Herpo the Foul is one of the earliest known dark wizards. He was the first person ever to create a Horcrux.

Did someone take the pains to destroy his Horcrux or is he still alive?

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  • 1
    I don't think there is any mention of it in canon, but it is very likely that he is still alive, assuming his horcrux was not destroyed and that he did not repair his soul by showing true remorse for his crimes.
    – ZenLogic
    Aug 10, 2014 at 16:07
  • 2
    Do Horcruxes keep you from dying of old age? Because Herpo came from Mediaeval, or Ancient Greek, days.
    – Mac Cooper
    Aug 10, 2014 at 16:08
  • 5
    @TomLynd, not with a Horcrux he didn't. He used the Philosopher's Stone.
    – Mac Cooper
    Aug 10, 2014 at 16:11
  • 2
    Most canon sources state that Voldemort was 72 at the time of his death, so age seemed to do little to his physical health, even considering the fact that wizards live longer in general. He was still running (or flying) around like a 20 year old at this time
    – ZenLogic
    Aug 10, 2014 at 16:17
  • 2
    @ZenLogic, I completely agree Horcrux > Old age, but to be fair Dumbledore was like 160 and was swimming and dueling to the last second, so Voldemort's agility and old age may have had nothing to do with the Horcruxes.
    – Mac Cooper
    Aug 10, 2014 at 16:17

4 Answers 4



I am not aware of anything that describes whether Herpo’s horcrux was destroyed, or whether he is still alive, in any of:

  • The seven narrative books and the three supplementary books
  • The films
  • A J.K. Rowling interview
  • A Pottermore update

and I also checked the HP Wiki and HP Lexicon, for good measure.

As far as I can find, he is never described as anything except “Greek” or “Ancient Greek”, and there’s no evidence that he was active after Ancient Greek times. Given that he was a very prominent dark wizard in his heyday, I’d be surprised if he just dropped off the map. I would guess that he died at some point before the main books, but I don’t know when that was or how he died.

  • 11
    A very elegant way of saying "I don't know". You have my +1
    – Valorum
    Aug 10, 2014 at 18:11

While there is no information about this as stated by alexwlchan, I would hazard a guess that the fact that people knew he had made a horcrux, and that it was mentioned in a book leads me to believe that his horcrux was destroyed, as well as he himself was killed. My reason for this are simple.

  1. You would create a horcrux to cheat death, therefore we can assume you would hide said horcrux so that if you should be “killed” you will in fact live on. Hiding a horcrux tends to mean you TELL NO ONE. The fact that it was known he created a horcrux means that either he blabbed or someone took the effort to kill him and found out about his horcrux (Dumbledore being the only one who knew that Voldemort created horcruxes, and Dumbledore planning the demise of Voldemort).

  2. The fact that he is in the history books, leads me to believe he is dead. Evil people tend to not stop being evil, and tend to crop back up through out history if they were immortal, if he was alive Voldemort would probably have tracked him down himself to kill him. (While we dont’ know if in fact he does crop back up in history for wizards, I would assume if he was still "at large" Rowling would have tossed us a bone on it when talking about him).

  3. Finally as I mentioned above evil people tend to do evil things, and good people tend to try to stop said evil things. For every great dark wizard, there is always a great good wizard to combat them, otherwise the world Harry lives in would already be all dark wizards or good wizards hiding from dark wizards (instead of dark wizards trying to actively take over). If there was no one to oppose him he would still be alive, and would currently be running the world assumable after two thousand years.

All in all I can say we can safely assume that Herpo the Foul died sometime in the past, as A. his horcrux was known, B. he is in history books, and C. good wizards always win.

  • Notably he's mentioned in a book that also mentions that you can heal a broken soul through true remorse. Isn't it more likely that his mortal death followed a revelation about the nature of evil and his re-ensoulment?
    – Valorum
    Apr 22, 2020 at 22:38

No. And here is why we can derive this conclusion.

The book that teaches how to create Horcruxes ("Magick Moste Evile") also teaches how to destroy it.

This highly suggests that given the many ways listed to destroy a Horcrux - Basilisk venom, Fiendfyre, etc. - Herpo's Horcrux is one of many Horcruxes that might have been destroyed to find out this information.

Because of Herpo's simultaneous creation of the Basilisk, whose venom destroys Horcruxes, it is very possible that his Horcrux (the first Horcrux to be destroyed) was done so using Basilisk venom.

  • 1
    It also mentions that you can restore a broken soul through genuine remorse. The question is whether that's an experimental finding or purely theoretical
    – Valorum
    Apr 21, 2020 at 12:23

Herpo could still be out there. If Voldemort didn't have followers/servants he wouldn't have been reborn and probably might have never gotten back his body and been left stranded in that Forest in Albania also a lot of people believed he died. Herpo the Foul might have also ended up as "shadow and vapor" with no servants to aid him. Just because it was discovered he created a Horcrux does not mean he divulge his secrets. He could have kept them hidden and they were discovered after he "died." Leonardo DaVinci's notes and designs were put in code by him to hide their secrets but were decoded years later. The dead sea scrolls were meant to be hidden away but still were discovered.

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