In the Harry Potter world, we see many forms of continuation beyond death -- ghosts, portraits, and even newspaper clippings appear to retain some part of the personality of the original person. However, they all appear to be mere echoes of the original. Despite this, ghosts and portraits continue to learn and act as the original, and thus may be considered indistringuishable from the outside.

Enter the Resurrection Stone. This Hallow supposedly brings back the souls of the dead, allowing discussion (and tearful moments for our hero, who then... purposefully loses it in a forest).

However realistic these spirits are, they don't appear to have any special features that differentiate them from the other magical constructs, so how does one know that they are the actual, unique soul of the original person? Granted the nature of the Hallows -- being either unique artifacts of unique power, or merely super well enchanted items with standard powers, it would be fitting for the "spirits" to merely be duplicates, as in the case of paintings and ghosts.

Is there any proof (via word of god, most likely) that the Resurrection Stone actually brings back the actual spirit of the person called?



2 Answers 2


Yes, the stone works, just not as the maker/user would like.

Quote from DH:

Meanwhile, the second brother journeyed to his own home, where he lived alone. Here he took out the stone that had the power to recall the dead, and turned it thrice in his hand. To his amazement and his delight, the figure of the girl he had once hoped to marry, before her untimely death, appeared at once before him.

Yet she was sad and cold, separated from him as by a veil. Though she had returned to the mortal world, she did not truly belong there and suffered. Finally the second brother, driven mad with hopeless longing, killed himself so as truly to join her.

And so Death took the second brother for his own. - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter Twenty-One

It would seem from this text that a body and soul are brought back, however there is limited interaction in which the user of the stone can have with the person. Also, the once-dead person will want to return to the afterlife because that is where they belong and are happiest.

  • 1
    I don't think this covers if it's a miserable duplicate of the person's soul or not.
    – user40790
    Feb 8, 2016 at 20:09
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    @Axelrod To me the line "Though she had returned to the mortal world, she did not truly belong there and suffered" means it is not a duplicate. None of the ghosts, portraits, priori incantatem visions, or even the diary version of Tom Riddle are "suffering".
    – Skooba
    Feb 8, 2016 at 20:20

I think perhaps you need to adjust your definition of what it means to raise the dead. Does raise the dead mean pull spirits back into their bodies, cause spirits to possess other bodies, or does it mean just the ability to summon those desired dead to converse with. I am not even sure it summons at all so much as makes those spirits who are likely to be watching you anyway be visible and able to carry on conversation between you and they.

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    I don't think this is even covered in the books. I just want to know if the spirits summoned are the real deal.
    – user40790
    Feb 8, 2016 at 19:26
  • Dumbledore thought so, or he wouldn't have tried to put it on.
    – Escoce
    Feb 8, 2016 at 19:29
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    Dumbledore thought a lot of things. He also left a virtually identical portrait behind.
    – user40790
    Feb 8, 2016 at 19:37
  • Considering that dumbledore thought so and just about everything that dumbledore thought is cannon, then we can continue to draw the line to C and conclude that if a and b are true then so is C.
    – Escoce
    Feb 8, 2016 at 19:38