallows:

“But if Voldemort used the Killing Curse,” Harry started again, “and nobody died for me this time – how can I be alive?”

“I think you know,” said Dumbledore. “Think back. Remember what he did, in his ignorance, in his greed and his cruelty.”

Harry thought. He let his gaze drift over his surroundings. If it was indeed a palace in which they sat, it was an odd one, with chairs set in little rows and bits of railing here and there, and still, he and Dumbledore and the stunted creatures under the chair were the only beings there. Then the answer rose to his lips easily, without effort.

“He took my blood,” said Harry.

“Precisely!” said Dumbledore. “He took your blood and rebuilt his living body with it! Your blood in his veins, Harry, Lily’s protection inside both of you! He tethered you to life while he lives!”

When Harry and Voldemort face off again shortly thereafter, Voldemort is still alive. This presumably means that Harry still cannot be killed, since his blood inside Voldemort would still be tethering him to life. However, there is nothing to indicate that this "tether" can cause a curse to rebound. Indeed, when Voldemort tried to kill Harry in the forest the curse did not rebound.

The original rebounding curse when Harry was a baby was caused by something else. In that instance the curse was deflected by Harry's mother's sacrifice. Her love acted as a shield, thus deflecting the curse back at Voldemort. However, that particular protection had been overcome by Voldemort in Goblet of Fire when he used Harry's blood to regenerate himself. As he said then:

"His mother left upon him the traces of her sacrifice.... This is old magic, I should have remembered it, I was foolish to overlook it... but no matter. I can touch him now."

Harry felt the cold tip of the long white finger touch him, and thought his head would burst with the pain. Voldemort laughed softly in his ear, then took the finger away and continued addressing the Death Eaters.

This was also confirmed by Dumbledore that same night:

"He said my blood would make him stronger than if he'd used someone else's," Harry told Dumbledore. "He said the protection my – my mother left in me – he'd have it too. And he was right – he could touch me without hurting himself, he touched my face."

For a fleeting instant, Harry thought he saw a gleam of something like triumph in Dumbledore's eyes. But next second. Harry was sure he had imagined it, for when Dumbledore had returned to his seat behind the desk, he looked as old and weary as Harry had ever seen him.

"Very well," he said, sitting down again. "Voldemort has overcome that particular barrier. Harry, continue, please."

Therefore, without the Elder Wand factor in the final duel, Voldemort would probably not have been killed. If Harry had let himself be hit with the Killing Curse, he probably wouldn't have died since his blood in Voldemort still tethered him to life, but since the original protection from his mother's sacrifice was no longer operational the curse would probably not have rebounded at Voldemort either. Therefore Harry needed Expelliarmus to cause Voldemort's curse to rebound.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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