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What “Means to the End” of Voldemort?
A Question of Ethics
By Velse

Harry Potter has a clear need to defend himself against the most extreme violence. He knows based on the prophecy that either he or Voldemort must die, “for neither can live while the other survives.” 1 He has also been directly threatened, tortured or attacked by Voldemort on five occasions.2 However, it isn’t clear what exactly Harry is ethically allowed to do in self-defense. How imminent must the threat be? Is it enough that Voldemort has threatened Harry in the past, or does he have to actually be attacking Harry when Harry kills him? Could Harry “shoot” Voldemort in the back or attack him when he is sleeping? And if the ethics of self-defense are complicated, Harry Potter’s ultimate ethical dilemma is even more difficult: how far may he – should he – go to defend the entire world from Voldemort?

Whether in self-defense or defense of others, the issue is the same: is one permitted to commit unethical or even evil deeds to achieve a higher good, or must one always behave ethically? As we will see, this dilemma has arisen throughout Harry’s time at Hogwarts, and Albus Dumbledore has weighed in on the matter as well.

I believe that this ethical dilemma may be central to the resolution of the Potter vs. Voldemort conflict in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. J.K. Rowling agrees that there are moral themes in the Harry Potter story line, though “I did not conceive it as a moral tale, the morality sprang naturally out of the story.” 3 Rowling has given us rich clues to follow about her ethical beliefs, while leaving plenty of room for suspense. So I’ll first spell out the dilemma in terms of ethical philosophy, then review clues about Rowling’s ethical beliefs that I’ve found as Harry faces ethical conflicts in the first six books, and finally speculate about how ethical principles could influence the final confrontation between Harry and Voldemort.

The Philosophical Debate

Some ethical philosophers argue that yes, the ends do justify the means; this side of the debate is called utilitarianism.4 Utilitarians argue that the goodness of a result (the end) outweighs any problem with the ethics of the actions taken (the means) to achieve the result. Utilitarians would say that Harry should do whatever it takes to rid the world of Voldemort, including deeds which are in themselves unethical.

It’s easy to imagine Deathly Hallows scenarios in which utilitarianism would be a convenient philosophy for Harry to adopt. What if Harry, enraged at his enemies, somehow became able to use Imperio (an Unforgivable Curse, meaning that according to the wizard code of ethics there is no possible justification for using it5 ) to force an enemy to divulge the location of a Horcrux,6 bringing him one step closer to ending the menace of Voldemort? 7 The utilitarian philosopher would say that Harry is ethically free and clear. But one can also imagine scenarios in which a utilitarian philosophy would be tough for Harry to live by. What if, to choose an extreme example, Harry had to betray an unknowing person into torture or death in order to get to Voldemort? I think that doing something so cruel would destroy Harry as well as the innocent victim. Yet the utilitarian philosopher would say that if it’s necessary, he should do it; eliminating Voldemort is more important than Harry’s well-being, or the innocent person’s life. In this scenario we can see that utilitarianism can be extremely harsh.

On the opposite end of the ethical spectrum, others, called moral absolutists,8 reject the notion that the ends justify the means, believing that the ethical value of each action must be judged on its own merits. An absolutist would insist that Harry forego the Horcrux rather than use Imperio, and he certainly could not betray an innocent person. There is an attractive simplicity to this approach, but again, it can be hard to live by. To an absolutist, even the death of innocents is an acceptable consequence if the alternative is violating one’s moral code. Let’s examine another scenario: according to Dumbledore, wizards do not tolerate theft.9 What if Harry has to steal a Horcrux to defeat Voldemort? What harm could that do, sufficient to outweigh such a desirable result? Absolutists would not even permit him this much moral leeway. Where utilitarianism might demand too much cruelty of Harry, absolutism would set cruel limitations on Harry’s ability to prevent his own death and the deaths of innocent people.

Luckily for Harry (and for us!), between these black and white philosophies there is an entire world painted in full color and a thousand shades of grey. Daily, we draw fine lines between acceptable and unacceptable actions based on our own assessment of when the ends do and don’t justify the means; e.g., telling our boss we’re at the doctor when we’re really going on a job interview is okay (isn’t it?), whereas lying to a spouse about who we were out with on Saturday night is not. However, the exact location of this fine line is a personal choice, and as Dumbledore points out, it is our choices that define us.10

The question, really, is where does the author draw the line? After all, it is her ethical beliefs that will prevail. J.K. Rowling has told us, “Dumbledore often speaks for me,” 11 and also that “Dumbledore is the epitome of goodness,” 12 giving us some very large clues as to her point of view on ethical issues. Harry’s past experiences with ethical issues provide more clues, because his reactions prefigure how he may behave in the future. By examining where Harry draws the line between good and evil choices, and what Dumbledore has done and said, we can deduce how ethical considerations will shape the events of Deathly Hallows.

Ethical Choices Made By Harry and Dumbledore

Harry lies (or bends the truth) to authority figures frequently, which is not unusual for children (e.g., Harry tells Professor McGonagall that Uncle Vernon “forgot” to sign his permission form to visit Hogsmeade 13). But does Rowling agree with this behavior? If we are to rely on Albus Dumbledore, the answer is that it’s okay to lie when it’s important. Like a utilitarian, Dumbledore lies or supports lies in order to achieve desirable results. For example, at a critical moment in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Dumbledore actually directs Harry to lie to Fudge, in order to protect Harry.14 What’s more, he himself lies to Fudge in that same scene.15 Dumbledore, and by implication Rowling, are not too troubled by lying for a good cause.

Breaking Rules

Rule-breaking is such a common phenomenon in Harry’s Hogwarts career, and the range of rule-breakers and rationales is so wide, that we must question if rule-breaking is considered unethical at all. The tone is set beginning in Chapter Nine of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, just after Harry enters Hogwarts. The chart below shows rules broken just in Chapter Nine, by whom, and why:

Rule-breaker Rule Broken Rationale
Harry Potter Flying when he’s told not to Defending Neville Longbottom’s property p. 148
Professor McGonagall and Albus Dumbledore McGonagall asks Dumbledore to “bend” the rule that prevents first years from having their own broom; he agrees She wants Gryffindor to beat Slytherin at Quidditch p. 152
Fred Weasley, George Weasley, and Lee Jordan Investigate a secret passageway out of Hogwarts A wish to have fun and create mayhem p. 153
Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and (accidentally) Hermione and Neville Wandering the halls after dark Harry and Ron: a desire to take the sneer off Malfoy’s face p.155

Hermione and Neville: unwilling to be left alone in the corridor p. 156

While this rate of rule-breaking is not maintained in every chapter, it is fairly typical.

How does Rowling regard this, ethically? Interestingly, Dumbledore (J.K. Rowling’s proxy, as we’ve seen) sometimes facilitates rule-breaking. In Sorcerer’s Stone, not only does he agree to give Harry a broom, he also gives Harry his father’s invisibility cloak, helping Harry to break rules by wandering the corridors and grounds at night, and (in later books) sneaking off the school grounds. 16 It’s clear from their meeting at the Mirror of Erised that Dumbledore is aware of Harry’s behavior (“I don’t need a cloak to become invisible” 17) and implicitly condones it. In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Dumbledore actually stage-manages the use of the Time Turner to save the lives of Buckbeak and Sirius,18 encouraging Harry and Hermione to violate Wizard Law as well as school rules in the service of justice.

As foils to Dumbledore’s approach, we have numerous examples of ethically questionable characters insisting on adherence to rules. We see shallow, selfish Percy Weasley grow apoplectic at finding Ron and Harry in a girl’s bathroom,19 yet heartlessly deny his own parents when their loyalties threaten his career.20 We also see bullying Severus Snape condemn Harry’s rule-breaking;21 and that loathsome bigot, Dolores Umbridge, hypocritically insist that her own rules be obeyed while she herself is willing to set Dementors on Harry or use the Unforgivable Crucio Curse.22 From all of this, we can deduce that Rowling does not put adherence to rules for their own sake on a high ethical plane; rather she takes the view that the reason for keeping or breaking a rule is the important ethical criterion for judging the action.


More problematically, one of Harry’s rule-breaking modes is the use of hexes. The sad condition of Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle at the end of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire hardly seems ethically justified, even if it is emotionally satisfying.23 Hexes are quasi-violent, a sort of Dark Arts-lite.24 Still, there isn’t much fuss made about hexes or charms used by students against one another. Rowling does indicate, again through Dumbledore, that there should be limits to the aggressive use of magic. Dumbledore uses a Stun charm to escape from Fudge; charms are not a Dark Arts-type of spell, unlike a hex, and Dumbledore has no problem with stunning most of the Ministry officials. But he regrets the necessity of stunning his undercover Order ally, Kingsley Shacklebolt.25 Based on this I’d hazard that Rowling sees hexes as minor infractions, but of questionable ethical value unless used in legitimate self-defense.


All of that said, we can’t avoid the fact that Harry sometimes shows a very human tendency toward vengefulness, and that is not ethical, according to Harry’s own internal moral compass. In “Snape’s Worst Memory,” 26 Harry becomes painfully aware that hexing another person simply out of dislike is not ethical, no matter how loathsome we feel that person to be. He objects to his father’s use of Levicorpus on Snape because it’s mean-spirited and unjust to attack anyone – even an enemy – “for no good reason” (let alone because one is bored).27 He may enjoy seeing his enemies embarrassed or disarmed (e.g., Malfoy the bouncing ferret28); he may express vengeful rage at those who have hurt him and his friends (“SHE KILLED SIRIUS! [...] I’LL KILL HER!” 29); he may even try to use an Unforgivable Curse in his rage;30 but he stops short of true violence.

It seems that Harry is viscerally unwilling to cause serious pain or suffering, even when he desires revenge. He is horrified by the brutal effect his Sectumsempra curse has on his persistent enemy, Draco Malfoy, even though Harry was arguably defending himself.31 Most dramatically Harry instinctively decides, in the Shrieking Shack, to use his own body to shield Peter Pettigrew from attack by Sirius and Lupin, saying he doesn’t think his father would want his friends to become killers.32 At such a young age, with the emotional impact of his parent’s betrayal fresh in his heart, he still sees that killing in revenge is, simply put, murder. The drama of that moment and Dumbledore’s approval of Harry’s decision (“You did a very noble thing, in saving Pettigrew’s life” 33) show that Rowling believes that vengeance is not ethical, even if the desire for vengeance is understandable.


Dumbledore tells Tom Riddle that “thieving is not tolerated at Hogwarts.” 34 Yet Dumbledore is apparently willing to steal Horcruxes; he takes Horcruxes such as Slytherin’s ring35 and the locket from where Voldemort has hidden them.36 Here a common-sense rule seems to apply: property rights are very important, but Voldemort’s property rights do not matter compared with the need to destroy him. This is not an absolutist position.


It’s easy to point out characters in the Harry Potter world who show bias for a person or a group, such as Severus Snape, who prefers his own Slytherin students above all others,37 and of course the pure-blood bigots like Draco Malfoy.38 More importantly to an ethical discussion, though, Harry has had to develop an unbiased awareness of acts of injustice by “his side.” Sirius helps to teach Harry to appraise his own side’s ethics in an unbiased fashion, pointing out that “the world isn’t split into good people and Death Eaters;” 39 in reality, Ministry Aurors like Bartemius Crouch, Sr. have a history of pursuing justice with unjust harshness.40 Harry also has begun to apply fair-mindedness and even empathy more broadly to his enemies, showing “the tiniest drop of pity” for Draco,41 and possibly for Voldemort’s loss of his mother, as well.42 Dumbledore encourages this tendency to be fair and just, modeling a tolerance for honest criticism and a willingness to forgive those who truly repent.43 He himself could be seen as the epitome of the unbiased person, who “has to believe the best of people.” 44 Based on this, I would say that bias is one of Rowling’s least favorite ethical failings.


The debate over the domination of non-human magical species such as house-elves can be comical (“S.P.E.W.” 45), but the domination is real and terrible. The treatment of house-elves in the House of Black includes mounting their heads on the wall like animals.46 Dobby is ordered to injure himself by the Malfoys,47 Winky is spurned after a lifetime of loyalty by harsh Bartemious Crouch,48 and Hokey is easily blamed for her mistress’ death.49 Dumbledore agrees to pay Dobby,50 and Dumbledore is seen to send envoys to giants (Hagrid and Madame Maxime51), and even werewolves (Remus Lupin52). Rowling clearly considers domination of one being by another to be unethical.53


There are somewhat confusing signals about the precise ethics of killing, even in self-defense. Since the question of who will die, Harry or Voldemort, is critical to the outcome of Deathly Hallows, it’s important to examine them one by one:

Killing for revenge is wrong: As shown above, Dumbledore is pleased that Harry stops Sirius and Lupin from “becoming killers,” 54 signaling that Rowling does not like the idea of killing for revenge.

Avada Kedavra (the “Killing Curse”) is an Unforgivable Curse, forbidden even in self-defense.55 Is that because to use Avada Kedavra you have to want to kill,56 which isn’t purely defensive? Or is it because it’s generally forbidden to use magic whose exclusive purpose is to kill? Based on what we’ve seen so far, we don’t yet know.

Is it ever okay to use magic to kill in self-defense? Even Order defenders seem to show restraint when it comes to killing. A Death Eater was killed in the attack on Hogwarts, but this was probably “friendly fire.” 57 The Order may have been jinxing and hexing up a storm, but were they trying to kill?

Is there a death penalty? The Wizengamot ordered Sirius to be killed by dementors, but since his original sentence for multiple murder was life in Azkaban that seems to have been extraordinary.58 Is this just because these are European wizards? Do Texan wizards regularly execute their criminals? In any case, Rowling and Dumbledore don’t seem to like sentencing anyone to death: if dementors were able to kill Sirius it would have been a horrible miscarriage of justice;59 Buckbeak’s death is ordered unjustly and it’s just plain cruel;60 Barty Crouch Jr. is killed by dementors and as a result valuable intelligence is lost.61 Official killing seems difficult to justify.

Dumbledore may or may not have killed. We never hear any stories about Dumbledore killing anyone, and he doesn’t seek to kill Voldemort in the Department of Mysteries.62 Yet he is powerful, feared even by Voldemort, which suggests that he’s capable of deadly force.63 The Chocolate Frog card says he “defeated” Grindelwald,64 but did he actually kill him? I suspect that Rowling is being cagey here – she is very, very careful about choosing her words!

Dumbledore agrees that Harry has “got to” kill Voldemort.65 Dumbledore also shows approval of Harry’s statement that he wants to “finish” Voldemort.66 Again, though, the word is ambiguous: does “finishing” Voldemort mean killing him directly? Are there other ways to be the cause of Voldemort’s death? Similarly, Dumbledore expresses approval when Harry says, “It could be me [who is fatally attacked] next, couldn’t it? But if it is … I’ll make sure I take as many Death Eaters with me as I can.” 67 In this case it seems clearer that Dumbledore believes Harry should kill his enemies, but in context this killing could be in self-defense.

Rowling may be using a bit of Confundus on us regarding her precise ethical beliefs about killing, and if so it could be because they are so important to the final confrontation between Harry and Voldemort in the final book. I hope that we will learn more about Dumbledore’s “defeat” of the evil Grindelwald early on in Deathly Hallows;68 it may signal which way Rowling will go in regard to killing Voldemort.

Speculation: What Ethics Will Harry Display in Deathly Hallows?

As evidenced by her point of view on rule-breaking, J.K. Rowling seems to believe that ethical behavior means making individual ethical choices, not relying on inflexible philosophies or rules to make those choices for us. The choices Harry makes are part of his character, and as our hero his character exemplifies the ethical code preferred by Rowling, as expressed by Albus Dumbledore.

Dumbledore takes a utilitarian attitude toward particular ethics such as obeying rules and truth-telling, but he does not preach utilitarianism in general. Instead, he places great importance on values. There’s almost a mystical quality to his trust in his values. He “has to believe the best of people.” 69 He seems to have faith that good will arise from Harry’s showing mercy to Peter Pettigrew (even if that’s not precisely what Harry intended70), somehow sufficient to outweigh the serious utilitarian downside of letting Pettigrew return to Voldemort. He expects Harry to behave according to his values in minor matters as well; at the beginning of Half-Blood Prince, Dumbledore appeals to Harry’s sense of responsibility and concern for his adult friends, Arthur and Molly, to govern his behavior while he is staying at The Burrow,71 rather than citing prohibitions or rules.

Dumbledore’s values-led approach to ethics is neither a utilitarian nor an absolutist point of view. In Deathly Hallows, Harry will therefore make ethical decisions according to his values. He will of course have to steal from Voldemort to get hold of a Horcrux; he neither will nor should have any qualms about it. Similarly, he will probably need to jinx and even hex in self-defense, and that’s fine. And I confidently predict that Harry will break many Ministry rules in the final book, guided by values like compassion, justice, loyalty and courage.

However, based on the same values, there are some ethical lines I don’t think he will cross:

He Won’t Use an Unforgivable Curse (Or At Least, Not Twice). Do Unforgivable Curses have any place in Dumbledore’s values? I don’t think so. Unforgivable Curses require a specific desire to dominate, cause pain, or kill that I don’t believe Rowling will permit our hero to develop. I’m worried (not predicting) that Harry’s anger at his losses and desperation to defeat Voldemort could push him at least as far as Imperio, even perhaps Crucio; he has already unsuccessfully tried to use Crucio three times,72 and he tried to use Sectumsempra again against Snape despite his horror at its impact on Draco.73 But if Harry does manage to use such a Curse successfully in Deathly Hallows, I anticipate that he will regret it (as with his successful use of Sectumsempra on Draco74) and choose not to do it again.

He Won’t Conduct a Campaign of Vengeance (Though He May Slip). If we have established that vengefulness is not ethical, what will happen when Harry confronts Pettigrew, Draco, and most problematically, Snape? When threatened, Dumbledore offered Draco Malfoy forgiveness, not punishment, and he could very well have succeeded in redeeming the boy if Snape and the Death Eaters hadn’t arrived.75 Redemption vs. revenge seems set to be a major plot conflict in Deathly Hallows. Rowling has stated that “there's the possibility for redemption for all of [her characters]” 76; and how can there be redemption if there is revenge? Besides, if Harry is to defeat Voldemort, he may need help from those close to him, many of whom have caused him suffering along the way. Harry may need to not just forgo vengeance, but actually forgive one or more of these people in order to defeat Voldemort.

Kill Voldemort? Uh oh… it may not be ethical for Harry to kill Voldemort with the aggressive use of magic. As noted above, Dumbledore agrees with Harry that Harry has “got to” kill Voldemort. But what, precisely, does this mean? Dumbledore points out to Draco, with Harry listening in, that “killing is not nearly as easy as the innocent believe.” 77 Does he expect Harry to use magic to kill Voldemort? I have cited some evidence that using the kind of magic that kills people is immoral. I am not sure, from the evidence, that Dumbledore would use curses or even hexes (which Rowling has told us are dark magic78) to kill Voldemort – and after all Harry is “Dumbledore’s man, through and through.” 79

Besides, even if he wanted to, could Harry kill Voldemort with magic? Even if every Horcrux is destroyed, Voldemort remains an immensely powerful and experienced wizard, and Harry a seventeen-year-old novice. On this subject, J.K. Rowling’s statements are suggestive. In a conversation about the “gleam” in Dumbledore’s eye when he learned that Voldemort had used Harry’s blood, infused with Lily’s love, to come back to life, 80 as well as about Horcruxes, she stated that:

Obviously it's not all of it, but still, that is the way to kill Voldemort [in context she could mean the “gleam”, or the Horcruxes, or both]. That's not to say it won't be an extremely torturous and winding journey, but that's what he's got to do. Harry now knows – well he believes he knows – what he’s facing. Dumbledore's guesses are never very far wide of the mark.81

So, again, we must consult Dumbledore. Dumbledore has made quite clear that Voldemort is unable to tolerate love. He tells us that Quirrell, possessed by Voldemort, actually dies because touching Harry puts Voldemort in contact with love. 82 Dumbledore states that Harry’s “uncommon skill and power” is his ability to love, “a power that Voldemort has never had.” 83 And there is the matter of the famous “gleam.” Is it possible that what will “finish” Voldemort is contact with love, not the hatred inherent in using magic to kill?

In Conclusion

J.K. Rowling is no utilitarian. She’s not an absolutist, either; she is pretty cheerful about lying and rule-breaking if they help to achieve important goals, and she seems to wink at childish impulses and “bad” acts such as hexes. But she is fairly stern about more serious ethical transgressions like stealing, and she draws a firm line at callous vengefulness and unjust behaviors such as showing bias or dominating others.

Most crucially, her “epitome of goodness” – Dumbledore – doesn’t even try to kill Voldemort when he has the chance. 84 I’m going to go out on a limb here: I don’t think that Rowling wants Harry to directly kill Voldemort with aggressive magic, whether spell, charm, hex, or curse. The Dark Lord does have weaknesses (his underestimation of the power of love, and his powerful fear of death) and to my mind Dumbledore has been hinting fairly heavily that these will be his undoing. (“Your failure to understand that there are things far worse than death has always been your greatest weakness.” 85) Besides, just as Harry did not want Lupin and Sirius to become killers, I believe Rowling does not want Harry, so young and still so innocent, to become a killer, either.

The Harry Potter series has taken Harry from his first eleven years as an abused child, through one challenge after another, to this last and ultimate trial. He has been protected by his mother’s love, nurtured by loyal friends and the Weasley family, tempted to vengeance by rage and pain, and abandoned not once but three times by the most important adults in his life. Through all of this joy, loss, and pain, Harry has grown ethically. He makes choices based on values such as compassion, bravery and loyalty, and acts to further moral goals such as fairness and kindness. Dumbledore has nurtured his tendency to mercy, and helped him to examine some of his vengeful feelings. Despite his suffering, he has grown into a highly ethical young man.

At the end of Half-Blood Prince, it seems that Harry’s confrontation with Voldemort will involve two additional losses – of Ginny, so precious to him, and of Hogwarts, his one true home. Perhaps there will be more along the way; the Death Eaters are terrible enemies. Once again he will face sadness, anger, and the desire for revenge. But I have faith in the example Dumbledore has set for him, in the magical power of love, and in the ethical wisdom of J.K. Rowling. Harry will not end Deathly Hallows a hardened, bitter killer, stripped of the values that have made us care for him. Inspired by his values and empowered by love, he will make the right choices to save both the wizarding world and his own soul.


1. Rowling, Order of the Phoenix, 844.

2. At the age of one year (Rowling, Sorcerer’s Stone, 12), at the Mirror of Erised (Ibid., 295), in the Chamber of Secrets (Ibid., Chamber of Secrets, 317–22), in the Riddle graveyard (Ibid., Goblet of Fire, 636–69), in the Department of Mysteries (Ibid., Order of the Phoenix, 816).

3. Rowling, World Book Day Chat.

4. Wikipedia, s.v. “Utilitarianism.”

5. Rowling, Goblet of Fire, 217.

6. For an explanation of Harry’s search for Horcruxes, see Rowling, Half-Blood Prince, 635–36.

7. I am aware that Harry has so far been unable to use this and other Unforgivable Curses (Rowling, Order of the Phoenix, 810); this scenario presupposes that the suffering he experiences in the pursuit of Voldemort may harden him, as occurs with soldiers in the Muggle world.

8. Wikipedia, s.v. “Moral Absolutism.”

9. Rowling, Half-Blood Prince, 273.

10. Ibid., Chamber of Secrets, 333.

11. Mzimba, Interview with Steve Kloves and J.K. Rowling.

12. Rowling, Interview by Evan Solomon.

13. Rowling, Prisoner of Azkaban, 150.

14. Ibid., Order of the Phoenix, 611.

15. Ibid., 618.

16. Ibid., Sorcerer’s Stone, 299.

17. Ibid., 213.

18. Ibid., Prisoner of Azkaban, 393.

19. Ibid., Chamber of Secrets, 157.

20. Ibid., Order of the Phoenix, 72.

21. Ibid., Goblet of Fire, 276, etc.

22. Ibid., Order of the Phoenix, 747.

23. Ibid., Goblet of Fire, 729–30.

24. Rowling, “Spell Definitions.” The grey area comes with things like 'Stunning Spells’, which on balance I think are Charms, but which I call spells for alliterative effect.

25. Rowling, Order of the Phoenix, 621.

26. Ibid., 640–50.

27. Ibid., 670.

28. Ibid., Goblet of Fire, 207.

29. Ibid., Order of the Phoenix, 809.

30. Ibid., 810, Half-Blood Prince, 602.

31. Ibid., Half-Blood Prince, 522–23, 530.

32. Ibid., Prisoner of Azkaban, 375–76.

33. Ibid., 426.

34. Ibid., Half-Blood Prince, 273.

35. Ibid., 504.

36. Ibid., 576.

37. Ibid., Sorcerer’s Stone, 135.

38. Ibid., 78, etc.

39. Ibid., Order of the Phoenix, 302.

40. Ibid., Goblet of Fire, 526–28.

41. Ibid., Half-Blood Prince, 640.

42. Ibid., 262.

43. Most notably, his forgiveness of the repentant (or repentant-seeming) Snape. Rowling, Half-Blood Prince, 549.

44. Ibid., 31.

45. Ibid., Goblet of Fire, 224.

46. Ibid., Order of the Phoenix, 61–62.

47. Ibid., Chamber of Secrets, 14.

48. Ibid., Goblet of Fire, 138, 378.

49. Ibid., Half-Blood Prince, 439.

50. Ibid., Goblet of Fire, 378.

51. Ibid., Order of the Phoenix, 424.

52. Ibid., Half-Blood Prince, 334.

53. As a side note: This sheds light on the question of why Imperio is an Unforgivable Curse, equivalent to torture and killing. Imperio is domination of the mind and soul of one person by another. When Harry is under the Imperius Curse, “every thought and worry in his head was wiped gently away,” (Rowling, Goblet of Fire, 231). It is therefore a particularly despicable form of domination.

54. Rowling, Prisoner of Azkaban, 426.

55. Ibid., Goblet of Fire, 217.

56. Ibid., Order of the Phoenix, 810.

57. He was killed by a “Killing Curse that huge blond one was firing off everywhere.” Rowling, Half-Blood Prince, 612.

58. Ibid., Prisoner of Azkaban, 247.

59. Ibid., 389.

60. Ibid., 291–92.

61. Ibid., Goblet of Fire, 703.

62. Ibid., Order of the Phoenix, 814.

63. Ibid., Sorcerer’s Stone, 11.

64. Ibid., 102–3.

65. Ibid., Half-Blood Prince, 511.

66. Ibid., 512.

67. Ibid., 77.

68. Rowling won’t say if it’s important, so it probably is; Anelli and Spartz, “TLC/MN interview Part Three.”

69. Rowling, Half-Blood Prince, 31.

70. Ibid., Prisoner of Azkaban, 426–427.

71. Ibid., Half-Blood Prince, 79–80.

72. Once against Bellatrix Black (Rowling, Order of the Phoenix, 810) and twice against Snape (Ibid., Half-Blood Prince, 602).

73. Ibid., Half-Blood Prince, 603.

74. Ibid., 523.

75. Ibid., 591–92.

76. Ibid., Evening with Harry, Carrie and Garp.

77. Rowling, Half-Blood Prince, 586.

78. Rowling, “Spell Definitions.”

79. Rowling, Half-Blood Prince, 649.

80. Ibid., Goblet of Fire, 696.

81. Anelli and Spartz, “TLC/MN interview Part Three.”

82. Rowling, Sorcerer’s Stone, 299.

83. Ibid., Half-Blood Prince, 509.

84. Ibid., Order of the Phoenix, 814.

85. Ibid.


Anelli, Melissa and Emerson Spartz. “The Leaky Cauldron and Mugglenet interview Joanne Kathleen Rowling: Part Three.” The Leaky Cauldron, 16 July 2005. (accessed 28 January 2007).

Mzimba, Lizo. “Newsround talks exclusively to J.K. Rowling,” CBBC Newsround, 19 September 2002. (accessed 28 January 2007).

———. Interview by Evan Solomon, CBCNewsWorld: Hot Type, 13 July 2000. (accessed 28 January 2007).

Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, s.v. “Moral Absolutism.” (accessed 28 January 2007).

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