In the movie Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, we learn about the new spell, Patronus Charm. This is a beautiful spell. Harry learns that spell from Remus Lupin, the Defense Against Dark Arts teacher at that time.
Harry was able to produce the Patronus Charm after a few practices. This made many fans wonder what about Voldemort?
Can Voldemort use the Patronus Charm?
No, Voldemort cannot use Patronus Charm. He may be a powerful wizard but there are few spells that he can’t produce. You may wonder why. Stick with us to know the reason why Voldemort cannot use Patronus Charm. First of all, let’s see what Patronus Charm is.
First of all, let’s see what Patronus Charm is.
“Well, when it works correctly, it conjures up a Patronus, which is a kind of anti-Dementor — a guardian which acts as a shield between you and the Dementor. The Patronus is a kind of positive force, a projection of the very things that the Dementor feeds upon — hope, happiness, the desire to survive — but it cannot feel despair, as real humans can, so the Dementors can’t hurt it. But I must warn you, Harry, that the Charm might be too advanced for you. Many qualified wizards have difficulty with it.”- Remus Lupin explains to Harry Potter about the Charms’ Nature
Patronus Charm is one of the strongest and most powerful spell defensive charms in the wizarding world. It represents hope, happiness, survival, and purity. To cast the spell the wizard should say, ‘Expecto Patronum’. This spell provides a protective shield against the Dementors and the Lethifolds.
They are the dark creature that feeds on the happiness of humans. Then they fuel up a feeling of despair in anyone that comes close to them. So, they are very dangerous creatures. The only way to deal with them is the Patronus Charm.
So, how does this spell work?
When the spell is cast, it channels the positive emotions of the wizard. This creates powerful protection. So, it is important for the one who is casting the magic spell to have positivity and a pure heart in them.
In the third movie, we also see the Patronus Charm taking a particular form and shape like animals. Like in the train when Lupin casts the spell, it produces a bright light that destroys the Dementors. Later when the students, also an army of Dumbledore, learn to cast the Patronus spell. We see their Patronus Charms as different animal-like figures.
For example, we see Luna Lovegood’s Patronus to be Hare, Hermoine’s Patronus as an Otter, Ginny’s Patronus as a Horse, and so on. So, we see a different Patronus for every student.
So, why does that happen? There are two types of Patronuses. They are corporeal and incorporeal.
Corporeal is a fully formed Patronus Charm. The Patronus is able to take the form of different special animals.
“Each one is unique to the wizard who conjures it.” – Remus Lupin saying Corporeal forms a Patronus could take.
The form of an animal that Corporal Patronus took varies from person to person. The difference comes from the innermost personality of an individual. So, the casters will never know the form of their Patronus until it is cast.
Casting different spirit animals do sound fun, it is like having your own pet at the tip of your want. But we all know there is a purpose for these spirit animals.
“A thin wisp of silver escaped his wand and hovered like mist before him.”- Description of Harry’s Incorporeal Shield Patronus
When the Patronus doesn’t resemble any animals or any form then it is incorporeal. This is the basic form of Patronus Charm. Incorporeal Patronuses resembled a burst of vapor which kinda looks like smoke. It oozes out from the tip of the wand.
This spell is not as strong as the Corporeal Patronuses. It can only partially halt the dementors but not chase them away completely. This charm is the weaker form of the Patronus Charm. But being able to cast it is also a great achievement for the wizard.
History of Patronus Charm
Patronus Charm is one of the oldest spells that has existed in the wizarding world. So, no one knows who the original creator of the spell is. Despite the creator being unknown, we can find different famous legends related to the Patronus Spell.
One of the famous legends is about a lowly mouse Patronus. It belonged to a young wizard called Illyius. He was often humiliated for having a lowly animal. Later, a Dark Wizard Raczidian and an army of Dementors attack his village.
Despite the small and tiny size of the mouse, it showed incredible power and saved the village. It shone with a brilliant light and halted the Dementors.
Can Voldemort use Patronus Charm?
So, we do know that Voldemort cannot cast one of the famous Charms. You might be wondering why it is impossible for such a powerful wizard to cast the spell. The answer lies in the deep desire within the Dark Lord.
There are two reasons why Voldemort cannot use the Patronus Charm.
Voldemort Lacks Love and Happiness
In the third movie, we get to know one of the important things needed to cast the Charm. When Harry is training to learn Anti Dementor charm aka The Patronus charm, Lupin gives a short lecture to him.
Before releasing the Boggart, Lupin tells Harry to concentrate. He tells him to focus on his one single happy memory. So it seems like the wizard should have a strong happy memory to cast the spell.
Voldemort had a hard and gloomy life growing up. Since he was also a child born out of a love potion, there was no true love. Due to this Voldemort never experienced love for himself and didn’t know how to express it to others. He never understood the concept of love and happiness.
This is also the reason that fueled his path to becoming a villain. He became a selfish wizard with no compassion, kindness, or love for any human being.
This also makes me wonder how he would have been if he was able to feel love and the happiness of having someone you care for!!!! He might have ended up becoming a good professor at Hogwarts but we will never know.
He also never had good memories and was always attracted to dark things. So this is one of the reasons why Voldemort cannot cast the Patronus Charm. He lacked the important thing that is love and happiness.
Voldemort lacked Pure Heart
Since Voldemort had split his soul into different Horcruxes, he had no human soul left in him. He also didn’t have a pure heart. We know that Patronus’s charm portrays positive thoughts of a person deep within them. A person with a pure heart can only cast the Charm.
Voldemort had no light in him. He didn’t have any positive energy or a pure heart. He was dark and evil as the dementors. So, this also makes sense for the Dark Lord to not cast the spell that could fight off dementors.
Like him, his fellow Death Eaters were also unable to cast the Patronus Charm. All the Death Eaters are dark beings and they lacked a soul and a pure heart. Only Snape, who was also among the Death Eaters, is able to cast the Patronus charm.
Why you may wonder? Although Snape has a dark aura in him, he always had a pure heart and a beautiful soul. The deep love he had for Lily was the positive energy that allowed him to cast such a beautiful spell.
What would happen if Voldemort tries to Use Patronus Charm?
We all are aware of the power that Dark Lord holds, so he is able to cast Patronus charm if he wanted to. But will it leave the Dark Lord unscathed? Let’s find out about that by revising the event of the legend.
In the famous legend mentioned before, after facing a defeat from a lowly villager Illyius, Raczidian was enraged. He also decided to cast the Patronus charm himself with the motive of destroying the young wizard.
So, Racdizian cast a Patronus charm himself to ward off Illyius’s mouse. When he tried to do so maggots shot out of the wand. The maggots attacked the dark wizard and devoured his entire body. This way Racdizian met his end After the incident Illyius became the hero of Village.
Why did that happen? To cast a Patronus spell one should have a pure heart. Out of rage, Racdizian forgot this. So, if Voldemort is to ever try the Patronus Charm then he would face the same result. He might not die in the process as he is very powerful but like maggots, something might come out of his wand and try to harm him as well.
Can the Death Eaters cast Patronus Charm?
Why did Harry learn to use Patronus Charm?
After getting attacked by the Dementor on his way to Hogwarts, Harry was scared for his life. Dementors became the thing that he feared most. We get to know that when Lupin releases a Boggart to help students overcome their deepest fears.
In the train, we also see Lupin successfully chasing away the dementors. Harry also saw that. So, he asked Lupin to teach him the Anti-Dementors spell. Lupin agreed to teach him but only after the Christmas Holidays.
Just like what Lupin promised, he taught Harry to cast the spell. At the first trial, Harry was not quite successful and Lupin also didn’t expect him to cast the spell successfully in the first trial. It was strong magic he was attempting to cast and not an easy one.
With a few lectures and suggestions, Harry was able to cast the magic. It took him a few practices to overcome his fear for the Dementors and fight them easily. He was also one of the youngest wizards to cast that spell at the age of thirteen.
Later in the Dumbeldore’s Army lesson, Harry also taught his fellow friends to cast the same spell. We see the Patronus charm of different students taking different forms and shapes of animals. Let’s look at the Patronus of different characters in Harry Potter.
Different Patronuses of Every Character
Let’s look at the Patronal form of the characters of Harry Potter.
- Harry Potter- Stag ( Same as his father James Potter)
- Hermione Granger- Otter
- Ron Weasley- Jack Russell Terrier
- Ginny Wasley- Horse
- Albus Dumbledore- Phoenix
- Luna Lovegood- Hare
- Severus Snape- Doe (It is the same as Harry’s mother Lily Potter)
- Remus Lupin- Wolf (He tried to hide his Patronus, not to reveal the fact he was a werewolf)
- Minerva McGonagall- Cat
- Illyius- Mouse
- Cho Chang- Swan
- Kingsley Shacklebolt- Lynx
- Patricia Rakepick- Lioness
Like this, in the book, we are introduced to many patronal forms that we do not see in the movie. Some other patronal forms are Albatross, Badger, Black Bear, Black Mamba, Buffalo, Cheetah, crown, and so on. So, it concludes that the charm can be of any form.
“The majority of witches and wizards are unable to produce Patronuses and to do so is generally considered a mark of superior magical ability.”
Not all Wizards are able to cast the Patronus charm. Patronus Charm is one of the strongest spells for a reason. The difficulty and the power it possesses make it special. So, not many wizard-like Hagrid cannot cast the spell. Some might be able to cast the weaker version, the incorporeal one but not the strongest one.
In the context of Voldemort, despite having immense power, he cannot cast the spell. By now we are aware of the reason. Because he doesn’t have a pure heart and a happy memory.
What Form Would Voldemort Patronus take if he was able to use it?
In the parallel ending, what if Voldemort was able to understand love and try to use the Patronus Spell? What would his Patronal form be?
We know that the form of Patronus depends on the witch and wizard that cast them. So, if Voldemort would cast Patronus then we know for sure it would take the form of something that resembles his nature.
It could be something powerful and evil. We all know that the patronal form of many witches or wizards is common animals. Voldemort had a close relationship with Nagini, one of his Horcrux. So, we can expect that his patronal form would be a snake, considering his close resemblance with the snake.
It is just one of our viewpoints. Since Voldemort cannot cast the Patronus Charm we will never see his true Patronal Form. We can just imagine it to be the animal he has a close relationship with.