Harry Potter & Co. Fell for the Taboo Name Way Too Many Times

Harry Potter & Co. Fell for the Taboo Name Way Too Many Times
Image credit: Warner Bros.

Tom Riddle’s edgy nickname was protected with the Taboo charm that revealed anyone who said it. But why did it take the Golden Trio so many times to figure out?


  • Voldemort’s Taboo charm tracked down everyone who said his name out loud.
  • Harry, Ron, and Hermione triggered the Taboo several times before being captured.
  • Despite learning about the Taboo, they didn’t make the connection and revealed themselves.

The Taboo charm was first introduced in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows when Lord Voldemort used it to reveal his enemies — the only people in Magical Britain who dared to say his name. The word “Voldemort” was cursed to track people down, but for some reason, Harry, Ron, and Hermione took ages to realize that.

Even though they’d already fallen victim to the Taboo charm before being captured by the Death Eaters and brought into Malfoy Manor, which they didn’t even realize!

When Did the Golden Trio Fall for the Taboo Charm?

The first time the Taboo charm worked was during Bill and Fleur’s wedding. The happy occasion was ruined by a bunch of Death Eaters, but since this delightfully coincided with the fall of the Ministry, no one assumed that it was Voldemort’s name that caused the assault. A fair oversight, so we won’t even count it. The same goes for the Tottenham Court Road cafe assault; they didn’t know about the Taboo.

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However, later, when Harry, Ron, and Hermione were living at Grimmauld Place, they said Voldemort’s name — and the Death Eater patrols appeared next to their house. Ever since then, the Death Eaters have been keeping an eye on the location, making the Golden Trio’s life more difficult than it already was. But guess what?

They didn’t realize what happened.

Thanks to the Fidelius charm protecting Sirius Black’s house, the Death Eaters could not get inside; still, they discovered the location where Voldemort’s enemies lived. The patrols’ appearance was no mere coincidence as there was no other way for the Death Eaters to find the Golden Trio. It was all thanks to the Taboo charm.

Why Did the Trio Not Pay Attention to the Taboo?

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After Ron returned from his sudden Christmas “vacation,” he shared the news about the Taboo charm with Harry and Hermione. Unfortunately, none of them — including the latter who totally could’ve figured it out — realized that it was the Taboo that caused the wedding crash and the even more obvious Grimmauld Place reveal.

This was weird since Ron himself said that the Tottenham Court Road incident was, in fact, caused by their breaking the Taboo. Harry and Hermione also didn’t make the connection, and The Boy Who Lived somewhat discarded the information. Thanks to that, during the Trio’s heated debate about the Deathly Hallows, things went south.

Harry said Voldemort’s name out loud, and the Death Eater immediately appeared, breaking the protective charms and capturing him and his friend. It was pure luck (and a sacrifice of one incredibly brave house-elf) that the Trio escaped Malfoy Manor which would have certainly become the end of them in most case scenarios.

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All of that, including Dobby’s death and Bellatrix’s torture of Hermione, could have been avoided if Harry, Ron, and Hermione paid more attention to the Taboo charm. They had already broken it three times (!) before being captured, and even after learning about the Taboo, still managed to fall for Voldemort’s little trap.

The special props go, of course, to Harry Potter himself who, despite the dire circumstances, let his anger get the better of him and almost doomed himself, his friends, and the Wizarding World by being careless with his words.