Voldemort’s Horcruxes were a crucial part of how he was eventually defeated, and here’s everything you need to know about them.
Did Voldemort make 7 or 8 Horcruxes?
Voldemort created six Horcruxes as a means of trying to make himself truly immortal. However, as he attempted to kill Harry Potter, he created his seventh Horcrux by accident, so he created a total of seven Horcruxes, and not eight.
Although it is incredibly difficult to create even one Horcrux, Voldemort purposely created six Horcruxes within his lifetime, in order to stave off his chances of truly dying. Since they are of utmost importance to him, Voldemort decided to turn important pieces of Hogwarts and magical history into Horcruxes. These objects were items that solidified his magical heritage and significance within the Magical world.
The confusion between the numbers 7 and 8 is that there are 6 intentionally created Horcruxes, of which, Harry (the unintentional Horcrux) added onto this number to create 7.
However, if we were to consider aspects of Voldemort’s soul itself, there are the 7 Horcruxes (including Harry), and his own soul embodied within himself, which accounts for 8 pieces of his soul.
Here is a breakdown of each of his Horcruxes – intentional and otherwise:
#1 Tom Riddle’s Diary
Tom Riddle’s diary from his days at Hogwarts finds itself among the possessions of Ginny Weasley. Since it holds a part of Voldemort’s soul, the diary talked to and influenced Ginny, convincing her to open the Chamber of Secrets and unleash the Basilisk upon Muggle-borns at school.
Harry managed to destroy the Horcrux with venom from the fang of a Basilisk. We later learn that this was the first Horcrux that was destroyed, which prompted Dumbledore to explore the idea that Voldemort might have created multiple ones.
You can find out why Voldemort was so scared of Dumbledore here.
#2 Marvolo Gaunt’s Ring
Marvolo Gaunt was Voldemort’s grandfather, who possessed the ring as a family heirloom. When Voldemort returned to his hometown to murder his father and paternal grandparents, he took the ring and turned it into a Horcrux.
Dumbledore eventually retrieved the ring and destroyed it with the sword of Godric Gryffindor.
#3 Salazar Slytherin’s Locket
Voldemort turned another family heirloom into a Horcrux — his mother’s locket that initially belonged to Salazar Slytherin.
Ron destroys the Horcrux with the sword of Godric Gryffindor.
#4 Helga Hufflepuff’s Cup
Shortly after he graduated from Hogwarts, Tom Riddle found himself in the company of Hepzibah Smith, a wealthy and frivolous woman who collected precious and expensive antiques. She had in her possession the cup of Helga Hufflepuff, one of the founding members of Hogwarts and Hufflepuff house. Coveting the cup, Voldemort stole it and killed Smith, creating yet another Horcrux.
Hermione destroys this Horcrux in the Chamber of Secrets with a Basilisk fang.
#5 Rowena Ravenclaw’s Diadem
Helena Ravenclaw reveals that she stole her mother’s diadem out of jealousy, and reveals that Voldemort later turned it into a Horcrux.
Emboldened by learning more about the Dark Arts, Crabbe used the Fiendfyre curse, which, in itself is a fire curse that creates powerful and uncontrollable flames, that were strong enough to destroy the diadem accidentally.
During the final Battle of Hogwarts, Neville pulls the sword of Godric Gryffindor from the Sorting Hat and beheads Nagini, destroying the last Horcrux.
#7 The Secret Horcrux — Harry
Voldemort only ever intended to make six Horcrux, with the possibility that maybe he could create more in the future. However, when Voldemort attempted to kill baby Harry that fateful night, his Killing Curse backfired instead.
Voldemort’s soul splintered then, killing his physical body and splitting his soul into a new Horcrux. Since he had just murdered Harry’s parents in cold blood and attempted to kill a defenceless infant, there was enough justification for the creation of a Horcrux. At that moment, Voldemort’s soul latched onto the only living thing in the building — Harry himself.
When Voldemort used the Killing Curse against Harry in the Deathly Hallows, he was actually killing part of his own soul, and Harry was able to survive. And after Neville killed Nagini, all Horcruxes were destroyed.
Why didn’t Voldemort make more Horcruxes?
#1 A Powerful Number
Harry Potter Wiki user @Darrell Malik commented that throughout the Harry Potter franchise, it has been explained that the number 7 is the most powerful magical number.
Further embedding this narrative, it was also mentioned by Bridget Wenlock, an Arithmancer from additional canon materials, that there was a profound magical connection between practicing magic and the number 7.
The number 7 frequently is part of the Harry Potter story, a good example even being that J.K. Rowling wrote seven books. Or that there are also seven known spell-types: Transfiguration, Charm, Jinx, Hex, Curse, Counter-spell, and Healing spell.
You can find out what these different types of spells mean here.
#2 Six times more likely to go Mad
Harry Potter Wiki user @ARoyalPrincess argues that splitting a Horcrux is dangerous and can lead to insanity, if not worse.
Considering that throughout Wizarding history, no one has attempted this even once, and Voldemort attempted this 6 times, with the intention his own soul within his physical body remained the 7th, he would (rightly so) not want to push the envelope and progress further to make any more.
#3 The Boy who did not Live, had to Die
Another interesting theory from Harry Potter Wiki user @ARoyalPrincess states that maybe Voldemort did intend to make Harry Potter his 6th Horcrux, instead of Nagini. Meaning that if he were successful in killing the infant, the act of murder would have been great enough to create any object from Harry’s childhood room into a Horcrux itself.
However, considering the spell bounced back due to the Protection Charm used by Harry’s mother, we can assume Voldemort instead chose to make his closest companion, Nagini, his (presumed) 6th Horcrux instead.
While we may never truly know the method behind Voldemort’s madness, we know that his intentions were not pure or for the faint of heart.
“You were the seventh Horcrux, Harry, the Horcrux he never meant to make. He had rendered his soul so unstable that it broke apart when he committed those acts of unspeakable evil, the murder of your parents, and the attempted killing of a child. But what escaped from that room was even less than he knew. He left more than his body behind. He left part of himself latched to you, the would-be victim who had survived.”Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
To conclude, we know that Voldemort’s soul was completely fractured and damaged. His body may not have survived an attempt at making another Horcrux. We also do not know how long it takes to create a Horcrux – only that it involves a murder and a spell.
Creating a Horcrux is apparently painful and considering how it is unknown how long it takes to physically recover from creating a Horcrux, we can argue that it could have been a time-sensitive matter. Therefore, by the time Voldemort realised he was truly in danger and needed further protection, he did not have the resources, nor the time to execute creating another Horcrux.
Can’t get enough of Star Wars?
Join our community on Telegram and Twitter here!
Are you passionate about Star Wars and want to earn some flexible income?