I remember from 'Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets' that in the climax, Harry was shocked after finding Ginny Weasley on floor and drops the wand which is then picked up by Tom Riddle (his memory).

Also we saw that he commanded the Basilisk to attack Harry.

So why couldn't he just kill him with a curse by wand?

  • 4
    Probably for the same reason Bond villains always put him in some faulty death trap\torture device instead of just putting a bullet in his head.
    – Walt
    Sep 17, 2016 at 11:20
  • @Walt: I see your point. But am sure there might be some reason. Maybe in the book.
    – Rahul
    Sep 17, 2016 at 11:23
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    Well, Tom knows the Killing Curse didn't work on Harry once. So he might be a bit wary of trying it while he's still weak and not fully formed yet. Maybe he can barely perform magic at all at this state other than jumble shiny letters around.
    – Walt
    Sep 17, 2016 at 11:26
  • @Walt: That is indeed one good point.
    – Rahul
    Sep 17, 2016 at 11:28
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    @Walt, if Diary is a memory of the past of Voldemort(which earlier was Tom Riddle) then how come a memory know about what happened after that. I mean Voldemort tried to kill baby Harry potter in Godric's Hollow and this happened after a huge time gap from the memory's time? Nov 15, 2018 at 9:13

1 Answer 1


In-Universe Reasons

  • Riddle is not fully formed yet. He's a memory almost made flesh, so he can grab Harry's wand and even create some shiny letters with it, but it's possible that's the extent of his powers.

  • Riddle also knows that the Killing Curse didn't work on Harry once and rebounded on Voldemort, so he might be wary of trying this powerful spell again on Harry, especially in his state.

  • Riddle wants to humiliate Harry first, to show him that his powers are no match to his. As he says:

So this is what Dumbledore sends his great defender. A songbird and an old hat. Let's match the power of Lord Voldemort, Heir of Salazar Slytherin, against the famous Harry Potter.

And in the book, this is preceded by:

I’m going to teach you a little lesson.

Just like in the graveyard duel in Goblet of Fire, Riddle\Voldemort favors a spectacle, a feat of strength, to show Harry that he's not the great Gryffindor hero everyone says he is. Because...

Out of Universe Reason

...Voldemort is the very epitome of a supervillain, and as such, is prone to gloating, monologuing, explaining his evil plan to the hero and then putting him in some death trap that always fails to work. When you simply kill the hero, you are just a killer... But when you mock him first and plan his demise in some fiendishly clever way, you're truly a villain. ;)

  • 3
    Aaaand I see there was a similar question on SF&F... But of course. ;)
    – Walt
    Sep 17, 2016 at 12:00
  • @Walt: I didn't knew there are two communities for Movies. I found this one first in All Communities section. Good answer. Given that one is already present your points have uniqueness.
    – Rahul
    Sep 17, 2016 at 17:56
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    @Rahul Sci-fi & Fantasy Stack Exchange isn't just for movies; it's for books and other media as well. Thus it covers a lot of works that would not be appropriate here. The overlap is when there are questions about sci-fi or fantasy movies. In that case, just ask on whichever site you would like. Sep 18, 2016 at 5:03
  • I feel that this answer would be improved by adding this link to the final villain: youtu.be/dy2zB8bLSpk?t=28
    – KRyan
    Apr 14, 2017 at 20:41

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