Tom presumably travelled to the far-flung forest in Albania about which Helena Ravenclaw had told him, and retrieved the diadem. He murdered an Albanian peasant and turned the diadem into a Horcrux.

Why did Voldemort search for a long lost Diadem and turn it into a Horcrux. Did he previously decide to make it a Horcrux?

Note that there is no scarcity for valuable things in Hogwarts. He may have used the Goblet of Fire or Tri-Wizard cup or Quidditch World Cup or House Cup. There are many other choices.

Edit: One choice can be his own Medal For Magical Merit, which is in the trophy cabinet of Hogwarts.

  • Goblet of Fire and Triwizard Cup don't necessarily reside at Hogwarts. And all four of those objects would be hard to conceal without going noticed.
    – alexwlchan
    Aug 3, 2015 at 12:14
  • Considering the nature of the Triwizard tournament, it would be odd for the Goblet of Fire and the Triwizard Cup to reside at Hogwarts. I can't see Durmstrang or Beauxbatons liking that at all. As far as whether he'd previously decided, Dumbledore seemed to think so; he explains in HBP that Voldemort wanted items with historical significance, and settled on items belonging to the founders of Hogwarts personally, as well as a few items with historical importance to his family (the Gaunts' ring and Slytherin's locket). Aug 3, 2015 at 13:33

2 Answers 2


Voldemort chose objects that he felt were important enough for the honour, and that linked him to his childhood in Hogwarts and his ancestry. Dumbledore explains this in Half Blood Prince.

"His pride, his belief in his own superiority, his determination to carve for himself a startling place in magical history; these things suggest to me that Voldemort would have chosen his Horcruxes with some care, favoring objects worthy of the honour.”

“The diary wasn’t that special.”

“The diary, as you have said yourself, was proof that he was the Heir of Slytherin; I am sure that Voldemort considered it of stupendous importance.

He goes on to speculate that Voldemort wants relics of the four Houses to complete his collection.

“I can only guess,” said Dumbledore. “For the reasons I have already given, I believe that Lord Voldemort would prefer objects that, in themselves, have a certain grandeur. I have therefore trawled back through Voldemort’s past to see if I can find evidence that such artifacts have disappeared around him.”

“The locket!” said Harry loudly. “Hufflepuff’s cup!”

“Yes,” said Dumbledore, smiling, “I would be prepared to bet — perhaps not my other hand — but a couple of fingers, that they became Horcruxes three and four. The remaining two, assuming again that he created a total of six, are more of a problem, but I will hazard a guess that, having secured objects from Hufflepuff and Slytherin, he set out to track down objects owned by Gryffindor or Ravenclaw. Four objects from the four founders would, I am sure, have exerted a powerful pull over Voldemort’s imagination. I cannot answer for whether he ever managed to find anything of Ravenclaw’s. I am confident, however, that the only known relic of Gryffindor remains safe.”

So yes, Voldemort specifically went looking for the relics of the Hogwarts founders to make into Horcruxes, and managed to get three. He only abandoned this plan on his return, creating the Nagini Horcrux at the beginning of Goblet Of Fire.


Voldemort being an orphan stayed in an Muggle orphanage during the holidays. He disliked the orphanage and came to look upon Hogwarts as a home, just like Harry.

“My dear boy,” said Dipper kindly, “I cannot possibly let you stay at school over the summer. Surely you want to go home for the holidays?”

“No,” said Riddle at once. “I’d much rather stay at Hogwarts than go back to that — to that —”

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 13, The Very Secret Diary

Sometime during his fifth year in Hogwarts, Voldemort learned of his Slytherin ancestry, who was one of the founders of Hogwarts, his desire to associate with Hogwarts might have increased.

When he was sixteen years, he left the orphanage to which he returned annually and set off to find his Gaunt relatives. He met his uncle Morfin Gaunt and came to know about Slytherin’s locket.

“Ar, he left her, and serve her right, marrying filth!” said Morfin, spitting on the floor again. “Robbed us, mind, before she ran off., where’s the locket, eh, where’s Slytherin’s locket?”

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 17, A Sluggish Memory

This might have been the point at which Voldemort would have contemplate searching for all magical items associated with founders of Hogwarts. But I believe the final decision was taken when he was seventeen years old.

“He reached the seventh year of his schooling with, as you might have expected, top grades in every examination he had taken. All around him, his classmates were deciding which jobs they were to pursue once they had left Hogwarts. Nearly everybody expected spectacular things from Tom Riddle, prefect, Head Boy, winner of the Award for Special Services to the School. I know that several teachers, Professor Slughorn amongst them, suggested that he join the Ministry of Magic, offered to set up appointments, put him in touch with useful contacts. He refused all offers. The next thing the staff knew, Voldemort was working at Borgin and Burkes.”

“At Borgin and Burkes?” Harry repeated, stunned.

“At Borgin and Burkes,” repeated Dumbledore calmly. “I think you will see what attractions the place held for him when we have entered Hokey’s memory. But this was not Voldemort’s first choice of job. Hardly anyone knew of it at the time — I was one of the few in whom the then headmaster confided — but Voldemort first approached Professor Dippet and asked whether he could remain at Hogwarts as a teacher.”

“But he didn’t get the job, sir?”

“No, he did not. Professor Dippet told him that he was too young at eighteen, but invited him to reapply in a few years, if he still wished to teach.”

“How did you feel about that, sir?” asked Harry hesitantly.

“Deeply uneasy,” said Dumbledore. “I had advised Armando against the appointment — I did not give the reasons I have given you, for Professor Dippet was very fond of Voldemort and convinced of his honesty. But I did not want Lord Voldemort back at this school, and especially not in a position of power.”

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 23, Horcruxes

So after completing his education at Hogwarts, Voldemort had two plans:

  1. Start teaching at Hogwarts
  2. Search for magical items associated with founders of Hogwarts

His plan number 1 failed, he decided to work on plan number 2. It was during his work at Borgin and Burkes he came across Hufflepuff's Cup.

So by the time Voldemort was 15-16 years old, he had planned to use magical items associated with founder of Hogwarts. He decided to go through with his plans when he was 17 years old.

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