Fawkes was genuinely loyal to Dumbledore and even protected him once by taking Avada Kedavra on itself (and then being reborn from its ashes).

Why didn't Fawkes protect Dumbledore once again when Snape

cast Avada Kedavra on him


  • 2
    The book's been out for 15 years. Is spoiler protection really needful?
    – EvilSnack
    May 18, 2022 at 13:24
  • 7
    @EvilSnack Yes, I read the books last year and never had anything spoiled for me :D New kids are growing up all the time to the age where they can read it and it's brand new for them. May 18, 2022 at 13:47

1 Answer 1


As Harry will learn almost a year later when watching Snape's memories in the Pensieve (and we as the readers along with him), Fawkes was present during the discussion of how all of this was supposed to play out:

Snape raised his eyebrows and his tone was sardonic as he asked, “Are you intending to let [Draco] kill you?”

“Certainly not. You must kill me.”

There was a long silence, broken only by an odd clicking noise. Fawkes the phoenix was gnawing a bit of cuttlebone.

“Would you like me to do it now?” asked Snape, his voice heavy with irony. “Or would you like a few moments to compose an epitaph?”

“Oh, not quite yet,” said Dumbledore, smiling. “I daresay the moment will present itself in due course. Given what has happened tonight,” he indicated his withered hand, “we can be sure that it will happen within a year.”

Deathly Hallows, Ch. 33

As you rightly said, Fawkes is loyal to Dumbledore, that means he follows his wishes. Dumbledore is already dying (apparently healing tears are not enough to counter the curse Voldemort put on the Ring), he wants Snape to do it quick and painless and they are waiting for a right opportunity. Basically they are waiting for this exact situation. Fawkes knows all this and therefore does not intervene.

  • 3
    Also, Fawkes simply wasn't there. It all kind of happened suddenly.
    – Möoz
    May 16, 2022 at 22:23
  • 3
    @Möoz: Can't Fawkes teleport? I seem to recall him getting quite quickly to the Chamber of Secrets.
    – sharur
    May 17, 2022 at 5:00
  • 6
    @sharur Yup. That is what I believe too. He wasn't present (at first) in the Ministry of Magic either, when he swallowed the AK, he kinda just appeared and rescued Dumbledore. Just earlier during Dumbledore's escape from Hogwarts it was Fawkes that teleported them away (circumventing anti-apparition jinxes and the like).
    – BMWurm
    May 17, 2022 at 5:08
  • 3
    @BMWurm If anything, Dumbledore had coolest and most useful pet ever.
    – user931
    May 17, 2022 at 7:13

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