Pinterest. The place where Potterheads go to geek and nerd out even more about the Harry Potter series. People pin recipes inspired by the Wizarding World, create memes that we all know are so very true, and my personal favorite, pin gorgeous artwork that has been created by some very talented artists.
Not long ago when I was exploring the infinite Harry Potter artwork on Pinterest, I came across a piece that sparked my interest even more than usual.
Though some of the scenes in this artwork are able to be viewed as comical (such as young Tom Riddle wearing the Diadem of Ravenclaw), the artwork itself offers an interesting topic for discussion. That topic is what the artwork depicts: the 'timeline' of Lord Voldemort in creating His Horcruxes.
Readers of the Harry Potter series know very well that Lord Voldemort created a Horcrux, which is defined as "a powerful object in which a Dark wizard or witch has hidden a fragment of his or her soul for the purpose of attaining immortality," (Harry Potter Wiki). In fact, Lord Voldemort created seven Horcruxes; six of them were intentional, whereas one of them was not.
As the artwork depicts, the Horcruxes that Lord Voldemort intentionally created are: Tom Riddle's Diary, Marvolo Gaunt's Ring, Rowena Ravenclaw's Diadem, Helga Hufflepuff's Cup, Salazar Slytherin's Locket, and Nagini. Harry Potter, of course, was the unintentional Horcrux that Lord Voldemort never intended to make. However, from the time that young Tom Riddle made his Diary into a Horcrux, to the time when Nagini, the pet snake of Lord Voldemort, became the final Horcrux, a length of over fifty years has passed.
The desire for the Dark Lord to become immortal has been in existence since a very young age when He was first known as Tom Riddle. Yet, why did it take so many years for Him to finally create all of His intended Horcruxes?
In order to further investigate this inquiry, it is necessary to first understand some of the basic elements of how a Horcrux is created.
"[Creating a horcrux is] the Darkest of magic and can only be performed after a [witch or] wizard splits [their] soul by committing murder, an act of pure evil. A Horcrux protects the bit of soul encased within from anything that might happen to a [witch or] wizard's body. Once a Horcrux has been created, the [witch or] wizard who made it cannot be killed until the object is destroyed." (The Lexicon- Horcrux - Pgs. 158-159)
In summary, of what we know in order to create a Horcrux, a witch or wizard has need of killing someone so that they may split a part of their soul and preserve it within an object of their choosing.
With regards to Lord Voldemort and choosing His Horcruxes, as listed above, readers of the Harry Potter series are aware of these particular objects. However, there is much more to why these objects were chosen, that is, according to Albus Dumbledore.
During Harry Potter's sixth year at Hogwarts, Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, instructed Harry on the past of Lord Voldemort. During these private lessons, Harry, along with the reader, learn from Dumbledore not only about Voldemort's past but also crucial information as to certain motives behind Voldemort's Horcruxes.
During the final lesson, when it is discovered that Lord Voldemort would have created six Horcruxes, Dumbledore suggests and is 'prepared to bet a couple of fingers' that two of the Horcruxes are Helga Hufflepuff's Cup and Salazar Slytherin's Locket. Additionally, Dumbledore 'hazards a guess' that "having secured objects from Hufflepuff and Slytherin, [Voldemort] set out to track down objects owned by Gryffindor or Ravenclaw. Four objects from the four founders would [...] have exerted a powerful pull over Voldemort's imagination," (HPHBP - Chapter 23 - Pg. 505).
Not only would objects from the four founders of Hogwarts intrigue Lord Voldemort because of their historic connection to Hogwarts, the place He considered His first 'true home,' but also, it would mean two additional aspects. The first is that after creating the Horcrux Diary and Ring, it made deciding what were to be the other four Horcruxes to be a very simple task. The second is that it proves once again that Lord Voldemort from a very young age knew exactly what He wanted in life and also exactly how He was going to achieve it.
Voldemort desired so strongly to become immortal, and He was going to achieve this by means of creating Horcruxes. And for four of those Horcruxes, it is without question that, once again, Dumbledore would be right in his theory that Voldemort would have set out to find objects from all four founders. As stated previously, Voldemort would have known from a young age the objects that he would have intended to use as Horcruxes. However, what may have been difficult for Voldemort would have been choosing the victims to use in the creation of his Horcruxes.
As Dumbledore informs Harry during their private lessons together, "Lord Voldemort liked to collect trophies, and he preferred objects with a powerful magical history. His pride, his belief in his own superiority, his determination to carve for himself a startling place in magical history; these things suggest [...] that Voldemort would have chosen his Horcruxes with some care, favoring objects worthy of the honor," (HPHBP - Chapter 23 - Pg. 504).
Along with His worthy selection of Horcrux objects, according to Dumbledore, Lord Voldemort also "seems to have reserved the process of making Horcruxes for particularly significant deaths," (HPHBP - Chapter 23 - Pg. 506).
Though it is not directly stated within the books, readers of the Harry Potter series are able to infer some, but not all, of the victims that Lord Voldemort used in order to create his Horcruxes. However, during a Live Chat in 2007 that was hosted by Bloomsbury.com, J.K. Rowling herself revealed each of the victims and the Horcrux that was created as a result of their murder.
"The diary - Moaning Myrtle. The cup - Hepzibah Smith, the previous owner. The locket - a Muggle tramp. Nagini - Bertha Jorkins (Voldemort could use a wand once he regained a rudimentary body, as long as the victim was subdued). The diadem - an Albanian peasant. The ring - Tom Riddle [Senior]." http://www.accio-quote.org/articles/2007/0730-bloomsbury-chat.html
As mentioned previously, Voldemort saved the creation of His Horcruxes for 'significant deaths.' With regards to His Horcrux victims, firstly Moaning Myrtle, she was His first murder. The murder of His father, Tom Riddle Senior, was significant for it eliminated His ties altogether with His Muggle heritage. Additionally, the murder of Bertha Jorkins is deemed significant for the information that she revealed to Voldemort allowed Him to create a 'fool-proof' way to regain His body and return to the Wizarding World.
However, when it comes to the murder of Hepzibah Smith, yes, Voldemort took the locket and cup for gain, as well as Him viewing Slytherin's Locket as being 'rightfully his.' But these aspects alone are not truly that significant when compared to the Diary, Ring, and Nagini. Furthermore, the murders of an 'Albanian peasant' and a 'Muggle tramp' do not even seem to possess any significance whatsoever, especially when they were never mentioned within the books.
When J.K. Rowling revealed that the murders of Hepzibah Smith, an 'Albanian peasant,' and a 'Muggle tramp' were used to create three of Voldemort's Horcruxes, this revelation may have caused a few eyebrows to be raised in question, especially for the latter two victims. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to discover what theories may exist with regards to the significance of these three murders in the creation of Voldemort's Horcruxes. Moreover, along with this pursuit, perhaps additional theories are able to be discovered of why Voldemort ceased his search for possessing four objects from the four founders of Hogwarts.
To commence this discovery of theories, let us begin with what readers of the Harry Potter series know so far with regards to these three victims, and of these three victims, the only one about which we truly know anything is Hepzibah Smith.
From one of his private lessons with Dumbledore, Harry, along with the reader, learns that Hepzibah Smith was a 'very old, very rich witch' who once had the infamous pleasure of meeting Lord Voldemort, known then as Tom Riddle. The reason for His visit was to use His handsome looks and cleverness to collect something for Mr. Burke, being that Tom Riddle was employed at Borgin and Burkes shortly after graduating from Hogwarts.
However, Hepzibah Smith is not interested in selling her goblin armor, but rather more interested in showing 'Mr. Riddle [her] finest treasure,' or rather, two. One is a locket that once belonged to Salazar Slytherin, and the other a cup that once belonged to Helga Hufflepuff. Upon showing the cup to Tom Riddle, Hepzibah Smith reveals how the cup came to be in her possession.
"Didn't I tell you I was distantly descended [from Helga Hufflepuff]? This has been handed down in the family for years and years" (HPB - Chapter 20 - Pg. 436).
The fact that the cup belonged to Helga Hufflepuff would have constituted to Lord Voldemort as it being an object 'worthy of the honor' to become one of His Horcruxes. And the fact that Hepzibah Smith is a descendant of Helga Hufflepuff would constitute her murder as being significant, being that Voldemort is using the murder of a founder's descendant to create a Horcrux from an object that had belonged to that founder.
With this piece of evidence being brought forth, let us now investigate if this theory of using the murder of a Hogwarts founder's descendant to create a Horcrux from an object that had belonged to that founder holds true to another Horcrux that had once belonged to a Hogwarts founder: the Diadem of Rowena Ravenclaw.
As Harry Potter and readers learn from the Sorting Hat, Rowena Ravenclaw, one of the four founders of Hogwarts, came from the Glens in Scotland. However, there is debate as to whether or not Rowena was born a Ravenclaw, or merely married into the Ravenclaw family. One piece of evidence that has been given to support the idea that she was married into the family is that her daughter, Helena Ravenclaw, shares her last name, which would be a 'married' name. Yet, this piece of evidence is not very conclusive.
Nonetheless, upon further examination of this concept, one is able to discover the possibility of other origins for Rowena Ravenclaw. The best place to start such further examination is what she left behind after her death. The obvious one is her Diadem, and the other is her very own House Crest.
Both Harry Potter and readers learn that each of the four Houses possesses two colors and an animal that represent each House. Gryffindor: Scarlet and Gold, and a Lion. Slytherin: Green and Silver, and a Serpent. Hufflepuff: Yellow and Black, and a Badger. Ravenclaw: Blue and Bronze, and an Eagle.
Upon first glance, each of the four Houses is represented by an animal that is very similarly related to their name. Gryffindor is a Lion, and a lion is similar in appearance to a Gryffin. Slytherin is a Serpent, and a serpent does indeed 'slither.' Hufflepuff is a Badger, and badgers are creatures that do 'huff and puff,' both in breathing and in searching for food. Yet, Ravenclaw is an Eagle, even though the word 'raven' is in its name.
Ever since readers of the Harry Potter series learned that the symbol for Ravenclaw House is an eagle, there has always been the intriguing question as to why this is. Even Pinterest has pinned a comical reference to this idea, in the form of a Harry Potter meme.
As readers of the Harry Potter series well know, J.K. Rowling is one who does not do anything unintentional, meaning that there must exist some logical explanation as to why the symbol of Ravenclaw is an eagle. However, little is known about Rowena Ravenclaw, other than certain aspects such being from the Glens and being a Hogwarts founder.
But what readers do know is that Rowena Ravenclaw did have a daughter, and it is the history of Helena Ravenclaw where some answers may be able to be discovered.
When searching for the Diadem of Rowena Ravenclaw during the Battle of Hogwarts, Harry Potter finds and speaks with the Grey Lady, the Ghost of Ravenclaw Tower, in the hope that she will reveal to him anything that she knows about the diadem. To his surprise, Harry discovers that he has not only gained her confidence, but also that she, Helena Ravenclaw, stole the diadem from her mother, Rowena Ravenclaw.
"I sought to make myself more cleverer, more important than my mother. I ran away with it." - Helena Ravenclaw - (HPDH - Chapter 31 - Pg. 616).
Furthermore, Harry learns from Helena Ravenclaw that once she stole the diadem, she fled to a forest in Albania. This same forest in Albania is where Lord Voldemort sought refuge during the years between his first downfall in 1981 and his return to the United Kingdom in 1991.
Being that Lord Voldemort made the Diadem of Rowena Ravenclaw into a Horcrux, it is obvious that He traveled to Albania where He was able to retrieve it. Additionally, being that Voldemort made this Horcrux using the murder of an Albanian peasant, it is most likely that it is during this retrieval of the diadem when He committed this murder.
Harry Potter, including we as readers of the Harry Potter series, understand the motives of the Dark Lord for traveling to Albania, both before and after His first downfall. But why did Helena Ravenclaw travel to Albania. In other words, why Albania?
It would seem highly improbable that Rowena Ravenclaw opened up a book containing an atlas of the globe, closed her eyes and fled to the place wherever her finger landed on the map. So, again, why Albania? Well, why would anyone want to go anywhere? The answer, simply, is because that place has meaning to that person. Whether or not Helena Ravenclaw had been to Albania prior to her fleeing there with the diadem is not known. Yet, perhaps someone else that she knew had been to Albania, or rather, came from Albania.
As stated previously, there has been debate over whether or not Rowena Ravenclaw was originally born a Ravenclaw, or married into the Ravenclaw family. When looking at what she left behind in the Wizarding World, along with her diadem, the Ravenclaw House Crest is an object that represents her. This questionable crest is described as such because of the fact that rather than a raven as its animal representation, the symbol for the House of Ravenclaw is an eagle.
With regards to Albania, when one views the Flag of Albania, the symbol upon the flag is a double-headed eagle. According to the book Historical Dictionary of Albania, by Robert Elsie, "[t]he eagle was used for heraldic purposes in the Late Middle Ages by a number of noble families in Albania and became the symbol of the Albanians." Furthermore, along with the 'golden eagle' (which looks bronze in color) to be known as the national symbol of Albania, one of the old names for Albania, according to the book History of Albania (A Brief Overview), by Kristo Frasheri, is able to be interpreted as "Land of the Eagles."
By means of this connection between Albania and the Hogwarts House of Ravenclaw, this evidence suggests that Rowena Ravenclaw may have had certain connections, most likely family, to the country of Albania. Because of this direct connection, it is most likely for this reason that Helena Ravenclaw decided to flee to Albania with her mother's diadem.
With regards to Lord Voldemort using Ravenclaw's Diadem to create a Horcrux, Harry Potter fans know from J.K. Rowling herself that the victim of Voldemort whose murder was used to create this particular Horcrux was an Albanian peasant. Once again, if Voldemort "reserved the process of making Horcruxes for particularly significant deaths," (HBP - Chapter 23 - Pg. 506) how does the death of an Albanian peasant find itself within this concept?
Based upon what we know regarding Hepzibah Smith, readers know that she was a descendant of Helga Hufflepuff, thus allowing Voldemort to use the murder of a Hogwarts founder's descendant to create a Horcrux from an object that had belonged to that founder. Being that there exists evidence suggesting that Rowena Ravenclaw may indeed have a direct connection to Albania, perhaps this particular Albanian peasant that Voldemort murdered was in fact a descendant of Rowena Ravenclaw.
The fact that Hepzibah Smith is a descendant of Helga Hufflepuff allows the idea of other descendants of Hogwarts founders to be in existence. And readers already know that this is true, being that Lord Voldemort Himself is the Heir of Slytherin. Perhaps this very same idea came to the thoughts of Voldemort when venturing off to Albania to retrieve the Lost Diadem. At first, the task of finding a descendant of Ravenclaw in Albania may seem rather problematic. However, Voldemort was rather knowledgeable when it came to Wizarding Genealogy.
Using the records found in the Hogwarts library, young Tom Riddle was able to discover that He was a descendant of Salazar Slytherin. Whilst searching for His own Wizarding genealogy, He most definitely would have come across the genealogy of other Wizarding families. Perhaps one such family was that of Ravenclaw, and Voldemort was able to discover who the living descendants of Helena Ravenclaw were and where those descendants currently resided, specifically, where in Albania.
Therefore, based upon the evidence presented, a reason for Lord Voldemort to choose the Albanian peasant to create a Horcrux is so that He, once again, could use the murder of a Hogwarts founder's descendant to create a Horcrux from an object that had belonged to that founder.
Of the Horcruxes that Lord Voldemort created, three of them had once belonged to three of the founders of Hogwarts: Helga Hufflepuff's Cup, Rowena Ravenclaw's diadem, and Salazar Slytherin's Locket. Based upon the idea of using the murder of a Hogwarts founder's descendant to create a Horcrux from an object that had belonged to that founder, by means of the evidence presented, the murders of Hepzibah Smith and the Albanian peasant would be significant murders for Voldemort. However, with regards to the Locket of Salazar Slytherin, this theory is not able to be applied to this particular Horcrux.
J.K. Rowling has made it immensely clear, both within and outside of the Harry Potter series, that Lord Voldemort is the last living descendant of Salazar Slytherin. Therefore, it would not be at all possible for Voldemort to use the murder of a descendant of Salazar Slytherin to create a Horcrux from an object that had belonged to him, thus causing a dilemma for Voldemort in choosing His Horcrux victim. With this being stated, what possible reason could there be for Lord Voldemort murdering a Muggle tramp, and He deeming it a significant death to be used in order to make Slytherin's Locket into a Horcrux?
Based upon this dilemma for Lord Voldemort, it is apparent that for the case of creating the Horcrux Locket, a new approach for choosing a Horcrux victim would have to be taken. Being that it would be impossible to discover an existing lineage to Salazar Slytherin other than Voldemort Himself, the next best place to start is to discover the existing lineage of the Locket itself; that is to say, from where the Locket came, or rather, where it has been.
On June 30th, 1997, Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore set off to a location that it is highly believed by Dumbledore where Lord Voldemort is hiding one of his Horcruxes. The place to where they venture is a seaside cave. As Dumbledore explains, this particular cave is where Lord Voldemort, known as a child as Tom Riddle, brought "two small children with him, probably for the pleasure of terrorizing them," (HPHBP - Chapter 26 - Pg. 556). When discovered, the Horcrux that hides in this cave is the Horcrux Locket. As to the reason of why Lord Voldemort would choose this cave from his childhood as a final hiding place for arguably his most prized Horcrux, there are two possibilities, and both being able to be true.
Firstly, along with using powerful or significantly historical artifacts as Horcruxes and using the murders of 'significant deaths' to create such Horcruxes, there also exists a significance in the hiding places that Lord Voldemort has chosen. When the reader investigates further, these significant hiding places of Voldemort were chosen based upon from where the objects used to make His Horcruxes were once found.
The Diary originally belonged to the Dark Lord Himself, Tom Riddle. Though He kept it with Him after graduating Hogwarts, the Diary was written when He was at Hogwarts, and to Hogwarts is where it was intended to return. This is proven by the Dark Lord planning on giving Lucius Malfoy orders to smuggle the Diary back into Hogwarts.
Dumbledore found the Ring in the abandoned Gaunt House, which is also the place where Voldemort found it.
Once the Cup was turned into a Horcrux, Voldemort had it placed inside the Lestrange's Vault at Gringotts Bank. Harry Potter makes the connection between the Horcrux and the Gringotts Vault by means of how Voldemort would have seen a vault at Gringotts Bank as "a real symbol of belonging to the Wizarding world," (HPDH - Chapter 24 - Pg. 491). Additionally, Hepzibah Smith kept her treasure 'locked up with the usual enchantments.' Though Voldemort did not find the Cup at Gringotts, to Him, it would have been the next best place that was similar to where He originally found it.
During the Battle of Hogwarts, Harry Potter finds the Diadem in the Room of Requirement. By placing the Horcrux in this particular room at Hogwarts, it is a representation of Voldemort, as Dumbledore states, "penetrat[ing] many more of [Hogwarts'] secrets than most of the students who pass through the place," (HPHBP - Chapter 20 - Pg. 431). Furthermore, Helena Ravenclaw stole the Diadem from her mother, Rowena Ravenclaw, thus causing Voldemort to return the Diadem to Hogwarts; the place from where it was stolen, the place where Helena Ravenclaw found it.
The Locket too is able to follow this pattern of places where it was once found, and though only Lord Voldemort remains as the last living descendant of Salazar Slytherin, the cave where Voldemort hides His Horcrux Locket is possibly able to be connected to Slytherin.
Harry Potter and readers learn from Dumbledore that the cave where Voldemort hid His Horcrux Locket is the cave where young Tom Riddle took two fellow orphans and terrorized them. The reason for young Tom Riddle and the other two orphans being in that area is because it is there where Dumbledore believed Mrs. Cole, the person in charge of Wool's Orphanage where Tom Riddle was born and where He lived, took the orphans once during an annual visit, either to the countryside or seaside, 'for a little sea air and a view of the waves.' Being that Wool's Orphanage was located in London, the nearest seashores would be either those on the southern or eastern side of England.
When connecting the cave to Salazar Slytherin, as sung by the Sorting Hat, Salazar Slytherin came from the Fens, which is an area surrounding a section of the east coast of England, specifically the English counties of Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, and Norfolk, including some part of Suffolk. Not only did Slytherin come from the Fens, but when he left Hogwarts, perhaps it is back to the Fens where he went. The Fens are not far from London, especially by train. Therefore, it is a likely possibility that as an orphan, Tom Riddle, along with the other orphans, once took their annual trip to the seaside in the Fens.
This theory is one possible reason to why Lord Voldemort would choose this cave from his childhood as a final hiding place for his Horcrux Locket, being that Salazar Slytherin possibly himself found himself there, and most likely with his Locket in his possession. However, this possible connection between the cave and the Fens from where Slytherin came is more of an 'added bonus' for Voldemort when deciding where to hide His Locket. The second reason, which is highly more plausible, is because it is the place where Voldemort terrorized the two children from his past.
And it is this event where there may reside some clue as to who the Muggle tramp could be.
The Horcrux Locket is arguably the most prized Horcrux that Lord Voldemort possessed, being that it once belonged to His ancestor Salazar Slytherin. Yet, once again, what significance would there be to killing a Muggle tramp and using this murder to create the Horcrux Locket? It is possible that like the Albanian peasant, Voldemort may have never known the Muggle tramp. But as suggested earlier, the Albanian peasant may have had ancestral roots to Rowena Ravenclaw, which would have made the murder of the Albanian peasant significant for Voldemort. The Muggle tramp could have been killed just for being a Muggle, but of all the Muggles in the world that the Dark Lord could have killed, why this particular Muggle? With no ties to Salazar Slytherin, the Muggle Tramp is most likely to be someone that Voldemort knew. And with regards to the cave, the only other individuals that had any connection to the cave were the two children that Voldemort took there to terrorize.
In other words, perhaps one of the two terrorized children became the Muggle tramp that Voldemort murdered in order to create the Horcrux Locket.
All that is known about what happened in the cave where Tom Riddle took Amy Benson and Dennis Bishop, the two children that were terrorized, according to Mrs. Cole, is that 'something happened in there.' However, Tom Riddle Himself offers a clue as to what may have happened. When Dumbledore first met Tom Riddle, it was to inform Him at Wool's Orphanage that He was a wizard and that He was accepted to Hogwarts. Determined to impress Dumbledore, Tom Riddle informs Dumbledore of His ability to speak with snakes.
"I can speak to snakes. I found out when we've been to the country on trips - they find me, they whisper to me." - Tom Riddle - (HPHPB - Chapter 13 - 274)
According to Tom Riddle Himself, it is during their annual trips where He first learned of His ability to speak to snakes, to speak Parseltongue. Perhaps it is during the annual trip where Tom Riddle terrorized Amy Benson and Dennis Bishop when He made this discovery, specifically, in the cave.
To Voldemort, being that the ability to speak to snakes is not a common gift, He would have viewed it as not only a superior quality within Himself, but also, as a significant point in His life. And such a significant point in life would, in His thoughts, be worthy of being the hiding place for the Locket that once belonged to the famous Parselmouth, Salazar Slytherin. Furthermore, Amy Benson and Dennis Bishop would have been the first to witness this ability of Tom Riddle, thus causing the murder of either of them to be a significant death to Voldemort in the creation of the Horcrux Locket.
Moreover, with regards to the 'added bonus' of Salazar Slytherin being from the Fens, if the cave is indeed located in the Fens, then like His ancestor Salazar Slytherin, Lord Voldemort also discovered His ability to speak to snakes in the Fens, thus causing Voldemort to hide the Horcrux Locket in the place we He found His Parseltongue ability, the same place (the Fens) where Salazar Slytherin found his Parseltongue ability.
Lord Voldemort intended to create six Horcruxes, but in reality, He created seven. The seventh, of course, is Harry Potter. However, though Harry was never intended to become a Horcrux, he was intended to be a Horcrux victim.
During the final private lesson, Dumbledore informs Harry of how he was intended to be the final Horcrux victim.
"[I]f my calculations are correct, Voldemort was still at least one Horcrux short of his goal of six when he entered your parents' house with the intention of killing you [Harry]. [Voldemort] seems to have reserved the process of making Horcruxes for particularly significant deaths. You would certainly have been that. He believed that in killing you, he was destroying the danger the prophecy had outlined. He believed he was making himself invincible. I am sure that he was intending to make his final Horcrux with your death." - Albus Dumbledore - (HPHBP - Chapter 23 - Pg. 506).
From the evidence presented so far, we have learned that Lord Voldemort has not always known right away his Horcrux victims, However, what the Dark Lord did always know was what object was going to be made into His Horcrux. Therefore, if Voldemort was to indeed use the murder of Harry Potter to create a Horcrux, then what exactly would that object be?
If we are to take Dumbledore at his word when he says to Harry that he is "forced to conclude that [Voldemort] never fulfilled his ambition of collecting four founders' objects," (HPHBP - Chapter 23 - Pg. 506), then Voldemort would not have had an object from Gryffindor to use in creating a Horcrux. But if not an object from Gryffindor, what other 'significant' magical object would the Dark Lord have deemed worthy of becoming his (originally intended) final Horcrux? Looking at what His Horcruxes are, readers are able to view that one of them, the Diary, is a personal possession that the Dark Lord has had since he was at Hogwarts. Perhaps something else of which readers know that Voldemort possess could have been used to become the Horcrux.
Tom Riddle possessed few objects that he was able to call his own. But one that he most definitely could call his own was his wand.
The wand does indeed choose the wizards, but happens in this case, it is the wizard that chose the wand, specifically, chose the wand to become a Horcrux.
Just as any witch or wizard, Voldemort would have been 'attached' to his wand. Not only His wand the one that would have been with him for every murder that he committed, but also, it would have been one of the first items that He would have purchased when he was eleven years old at Diagon Alley. In fact, when Dumbledore first met Tom Riddle at Wool's Orphanage, and withdrew his wand to cause the wardrobe to burst into flames, Riddle "stared from the wardrobe to Dumbledore; then, his expression greedy, pointed at the wand. 'Where can I get one of them?'" (HPHBP - Chapter 13 - Pg. 272).
From when He first learned that He was a wizard, Tom Riddle would have seen the power and potential that such a magical device would have given him, thus being able to be a personal object 'worthy of the task' of not only creating Horcruxes, but also being one.
If Lord Voldemort was to indeed use his wand as the (originally intended) final Horcrux, that would mean that Voldemort did give up on the pursuit of obtaining four objects from the four founders of Hogwarts. Even Dumbledore makes this reference once it is believed that Nagini is the final Horcrux.
"I am forced to conclude that he never fulfilled his ambition of collecting four founders' objects. He definitely had two - he may have found three - that is the best we can do for now." - Albus Dumbledore (HPHBP - Chapter 23 - Pg. 506).
However, the theory of Dumbledore that suggests the idea that Voldemort obtaining objects from each of the founders of Hogwarts "would [...] have exerted a powerful pull over Voldemort's imagination" was still an option when Voldemort returned to Hogwarts in the attempt to gain a teaching position at Hogwarts.
Harry Potter - "Do you think that's why he really wanted to come back to Hogwarts, sir? To try and find something from one of the founders?"
Albus Dumbledore - "My thoughts precisely."
(HPHBP - Chapter 23 - Pg. 504)
In other words, at this point in time, Voldemort may yet to have given up on His search for four objects from the Hogwarts founders. Harry Potter eventually finds out that Voldemort must have hidden the Diadem of Ravenclaw in the Room of Requirement that time when Voldemort returned to Hogwarts in the attempt to gain a teaching position. Perhaps, additionally, Voldemort was attempting to retrieve the 'only known relic' of Godric Gryffindor, the Sword.
Obviously, the Dark Lord was unsuccessful in retrieving the Sword, but let us not yet cease this adventurous inquiry of obtaining an object from Gryffindor. Rather, let us look at what J.K. Rowling has told her beloved fans.
Harry Potter was intended to be the (original) final Horcrux victim as a result of Voldemort ceasing the Prophecy to no longer exist. Yet, as readers know, along with Harry Potter as being the one mentioned in the Prophecy, the same could be true for Neville Longbottom. But, according to Dumbledore, there was a reason for why Voldemort chose Harry over Neville.
"[Voldemort] chose the boy he thought most likely to be in danger to him. Andnotice this, Harry. He chose, not the pureblood, but the half-blood, like himself. He saw himself in you before he had ever seen you [....]" - Albus Dumbledore - (HPOotP - Chapter 37 - Pg. 842)
From the perspective of Dumbledore, this does indeed make sense. However, there has been some online debate as to whether or not another reason exists for Voldemort choosing Harry Potter over Nevile Longbottom. That debate rests in the idea that Harry Potter is an 'heir' of Godric Gryffindor.
Whenever this debate it referenced, there are only two sources that are solely sourced, and both are interviews with J.K. Rowling, as cited on Accio Quote. The first source comes from J.K. Rowling's World Book Day Chat that took place on March 4th, 2004. One of the questions that was asked to J.K. Rowling was regarding Harry's relation to Godric Gryffindor.
Question - "Is Harry [Potter] related to Godric Gryffindor?"
J.K. Rowling - "People are always wondering who Harry might be related to. Maybe he is ;)"
This answer then led fans to believe that Harry Potter may actually be a descendant of Gryffindor. However, during an interview between J.K. Rowling and The Leaky Cauldron, along with Mugglenet, on July 16th 2005, Rowling gave a response that is claimed to have ended this debate once and for all.
MA: What about Harry's family — his grandparents — were they killed?
JKR: No. This takes us into more mundane territory. As a writer, it was more interesting, plot-wise, if Harry was completely alone. So I rather ruthlessly disposed of his entire family apart from Aunt Petunia. I mean, James and Lily are massively important to the plot, of course, but the grandparents? No. And, because I do like my backstory: Petunia and Lily's parents, normal Muggle death. James's parents were elderly, were getting on a little when he was born, which explains the only child, very pampered, had-him-late-in-life-so-he's-an-extra-treasure, as often happens, I think. They were old in wizarding terms, and they died. They succumbed to a wizarding illness. That's as far as it goes. There's nothing serious or sinister about those deaths. I just needed them out of the way so I killed them.
MA: That sort of shuts down Heir of Gryffindor [theories], as well.
JKR: [Pause.] Yeah. Well - yeah.
MA: Another one bites the dust.
Many fans of theHarry Potter
series have used this second source as 'definitive proof' that Harry Potter is not at all the 'Heir of Gryffindor.' However, J.K. Rowling isonly
stating here thatonly the theories that are built off of the idea that Harry Potter is the Heir of Gryffindor
are being 'shut down.' These theories include: a prophecy exists stating that only an Heir of Gryffindor is able to defeat the Heir of Slytherin, as well as the theory to which the answer of J.K Rowling is actually referring: the theory that because Harry Potter is the Heir of Gryffindor, Voldemort murdered Harry Potter's grandparents. Again,only the theories that are built off of the idea that Harry Potter is the Heir of Gryffindor
are being 'shut down,'not
the idea that Harry Potter himself is an Heir of Gryffindor. Therefore, it ishighly possible
that Harry Potter is indeed an 'Heir of Gryffindor,' which would most definitely give another highly plausible reason as to why Lord Voldemort chose to murder Harry Potter over Neville Longbottom.
Even with presenting the argument that Harry Potter is indeed an Heir of Gryffindor, yes, Lord Voldemort would now be able to kill the descendant of a Hogwarts founder, specifically the descendant of Godric Gryffindor. But He would still have need of obtaining an object that once belonged to Godric Gryffindor. This task would indeed be proven difficult for Voldemort, being that, as Dumbledore states himself, "the only known relic of Gyrffindor remains safe," (HPHBP - chapter 23 - Pg. 505).
Dumbledore refers to the Sword as the only known relic of Godric Gryffindor. Yet, what if there existed an unknown relic of Godric Gryffindor, a relic that related itself to Harry Potter, an Heir of Gryffindor. A relic, like in the case of Hepzibah Smith, that has been passed down from generation to generation. With regards to Harry Potter, only one known relic is known to exist, and that relic is Ignotus Peverell's Cloak of Invisibility, the third of the deathly Hallows.
Since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has been released, it is now known that Harry Potter is a descendant of the Peverells, who are the original owners of the Deathly Hallows. Additionally, being that readers of the series learned in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince that Tom Riddle is also a descendant of the Peverells, that makes Lord Voldemort and Harry Potter distantly related. Furthermore, if it is to be believed that if Harry Potter is indeed the Heir of Gryffindor, and that Godric Gryffindor did at one point possess Ignotus Peverell's Cloak of Invisibility, that would also mean that like Godric gryffindor, Salazar Slytherin was also a descendant of the Peverells, specifically Cadmus Peverell, the original owner of the Resurrection Stone.
To offer evidence that may support these claims, let us look at the Harry Potter Canon, specifically in terms of what is deemed acceptable and not.
According to TheLeakyCauldron.org, there exists a specific code of canon when referring to the Harry Potter series.
"[C]anon is defined as the published Harry Potter books, the two schoolbooks (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Quidditch Through The Ages), statements made by J.K. Rowling on her website, and direct quotes given by J.K. Rowling in interviews and articles. While the Harry Potter films may be used as points of comparison, they are not considered canon." http://www.the-leaky-cauldron.org/2007/09/17/submissions/
Therefore, because Pottermore is written by J.K. Rowling, anything that is written on Pottermore is able to be deemed as canon. With this being stated, Rowling herself has written a piece regarding how the Cloak of Invisibility came into the possession of Harry Potter.
"The wizarding family of Potters descends from the twelfth-century wizard Linfred of Stinchcombe [...] Linfred’s eldest son, Hardwin, married a beautiful young witch by the name of Iolanthe Peverell, who came from the village of Godric’s Hollow. She was the granddaughter of Ignotus Peverell. In the absence of male heirs, she, the eldest of her generation, had inherited her grandfather’s invisibility cloak. It was, Iolanthe explained to Hardwin, a tradition in her family that the possession of this cloak remained a secret, and her new husband respected her wishes. From this time on, the cloak was handed down to the eldest in each new generation."
This piece written by Rowling offers an explanation as to why the Cloak of Invisibility was not a known relic of Godric Gryffindor, being that it was a tradition in the Peverell family that "the possession of this cloak remained a secret."
One of the first places where the Peverell family is mentioned is in reference to the story The Tales of Beddle the Bard, being that it is believed (and now confirmed) that the Peverell brothers were the original owners of the Deathly Hallows. We know that Beedle the Bard, the writer of these tales, lived in the 15th century, and "much of his life remains shrouded in mystery," (Tales of Beedle the Bard - Pg. IX). With this being stated, we know that the Peverell brothers must have lived sometime in the 15th century or sooner.
When looking at Harry Potter Wiki, the dates given when Ignotus Peverell lived are from 1214 - 1291. However, though Harry Potter Wiki is able to be used as a source for Harry Potter research, the source that is used to relay this information of when Ignotus Peverell existed is actually from the book Harry Potter: Film Wizardry, and the source cited is actually a picture of the gravestone of Ignotus Peverell that was made for the film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.
Therefore, being that this gravestone was created for the purposes of the Harry Potter films, this source, in effect, is not to be considered as canon.
In other words, with this source not considered canon, it is unknown of when the Peverell brothers lived, and therefore, could have possibly existed before the time of the founding of Hogwarts.
Being that Lord Voldemort was well versed in Wizarding Genealogy, there is the possibility that he would have known if Harry Potter was indeed a descendant of Godric Gryffindor. However, being Ignotus Peverell's Cloak of Invisibility was kept secret, Voldemort would have to have known about the existence of the Cloak from somewhere prior to killing the Potters at Godric's Hollow. And that somewhere is rather a someone, specifically, Peter Pettigrew.
Known as one of the Marauders by the name of Wormtail, Peter Pettigrew would know of the existence of the Invisibility Cloak, being that it belonged to fellow Marauder James Potter. It is more than likely that James would have semi-bragged about how the cloak had been passed down in his family for several generations to his fellow Marauders when they used it to sneak around Hogwarts during their school years. When Peter Pettigrew betrayed Lily and James Potter by telling Lord Voldemort where they were hiding (being that Pettigrew was Secret Keeper for the Potters), perhaps Pettigrew also informed Voldemort of the existence of the Invisibility Cloak. Voldemort could have asked Pettigrew if James had in his possession a relic that was passed down to him, or even Pettigrew let it slip in 'causal conversation' and Voldemort was able to figure it out for himself.
Either way, there at least exists evidence that Voldemort could have known about the existence of the Invisibility Cloak, and that knowledge would have come from Peter Pettigrew.
In summary, it is possible that Lord Voldemort did not cease his search for four objects from the four founders of Hogwarts to use as his Horcruxes, being that he eventually was able to find one, Ignotus Peverell's Cloak of Invisibility that eventually belonged to Godric Gryffindor, as well as finding a living descendant of Godric Gryffindor, Harry Potter.
Based upon the length of this article and explaining in depth the reasoning for Voldemort's chosen Horcrux victims, it is able to be seen as to why it took Voldemort more than fifty years to finally create the Horcruxes that he so longingly desired.
However, there is still much more to be discovered regarding this theory, and only J.K. Rowling herself possess the answers. Hopefully, it is only a matter of time until she reveals to her fans the answers.