Simple Math and the Horcruxes
I’ve been reading the editorials here on MuggleNet for quite some time, and have taken them all with both a grain of salt and a spoonful of sugar. On one hand, some are really good and thought-provoking; on the other hand, some are so far out there that they’re almost too hard to try to believe. Since the release of Half-Blood Prince though, something has bothered me when it has come to Voldemort’s Horcruxes: writers of these editorials have thrown general rules of math completely out the window. Now, I’m no math dork, but as a musician I know how to divide by half quite well. In order for this editorial to work, I will explain the math, what I have figured out, and lastly what questions have been raised.
Firstly, if we look at the definition of a Horcrux given to us by Professor Slughorn:
“Well, you split your soul, you see, and hide part of it in an object outside the body. Then, even if one’s body is attacked or destroyed, one cannot die, for part of the soul remains earthbound and undamaged. But, of course, existence in such a form…few would want it, Tom, very few. Death would be preferable…you must understand that the soul is supposed to remain intact and whole. Splitting it is an act of violation, it is against nature…Killing rips the soul apart.” (HBP US, pp. 497-498)
If we take this to mean that killing and creating a Horcrux splits the soul in two, there are two halves to Voldemort’s soul when he creates his first Horcrux — half within his own body and half within the Horcrux. So when he creates the next one, he only has half of a soul to use. If this is split into half, there’s now a quarter of his soul in his body and in the Horcrux, respectively. For the third, it’s 1/8 each, and so on. When all is said and done, there are six Horcruxes. And at the creation of the last one, possibly Nagini, creator and created are each left with one 1/64 of Voldemort’s original soul. Not 1/7. The size 1/64 is very small; in pieces of music, a sixty-fourth note is very rarely noticed, or missed for that matter.
Now, if we take all of this into consideration, what does it all mean? Here are the questions I’ve come up with, and some possible answers:
- Are the earlier Horcruxes stronger because they contain more of Voldemort’s soul?
- If so, has Harry finished with the hard part of destroying the Horcruxes?
- Will Harry have to face Voldemort in the end with 1/64 of his soul, or will there be more of it there?
I’ve come up with these answers:
- Yes and no. The earlier Horcruxes are stronger because they contain more of Voldemort’s soul. However, the later Horcruxes contain less of a more powerful soul. The ones made earlier will be stronger, but less powerful.
- Not in the least. Because the elements of Voldemort’s soul are more powerful in the latter Horcruxes, they will be just as tough to destroy.
- Yes. If all of the Horcruxes are destroyed before the big showdown with tall, pale, and slitty-nosed Voldemort, mathematically speaking, that’s all that’s left.
I’m no scholar, and I’m nowhere near an expert, but hopefully this has been some food for thought.