15

If it is, are there any known cases of this form of suicide in the Harry Potter universe?

3

2 Answers 2

17

I think it could probably be used to commit suicide.

The only example anywhere in the canon comes from the video game of Deathly Hallows: Part 1. There’s a YouTube walkthrough which shows the Tale of the Three Brothers, and Cadmus Peverell appears to commit suicide using the Killing Curse. (It isn’t explicitly stated, but he turns his wand on himself, and dies with a flash of green light. It seems to fit.)

However, the games aren’t necessarily canon. In the movie animation, he hangs himself, and the method of suicide is unspecified in the original tale:

The second brother, driven mad with hopeless longing, killed himself so as truly to join her.

And so Death took the second brother for his own.

I don’t know of a better example in the canon than this.

Could it work? I suppose you might fall afoul of the rule “a wand cannot kill its master” that trips up Voldemort at the end of Deathly Hallows, but I don’t know if that still applies when it’s you doing the casting. I think if somebody is competent in the spell and feels strongly enough that they want to die, then they could probably commit suicide this way (and if not with their own wand, certainly with somebody else’s).

3
  • 4
    If it weren't for the fact that Voldemort had already made Horcruxes and was therefore more or less immortal, his own wand would have killed its master when he tried to kill Harry. I don't think there is any such blanket limitation that a wand cannot kill its master; rather, it cannot be used by others to kill its unwilling master. Going from memory, doesn't Voldemort use the Elder Wand to kill Harry in the Forest? That is, I would argue, only be possible because Harry allows him to. May 14, 2015 at 14:07
  • 1
    I think that rule (about the wand killing its master) applies only to the elder wand, but +1 for your answer and research
    – ava
    Mar 15, 2021 at 19:42
  • @ava I agree, a wand not being able to kill their master its absolutely not true. Theres no other basis for it apart from the elder wand. Plus we see owners wands used again them on a few occasions. Hermione using Bellatrixes in the manor after Dobbie steals it. And Harry using Draco's against him.
    – GamerGypps
    Mar 17, 2021 at 12:07
1

I would say yes. The Elder Wand can not be used as an example, as it is a special case. However, there are no quotes in canon, so canon-based speculation will have to do. A wand cannot object to casting the killing curse, nor can it sense who it is being cast against, with the exception of the Elder Wand. Being semi-conscious, the wand probably just assumes that it is being cast to kill something/someone else until it is too late.

However, I imagine most witches/wizards that attempt this may struggle with the intentions part of it. As Bellatrix Lestrange says

"You have to mean it, Potter!"

Most people only convince themselves that suicide is what they desire, but the wand can see into their deepest hearts' desires, and if it is nothing less than true, pure wanting to die, then the wand will not perform the curse.

But if one truly means it, then yes, someone could use Avada Kedavra for that purpose. Here are ways to do this without Avada Kedavra, by magic.

-A well placed Stunning Spell

-Using Wingardium Leviosa to bring down a large object on one's head

-A reductor curse

-A body-bind curse, but another wizard will need to use "Bombarda" or "Bombarda Maxima" after you are successfully stunned (this is what Molly Weasley did to Bellatrix Lestrange, at least in the film version)

-There are a lot more, pretty much any spell could be used in this way.

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.