12

In the book, after the diadem is destroyed by Fiendfyre caused by Crabbe, Hermione mentioned that she had read that this fire could destroy Horcruxes. Still, it was difficult to control. In The Order of Phoenix, Voldemort uses that kind of magic against Dumbledore, but Dumbledore repels it. Also it is mentioned in the book that there are ways to stop it. So, why bother and looking for a sword and not using this spell ? Also why didn't Dumbledore use this spell to destroy the Horcrux, but instead got his hand injured?

Inexperienced casters will be able to conjure the flames but will have virtually no control over the curse once it has been unleashed, thereby making the fire a deadly backfire. More experienced casters, such as Lord Voldemort, may control the flaming beasts they create, even condensing it into a single, colossal animal of their desire. There is also a charm to cease the flames as well as one to disperse them, but unfortunately Vincent Crabbe never paid attention in class long enough to learn it, therefore costing him his life. It is also possible that the fire may eventually burn off on its own, if it is unable to consume enough material to sustain it, and if so, the ash left behind may become Ashwinders.

-From the Harry Potter Wiki article on Fiendfyre

  • 9
    Dumbledore got his hand injured, not trying to destroy the horcrux, but because in a moment of emotion he tried to use the horcrux as what it was (a ring) and ignored/forgot the curse that was (as he should have known) attached to the horcrux. – gowenfawr Aug 18 '14 at 11:15
  • 5
    Voldemort only used Fiendfyre in the movies, not the books. And it was never identified as such, it could have been normal fire. I tend to use the the Harry Potter wiki with caution, given the undue amount of canonicality they lend the movies. – TenthJustice Aug 18 '14 at 13:01
  • 6
    I can't think of any canon source that states 1) that Fiendfyre is a "backfire", 2) that Fiendfyre can be formed into an animal of the caster's choice (movie contamination, maybe?), 3) that Fiendfyre will burn off on its own, or that 4) the ash from Fiendfyre can beget Ashwinders. In fact, FBAWTFT says Ashwinders are created from "any fire to which Floo powder has been added." (Yes, I realize Fiendfyre is a type of fire). Granted the Wikia info could all be on Pottermore and I haven't read it yet, but, if not, I'm concerned the Wikia paragraph is incorrect. Please, correct me if I am wrong. – Slytherincess Aug 18 '14 at 14:47
  • 6
    @Slytherincess The Wikia wrong? You must be joking. – Anthony Grist Aug 18 '14 at 15:55
  • 2
    @AnthonyGrist - I know it's hard to accept, but we'll just have to find a way to go on in light of this shocking news! ;) – Slytherincess Aug 29 '14 at 4:43
22

Firstly, there is no mention of Voldemort using Fiendfyre against Dumbledore in Order of the Phoenix (I am assuming that's what you meant, as Voldemort and Dumbledore do not meet in Goblet of fire)

There are ways to stop it but it is also very dangerous and difficult to control, so probably not worth the risk

For this same reason, Dumbledore didn't use it to destroy the ring horcrux, as he already had another means of doing so, the sword. Also, he didn't get his hand injured trying to destroy the horcrux, but rather because he tried to handle it without taking precautions, as he was impatient to try out the resurrection stone

  • 16
    Voldemort using Fiendfyre was (as usual) a Wikia invention by someone unable to distinguish canon from their own fantasies – DVK-on-Ahch-To Aug 18 '14 at 14:27
18

Hermione gives her opinion about Fiendfyre in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows chapter 31.

Fiendfyre – cursed fire – it's one of the substances that destroy Horcruxes, but I would never, ever have dared to use it, it's so dangerous.

We don't learn the details, but Hermione had certainly researched Fiendfyre and how to stop it, so you have to trust her judgement.

-1

As some have already answered, Dumbledore's blunder wasn't that he didn't know how to destroy the ring, it was his emotion that got the better of him: he was foolish to try on the ring, he says. He was simply tempted by the chance of seeing Arianna again.

Finally, you raised a good broader question about Fiendfyre. As far as the literary reason goes, using Fiendfyre would have cut half the number of chapters out of Book 7. So far the sake of a longer, more adventurous book, J. K. Rowling had to come up with the excuse that Hermione gives. But let's be honest. If dolts like Crabbe can cast that particular curse, isn't it reasonable to assume that clever Hermione can cast and control it? Remember, they were in forests. She could have simply cast the spell to create Fiendfyre to destroy the locket, and if thinks got out of control they all could just Disapparate. That's what I would have done. But again, that would have thinned out Rowling's brilliant book.

  • 4
    That's what I would have done. Great plan. Regular non-magical wildfires are already hard to stop and kill numerous people every year, not to speak of animals, houses, other property … A fiendwildfire is likely far worse. But who cares? Not you, you just walk away and make others deal with your mess. – chirlu Oct 22 '16 at 18:22
  • 3
    @chirlu - Yeah. Frankly, I assume Hermione couldn’t stop it, since she would “never, ever, have dared use it.” And if she can’t, it’s probably almost impossible to stop (this is why no one uses it, even though it seems reasonably easy). So, would Hermione have risked the deaths of hundreds or thousands of people (thus making her possibly a bigger murderer than the person she was trying to stop), and a likely breach of the Statute of Secrecy, just to destroy one Horcrux (especially considering there were other possibilities)? Put another way, would you nuke a city to kill a dictator? – Adamant Mar 30 '17 at 20:47
  • That's because they were taught (but either not taught well or not how to control) Fiendfyre in what became 'Dark Arts'. Hermione wasn't there. As others say the trio didn't have a blatant disregard for life/environment. Never mind that they weren't trained at all and who knows? Maybe they would have perished like a certain Slytherin did. Not worth the risk even w/o the disregard for others. This I presume is what Adamant is referring to though it should be obvious after seeing what it does later in the book. – Pryftan Jul 13 '17 at 18:15
-8

Fiendfyre does not destroy the Horcrux. It is stabbed with a Basilisk fang, then Ron kicks it into the fiendfyre.

  • 6
    Are you sure you aren't getting mixed up with the other Horcrux which was stabbed with a Basilisk fang? – Rand al'Thor Oct 22 '16 at 16:44

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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