October 14, 2019—This week’s complement to the podcast episode (about Horcruxes… inspect it the end if you haven’t already) will be a tiny different. I’ve made decision to prize a solitary question dancing around the bother Potter fandom around everyone’s favorite Horcrux. I recognize that this is pure speculation, and, though i hope to safeguard my allude convincingly, I could be dead wrong. If girlfriend think i am, allow me know!

Dumbledore’s managing of harry childhood is just one of the great dividing problems of the take care of Potter books. Regardless of seeming to have actually no legitimate standing in harry life, the Headmaster has a better hand in his upbringing than any other adult, arguably. He is far more influential to the Boy who Lived 보다 the Dursleys, because that whom Harry has no respect, or also Remus and also Sirius, who flit in and also out of harry’s life too easily to truly mentor him and who bow to Dumbledore’s wishes together it comes to Harry.

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Dumbledore decides whereby Harry lives, through whom the spends breaks, what that is taught (in school and in life), and the ideal times come dole out painful truths. 

But the biggest decision the Dumbledore makes about the young boy is how he is to die. In Deathly Hallows, when Dumbledore tells Snape that Harry need to die, Snape accuses the of “raising prefer a pig because that slaughter,” and also Dumbledore deflects rather of denying it.

But exactly how true is that statement, really? exactly how long is Dumbledore planning harry end? when does he an initial know for certain that his favorite student is just one of Voldemort’s Horcruxes?

He walk not discover out the night of Voldemort’s first fall.


Many questions surrounding the occasions of Voldemort’s first fall in 1981 space answered in Deathly Hallows, when Harry it s okay a blow-by-blow the his parents’ deaths from inside Voldemort’s mind. What remains a an enig to this day, however, is what happens instantly after the fateful Avada Kedavra transforms everything.

More 보다 24 hours pass in between then and also Dumbledore’s meeting through McGonagall, Hagrid, and also Baby bother on Privet Drive. However it can’t take it Hagrid an ext than 5 hours to acquire from the Potters’ residence in the West nation to Surrey via paris motorcycle. It is a lot of time unaccounted for. So what, one might ponder, is happening come Harry between October 31 in the at an early stage evening and the wee hrs of November 2?

Who is the an initial to arrive on the scene: the to adjust or the Order? (Snape’s visit is one idea the lives totally in the movies.) how does indigenous of the events spread so rapidly and also thoroughly? who physically take away Harry indigenous the house? go Dumbledore himself view the wreckage and the baby but delegate his care to Hagrid for a job to address the autumn of Voldemort’s demise?

Does he run tests on the infant at some suggest and find out about the Horcrux? does he begin considering the child’s death when he’s just 18 month old?

I’ll admit, i don’t understand the price to many of these questions, though I might speculate all day long. I carry out believe, however, that Dumbledore does not discover out about the Horcrux at this time.

Here are his specific words top top the matter in stimulate of the Phoenix: “I guessed, fifteen year ago, as soon as I experienced the scar upon her forehead, what it could mean. I guessed that it might be the authorize of a link forged between you and also Voldemort.”

Suspecting a destiny-fuelled connection between two prophecy-touched individuals is one thing. Surmising the an infant residences a item of an evil wizard’s really soul in ~ his human body is one entirely various matter. In ~ this point, Dumbledore doesn’t also know about the Horcruxes at all. (Else why doesn’t he track them down and also destroy them in the decade that Voldemort is gone? It would torpedo the whole book series, but it would certainly be much much more efficient.)

No, when he observes it for the an initial time, i think the Dumbledore simply sees baby Harry’s scar as both a confirmation the Harry is the kid of the prophecy and a mark that fate has actually bound the 2 together. 

He does not discover out once he realizes harry’s scar very first starts hurting him.


Dumbledore and also Harry carry out not yes, really talk about the ache Harry experiences in his scar until the later on books, but it’s type of generally welcomed that Dumbledore knows around it. He probably observes harry’s discomfort himself, or probably others point out it come him—it’s not exactly a secret.

Dumbledore confirms this idea himself in stimulate of the Phoenix: “It became apparent, quickly after you rejoined the magical civilization . . . That your scar was giving you warnings as soon as Voldemort to be close to you, or rather feeling powerful emotion.”

So stop assume that Dumbledore figures out the connection in between Harry’s pain and Voldemort’s presence no later than the end of sorcerer’s Stone. Part posit the this is an unmistakable authorize that bother is a Horcrux and also that Dumbledore’s perceptiveness can make the leap.

Remember, though, that Dumbledore is no omniscient. It’s basic to forget, provided his undeniable talent for learning things and his astonishing powers of deduction. Yet Dumbledore walk learn and also discover and realize points throughout the harry Potter series.

And in ~ this point, he still does not know around the Horcruxes. Therefore while I’m certain he thinks around the issue a great deal and comes up v a myriad the theories, it’s still an ext than a leap to obtain to “Voldemort’s soul need to reside within Harry.”

He go not uncover out as soon as Harry speak him about Riddle’s Diary.

This is when Dumbledore finds out for sure about the Horcruxes, setup him top top a course that he treads for the remainder of his life, never reaching his destination. But I still nothing think he instantly makes the link to Harry, at the very least not v certainty. There room a lot of of actions he has to take prior to he arrives at “human Horcrux.”

Dumbledore knows Riddle’s Diary no a memory, and he automatically realizes what it important is. He’s already read Magick Moste Evile, after ~ all.I assume that Dumbledore climate tries to check whether Voldemort is pursued the devastation of his Horcrux. Though Dumbledore suspects the Diary isn’t the only one, provided that the is “intended together a weapon as much as a safeguard,” that is a thorough man. That course, after finding out Voldemort come still be haunting Albanian forests, Dumbledore knows for certain that there must be an additional Horcrux.Dumbledore start painstakingly collecting or reviewing old memories—from Bob Ogden, Morfin Gaunt, Horace Slughorn, Hokey, and probably many others—to find what the various other Horcrux could be.As Dumbledore realizes that there room multiple objects that could have end up being Horcruxes, he creates his 6-Horcrux theory.As bother exhibits increasingly worrying symptoms (Parseltongue, an ext intense and frequent pains, emotionally mirroring, psychic sharing), Dumbledore’s theories around the cause start to get much more concrete and specific, and also the indicators pointing him toward “human Horcrux” come to be larger and also brighter. Certainly, by the finish of Goblet the Fire, Dumbledore suspects sufficient to are afraid Voldemort’s accessibility to harry’s mind, for this reason he start icing harry out.


Then, just before Christmas that Harry’s fifth year…

He finds the end for sure automatically after Nagini’s attack on Arthur Weasley.

This night is far-ranging in many ways. If Harry sleeps, the enters Nagini’s mind. In illustration 6, us spoke of just how Voldemort discovers his mental link with harry on this night, but Dumbledore renders a exploration as well, one even an ext important.

After Harry describes his experience, Dumbledore walk something oft-forgotten and also rather confusing. He prods among his spindly silver instruments with his wand, watches it emit eco-friendly smoke in the shape of a snake, and then says, “Naturally, naturally. But in significance divided?” The line then splits right into two, and Dumbledore deactivates the object.

The event is never explained or also mentioned again transparent the series. Yet I think this is the minute that Dumbledore’s suspicions around Harry turn to certainty.

JK Rowling has said that this step depicts Dumbledore confirming that Nagini is a Horcrux, the she has actually two essences in ~ her. (That idea take away on new an interpretation now that we recognize Nagini was as soon as human and might still have her own soul alongside Voldemort’s in her body.)

Up to this point, there space still several feasible causes because that Harry’s connection to Voldemort. Their situation is unique, as Dumbledore points the end in Deathly Hallows: “ou and also Lord Voldemort have journeyed together right into realms of magic hitherto unknown and also untested.”

They are bound together by both prophecy and choice. They are the caster and the survivor that the an initial ever failed Avada Kedavra. Your wands have brother cores. Post-resurrection, lock share each other’s an extremely life-blood. There room plenty of points binding them with each other that could reason unprecedented miracle reactions without bringing souls right into the matter.


But nobody of the is true the Nagini. There are no wands or spells or prophecies that bind her and Harry together. The only thing that deserve to have brought Harry to she in his sleep is the Horcrux, whose presence Dumbledore has just confirmed. The proof that the link is soul-deep, a Horcrux come a Horcrux.

Does Dumbledore instantly start plotting how to kinds Harry’s ultimate self-sacrifice? i don’t think so. For all of Dumbledore’s faults, that does not believe that human beings are expendable commodities, and also he genuinely cares around Harry. And also like i said, he is a thorough man.

I think that spends the next several months, if on the run from the Ministry, exhausting every source at his disposal to discover another method to remove the Horcrux native Harry (and looking for other Horcruxes, yet he can multitask). Yet by the time we view him challenge the Dursleys in ~ the beginning of Half-Blood Prince, I believe he’s pertained to the conclusion that there is no way to stop Harry’s eventual death. Thus, the spends the critical months of his life obtaining Harry all set to confront his fate.

Even if you believe Dumbledore to it is in a cold, heartless monster (and over there are arguments to be made), you can’t probably deny the Harry is loved and also valued through his parents. Why execute I carry this up?

In Deathly Hallows, in the Forest, after ~ Harry has called his dead love ones come him through the Resurrection Stone, no a solitary one of lock protests his arrangement to walk come his very own death. Lily and also James Potter have actually literally passed away to store Harry alive, and also yet lock calmly expropriate his impending demise.


It’s fair to assume that, if Dumbledore’s decision to command Harry come his death is premature or ill-considered in any way, the Potters would certainly tell the to walk back, the there could be another solution, the his death can’t be the just answer. And it’s very possible (though not certain) the Harry would certainly listen come them.

But castle don’t; they just offer lull and company as he goes to satisfy his end. And also I think that’s an extremely telling.

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So just how long is Dumbledore planning for Harry’s death? I’d controversy a year at the most, and also only after ruling out every various other possibility for ending Voldemort’s life. Now, even if it is Voldemort’s death is the only way to end the war… that’s an additional discussion.