Harry Potter Wiki
Harry Potter Wiki

"Bone of the father, unknowingly given, you will renew your son! Flesh of the servant, willingly sacrificed, you will revive your master. Blood of the enemy, forcibly taken, you will resurrect your foe."
Peter Pettigrew reciting the incantation for the potion's creation[src]

This potion was an "old piece of dark magic"[2] that restored a wizard whose body had become maimed and disfigured to their true and whole bodily form.[1] This also applied to non-corporeal wizards, where Lord Voldemort used this potion to return to his full body.[1][2]


Bones from the father

Bone unknowingly taken from Tom Riddle Sr

The potion required a cauldron large enough for a grown man to sit in, as well as three crucial ingredients: bone unknowingly taken from the Dark wizard's father, flesh — of an amount about as large as a person's hand — willingly sacrificed from one of his servants, and the blood forcibly extracted from one of his foes — though it would appear that the blood had to be freshly taken from the source, meaning that the enemy of the one to be revived by the potion must have been there as prerequisite for its preparation. The remainder of the ingredients, if any besides water were needed, remain unknown.[1]


Early history[]

"- it is an old piece of dark magic, the potion that revived me tonight -"
Lord Voldemort's description of the regeneration potion[src]

As Voldemort noted the potion to be "an old piece of dark magic", it can be inferred that it had been used by other Dark Wizards who suffered bodily damage; perhaps, even, by previous makers of Horcruxes. Therefore, Voldemort most likely did not invent it.[2]

Voldemort's rebirth[]

"But then, through the mist in front of him, he saw, with an icy surge of terror, the dark outline of a man, tall and skeletally thin, rising slowly from inside the cauldron."
— Harry Potter witnessing the potion resurrect Lord Voldemort[src]
Wormtail extracting blood

Wormtail taking Harry Potter's blood to use in the potion

On 24 June 1995, Lord Voldemort had Wormtail prepare the potion, save for its most crucial ingredients, for his rebirth. While Voldemort had the flesh at hand due to Wormtail's presence and could easily gain access to his father's bone from his grave, he wanted Harry Potter's blood to rise "greater and more terrible" than before his fall;[2] he rejected the usage of any other wizard's blood for this reason, despite Wormtail's repeated attempts to persuade him to accelerate the rebirth process, and that there were plenty of enemies for them to capture (although Voldemort saw through Wormtail's true motive was to abandon his master under the guise to search for a replacement).[3][2] Through a complex plan, one of Voldemort's loyal servants, Barty Crouch Jnr, managed to send Harry to him. With the three ingredients, Voldemort's rudimentary form was included into the cauldron, and he was able to regain his new body.[1]

Voldemort rises in Little Hangleton graveyard

Voldemort rising out of the potion

The use of Harry's blood in the potion, however, would come to be a mistake as it prevented Voldemort from killing Harry because the blood passed Lily Potter's protection to Voldemort and anchored Harry to the living world through him, ensuring the Dark Lord's defeat three years later. Voldemort believed, out of his lack of understanding love, that by using Harry's blood, it would allow him to bypass Lily's protection and thereby enable him to circumvent what the boy has which robbed him of power years ago, when in fact it actually strengthened it.[4]

Behind the scenes[]

  • In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4, Peter Pettigrew used Harry's glasses and Riddle's cranial bone, most likely to avoid violence. Instead of using a knife, Peter Pettigrew simply takes his hand off. When Voldemort is returning he wears Harry's glasses. Voldemort is sucking a dummy as a baby and lies in a pram. When he rises from the cauldron he already has his cloak on.
  • In the novel, the bone was no more than a trickle of dust raised from Riddle's grave, and Voldemort rises from the cauldron while ordering Wormtail to cloak him. In the film, an entire humerus that was already dug up was deposited into the cauldron, which catches fire and melts as Voldemort's body regenerates in mid-air and the cauldron's fragments become a robe and wrap themselves around Voldemort's body. Also, in the novel, when Wormtail drew Harry's blood, he transferred it into a glass vial before pouring it into the cauldron, while in the film he dripped the blood directly from the blade into the potion.
  • Voldemort was naked when he emerged from the cauldron as stated in the novel, but the film shows him fully clothed upon his rebirth, the cauldron's components forming a robe that cloths him. This was a change necessitated for censorship reasons.
  • In the film, the first line of the recipe is also changed from "Bone of the father, unknowingly given" to "unwillingly given".
  • It's unknown if another potion was required to be used prior in order to fully restore the drinker's physical body. It is possible that the user would be able to simply submerge themselves while in spectral form to achieve the same results.
  • It's possible that, if this potion were to be used to resurrect a witch rather than a wizard, the bone of the mother would replace the "bone of the father" in the ritual.
    • The necessity of using a member of one's own sex would explain why Voldemort elected to use the bone of his father, whom he loathed, rather than of his mother, who, being a witch, was worthier in his eye. Though it's possible that he simply did not know where (or if) his mother was buried and opted to use his father out of simplicity. However, it is more likely that, since the potion and its ingredients predate Voldemort, Voldemort had no choice but to choose his father's bone.
    • Notably, the servant's flesh and enemy's blood used in Voldemort's resurrection both came from people of the same sex as well.


Notes and references[]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 32 (Flesh, Blood and Bone)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 33 (The Death Eaters)
  3. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 1 (The Riddle House)
  4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 35 (King's Cross)