When the three brothers cheat Death, Death revenge them.

But, Death didn't appear anywhere else in the entire series. It didn't appear when Harry used Deathly Hallows or when Voldemort used his Horcruxes and became immortal (but he died anyway, so it's okay I guess).

What happened to Death? Why did it came for the brothers but not for Harry who also cheated his death?

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    Honestly, this story sounds more like a metaphorical tale not as a true event. It has all the hallmarks of a fairy tale designed to frighten children while imparting a message of morality. I know all of the fans of the story will disagree but that was the impression I got when I read it and even more so when I saw it in the movie. Aug 8, 2013 at 18:37
  • hmm yea, I think so too, but those deathly hallows has to from somewhere, somewhere powerful enough to deal with death, wish I could know where those hallows came from more.
    – user16541
    Aug 8, 2013 at 18:48
  • I imagine a wizard or witch powerful enough to create such devices DOES NOT want the attention signing them might bring. I think of them as powerful master-works done at the end of a long career and then gifted to someone either as a chaos-gift (if you are a naughty wizard) or as a potential benediction to someone they deemed truly worthy. But with all such things, the law of unintended consequences can be a beast... Aug 8, 2013 at 18:56
  • Death is a Discworld character, not a HP character. As for Harry coming back after being blasted by Voldemort, he was only mostly dead (due to being one of Voldy's Horcruxi). And as everybody knows, "mostly dead" equals "a little bit alive". Aug 9, 2013 at 15:30
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    Related: Does Death really exist in Harry Potter?
    – Möoz
    Sep 2, 2015 at 23:20

2 Answers 2


The Tale of the Three Brothers is setup as a fairy tale. In HP and the Deathly Hallows, when Hermione is reading the story, she reminds Harry of this:

"Sorry," interjected Harry, "but Death spoke to them?"

It's a fairy tale, Harry!"

"Right, sorry. Go on."

(Page 407 Scholastic paperback)

And later, when Harry is talking to "Dumbledore" in "King's Cross station" he asks about the tale.

So it's true? asked Harry. "All of it? The Peverell brothers---"

"---were the three brothers of the tale," said Dumbledore, nodding. "Oh yes, I think so. Whether they met Death on a lonely road . . . I think it more likely that the Peverell brothers were simply gifted, dangerous wizards who succeeded in creating those powerful objects. The story of them being Death's own Hallows seems to me the sort of legend that might have sprung up around such creations."

(Page 714 Scholastic paperback)

So it seems to me that the tale is fiction and Death as an entity didn't really appear to the brothers.

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    Yes, exactly the quote I was going to use. The brothers were extremely talented and over time their deeds grew into legend. Death didn't "reappear" as he was personified for the fairy tale.
    – djm
    Aug 9, 2013 at 1:42

Well, Death got his revenge on two of the three brothers, the brother who was given the Elder Wand and the brother who took from Death the Resurrection Stone. The third brother, who took Death's Cloak of Invisibility, was able to elude Death until he himself, the third brother, chose when he was ready to die.

But though Death searched for the third brother for many years, he was never able to find him. It was only when he had attained a great age that the youngest brother finally took off the Cloak of Invisibility and gave it to his son. And then he greeted Death as an old friend, and went with him gladly, and, equals, they departed this life.

Tales of Beedle the Bard - pages 92-93 - Bloomsbury - The Tale of the Three Brothers

Death is last seen guiding the third brother from this life; the story does not say where Death and the third brother will be going. Canon does not address why Death never reappears in any of the seven Harry Potter books and I personally don't know of any source that answers that question. Perhaps someone else will have the answer.

Yes, in the story The Three Brothers, Death is meant to be Death. However, it is up to the reader to accept or reject this as true.

  • this truly is the only thing that i am unable to wrap my head around, That is the origin of the deathly hallows in general, I mean that cloak is from death's robe! that is kind of unimaginable even in the world of wizadry!
    – user16541
    Aug 8, 2013 at 18:45
  • Thaddeus is right, IMO. The tale The Three Brothers is metaphorical: everyone dies, and no matter how hard we try and elude this fate, we cannot. The first two brothers tried to elude Death smugly, by blatantly going against the laws of nature. However, the third brother eluded Death with dignity and when it was time for him to die, he was able to do so with grace and inner peace. The hallows were incidental to this. If I interpret the text correctly, the hallows ultimately hold meaning only to those who believe the Deathly Hallows are real. Not everyone believes. :) Aug 8, 2013 at 22:59
  • I agree. Death didn't appear as a literal Grim Reaper.
    – user35971
    Jul 11, 2015 at 22:49

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