How to Build a Better Horcrux

The question – the critique, really – of what would make the best Horcrux occasionally pops up all over the Internet. It starts with the basics:

“Voldemort’s so stupid – why did he pick something with his name on it?”

“Voldemort’s so stupid – why did he pick objects that people could logically deduce might be his little soul boxes?”

“Voldemort’s so stupid – why is he protecting the source of his immortality in something that is mortal and with a shorter life span than humans?”

Make no mistake. Voldemort is kind of an idiot, and any respect we had for the creepy 17-year-old douche bag that went around commanding giant serpents, killing girls and family members, and completely getting away with everything despite Dumbledore’s suspicions went away in Goblet of Fire. Yeah, he’s powerful, but who spends a year masterminding ways for a (at this point, still capable of independent motivation and critical thinking) 14-year-old to win a complex series of challenges rather than just having him kidnapped by an invisible and perfectly placed minion at the beginning of the book?

A moron, that’s who. But that’s besides the point. The point is he chose his soul Tupperware badly, and the whole Internet not only knows it but has better ideas. They typically range from an unidentifiable pebble to anonymous objects buried somewhere in a place like Argentina or Siberia to some sort of equivalent to the One Ring. Which requires a very specific method of destruction and, taken literally, takes traveling to a fictitious alternate dimension to destroy. If magic was real, this might be totally possible.

Then the ideas get increasing specific. Like using famous and well-protected Muggle artifacts (because who would even plausibly consider Voldemort doing that? Certainly not our benevolent and heroic but still ridiculously dismissive towards Muggle culture protagonists). Or using man-made objects we sent off into space. The sixties and seventies are the decades that Voldemort was the most 'Horcruxily active', and we certainly haven’t progressed in space tech enough to chase after specific things speeding out of the far reaches of the solar system.

We’ve probably all seen this at some point:

So the collective HP fan mind of the Internet isn’t doing too badly for itself – though this collective whole seems to find some sort of perverse happiness in becoming the antagonist... and winning. You’ve got objects too far to reach (since apparently ‘Accio’ is a summoning spell not capable of summoning much), anonymity, pop culture references, and removed culture. Not to mention pitting Harry and his cohorts against the pissed off might of the FBI, which is probably still too angry that Nicholas Cage managed to get away with shenanigans to let three teenagers do the same.

Sometimes theories will get even more recursive and abstract. Can you make a soul a Horcrux? Because what decent protagonist could kill someone completely removed from the situation? And that’s not even getting into the potential religious ramifications of some sort of Dante’s Inferno/Greek mythology/HP mix-up where wizards have to remove a Horcrux from the soul of someone already dead and thereby sort of completely inaccessible.

Can you make a concept a Horcrux? What about a Phoenix or something indestructible?

And I don’t think these are the answers. All of them have some sort of metaphysical wiggle room attached to them, and someone could create a loophole – however far-fetched – to make it possible for the good guys to win.

There’s really only one way to one-up Voldemort and create a Horcrux that Harry Potter could never destroy.

What does Voldemort want to do? Rule the world. What does Harry want to do? Save the world by killing Voldemort. What’s the only way for Harry to save the world?

Destroy it.

Now that’s a plan worthy of the psychotic but genius bad guy we all know Voldemort to be. You knew when he had to face Harry himself in the first book that he was a possessive, vengeful asshole, and he proved it in the fourth when he screamed that Harry was his to kill. This is exactly what a better Voldemort would do, because if he can’t have the world, no one gets to.

You could keep going with this theme. The Sun, a black hole, the universe in general. But that last one in particular is a bit of a stretch, and I think there are probably a few proximity rules when it comes to magic that rule out objects millions of miles away. And if Voldemort really thought about, he probably wouldn’t want to outlive the Earth when the Sun expands and devours it.

At this point, it’s game over. Voldemort doesn’t even have to protect his Horcrux. He knows full well that there’s no way the good guys could ever destroy Earth, and the only thing he has to watch out for his future psycho bad guys who want to go out with a bang.

Well, there would be one good way for the heroes to win:


Thoughts? Additions? An urge to recommend this post on StumbleUpon? Are there other ways for super villains to win the day only to be defeated by a surprise use of burgeoning-but-not-up-to-where-it-should-be space technology?

Rachel is the co-founder of How To Survive Alien Invasion Novels, and spends her time writing, studying, and reading what would probably be considered far too many books. Connect with her and Rusty on Twitter and Facebook, and click here to read more of her articles about alien theories and how to survive alien invasion novels.