The Elixir was also able to restore a disembodied but earthbound soul to full life, creating a body. Indeed, Lord Voldemort, surviving as a lingering spirit due to his Horcruxes, planned to steal the Philosopher's Stone to use the Elixir for that purpose, but was thwarted by Harry Potter in 1992.
One of the three main goals of alchemy was to create panacea, a remedy that would cure all diseases and prolong life indefinitely. The creation of the Elixir of Life could be considered to be the success of this goal, as the potion extended life if drunk for eternity, and could bring a disembodied soul back to a physical form.
The Elixir of Life was not infallible. If a person used the Elixir to age beyond their natural lifespan, they will become completely dependent on it, and ceasing its consumption will lead to death. Furthermore, while the Elixir extends one's lifespan, it does not cease one's body from ageing, and if using it to reach an exceptionally advanced age, it will leave them with a decrepit appearance. For example, Nicolas Flamel, who created the Philosopher's Stone, lived for a little over six-hundred and sixty years along with wife Perenelle, but took on a senile and ancient appearance, dying when he and his wife decided to have the Stone destroyed which subsequently depleted their supply of Elixir.
According to Albus Dumbledore, Lord Voldemort refused to rely on the Elixir of Life for his immortality, as he would be required to drink it for eternity, and the possibility of contamination or the stone's loss would result in his death. His streak of independence made it intolerable for him to rely on the Elixir to survive, and only desired it to recreate his body.
Behind the scenes
- In the first film, Lord Voldemort claims that unlike Unicorn blood or the living off another, the Elixir of Life can give him a body; however, in the film, it is not made clear that the Elixir can supply one with a spare body.
- On Pottermore, the image used to illustrate the Elixir of Life for the "Favourites" screen is the same used for Infusion of Wormwood. Whether this is merely a placeholder image or is meant to imply the two are somehow related is unclear.
- In the real world, many historical individuals who were alchemists, attempted to create what they believed to be an Elixir of Life. Many of these substances, far from contributing to longevity, were actively toxic, one such that Qin Shi Huang of China died from a large dosage of mercury that he believed to be elixir.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First mentioned)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (video game)
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay (Indirectly mentioned only)
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Indirectly mentioned only)
- Harry Potter for Kinect (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter Trading Card Game (First appearance)
- Pottermore (Mentioned only)
- Wizarding World (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 13 (Nicolas Flamel)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 17 (The Man with Two Faces)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film) - Chapter 24 (Norbert)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 23 (Horcruxes)
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay