Firstly, in the Deathly Hallows when Harry was re-living Snape's memories from the Pensive he saw Snape confining the curse to one hand on Dumbledore.

Secondly, Dumbledore is known to be a wizard of equal or of greater skill than Voldemort. Voldemort was capable of making a new hand for Pettigrew after he cut his off so that Voldemort could be revived.

Therefore logic dictates that Dumbledore should be capable of doing something similar, if I am right.

I have thought about it but I can't find any reason why Dumbledore didn't remove his cursed hand and grow a fresh one in its place.

  • Could you add more to this question? Where have you already looked for an answer?
    – AncientSwordRage
    Dec 10, 2013 at 20:57
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    @DVK - technically, that's not what he told McGonagall; he only stated that "Voldemort has powers that [Dumbledore] never will" (not exact wording); that doesn't mean that, of the powers they're both willing to use, that Dumbledore isn't sufficiently advanced that his overall power and skill would outrank Voldemort when you include Voldemort's Dark Arts. (And I don't remember when he said anything similar to Harry.)
    – Adam V
    Dec 10, 2013 at 22:32
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    I'd also suggest that Voldemort was prepared to do anything to get what he wanted. The growth of a new hand could well have involved things that Dumbledore was simply not prepared to do. Dec 10, 2013 at 23:57
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    He might have tried Skywalker & Son Prosthetics... Dec 11, 2013 at 2:34
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    There is a difference between physical hurts and magical hurts in terms of their ability to be treated/cured etc. in addition to the fact that the hand Pettigrew got isn't one I would ultimately want anyway - it was a deathly curse unto itself in the end. Dec 12, 2013 at 0:54

1 Answer 1


Limbs or body parts that are cursed off by Dark Magic cannot grow back. Dumbledore's hand had been destroyed by Voldemort's powerful dark curse placed on the ring Horcrux. It may be that that rendered his hand too damaged to receive a new or prosthetic one:

‘Will George be OK?’

All Lupin’s frustration with Harry seemed to drain away at the question.

‘I think so, although there’s no chance of replacing his ear, not when it’s been cursed off –’


Harry saw a clean, gaping hole where George’s ear had been.

‘How is he?’

Mrs Weasley looked round and said, ‘I can’t make it grow back, not when it’s been removed by Dark Magic. But it could have been so much worse ... he’s alive.’

Deathly Hallows - pages 64 and 66 - Bloomsbury - chapter 5, The Fallen Warrior

Perhaps Dumbledore might have been able to be fitted for a prosthetic hand, but the exact parameters for having prosthetic devices in Potterverse isn't known. Also, JKR herself says not all things can be fixed by magic. I don't know if self-injury would be considered Dark Magic if magic happened to be involved in someone removing their own limb. You'll note that Wormtail cut off his own hand using a plain old knife and didn't use magic to sacrifice his hand. Perhaps that is the reason why Voldemort was able to give Wormtail a magical prosthetic hand -- Wormtail's hand wasn't cursed by Dark Magic while Dumbledore's was.

  • Thank you for the answer. I overlooked that fact.... o.o' Dec 10, 2013 at 22:38
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    And Moody, who had wizards like Dumbledore as his friends, did not have a magical prosthetic leg for his lost one (leaving his nose) but only an ordinary (non-magical) wooden one. May 12, 2014 at 16:04
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    The new question is: Couldn't Dumbledore simply live without a hand?
    – Ragnarok
    Dec 13, 2015 at 15:10
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    @EvilAngel: the curse was confined in the hand. Chopping off the hand would release the curse. (Well ... it might work that way for all we know.) Jul 30, 2016 at 2:19
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    @HarryJohnston - it might be worth adding your comment as an answer since it is objectively the most correct one. In the Deathly Hallows "The Prince's Tale" chapter - Snape says "..to contain [the curse] is all we can hope for; I have trapped the curse in one hand for the time being - '
    – NKCampbell
    Mar 7, 2017 at 18:49

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