In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince movie, Dumbledore asks Harry to retrieve the actual memory from professor Slughorn. By seeing the actual memory, Dumbledore became aware of the Horcruxes.

But in the beginning of the movie, we can see that Dumbledore's one hand had become black and burnt because of the curse he got from destroying Gaunt's Ring. Then we can assume that he knew about Horcruxes from the beginning of the movie. Then why did he wanted Harry to retrieve the memory so urgently?

  • See - scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/21679/…
    – Paulie_D
    Mar 21, 2018 at 13:19
  • 2
    @Paulie_D .... Unfortrunately I think this isn't relevant to the movie, I think the movie script is quite different from the book in this area and doesn't mention the name of the magic in the edited memory.
    – iandotkelly
    Mar 21, 2018 at 13:46

2 Answers 2


You're quite right: Dumbledore already knew that Voldemort had created Horcruxes. Your confusion may stem from the fact that the word "Horcrux" isn't mentioned in the altered memory, whereas it is in the book. But there's no question that he knew about them.

What Dumbledore didn't know - and what he suspected Slughorn knew - was how many Horcruxes Voldemort had made. Two had been destroyed by that point - Tom Riddle's diary and Marvolo Gaunt's ring - but Dumbledore didn't know how many others were still out there, and the sooner he found out, the sooner he and/or Harry could set about tracking them down and destroying them.

In the original, unaltered memory, Tom Riddle raises the possibility of splitting his soul into seven pieces - one inside himself, and six inside Horcruxes. This is indeed the exact number of Horcruxes he made (discounting Harry, who he made accidentally and is arguably not a Horcrux anyway).


The movie diverges quite significantly from the book in this area. The movie script of the first (edited) memory contains this dialog:

Tom Riddle: I was in the library the other night. In the restricted section. And I picked something rather odd about this rare magic. I thought perhaps, you could illuminate me. It's called, as I understand it, Hor...

Horace Slughorn: I beg your pardon? I don't know anything about such things and if I did, I wouldn't tell you. Now get out of here at once and don't let me ever catch you mentioning them again!

So its clear from the script that in the tampered memory that Dumbledore originally has, Riddle doesn't mention Horcruxes explicitly (though the 'Hor...' surely would give Dumbledore a clue).

So I believe the script writers were trying to set up the situation where Harry is used to discover both the name and the magic used and reveal the extent that it was used.

I mentioned all that because I think it makes your question about the ring relevant. If Dumbledore discovered and destroyed a Horcrux already, why does he need the memory?

It is possible that Dumbledore only knows for sure that the ring contained a powerful curse. He may have suspected that it was a Horcrux, but needed the memory to confirm this. The real memory may also contain important additional information that they could use to defeat Voldemort, so he had additional good reasons to try to obtain it from Slughorn.

  • What is the difference between this site and sci-fi site?
    – iamgroot
    Mar 22, 2018 at 11:15
  • @AsifIqubal ..... they cover Science Fiction and Fantasy books, comics, movies and tv, We just cover Movies and TV but we cover more than Science Fiction and Fantasy. So we overlap on SciFi & Fantasy Movies and TV
    – iandotkelly
    Mar 22, 2018 at 11:46
  • So Harry Potter related question can be presented in both sites.
    – iamgroot
    Mar 22, 2018 at 13:27
  • @AsifIqubal ... Not exactly, the sites do have different scopes. Harry Potter movie story questions can be presented in both sites. You could ask a question about the books there, you could ask a question about the special effects, actors and sets here.
    – iandotkelly
    Mar 22, 2018 at 13:47

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