Baby-Harry Corpse-Horcrux: An Elegant Twist

A month ago I posted here (and here and here) some thoughts on how Harry became a Horcrux that were so speculative — and said so little about the Five Keys — that I left them out of Unlocking Harry Potter: Five Keys for the Serious Reader. The theories generated a fair bit of discussion here, there, and around the internet and I learned something about blogging in the comboxes. The notes left in these boxes, especially after the original posts disappear under the screen’s virtual horizon, are lost to view except for the bizarre HogPro reader who constantly looks in the archives to see if anyone has dropped any diamonds on the back pages.

A reader calling him/herself “TNM16” wrote a wonderfully elegant and just-quirky-enough-to-be-possible twist on the “how” of Harry’s becoming a Horcrux that would be lost to readers not checking the “Recent Comment” sidebar over to your right. I post it here for your comments and correction:

TNM16 wrote:

I have an alternate version to your theory; namely, that Harry being a Horcrux is NOT accidental. And this leads to a drastic re-reading of the Prophecy. Neither dies …

The ultimate resolution of the series -Harry Potter, title hero, exemplar of Good, triumphing over the Dark Lord, anti-hero, epitome of Evil – seems indisputable, in a story whose core is based on the essential issue of morality (and here, also inextricably tied to the notion of MORTALITY).

But the thorny prophecy: how will Harry dispose of Voldemort without blood on his wand, so to speak; without enacting on his nemesis the selfsame ‘supreme act of evil’ of murder? Even as a pre-destined, ‘Chosen’ hand, he would be taking life.

The dilemma is further complicated by that other controversial question: If Harry is a Horcrux, how can he destroy without dying himself?

I propose here an off-color theory that may be warped enough for J.K. Rowling‚Äôs love of twists ‚Ķ for as Jeeves says, we must examine ‚Äòthe psychology of the individual.‚Äô The individual here being, Tom Marvolo Riddle vis-?†-vis his six choices for Horcruxes:

1- The Diary: (i.e. ‘Book’); represents Riddle’s respect for Knowledge as a means to Power.
2- The Ring: (i.e. ‘Heirloom’); symbolizes Riddle’s reverence for his Ancestry on the pureblood maternal side.

Because Riddle considered Hogwarts his ‘home’, it follows he would wish to identify himself with all four Houses as a whole, by selecting relics belonging to each of the original founders:

3- The Locket: House of Slytherin
4- The Cup: House of Hufflepuff
5- The [?]: House of Ravenclaw
6- The [?]: House of Gryffindor

As for Dumbledore’s hypothesis that Voldemort, having failed to create his sixth Horcrux prior to his downfall, would later resort to entrusting a part of his soul in a live creature (Nagini), I doubt that Voldemort (and Rowling!) would be so tacky as to disturb the perfect symmetry & symbolism of the ‘Houses of Hogwarts’ coat-of-arms. Three simply is not four; it ruins the balance, makes it lacking, asymmetrical, devoid of full meaning. A big black snake (even if it does call to mind Voldemort’s serpent/skull Dark Mark) is a poor substitute for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Riddle’s home. All four relics must be present to create this symbol. How can one become a Dark Lord if one is not obsessive about his image? : )

So what can Ravenclaw & Gryffindor’s relics be, according to canon hints? I agree with what many have suggested: Rowena’s wand, which we encountered in our first trip to Diagon Alley, sitting in its prominent position in Ollivander’s shop window like a set of antique jewels. Maybe Ollivander’s mysterious disappearing act in HBP is due to Voldemort’s wish to provide a safer hiding place for his Horcrux-wand, following the failed Ministry mission and his exposure? The object itself has intrinsically symbolic value, as the most crucial instrument of magic.

Gryffindor’s relic, as Dumbledore tells us, cannot be the sword, having been under safe lock in the headmaster’s office during Riddle’s schooldays and subsequent years before/after his fall. But the sword is said to be the only ‘known’ relic of Godric Gryffindor … might not have Voldemort managed to find an ‘unknown’ one? Especially, as GG holds an unusual correlation to SS (according to the Sorting Hat): best friends AND worst enemies.

For purposes of symmetry in the series, it seems crystal-clear that Harry Potter is to Lord Voldemort as Godric Gryffindor is to Salazar Slytherin. Knowing Voldemort is Slytherin’s last living descendant, from his pureblood mother’s side; Harry would have to be Gryffindor’s from his pureblood father’s side. Two half-blood orphans, two extraordinarily talented wizards: logically, who else could possibly be ‘born’ to vanquish the Heir of Slytherin but … the Heir of Gryffindor? (further canon support for this symmetry is that Riddle visited his hometown where Merope Gaunt lived and Harry plans to visit his birthplace where James Potter lived. Thus Godric’s Hollow can be read to indicate the Potters’ ancestral namesake).

If the above premises are correct, Voldemort would absolutely be compelled to find a Gryffindor relic as a Horcrux. Perhaps he would esteem it the most important one, to be chosen with care, taking time to procure, and so wish to leave the best for last (i.e. the sixth trophy).

Let’s now examine a very probable scenario: having already created five Horcruxes, Voldemort hears the prophecy and identifies the candidates: Neville Longbottom & Harry Potter. Voldemort, putting so much store by the prophetic possibility of doom, would not make his choice between the two infants arbitrarily. He would do his homework on parentage. And perhaps learn of James Potter ancestral line leading to Godric Gryffindor, making young Harry Potter not only the obvious ‘prophesized enemy’ but also … a prime relic for the last Horcrux. What could ensure immortality more emphatically than to entomb the final fragment of his soul in the corpse of his vanquished nemesis, the Heir of Gryffindor?

My theory is that Voldemort made Harry into a Horcrux with pre-meditated purpose. Not ‘accidentally’ (as some have suggested to be the case after backfiring of the Killing Curse on the baby –and others have pointed out that casting the complex spell needed to create a Horcrux is impossible to perform after losing his body, sapped of strength and sans wand). Voldemort sought out his relic/enemy that fateful July night, killed James & Lily, used their murders to create a Horcrux in Harry’s body (thus carving the scar), and in triumph over the prophecy, shot the lethal Avada Kedavra at the baby boy, knowing a mortal can die but retain the Horcrux in its corpse (morbid enough?!). We know what happens next. Power Voldemort knows not, and could not expect, ancient magic evoked by Love, gives Harry Potter protection to survive the curse as an unprecedented exception in the history of wizardkind.

The crux is that Voldemort, now back in power, well remembers what he has done. His rage to kill Harry arises not only from his desire to win the prophecy, but to safely repossess a cherished Horcrux: the lightning-bolt scar wherein one-seventh of his soul resides. How else could the scar be such a powerful conduit between Harry and Voldemort’s moods, emotions, innermost chambers of mind? How else could Voldemort’s talents (e.g. Parceltongue) have been transfused into Harry’s essence? Why does Harry’s scar burn, if not with the lava wrath of the Dark Lord’s soul?

As a last thought, we have heard much but not yet seen that worst of punishments, the infamous Dementor‚Äôs Kiss. Maybe when the other three Horcruxes are destroyed (locket, cup, wand), as well as the last bit in Voldemort‚Äôs physical body (Ideally, Snape will fire the AK like he did at Dumbledore, as per his ironclad trusted vow), and only Harry himself remains a Horcrux … he can have a Dementor kiss his scar. The empty shell of Voldemort‚Äôs soul will live in it until the end of Harry‚Äôs life, yes; but perhaps that is why ‚Äòscar‚Äô is rumored to be the last word of book seven‚Äôs epilogue: the prophecy will be fulfilled by Harry living and Voldemort failing to survive ‚Äìin the sense of immortality. There is good reason why the prophecy wording is not ‚Äòneither can live while the other lives.‚Äô Voldemort may live, but not have the eternal survival he had planned ‚Ķ Dumbledore did warn him there are worse ways of destroying a man than death. Being soulless is the
best example of such destruction. Also, as per law, a Dementor’s Kiss is not illegal like an Unforgivable. This way, Harry will not technically be a murder, either, because he does not ‘kill’ Voldemort, but lets his scar act rather like a cell in Azkaban.

Your thoughts …?

My first thoughts are “wonderful” and “simple.” Its simplicity, however quirky a corpse Horcrux is in concept, is a real plus in my mind, because the objection I have had to my Animampono theory is just that it’s too difficult. I like the Harry as Heir requirement and the four house elements for the remaining Horcruxes. It also explains why Lord Voldemort would be obsessed with finding out the details of the Prophecy in Phoenix and why he would blast Harry if he could in Goblet and Phoenix, post come-back; as long as he doesn’t destroy Harry’s body, the corpse will serve as a Horcrux.

I am not as enamored of the Prophecy portions of this or the suggested Dementor finish, but I’m no judge in these things. As far as I know, TNM16 is Ms. Rowling doing us the great favor of dropping into the HogPro back pages with the real solution months in advance. I am confident that if that has happened or ever does happen, I wil be the moron to snort and say, “C’mon! Get a life, loser!” as my informed response.

I hope you all will share your thoughts about the possibility of this “Baby-Harry Corpse-Horcrux” theory as if it came from the author herself in search of feedback and re-assurance before July.


  1. For the past year I’ve been well aware of the likelyhood that if Harry is a Horcrux, killing him *will not destroy it*. Not unless wizards routinely practice cremation.

    If the soul fragment is imbedded in his skull, and the skull remains on this side of the Veil, then Tom still has his 6th Horcrux, whether Harry is alive or not.

    Which on the face of it would demand that Harry either cut the fragment out from under that scar to get rid of it, or that he go through the Veil bodily, the way Sirius did to remove it from the equation.

    More recently, of course, the LiveJournalist Swythyv gave me a nudge which suggested that the process necessary for the creation of a Horcrux may be something much nastier than we had ever antcipated, and that particular possibility removes the possibility that there was ever *any* accident involved in Harry having custody of one of Riddle’s soul fragments. (This most recent version of the hypothesis is in the currently posted version of the Changeling Hypothesis over on Red Hen.)

    However, unlike with the other Horcruxes, the connection between source and fragment was never *broken*. Lord Voldemort was not aware when someone was writing in the Diary. He was not aware when Albus destroyed the Ring Horcrux. He was not aware if RAB managed to destroy the Locket. And he only knows that the Diary has been lost because he pried the information out of Lucius Malfoy.

    Harry, however, he is able to connect to without particular effort. The connection is still open and it goes both ways, even if Tom has blocked it off from his end. (And I agree, John, that it is highly unlikely that we have heard the end of that.) If Harry waas supposed to be killed to create a Horcrux, the Horcrux his death was to enable is incomplete. If the process works anything like the most recent hypothesis, Harry’s death *would* free the soul fragment, and it is probably possible for him to rid himself of it in some manner which does not entail his death.

  2. Hi John,

    Thanks for your feedback. I wasn’t sure if it might be too morbid a theory.

    I’ve read several places that JKR has said in an interview that “Harry is not a Horcrux” (I dont have a quote reference). But, she has never said that Harry’s *scar* is not one.

    I live in Iran and work in book imports, and am happy to say for the first time ever, Tehran is joining in the international release date for DH. Persian weblogs are already buzzing with plans for (underground) pre-midnight parties!


  3. More in the speculation game …

    On ‚ÄúRAB‚Äù: Though I suscribe to the Regulus ID as it accounts for the obvious Death Eater overtone in the note [‘To the **Dark Lord**’] and fits in with Regulus’ subsequent defecting …

    What if it is meant deliberately as an easy conclusion to jump to, in that we focus on the first initial “R” and think immediately of Regulus … (coming up with variations for “A” as his unknown middle name)

    What if we are misled to ignore “R” as the UNKNOWN first name, and “AB” as … Amelia Bones?
    After all, she did dissapear ominously in HP4 ‚Ķ WHY? Just as a sacrificial Ministry pawn to disclose the Triwizard plans? Rowling has exhibited a tendency for re-emerging names, places, events in an expanded new light … loving to play on jigsaw-like “more to the story than met the reader’s eye in an earlier volume”

    Though, I dont know much about this Ministry employee, I cannot see her as addressing LV by his sovereign title.

  4. I am a believer in Horcrux-Harry and I very much enjoyed the commentary but JK Rowling pretty much admitted that Harry is not the Heir of Gryffindor in the following interview.

    Anelli, Melissa and Emerson Spartz. “The Leaky Cauldron and Mugglenet interview Joanne Kathleen Rowling: Part Three,” The Leaky Cauldron, 16 July 2005

  5. blacktulip says

    Ah, finally… There are actually very few people who believe the Harry-as-Horcrux theory. (Not to mention the Dementor part! I’m overjoyed. But, moving on.)
    I also don’t think that Nagini is a Horcrux, but Dumbledore’s theory does at least illustrate that a living thing can be a Horcrux, which may have been Rowling’s intention all along.
    This is the first time I’ve heard the idea that Voldemort intended to use Harry’s infant corpse as a Horcrux. My first thoughts were that a corpse would be a rather impermanent vessel. But, then again, when Dumbledore spoke of the disadvantages of a living vessel he only mentioned that it would be unwise to use one that could move/think for itself– nothing about it inevitably dying.
    I still think that Harry was an accidental Horcrux, as Voldemort does not know exactly what binds them, i.e. he does not know the prophecy that states ‘…neither can live while the other survives’ which I take to mean that one cannot die if the other is to live. But then, I don’t see why this goes both way, why Harry would have to die in order to vanquish Voldemort if a Dementor could be used…
    And the Dementor theory is a favourite of mine, I knew they’d be big ever since the third book, and it can be no small coincidence that Harry’s world features both beings that can suck out souls, and vessels that can store them.
    Choosing Harry for a Horcrux would’ve held no ‘symmetry’ for Voldemort (according to the Rowling Harry isn’t the heir), but it would for the author… After all, even though LV knows this not, the author points out his link with Gryffindor through his pulling out the sword from the sorting hat, etc. So, ironically enough, Voldemort’s accidental Horcrux did turn out to be something of Gryffindor’s, though only from the readers’/author’s POV.
    There’s just one thing that doesn’t fit with my ‘it was an accident’ theory; where, or even what, was the object that Voldemort was to make a Horcrux with Harry’s death that night? -Blacktulip

  6. His wand, Blacktulip, the wand! See the Animampono post in the archives here…


  7. tnm16 posted: “On ‚ÄúRAB‚Äù: Though I suscribe to the Regulus ID as it accounts for the obvious Death Eater overtone in the note [‚ÄôTo the **Dark Lord**‚Äô] and fits in with Regulus‚Äô subsequent defecting ‚Ķ

    What if it is meant deliberately as an easy conclusion to jump to, in that we focus on the first initial “R” and think immediately of Regulus … (coming up with variations for “A” as his unknown middle name)

    What if we are misled to ignore “R” as the UNKNOWN first name, and “AB” as … Amelia Bones?
    After all, she did dissapear ominously in HP4 … WHY? Just as a sacrificial Ministry pawn to disclose the Triwizard plans? Rowling has exhibited a tendency for re-emerging names, places, events in an expanded new light … loving to play on jigsaw-like “more to the story than met the reader’s eye in an earlier volume”

    Though, I dont know much about this Ministry employee, I cannot see her as addressing LV by his sovereign title.”

    The problem with this is that Amelia Bones wasn’t the one who disappeared in book 4. I think you must be thinking of Bertha Jorkins, who later turned out to have been murdered by Voldemort.

    Amelia Bones, aunt of student Susan Bones, was the one who was present at Harry’s hearing at the beginning of Book 5, then she was reported to have been murdered (not disappeared) at the start of Book 6.

    I’m not sure about discounting the initial “R” either. I think in some of the translations, suitable names have been given to Regelus Black, and the initials match up with R.A.B.

    Right after the 6th book came out, the Lexicon posted a bit that said it was confirmed from reliable sources that R.A.B. was Regelus, but then it was taken off at the request of either the book publishers or Rowling. And they’ve never posted anything about it since–so either it was incorrect, or gave away too much information. I’m not sure why that’s giving away too much, as many people have come to that conclusion.

    blacktulip, as John already knows, I’m not convinced of the Harry-as-Horcrux theory. But there are many times I’m sure I’ll be wrong about that–and then others that I am sure I won’t be. But I hadn’t really thought about Voldemort intending to turn Harry into a Horcrux either–would he want a bit of his soul tucked away in his enemy’s body? Ugh, sounds too weird–but then he is weird, so maybe…

    If Harry isn’t Gryffindor’s heir, then why did Voldemort have to destroy James and Harry, but not Lily? We always come back to that one, and it doesn’t seem to fit with any of the Horcrux ideas surrounding the Potters–accidental or intentional.

    I’m so glad we’re finally under 100 days. The wait is taking forever.


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