Is Harry a Horcrux?
by Stephen Haas
After thinking carefully through the various factors involved,
I cannot help but conclude that the most logical scenario, based on all
the available evidence, is that Harry is a Horcrux. I will structure
this essay in four sections. First, I will discuss the background.
Second, I will discuss the evidence indicating that Harry is a Horcrux.
Third, I will discuss and hopefully, rebut the evidence that he is not.
Fourth, I will speculate on how Harry actually came to be a Horcrux.
We know (or can reasonably surmise) from the later chapters of
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince that
Lord Voldemort made six
(HBP23). This is not certain,
as his comments to Professor Slughorn
indicate that he was interested in making seven
inference that this meant six plus
Lord Voldemort’s own body,
is not an obvious conclusion at all. However, for the purposes of this essay,
I will assume Dumbledore’s
conclusion and assume that there are only six
Horcruxes in all. We know
the following about them (see
- Marvolo’s ring
— destroyed by Dumbledore.
- Riddle’s diary —
destroyed by Harry.
- Slytherin’s locket —
stolen by “R.A.B.”
Regulus Black, who hid it at
number twelve, Grimmauld Place
(see OP6, where
Harry and the others found, in
number twelve, Grimmauld Place
“a heavy locket that none of them could open”).
Whether it’s still there or whether someone (for example,
took it out is an open question. Either way, it’s almost
certainly at large.
- Hufflepuff’s cup
(HBP20) — at large.
- An artifact of
according to Dumbledore’s guess.
- Nagini —
according to Dumbledore’s guess.
For purposes of this discussion, I am ruling out the
Sorting Hat and
as possibilities. I think that Lord Voldemort wanted to obtain one of
them, but this attempt was thwarted when Dumbledore rejected his
application to become a
teacher at Hogwarts
I also think that Lord Voldemort would not have tried to steal one of
them under Dumbledore’s nose, when we know how afraid he was of
Dumbledore (OP36). In addition,
the hat never showed any evil tendency and the sword
helped Harry against the
diary’s Tom Riddle
(CS17). The only
evidence that the hat may be a Horcrux is that it wanted to put
Harry in Slytherin
a) It was easily persuaded by Harry NOT do so (PS7); and
b) As I’ll discuss later, I think that was more about Harry than about
1. One Horcrux May be a Relic of Gryffindor’s
Harry is almost certainly a
between his parents living in
coming out of the Hat
during his battle with Riddle
As Dumbledore tells Harry,
“Only a true Gryffindor could have pulled [the sword] out of the hat,
Making Harry a Horcrux
would satisfy Lord Voldemort’s wish to have a relic of each
founder among his Horcruxes
Lord Voldemort loved to make Horcruxes out of his trophies that commemorated significant murders (HBP23),
and he attempted to murder Harry in Godric’s Hollow. There’s no doubt
that killing the boy who was to have the power to defeat him based on
the prophecy (OP37)
would be a very significant moment for him. It was the perfect murder
with which to make a Horcrux, and as discussed below, there is no
reason to rule out the possibility of a corpse (Harry’s) being used as
Harry is a Parselmouth
(CS11), but we know
he is not descended from
for example, CS18,
when Dumbledore tells Harry that Lord Voldemort is the last remaining
descendant of Slytherin). As discussed above, Harry is likely descended
from Godric Gryffindor. Why then would he be a
Parselmouth, unless the
soul of a Parselmouth
sits inside him?
4. The Hurting Scar
The scar hurting when
Lord Voldemort is angry and
at other times linked to
and many instances in
Order of the Phoenix)
is, in the author’s opinion, a clear indication that a portion of
Lord Voldemort’s soul
rests inside Harry. Against this
point and point #3, I know many will argue that
backfired curse somehow connected him to
JKR already thoroughly explained why
Lord Voldemort was defeated
that night in
Lily’s sacrifice gave
Harry protection and the
curse rebounded (GF33).
has been featured prominently in the narrative from Book 4 on and never
has there been any inkling that it transfers a portion of the caster’s
essence to the victim (GF14).
While it is possible that this fact could be established in Book 7, I
do not think it’s JKR’s style to suddenly change the rules about the
5. The Possession
Lord Voldemort possesses Harry at the end of the Battle of the Department of Mysteries (OP36).
This is done without any apparent spell and is done remotely, without
Lord Voldemort having any direct physical control over Harry at the
time (OP36). Although Lord
Voldemort is extremely powerful, I do not believe he has the power to
possess people at will. Otherwise, why doesn’t he just possess people
all the time to get out of danger? I fail to believe that JKR created a
World where people can simply take over other people’s minds at will,
as defeat of a wizard with this skill in such a World would be all but
impossible. I conclude that the only reason Lord Voldemort was able to
possess Harry is because he was able to link his consciousness with the
fragment of his soul in Harry.[*]
6. The Scar Itself
There is no reason conclude that a
leaves a mark on its victim. To the contrary, the books indicate that the
leaves no sign other than that the person is dead (see, for example,
GF14, when the
leaves no apparent mark on the spider; and
GF32 when, after
Cedric Diggory is killed
JKR describes his body and makes no mention of any special mark). Why,
then, would a rebounded curse make a scar? Perhaps the magic that
creates a Horcrux, on the other hand, leaves a symbol on the object.
Dumbledore deduces that Nagini is a Horcrux, and was made a Horcrux at the time of the murder of Frank Bryce (HBP23).
Dumbledore says that a major reason for this suspicion is the level of
control Lord Voldemort has over Nagini. However, it appears from the
opening chapter of
Goblet of Fire
that Lord Voldemort had firm control over Nagini before Frank Bryce was
killed and thus before Lord Voldemort could possibly have made her into
a Horcrux (GF1). I think
that Dumbledore’s statement about Nagini may be a red herring. Nagini
may not be a Horcrux at all. Maybe JKR told us this tidbit to let us
know that it was possible for a living thing to be a Horcrux. Or maybe
Dumbledore suspected that Harry may be a Horcrux but didn’t want to
tell Harry for fear of making him despair.
8. Lord Voldemort Did Not Order Malfoy or Anyone Else to kill Harry in Half-Blood Prince
If Lord Voldemort could order Draco Malfoy to kill Dumbledore (HBP27), then why couldn’t he have given him the much simpler task of killing Harry? In addition, near the end of Half-Blood Prince, the Death Eaters seem to avoid killing Harry because he should be “left to the Dark Lord” (HBP28).
One possible reason is that Lord Voldemort does not want Harry killed
by his Death Eaters. He either wants Harry alive or, as discussed in
the next section, he needs to make sure he has control over Harry’s
1. Lord Voldemort Wanted to Kill Harry on Hallowe'en 1981
The most obvious argument against Harry
being a Horcrux is that
Lord Voldemort went to
that night intending to kill Harry
(GF33). Why would
Voldemort have made
Horcrux if he intended to
This question assumes something that almost all analyses I’ve
seen take for granted: that killing a person in which a
also destroys the Horcrux.
But is that so obvious? As noted earlier, the
kills the person but seemingly does nothing to a person’s body.
Remember also that most
Horcruxes are inanimate objects
(HBP23). Why can’t
a human corpse be a Horcrux?
And if a living person is a
who says his or her death eliminates it?
2. Lord Voldemort Keeps Trying To Kill Harry
The next thing people will point out is that when they
have met subsequently to the night at Godric’s Hollow, Lord Voldemort
has wanted to kill Harry, so Harry can’t possibly be the Horcrux. This,
of course, makes the same questionable assumption that killing Harry
would destroy the Horcrux.
This objection also assumes that Lord Voldemort’s intentions
towards Harry have been unwavering. But he might have changed his mind;
he might originally have intended Harry to remain a living Horcrux but
later decided that killing Harry was worth destroying the Horcrux
because of all the trouble Harry’s caused and because of the prophecy.
Consider that in their meeting at the end of
Lord Voldemort says nothing about
killing Harry, only using him to
he even tries to convince Harry to join him
Only when he sees no other way to get the stone does he order
Professor Quirrell to
kill Harry (PS17).
In Goblet of Fire, Lord Voldemort toys with Harry, perhaps hoping that Harry will volunteer to join the Death Eaters (GF33, 34). Only in Order of the Phoenix, after Harry has foiled Lord Voldemort once too often, does Lord Voldemort try to kill him immediately (OP36).
I think it’s safe to say, at that point, Lord Voldemort may be thinking
that sacrificing the Horcrux is worth getting rid of Harry.
3. Dumbledore’s Analysis
Another argument against the theory is that
Dumbledore doesn’t think
of it at all (HBP23).
Why would Dumbledore miss
that possibility if it’s so apparent to me?
As I alluded to before, I think it’s possible that
Dumbledore did know or suspect that
Harry was a
Horcrux, but did not see
the point of disclosing that to
Harry. Think of how that information
would devastate him. Also, knowing that he may have to take some drastic
step to kill Lord Voldemort in the
end (such as suicide if that were the only way to get rid of the
Horcrux) might make
Harry very upset or make him give up
on fighting Lord Voldemort
So, what did happen that night at Godric’s Hollow?
When Lord Voldemort went to Godric’s Hollow, he intended to kill James
and make Harry a Horcrux, created by James’s murder. Afterwards, he
intended to kill Harry and keep his corpse, with the Horcrux intact.
Not understanding the power of love, he never imagined that Lily would
stand in his way once he made it clear to Lily that he had no interest
in killing her.
After Lord Voldemort killed James, he wanted to perform the
Horcrux-making spell on Harry, but Lily would not allow it. This also
explains why he asked Lily to “stand aside” rather than using a spell
to move her aside: presumably, he had to create the Horcrux immediately
after performing the murder it was linked to (that is, James’s murder).
When Lily would not budge, he killed Lily and made Harry a Horcrux,
using Lily’s murder instead. He then tried to kill Harry and the rest
is history. The weakness of this theory is, of course, that it assumes
not only that a
leaves a Horcrux intact,
but that Lord Voldemort intended
to perform a
on a person already holding his
Lord Voldemort intended to use James’s corpse or some other object as
the Horcrux which would be established by Harry’s murder. I think it’s
a reasonable assumption that at least part of the Horcrux-making spell
has to be performed before the murder. Lord Voldemort started the
Horcrux spell in motion, aiming to finish it after Harry was dead. When
rebounded, he was “ripped from his body”
Perhaps that was enough to constitute a murder for Horcrux-making
purposes. Lord Voldemort had “killed” someone — himself — and the
Horcrux spell, which was already in motion, continued and found the
nearest available target, Harry. The part of Lord Voldemort’s soul that
was ripped off when he enacted the
went into Harry, while the rest of his soul was ripped from his body and driven out. The other possibility is that Wormtail
or some other Death Eater accompanied him that night and was able to
finish off the Horcrux spell after Lord Voldemort had been driven away.
In any case, that means that the
Horcruxes are most likely:
- Marvolo’s ring
- Riddle's diary
- Slytherin’s locket
- Hufflepuff’s cup
- Harry, representing a relic of Gryffindor
- Nagini or an artifact of Ravenclaw’s.
Ginny Weasley, as the
memory of young Tom Riddle. See
Tom Riddle brags that the
consequences of Ginny baring her
soul to him by writing in his
diary was that eventually
he became strong enough to start “pouring a little of my soul
back into her.”
© 2006 Stephen Haas
Edited by Paula Hall