In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part II, when Voldemort tries to kill Harry Potter, he unintentionally kills his own horcrux. My question is why didn't he know that Harry was also a horcrux? Because afterwards, Dumbledore tells Harry that he was a horcrux Voldemort never intended to make.

Still if Voldemort didn't intend to make, he would have known that his soul attached itself to Harry when he tried to kill him. Kindly let me know if I am missing something here?

  • Why would he have known that? He was vapor and barely alive at that point. Whatever he felt could be explained as the effects of the rebounded curse.
    – Walt
    Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 16:35
  • It was part of his soul that attached itself to Harry. I think there should be some kind of indication? When Harry comes close to any horcrux, his scar starts to hurt. Which is an indication that this object can be a horcrux, then how is it possible that the owner of all horcrux didn't identify Harry as a horcrux? Curious. Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 16:48
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    When Harry comes close to any horcrux, his scar starts to hurt. This was only in the movie, Harry had no connection to Voldemort's other horcruxes in the books. They probably only added that in because they'd already removed all the scenes in Half Blood Prince where Dumbledore tells Harry what the horcruxes are and how Voldemort got them. Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 17:04
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    I think the books actually established that there is a some kind of connection between the horcruxes. But the owner doesn't miss those pieces of his torn soul, and that's the point: he feels less and becomes less human the more times he does it to avoid a human death. So it makes sense that, like Dumbledore said, that piece was unmissed by Voldermort; the books also established that he doesn't feel their destruction either. They're not a part of him anymore, until he's killed and needs them as a last resort.
    – Walt
    Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 17:07
  • For how I understood it, creating an Horcrux is not something that happens "automatically" any time you kill someone: you need to perform an incantation. Hence, Voldemort knew that Harry was an Horcrux. But he had many others (he thought) so he could spare one.
    – algiogia
    Commented Nov 20, 2015 at 14:44

4 Answers 4


TLDR version: desensitization. It happened seven times already.

I don't know if it's the in-canon answer, but there's a phenomenon called desensitization, which is when something shocking or painful happens so many times you forget that you're feeling it. For example, some soldiers who have put up with a lot of violence will simply put up with it. Know it's there, recognize it, but shock factor is no longer there. It happens with physical pain too, as your brain pretty much tells the hurt limb "yes I know you're hurt shut up" if it's been hurting for so long.

I wouldn't know what a torn soul is like, but if it's been ripped seven times he can probably put up with it again. (is that the right number?) This theory is more logical if the pain associated with a torn soul is a constant ache... Which seems logical to me...

Okay, so he's used to the pain. But why didn't he notice the magic happen? Well... I don't know if there's a light show that happens when a horcrux is made, like with other spells or with the Dementor's Kiss when it shows the soul, but even if there is, it happened at the same time as the killer curse, so it would have been covered up well by that green light.

Oh and also he was distracted by DYING from Harry's mother's sacrifice.

So, he didn't notice that he made a horcrux. If he didn't know he made one, how would he know that the soul piece stuck to Harry in particular?

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    This is basically my interpretation of it too. Creating a Horcrux splits your soul in half, this means that by the time Voldemort went to murder Harry, Voldemort only had '3.125% of a soul'*, which then became 1.5625% of a soul in both Harry and Voldemort, I don't think he could notice that even if he didn't get distracted by having his body annihilated. * 50% his diary, 25% Gaunt ring, 12.5% Slytherin's Locket, 6.25% Hufflepuff's Cup, 3.125% Ravenclaw's Diadem Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 17:16
  • Wow, I never realized he's 98.5% heartless. That adds a new level of evil to him. Commented Dec 19, 2014 at 17:35
  • Is it really evil when he has hardly any soul left? :P Poor guy, Tracey ate his soul...
    – Luaan
    Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 10:23
  • I could not edit myself, but I think it should be in-canon ;)
    – Carsten S
    Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 12:09
  • "if it's been ripped seven times he can probably put up with it again. (is that the right number?)" No, I think it's five. Diary, ring, lock, cup, diadem. Nagini was after he came back. Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 18:32

A couple of things to clear up here.

  1. Harry was not a Horcrux
    At least not in the traditional sense. Voldemort never intended to make Harry a Horcrux, but basically the killing curse rebounded, split his soul (see point 2 for the why) and the soul piece just "latched-on" to the only living vessel - Harry.
    Dumbledore either didn't know any better, or he just simplified it (for Harry or for the readers) when he told Harry that he was a Horcrux.

  2. Voldemort did intend to make a Horcrux that night
    This may explain why his soul was ripped apart when the curse rebounded. There's some strange and unknown ritual to perform when creating a Horcrux, this involves:

    • Performing a spell or curse
    • Committing murder
    • Transferring the soul piece into a container of some sort

    The guess is that Voldemort had performed these rituals, but unfortunately got rudely interrupted by Harry's head rebounding the Avada Kedavra. The detached piece of soul had nowhere to go but to latch itself onto Harry.

  3. Voldemort didn't feel his Horcruxes being destroyed because he was so E-ville

    "I believe not. I believe that Voldemort is now so immersed in evil, and these crucial parts of himself have been detached for so long, he does not feel as we do. Perhaps at the point of death he might be aware of his loss . . ." - Prof. Dumbledore
    -Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince, Chapter Twenty-Three (Horcruxes).

No one, not even Voldemort himself knew what he was; let alone know that Harry was deeply connected to him in this way.


As an alternative theory, Voldemort couldn't figure out that Harry was in every sense of the word his horcrux, because Voldemort became Harry ' s horcrux when he took Harry's blood to recreate his body with Lily's protection.

Since this results in both of them as Horcrux for each other, while Voldemort was unaware of Harry's status, he knew there was some connection. This caused Dumbledore to charge Snape with trying to teach Harry how to block Voldy out of his head. Voldemort likely chalked it up to his taking Harry's blood, not Harry taking part of his soul. Since the magic was performed differently from the regular Horcrux spell, Voldemort had no reason to believe there was any soul sharing.

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    Voldemort was not Harry's horcrux in any sense of the word. At minimum, 1) Harry's soul would have to be split and 2) Harry would be able to be brought back to life if his original self died. Further there has to be an intention to create a horcrux, a spell, and a murder at the time of the horcrux. While there was a murder, it was not by Harry's doing, nor did harry intend to create a horcrux. While your theory is interesting, I'm pretty sure it would significantly change the story if Harry only had half a soul by the end of the series, but everything points toward that not being the case.
    – Adam Davis
    Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 12:22

According to J. K. Rowling in a Pottercast, there's a spell involved. I'm guessing Voldemort never got around to casting the spell (or if he did, it probably wasn't on Harry), so Voldemort probably never suspected Harry as a Horcrux.

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