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Magick Moste Evile - What is (and isn't) a Horcrux

by Kevin McDonald

A Horcrux is a container in which the witch or wizard who makes one puts a piece of their soul to keep safe in the event that their body is destroyed. A Horcrux prevents the soul from "passing on" and thereby holds the witch or wizard's consciousness earth bound. That's it. From that point on, steps would have to be taken to re-establish ones self in a body.

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Reader Comments: (Page 4)

Great article.
I was glad to read your take that a horcrux in and of itself is not harmful, but rather the enchantments placed upon it. Something I was wondering about.

However it does seem like the peice soul placed within the enchanted diary made the diary more sinister. Was it the diary enchantments that controlled Ginny or Voldemort's soul?

Also I tend to agree with you regarding your "all or none" posting. Dumbledore's view on Voldemort's soul fragments support it. However when I first read Slughorn's description of horcruxes, " cannot for PART of the soul remains earthbound...", I inferred that the other part does move on.

Posted by Mikey from New Jersey on January 21, 2007 09:19 AM

excellent article! really what a piece of work, well concerning the last page of posted opinions I do agree with dave, I think a piece of voldy's soul cant "go on" to the afterlife, because of the horcruxes, so in order to truly voldemort, you must destroy the 6 horcruxes dumbledore was talking about and then destroy voldemort himself.

Posted by daniel from peru on January 21, 2007 09:47 AM

Kevin, thanks for your great article, very clear and meaningful.
Now, once the soul is released and kept earthbound, you need to get a body back in order to recover power. We saw it happening twice: from the diary, which is told to be a Horcrux of a different kind, and through dark arts at the end of GoF. It seemed to be Riddle's young body (CoS) and Voldemort's elder body (GoF). Did those bos exist somewhere? Were they re-created? Did they only exist as a potential, and were they related to the soul? What is the age of Voldemort now? How long can he live in his renewed body?

Posted by herve from strsabourg on January 22, 2007 12:41 AM

Dave, still not convinced. I have one final question for the discussion. What happened to the 1/7th parts of Voldemorts soul that was in the diary and the ring? were they destroyed? If so, you cant help but argue that Voldemort was destroyed when the AK curse backfired, but didnt move on because part of his soul was still earthbound, that it was destroyed as well. I am not talking about moving on to an afterlie, I certainly believe that, but if his soul wasnt destroyed from the destruction of the diary and the ring, what happenned to to those two parts? The objects were destroyed, Dumbledore himself stated that the last 1/7th of his soul would be within Voldemort himself when Harry meet him for the final showdown, the other parts of his soul destroyed. If the horcruxes are destroyed and all Voldemort has is 1/7th left, it is logical to assume that the other 6/7th's are gone. Logically, that would mean the 1/7th in him when he tried to Harry is gone as well. And he used a horcrux to return to some semblence of his bodily self in GOF.

Posted by Mike McGrath from Columbus GA on January 22, 2007 04:58 AM

There are speculations about the size of what remains of Voldemort's soul (5/7th, 2/7th, other). I'm not sure those calculations do have a sense. There is ONE soul and it can't be divided into parts like an apple pie, or torn like a sheet of paper.

When a dark wizard performs a Horcrux, he doesn't divide his soul into independant parts, but he tears it so that it can be storaged in two different places, his own body and the Horcrux. But it is the SAME soul in different places. For me, it is more or less like the windows you open on your computer's screen for the same file. The same wording appears separately on each opened window (even if you have the beginning of your text shown in one window and the end of it in another).

The soul remains earthbound as long as there is a place on earth where the soul is "anchored". How does it work?

Considering the Horcrux as an object, it can't but the soul included in it can be released by using magics (cf the ring). What happens when the soul is released is not clear, the simpler being that it is just as if there hadn't been any Horcrux made.

On the opposite, we know what happens when the soul is relased from the body, with several Horcruxes working. It wanders around, like the meanest ghost.

SO, if Harry s Voldemort know, he obtain a wandering dark shadow possessed by Voldemort's soul, something evil, that you cannot , you cannot get rid of, able to possess other people. If Voldemort is ed after the destruction of the four remaining Horcruxes, then his soul get away forever.

Posted by herve from strasbourg on January 22, 2007 08:12 AM

Let me know if this makes sence to you Mike.
The soul fragments in side of a Horcrux are not destroyed when the Horcrux is destroyed, they are released.
Once removed from the body, there is no way we've read about thus far to return them to the body.
If contained with in a Horcrux, those fragment WILL hold the rest of the soul earth bound so that it may be "replanted" in another body.
If they are not so contained they benifit the creator of the Horcrux no longer, and "move on" with the rest of the soul unless held earthbound by another Horcrux.
The SOUL is not ed by the avada' curse, the body is..then the soul leaves the body and "moves on".
So far, the only thing we've read about in the books that endangers the soul is a dementor.

herve, as to the two "bos",
the diary, and the enchantments on it, may have forced Ginny to due magic similar(although obviously not identical to) the spells Pettigrew did in the cemetery. Perhaps the "diary Riddle" would have come back as his 16 yearold self because of the magical interaction between the original enchantments on the diary and it being "Horcruxed"...but Morty says that the ritual he made Pettigrew preform in the cemetery was necessary to return him to his "full strength".

Posted by Kevin from Wisconsin on January 22, 2007 11:44 AM

Greetings all! More grist for the mill- Since Morty has used the Horcrux spell numerous times, what about his toas? Do Bellatrix, Lucius or any of his followers have horcruxes? Morty was an evil little sod even as a child (he tortured kids at the orphanage, remember?) So, how scummy must one be to be capable of ripping one's own soul out, dividing it and abandoning it in an inanimate object? It seems to me that who so ever is capable of this act of supreme self mutilation is without any redeeming qualities what so ever.
maybe when all of Morty's soul pieces reassemble he be miraculously redeemed ROTFLOL;)

Posted by kevins sister from racine, wisconsin on January 22, 2007 2:26 PM

Good job, Kevin, but it gets me thinking if the diary was used to possess someone, why couldn't the others do the same. I'm Thinking of the ring, why is dumbledore wearing it, why dosn't he keep it protected so voldemort can't reclaim it mabe Voldemort wanted to possess Dumbledore with the ring.

Posted by Asmer from IL on January 22, 2007 4:33 PM

What I understand(ok, theorise) about souls and Horcruxes is this-

Once a piece of soul is encased in an object, it is stuck there until someone comes along, bashes a hole in it and then the soul can get out. Remember what Slughorn said- the soul is supposed to be one thing. Therefore, I'm thinking that the separated bits WANT TO BE TOGETHER. When one is released, it flies off to join the closest bit of the soul it can find. So, by destroying the Horcruxes, Harry is getting all of Voldy's gits of soul, chucking them in one body and disposing of them. I'm not saying the soul is 'pure and complete' again, but it's complete in the sense that it's all together.

Which is interesting when you tie this in with the 'Harry is a Horcrux' theory. When Vol possesses or touches Harry, the bits of soul are so close together that they are virtually straining to get back together. Which accounts for it being so painful to them.

Posted by Kalidas from Perth, Australia on January 23, 2007 04:20 AM

Kalidas, I totally agree. I would just add that Harry shouldn't be himself the Horcrux. He probably has the Horcrux as a tiny object, in his body, next to the scar. I also think that a Horcrux doesn't attract the rest of the soul (it didn't work that way when Voldemort d), but the soul in the body surely attracts the rest of it from the Horcruxes.

Posted by herve from strasbourg on January 23, 2007 07:32 AM

considering the fact that and the after life are stud in the department of mysteries, as told to us by Sir nick, then it is only safe to assume that the matter of horcruxes, and of their founding, was created by someone within, the dept of mysteries. someone like agustus rockwood, but obviously much earlier. i also think that slughorn knows enough about horcruxes to help harry find them. remember, young riddle jr. asked slughorn about them back when he was the potions master. why then did he ask him? why not the defense against the dark arts master? surley they would know muuch more than a mere potions master. we know that he is ashamed to have done what he did, so wouldnt it be logical, make more sense, if he were to go with harry and rick everything to make up for the wrong he so greatly committed. (not that i think that he is to blame, no one knew what riddle would become. and he does have his uncanny ability to charm people) just something to think about.

Posted by David from south windsor, connecticut on January 23, 2007 08:24 AM

Kalidas & herve,
So, according to you guys, because of Morty's Horcruxes, and there subsequent destruction, Morty now has more of his soul collected together outside of his body that he does inside his body. Assuming, of cource, that the soul is ripped equally each time.
But is the soul split in half each time, or is a piece just torn off? If the soul is split in half each time, each "half" would be smaller.

How many times can something be halved before it is so small that size has no meaning?

Posted by Kevin from Wisconsin on January 23, 2007 08:43 AM

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