Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince Chapters 25 & 26

Let’s look at the ways Voldemort stores/guards his six horcruxes (listed below chronologically in the order in which they were made):

  1. Tom Riddle’s diary – he gives it to Lucius Malfoy to safeguard
  2. Marvolo Gaunt’s ring – he leaves under a floorboard in the dilapidated Gaunt house
  3. Helga Hufflepuff’s cup – he gives it to Bellatrix Lestrange to safeguard
  4. Salazar Slytherin’s locket – he hides it in an epic, well defended cave that is akin to a video game boss battle
  5. Rowena Ravenclaw’s diadem – he hides it in the Hogwarts Room of Requirement
  6. Nagini – he keeps her close to him

He employs multiple storage strategies, which seems smart; that way, even if someone catches onto one of his strategies, they won’t necessarily be able to figure out the others. Some of his four different strategies make more sense than others, though:

Strategy 1: lend a horcrux to a trusted lieutenant for safekeeping. This doesn’t really seem in keeping with Voldemort’s character. He is incapable of trust so I can’t really see him letting something so precious be the charge of anyone other than himself. It also isn’t a great strategy because it is vulnerable to betrayal by or ineptitude of his followers.
Strategy 2: hide a horcrux in a place that is meaningful to him but inconspicuous to anyone else. This strategy is really smart and is really hard to crack. Harry only really finds the diadem due to plot convenience.
Strategy 3: hide a horcrux in a well defended, grandiose fortress. This strategy seems very in keeping with Voldemort’s character – what good is a trophy without an epic trophy case? It isn’t as smart as the previous strategy but, when you’re one of the most powerful wizards in the world and therefore likely to be capable of magicking very strong defenses, it does make sense to lean on your strengths.
Strategy 4: keep a horcrux very close to himself. This makes no sense objectively; the entire point of distributing your potential points of failure is to, well, distribute them. If Voldy’s body gets killed, he needs his failsafes that will revive him to be, well, safe. If they are near him, it exponentially increases the likelihood that they too will be wiped out. Here again, though, when you are one of the most powerful wizards in the world, you can’t be blamed too much for your confidence in your ability to protect a horcrux that is near you.

All this is to say that I think Voldy would have been better off employing more of Strategy 2. However, I think it would have been more in keeping with his character for him to have employed more of Strategy 3 – and frankly I would have found that to be really interesting! Imagine what kinds of other epicly defended fortresses Voldy might have created in addition to the cave! Either way, he should have eliminated Strategies 1 and 4 altogether.
• Is it me or do the hurdles in the cave seem sort of . . . arbitrary? Cut your hand open . . . find the invisible boat chain . . . fight off inferi . . . really only drinking the poison seems to serve the plot while the others seem sort of ancillary. Or perhaps I’m missing something?
• Unrelated thought about the death of Harry’s parents: why didn’t they just disapparate once Voldy arrived? Or at the least, why didn’t Lily disapparate with Harry whilst Voldy dispatched James? It seems like if you were in hiding from someone, you would have a quick exit plan in place in the event that you were found!

Published by Bryan Guido Hassin

These are the musings of a global cleantech entrepreneur. This blog began as a way to document my experience during the IMD MBA in Switzerland and now is the place where I publish eclectic thoughts on business, politics, fitness, entertainment, travel, wine, sports, and . . . whatever else is top of mind.

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