In Chamber of Secrets, the basilisk released from the chamber ends up petrifying a number of people at Hogwarts. It should be noted that the petrification was treatable, which seems to imply that it didn't cause death.

Is it known what would happen if, let's say, Dumbledore and Harry combined their knowledge and abilities to lure Voldemort into viewing a reflection of a basilisk, if Voldemort's horcruxes would protect him in any way or if they would be bypassed?

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    The students were petrified due to seeing only reflections of the basilisk. Seeing it straight on was supposed to cause death.
    – user40790
    Mar 30, 2016 at 17:56
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    As I'd asked in Anoplexian's question Would a Basilisk kill a freshly “killed” Voldemort? Tom Riddle declares himself as a "memory", and isn't affected by the basilisk, how do this have an effect on Voldemort overall? Since his diary is one of the Horcruxes.
    – Scanner
    Mar 30, 2016 at 17:57
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    From COS "the Basilisk has a murderous stare, and all who are fixed with the beam of its eye shall suffer instant death". Presumably no one is exempt from this??
    – Scanner
    Mar 30, 2016 at 18:00
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    @Scanner Killing a body and killing a spirit are two very different things. The ghosts were affected, but not killed, by directly looking at the basilisk.
    – user40790
    Mar 30, 2016 at 18:01
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    @Scanner It appeared that no one was exempt, but the basilisk wouldn't try to kill the heir. Since it required direct eye contact, that's easy enough. Now to this question... I don't recall Voldemort showing any extra human abilities after his revival, but can't recall him so much as catching a cold.
    – user40790
    Mar 30, 2016 at 18:14

1 Answer 1



Horcruxes aren't wards to stop one from dying; they encase a part of one's soul to enable one to continue to exist after being "killed".

A Horcrux is the word used for an object in which a person has concealed part of their soul. (...) 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)

A Basilisk would therefore have the same effect on Voldemort as on anyone else. Namely, killing with a direct gaze, and petrifying with a reflection.

The only exception would be for those not considered alive, such as ghosts. And while it's possible that Voldemort's post-GoF body wasn't considered alive, I'm pretty sure the implication is that it was fully alive.

  • So... if Voldemort was to be petrified, the threat he represents would effectively be nullified? Well, at least in the short-term?
    – Ellesedil
    Mar 30, 2016 at 19:42
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    @Ellesedil - Until he gets a Mandrake Restorative Draught, which is several degrees simpler than the Dark Magic he would need if he starred directly at the Basilisk.
    – ibid
    Mar 30, 2016 at 20:44
  • +1 I fully agree with this answer, I can't believe more people haven't upvoted. Voldys body is tethered to life AFTER death ONLY, but can still be stunned, killed, petrified, transfigured ect. This should be the accepted answer
    – Matt
    Sep 4, 2017 at 17:43

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