Dumbledore was brainstorming around destruction of Horcruxes. He knew about Veil of Department of Mysteries. Why didn't he use it?
Hermione, Harry and Ron also didn't try it. Why?

That was a veil between life and death. Send all parts of soul to death side and Voldemort would be dead (there's no special logic here). So, throwing the Horcruxes to veil would work.

  • 7
    "throwing the Horcruxes to veil would work." - I'm not sure that there's a firm canon support for that theory, though it's not an implausible one. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Aug 16 '12 at 18:37
  • 2
    Dumbledore had the Sword of Gryffindor, why go through the trouble of travelling all the way to the Ministry of Magic, into the Department of Mysteries, into the Veil Room, simply to destroy something that he already had the means to destroy? Also I don't think Dumbledore ever was "brainstorming around destruction of Horcruxes but without any luck", he certainly knew how to destroy them. – NominSim Aug 16 '12 at 18:45
  • 2
    It is speculation, but what if the veil only worked on living things? It would have thrown quite the wrench in their plans if one of them ended up on the other side of the veil but still functioned as intended. – Kogitsune Aug 8 '14 at 11:46

I don't have any canon backup, but one obvious thing leaps to mind; it's the veil between life and death, and a living being passing thru it seems to never come back... but we don't really know what happens to them.

Perhaps they are now in a Dante-esque 'Living being in the realm of death' state, or something similarly odd. No one has gone thru and come back to tell the tale, so what it does is really unknown. ("The undiscovered Country, from whose bourn No Traveller returns" to quote the bard.)

Basically, we really have no way to know WHAT it would do to a Horcrux. Do you really want to take a chance on tossing an item which, so long as it is intact, keeps an evil wizard alive, into a realm where you can't get it back if it's not destroyed?

It's in the Dept. of Mysteries, so they are apparently researching it.. But without having much better data, I wouldn't have tried destroying a Horcrux with it.

Also, Dumbledore didn't have all of them to toss thru; that was Harry's quest. He didn't try it with one that he reclaimed (the ring), because A.) He did something stupid with it first, and B.) He knew of another way to destroy it with what he had on-hand. Then there was the book.. but Harry took care of that... Overall HOW to destroy them doesn't seem to have been such an issue, as acquiring them.

  • @KHW I might be misremembering, but didn't Sirius get summoned by the resurrection stone in Deathly Hallows by Harry? It doesn't affect your answer as a whole, but just wanted to point that out as a soul that went through the veil and came back. Not alive since he could be summoned, but his soul was still intact. – Mainstroke Aug 18 '17 at 6:53
  • 1
    @Mainstroke - That's a valid point, but I'm not sure it can be said that Sirius came back. He appeared to Harry, via the Resurrection stone, but no one is really sure about the nature of the Hallows; it MIGHT actually pull ghosts from the afterlife, just as Harry's cloak MIGHT be Death's own cloak. But it's intentionally left open to interpretation. Even the ghosts that the stone summons are visible only to Harry, and might simply be drawn from his own mind/expectations. -- “We are part of you,” said Sirius. “Invisible to anyone else.” – K-H-W Sep 1 '17 at 23:35
  • Had any of his 'Ghosts' imparted knowledge beyond Harry's range, it would have suggested they really were from the afterlife, but the closest we get is Sirius saying that death doesn't hurt, which is what Harry wanted to hear anyway. And the Second Brother from the legend summoned a girl he once wanted to marry, but "Yet she was sad and cold, separated from him as by a veil. Though she had returned to the mortal world, she did not truly belong there and suffered." -- again, it MIGHT be her, or it might be a simulacrum of her drawn from his memory and driven by his expectations (and guilt.) – K-H-W Sep 1 '17 at 23:39
  • 1
    Further backup comes from JKR herself: From Accio Quote "when I started writing the books, the first thing I had to decide was not what magic can do, but what it can't do. I had to set limits on it - immediately, and decide what the parameters are ... and one of the most important things I - I decided was that magic cannot bring dead people back to life; that' - that's one of the most profound things, the - the natural law of - of - of death applies to wizards as it applies to Muggles" – K-H-W Sep 2 '17 at 0:00

Consider that "all parts of soul" included the fragment in Harry (which they didn't know about until right at the very end), the fragment in Nagini (almost always with Voldemort) and whatever remained of Voldemort's soul in his body.

Then consider that destroying the horcruxes was, ultimately, the easiest part. The only one they were unable to destroy almost immediately was Slytherin's locket, which they obtained inside the Ministry of Magic; then promptly had to run for their lives because their cover had been blown.

With Voldemort in control of the Ministry, every Death Eater and Voldemort supporter alive looking for them, and (eventually) already having access to a weapon capable of destroying a horcrux, there was really no reason or need to put themselves in extreme danger by revisiting the Ministry.

  • 1
    +1 for pointing out that even getting to the veil would have been impractical – gobernador Aug 16 '12 at 19:17

We don't know what the Veil was and the fact that it is being studied in the Dept of Mysteries suggests that the wizards themselves aren't sure what it is either. I'm hoping for more information when Pottermore gets to that stage lol Maybe JK will have released a Potter encyclopaedia by then (fingers crossed) with details of all those little unanswered questions. Perhaps there are mysteries we are never meant to know the answer to ... just like certain mysteries in real life.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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