It seems to me that none of his followers, even the closest and most fervent ones, know about his Horcruxes. It makes sense; you don't reveal your greatest weakness to those you command. And of course, his enemies don't know either. But he did leave a diary to be found and possess someone in order to open the Chamber of Secrets.

Surely he must have known that it would be noticed and that it would be known that the diary was responsible. He even wanted people to know it was really him behind all this, so that people would know he was the heir.

Since it's such an obvious proof of a Horcrux and since Voldemort so proudly claims to have conquered death, it was not difficult to connect the dots and understand that's what he meant by being immortal. And sure enough, Dumbledore did guess exactly that. That's what eventually brought Voldemort to his end.

That seems like a really stupid way to give away such a vital piece of information. So, why?

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    I want to say he didn't simply reveal it, as not a great many people knew about Horcruxes to begin with. That does seem thin, though.
    – Radhil
    Commented Jul 8, 2016 at 13:25
  • 16
    Pride comes before the fall?
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Jul 8, 2016 at 13:31
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    Horcruxes are such an obscure topic he probably thought no one would know enough to connect the dots. And even if they did, he also thought his horcruxes were well placed enough no one would be able to find them all. Commented Jul 8, 2016 at 13:43
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    remember that Hermione could not find any information in the library re: Horcruxes save one entry in the Restricted section that basically said "even for this book that covers some really dark stuff - we aren't touching that". In his pride, Riddle may well indeed have thought only he knew about such things at that point (except for one or two high level scholars) and certainly nobody knew the extent to which he employed them.
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Jul 8, 2016 at 13:46
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    @NKCampbell - That's because Dumbletwit took all the books about Horcruxes out of the library and stashed them in his office.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jul 8, 2016 at 13:53

3 Answers 3


He did not

Few people even knew of Horcruxes. The subject was banned at Hogwarts by Tom Riddle's time, and not many books in the library went into any detail.

"No...well...you'd be hard-pushed to find a book at Hogwarts that'll give you details on Horcruxes, Tom, that's very Dark stuff, very Dark indeed," said Slughorn.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Once Dumbledore became Headmaster, of course, all books on Horcruxes were removed from the library.

Most ordinary witches and wizards know little of the Dark Arts to begin with, and then usually only what they learned in Defense Against the Dark Arts. If Horcruxes were not taught, it would be a rare few extraordinary individuals who would be aware of their existence, let alone their nature.

Further, that the diary was a Horcrux would have been obvious only to a true expert on Horcruxes, of which there may only have been a handful. There are plenty of other books that can control those who read them in some sense or another.

“You’d be surprised,” said Ron, who was looking apprehensively at the book. “Some of the books the Ministry’s confiscated — Dad’s told me — there was one that burned your eyes out. And everyone who read Sonnets of a Sorcerer spoke in limericks for the rest of their lives. And some old witch in Bath had a book that you could never stop reading! You just had to wander around with your nose in it, trying to do everything one-handed. And —”

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

So even if someone knew about the diary, they would probably not know it was a Horcrux.

The Ministry (and Dumbledore) would have found out about the diary had Voldemort been successful in using it, but they would most likely have believed what Lucius Malfoy did:

"I understand that Voldemort had told him the diary would cause the Chamber of Secrets to reopen because it was cleverly enchanted."

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Indeed, we must assume that they story Riddle told Harry (that the diary was imbued with Voldemort's memories) was plausible enough to people at the Ministry, etc., since Harry spread it far and wide after his second year, and the Ministry apparently never figured out Voldemort's secret.

There is an additional, rather important fact: Voldemort did not want to use the diary. When Lily's spell deflected his own curse back on him, Voldemort was at the height of his power. Even then, he had not ordered Lucius to plant the diary. He was waiting. Why? Perhaps he worried that, in spite of the paucity of experts in Horcruxes, someone could still make the connection, and so he wanted those most likely to guess his secret (Dumbledore and Slughorn) to be dead before he used the diary. Perhaps he simply wanted to wait until he had gained total control over the Ministry, so that if someone deduced that he was using Horcruxes for immortality it would not be so important. In any case, this is evidence that he perceived some risks inherent in using the diary.

It is even possible that, given that Voldemort had made the Horcrux when he was young, that he had originally planned to use it, but thought better of it (though the risk of discovery was minimal).

As an additional point, he did not tell any of his followers that he had made Horcruxes. He bragged about his general immortality and invincibility, but without giving any details.

“I, who have gone further than anybody along the path that leads to immortality. You know my goal — to conquer death. And now, I was tested, and it appeared that one or more of my experiments had worked . . . for I had not been killed, though the curse should have done it.”

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

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    Additionally, Dumbledore is only able to confirm that Voldemort was creating Horcruxes by having Harry convince Slughorn to give him the memory of Voldemort asking about them at the Slug Club. Without that, Dumbledore only merely suspects, which seems to indicate that there are other ways to conquer death (see Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone for an alternative example).
    – Ellesedil
    Commented Jul 8, 2016 at 16:48
  • I would like to add my fan theory that Voldemort was probably intriegued by the idea of a piece of him "living" as valued treasure in the house of a great ancient wizard family Commented Jul 8, 2016 at 17:02
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    The key point here is that Voldemort didn't want anyone else to discover the diary at all. It was recklessness on Lucius Malfoy's part to give it away. He only did so because he thought that Voldemort was gone and indeed lived to regret it. Commented Jul 8, 2016 at 21:41
  • @Ellesedil By the time Dumbedore is convincing Harry to get Slughorns memory, he had already destroyed the horcrux in the ring of resurection. Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 13:31
  • @TomášZato That could have been reactionary to the curse that the ring inflicted on him when he put it on.
    – Ellesedil
    Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 16:37

He did not simply reveal he made horcruxes.

Voldemort is a person very proud of himself, and his ancestry. Everyone are below him. So he just boasts in front of his death eaters that he "conquered death". How he managed that is not mentioned by him directly.

Here the two things you are linking 1. Voldemort claiming to conquer death 2. Dumbledore understanding actual meaning

It is for "US" readers to link to understand the story.

Voldemort never thought Harry would listen and escape from graveyard to convey every bit of information he witnessed there to anyone, least of all Dumbledore.



Voldemort is a broken soul. Cruel, evil, apathetic, condescending and what not, but broken. Hogwarts was part of the wizarding world that he so admired. Voldemort wanted hogwarts at any cost. It is said in The Deathly Hallows that he discovered more of the school's secrets than anyone.

However, he could never truly conquer Hogwarts, mostly due to Dumbledore and then, later, Harry. I theorize that he left not one, but two Horcruxes in an attempt to rule the school. He did not care if he was putting his life at risk. In fact, I'm not sure he believed he was doing so. He did not believe that anybody could discover that he survived through Horcruxes or multiple of them.

To him the Book was worth the risk.

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