Why Did Voldemort Kill Harry’s Parents? The Reason Explained

Harry Potter, famously known as, The Boy Who Lived survived the attack by Voldemort at Godric’s Hollow. Despite Harry’s survival, Lord Voldemort’s reign of terror was temporarily ended that night. His parents, James and Lily Potter, however couldn’t survive the attack. They died to protect their son. The question here is: Why did Voldemort want to kill a one-year old Harry?

“All anyone knows is, he turned up in the village where you was all living, on Hallowe’en ten years ago. You was just a year old. He came ter yer house an’ — an’ — ‘You-Know-Who killed ’em. An’ then — an’ this is the real myst’ry of the thing — he tried to kill you, too… But he couldn’t do it. Never wondered how you got that mark on yer forehead? That was no ordinary cut. That’s what yeh get when a powerful, evil curse touches yeh — took care of yer mum an’ dad an’ yer house, even — but it didn’t work on you, an’ that’s why yer famous, Harry.”

— Rubeus Hagrid describing the attack

Why Did Voldemort Want To Kill Harry Potter

Several years before Harry Potter’s birth and the death of Lily and James, professor Trelawney was interviewing for a job at Hogwarts. Trelawney slipped into a trance during the interview and delivered a prophecy. The prophecy was revealed in the book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

The prophecy refers to a young boy born at the end of July whose parents had defied Voldemort three times. It said that the boy would possess the power that Lord Voldemort lacked and that this boy would be capable of defeating the Dark Lord.

  “The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches… born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies… and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not… and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives… the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies,”

The question that arises here is, where did Voldemort learn about the prophecy? Snape, the Death Eater, had been eavesdropping through the keyhole when the barman interrupted him, although he had already heard half of the prophecy. Snape immediately told Voldemort everything he had learned about the boy, who decided that the boy was Harry Potter, even though it could also have been Neville Longbottom.

No specific reference is made to the Potter family in Trelawney’s prophecy. Although James and Lily defied Voldemort three times, and their son was born in the summer, their names were not mentioned in the prophecy. The prophecy could have possibly referred to all together a different baby and a different family — the Longbottoms. In addition to defying Voldemort three times, Frank Longbottom and Alice Longbottom also gave birth to Neville in July.

The moment Snape discovered that Voldemort wanted to eliminate the Potter child, he begged him to spare the boy’s mother, Lily Potter. This is because Snape loved Lily.

What Made Voldemort Choose Harry and Not Neville?

Apparently, the prophecy requires a certain amount of self-fulfillment to be fulfilled. In order for Voldemort to fulfill the prophecy, he must choose his own worst enemy in order to fulfill the prophecy. This is significant because it shows that Harry’s destiny is not determined by fate but by Voldemort.

Harry was Voldemort’s first choice because Harry was more like himself than Neville. Voldemort hated his parents, a muggle father and a mundane, unexceptional mother. Although he kept his half-blood status hidden from his friends and followers, he saw that Harry’s mother was muggle-born. He saw a vision of himself in Harry, who just like him, was also a half-blood. In Voldemort’s view, Harry would be his ultimate downfall, which is why Voldemort chose Harry over Neville. James and Lily were killed directly as a result of putting themselves in Harry’s path in an attempt to save him.

What Happened After Professor Snape Asked Dumbledore To Protect Lily?

Although they had hidden since Lily became pregnant, once they realized Voldemort was after their son, the Potters increased their security measures. In the end, Albus Dumbledore recommended they use the Fidelius Charm, a powerful ancient spell meant to conceal a person’s location within the soul of another person.

In the beginning, the Potters planned to have Sirius Black become their Secret-Keeper. The Potters knew that he would rather die than betray them. Sirius thought this was a rather obvious move since he and James were best friends, so he recommended Peter Pettigrew as the Secret Keeper. As a matter of secrecy, the Potters agreed not to tell anyone, not even Dumbledore.

The biggest mistake they made was hiring Peter Pettigrew, as he was a Death Eater. Their doom was caused by this last-minute, secret change. Pettigrew was a Death Eater double agent for over a year, and within a week of him becoming the Secret-Keeper he told Voldemort where the Potters were. With this information in hand, Voldemort travelled to the village of Godric’s Hollow on Hallowe’en in order to eliminate Harry.

The Attack at Godric’s Hollow

“The green light filled the cramped hallway, it lit the pram pushed against the wall, it made the banisters glow like lighting rods, and James Potter fell like a marionette whose strings were cut….”

— Lord Voldemort murdering James with the Killing Curse

On his arrival, Voldemort came across a Muggle boy who thought he was wearing a Halloween costume, but when he saw Voldemort’s face, he fled in terror. After briefly considering killing the child, the Dark Lord decided it was not necessary.

As Voldemort moved to the Potter family cottage, the protections were broken and he saw the Potter family. He watched James playing with Harry before entering the house.

“Lily, take Harry and go! It’s him! Go! Run! I’ll hold him off!”

— James Potter moments before his death

As Voldemort entered the house, he confronted James in the hall. As James held off the Dark Lord, he called out to his wife to take Harry and flee. However, James had left his wand behind, and the Killing Curse quickly took him down. After he was dead, Voldemort went upstairs to kill the boy. There was furniture blocking the door to Lily and Harry’s room, and the door was locked. Voldemort was faithful to Snape’s request and asked the unarmed Lily who was standing guard at Harry’s cot to step aside. However, Lily refused to move.

She was then warned by Voldemort several times, but refused to stop protecting her son, begging him to kill her instead of Harry. As soon as she did not move for a third time, Voldemort killed her and turned his attention to the last surviving Potter. Harry, who until that moment believed it was just his parents playing a game with him, then began to cry. Voldemort was unnerved by Harry’s crying, so he pointed his wand directly at Harry’s face before casting the Killing Curse on him.

Voldemort, unable to comprehend or feel love, was unaware that Lily’s loving sacrifice protected Harry. In the act of murdering him, the spell rebounded and obliterated his body.

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Mario Garcia
Mario Garciahttps://beinghuman.org
Hello I am Mario Garcia, I find human beings fascinating, especially our more or less endearing behavior. Bit by bit I’ve come to see us human beings not as autonomous agents in conscious control of our lives, but as incredibly complex biological organisms embedded in the process of our evolving culture. Here in our blog you will find a lot of life hacks, tech tips and information about just Being Human

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