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How and when did Dumbledore find out about Voldemort's horcruxes?



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  #1  
Old November 28th, 2007, 3:47 pm
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How and when did Dumbledore find out about Voldemort's horcruxes?

I always wondered how Dumbledore found out about the Horcruxes.
Maybe it was when Harry destroyed the diary. When it was destroyed Voldemort again became ghost like. Maybe that is when Dumbledore began to check into it.


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  #2  
Old November 28th, 2007, 3:54 pm
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Re: How did Dumbledore find out about V's Horcruxes

I think he would have had suspicion's right from when he first tried to kill Harry. Voldemort somehow stay's alive remember. But they were only merely theory's. After the diary, he may have realised it, but had nothing to go on. I believe the defining moment is when Voldemort says, "I who has gone further than any wizard before me to become invincible."
Dumbledore mentions this in HBP. Then it's simply a course of retracing History as Dumbledore does and explains to Harry.


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Old November 28th, 2007, 4:07 pm
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Re: How did Dumbledore find out about V's Horcruxes

it doesn't seem unreasonable to think that dumbledore was watching hogwarts stalwart riddle with interest. riddle, like dd himself, appeared to be the best of his generation, great things were expected of him, which turned out to be true.
later, after it became clearer that riddle had gone bad, dd's interest in him intensified. there was far ranging research done by dd on riddle's whereabouts, motives, operations etc etc. eventually, a somewhat clearer picture can be said to have emerged, drawing on all the disparate sources - most of this is exposed in book 6. and ofcourse, dd had knowledge of riddle's character from the first time they met.


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Old November 28th, 2007, 6:49 pm
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Re: How did Dumbledore find out about V's Horcruxes

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Originally Posted by dbuske View Post
I always wondered how Dumbledore found out about the Horcruxes.
Maybe it was when Harry destroyed the diary. When it was destroyed Voldemort again became ghost like. Maybe that is when Dumbledore began to check into it.
I would say the chain of reasoning might have been something like this:
  • D was familiar with the concept of Horcruxes
  • From his own experience with him, D recalled that V believed that magic should be able to conquer death
  • D may have had later experience with V that suggested V lusted after immortality
  • Baby Harry's unprecedented survival of the Killing Curse reflected V's attack with enough power to destroy V's body (and half of the house) - but V didn't die
  • D remarked on the unusual properties of the diary - more than just a memory repository, it interacted with H & G (and tried to exploit her vulnerabilities)

All those might have lead D to believe that V had created a horcrux.

V's remark in front of Harry in the graveyard, something about having dared what no wizard had, having gone further on the path to immortality than any other ever had... led D to investigate the possibility that V had created more than one horcrux.

D couldn't assume V would stop with just 2 horcruxes.

D's decades of research into V's history and actions suggested several objects that might have become horcruxes.

D may have had the theory that V chose a magically powerful number for the basis of the division of his soul.

When Harry recovered Slughorn's true memory, they had information which tended to support the magically powerful number theory.


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Old November 28th, 2007, 7:17 pm
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Re: How did Dumbledore find out about Voldemort's horcruxes

I believe Dumbledore suspected even before Godric's Hollow that Voldemort had made horcruxes. He may have begun being suspicious around the time of the job interview, but it appears the bulk of his research was conducted later - otherwise, no need to go get Slughorn back, since he would have questioned him while he was still the Potions Master. Perhaps Snape inadvertantely or on purpose gave Dumbledore information prior to Godric's Hollow that accelorated the thinking.


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Old December 1st, 2007, 9:22 pm
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Re: How did Dumbledore find out about Voldemort's horcruxes

There must have been lots of little clues that Dumbledore picked up on and put together. It seems like it was a suspicion he had been harboring for a long time, but wasn't sure about until several later events. I recall that Dumbledore mentions what Harry told him Voldemort said during his rebirthing - something to the effect of "I who have gone furthest down the path to immortality". I think that statement was some corroborating evidence to bolster Dumbledore's suspicions that Voldemort had made multiple horcruxes. The Riddle diary was also a red flag for Dumbledore. Thus prompted by the evidence he was collecting, Dumbledore went on to conduct research and acquire memories from key people. But the final piece of the puzzle that would pretty much confirm what Voldemort was doing was Slughorn's memory.


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Old December 1st, 2007, 11:40 pm
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Re: How did Dumbledore find out about Voldemort's horcruxes

I think Dumbledore started to suspect it when he wanted to get a job as a teacher. If you remember in the sixth book, in one of the memories, tom riddle comes back and wants a job, but Dumbledore denies him and asks him to say what he really wants. Why would he ask that if he didn't know that there was something else. He knew there that he wanted to search for something, and didn't want to give him that chance. His thoughts were confirmed though when Harry brought him the diary and explained what came out of it. I also think he may have been thinking about the horcruxes when Voldemort didn't die when he tried to kill Harry, although the world was unsure of whether he did die or not ntil his return in the fifth book.


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Old December 1st, 2007, 11:47 pm
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Re: How did Dumbledore find out about Voldemort's horcruxes

I definatly think that he knew once he had the inteview with Voldemort. I mean, if Dumbledore can get them banned, then he surely must know lots of information about them - including what a person looks like once they make lots and lots of them. And if he didn't read it somewhere, he's clever enough to guess on his own.


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Old December 2nd, 2007, 4:28 am
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Re: How did Dumbledore find out about Voldemort's horcruxes

It was probably the diary that made him start thinking this way. Voldemort dipped into magicks unknown, and Dumbledore would have assumed that he had used some sacrifice or something to keep himself alive. But Dumbledore says himself that he was surprised at the way the Diary acted, acted so much like a Horcrux. Then, of course, the line in GoF, "I, who have gone further along the path to immortality than any other!" Was probably confirmation. And then the ring, well, by then it was obvious.


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Old December 2nd, 2007, 12:42 pm
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Re: How did Dumbledore find out about Voldemort's horcruxes

He had some time off to think during the fifth book. He started his research then. Although, what perplexes me is, How did he get into Azkaban, and to Slughorn, when all of the Ministry was after him?


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Old December 3rd, 2007, 12:16 am
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Re: How did Dumbledore find out about Voldemort's horcruxes

Dumbledore knows everything. Enough said.


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Old December 4th, 2007, 9:27 pm
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Re: How did Dumbledore find out about Voldemort's horcruxes

When ever Dumbledore got Slughorns tampered with memory when Tom Riddle asked about Horcruxes. All those years Dumbledore knew he was making them he just didn't know how many.


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Old December 4th, 2007, 10:46 pm
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Re: How did Dumbledore find out about Voldemort's horcruxes

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Originally Posted by kavign View Post
Dumbledore knows everything. Enough said.
He didn't know the ring's curse hadn't broken.


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Old December 4th, 2007, 11:00 pm
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Re: How did Dumbledore find out about Voldemort's horcruxes

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Originally Posted by thewbacca View Post
He had some time off to think during the fifth book. He started his research then. Although, what perplexes me is, How did he get into Azkaban, and to Slughorn, when all of the Ministry was after him?
I think he started his research no later than 1956. He makes clear when Tom comes for the job interview that he has been trying for some time prior to that point to keep abreast of Tom's activities and those of some of his associates.

I don't believe he went to Azkaban to interview Morfin or Hokey while a fugitive during the events of Phoenix. I don't believe it was ever explicitly stated, but I got the impression that neither Morfin nor Hokey lived a very long time in Azkaban. I would think those interviews took place as early as sometime after the Riddle family and Hepzibah Smith murders or (at the latest) the early part of his first rise to power. I would lean towards it being earlier rather than later.

I'm also assuming Dumbledore interviewed Bob Ogden somewhere in that same timeframe. If Dumbledore never figured out Tom's ancestry while Tom was a student, he must have done so at some point after the Riddle murders. Hearing that that three Muggles with the same last name as his creepy student had been murdered by a wizard would attract Dumbledore's attention. Discovering that the confessed killer had a sister who nobody had seen for about 20 years and a (deceased) father whose first name was the same as Tom's middle name would make him more suspicious. That would lead to investigating Morfin's and Marvolo's criminal records and interviewing Ogden.

The Slughorn memory is a tough one to place. I would guess sometime after the 1956 job interview. After all, why would Dumbledore ask any other teachers if Tom Marvolo Riddle had ever asked them about dark magic (including Horcruxes) if he didn't have an idea that Tom was seeking unnaturally great power? The latest time for that memory would have been between the end of Chamber of Secrets and the events of Goblet of Fire. Dumbledore suspected the diary had been a horcrux and knew it was now destroyed, but apparently he didn't think Voldemort was truly dead. If the diary had been the only horcrux, wouldn't Vapormort have died when it was destroyed (no part of his soul would have had a tether to earthly life)?


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Old December 5th, 2007, 1:08 pm
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Re: How did Dumbledore find out about Voldemort's horcruxes

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Originally Posted by PrivetHedge View Post
I think he started his research no later than 1956. He makes clear when Tom comes for the job interview that he has been trying for some time prior to that point to keep abreast of Tom's activities and those of some of his associates.

I don't believe he went to Azkaban to interview Morfin or Hokey while a fugitive during the events of Phoenix. I don't believe it was ever explicitly stated, but I got the impression that neither Morfin nor Hokey lived a very long time in Azkaban. I would think those interviews took place as early as sometime after the Riddle family and Hepzibah Smith murders or (at the latest) the early part of his first rise to power. I would lean towards it being earlier rather than later.

I'm also assuming Dumbledore interviewed Bob Ogden somewhere in that same timeframe. If Dumbledore never figured out Tom's ancestry while Tom was a student, he must have done so at some point after the Riddle murders. Hearing that that three Muggles with the same last name as his creepy student had been murdered by a wizard would attract Dumbledore's attention. Discovering that the confessed killer had a sister who nobody had seen for about 20 years and a (deceased) father whose first name was the same as Tom's middle name would make him more suspicious. That would lead to investigating Morfin's and Marvolo's criminal records and interviewing Ogden.

The Slughorn memory is a tough one to place. I would guess sometime after the 1956 job interview. After all, why would Dumbledore ask any other teachers if Tom Marvolo Riddle had ever asked them about dark magic (including Horcruxes) if he didn't have an idea that Tom was seeking unnaturally great power? The latest time for that memory would have been between the end of Chamber of Secrets and the events of Goblet of Fire. Dumbledore suspected the diary had been a horcrux and knew it was now destroyed, but apparently he didn't think Voldemort was truly dead. If the diary had been the only horcrux, wouldn't Vapormort have died when it was destroyed (no part of his soul would have had a tether to earthly life)?
No. The line that set him off was that regarding Voldemort going further than any other wizard towards Immortality. Thus, your timeline is flawed. He didn't start examining things from that perspective til then. Until then he knew that Voldemort would be back, but he didn't know how. (remember, Dumbledore knew Voldemort knew magic of which Dumbledore had no knowledge.). As for the murder connection, how would news like that reach his ears?


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Old December 5th, 2007, 2:53 pm
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Re: How did Dumbledore find out about Voldemort's horcruxes

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Originally Posted by thewbacca
As for the murder connection, how would news like that reach his ears?
Dumbledore did say that he had made it his business to find out about Voldemort's past as much as possible. He was well-aware of the fact that Voldemort was related to Morfin Gaunt, hence explaining Dumbledore's ability to put the pieces together regarding the Riddles' deaths. As for Hokey, Dumbledore knew that Voldemort had been working at Borgin and Burkes, and it was shortly after Hepzibah Smith's disappearance that he had vanished. Knowing Dumbledore and his knack for making logical assumptions, he must've suspected that there was a chance that Riddle had had a hand in Hepzibah Smith's murder.

It seems that Dumbledore was knowledgeable in the creation of Horcruxes well before he discovered that Voldemort had been making them. His biggest hint, as he tells Harry in HBP, was the diary. He also discovered that Voldemort had made more than one because he made a connection with what Harry told him about Voldemort's claim that he alone had surpassed the boundaries of magic.


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Old December 5th, 2007, 3:15 pm
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Re: How did Dumbledore find out about Voldemort's horcruxes

The biggest hint that Dumbledore knew about horcruxes in general is that Slughorn tells Tom Riddle it's a forbidden subject at the school, and that Dumbledore was particularly fierce about it. (This is why I thought that Grindelwald had a horcrux, and Dumbledore discovered and destroyed it before defeating him...so much for that theory )

I think that, irrespective of knowledge that Voldemort likely had made horcruxes, starting the research immediately following the job interview makes sense. Dumbledore acknowledges hearing rumors at the interview, and I think he was determined post-interview to find out "why" Voldemort wanted the job.

I think the first true hint of multiple horcruxes was the diary - moving it two years earlier than the "further along the path to immortality" speech in the grave yard. Then the graveyard speech, then Sluggy's memory (which I think was obtained after recalling Slughorn to the school, just because having it elsewhere would make Dumbledore suspicious of multiple horcruxes earlier than I think he was...).

In summary, I think:
1956 or Godric's Hollow: Knowledge of A horcrux
Diary: Medium --> Strong hint of multiple horcruxes
Graveyard: Strong hints of multiple horcruxes; already identified most of them
OoTP: Harrycrux confirmed; already knew identity of all horcruxes except the tiara
HBP: All horcrux knowledge except identity of tiara confirmed; Nagini was left as strong suspicion


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Old December 5th, 2007, 8:52 pm
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Re: How did Dumbledore find out about Voldemort's horcruxes

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The biggest hint that Dumbledore knew about horcruxes in general is that Slughorn tells Tom Riddle it's a forbidden subject at the school, and that Dumbledore was particularly fierce about it. (This is why I thought that Grindelwald had a horcrux, and Dumbledore discovered and destroyed it before defeating him...so much for that theory )
Not really. It was feircly banned because ikts a sick, twisted, dark art. I'm suprisedc they left books on it out for so long.


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Old December 5th, 2007, 10:11 pm
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Re: How did Dumbledore find out about Voldemort's horcruxes

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Not really. It was feircly banned because ikts a sick, twisted, dark art. I'm suprisedc they left books on it out for so long.
Granted; all I was trying to say is that in the 1940's Dumbledore and Slughorn knew what a horcrux was. Slughorn knew that Tom Riddle was seeking the knowledge, but I doubt he ever told Dumbledore. I think we're both saying the same thing


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Old December 5th, 2007, 11:28 pm
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Re: How did Dumbledore find out about Voldemort's horcruxes

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Originally Posted by thewbacca View Post
He had some time off to think during the fifth book. He started his research then. Although, what perplexes me is, How did he get into Azkaban, and to Slughorn, when all of the Ministry was after him?
He could have used a disillusionment spell or poyljuice potion or a transfiguration charm - like Hermione used on Ron in the 7th book.


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