In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Voldemort is trying to return using the Sorcerer’s Stone. In The Chamber of Secrets, he does use a Horcrux, but the idea seems more about eliminating mud bloods than reviving Voldemort. In The Goblet of Fire, he does return, but not through the use of a Horcrux. It's not really explained exactly how he came back, other than the spell we see used. In any event, Voldemort went to great length to create these Horcruxes for use in this exact circumstance. Why were these not his immediate first choices for ways to return? Why did he wait so long? I think the obvious answers are that is what served the story and/or JKR was figuring out the mythology as she went, but is there a good in universe explanation?

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    A horcrux tethers his soul to the world it's not the mechanism for returning, hence using different methods to regain his body Jan 22, 2016 at 7:58
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    Voldemort doesn't use a Horcrux in the Chamber of Secrets, Lucius Malfoy does. He gets punished later when Voldemort finds out
    – user46509
    Jan 22, 2016 at 8:28

2 Answers 2


The Horcruxes could not be used to bring him back to life. That's why they had no role in his regaining bodily form in The Goblet of Fire. The Horcruxes only ensured he could not be killed as long as at least one Horcrux survived.

The reason Voldemort made multiple Horcruxes was just as back up. So even if one Horcrux was destroyed, there would be others to keep him alive. Very few wizards even made Horcruxes. Those that did did not make multiple Horcruxes. Voldemort is said to be the first one to push the boundaries this far.

Of course, his diary Horcrux was made to be used to open the Chamber of Secrets at some time in the future (that's how Dumbledore figured out the existence of multiple Horcruxes). Voldemort gave the diary to Lucius Malfoy for safe-keeping. Lucius caused the chamber to be opened in the second book without Voldemort's permission. The Riddle we see is a different being, not the same Voldemort who attempted to retrieve the Philosopher's (Sorcerer's) Stone.

Similarly, in The Deathly Hallows, the locket Horcrux affects Ron's thoughts when he possesses it. It even puts up a fight when Harry and then Ron attempt to kill it. But the Voldemort controlling the world is not aware of the locket doing any of this. This proves that the Horcruxes, while keeping Voldemort alive, exhibit themselves as Voldemort itself, but unaware of the existence of other soul fragments and of other events elsewhere.


Horcruxes tether the soul to life, they can’t create it a new body.

A Horcrux works by keeping a piece of soul in an object, which tethers the rest of the soul to life if the body is killed, because it can’t die while part of it still remains earthbound and intact. At the point that the body is killed, the Horcrux keeps the soul alive, and it exists in spirit form.

“Well, you split your soul, you see,’ said Slughorn, ‘and hide part of it in an object outside the body. Then, even if one’s body is attacked or destroyed, one cannot die, for part of the soul remains earthbound and undamaged. But, of course, existence in such a form …”
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 23 (Horcruxes)

Having a Horcrux, or more than one, doesn’t in itself ensure the return to a body. They just stop the soul from being killed along with the body as usually happens. Though his Horcruxes stopped him from dying, the Dark Lord knew that he’d need a separate bit of magic to restore himself to a body.

“I remember only forcing myself, sleeplessly, endlessly, second by second, to exist … I settled in a faraway place, in a forest, and I waited … surely, one of my faithful Death Eaters would try and find me … one of them would come and perform the magic I could not, to restore me to a body … but I waited in vain …”
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 33 (The Death Eaters)

The Dark Lord doesn’t use the Horcruxes to restore himself to a body, he uses them to tether his soul to life, then he’d create a new body for it by other means. The Horcruxes themselves wouldn’t be aware of it or able to do anything to restore him to a new one if the Dark Lord’s body is killed.


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