Voldemort managed to turn the final few Harry Potter movies into a high-stakes treasure hunt. He concealed fragments of his soul in Horcruxes, scattering them in meaningful locations across the UK for Harry and his allies to track down. But he missed a potentially brilliant hiding place that could’ve prevented his downfall.
Like every Harry Potter fan, we have some strong opinions on Voldemort‘s strategy when it came to Horcruxes. There’s no denying Tom Riddle’s status among Harry Potter villains as one of the most devilish sorcerers in wizarding history, but he wasn’t smart enough to hide one of his soul pieces inside the Mirror of Erised. Come on Tom, it’s obvious.
The more you think about this, the smarter it gets. There were very few Harry Potter characters who had experienced the Mirror of Erised, but Voldemort was one of them. Dumbledore used it to conceal the Philosopher’s Stone from him, so he knew how ingenious it was. And yet he never thought to use that secret for his own ends.
Of course, Voldemort would have to match Dumbledore’s very clever magic to conceal one of his Horcruxes in the mirror. But we know that he was a magical genius, so we don’t doubt that he could have managed it. And the magic concealing with the stone was technically brilliant, protecting the stone from anyone who wanted to possess and use it for themselves.
Presumably, then, Voldemort could’ve prevented anyone removing the Horcrux from the mirror if their goal was to destroy it. It could have made him almost entirely invincible as he would have had to make a mistake, such as when he released Nagini from her magical shield, in order to become vulnerable.
Of course, there are some counter-arguments, as one Quora user explained. They explained three reasons the mirror wasn’t used. Firstly, Voldemort believed his Horcruxes were a secret, so there was no need for added protection. Secondly, he wanted those who tried to get to them to be hurt, such as with the cursed water and Inferi surrounding the locket. Finally, it would be logistically difficult to either carry the mirror around or risk it being damaged if it was left somewhere.
Well, we think you can get round all three of these things. If he didn’t need enhanced protection, why was it such a chore for Harry and Dumbledore – and Regulus Black before them – to get the locket? He clearly liked to make sure his Horcruxes were safe.
Then, the existence of Ravenclaw’s lost diadem as a Horcrux counteracts the final two arguments. That artifact was simply concealed within the Room of Requirement, presenting a needle in a haystack search rather than any sort of pain. Similarly, he didn’t feel the need to check in on that one. He simply trusted that it wouldn’t be either found or destroyed in that location.
It would make far more sense for Voldemort to use complex magic to hide a Horcrux in the mirror than it did for him to trust somebody else, as he did with Bellatrix Lestrange and Helga Hufflepuff’s cup. If he used the mirror, he wouldn’t need to put any trust in his Death Eaters at all.
We’ll definitely find ourselves thinking about this the next time we watch the best movies in the Potter series. Voldemort could’ve avoided his downfall if he’d taken a leaf out of Dumbledore’s book. And nothing would piss him off more than that.
If you want to delve back into Potter, we’ve got detailed guides to the Harry Potter cast and how to watch all of the Harry Potter movies in order. Alternatively, find out why one Harry Potter director reshot a scene that went too far.
Meanwhile, learn about new movies and shows from the Wizarding World with our guides to the Cursed Child movie release date and the Harry Potter TV series release date. Finally, we’ve explained why we think the Cursed Child movie should be a gay romance.
The creator of the Harry Potter series, JK Rowling, has made a number of transphobic remarks on social media in recent years. If you’d like to learn more about transgender equality or lend your support, here are two charities we encourage you to visit: the National Center for Transgender Equality in the US, and Mermaids in the UK.