How did Voldemort not realize that

Slytherin's Ring was in fact the Resurrection Stone?

In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Marvolo points to the ministry official with his finger, showing Salazar Slytherin's ring, which holds the Peverel Coat of Arms. This clearly shows that Salazar Slytherin had stolen the from the second Peverell Brother and not inherited it, since only the third brother had descendants.

When Voldemort, in later years, goes to Gaunt House, he kills his uncle and takes the ring; it is said by Dumbledore that, by this time, Voldemort had already learned the art of making horcruxes. So why did Voldemort not recognize the Peverell Coat of Arms? Surely a person acquainted with dark magic would know the Peverell Brothers' legend! Otherwise, he wouldn't have gone searching for the Elder Wand.

So how come Voldemort didn't recognize it earlier in school? It was right on his fingers for many years before it went on to become a horcrux.

  • 14
    I don't have the books handy but I believe it was mentioned that the Elder Wand was famous without being a Hallow, but simply a powerful wand. It's very likely Voldy never knew about Hallows.
    – George T
    Commented Oct 27, 2014 at 9:28
  • 2
    @GeorgeT in fact, Voldemort did not know about the Hallows.
    – Möoz
    Commented Oct 27, 2014 at 9:58
  • 1
    I don't have the books here with me, but as I remember it he didn't know about the Elder Wand either until Olivander told him about it. Commented Oct 27, 2014 at 18:44
  • and if it was on his fingers so long, how come he never saw any ghosts?
    – user11521
    Commented Oct 28, 2014 at 3:03
  • @Michael-That's interesting enough. It can be a question itself. Commented Oct 28, 2014 at 4:57

2 Answers 2


He had probably heard stories of the Elder Wand but never heard the story of the Deathly Hallows. As the story of the Deathly Hallows is considered by most wizards to be nothing more than a children's tale, he wouldn't be likely to find it in a school textbook. It's not likely to be in the books on dark magic either, since, as Xenophilius Lovegood says:

"... There is nothing Dark about the Hallows..."

Deathly Hallows, chapter 21 (The Tale of the Three Brothers)

Here are Harry's thoughts on Voldemort's knowledge of the Hallows and the Elder Wand:

Voldemort had been raised in a Muggle orphanage. Nobody could have told him The Tales of Beedle the Bard when he was a child, any more than Harry had heard them. Hardly any wizards believed in the Deathly Hallows. Was it likely that Voldemort knew about them?

Harry gazed into the darkness... If Voldemort had known about the Deathly Hallows, surely he would have sought them, done anything to possess them: three objects that made the possessor master of Death? If he had known about the Deathly Hallows, he might not have needed Horcruxes in the first place. Didn't the simple fact that he had taken a Hallow, and turned it into a Horcrux, demonstrate that he did not know this last great Wizarding secret?

Which meant that Voldemort sought the Elder Wand without realizing its full power, without understanding that it was one of three... for the wand was the Hallow that could not be hidden, whose existence was best known... The bloody trail of the Elder Wand is splattered across the pages of Wizarding history...

Deathly Hallows, chapter 22 (The Deathly Hallows)

But as Dumbledore points out, even if Voldemort had known about the Hallows and that the ring was one of them, he probably wouldn't really care much about it (Unless it was a historical interest, like his interest in the Hogwarts founders' artifacts.).

"And Voldemort never knew about the Hallows?"

"I do not think so, because he did not recognize the Resurrection Stone he turned into a Horcrux. But even if he had known about them, Harry. I doubt that he would have been interested in any except the first. He would not think that he needed the Cloak, and as for the stone, whom would he want to bring back from the dead? He fears the dead. He does not love."

Deathly Hallows, chapter 35 (King's Cross)

As a side note, I don't think Salazar Slytherin did steal the ring. The third brother wasn't the only one that had descendants. If you're basing that off of the fact that the other two brothers died immediately in the story, the brothers could have already had children before meeting Death. Also, as Dumbledore suggests, the story of them meeting Death may not even be true.

"So it's true?" asked Harry. "All of it? The Peverell brothers - "

" - were the three brothers of the tale," said Dumbledore, nodding. "Oh yes, I think so. Whether they met Death on a lonely road... I think it more likely that the Peverell brothers were simply gifted, dangerous wizards who succeeded in creating those powerful objects. The story of them being Death's own Hallows seems to me the sort of legend that might have sprung up around such creations."

Deathly Hallows, chapter 35 (King's Cross)

So I don't think Salazar Slytherin stole the ring. It's claimed that he's a descendant of the second Peverell brother and there doesn't seem to be any reason to doubt that.

  • That's a very hearty explanation. Thanks. But I seem to remember that even though the tale isn't true, the brothers did exists, and the second one sought out his long lost love who had died some time before. This was the reason for creating the stone. So, you mean to say he had children from his lover before she died ? Commented Oct 27, 2014 at 10:51
  • Or could it be that, unlike Voldemort, he came searching for the deathly hallows, after leaving Hogwarts but found only the stone ? Commented Oct 27, 2014 at 10:52
  • @SandySands That could be entirely true that he had kids with her before she died. Or he could have had children with someone else since - there's no reason why he couldn't.
    – Shisa
    Commented Oct 27, 2014 at 12:47
  • Well, he never really got over his first love, did he? If he had been happy with someone else I don't see a reason to create (or wish) the ring. @Shisa
    – 11684
    Commented Oct 27, 2014 at 21:02
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    @11684 I don't think there's really a problem here for her to have thought about. There's no reason the brothers couldn't have had kids before meeting Death. What's more, Dumbledore says the story probably isn't even true, so the brothers could've lived for a long time after creating the objects and had kids during that time. And I don't think settling for someone other than your "true love" is past the maturity level of the series. In fact, if you read her backstory on Pottermore, you'll see that that's exactly what McGonagall did.
    – eyuelt
    Commented Oct 28, 2014 at 20:26

i don't have the books here, but i don't remember that:

"Marvolo points to the ministry official with his finger, showing Salazar Slytherin's ring, which holds the Peverel Coat of Arms."

yes the locket had the Slytherin mark, but i don't remember that the peverel Coat of arms inscribed on it had anything to do with Slytherin.

Also Slytherin, and the founding of hogwarts, should be much more recent than a mythical half-forgoten children's tale or the original Peverel family. So if this is the case, it ensues that the Slytherin mark could not have been on the Peverel ring, nor was it mentioned that it was added to the coat of arms.

Even if Slytherin is a Peverel decendant, Harry's conterpart, his mark would not be on the ring.

If JK Rowling did write that, it must be a typo or a mistake.

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