In Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince, Albus Dumbledore is shown to wear the Gaunt ring that is cursed; as an effect of which he dies in a few months as is mentioned.

The trio wear the locket until they find a way to destroy it. Why didn't it prove fatal for them?

  • 2
    Because the ring had an extra curse and the locket didn't
    – user13267
    Jul 10, 2017 at 6:29
  • I've changed the title to something a little more specific. Feel free to edit it if you'd prefer a different wording. Jul 10, 2017 at 6:46
  • 1
    I was always surprised that the trio assumed that the locket would be safe to wear around their necks, without a second thought.
    – user85637
    Jul 10, 2017 at 7:32

2 Answers 2


Consider that the locket had a lot of physical protection, the secret entrance, the lake full of monsters and the requirement to drink poison to get it. As far as we know one person died in the course of stealing it. So while you can always argue that Voldemort could have added more layers of protection even he has to stop somewhere.

Equally Harry et al knew that the locket had been in circulation for a while since it was stolen from the cave, they eventually got it from Umbridge who had been wearing it for a while so it was pretty safe to assume that it didn't have a similar lethal cruse.

On the other hand the ring was hidden under the floorboards of derelict house so there was some remote chance of it being discovered by accident in which case a deadly curse makes sense as a final level of protection.

Voldemort may well also have reasoned that by diversifying the protection on each horcrux he reduced the chance that any one person would have the ability to find them all.

  • 1
    It's also possible that putting a curse on the locket would have interfered with the basin's protective magic. (Pure speculation, of course.) Jul 11, 2017 at 1:34

The Gaunt Ring had a separate curse on it that was fatal - the locket only had the influence of being a Horcrux.

"Yes indeed," said Dumbledore, and he raised his blackened, burned-looking hand. "The ring, Harry. Marvolo's ring. And a terrible curse there was upon it too....
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, chapter 23

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