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There's plenty of info about the process that Voldemort used to create his horcruxes and even more info about how he ultimately used them to return from the dead but a simple question occurred to me;

Prior to Voldemort, is there any canon evidence of what would actually happen to a wizard who died with a horcrux in place? From this, did Voldemort know he would become...

"...less than the meanest ghost"

...and if so, why didn't he plan accordingly (presumably returning to power much more quickly)?

Clearly it would be much more useful to know that when you died, you were going to turn into this sort of spirit; you could probably pre-arrange to have your body restored to you within a week or two. Since Voldemort did not do this, I'm assuming he didn't know would happen to him, but I wanted to know if there was proof either way.

  • As much as I hate to say it, the answers to the linked question do reflect that he had both knowledge (of what would happed) and elements of planning in place. – Valorum Jan 26 '15 at 10:07
  • Yes, but how did he know? The main question here is if there was any canon evidence for earlier cases or anything else that Voldemort could have used as information material. – Lars Ebert Jan 26 '15 at 10:11
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    It's safe to say that canonically Voldemort did not know what would happen, as he had never observed it happen. It's very difficult to separate what a character believes and what they know to be true definitively. Even the latter can be undermined by other details. Characters can often be deceived. He certainly had some faith that they would be of use to him. – Gorchestopher H Jan 26 '15 at 14:29
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    Voldemort clearly did not know: "... pain beyond pain, my friends; nothing could have prepared me for it. I was ripped from my body, I was less than spirit, less than the meanest ghost . . . but still, I was alive. What I was, even I do not know . . . I, who have gone further than anybody along the path that leads to immortality." -Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter Thirty-Three (The Death Eaters). Also, the last known Horcruxer was Herpo The Foul (whose Horcrux may still be in existence). – Möoz Jan 26 '15 at 20:41
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    I couldn't post an answer. I'll just do it in comments :) Slughorn did imply to Riddle that the soul would be earthbound after death (no solid form) “Well, you split your soul, you see,” said Slughorn, “and hide part of it in an object outside the body. Then, even if one’s body is attacked or destroyed, one cannot die, for part of the soul remains earthbound and undamaged. But of course, existence in such a form . . .” If you read a little further it shows Riddle more interested in immoratality to consider the specifics of the downsides. Half-Blood Prince chapter Horcruxes – tls Jan 30 '15 at 9:50