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06 July 2006 @ 01:26 pm
Horcrux Hunting, or Fantastic Magical Artefacts and Where to Find Them.  
In which your truly decides to dump all her random thoughts on you at one go. At least they're organized, sort of.

Since the seventh book is likely to feature Harry Potter and the Horcruces of Doom, I thought to actually write down my theories about what those Horcruces will be, so that when I'm right (ha ha), I'll be able to prove it.

A note on the word "Horcrux": No matter what JKR says, "Crux" is a third declension Latin noun, and the plural is "Cruces". One index, two indices; one Horcrux, two Horcruces. That pluralisation will be used for the duration of this essay.

Tom Riddle (known as Lord Voldemort, You-Know-Who, and Tommy Moldyshorts, and referred to hereafter as 'Tommymort', because I like it) created a total of six Horcruces, thereby splitting his soul into seven pieces (Six Horcruces + One Tommymort= Seven; I am so smart and mathy!). Barring the possibility that one piece of Voldysoul was destroyed in 1981, at the start of the series there are still six floating around somewhere in the world.

Of these, we can be sure of the following:

Tom Riddle's Diary was a Horcrux, given into the care of Lucius Malfoy with, presumably, an injunction to keep it safe. Through prolonged contact with Ginny, it was capable of controlling her actions to open the Chamber of Secrets and take on a life of its own. It was destroyed by Harry Potter in his second year. Its destruction had no adverse affect on the destroyer.

Marvolo Gaunt's Ring was a Horcrux, kept in the ruins of the Gaunt house under limited security. It was initially a ring of the family Peverell, whose crest it bears. It was discovered by Albus Dumbledore and destroyed in the summer before Harry's sixth year. Doing so damaged Dumbledore's hand and arm beyond repair.

Salazar Slytherin's Locket was a Horcrux, stolen from Hepzibah Smith and kept in a seaside cave under heavy magical protections. None the less, a person or persons unknown (R.A.B.) managed to extract the locket and replace it with a copy, which was retrieved by Albus Dumbledore and Harry Potter at the end of Harry's sixth year. Their methods for circumventing the security measures poisoned Dumbledore. The whereabouts of the real Horcrux are unknown, but suspected of being in or around Twelve Grimmauld Place or Mundungus Fletcher.

Helga Hufflepuff's Goblet was a Horcrux, stolen like the locket from Hepzibah Smith. Its whereabouts are unknown, as are any other properties it may have.

There are, therefore, two remaining Horcruces of which we have not heard, and one known Horcrux which no one has yet found. What are they, and how can we find them?

Finding them is both easy and complicated. The only method I can think of is to follow in Tommymort's steps, checking everywhere he went. I would start with the Chamber of Secrets: remember, the Diary was destroyed there, but it was not kept there. Could Tommymort have gotten back in to hide something after leaving school? Well, I bet I could have, and I'm no wizard. Check the Chamber, the Slytherin dormitory, Borgin and Burkes, the Riddle House, wherever Tommymort's first headquarters were, wherever he was most likely to go in Albania (and, indeed, the rest of Europe), the site of the Delphic Oracle (known also as the Pythian Oracle after the Python that was said to have once lived there), Rome (for the empire), and anywhere else Tommymort would have thought of magical or personal significance. Yes, it's a tall order, but also a simple one. Tommymort's just not devious enough for this job.

But to find a Horcrux, you have to know what it looks like, or have a means of detecting it. Since there's no indication that such a method exists, we might as well start by working out what the missing Horcruces are.

Young Tommymort had very specific plans for his Horcruces. He wanted to use one artefact from each of the Four Founders of Hogwarts. Of the four Horcruces we know of, two are such objects.

The others, the Ring and the Diary, are also symbolically significant and worthy of more analysis than I can give them. Rings and Books (for a diary is just a kind of book) appear in mythology by the truckload. The Ring and the Book by Robert Browning is a famous dramatic poem. The Ring of Invisibility, the Book of Life and Death…these have wormed their way into our subconscious until we hardly realize they are there--but the Ring was all but invisible in the ruins and burned and withered Dumbledore's hand as if in fire, and the Book was the most active Horcrux we know of, trying to gain a life of its own by bringing about the deaths of others.

To return to the Founders' artefacts: We have two artefacts, Helga's Goblet and Salazar's Locket. What are the other two? Well, "goblet" is just another word for "cup", and a locket is a flat circle of gold, like a coin. The two Horcrux objects, in fact, correspond to two of the suits of a Tarot deck, the Cups and the Coins (or Disks, or Pentacles). If Tommymort, who was supposedly an exceptionally bright student, noticed this, where would he have looked for (and, since we so often find things only if we look for them, found) the other two objects he sought? With the other two suits of the Minor Arcana, Swords and Wands (or Staves, or Batons, or Rods).

So, we are looking for two objects: a sword, which is almost certainly Godric Gryffindor's, and a wand, almost certainly Rowena Ravenclaw's, since she would hardly have owned a sword.

We have seen one sword purporting to belong to Godric Gryffindor before, in Harry's second year. Dumbledore assures Harry that it is very well protected, and even if we do not fully believe his assurances, it is difficult to see how a Slytherin like Tommymort could have pulled it out of the Sorting Hat, which Dumbledore says only a true Gryffindor could have done, and more difficult still to see how he could have put it back again. Since that sword has shown no signs of being a Horcrux, let us assume for the moment that it really isn't. What then?

Well, who's to say that Godric had only one sword? Indeed, considering the appearance of the one we've seen, it would be incomprehensible if he hadn't. No sword actually meant to be used on a daily basis would have a handle studded with "rubies the size of eggs". That's a ceremonial sword; where's his everyday sword, the one he put on every day of his life? It could be anywhere, but I'd start with Godric's Hollow, on the grounds that we have no better lead on anything of Godric's than that.

As for Rowena's wand, we've seen neither sight nor sound of anything that it could be--or have we? Why is there, in the window of Ollivander's, a single wand on a dusty, purple cushion? What could be so special about that wand? Why did Ollivander disappear as soon as Tommymort was officially out and about again? In the first book, he didn't seem afraid of Tommymort and said freely that he personally sold Tommymort his wand--his first wand, that oh-so-important real proof of wizardry. So why vanish? It's just circumstantial evidence, but there sure is a lot of it. As far as finding the thing goes, we have options: we can try to track Ollivander down and find out what he knows, or we can take a very close look at Neville Longbottom's wand, apparently one of the last ones Ollivander sold before disappearing.

Is this essay right about anything at all? Damned if I know. Probably not. I doubt JKR writes her plots by going through past canon for hints that didn't mean anything at the time, though they might be improved if she did. Still, if by some miracle I am right, I reserve the right to say, "I told you so!"
kiki: (hp) ravenclaw lovebeyond_pale on July 6th, 2006 06:28 pm (UTC)
I came to very similar conclusions last semester reading the Wasteland, and actually wrote up something tarotpackish, myself. Actually, the poem also inspired some crazy musings on grail legend, incorporating arthur, snape, and percival, with interchangably voldemort or dumbledore in the old king role. Posted it ALL on imdb instead of here, though.

clodia: apples and lightclodia_risa on July 6th, 2006 06:35 pm (UTC)
Icon love!
Annie: OMGqueenofzan on July 7th, 2006 04:36 am (UTC)
More icon love for you!
clodia: Potterpuff Snapeclodia_risa on July 6th, 2006 06:35 pm (UTC)
Very nice musings. I had seen something similar, but you've got it very well organised.

One note: Why is there, in the window of Ollivander's, a single wand on a dusty, purple cushion? What could be so special about that wand?

You could either be totally right, or totally off base about this. Half of me wants to call you very clever for that analysis (and your subsequent sentences) and half of me wants to say: It's a shop. You display what you sell at a shop.

In short - I hope that you're right about Ollivander, because it would prove you very clever and be an interesting adventure.
shishkeberryshishkeberry on July 19th, 2006 12:04 pm (UTC)
It's a shop. You display what you sell at a shop.

But does Ollivander really need to advertise or display his wares? His family have been selling wands since 300something B.C.(right? don't know the exact date right now)...I'm betting that >90% of the UK wizard population bought their wands there.
so this is 20-somethingxoynotsmilexo on July 6th, 2006 06:37 pm (UTC)
i havent even read it, but i just love the title
Sunnyskywalkersunnyskywalker on July 6th, 2006 06:52 pm (UTC)
It hadn't occurred to me to suspect Neville's wand. That would be clever of Ollivander (and you)!
miss_chamomile: [hp] ron moviemiss_chamomile on July 8th, 2006 06:19 pm (UTC)
The question is, though, if a wand that had part of Voldey's soul in it would WORK when somebody like Neville tried to use it. I mean... wouldn't it have a similar response the diary did -- using its apparently inconspicuous nature for Voldey's benefit? Has Neville used the wand since he got it? If he did, I'd find it hard to believe that a piece of The Dark Lord's soul is just sitting around while Neville practices spells on Trevor...
no longer usedsscrewdriver on July 6th, 2006 07:07 pm (UTC)
I love Horcrux hunting. Let's put on our special Horcrux hunting hats and boots and off we go!

Godric's sword at Godric's Hollow -
Hmmm. I think there is something for sure at Godric's Hollow - whether it is a clue or a Horcrux itself we'll have to wait and see. But Voldemort has a penchant for using showy, valuable items as horcruxes, a throwback to his deprived childhood. I don't think he'd want to use an everyday, beat-up old sword to store his precious soul in.

Rowena's wand -
A persuasive idea, the fourth suit of the Tarot. There's nothing more magical than a wand, so I could see Voldemort being very happy to store his soul in one. And if there's more Olivander in Book 7, that would be great too. He's a little creepy, but in a good way.

You know, I want the Horcrux problem to be 'solvable' before we get Book 7, like a logic puzzle. It would be more fun that way. I have a soft spot for the Tiara in the Room of Requirement myself, but I haven't any solid reason for it like this post.

Thanks for posting.
miss_chamomile: [hp] random illustrationmiss_chamomile on July 8th, 2006 06:21 pm (UTC)
The thing is, an old Diary certainly isn't showy. One irregularity is enough to break the assumption of a trend. Not to say I don't think he'd use some old, slightly rusty sword... for all we know, Griffindor's headstone is in the shape of a sword, or swords are incorporated in some other way. If we follow the Tarot suit theory, that is...
kiki: (hp) ravenclaw geniusesbeyond_pale on July 6th, 2006 07:31 pm (UTC)
ahhh, this is what happened. I went into my gmail and found this:

this is something I've been playing with for the past month or so, but might as well throw it into the ring prematurely. Working title is: "TS Eliot redeems Snape and Percy?"

Apologies for the delay; this thing just exploded on me, and I'm making it up as I type it out. Two archetypes, two interpretations each, two VERY different outcomes.

From Sir James G. Frazer, The Golden Bough (this will be familiar to readers of Tom Robbins!):
If the high gods...are yet believed to die at last, it is not to be expected that a god who lodges in a frail tabernacle of flesh should escape the same fate, though we hear of African kings who have imagined themselves immortal by virtue of their sorceries. Now primitive peoples, as we have seen, sometimes believe that their safety and even that of the world is bound up with the life of one of these god-men or human incarnations of the divinity. Naturally, therefore, they take the utmost care of his life, out of a regard for their own. But no amount of care and precaution will prevent the man-god from growing old and feeble and at least dying. His worshippers have to lay their account with this sad necessity and to meet it as best they can. The danger is a fotmidable one; for if the course of nature is dependent on the man-god's life, what catastrophes may not be expected from the gradual enfeeblement of his powers and their final extinction in death? There is only one way of averting these dangers. The man-god must be killed as soon as he shows symptoms that his powers are beginning to fail, and his soul must be transferred to a vigorous successor before it has been seriously impaired by the threatened decay.
So it is the DUTY of the man-god's WORSHIPPERS to kill him at signs of weakness; what was two-Horcrux-battled Dumbledore if not enfeebeled?

The alternate, SCARY interpretation is, of course, that the man-god figure is not Dumbledore, but Voldemort, and I shudder to think of any outcome in which this were true.

to be conti8nued due to comment-length-limit.
kiki: (hp) ravenclaw geniusesbeyond_pale on July 6th, 2006 07:32 pm (UTC)
As to Percy, many, many people have tackled Sir Perceval of the Grail legend, the connection between Hogwarts Houses and tarot, and the tarot-pack and Voldemort's Horcruxes, but I don't think anyone's EVER fused the three, and that's what Jessie L. Weston did, in her 1920 book, From Ritual to Romance.
Four Features of the Grail Quest:
1. the object of the Quest is "the restoration to health and vigor of a King suffering from infirmity caused by wounds, sickness, or old age."
2. this "infirmity, for some mysterious and unexplained reason, reacts disaterously upon his kingdom, either by depriving it of vegetation, or exposing it to the ravages of war."
3. two variants of the Legend "definitely stated that the King will be restored to youthful vigor and beauty."
4. the hero is usually Gawian, sometimes accompanied by Perceval, and the quest involves bringing water to relieve a prolonged drought, "and render the land once more fertile."

The aim of the Quest is to benefit the King primarily, and the land only incidentally.

The goal of the quest, the holy Grail, corresponds to the Chalice [of the Tarot-pack].

72 tarot cards, include 22 'Keys.' Correspond to ordinary card suits.

1. Cup (Chalice or Goblet)—Hearts
2. Lance (Wand or sceptre)—Diamonds
3. Sword—Spades
4. Dish (Circles, or Pentangles, or a varying, mutable form)—Clubs

"Probably we shall never know, but of this one thing we may be sure, the Grail is a living force, it will never die; it may indeed sink out of sight, and, for centuries even, disappear from the field of literature, but it will riser to the surface again, and become once more a theme of vital inspiration...."
1. Cup—Hufflepuff
2. ???—Ravenclaw
3. Sword—Gryffindor (I don't think it is a Horcrux, but it's a RELIC)
4. Ring/Locket/Serpant—Slytherin

So there's an incredible Arthur<-->Percival<-->Grail/Chalice/Cup<-->Horcrux connection out there waiting to be exploited in very bad ways. And Voldemort as weakened king? YUCK!!!

The King of legend, the Grail Legend specifically, was Arthur, and the restoration to health of him, the land, and all things good and lovely!!!

weird, huh?

the date on that email is 03/23/06. So, I lookied in hp_essays, and sure enough, there's an essay on tarot and horcruxes. (I do tend to be "inspired" to write down my ideas very shortly after other people come dangerously close to articulating them, so I can get them in "first," which is why this recent flurry of horcrux-essays has been very good for me, and hopefully, will be good for you all, too!
Sea Isle Witch: Voldemort - Riddleseaislewitch on July 6th, 2006 08:02 pm (UTC)
Yes, I also believe one of the Horcruxes will turn out to be Ravenclaw's wand. The wand is the most widely recognised magical tool, as well as all of the cool symbolic things you wrote about above. If anyone has Ravenclaw's wand, it is Ollivander.

I hadn't thought about Godric's everyday sword, but he certainly wouldn't have used 'the Sword of Godric Gyffindor' for mundane purposes. (lol)

I enjoyed your essay.
Nobody tells me anythingkatiemorris on July 6th, 2006 10:13 pm (UTC)
Loved your essay. And I agree totally about the wand, especially, mayhap, the wand in Ollivander's window. The disappearance of Ollivander which is only briefly touched upon in HBP is a classic JKR trademark. Bring someone important into the story early on (PS and GoF) and have them disappear for the length of a couple of books so everyone has forgotten their existence and possible importance. And then a slgiht mention in one of the books, just to cover her arse where clues are concerned, and lo! In book seven, guess who plays an important part. Has to be Ollivander.

Very well and articulately put.

I, too, think something will be discovered in Godric's Hollow - can't think why Harry hasn't thought of visiting his parents' graves before now, except it has to be germane to the overall plot for his to make a big discovery there early on in book seven.

I'm planning to make a post with a list of things I think will re-appear - ie. magic flying carpets, the two-way mirror, et al. Haven't got round to it yet, but I definitely go with the Ollivander wand and tarot connecion theory. Great post. Thanks.
snape_in_lurve on July 7th, 2006 01:58 am (UTC)
Horcruces - hear hear! (I can't stand bastardised latin!) Thank you!

Enjoyed the essay v v much. Like another poster above, however, I do wonder about that Tiara in the Room of Requirement. Yet, the Tarot parallels are very compelling ... There is also the possibility that Nagini is one of the horcruces as well - if Dumbledork erm, I mean, Dumbledore is correct.

I really wonder how Rowling is going to pull this last book off - Harry Potter and the Road Trip from Hell ...
tunxeh on July 11th, 2006 06:33 pm (UTC)
Horcruces - hear hear! (I can't stand bastardised latin!) Thank you!

Oh please. It's a made-up word in a work written in English. I see no reason to avoid the English-form plural JKR made up and used in canon, simply because of some imagined resemblance to Latin. And since when is "hor" a meaningful Latin prefix?
snape_in_lurve on July 11th, 2006 06:53 pm (UTC)
My Goodness
There's no need to be stroppy and there is no need to attack another poster. Why you would take my little comment so personally and post such a rude comment is beyond me.
tunxeh on July 11th, 2006 07:11 pm (UTC)
Re: My Goodness
I have no intention of attacking posters personally. What I was attacking was the sentiment the poster expressed.
Elihice: THE ENDelihice on July 7th, 2006 03:15 am (UTC)
Extremely interesting essay (and thank you for correct use of latin!). I have the feeling you must be right, at least about the wand.
(Deleted comment)
snape_in_lurve on July 8th, 2006 12:18 am (UTC)
lurve your icon...
bearpaw9bearpaw9 on July 8th, 2006 02:02 am (UTC)
**how a Slytherin like Tommymort could have pulled it out of the Sorting Hat, which Dumbledore says only a true Gryffindor could have done...**

Wormtail is a Gryffindor, albeit a loathsome one, so this is one service he might have been able to do for Voldy.

I hate to say this but Hagrid could have been tricked by a trick no more complex than "bet you can't pull this sword out of this hat".
fayeval05 on July 8th, 2006 06:31 am (UTC)
Aside from the fact that I like this essay, "Tommy Moldyshorts" may be the funniest thing I have ever read in this essay forum. I like your speculation on Neville's wand, as it's one of those throw-away comments JK loves so much; I also like the idea of the tiara in the room of requirement, because Rowena was into the smart kids, and the tiara representing the head seems to fit as well. Gryffindor would be represented by a sword, the rowdy devil! Also, as said above, thank you for correct Latin. Thank you.
AloysiusWeasleyaloysiusweasley on July 10th, 2006 08:31 pm (UTC)
I haven't seen too much meantion of the idea that perhaps the orphange where Tom was born could be a Horcrux hiding spot - after all, if it's still standing, what better spot to hide something than among a bunch of ignorant Muggles? Perhaps a trophy-looking Cup on the mantle that no one really looks twice at? Or perhaps under the floorboards, a spot he used to hide other little "treasures" from his youth?
aldebaran1977aldebaran1977 on July 11th, 2006 07:07 pm (UTC)
Interesting theory! But what happenened to Nagini being a Horcrux?
I love your wand theory and the theory that there might be a Horcrux in the Chamber of Secrets, by the way.