‘Harry Potter’: Why J.K. Rowling Won’t Confirm How Horcruxes are Made

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is beloved by generations new and old. Author J.K. Rowling introduced us to a wholly imagined universe full of magic that at times seemed entirely plausible. While the final books and movies came out many years ago, fans are still trying to piece together how certain things work within Rowling’s world of wizarding magic. 

One of those unsolved mysteries is how a witch or wizard creates a Horcrux. While many fans understand the purpose of Horcruxes as they relate to defeating Lord Voldemort, many still wonder how they actually come to be. A new fan theory may have clarified how the process of creating a Horcrux works. 

J.K. Rowling horcruxes
J.K. Rowling | Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

What is a Horcrux? 

In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, we learn that Tom Riddle, who later became Voldemort, had an interest in Horcruxes. These objects of dark magic house part of a witch or wizard’s soul, ultimately allowing them to attain immortality. 

Throughout his research of the dark arts, Riddle turned to Professor Slughorn for more information. When asked about what it would take to create a Horcrux, Slughorn was disgusted at the idea of Riddle committing such a heinous act. Regardless, Riddle ended up splitting his soul into seven pieces to become Lord Voldemort.

Riddle hid each piece of his soul within an inanimate object, which is considered best practice when creating a Horcrux because they are difficult to destroy. Riddle used his own diary, his grandfather’s ring, Salazar Slytherin’s locket, Helga Hufflepuff’s cup, Rowena Ravenclaw’s diadem, and Nagini the snake to create his Horcruxes. Later, he would unknowingly create a Horcrux out of Harry Potter himself.

How a Horcrux is created

In the sixth Harry Potter book, Tom Riddle discovered how to make Horcruxes by reading Secrets of the Darkest Art. While the process has never been confirmed or published by Rowling, Harry Potter fans have surmised that there are three steps to creating a Horcrux. The first step is murder. Viewed as a supreme act of evil in the Wizarding World, killing someone else is the only way a witch or wizard can fragment their soul.

When the soul is split, the severed portion needs a new home. That part of the soul is sent into an object that will serve as the Horcrux. Part of a person’s soul can be concealed within another person, but when that person dies, so does the piece of soul hidden within them. There is a third and final step to creating a Horcrux, but that remains shrouded in mystery. 

Why J.K. Rowling won’t confirm how to make Horcruxes 

In an interview with PotterCast, Rowling stated that her editor felt physically ill when she described how to create a Horcrux. Despite confirmation from Rowling herself, many Harry Potter fans have pieced together what they think to be the last step in creating a Horcrux.

One user on Reddit theorized that cannibalism is the third and final step to creating a Horcrux. More specifically, this Reddit user believes that in order to complete the process, the flesh and/or blood of another person must be consumed. 

While this is a plausible theory, fans will probably never get the truth of how Rowling imagined a Horcrux being created. Even if she did provide fans with a step-by-step guide to creating a Horcrux, Potterheads would still find a way to disprove her work — which is probably her reason for never coming clean about how these evil objects come to be. In her PotterCast interview, Rowling admitted, “That’s been the case with most of ‘Harry Potter.’ I gave my explanation and it just fuels more debate.”

So, Harry Potter fans will just have to settle for the fact that cannibalism is probably the last step in creating a Horcrux, or keep digging until they find another theory that makes more sense!