Near the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:

Voldemort "kills" Harry, destroying the part of his own soul that was in Harry.

Dumbledore tells us before this that:

Part of Lord Voldemort lives inside Harry, and it is that which gives him the power of speech with snakes, and a connection with Lord Voldemort's mind that he has never understood.

Given the above, does that mean that Harry would have lost his ability to speak with snakes at the end of the book? Or would his own mind have learnt Parseltongue from the thing that gave it to him, so that when that thing was gone he would still know how to talk to snakes? I don't think any mention of this is made in the book, but I'm very curious to know. It would be a shame if Harry was no longer a Parselmouth.


3 Answers 3


No, Harry loses the ability to speak Parseltongue once Voldemort is dead:

Nigel: Can Harry speak Parseltongue when he is no longer a Horcrux?

J.K. Rowling: No, he loses the ability, and is very glad to do so.


This quote from J.K. Rowling doesn't indicate that Harry retains any knowledge of Parseltongue after Voldemort is dead and, frankly, it sounds like he'd be happy to forget any words he might have retained at one time in his young life. I think it's important to remember that when Harry spoke Parseltongue -- particularly in Chamber of Secrets -- it didn't sound like anything other than English to him. This was true even when he heard other Parselmouths speak Parseltongue. Read the chapter The House of Gaunt in Half-Blood Prince -- it demonstrates how Parseltongue didn't sound any different to Harry than English did. Now when Harry revisited the Gaunt's shack on the day Voldemort (then Tom Riddle Jr) showed up, when viewing Dumbledore's memory, Harry did somehow know it was Parseltongue Tom Riddle and Morphin Gaunt were speaking.

  • 11
    Wow, it astonishes me that Harry's glad to lose the ability. I'd be devastated if that happened to me. I guess that's why I'm in Slytherin. Thanks for this answer!
    – commando
    Commented Dec 5, 2012 at 15:26
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    Slytherins unite! :D Commented Dec 5, 2012 at 16:42
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    I've never associated parseltongue to anything wrong. Brazilian boas loved it!
    – n611x007
    Commented Jun 17, 2013 at 22:06
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    I think that everyone has it wrong Harry lost the power to parsel tongue after he lost the piece of soul of voldemort that was in him. Because the soul gave him Voldemort's power(some of the powers).
    – Pobrecita
    Commented Jun 12, 2014 at 16:50
  • @iliveunderawesomerock - I see what you're saying and it's a sensible theory. JKR has said in an interview (which one, I don't know offhand, so take this for what it's worth without a reference) that Harry eventually lost his Parselmouth ability over time, and was glad to do so! :) Commented Jun 14, 2014 at 1:39

According to JK Rowling, he lost that ability.

This is mentioned in the following link: http://www.accio-quote.org/articles/2007/0730-bloomsbury-chat.html

  • and other sources say differently? ;)
    – n611x007
    Commented Jun 17, 2013 at 22:07

YES. Strictly speaking, if we were addressing the title's question

Would Harry still be a Parselmouth at the end of the Deathly Hallows?

The answer is yes, because to be able to speak Parseltongue doesn't imply to be able to say new words - as long as you can say/remember some it is fine - and Ron proved it.

What Harry can't do anymore is say new words he hasn't said/learnt before. But strictly speaking, he can still speak Parseltongue - words he has used many times, like "Open."

So right now, both Harry and Ron can speak Parseltongue :).

Voldemort's soul gave Harry a full vocabulary of Parseltongue. Harry happened to learn some of it. When Voldemort's soul was taken away, the vocabulary goes away, but the words that Harry did learn (using his brain) are obviously kept - they're memories. If you think about it, it is pretty much the same as learning a new language. Therefore, Harry did learn Parseltongue and can speak (some) Parseltongue. Thus the answer to your question is yes.

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    Harry had a very difficult time recognizing when he was hearing or speaking parseltongue, I'm not convinced he'd remember enough to be recognized as a parselmouth. I know a few phrases of Spanish, but nobody would say I speak it.
    – Kevin
    Commented Dec 5, 2012 at 4:10
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    P.S. parseltongue is the language, parselmouth is one who speaks it.
    – Kevin
    Commented Dec 5, 2012 at 4:12
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    @Kevin: Perhaps nobody would recognize you speak Spanish, but strictly speaking, you do. Es muy simple! Do you now believe I speak Spanish? No? Because I actually do :D
    – Saturn
    Commented Dec 5, 2012 at 5:42
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    @Omega: when that boa in Philosopher's stone said ‘Thanksss, amigo’, was it speaking Spanish? :-)
    – b_jonas
    Commented Dec 5, 2012 at 10:47
  • @b_jonas: That is correct
    – Saturn
    Commented Dec 5, 2012 at 16:12

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