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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 6)

in HBP Dumbledore tells Harry that "Merope refused to raise her wand even to save her own life"
H "She wouldn't even stay alive for her son?"
Dumbledore raised his eyebrows. "Could you possibly be feeling sorry for Voldemort?"
"NO," said Harry quickly, "but she had a choice, didn't she, not like my mother--"
"your mother had a choice too, "said Dumbledore gently. "Yes, Merope Riddle chose in spite of a son who needed her..."

This would be in contrast to Lily who chose to protect Harry. I think that is the big difference.

Elizabeth, I like how you describe the connection between the Horcruxs and the soul. Once the Horcrux is destroyed, the soul is released, but is prevented from "passing over" because of other earth bound pieces (in the other Horcruxs). I would think that the soul fragments, once released from the body and/or the Horcruxs, would attract one another kind of like small beads of mercury---eventually they converge into one large bead. In voldys case of course, his soul would still be mutilated beyoud repair.

Back to Dumbledore raising his eyebrow and asking if Harry if he feels sorry for Voldemort--do you think that this may actually come into play? Will Harry have mercy on voldys fragmented and severely mutilated soul? NO clue.

Lastly, Dumbledore does say that a "the idea of seven part soul would greatly appeal to Voldemort." but would they really be equal? when does splitting of ones soul become impossible? IN an earlier post I suggested that the fragments of voldys soul progressively become smaller each time. Perhaps creating a 7th Horcrux was too difficult.

Posted by Heather from NJ on January 26, 2007 09:28 AM

OK, I've noticed that many people seem to be making the same mistake. Making a Horcrux does not split the soul, does. You can not commit without intent. The infant Harry could never "intentionally" any one, therefore his soul would not have been split.

Posted by Kevin from Wisconsin on January 26, 2007 10:17 AM

Ok, here is my shot at this.

The process of making a horcrux magically binds a part of the soul to an object. I am supposing that the binding is intended to be permanent. Perhaps destroying the object disrupts/destroys the soul fragment bound to it. Releasing the soul is a very generous outlook.

Another thought, what if the dark lord creates another soulless body for himself (ala golem, or homunculus) through transfiguration or whatever and then lays down the soul, binding this new body as a horcrux. Would the soul fragment actively guide this new body?

Posted by Edward from Austin, TX on January 26, 2007 11:01 AM

Edward, I like the golem idea. A wizard could have a body waiting in stasis. He/She would still need the aid of another to actually be "introduced" to the body. I don't see Morty doing this however. He believes, now that Dumbledore is gone, that there are no real threats to his supremacy. I doubt that he has even replaced the Horcrux he knows has lost.(diary)

Posted by Kevin from Wisconsin on January 26, 2007 12:54 PM

nice analysis... really interesting.
but just one little problem. you have said that the riddle that came out of the diary had no memory of harry.

" I think this would explain why the Tom Riddle that came out of the diary was the sixteen-year-old Riddle and had no memory of Harry, or that night in Godric's Hollow"

but in book 2 we clearly see riddle recognizing harry and speaking with him. did you mean the riddle harry sees as a memory.. i.e talking to dumbledore etc? because the riddle who harry saw in the chamber definitely knew who harry was.

Posted by jm on January 26, 2007 3:13 PM

I think the Riddle from the diary only knew of Harry through Ginny writing about Harry

Posted by Mikey from New Jersey on January 26, 2007 9:03 PM

Anybody have any thoughts on the similarities or differences between ghosts - whose soul might remain earthbound - and someone who has a horcrux? I don't mean the moral differences involving ing someone. I'm thinking more about the structural differences between being a ghost, a living person, a living person with a horcrux, or a "" person with an existing horcrux.

Posted by Jan-Marie from New York on January 27, 2007 08:58 AM

JM, I'm not sure what I'm suposed to have gotten wrong?

Posted by Kevin from Wisconsin on January 27, 2007 2:13 PM

JM, the memory of Tom Riddle does not know Harry. He only learned of Harry and his relationship to Voldemort through Ginny.

Posted by Heather from NJ on January 27, 2007 4:23 PM

I think the last horcrux is kept in the Room of Requirement

Posted by alexis goethe from baltimore, MARYLAND on January 28, 2007 12:46 PM

Differences between ghosts and a horcrux. Well, obviously the consciousness of someone like Voldemort who has made a horcrux, but not yet been returned to a body, can possess others, both animals and humans and control them. I don't think a ghost can do that. Or not the way Rowling has set it up, anyway. From what Nick says to Harry at the end of OotP, ghosts have no power. He is "neither here nor there". It doesn't sound a very happy way to be, and it also sounds as though once the decision has been made it can't be unmade. If you choose not to "go on" and properly, you can't change your mind later if you don't like it. None of the Hogwarts ghosts seem very happy to me.
As we see Tom Riddle progress through the memories Dumbledore shows Harry he seems to become less human each time after the memory with Slughorn. Obviously then, since he was asking about the subject, he hadn't made a horcrux, but because he had the ring, he had already ed his father and grandparents. I would suppose that they provided the soul tearing for his first two horcruxes at least - the diary and the ring which he must have made later. Or possibly he had already made the ring into a horcrux, and he only wanted Slughorn's opinion on splitting the soul more than once.

Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on January 28, 2007 5:36 PM

There are some big differences: a ghost cannot get a body back, we see Voldemort recovering a body (although we don't know how and when it is possible). A ghost cannot use magic and has little power, Voldemort could Bryce in GoF.

Posted by herve from strasbourg on January 28, 2007 11:53 PM

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