Specifically, if diary Tom Riddle had succeeded, how would he have strengthened the present day Voldemort?

In If diary Tom Riddle had succeeded, would there have been two Voldemorts?, @Pearsonartphoto gives a quote from J.K. Rowling in his answer regarding what would have happened if Tom Riddle had succeeded in fully manifesting from his diary memory form to a full human form.

Q: In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, what would have happened if Ginny had died and Tom Riddle had escaped the diary?

J.K. Rowling: I can’t answer that fully until all seven books are finished, but it would have strengthened the present-day Voldemort considerably.

JKROWLING.COM - FAQ - Wayback Machine

As well, I've read all seven Harry Potter books many, many times and I haven't been able to ferret out any overt details regarding exactly how the present day Voldemort would've been strengthened by co-existing with diary Tom Riddle.

Specifically, how would the reincarnation of 16-year-old Tom Riddle have strengthened the 67-year-old present-day Voldemort at the time of Chamber of Secrets?

★ I would love an answer from canon, any of J.K. Rowling's interviews, or Pottermore, or an answer constructed within the spirit of canon.

  • 7
    I think this is one of those ones where JKR hadn't actually decided. One of those typical plot points where you realize the outcome of a henchman winning would be bad, but hard to correlate what gets added or detracted from the big picture. JKR seems prone to making things up as she goes in interviews. Not revealing something like that just gives her open creative license in successive works. Perhaps he would be strengthened in a negative sense... in that Harry's team would have been significantly weakened. Commented Nov 26, 2012 at 2:29
  • @GorchestopherH +1 for JKR ... making things up
    – Windle
    Commented Nov 29, 2012 at 22:42
  • 1
    How is the accepted answer the answer?
    – user931
    Commented Jan 3, 2015 at 11:40

7 Answers 7


I think it would've also strengthened Voldemort in the sense that he would have known not all of his horcruxes might be secure. He could have then increased security on them or outright relocated them. Also, the magic behind the horcruxes is not terribly well known. It is quite possible that by interacting with a sentient horcrux he could have learned far more about this form of black magic. It has never actually been confirmed by Rowling though so this is all just speculation.


We know that the Tom Riddle that would have emerged from the diary (had he succeeded) would have been entirely corporeal. He could wield a wand, after all:

“Voldemort,” said Riddle softly, “is my past, present, and future, Harry Potter. . . .”

He pulled Harry’s wand from his pocket and began to trace it through the air, writing three shimmering words.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

He would thus have been a corporeal body containing a portion of Voldemort's soul. There are two obvious courses of action for such an entity that would have been greatly beneficial to the main portion of Voldemort's soul:

  • He might have done what Peter Pettigrew ended up doing a year later: sought out the master portion of Voldemort's soul, and tried to resurrect it. He could well have succeeded much faster than Pettigrew, since he had significantly greater magical skill.
  • Voldemort's main soul could have possessed him, temporarily or even permanently. It's possible, given that Riddle was basically Voldemort's own body (several decades previously) that this would basically have been a resurrection. Indeed, it's quite possible that Riddle would have been accommodating, seeing as he was, after all, merely another portion of Voldemort.

Both of these are plausible strategies for the incarnated diary Horcrux. Both could be conceived of as "strengthening" Voldemort. Neither, though, really relies on information not revealed until the sixth or seventh books. It's hard to guess what Rowling meant here.

  • She may have meant that, had the Riddle Horcrux remained in a separate body, it would have continued to tether Voldemort to life. It may have had an advantage here over the diary, since it would be able to defend itself with all of teenage Voldemort's considerable magical prowess.
  • It is also possible that the portion of the soul within Riddle would somehow have rejoined that within Voldemort. It seems unlikely (given that remorse is required to reconstitute a soul), but it is possible. However, it is difficult to see how this would help Voldemort, since the lack of a complete soul does not seem to have hindered his magical ability in the slightest.

Once the piece of soul in the diary had grown strong enough, Voldemort would have used some means of resurrecting from that piece of his soul, considering that is what horcruxes are supposed to be for.

The piece of soul in the diary might have been dormant for a while, but after Ginny interacted with it, it grew on her fears.

It would have drained Ginny's life force to recreate its own full self (it was only a piece of his soul). That piece of his soul had already gained control over Ginny. He could have undergone something like Goblet of Fire to re-enter a physical form.

This is all a bit speculative because exactly How someone restores themselves from a Horcrux is not discussed in the series itself, and the only incident of this that we see, is in Goblet of Fire.

  • Horcruxes are not intended to be resurrected from. They are intended to prevent the owner from dying in the first place.
    – trysis
    Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 0:08
  • @trysis - yes. they are to prevent death. But Voldemort had figured out to restore himself in the physical form from a horcrux as evident in Goblet of Fire.
    – Stark07
    Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 5:56
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    Voldemort did not use a Horcrux to create his new body. Also, he already had a physical form (not sure where he got it from, but it wasn't from a Horcrux, either), he just used the "resurrection" potion to reform his original body. In fact, he did not touch or even see any of his Horcruxes (except Nagini) after he hid them. I don't think he ever even checked up on them, he just trusted his extremely powerful magic to keep them safe.
    – trysis
    Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 13:05
  • @Stark07 that's probably the real protection the horcrux gives: one returns in a form from which one can be restored with a certain ritual and some grisly ingredients. Probably the Tom Riddle fragment would have created some horcruxes more.
    – MauganRa
    Commented Dec 2, 2016 at 15:23

The diary was voldemort's first horcrux. A horcrux "splits a soul in two". That means, mathematically, the diary had the largest part of Voldemort's soul in it. It had half. The next horcrux he made would have had a quarter, the one after that one eighth, then one sixtheeth, and so on. By the end of the series, Harry had more of Voldemort's soul in him than Voldemort did (freaky, hey?).

Additionally, one of the main themes of the books is innocence and wholeness. Becoming whole would make Voldemort more powerful in that light, as well as doing so through Ginny who is symbolic of innocence and purity.

  • +1 just for 'By the end of the series, Harry had more of Voldemort's soul in him than Voldemort did (freaky, hey?).' I'm easily amused. But I do like your additional point about Ginny and innocence; perhaps because of what was recently put on Pottermore with the etymology of the Weasleys including Ginny: pottermore.com/features/… 'The name we best know Ginevra by – Ginny – translates as ‘virginal’, with the link here being that both names suggest purity and innocence.' And they even mention the diary.
    – Pryftan
    Commented Aug 24, 2017 at 0:56
  • Amusing, but there is no obvious reason to think that soul-stuff is quantitative. Commented Dec 31, 2017 at 2:46

Horcrux creation consumes a great portion of the mage's soul and energy. If Tom Riddle had emerged from the diary we can speculate that it will be some sort of Voldemort's soul and energy being liberated from the Horcrux itself. Once again in the real world, that energy will return to Voldemort... maybe nullifying the Horcrux?

The reason why Rowling hasn't answer at the point the question is made could be because Horcruxes weren't presented at that time in the novels?


I believe that if Ginny had died, the diary-crux would have gained a physical human body. JKR also stated that the present day Voldemort would become stronger, but I do not believe he would have gained a human body at that point. What I believe would have happened next is that the diary-crux would no longer be a horcrux and would search for his present day self. Once found, I believe that the Riddle from the diary could either do one or two things:

  1. If Voldemort could feel remorse the split soul from the diary and his could become one, hence Voldemort would be back in his sixteen year old body and the split portion of his soul rejoined to his. Voldemort would then return to power. The problem with this concept is the fact that Voldemort can not be remorseful. He does not love, nor does he understand the idea of remorse. Voldemort is to cruel.

  2. The other alternative would be for the master soul to join the diary-crux body. The master soul would then gain control and the portion of the diary-crux would just remain an already split piece of Voldemort's soul already prepared to be placed into a new horcrux when he desired. As for the theories on Voldemort vs. the diary-crux Riddle for the throne, I doubt this to be unlikely, for neither would want to destroy the other. They are both crucial pieces in sustaining immortality, and in reality they would just be damaging themselves more than anything. Even though Voldemort lacks love, he is still fond for soul, though he mutilated it, but never destroyed it.


I thought a lot about this. I think the answer maybe is simple: Once young tom riddle horcrux had taken all stenght from another life (ginny for example), it could pass the energy to the real Lord Voldemort so he could gain a body again.

I think this is possible because the horcrux is a soul. If it takes all life from a person, this gives the horcrux a body. So the horcrux maybe can reach lord voldemort and pass the energy. Horcruxes are intended to "protect" the wizard who created them, so maybe they can steal the energy from another person to give it to the main soul

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