In the movie Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Harry makes use of the Imperius curse on a Goblin to get them into Gringots. I'm fairly certain in the books that the fate of this Goblin is never addressed, but in the movies, he is humorously incinerated by the dragon trapped inside. This would make them murderers wouldn't it?

  • 4
    Wouldn't this make the dragon the murderer? Unless Harry, Ron, and Hermoine had complete control over the actions of the dragon, there's no way they could have predicted he would incinerate the goblin.
    – New-To-IT
    Apr 20, 2015 at 18:39
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    @New-To-IT But they Imperiused the goblin so he's under their control. They could've made him run away but didn't, which kinda puts the blame back on them (and they had time to act, but just stood there and watched). I guess he just falls under collateral damage, unfortunately.
    – Walt
    Apr 20, 2015 at 18:46

1 Answer 1


Harry's use of the Imperious Curse did appear to addle the Goblin's brain enough that he was killed due to Harry not ordering him out of the way, so maybe if you really stretch it you could make a case for involuntary manslaughter in the real world.

As it is though, this is the magical world and Goblins aren't human beings, thus it wasn't illegal for Harry to use an unforgivable on him under wizarding law:

"Now. . . those three curses - Avada Kedavra, Imperius, and Cruciatus - are known as the Unforgivable Curses. The use of any one of them on a fellow human being is enough to earn a life sentence in Azkaban."

-"Alastor Moody" in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Furthermore, Harry didn't order the goblin to do anything, so he should have just waited outside the door when it locked behind them, the fact that he wandered over to the dragon would indicate he was starting to regain control over his actions.

Even if the Goblins somehow blamed Harry for it (and they probably didn't know seeing as Voldemort killed all of the ones involved shortly afterwards), there's no way the Ministry for Magic would prosecute him over it after he just saved all their lives.

  • 2
    Oh wow, I never even caught that stipulation about using the curses on humans. That's really interesting. Apr 20, 2015 at 19:06
  • @iAmMortos It may be that he only mentioned that part in the books where I copied the quote from. Apr 20, 2015 at 19:07
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    As far as I know, that statement by Moody wasn't necessarily stating it was only punishable if used on a human, but simply that it would be punishable if used on humans. I don't believe it ever says for sure if it's illegal to use on goblins or other beings outside of humans. According to this article, harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Unforgivable_Curses, "It's unknown if using the Unvorgivable Curses on non-human beings, like Goblins or Vampires, would also be punished with a life sentence, but it seems likely."
    – New-To-IT
    Apr 20, 2015 at 19:46
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    That wasn't Alastor Moody...and taking a disguised death eater and criminals legal advice isn't advised ;-)
    – rtaft
    Dec 5, 2016 at 15:18
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    @rtaft That's why I put his name in quotation marks, and if the information was wrong it could have blown his cover, especially with Hermione there to spot it Dec 5, 2016 at 16:00

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