The Killing Curse (incantation Avada Kedavra) is one of the three Unforgivable Curses.

As the name suggests, the curse kills immediately and painlessly. It looks like a long flash of green light.


Throughout the recent Wizarding history, several people have fallen victim to the Killing curse.


Voldemort used the Killing Curse to kill Harry Potter’s parents.

From the Story

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

"Killing Curse" is first discovered in chapter 4, The Keeper of the Keys, "Harry Receives His Letter at Last".

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Discovered in chapter 14, The Unforgivable Curses

"Professor Moody"[1]

The Killing Curse is the last of the three Unforgivable Curses. Professor Moody tells his fourth-year Defence Against the Dark Arts class that there is no counter-curse to the spell and no blocking it. Only one known person has ever survived the spell: Harry Potter. When Moody demonstrates the Curse using a spider, there is a flash of blinding green light, and a rushing sound, as though a vast, invisible something is soaring through the air. The Curse leaves no marks or blemishes on the victim.

The Killing Curse needs powerful magic behind it to work properly. Moody says that if the fourth-year students were to attempt the Curse on him right then, he doubts he would get more than a nose-bleed.

Discovered in chapter 32, Flesh, Blood and Bone

Wormtail uses the Killing Curse to kill Cedric Diggory.

Discovered in chapter 34, Priori Incantatem

Voldemort uses the Killing Curse against Harry. The jet of green light that comes from Voldemort's wand meets the jet of red light created by Harry's retaliating Disarming Charm in mid-air, causing a strange effect: a beam of bright, gold light connecting the two wands.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Discovered in chapter 27, The Lightning-Struck Tower

Professor Snape uses the Killing Curse to kill Professor Dumbledore on the Astronomy Tower.


  1. Killing Curse (as of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 14) on Pottermore

See also