Related questions:

1) Why didn't James' love and sacrifice for Lily protect her?

2) Would Neville Longbottom Have Survived If Voldemort Had Marked Neville For Death Rather Than Harry?

It has seemed evident that the Order would rather capture than kill - especially Harry - as he himself says in the Battle of Seven Potters. So, it is safe to assume that all the Death Eaters will always be given a chance to live. And given the answers in Neville's case - it seems that Neville was expected to survive at least the first attack.

Now - in Goblet of Fire - Barty Crouch jr exclaims:

"Tell me he told them that I, I alone remained faithful... prepared to risk everything to deliver him the one thing he wanted above all... you"

On another occasion - in Half-Blood Prince - in Spinner's End - Bellatrix claims that she would've given up her sons for the service of the Dark Lord

"You should be proud!" said Bellatrix ruthlessly. "If I had sons, I would be glad to give them up to the service of the Dark Lord"

Assuming the same ruthlessness will hold true for herself rather than her sons - If Bellatrix - or Barty Crouch jr - had sacrificed themselves for the Dark Lord's cause - would he have survived?

Specifically - Does the nature of a person's sacrifice affect the protection? Will sacrifice out of fear or dedication to their master provide a similar protective shield - even if it might be weaker?

  • 4
    I don’t think the devotion or servitude of Death Eaters is comparable to the love of a mother for her child, but I don’t think I can find canon to confirm that.
    – alexwlchan
    Commented May 6, 2014 at 19:01
  • What would be the value of this? Remember Lily's protection wasn't a general purpose shield against everyone. It was primarily focused on protected Harry from Voldemort. The enhancements via Dumbledore, made it a bit more general purpose when Harry was at his aunt's house. Who do you imagine that Voldemort would have needed that kind of protection from? Would Voldemort even have allowed it? Whenever he dueled Harry, he mostly ordered his followers to not interfere.
    – Zoredache
    Commented May 6, 2014 at 19:29
  • @Zoredache - agreed. But in GoF - Voldemort took Harry's blood to ensure that Harry lost a part of his protection. Having once lost all his powers to Harry - after creating atleast 5 horcruxes - wouldn't it be possible that he would want to be more protected? And anyway - I dont think Voldemort set much store by the life of his death eaters - as he killed Snape.
    – mustard
    Commented May 6, 2014 at 19:38
  • I don't think it's just about sacrifice, but also about love. From what I recall Dumbledore saying, the person making the sacrifice has to be doing so out of pure love for the person they are trying to protect, without putting up any resistance.
    – TylerH
    Commented May 10, 2014 at 6:20
  • @TylerH If you can back that up with a quote or reference - I can accept your answer. I don't remember Dumbledore saying in any of the books that it has to be out of pure love.
    – mustard
    Commented May 10, 2014 at 6:39

3 Answers 3


There is no unambiguous answer in canon.

  • On one hand, we know that there's at least one person who both loves Voldemort (including romantically - quote at the linked answer) AND would be happily willing to die for him: Bellatrix Lestrange.

  • On the other hand, the sacrificial magic of love isn't really well defined in canon. Was Bellatrix's love of the exact kind and depth that triggered the protection? We don't know enough from canon to say (books nor interviews nor pottermore).

  • On the third hand, Voldemort was effectively immortal, and there wasn't anyone who would have tried to kill him (the only 2 wizards who dueled him - Harry and Dumbledore - didn't ever try). So there was no conditions ever stipulated that would have allowed Bellatrix or anyone else to choose to sacrifice her life for V.

  • 14
    On the fourth hand, where did these two extra hands come from?
    – Etheryte
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 12:37
  • 4
    @Nit - Extrahandio Attachio! Commented May 7, 2014 at 12:48
  • 1
    @StanRogers - you're confusing sacrificial love magic, with the protection spell that Dumbledore made later on based on it and the blood ties. Commented Sep 25, 2014 at 19:19
  • 2
    Mmmm, don't think there's any confusion there at all. You're assuming the two are not interrelated, and there's no canon reason to make that assumption. Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 4:50
  • 1
    @StanRogers - the latter is built on the former. The former has no evidence whatsoever of having anything to do with Petunia Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 13:00

Nobody loves Voldemort. His followers revered him. They don't have unconditional love for him, so the protection wouldn't work.

  • 8
    Wrong. Bellatrix does. Commented May 6, 2014 at 23:28
  • 27
    I am not comfortable with this answer.
    – Saturn
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 0:28
  • 1
    @DVK-on-Ahch-To Barty Crouch Jr. appears to have actually loved Voldemort. Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 16:41
  • There were people who loved Voldermort as have already been mentioned. Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 15:31
  • As @DVK-on-Ahch-To says Miss Bella does. Rowling confirmed it - not that it wasn't all that obvious from reading the books... The problem is that Lily was given a choice and who would be giving one of his Death Eater's a choice: move out of the way or die? And who would be doing the killing? One of the trio or the Order? That wouldn't work at all and if it was Harry something else would be happening instead. Plus even if so it would require the person giving the choice to not only kill the shield but Voldemort himself. Do you see that happening? It wouldn't.
    – Pryftan
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 1:24

Unlikely. Voldemort, or Tom M. Riddle, was conceived under the effects of a love potion, and therefore cannot love. There does not seem to be a canonical answer as to if that affects a love protection, but one can infer that it does.

Dumbledore told Harry that he had one thing Voldemort didn't, and that was love. Love was the reason Harry didn't die either time Avada Kedavra was used on him, and the reason he was safe in Privet Drive throughout his childhood (ignoring the fact that he was in an abusive home).

Again, pure inference: If Voldemort couldn't love, then he wouldn't be able to receive love and comprehend it. Even if a love protection charm did work, it would be unlikely to last long because of Voldemort's situation.

  • Do you have a source for the "conceived under the effects of a love potion"? I'm not doubting it, I just can't remember where to look for that information.
    – TylerH
    Commented May 10, 2014 at 6:21
  • 1
    It was mentioned in one of Harry's lessons with Dumbledore. (From the Harry Potter Wiki) "The fact that Voldemort was conceived under slaved love (Theorized to be a love potion by Dumbledore or to be the Imperius Curse by Harry)—administered/used by the witch Merope Gaunt to a Muggle—was related to his inability to understand love".
    – Dragona13
    Commented May 11, 2014 at 14:16
  • 1
    There is no evidence that it is the love potion conception that makes Tom Riddle void of love. And Bellatrix did love him so did Barty. Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 15:33

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