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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 5)

Wonderful article! It really does blow the walls off many idiot ideas, such as James Potter ripping Harry Potter's soul and then putting one half into the Invisibility cloak.

Posted by Maria S. Nikiforova from Saint Petersburg, Russia on January 23, 2007 3:49 PM

Kevin, I don't think that you can split the soul in halves. The soul is immaterial, and as far as I understand, it has no size and weighs nothing. I would consider the soul in a Horcrux as being part of a full entity that is called THE soul, and remains earthbound as long as somewhere it is anchored within an object. The soul is just torn and storaged in two, or more places. It's difficult to explain, but imagine you put all your thoughts, desires and what makes you being yourself in a book. Then, you copy the book and put it in different places. There would be only one book but physically, it would exist as long as you haven't destroyed all the copies.

Posted by herve from strasbourg on January 24, 2007 10:45 AM

Great article, Kevin. It really got me thinking, and I think I may have something here. I think R.A.B has a horcrux. Now, hear me out before you yell that I'm crazy. R.A.B seems to hate Voldemort most deeply and passionately. I'm sure he must've wanted a way to ensure that he finish of Voldemort, and he knew Voldemort would come get him. What better way than to have a horcrux and keep alive? Though a horcrux is most evil, maybe he ed someone who was extremely evil, like some Eater in a battle. The diary acted in most human ways, which suggests that any horcrux would, since it is part human. Now, J.K.R said that the Ford Anglia, and a series of other things would return in Book Seven. Wasn't it odd how the car acted in most human ways, when Mr. Weasley did a simple levitating enchantment on it? And it acted very good, like the person's soul it contained was one of good heart. Suppose R.A.B...? Now get this. More support for this theory is that the Weasleys once had evil in their household in disquise, Scabbers. Wouldn't having something very good just even it out? And R.A.B must've placed the car in Mr. Weasley's hands because maybe he knew the family was close to Harry and that the car would be well-kept and very unsuspicious until the time is right. The time is right.

Posted by Koby from New Jersey on January 24, 2007 1:39 PM

With regard to the statement made by Mike McGrath about when the AK hit Voldemort his soul d with his body, I don't believe that is possible as the soul doesn't "". It is released when the body s. It seems to me that JKR's description of what happened at Godric's Hollow was exactly that. Voldemort says he experienced pain beyond pain as "he" was ripped from his body. When he lost his body, the "he" referred to is his soul or in his case what was left of it. And, as Dave clearly said, Dumbledore's explanation to Harry tells Harry and us that the spectre that roamed the world without a body was the seventh piece of soul that now resides in Voldemort's regeneratd body. It was released from his original body when the two were ripped apart. Not at all like Cedric or the rest of us because we would not choose to (or be able to) use spells to regenerate our bos.
A released soul enters the spectral world. It does not a physical as do mortal bos.

Posted by Hannah on January 24, 2007 5:20 PM

Hannah, I agree completely with your comment that the soul doesn't , and your precis of what happened to Voldemort when the failed curse hit him. This of course is why the Dementors are so feared. They are the one thing that can destroy the soul. Which leads me to wonder if Harry could feed a horcrux or two to a Dementor - I suppose it would be a sort of hors-d'oeuvre!
It's the sort of thing he'd do on pure instinct, like stabbing the diary with the basilisk fang.

Dumbledore says somewhere in GoF that there is no spell that can reawaken the . Once your soul is released from anything holding it to earth, that's it. It's gone, free. You can only place it in another body if some part of the soul was already bound to earth in a horcrux.

Somewhere on one of these threads someone remarked on the fact that the Avada Kedavra curse is unblockable and therefore Voldemort couldn't have used it on Harry. I've been thinking about that. It was a very good point, and I'm wondering if it was really "blocked" as such. My understanding is that the curse hit Harry, but because of Lily's sacrifice it couldn't work properly. It didn't bounce off in the way a Shield Charm would deflect a spell without the target even being hit. It did hit Harry, leaving the scar, but couldn't him. But being unblockable it had to go somewhere and it did. Back to the caster, Voldemort, who couldn't block it at all. If not for the horcruxes he would have been .
I think the clue to all this is in what the fake Mad Eye says to his class about all of them being able to yell "Avada Kedavra" at him and not to any harm. They don't have the power or enough hate. Voldemort's hate wasn't powerful enough to get through Lily's love. Harry was marked with the scar because the curse did hit him, but couldn't work. Rather like when he tried to hit Bellatrix with the Cruciatus curse - it wasn't powerful enough either.

Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on January 24, 2007 7:59 PM

I think the diary acted the way it did because of the original enchantments.
I don't think that an "ordinary" Horcrux would act in such a way. It would draw far too much attention to itself if it did.
We have seen many enchanted items the show a bit of personality besides the Ford.
the Sorting Hat, the Map, various nasty things from #12..

Posted by Kevin from Wisconsin on January 25, 2007 12:30 PM

You do have a point, although I stay firm in my saying that the Ford Anglia is a horcrux, and I have further proof. If R.A.B is Regulus Black, then he is obviously Sirius's brother. Sirius loved the motorcycle dearly. Family resemblence in motor-vehicles...?
Plus, JK said the Anglia would reappear in Book Seven, and in the only authorized JK interview book, she says her inspiration for the Ford Anglia was freedom.

Posted by Koby from New Jersey on January 25, 2007 2:14 PM

OK, i've spent the last few days pondering the condition of Voldy's soul. I do appreciate Herve's comments regarding the soul in that he suggusts the soul within the Horcrux is just a duplicate or carbon copy of the soul within the body. I find this theory interesting (and he may correct), but it just doesn't sit right with me. Tearing the soul apart with each ing seems much more violent and twisted to me.

I entertained the concept of the soul being divided into to two each time a Horcrux is made. For example, the first Horcrux (the diary) would hold 1/2 of the total soul, the 2nd would hold 1/4, the third 1/8, and so on until the sixth time a horcrux is made it would hold 1/64 of the total soul and then the soul within the body would hold 1/64.

Now i realize that i have no quotes for this, but I am just suggesting the difficulty of the task. I tried tearing a piece of paper, cutting and orange (etc), and i must say that by the time you get to 1/32 (which would be when Voldy went to Godric's Hollow) and need to make that 6th slice or tear, the task does become more challenging if not impossible based on the size of the material with which you started. Yes, it can be done, but w/ more focus.

Now i realize that Herve said the soul cannot be measured or weighed, but do we know for that for sure? wouldn't it still be a REAL challenge once it came down to creating that 6th Horcrux? It might have been just too difficult for voldy to cut his 1/32 soul into two on that fatefull night, which might have contributed to his downfall. Maybe having 7 Horcruxs is just impossible.

Once again, at the risk of being criticized for not have actual quotes, I must say that i tend to be more scientific in nature---thus explaining my own paper/orange experiment. crazy? well, maybe a bit obsessed.

Now, the other option is that the soul is just ripped haphazardly, like a cookie crumbling. In that senario, the larget part would still remain w/ voldy while the snaller fragments would lie w/in the Horcruxs. The difficulty in removing a peice each time would not change, and the task would not become harder each time---well maybe it would, but you could at least get to 6 breaks. Once, again, I am trying to understand the actual condition of voldy's soul.

Slughorn states that "ing rips the soul apart. The wizard intent upon creating a Horcux would use the damage to his advantage" I would assume that Voldy has ed more that six people, so his soul is basically shredded and completely mutilated.

DD referrs to Voldys soul in the diary as "fragment of soul". Is this half, or is this just i small little cookie crumble? DD also tells Harry that because of all of Voldy's ings he has become less human over the years. Is this because he is left w/ such a small amount of mutilated soul? 1/32nd? 1/64th?

So, the big question is....when voldy creates a Horcrux, is he tearing his soul down the middle or is he just ripping off a small piece?

Does this have any significance? Well, if the soul were to be constantly cut in half only 1/64 remains mutilated w/in voldys body. once harry finds and destroys the Horcruxs the majority would be outside of voldys body, waiting to "pass over". However, if each Horcrux is jsut a small piece or cookie cruble, then most of the soul would still reside w/in Voldy. I would go w/ the former.

OK, so I suppose I am suggesting that when Voldy went into Godric's Hollow looking for the Potters he had 1/32 of his soul in his body. Whether or not he made his attempt to create his final Horcrux we find out in book 7th. I am only suggesting that it really may have be too difficult to perform and that may have been one of the forces leading to Voldy's demise.

Of course since that sixth slice poses such challenges maybe a small piece did get left behind in Harry. Remember it is only 1/64 of the total soul. 65/66 reamin elsewhere.

In any event, Horcruxs seem to be for the most twisted and deranged.

Posted by Heather from NJ on January 25, 2007 8:58 PM

What if a Horcrux was actually made for Harry, I mean, who's ever heard of a person surviving the ing curse? So, probably a body was made for Harry after he was hit by the curse, just like Voldemort.

Posted by Poojitha from Dubai, U.A.E on January 26, 2007 03:59 AM

Ermm... well, Tom Riddle's mum also d while giving bith to him. Does that mean that he'll also have his mother's protection, just like Harry?

Posted by Pranita from Dubai, U.A.E on January 26, 2007 04:09 AM

First of all, I do enjoy reading all the theories and opinions of this site, it is what makes this sight so great, to be able to see another viewpoint.
Still, I have one last question. Dumbledore told Harry that when it is time for him to face Voldermort after all the Horcruxes are destroyed, he would have to him, with the last 1/7th of his soul still residing in his body. Where did the other six pieces go? I have seen several explanations and opinions, some with the soul pieces actuclly destroyed, others stating the soul is actually whole. I can grasp a concept that it may not be destroyed, but floating in a spectral world, the six pieces unable to move or travel until the soul is whole and can move on to wherever souls go. My whole point is not that each piece of soul would be destroyed, but that each piece of soul within a horcrux would not be available for Voldemort to use once that horcux is destroyed. He would have only what was left witin himself when he fights Harry, which Dumbledore states is 1/7th of his soul.

Posted by Mike McGrath from Columbus Ga on January 26, 2007 04:14 AM

Pranita--I don't think Merope while giving birth is going to count. She didn't choose to to save her child. She simply d because she was so weakened by all she had gone through, physically and emotionally. And she certainly didn't to save him from Harry.
I think anyone else could Harry, but not Voldemort.

Mike McGrath, I think you are right about how the horcruxes work, or don't work after they are destroyed. Without the horcruxes, once Voldemort is ed, then there be nothing to anchor his soul to life, and the entire soul, "maimed and diminished" as it is, pass over. Of course he might decide to hang around as a ghost... but as we've seen ghosts are not exactly happy creatures, are they?

Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on January 26, 2007 08:05 AM

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