Wormtail had the Dark Mark and everything, which means he was in Voldemort's inner circle.

This itself is strange already, as we see in Goblet that Voldemort is very condescending towards Wormtail for his talentlessness despite having taken care of him for the whole year, and helping him out with his elaborate plot against Harry.

Since Wormtail was more friendly with the Marauders since his school years, I would assume it would take him quite some time to gain enough trust with Voldemort to get the high honour of being branded with the Dark Mark.

In the 3rd book Sirius says that Wormtail had been hiding from Voldemort's old supporters in Azkaban because they all thought he double-crossed Voldemort, as he met his downfall at the Potter's on Wormtail's information.

Keeping in mind that Voldemort likes to work alone and in secrecy as much as possible (in Goblet, during the trial of Karkaroff scene, he mentions that only Voldemort knew the true identities of all the DE's and even fellow DE's did not always know each other), that many DE's in Azkaban knew that Voldemort had gone to the Potter's on Wormtail's information indicates that Wormtail had been with Voldemort for quite some time by then.

However, this answer to this question says that Snape didn't know Wormtail was a Death Eater, and I think it is fair to say that Snape at least, by this time, was already in Voldemort's inner circle.

The fact that he didn't know Wormtail was a Death Eater is the reason given for him not taking a more direct approach in protecting Lily, and not alerting Dumbledore to the fact that there was a traitor in their midst, when he went to beg Dumbledore to protect Lily.

So the question is, when exactly did Wormtail become a Death Eater? He must have been with Voldemort for quite a while by the time Voldemort went to attack the Potters, but if this was true Snape should have known about it and alerted Dumbledore.

(This probably has no canon answer, so any extrapolation based on canon information is more than welcome)

  • 1
    I don’t have time to dig out exact dates, but 1) from Order of the Phoenix, we know that he was part of the original Order. Likely he turned after joining the Order, and adults can’t join, so after his Hogwarts graduation. 2) He was a Death Eater by Voldemort’s downfall, in July 1981. That’s probably only a couple of years at most.
    – alexwlchan
    Commented Jul 23, 2015 at 11:48
  • 1
    The fact that he was part of the order makes it stranger, why would Voldemort trust him into his inner circle in a short span of time?
    – user13267
    Commented Jul 23, 2015 at 12:01
  • 2
    I'm not sure Voldemort DID include Peter in the inner circle - I always assumed he was given the Dark Mark either just before Voldemort attacked the Potters (as a reward for the info) or during Voldemorts pre-return (as a reward for finding him). Siriuses remark is a little odd, but consider that the imprisoned Death Eaters were the really fanatical ones, like Bellatrix - the very top-tier of Voldemorts organisation. Perhaps only they were trusted with the identity of spies. Snape was the same age as Lily - I doubt he'd managed to rise THAT highly in the ranks.
    – DavidS
    Commented Jul 23, 2015 at 14:09
  • I agree with DavidS - Wormtail gave extremely valuable information and received his Dark Mark just before Voldemort acted on it. There was likely some way that Voldemort could have checked what Pettigrew said. Probably to do with the fact he was the secret keeper and he revealed it.
    – ThruGog
    Commented Jul 23, 2015 at 16:21
  • I think DavidS is right. It was probably when Wormtail gave Voldemort the information about the Potters. Remember how Sirius and Wormtail had a go and Wormtail said something like "what was I supposed to do?" and Sirius said "You were supposed to DIE for them" I can't find the exact passage but it was in PoA
    – Dragona13
    Commented Jul 23, 2015 at 17:10

2 Answers 2


Based on comments made by Sirius Black, Peter Pettigrew was passing on information to Voldemort for over a year.


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Chapter 19, The Servant of Lord Voldemort

Peter Pettigrew admits to work for Voldemort.

“He — he was taking over everywhere!” gasped Pettigrew. “Wh-what was there to be gained by refusing him?”

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Chapter 19, The Servant of Lord Voldemort

This could be taken as an indication that Peter Pettigrew, willingly offered his services to Voldemort.

We can draw one more conclusion from the comments above. Sirius Black was in Azkaban and would have heard about Peter Pettigrew passing information to Voldemort for a year.

Now lets look at the timelines of the events leading to Voldemort’s downfall.


  • Peter, James and Lilly pass out of Hogwarts

  • Joined Order of Phoenix


  • Snape eavesdropped on Sybill Trelawney prophecy and informs Voldemort about it.

  • Voldemort decides to target Harry Potter.


  • Fidelius Charm was performed in secret.

  • Less than a week later, Peter betrayed Lily and James to Voldemort.

Peter Pettigrew was not very talented, which would rule him out of more important and dangerous missions. This would have impact on amount of information he would have. Initially Pettigrew might have had friends among Death Eaters (since most of them went to Hogwarts) but he would not have any major informations to report to Voldemort.

As I look at the time line of the events. Peter Pettigrew would have been useful to Voldemort only after Voldemort had decided to kill Harry Potter which was in 1980.

Now taking into account what Sirius said and also the timeline. It looks very likely that Peter Pettigrew became a death eater in 1980.


My view is that Voldemort did see Peter as a useful ally and probably did value him to an extent during the last year or two of the first war. I think his hatred toward Peter was more due to the fact that he remained somewhat free for thirteen years and even believed that Voldemort was still alive, but he never tried to find him until it was beneficial to him. I can imagine Peter discovering a weakened Voldemort expecting to be rewarded only for Voldemort to say "Tell me Peter, you were free and knew where to find me. Why did you not seek me out sooner?" to which Peter had no good excuse. Of course Voldemort would be a little miffed about this. Remember, he was angry at all of his followers who made little or no attempt to find him but at least many of them had the excuse that they thought he was finished for good.

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