How would an dark wizard achieve immortality? Cracking the code to the Elixir of Life? Almost. Drinking unicorn blood? Too hard to obtain. Murdering people and splitting your soul into corrupt fragments to be stored in random objects? Now we’re talking!
After Tom Riddle was taught how to create Horcruxes by the unwitting Horace Slughorn, he sought to create six of them (his own self being the seventh), believing seven to be the strongest magical number. Once Harry and Dumbledore learn of this, it sets in motion a hunt to find and destroy all the pieces of Voldemort’s soul, rendering him mortal once more, a hunt that the entirety of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” which you can stream right here!
If you’re trying to count the seven Horcruxes on your fingers, or can’t remember how Harry, Ron, and Hermione could possibly have found all of them in the span of one book, we’re here to help. Here are Voldemort’s horcruxes, their locations, and how they were destroyed:
Guide to all the Horcruxes in Harry Potter
1. Tom Riddle’s Diary
Tom Riddle kept a diary in 1943, and in his sixth year made the book into his first Horcrux. To create it, he murdered Myrtle Warren and infused his soul into its pages, using the diary as a weapon to prey on people (like poor Ginny) years later.
“The diary to me is a very scary object,” said J.K. Rowling on the subject, “a really, really frightening object. This manipulative little book, the temptation particularly for a young girl to pour out her heart to a diary, which is never something I was prone to. You could understand when he started writing to see these things coming back to him, and the power of that, that secret friend in your pocket.”
After his battle with Voldemort and the Basilisk in “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” Harry Potter stabbed the diary with the venomous fang of the serpent, thus destroying the evil object. Dumbledore later kept its tattered remains in his office to study.
2. Marvolo Gaunt’s ring
Marvolo Gaunt’s ring was a very unique – and extremely powerful – object in that it was both a Horcrux as well as one of the three Deathly Hallows. Passed down the line from Salazar Slytherin, the ring was stolen from Morfin Gaunt by a young Tom Riddle, at the same time that he murdered his own father and muggle grandparents. When Dumbledore tracked down the ring, he recognized that it was, in fact, the famed Resurrection Stone, the Hallows he’d been searching most of his life for. In wearing the dark object, he was cursed – it would have been fatal were it not for the quick intervention of Snape. Even so, it left Dumbledore with only one year of life, as he explains in “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.”
Uncovering what the ring was, Dumbledore used the sword of Godric Gryffindor to destroy it. He then took the Resurrection Stone and placed it inside the Snitch, as a gift to Harry Potter – to be opened only after accepting that he must die at the hands of Voldemort.
3. Slytherin’s Locket
One of the most infamous of the Horcruxes, a locket was found by Harry and Dumbledore during their final adventure together – to the cave where Riddle often went in his youth. Tragically, thought this adventure drained even more life from Dumbledore, the locket was a fake. The real horcrux was in the Ministry of Magic, where it was kept by a mysterious Regulus Arcturus Black, before falling into the hands of Dolores Umbridge.
After obtaining the locket, Harry, Ron, and Hermione still lacked the means of finding it. This resulted in them having to share turns wearing the dark artifact. Eventually, Snape’s patronus led Harry to the sword of Godric Gryffindor – the key to destroying Horcruxes. Shortly after, Ron uses the sword to break the Horcux.
4. Hufflepuff’s Cup
Tom Riddle actually acquired two Horcruxes in 1961 from the same woman: Hepzibah Smith. Infatuated with the young Riddle, Hepzibah imprudently showed him both Salazar’s locket and Hufflepuff’s goblet when he came over to visit on behalf of Caractacus Burke. Riddle poisoned Hepzibah and framed her house-elf for the crime, using her death to infuse the goblet with part of his soul.
Voldemort gave the cup to Bellatrix Lestrange to hide in her vault at Gringotts. The trio infiltrated the bank and broke into her vault to obtain the cup. Upon returning to Hogwarts, Ron led Hermione to the Chamber of Secrets where she was able to use the basilisk fang to destroy it for good.
5. Diadem of Ravenclaw
Voldemort had a tendency to favor the original founders of Hogwarts when he looked for artifacts of power strong enough to house his soul. From Rowena Ravenclaw, he took a diadem. After finding the tiara and killing an Albanian merchant to infuse his soul into it, Riddle then chose to hide the tiara back where he’d originally uncovered it: Hogwarts, in the Room of Requirement. Crabbe and Goyle find Harry in the room, and in the ensuing fight the room, along with the diadem, is destroyed by Fiendfyre.
After his attempt to kill the infant Harry, Voldemort was severely weakened. In the woods of Albania, the phantom-like form of Voldemort tried to inhabit animals to survive, but only snakes could bear having him inhabit them. Psychically and physically, Nagini helped nurse Voldemort back to health, and their bond was only strengthened when he made her a Horcrux.
Voldemort loved to use Nagini as a weapon, but after his Horcruxes were threatened, he kept the snake close. Neville, however, was able to kill it during the Battle at Hogwarts, decapitating it with the Sword of Gryffindor.
The seventh Horcrux?
There was never meant to be a seventh Horcrux. Voldemort meant to maintain his own body as the seventh, maintaining what he believed to be a number of power. When he attempted to murder the infant Harry Potter, however, he accidentally turned Harry into a Horcrux himself, leaving him with the lightning bolt scar. This is the reason behind the prophecy of “neither can die while the other survives.”
When Voldemort used the killing curse on Harry, it destroyed the Horcrux he had inadvertently stored inside of him. How did Harry survive the killing curse? The first time it was because his mother’s love saved him. The second time … well, it’s best explained by Dumbledore:
Hopefully, our guide will help you keep track of what’s what next time you’re watching “Deathly Hallows,” and remember that if you “tamper with the source of life, be prepared for consequences of the most extreme and dangerous kind!”