Headscratchers: Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Voldemorts Final Duel
Please check JK's FAQs
before asking a question that may have already been answered.
- OK, truly mind-boggling: Deathly Hallows. Voldemort and Harry Potter square off. Harry spends 10 minutes explaining in minute detail exactly why the Elder Wand doesn't work for Voldemort and why it actually belongs to Harry. Then Voldemort proceeds to use a wand that he was just told doesn't work, one that he has already seen evidence that it doesn't work, to try to kill the one person the wand is least likely to kill. Um, Voldemort? You clearly noted that Harry didn't have his Phoenix wand, so Priori Incantatem (what an Ass Pull) wouldn't save him. Why not let Harry's Expelliarmus hit, disarm you of a wand you don't own, draw your Wand of Yew, and put that arrogant bastard in the ground? Oh, and then collect the Elder Wand, which would then belong to you, from the corpse?
- Because he's just plain stupid. He's already tried the Killing Curse several times and it never worked. You'd think he'd try something more imaginative, like Fiendfyre or something. Or better yet, if he'd invested in a Glock, he could've pulled that out and killed Harry.
- In a world where the average wizard has enough disrespect for technology that they don't even use pencils and paper, would you seriously expect one of the greatest Muggle haters of all time to be able to admit that the Muggles came up with a better way of killing people?
- That, and you honestly would believe that a Shield Charm wouldn't stop a bullet? Or Reducto? Or a spell to slow down the bullets or Transfigure the gun or melt it or Summon it or Disarm it from Voldy?
- I honestly believe that Harry doesn't know how to slow bullets down, transfigure a gun, or melt it, and that if Voldemort had just pulled it right out and fired then, Harry wouldn't have had TIME to put up a shield charm, which may or may not even work against a bullet, as it's never been tried that we've seen.
- If Dolores Umbridge, a woman who is quite terrible at magic, can react quick enough to shield herself from arrows, Harry Potter can stop bullets.
- Arrows that she knew were coming at around 60 mph versus bullet that you aren't expecting at 1000 mph. Big difference there.
- Plus, this is the UK. Where the hell would Voldie get his bony mitts on a glock? And even if he could get access to a gun (or, hell, a goddamned knife as that's mre abundant than the nearly non-existant guns), he wouldn't use it because that'd be admitting to himself that a filthy muggle weapon was abe to do what all his superior magic (remember, he's basially the zombie, magical equivalent of Hitler here) couldn't do. Kill Harry. His pride would not allow him to do it.
- Wizards and witches can pull off incredible magic instinctively: in that kind of situation facing a non-magical lethal weapon, Harry is likely to have simply unconsciously vanished the bullets, or shielded himself, or turn the bullets into fluffy kittens with the Power of Love... you get the point. Also, if Shield Charms can't stop bullets, how the hell can they save you when you fall hundreds of feet? Or stop arrows - when the caster was a wuss who got beaten to a pulp by a few Disarmed, tied up kids? Or utterly overrun the Muggle world? No, this troper thinks prepared, powerful wizard vs Muggle with gun = no contest. Protego beforehand, Expelliarmus during, then Stupefy, and all would be over. Not to mention the "instinctive magic" bit.
- Wait, how is Priori Incantatem an Ass Pull? The wands are brothers, and the wielders are closely connected as well (even sharing each other's souls and flesh in some ways.) The reverse magic makes sense, and it was also established early in the series, not whipped out in the last chapter of the last book.
- It was an Ass Pull when it was whipped out of nowhere near the end of the fourth book, which I believe is what the above troper was referring to. Yes, the deliberate form of P.I. was introduced earlier in book four, but it has very little connection with the whole "brother wands don't work against each other", which had no set-up whatever.
- It was more a matter of foreshadowing that was built up from the first book when Olivander comments on the importance of Harry having a brother wand to Voldemort. In the same fourth book, he shows up again to remind us of this importance. It wasn't an Ass Pull, it was just subtle, and it brought about a very uncommon instance of magic that no one would have mentioned due to the fact that Voldemort was "dead" and his wand was gone.
- As Harry would then both own and wield the Elder Wand, Voldemort wouldn't win that way.
- But in the time it takes for Harry to actually catch the Elder Wand (Expelliarmus is not equivalent to Accio Wand; it just knocks the wand out of their hands. Among other things), Voldemort can be drawing his Yew wand. And Avada Kadevra can't be stopped by normal magical means, so as long as Harry's distracted by trying to catch the Elder Wand in mid-flight, he won't notice the Death Curse until it's too late for him to find cover. Granted, even if Voldemort pulled this off, I guarantee that no less than 3 Avada Kadevras would nail him from the surrounding crowd (Neville, Ron, and Ginny) before he had too much time to gloat.
- What I think a lot of you are forgetting is that Harry can't (well, shouldn't) be able to die at this point. Remember how Harry was a Horcrux for Voldie? Well, Voldie was a Horcrux for Harry too. That's why Harry was able to come back. But Voldie hadn't died since becoming Harry's Horcrux, so even if Harry had been hit with another Avada Kadevra, he'd probably been able to come back. But that's not the point. The point is that Voldie is a vain S.O.B that has the market cornered on the whole God Complex front, so why would he believe some brat that's telling him HIS wand isn't his?
- Wait, Voldemort wasn't "killed" at the same time Harry was with the whole train station bit? The book mentions Voldemort getting up from the ground, but let's assume he was just stunned. If he operated like Harry's Horcrux, why didn't he just get up and dust himself off after that first AK rebound? Does the Power of Love just work in reverse of what happened when Harry died, and kill the host instead of its own little inserted fragment?
- The difference is that Harry was a Horcrux because a piece of Voldemort's soul was "blasted off" and "attached" itself to him, but what Voldemort did when he resurrected himself was to make Harry's blood part of the potion. In other words, the blood and Lily's Power of Love sacrifice were made a part of Voldemort, spread throughout his whole body. Killing Harry destroyed the Horcrux and its piece of soul. But there was no way to get rid of Lily's protection in Voldemort without him dying and staying dead. Or alternatively, when he blasted Harry, Voldemort did die temporarily and lost Lily's protection in the process. Or Harry dying for everyone at Hogwarts transferred the protection from Voldemort to them.
- It's a pretty obvious Call Back to the first book. "Even the greatest wizards don't have an ounce of logic."
- "Hey, you know, you can't possibly hurt me with that gun, so you might as well not try". Just because Harry told him it wouldn't work doesn't mean he should believe him. Although it would have been smart to test his theory with a lighter spell than "instant death", for once in his life.
- I don't have the book in front of me, but doesn't Harry say something like "It all comes down to whether or not the Elder Wand knows I disarmed another wand from its last master?" when explaining things to Voldemort? So even if Voldemort believed what Harry was saying, perhaps he was willing to take the chance on trying anyway.
- This proves, without a shadow of a doubt, that Voldemort is the reincarnation of the Phantom of Krankor. And Harry himself is the Prince of Space.
- And as for him testing a weaker spell on him first, he couldn't do that. At this point, he would rather kill people than simply move around them. He is so accustomed to using AK that he can't think of using any other spell in battle.
- Weren't we told that Voldemort abandoned his old wand in favor of the unbeatable wand? Who's to say he had it with him at all? He obviously hadn't read the Evil Overlord List well before this moment, so he wouldn't have a back up weapon when his super powered weapon is declared useless.
- Even if we weren't told, it would fit exactly with his character to abandon the weaker wand completely in favour of the Elder Wand. The same way as he'd never consider putting pieces of his precious soul into things like tin cans (as Harry suggested), he would never lower himself to carrying around an inferior weapon. He'd also be completely devoid of the sentimental value most wizards place on their original wands (remember, Harry is heartbroken when the phoenix wand is snapped, whereas Voldemort doesn't give a damn about anything that isn't named Voldemort) so he'd see no reason to keep it.
- Because that was Voldemort's huge flaw - he was insanely powerful and twisted and cunning to a degree, but then became extremely paranoid about being defeated. His first downfall at Harry's hands more or less made him crazy and overconfident about certain things. Plus, Dumbledore tells Harry that Voldemort never takes the time to learn about things he doesn't think are important. That's why he doesn't think that it's stupid to use a House Elf to hide the locket and that's why he doesn't think it's worth actually figuring out why he can't successfully curse Harry to death instead of just how to do it.
- All of the above, plus one thing: Voldemort is so self-confident that if you tell him exactly what he must do to be killed, he'll do that to prove he is stronger than you think and can survive that. That's what he did with the prophecy. Else, he would have sent a dozen Death Eaters to kill Harry and parents, and same for Neville. And no Harry Potter series.
- Voldemort was a Dead Man Walking for the entirety of that final battle. Harry had him defeated from the moment he was willing to sacrifice his life to Voldemort's Killing Curse in the woods, but Voldemort just hadn't realized it. Remember what Dumbledore told Harry? By sacrificing his life for his friends, he essentially put the same protection spell his mother put on him all those years ago on EVERYONE on his side at Hogwarts. From that moment on NONE of Voldemort's magic worked on anyone. The Avada Kedavra didn't kill Harry. The Crucio his attempted on what he thought was Harry's corpse didn't cause the actually living Harry to even feel a twinge. When he set fire to Neville, Neville wasn't hurt at all. His Yew Wand, even if he had it, would have been no more effective as it had been back when he tried to use it on baby Harry. Thanks to Harry's Power of Love sacrifice, EVERYONE on his side was now permanently IMMUNE to ALL of Voldemort's magic. Voldemort was too arrogant to realize it, but from that moment on, he was doing no damage whatsoever in battle - the only real damage was being inflicted by the other Death Eaters. In terms of combat threat, he might as well have been a Muggle.
- Isn't it just a case of Your Mind Makes It Real? Voldemort knows that he would never take on the Awesomest Wizard Ever, but Harry does. Harry then goes on to tell him how he can't win (because the wand doesn't belong to him). Considering that this is "The Boy who Lived", Voldemort starts believing he might lose, thus undermining his confidence prior to the duel. Harry basically pulls a giant "Psych!" on Voldy.
- Or it's just the opposite: Voldemort's so caught up in the notion that real power means the power to utterly destroy one's enemies that he flat-out doesn't believe Harry's Info Dump. He can't accept that "defeating" someone, by the Elder Wand's standards, can be as simple as knocking a wand from their hand and then leaving them unharmed, so he doesn't believe that Draco's disarming Dumbledore or Harry's disarming Draco could have counted.
- Okay, so I'm guessing that Voldemort killed Snape with Nagini since the Elder Want wouldn't work (since he thought Snape was the master). But if Harry was the owner, then shouldn't either Harry not been able to be killed in the first place, or, once he was, then shouldn't Voldy have become the master?
- This is a good point, actually. Voldemort uses the Elder Wand on Harry in the forest when he kills him, and it works. Why the devil is it the wand doesn't consider Voldemort its new master since he just managed to use it to blow away its previous owner? ...Better question. How did the Elder Wand know Harry overpowered Draco to steal his regular wand when it was nowhere near Draco at the time? Logically speaking, that wand should have had no problem blowing Harry back to the phantom version of King's Cross he saw in the forest.
- Well, did Voldemort looked victorious in his direct casting of killing curse on Harry? Even though Voldemort manage to put a killing curse on him, Voldemort was knocked unconscious. No one really won this scenario, and no one was /defeated/ in this scenario so no Elder Wand ownership transfer occurred.
- Well if Harry wasn't killed wouldn't that last Horcrux not've been destroyed?
- I personally theorize that the wand may not have transferred ownership BECAUSE Voldemort used it on Harry. both the book itself and JKR's FAQ make it clear that the wand won't work right if used against its current owner; this may well extend to transference rules as well.
- And even if it would have worked Harry let himself be killed, thus dying undefeated.
- ^ This. Snape didn't become Elder Wand's true master because Dumbledore allowed himself to be killed. Harry did the same thing in the forest, so he was technically not 'defeated'.
- My personal theory is that the Elder Wand wouldn't harm Harry because he was it's true master. That's why Hary didn't die from the Killing Curse in the woods. However, it found that there was something that it could kill: a hunk of soul from someone else that was just hanging around. Harry ended up at King's Cross Station because he accidently hitch-hiked along with Voldie's soul into Limbo. Since he wasn't actually dead, he was given the choice of staying or going back. As for the final battle, the book says that the Killing Curse rebounded off of Harry. If both spells hit at the same time, then Voldie got disarmed just as the Killing Curse started it's 180, meaning that he was defenseless to do anything about the Killing Curse coming right at what's left of his face. Why did it rebound? Because by never having disarmed Harry, Voldie wasn't 'worthy' of using the Elder Wand, so it refused to act against it's true master once again.
Back to the main Headscratchers page