I am not sure if this question has been asked, but when Voldemort comes back in chapter 1 of GoF, he says to Wormtail:

"Your devotion is nothing more than cowardice. You would not be here if you had anywhere else to go."

Voldemort goes on to further state,

"How am I to survive without you, when I need feeding every few hours? Who is to milk Nagini?"

Does he know then that Wormtail fled from Hogwarts after Harry had saved his life? I would assume that was part of the reason he created the silver hand with the insurance policy for Wormtail's mercy. Occlumency would surely have been the first thing Voldy would have done, maybe not in his weakened state but definitely after his resurrection? If he knew, why did he let him live beyond the end of GoF as Wormtail did not serve much purpose after this.

  • That's the whole point. He's devoted because he's cowardly. Which means he's predictable devoted. All Voldemort needs. (discounting mercy that he doesn't understand) Aug 17, 2013 at 1:51
  • 4
    You mean Legilimency?
    – Möoz
    Mar 27, 2014 at 1:58

4 Answers 4


Dumbledore states at the end of Prisoner of Azkaban that Voldemort would not want a servant that is in debt of Harry Potter. Whatever reason Dumbledore had for saying this, it hints that if Voldemort knew about Harry saving Pettigrew's life, it would at least be of some significance for Voldemort, whether he understands the power of love or not. That being said, I think Voldemort didn't kill him after the Goblet of Fire because he didn't have any particular reason to kill him for. Sure he did finish serving his main purpose after the resurrection of Voldemort, but in the later books we can see him assisting Professor Snape or the Malfoys, so he could at least be used as some kind of cheap labor. Moreover,

  1. Pettigrew had been with Voldemort for a long time (since the first war)
  2. He was in Voldemort's inner circle (had the Dark Mark)
  3. He had been the key agent in breaking the Fidelius Charm protecting Harry Potter's family
  4. He was an unregistered animagus that could turn into a small animal - a useful ability for stealth jobs
  5. Voldemort is smart. He may be hot headed and cruel but definitely knows that an organisation like his needs people with all levels of capability, and so probably would not kill off his more senior followers for no particular reason.
  6. As already mentioned by @DVK, he had the silver hand as an ultimate watchdog over Pettigrew.

It is never confirmed in canon. However, Wormtail's actions are quite suspicious, so it was likely Voldemort suspected something.

“It could be done without Harry Potter, My Lord.”

Another pause, more protracted, and then —

“Without Harry Potter?” breathed the second voice softly. “I see . . .”

“My Lord, I do not say this out of concern for the boy!” said Wormtail, his voice rising squeakily. “The boy is nothing to me, nothing at all! It is merely that if we were to use another witch or wizard — any wizard — the thing could be done so much more quickly! If you allowed me to leave you for a short while — you know that I can disguise myself most effectively — I could be back here in as little as two days with a suitable person —”

“I could use another wizard,” said the cold voice softly, “that is true. . . .”

“My Lord, it makes sense,” said Wormtail, sounding thoroughly relieved now. “Laying hands on Harry Potter would be so difficult, he is so well protected —”

And as we see later Voldemort never trusted Wormtail

Voldemort raised his wand again and whirled it through the air. A streak of what looked like molten silver hung shining in the wand’s wake. Momentarily shapeless, it writhed and then formed itself into a gleaming replica of a human hand, bright as moonlight, which soared downward and fixed itself upon Wormtail’s bleeding wrist.

This hand knew that Wormtail would betray him.

“You’re going to kill me?” Harry choked, attempting to prise off the metal fingers. “After I saved your life? You owe me, Wormtail!” The silver fingers slackened. Harry had not expected it

His own silver fingers were moving inexorably toward his own throat.

“No —”

Without pausing to think, Harry tried to drag back the hand, but there was no stopping it. The silver tool that Voldemort had given his most cowardly servant had turned upon its disarmed and useless owner; Pettigrew was reaping his reward for his hesitation, moment of pity; he was being strangled before their eyes.

He were see that Voldemort had taken Wormtail's weakness, and potential betrayal (in the form of helping Harry) into consideration, and caused the hand he created for him to kill him (Wormtail).


As Dumbledore is wont to tell everyone, Voldemort doesn't understand love or sacrifice.

Therefore, the fact that Harry may have saved Wormtail's life isn't relevant to him even if he knew:

  • First, because his devotion IS bourne out of cowardice, and clearly he will fear his Master more than anyone else and thus be devoted to him;

  • Second, because Voldemort doesn't see or understand that Wormtail would somehow feel obligated to help Harry - that kind of "good deed for good deed" dynamics isn't what he groks.

  • Third, as you noted, he has a very good safety switch in the artificial hand.

  • 4
    Dumbledore states at the end of Prisoner of Azkaban that Voldemort would not want a servant that is in debt of Harry Potter. Whatever reason Dumbledore had for saying this, it hints that if Voldemort knew about Harry saving Pettigrew's life, it would at least be of some significance for Voldemort, whether he understands the power of love or not
    – user13267
    Aug 17, 2013 at 12:49

Yes, he would have definitely known that Harry saved Wormtail's life.

Voldemort is a Legilimens. He is the most powerful Legilimens that has ever existed, that even Snape could barely hide things from him.

Wormtail, being the simple, cowardly soul he is, would have offered up his memories (intentionally or not) about how he escaped the clutches of Sirius and Lupin.

Voldemort would have been curious, surely?

Voldemort, of course, would not have placed importance in the fact that Wormtail was alive because of Harry's grace. He doesn't understand they way the human mind works—like Dumbledore did—that Wormtail may felt that he 'owed' Harry.

  • This seems to be based entirely on speculation; remember that StackExchange answers should be based on verifiable fact as much as possible. And who says he'd be curious? If Wormtail told Voldemort the gist of what happened, but made it out to be that Lupin and Sirius intended to bring him to justice (rather than kill him) all along, why would Voldemort disbelieve that? That's just the kind of ‘weakness’ (i.e., non-psychotic, rational, good-natures behaviour) Voldemort would readily believe of his opponents. Oct 3, 2015 at 16:32
  • We know that Voldemort delves into the minds of people to find anything of importance. Wormtail would have been ashamed at having been spared by Harry Potter. And this would have definitely raised a flag for Voldemort.Speculation is a strong word, I am merely stating an extension of established fact(in the Potterverse) And Voldemort is incapable of understanding the 'good-natured' behaviour of people or what inspires it.
    – Brindha
    Oct 3, 2015 at 17:23
  • He delves into people's minds if he thinks they're withholding things from him; not just randomly all the time. And though he's incapable of understanding what inspires ‘good-natured’ behaviour, he definitely recognises and knows about the behaviour itself. That’s an integral part of many of his devious plans. Oct 3, 2015 at 17:41

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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