After all, Tom Riddle was just a wizard/human.

After his resurrection in the 4th book, does he become something else - like not human?

  • Since he has Horcruxes to keep him alive even if the new body gets killed, does it take a special way of killing him after destroying the Horcruxes?
  • Must he be killed with magic but not with non-magical weapons like modern day guns?
  • Is there a difference between magical killing ways and non-magical killing ways such as using a gun?

I've already read the related Q&As and they explain a lot but what I'm asking is "Voldemort's resurrection centered", not "using Muggle weapons centered."

EDIT: Including daggers, blades, swords, machine guns and any other weapon that can be included as non-magical weapons.

Thanks in advance.

  • Who uses magic for the resurrected Voldemort?? Well, ok, Voldemort himself does, but the last remaining soulpart of a horcrux user is not in itself within a horcrux. After all other soul fragments are destroyed the remaining body is mortal and can be killed in any way. As long as horcruxes still exist, the body can still be destroyed (happened the first time around after all, to what degree is debatable), but the soul remains Earth-bound and can resurrect.
    – BMWurm
    Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 15:43
  • I think you (unnecessarily) muddied the waters by picking a gun as an example, since guns are Muggle only technology. On the other hand, wizards have been shown to use daggers as weapons (Bellatrix kills Dobby with one), would that be sufficient to kill Voldemort? Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 15:46
  • @AnthonyGrist Yes, you are right. The question was not about using a gun to kill a wizard. I edited the Q.
    – burcu
    Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 15:51

3 Answers 3


In my opinion, Voldemort is the same person he was when he lost his body the first time round.

For one, Voldemort looked cosmetically like he did before, haunting Harrys dreams the way Harry remembered him to look. You can gather from this that he looked the same as when he fell, when he was a human who was missing pieces of his soul.

The thin man stepped out of the cauldron, staring at Harry . . . and Harry stared back into the face that had haunted his nightmares for three years. Whiter than a skull, with wide, livid scarlet eyes and a nose that was flat as a snakes with slits for nostrils . . . -GoF

Additionally, Ministry of Magic employees recognise him at the end of book 5, meaning he looks the same, and talks the same as before he was resurrected.

"I saw him, Mr. Fudge, I swear it was You-Know-Who, he grabbed a woman and Disapparated!" "I know, Williamson, I know, I saw him too!" gibbered Fudge -OoTP

Essentially killing someone in the HP universe means destroying the body of a soul. As voldemort had split his soul, he would not be able to successfully/peacefully enter the afterlife like Harry did once his soul had no more bodies/containers left in this world.

The fragment of soul inside it depends on its container, its enchanted body, for survival. It can’t exist without it." -DH

Killing Voldemort after he has no more horcruxes would be the same as killing any other wizard, he could get maimed by a dagger (grey lady death), bleed out (when Ron got splinched, he was losing blood and consciousness, which would lead to death), have his throat split (the original owner of the elder wand) or killed by any other methods that could hurt any regular human.

It's just worth noting that skilled wizards can heal injuries in ways we cannot imagine. Perhaps a gunshot wound could be healed by accio'ing out the bullet, blood replenishing potions, and a number of healing charms. Remember how Voldemort essentially gave Wormtail another hand after he cut it off with a dagger, which was painful and would have lead to him bleeding out.

Plus, you wouldn't need magic to kill, wizards are more than aware of guns, just not the science behind them. They know they can kill people, but just as muggles are ignorant of wizarding ways, wizards are ignorant of muggle ways. They don't use them because they have no need to.

While Muggles have been told that Black is carrying a gun (a kind of metal wand that Muggles use to kill each other) - POA

  • But how can you explain the red eyes and other physical differences defined both in the books and the movies? It explains the using non-magical weapons to kill but I'm still not clear about Voldemort being the same person.
    – burcu
    Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 16:27
  • @apollo Voldemort was a very talented wizard, he could have easily tried attempting to cast spells on himself to make him snakelike. Also, he found out how to fly (which was unheard of), and could easily have distorted his features experimenting on spells such as these. Additionally, you could say you lose features and become more monsterlike/snakelike as you split your soul, but no one has done it more than twice to compare him with. When he met Dumbledore to become a teacher, he was not fully snakelike how Harry normally remembered him, and still made horcruxes after. Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 16:31
  • Is this based on something you can give a reference or just based on your opinion about Voldemort's superb magical skills? Can you give a link that says Voldemort might have changed his appearance like the way you explained? 👍
    – burcu
    Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 16:33
  • @apollo This is just what I believe. Could also mention how he despised his muggle parentage, and once he had achieved what he needed, he not only was called Lord Voldemort, but embraced the snakelike Slytherin side. However, you could say before meeting Dumbledore he was turning snakelike, but after meeting Dumbledore and making another horcrux, he became more snakelike. Just my assumption that JK meant less soul = less human = more snakelike xD Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 16:40
  • 1
    @apollo could check these out: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/14866/… or scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/17431/… Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 16:44

TL;DR; Lord Voldemort abilities and powers remain the same, phisical aspect remains mostly the same by the choice of magic used.

First. We need to assume in the HP universe there's such a thing as a soul and that soul, and not the body, is the source of life and sentience.

In that regard (as it is in many religions, old and very old) the physical form is just a mortal embodiment for the immortal soul as we go trough this life.

As such, and specially as hinted by the archway gate at the departments of secrets on the Ministry of Magic, once the mortal body ceases to be, the soul continues its journey somewhere else which is not known to us. If the soul refuses to go on it stays as a ghost without a material body or attachment.

The creation of a horcrux involves two steps:

  1. Splitting your soul
  2. Attaching the extra piece of soul to a material object and magically bonding it with the material world.

Now, there's an assumption (shared with many religions) that a soul is not only immortal but also infinite, meaning splitting your soul in two will still let you have two whole infinite souls. But now both of them would be tied to the material world so, if the material embodyment is no more, your sould does not move on but stays trapped in the horcrux with limited ability to interact with the world but with the possibility of inhabiting a new "host".

Thus, to go back to your question, Voldemort after being resurrected was brought back to a magically created body which was as closed as he could get to his original body. Some things were changed, some due to the use of dark magic to recreate the body, but the essence of his appearance was the same (he was still recognized by the ministry officials). It is never explained why but one is to assume the magic required to get the soul back to the body is limited and can't get you back to just any body. If diary tom would have succeded he would have come back as a young tom... So we must assume is the magic creating a body that definws the appearance.

Regarding his powers and abilities the same applies, his body can now resist harrys touch, but that is just magic to make his body resistant. All the rest remains the same as the horcrux just allowed his sould to remain on this world and to, eventually, go back to a phisical body.

As a side note, the damage to the soul comes not from the actual splitting but from the evil act that is required to split the soul. The act is so evil the soul itself is split in two, and after doing it seven times, the soul was so corrupted and deformed that it has the form we see at the end of book 7.

Defining whether he is human or not is difficult. If you go with a definition based on his soul he may not be, if your definition is purely phisical then he is, or at least he is as human as Moody is, who has half of his body replaced or enhanced by magic.


The potion only recreated the Dark Lord’s old strength and body.

When the Dark Lord explains the potion he used to create his new body, he says that he’d settle for getting his old body and old strength back before again chasing immortal life, and he knew the Dark magic that would allow him to achieve this - the potion he used that night.

“But I was willing to embrace mortal life again, before chasing immortal. I set my sights lower … I would settle for my old body back again, and my old strength.

‘I knew that to achieve this – it is an old piece of Dark Magic, the potion that revived me tonight – I would need three powerful ingredients.”
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 33 (The Death Eaters)

Therefore, after doing it the Dark Lord would only be as strong as he had been originally. His body was made no stronger than it had been when he lost it after his curse rebounded. This also would mean that he’d be just as susceptible to being killed in a nonmagical way as he was before. Unless he had somehow made himself immune to being killed in a nonmagical way before using the potion (which there’s no evidence he did) he’d still be vulnerable to nonmagical causes of death. Further confirmation of this is that Dumbledore, who knew all of the details of the Dark Lord’s return to a body, said he’d be rendered mortal if all of his Horcruxes were destroyed.

“Yes, I think so,’ said Dumbledore. ‘Without his Horcruxes, Voldemort will be a mortal man with a maimed and diminished soul. Never forget, though, that while his soul may be damaged beyond repair, his brain and his magical power remain intact. It will take uncommon skill and power to kill a wizard like Voldemort, even without his Horcruxes.”
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 23 (Horcruxes)

Though Dumbledore says it would take an uncommonly skilled wizard to kill the Dark Lord, that’s because the Dark Lord would still have his brain and magical powers, so would be difficult to defeat. He doesn’t mention the Dark Lord only being killable by magic, though he does seem to expect that killing him will be done by using magic. That’s most likely because typically wizards fight with their wands, and it’d be trivially easy for him to shield himself from knives and bullets.

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