So, how do you extend your life long enough to take revenge against a schoolboy? By employing the best insurance program this side of the Wizarding World! They’re called Horcruxes, and Voldemort has utilized such a magical way to ensure his invincibility even in the face of defeat. There are seven Horcruxes in Harry Potter, and even some of the most loyal Potterheads have trouble naming all of them.
That’s partly because Horcruxes could be anything from mundane, everyday objects to actual living creatures. If you’re still curious about those-that-keep-he-who-must-not-be-named-alive-and-kicking in each Harry Potter movie, these are the seven Horcruxes in Harry Potter and how to destroy them.
A Horcrux is a dark and forbidden magical object that harbors a fragment of its creator’s soul. As long as a Horcrux exists, its creator cannot truly die, even if their physical body is destroyed. It’s a sinister form of immortality, though a lot less elegant compared to the Philosopher’s Stone.
Creating a Horcrux involves an act of extreme evil, such as murder. The act of tearing apart one’s soul is a horrific and twisted form of magic, and knowledge of its creation is closely guarded within the Wizarding World.
With that in mind, here are the relics which Voldemort decided to designate as his Horcruxes.
Voldemort’s Seven Horcruxes
Voldemort, in his quest for immortality, intentionally created six Horcruxes during his lifetime. Each of these Horcruxes held special significance to him, symbolizing his connection to the wizarding world and his twisted obsession with power.
The seventh Horcrux was an accident and complicated Voldemort’s plans.
Tom Riddle’s Diary
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets dwelled on this Horcrux as one of its main plot devices. Tom Riddle’s diary had the power to possess and control Ginny Weasley, influencing her to open the Chamber of Secrets and release the Basilisk. Harry destroyed it using a Basilisk fang.
Marvolo Gaunt’s Ring
This ring was a family heirloom tied to Voldemort’s heritage. It once contained the Resurrection Stone. Voldemort murdered his father and grandparents to create this Horcrux. Albus Dumbledore destroyed it but paid a heavy price.
Salazar Slytherin’s Locket
An heirloom belonging to the Gaunt family, this locket was initially stolen by Regulus Black, a reformed Death Eater. Harry, Ron, and Hermione later obtained and destroyed it using Godric Gryffindor’s sword.
Helga Hufflepuff’s Cup
Voldemort stole this cup from Hepzibah Smith, a collector of precious antiques. It was stored in Bellatrix Lestrange’s vault at Gringotts, and Hermione destroyed it using Basilisk venom.
Rowena Ravenclaw’s Diadem
Rowena’s Diadem, worn by the founder of Ravenclaw house, was hidden by Voldemort in the Room of Requirement at Hogwarts. Vincent Crabbe destroyed it by unleashing Fiendfyre, also killing himself in the process.
Nagini the Snake
The other Horcruxes were easy to find since they were inanimate objects. So Voldemort likely needed something more aware that could defend itself, such as Nagini, his vicious snake. Nagini was the final Horcrux to be made, though not really the most surprising one.
The most unexpected Horcrux of all, Harry himself became a Horcrux when Voldemort’s killing curse backfired upon him. This link explains Harry’s Parseltongue abilities and his mental connection with Voldemort. Harry’s survival came when Neville Longbottom destroyed Nagini, the final Horcrux, allowing Harry to defeat Voldemort.
How did Voldemort discover the Horcruxes?
Harry and Dumbledore’s journey to uncover Voldemort’s Horcruxes began in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
During that entry, the book (and the films) revealed it was Professor Horace Slughorn who inadvertently revealed the darkest secret of Voldemort’s life. Slughorn had shared with a young Tom Riddle, who would later become Voldemort, the process of creating a Horcrux. This revelation set Harry on a path to unravel Voldemort’s hidden anchors to mortality.
What can destroy Horcruxes?
Destroying a Horcrux is no simple task. These cursed objects are resilient and can only be obliterated under specific conditions. However, in the Harry Potter movies and books (and soon-to-be series), we witnessed Horcruxes meeting their demise through various means:
- The Killing Curse (Avada Kedavra): This deadly curse is the same one that Voldemort used to try and kill Harry as a baby. Ironically, it destroyed a part of Voldemort’s own soul when Harry survived it.
- The Fiendfyre Curse: Fiendfyre conjures uncontrollable, magical flames capable of reducing anything to ashes. Vincent Crabbe (inadvertently) used it to destroy Rowena Ravenclaw’s diadem, one of Voldemort’s Horcruxes.
- Godric Gryffindor’s Sword: This legendary sword, pulled from the Sorting Hat, played a crucial role in destroying multiple Horcruxes.
- Basilisk’s Venom: The venom from a giant Basilisk snake’s fang is highly corrosive to magical objects. Harry and Hermione used it to destroy both Tom Riddle’s diary and Helga Hufflepuff’s cup.
There might be more ways to destroy the seven Horcruxes in Harry Potter, but to enforce how troublesome they are as artifacts of immortality, the books and films only mentioned a handful of methods.
It’s also worth noting that only certain Horcruxes react to the methods mentioned here. The Killing Curse, for example, wouldn’t work on non-living Horcruxes. And it’s a good thing Harry was destroyed using the Killing Curse only and not the Fiendfyre Curse. Imagine resurrecting to your body and finding out it’s now just Madam Pomfrey’s fertilizer.