What are the Horcruxes in Harry Potter? Baddies don’t come much more malevolent than Lord Voldemort. As played by Ralph Fiennes on the big screen throughout the noughties, the master of the Death Eaters often appeared unkillable. And, for most of the series, he was effectively immortal.
Voldemort managed to cheat death for years because, like all of the best movie villains, he had a backup plan. The final few Harry Potter movies focused on the best Harry Potter characters as they attempted to track down Horcruxes – the magical MacGuffins keeping old Voldy alive. Fortunately for the denizens of the Wizarding World, Harry Potter managed to find and destroy them all with plenty of help from his friends.
But, if you’re in need of a refresher on this dastardly trick from one of the best Harry Potter villains, here’s our Horcruxes explained guide. Wands at the ready, because this is about to get seriously dark. There’s a reason they don’t teach you about this stuff at Hogwarts.
What are Horcruxes in Harry Potter?
A Horcrux is a magical object into which a dark wizard has put part of their soul in an attempt to become immortal. In order to make one, you have to commit murder.
Harry Potter viewers learned about Horcruxes in the sixth movie when Professor Slughorn revealed that he told a young Tom Riddle about this obscure branch of dark magic. Slughorn had been convinced that they were having a theoretical discussion, but the future Lord Voldemort was making very real plans.
If a wizard has part of their splintered soul secured as a Horcrux, they cannot be completely killed until the Horcrux has been destroyed. That is how Voldemort survived the rebounded Avada Kedavra curse from the night he tried to kill the infant, Harry Potter.
Unfortunately for our heroes, there were only a few ways to properly destroy a Horcrux. Basilisk venom could do the job, which meant that the sword of Godric Gryffindor – infused with venom after Harry used to kill the Basilisk – was also suitable. Certain curses, such as Fiendfyre, could also destroy a Horcrux, as could the use of Avada Kedavra.
What were Voldemort’s Horcruxes in Harry Potter?
Voldemort had six intentional Horcruxes and accidentally turned Harry Potter himself into his seventh Horcrux.
The first of Voldemort’s Horcruxes showed up way back in Chamber of Secrets – one of the best movies in the franchise. Tom Riddle’s school diary, which had been in the possession of Lucius Malfoy, was ultimately destroyed when Harry stabbed it with a Basilisk fang. At the time, nobody knew it was a Horcrux.
In Half-Blood Prince, Dumbledore discovered that a cursed ring belonging to Voldemort’s grandfather, Marvolo Gaunt, was a Horcrux. He destroyed it with the venom-infused sword of Gryffindor. The conclusion of that movie followed Dumbledore and Harry’s attempt to retrieve a locket owned by Hogwarts founder Salazar Slytherin.
That locket was a decoy, but the real one showed up in Deathly Hallows Part 1. Ron ultimately struck the destructive blow with the sword this time. A treacherous bank heist at Gringotts in Deathly Hallows Part 2 led to the recovery of a cup belonging to Helga Hufflepuff, which Hermione destroyed with a fang.
Then, the group found the fifth Horcrux at Hogwarts when they located the lost diadem of Rowena Ravenclaw. It was destroyed by Fiendfyre during chaos in the Room of Requirement. At the time, the heroes believed that Voldemort’s snake, Nagini, was the final Horcrux. And, of course, the bald baddie wasn’t letting that serpent out of his sight.
With things looking bleak, Harry headed to the Forbidden Forest to face Voldemort. He took the Killing Curse head-on but somehow survived. After an afterlife chat with Dumbledore, he discovered that he had become an accidental Horcrux on the night his parents were killed.
But that Horcrux was now dead and, when the ever-brilliant Neville Longbottom managed to behead Nagini during the Battle of Hogwarts, Voldemort became a mortal man again. When he finally got a lecture on wand-lore from Harry – are these the best fantasy movies ever to end with a quasi-legal technicality? – he was powerless to resist his eventual demise.
Complete list of Voldemort’s Horcruxes in Harry Potter:
- Tom Riddle’s diary
- Marvolo Gaunt’s ring
- Salazar Slytherin’s locket
- Helga Hufflepuff’s cup
- Rowena Ravenclaw’s diadem
- Harry Potter
For more from the Wizarding World, check out our guide to the Harry Potter cast and the Harry Potter TV series release date, as well as a possible new movie with the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child release date.
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