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For 14 years Voldemort was less than a ghost and trying to constantly make his return, but for around 11 he was completely incapacitated.

"I was less than a spirit, less than the meanest ghost...but still, I was alive."

His followers thought he was dead, and everything was chilled in the Wizarding World.

Why couldn't Harry along with all of the Aurors, Order of the Phoenix, DA, veterans, and friends just go to "kill" Voldemort with the Horcruxes undestroyed and run around destroying the Horcruxes without someone trying to kill them? Voldemort was very weak when he was incapacitated so Harry and the rest of the good side could have went around destroying Horcruxes, with the sword of Gryffindor. Voldemort wouldn't be able to do anything about it.

Nevertheless, I was as powerless as the weakest creature alive, and without the means to help myself . . . for I had no body, and every spell that might have helped me required the use of a wand. . . .

There were very capable wizards, so getting rid of Voldemort couldn't have been too hard, so why couldn't they incapacitate him, tell a large amount of trustworthy people, and hunt down the Horcruxes? Dumbledore showed in the OotP that he can match and defeat Voldemort. After all Dumbledore is the only one Voldemort ever feared and there were an incredible amount of capable and strong wizards out there.

Hagrid: "They say Dumbledore was the only one he ever feared."

Even if Harry had to do it alone, it would have been much easier with shelter, food, and time. Yes Voldemort wouldn't have died immediately, but in the end it would have been easier.

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    Removed comments as things had stopped being nice. Be nice. – AncientSwordRage Jan 25 '16 at 19:08
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    @AncientSwordRage Thank you. I appreciate you keeping this civilized. – Jack Jan 25 '16 at 19:11
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    Why the down vote? – Jack Jan 26 '16 at 8:07
  • @Jack there are actually two down votes. I up voted to counter them a bit. You might disagree with the question, but it's definitely a reasonable one! – Alfredo Hernández Jan 26 '16 at 10:54
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    I understand I'm just trying to make my question qualify so people don't down vote it – Jack Jan 26 '16 at 14:12
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Everyone thought Voldemort was dead until Philosophers Stone, and even then no one really believed Harry.

Still no-one believed he was back when the death eaters attacked the Quidditch World Cup in Goblet of Fire or when Harry told everyone he was back following

Cedric Diggory's murder.

It wasn't until the events in the Ministry of Magic during the Order of the Phoenix that Voldemort's return was taken seriously by the Ministry.

Until this point there would be no help from the Aurors. Tie into this the fact that the Ministry seems to be compromised, by people such as Dolores Umbridge.

Eventually the Ministry falls to Voldemort during Deathly Hallows after this the Ministry would not be any help.

The Order of the Phoenix was re-established following events in The Goblet of Fire when at least Dumbledore and Sirius Black took Voldemort's return seriously.

No one knew about the Horcruxes until Half Blood Prince

Harry: "So if all of his Horcruxes are destroyed, Voldemort could be killed?" Dumbledore: "Yes, I think so. Without his Horcruxes, Voldemort will be a mortal man with a maimed and diminished soul."

Dumbledore probably had an inkling about Horcruxes following the events of Chamber of Secrets.

This gives:

  • 1 year between the event's at the end of Goblet of Fire and the fight between TOotP and Voldemort's Death Eaters, where TOotP were dealt a big blow and weakened.
  • Another 1 year between The Order of the Phoenix and The Half Blood Prince during which the existence of Horcruxes is confirmed and TOotP is dealt another, even bigger blow.
  • Then 1 more year before all the Horcruxes are destroyed and Voldemort killed. At the cost of a lot of TOotP

So during the 3 years that the existence of Voldemort is known/accepted

  1. Most of the first 2 years the Horcruxes are not known about and are therefore not in play.
  2. They are dealing with Voldemort directly as you suggest and 2 of the strongest wizards in TOotP are killed.
  3. Once the Horcruxes are known about and have to be destroyed, no loss of life for TOotP is caused whilst trying to get and destroy any of them

    unless you count Dumbledore's suicide by Snape following contamination by the locket.

  4. And in the third year a large number of strong wizards within TOotP are killed, in direct conflict with Voldemort and his Death Eaters.

This shows that for 2/3rds of the fight with Voldemort the only plan would be dealing with Voldemort directly as the Horcruxes are not known about.

The high death toll to TOotP also suggests that the plan of killing Voldemort is far riskier than going after the Horcruxes and with Horcruxes still in play, if Voldemort comes back before they can all be destroyed, there will be far less wizards of power left to resist him.


Following changes to the question I have added the following timeline of events in an attempt to answer the questions assumption that it would be easier to kill Voldemort before destroying the Horcruxes.

24th June 1995 - Voldemort regains his body, Harry escapes and tells the world. Cornelius Fudge refuses to believe this is the case. Dumbledore reinstates the Order of the Phoenix

17th & 18th June 1996 - Battle at the Ministry of Magic between The Order of the Phoenix and Death Eaters,

the death of Sirius Black,

and the Ministry officially recognise the return of Voldemort. However by this point many in the Ministry including numerous Aurors are already on the Dark Lord's side.

20th April 1997 - Harry Potter using Felix Felicis gains the memory of Tom Riddle and Professor Slughorn discussing Horcruxes.

22nd April 1997 - Harry and Dumbledore view the memory and discover that Voldemort has multiple Horcruxes.

The hunt for the Horcruxes then begins

30th June 1997

Severus Snape kills Dumbledore - NOT Horcrux Hunt related

27th July 1997 - The battle of the Seven Potters

Mad-Eye Moody dies - NOT Horcrux Hunt related

1st August 1997 - Voldemort takes control of the Ministry of Magic

28th December 1997 - Salazar Slytherin's locket destroyed

March 1998

Dobby dies - NOT Horcrux Hunt related

2nd May 1998 - The Battle of Hogwarts

  • Helga Hufflepuff's Cup destroyed
  • Rowena Ravenclaw's Diadem destroyed
  • Nagini Destroyed
  • Voldemort's Soul in Harry Destroyed

    Voldemort Killed

Severus Snape, Fred Weasley, Nymphadora Tonks and Remus Lupin all killed - All NOT Horcrux Hunt related (also 50 unnamed fallen wizards)

This gives a total of 0 deaths due to the Horcrux hunt against 8 named and pretty powerful wizards (including, arguably the most powerful of them all), plus 50 others all due to direct conflicts with Voldemort or his Death Eaters.

For 1 year and 9 months of Voldemort being back the Horcruxes were not known about, the only thing the Order of the Phoenix could do was battle Voldemort directly during this time. The Order was the strongest it would ever be during this time and it failed to kill Voldemort.

For the last 11 months the Horcruxes were known about. They were all destroyed during this time.

Hunting Horcruxes sure looks like the easier option to me.

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    @Jack He was "disabled for such a long time" when he originally failed to kill Harry as a baby because almost everybody - including the Death Eaters - thought he was completely gone. He had to wait for Quirrell to stumble across him in Albania, then another two years for Wormtail to find him when Quirrell died, before he could regain his body. With all of his Death Eaters knowing that he's alive, and more importantly where he is, he probably could have come back in a matter of days. – Anthony Grist Jan 25 '16 at 16:25
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    +1. At the end of the day it's all summarised in the fact that, given that a lot of people will probably die fighting/killing Voldemort, it's a better idea to do that once he's mortal; at least the deaths wouldn't be in vaIn. – Alfredo Hernández Jan 25 '16 at 16:27
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    @AlfredoHernández you have said what i was trying to say in a far more elegant manner :) – Cearon O'Flynn Jan 25 '16 at 16:28
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    I understand. Thanks everyone! – Jack Jan 25 '16 at 19:13
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    Note: The Ministry falls during DH, not HBP. – DavidS Jan 26 '16 at 14:19
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There are several problems here:

  1. Whereabouts of Voldemort was unknown. Even those who believed that he survived couldn't track him.

  2. Nobody knew how Voldemort survived. Dumbledore got idea of Horcruxes only after Harry handed over Tom Riddle's destroyed diary to him in the end 2nd year i.e. 12 years after Voldemort lost his body.

  3. Dumbledore managed to find number of Horcruxes Voldemort created only after Voldemort had regained his full body. Even at that time, Dumbledore didn't know names of all Horcruxes, let alone their whereabouts.

  4. Destroying Horcruxes wasn't easy. That's the reason Dumbledore lost his life (he had got a curse in hand because of Gaunt's ring which was going to kill him. That's why he chose to die by the hands of Snape). Dumbledore got the idea of using Gryffindor's Sword only after seeing the destruction of Tom Riddle's diary by the venom of Basilisk (Gryffindor's Sword had absorbed the venom of Basilisk, that's why it was able to destroy a Horcrux).

  5. Other than Voldemort, only four other people knew about Horcruxes: Dumbledore, Harry, Ron, Hermione. Dumbledore had to be extra cautious, otherwise Voldemort could have increased the security of his Horcruxes.

  • Not to mention, at least one Horcrux was in the care of a Death Eater and guarded by goblins. It wouldn't have been that easy to destroy that Horcrux. – scott Apr 12 '18 at 19:57

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