Dumbledore destroyed the Horcrux element of Marvolo Gaunt's Peverell ring with the Sword of Gryffindor, splitting the Resurrection Stone portion of the ring in half in the process.

Harry noticed a ring on [Dumbledore's] uninjured hand that he had never seen Dumbledore wear before: it was large, rather clumsily made of what looked like gold, and was set with a heavy black stone that had cracked down the middle.

Half-Blood Prince - pages 68-69 - UK Hardcover - chapter 4, Horace Slughorn

‘You destroyed the diary and I the ring, but if we are right in our theory of a seven-part soul, four Horcruxes remain.’ [Dumbledore to Harry]

Half-Blood Prince - page 475 - UK Hardcover - chapter 23, Horcruxes

‘I believe that the last time I saw the sword of Gryffindor leave its case was when Professor Dumbledore used it to break open a ring.’ [Phineas Nigellus to Hermione]

Deathly Hallows - page 250 - UK Hardcover - chapter 15, The Goblin's Revenge

When Ron destroyed the locket Horcrux with the Sword of Gryffindor, the locket was pretty much obliterated.

[There] was only Ron, standing there with the sword held slackly in his hand, looking down at the shattered remains of the locket on the flat rock. [...] Harry stooped, pretending he had not seen, and picked up the broken Horcrux. Ron had pierced the glass in both windows: Riddle’s eyes were gone, and the stained silk lining of the locket was smoking slightly.

Deathly Hallows - page 307 - UK Hardcover - chapter 19, The Silver Doe

When Harry puts two and two together and figures out the Resurrection Stone comes from Marvolo Gaunt's ring, and is hidden in the Snitch Dumbledore left him, Ron questions whether the stone would work properly.

Ron’s mouth fell open. ‘Blimey – but would it still work if Dumbledore broke –’

Deathly Hallows - page 348 - UK Hardcover - chapter 22, The Deathly Hallows

How does the Resurrection Stone survive the destruction of the Horcrux inside it, and how is it the stone works properly after being cracked in half by the Sword of Gryffindor (which is imbued with Basilisk venom)? Shouldn't being struck by the Basilisk venom-infused Sword of Gryffindor, and being exposed to the evil of Voldemort's soul as the Horcrux is destroyed, alter the Resurrection Stone's magical properties? I don't understand how it wasn't destroyed or rendered unusable.

☆ Sorry for the citations dump. If I don't include citations, typically someone asks me for them (which is totally fine!) So I went ahead and included them pre-emptively.

  • 5
    The stone couldn't be destroyed, Slytherincess, daughter of Slytherin, by any craft that they there possessed.
    – xDaizu
    Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 7:43
  • @xDaizu I understood that reference!
    – alseether
    Commented Jul 1, 2019 at 14:44

3 Answers 3


I believe that the answer to this question lies with the creation of the Hallows. There are two main theories regarding how they were created.

In Tales of Beedle the Bard, we are told in the story of The Three Brothers that the Hallows were made by Death himself. If that is indeed the truth, then the magic that imbues the Hallows with their power is Death's. Death would be exceedingly ancient, and his magic would be far more powerful than anything wizardkind could conjure; Death can do things no wizard can. He can not only cause anyone's life to end, but he can also restore their life, even if he is hesitant to do so. If Death created the Stone, it is no large leap to assume that no wizard's magic could destroy it, nor could any venom harm it.

Also in ToBtB, we read Albus Dumbledore's theory regarding the creation of the Hallows: that the three brothers, Ignotus, Cadmus, and Antioch Peverell, are responsible for their creation. If that is the case, then the Peverells would had to have been exceedingly powerful wizards, if not the most powerful wizards in recorded history. These artifacts could not have been created using the magic available to wizards of Harry's time. In Deathly Hallows, when the Hallows are discussed at Xenophilius Lovegood's house, Ron remarks regarding Harry's Invisibility Cloak that "It's never occured to me before, but I've heard stuff about charms wearing off cloaks when they get old, or them being ripped apart by spells so they've got holes in. Harry's was owned by his dad, so it's not exactly new, is it, but it's just... perfect!" If Harry's cloak is indeed the Invisibility Cloak of legend, then its enchantments have survived seven centuries. The likelihood of any cloak surviving seven centuries with no holes worn in it is also exceedingly slim. Whatever magic the Peverell's used to create the Hallows was extremely resilient. If their magic could make an invisibility cloak last seven hundred years, then it is no reach to assume that their magic would be unharmed by basilisk venom. The Stone itself was cracked by the Sword of Gryffindor, but the magic within it was more resilient than even a stone.

Regarding the destruction of the Horcrux's effect upon the Stone: I believe that the reason basilisk venom is so effective at destroying Horcruxes is because a Horcrux is alive. The venom is utterly destructive towards living beings, permeating the whole of a man within minutes. Its only cure is phoenix tears, which are said to be as strong as unicorn blood, restoring someone from the very brink of death. In the case of Voldemort, unicorn blood was enough to give him life even after his body's death. My understanding is, when a Horcrux is permeated with basilisk's venom, it kills the soul within to the point of becoming irreparable. The Resurrection Stone has no soul to kill; it is not alive. Basilisk venom is not shown to destroy magic; the goblin magic of Gryffindor's Sword was able to absorb the venom within itself. The Horcruxes were shown to receive physical damage in line with what would happen to an object that is struck by a sharp sword. The locket was virtually obliterated, but if you strike a real gold locket with a sharp sword, it will be obliterated as well. Dumbledore was careful to strike only the Stone set in the ring, as it was still wearable after the Horcrux was destroyed. A stone struck with a sword would likely show a crack down it, like the Resurrection Stone did.

I believe the basilisk venom in the sword only served to destroy the living soul within the ring, and left the incredibly resilient magic of the Stone, whether enchanted by Death or Cadmus Peverell, untouched.

  • 2
    @b_jonas I doubt a magical artefact as rare and powerful as a (near?) perfect invisibility cloak is going to sit unused for centuries. Even if that were the case for most of its history, we know that Harry inherited it from James, who was famous for being a troublemaker whilst at school, so it seems likely he would have used it as much, if not more, to sneak around and out of Hogwarts. Commented May 13, 2012 at 15:34
  • 1
    Fabulous answer! I only have one question -- can you point me to where it says phoenix tears and unicorn blood are equal in strength? :) Commented Oct 7, 2012 at 17:49
  • 4
    I'm guessing, also, that the Elder Wand survived through the ages because it had been imbued with the same extraordinary magical resilience. Dumbledore wanted its power to end with his death, right? Why didn't he just snap it in two? Or better yet, why hadn't it been snapped, at least accidentally, before it ever came to him? My conclusion: the Hallows are practically indestructable. Commented Jan 31, 2014 at 1:18
  • 1
    If the magic was so strong how could Harry so easily break the Elder Wand?Was it just because it belonged to him?Or as it is speculated that he is a descendant of the Peverells?
    – user91916
    Commented Nov 5, 2017 at 9:29
  • 1
    @Da_to In the book he doesn’t! That’s how.
    – Pryftan
    Commented Jun 17, 2018 at 20:11

To destroy a Horcrux, one must damage the container beyond magical repair. That's what the Gryffindor sword did to the Resurrection Stone.

When Dumbledore hit the Resurrection Stone with the Gryffindor sword, it got damaged (and a crack appeared on the stone) which lead to the destruction of the Horcrux. But remember, the Stone was damaged, but not destroyed.

A mere crack will not destroy or render properties of something with such advanced magical power to be considered as hallow of death.

  • Hallows can be destroyed. They are not indestructible.
    – Alph000
    Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 8:39
  • If hallows can be destroyed, why didn't Dumbledore just snap the Elder Wand?
    – IloneSP
    Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 8:45
  • My opinion is, the wand was always passed from one owner to the other through defeat. Dumbledore asked Severus to kill him. He was accepting his death as a favour, not as defeat (refer the conversation of Dumbledore and Snape when he ask Severus to kill him). That way, wand would never have it's next owner. But things went different at the last moment and Draco became the new owner of the wand. In movie, Harry did the same thing, by breaking the wand. Noone would defeat him, and he'll be the last owner. That way, Elbus wand would be lost. Forever.
    – Alph000
    Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 9:01
  • 1
    Yeah, but you know, that’s a really elaborate plan involving Dumbledore death, when you could simply take the wand and break it in half.
    – IloneSP
    Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 9:25
  • @Roberto Pride. The same reason that Voldemort didn't just ask Pettigrew to deliver a box to the Potters containing muggle explosives and a timer. Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 13:09

The second brother, who wished to humiliate death further still, asked for a stone with the power to recall others from death, and so death picked up a stone from the riverbank, and transformed it.

Hermione Granger reading "Tales of the Beedle and the Bard."

Likely, any magic that Death himself could produce would be much much more powerful than any sword, even if it was impregnated with Basilisk venom. But, as Dumbledore said

Likely, instead of Death, the Peverell brothers were likely very skilled, powerful wizards who created these artifacts themselves, albeit with ancient, powerful magic."

Albus Dumbledore's notes at the end of "Tales of the Beedle and the Bard."

So the sword would have just cracked the ring, and in turn, the stone, but this is very powerful magic, which is, noted by Beedle, the kind of magic that strengthens over time. So the ring was hundreds of years old, that gained power from many owners of the ring because the Gaunts had the ring forever, Basilisk venom would be no match for that. Even if something did happen to the ring, don't forget Fawkes could have cried on it and saved its power anyway.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.