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"He looked at the serpentine S, inlaid with glittering, green stones: It was easy to visualise it as a minuscule snake... concentrating on the letter S, imagining a serpent, while the contents of the locket rattled like a trapped cockroach. It would have been easy to pity it, except that the cut around Harry's neck still burned... The golden doors of the locket swung wide with a little click. Behind both of the glass windows within blinked a living eye, dark and handsome as Tom Riddle's eyes had been before he turned them scarlet and slit-pupiled."
— Description of the locket before it was destroyed[src]

Slytherin's Locket[2] was a piece of jewellery originally owned by Salazar Slytherin that became an heirloom of his family. It was a locket of heavy gold with a serpentine S in glittering green stone inlay on the front. After descending down from Slytherin, it came into the possession of the Gaunt family, and Marvolo Gaunt treasured this heirloom of this pure-blood heritage along with his ring heirloom.

After Marvolo and his son Morfin Gaunt were sent to Azkaban, the locket was stolen by Marvolo's daughter Merope Gaunt, who sold it to Caractacus Burke for ten Galleons, a price far below what the priceless artefact was truly worth.[3]

The locket was bought from Borgin and Burkes shop by a wealthy witch with an affinity for rare or valuable items named Hepzibah Smith. In the mid-20th century, Smith showed it to a young Tom Riddle, who was an employee of Borgin and Burkes at the time. Riddle was interested in the locket (which was, after all, his birthright), and two days later, Hepzibah was found dead and her house-elf, Hokey, made a full confession (Riddle presumably performed a False memory spell on her, as he did with his uncle Morfin years earlier).[3]

Using the murder of a Muggle tramp, Riddle turned the locket into his third Horcrux and hid it in a seaside cave where he had hurt two children when he was in the orphanage.[4] It was taken from the cave, however, by a defected Death Eater named Regulus Black with the attempt of having his house-elf, Kreacher, destroy it, but the elf was unable to destroy the locket.[5]

It was stolen by Mundungus Fletcher from 12 Grimmauld Place, the home of the House of Black. During Harry Potter, Ronald Weasley, and Hermione Granger's attempts to find and destroy Voldemort's Horcruxes, they decided to track down the locket first after retrieving the fake one placed by Regulus from the cave. They learned from Mundungus that it was taken from him by a Ministry bureaucrat named Dolores Umbridge,[6] and thus the trio infiltrated the Ministry, found Umbridge, and retrieved the locket.[7]

Ron and Harry retrieved the Sword of Gryffindor from the bottom of a frozen pool in the Forest of Dean and were able to destroy the Horcrux with it in the winter of 1997.[8]



"Marvolo, his son, Morfin, and his daughter, Merope, were the last of the Gaunts, a very ancient Wizarding family noted for a vein of instability and violence that flourished through the generations... He, as you saw, was left in squalor and poverty, with a very nasty temper, a fantastic amount of arrogance and pride, and a couple of family heirlooms that he treasured just as much as his son, and rather more than his daughter."
Albus Dumbledore's description of the Gaunt family and their heirlooms[src]
Salazar Slytherin WWHP

Salazar Slytherin with his locket

The locket was a creation of Salazar Slytherin, the celebrated Founder of Slytherin House at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. When Slytherin created the locket, he enchanted it so that only a Parselmouth, like himself, could open it.[8] When Slytherin left Hogwarts, he took the locket with him.

After Slytherin's death, the locket was passed down his family line, and eventually came to Marvolo Gaunt, who lived outside the village of Little Hangleton. The locket was one of two remaining Gaunt family heirlooms, the other being a ring inherited down the line of the Peverell family. Contradictory to his obsession with the two heirlooms, Marvolo permitted his daughter, Merope, whom he horribly mistreated, to wear the locket around her neck. After Marvolo and Morfin were imprisoned in Azkaban for assaulting both a Muggle and Ministry of Magic officials, Merope escaped the horrors of her childhood home and fled to London with Tom Riddle Snr Albus Dumbledore theorised that she had used a Love Potion to capture his affections.[9]

Gaunt pm

The Gaunt family

After they had eloped, Merope became pregnant with Riddle's child. During her pregnancy, Merope apparently stopped giving Riddle love potions out of the hope that he would freely choose to stay with her or that he would at least stay for his child. However, after coming to his senses, Riddle fled from Merope, returning to Little Hangleton.[9]

Desperate for money, Merope sold her only valuable possession, the locket, to Caractacus Burke for only ten galleons, either not realising that the locket was a priceless artefact or not caring. Not long afterwards, on New Year's Eve 1926, she came to a Muggle orphanage and gave birth to her son, Tom Marvolo Riddle,[10] naming him after her father and husband. Merope Gaunt died shortly thereafter, leaving her son in the care of the orphanage.

Creation as a Horcrux[]

"She slid back the fine filigree clasp and flipped open the box. There upon the smooth crimson velvet lay a heavy golden locket."
— Hepzibah Smith showing Tom Riddle the locket for the first time[src]

Many years later Tom Riddle graduated from Hogwarts, spurned a wide variety of prestigious offers and took a job at Borgin and Burkes, because of the potential to work with Dark artefacts. In the course of his work, Riddle visited the elderly witch Hepzibah Smith on many occasions and charmed her with flowers and compliments. After many visits Smith showed Riddle her most prized possessions: Helga Hufflepuff's Cup, an artefacts that she had inherited from her prestigious ancestor and the locket. She told the young man that she hoped he would appreciate the unique history the objects' possessed.[3]

Hepzibah Smith's memory

Hepzibah Smith, owner of both Helga Hufflepuff's cup and Salazar Slytherin's locket, visited by Tom Riddle

Hepzibah stated that both objects had considerable powers which she had not fully tested, and detailed the locket's historical value.[3] Smith admitted she had paid a heavy price to Caractacus Burke to obtain the locket, and that Burke had previously bought it from "a ragged-looking woman,"(Merope Gaunt) having paid her a mere pittance for it.[10] By this time, Riddle knew of his family lineage and knew the "ragged-looking woman" Smith referred to was his own mother.[4]

Riddle returned the cup without incident, but when the time came to replace the locket, Riddle briefly hesitated and a look of intense hunger washed across his face, before he let the locket slip through his fingers. Hepzibah saw this flash of red in his eyes and foolishly dismissed it as a trick of the light. According to Dumbledore, Riddle saw the locket as rightfully his due to its past connections. This is one of the reasons why he would covet it more then Hufflepuff's Cup.[3]

Two days later Smith was found dead and her elderly house-elf, Hokey, admitted to accidentally poisoning her mistress' cocoa (mistaking a little known) highly lethal poison for sugar.[3] It was later believed by Albus Dumbledore, however, that Riddle had murdered Smith himself and embedded a false memory in the house-elf to escape detection, not unlike his murder of the Riddles in Little Hangleton a few years earlier.[4] As Smith had quite a collection and many hiding places, it was assumed that the priceless artefacts were simply hidden in her house.

Later, Smith's family discovered the cup and the locket were both missing, but by then Riddle had already quit his job and disappeared, not to be seen or heard from again for a decade.[3] Riddle murdered a Muggle tramp and used that murder to make the locket into a Horcrux. This was a marked departure from his other Horcrux murders, as he tended to choose deaths significant to him in the creation of Horcruxes.


The cave in which the locket was hidden

Many years later, the locket was hidden by Riddle, now styling himself Lord Voldemort, in a seaside cave he had visited as a child. It was in this cave that he "committed an act so horrifying" that he shocked fellow orphans Dennis Bishop and Amy Benson into muteness.[10] In addition to the natural barriers, Voldemort hid the locket in this cave with several magical enchantments to guard it.

First, the cave could not be Apparated into or Disapparated out from; second, an unmarked door that could only be opened with the payment of blood wiped upon the cave walls; third, an Inferi-infested lake; fourth, an invisible rowboat that would transport only one wizard at a time safely across the lake; fifth, a stone basin filled with a green potion that could not be parted, vanished, transfigured, or otherwise made to change its properties.[11]

Attack of the Inferi

Voldemort's inferi, guarding the Horcrux cave

The only way to remove the potion from the basin, thereby exposing the locket at the bottom, was to drink it. The notion of drinking this potion was destressing, as the drinker had no idea what the effects of this potion was prior to drinking it. The potion caused unbearable pain to the drinker and forced them to relive their worst memories and face their worst fears, as though in a nightmare.[11] This potion caused the drinker great mental anguish, which also effected them physically.

If the drinker had any strength left, in their desperate thirst they would be forced to drink water from the lake, as any water magicked on the island would disappear. This was done intentionally by Lord Voldemort and served as a another protective barrier between the drinker and the Horcrux. The drinker would therefore be unable to imbibe anything but the lake's water, which would awaken the army of Inferi.[11] Awakening the inferi would most likely lead to the death of the drinker.

Switching the Horcrux[]

"To the Dark Lord
I know I will be dead long before you read this but I want you to know that it was I who discovered your secret. I have stolen the real Horcrux and intend to destroy it as soon as I can. I face death in the hope that when you meet your match you will be mortal once more.
— Regulus Black's note left in the locket for Voldemort[src]

Regulus Black, defecting Death Eater who stole the locket

Late in the 1970s, Lord Voldemort requested the use of a House-elf from his Death Eaters. A young Death Eater, Regulus Black volunteered the Black family house-elf Kreacher, whom the Dark Lord used to test the locket's defences. When he had seen the cave's effectiveness in action, he left Kreacher to die on the island in the middle of the dark lake.[5] However, he overlooked the house-elves' special magic binding them to their masters, considering it beneath him and not of importance.

As Regulus had instructed Kreacher to do all that Voldemort asked of him and then return home, Kreacher was able to Apparate out of the cave and back to his master Regulus. The younger Black was infuriated at the mistreatment of Kreacher, and having seen the lengths to which the Dark Lord would go, turned against Voldemort.[5]

Crystal Basin

The basin the locket was kept in containing the Drink of Despair

During Regulus's time as a Death Eater, Lord Voldemort had made veiled references to his Horcruxes, believing that no one would deduce exactly how he had come to be immortal. Regulus had, by the time of his defection, concluded that Voldemort had made a Horcrux and that it was the object that Voldemort had forced Kreacher to help him protect.[12] Having reached these conclusions, Regulus told Kreacher to take him back to the cave, where he crossed the lake with the house-elf and drank the potion himself. He instructed Kreacher to switch the true locket with a fake one, and to take the Horcrux home and destroy it. He ordered Kreacher to leave the cave without him, and Kreacher, with the Horcrux in hand, watched in horror as Black was dragged beneath the lake by the Inferi. After his master's death, Kreacher escaped with the locket to the Black family home, 12 Grimmauld Place.[5]

Harry-potter-deathly-hallows1 kreacher

Kreacher and the fake locket

Over the ensuing years, Kreacher was unable to destroy the locket, no matter what means he tried, although he did come to the conclusion that the locket needed to be opened to be destroyed.[5] For failing to obey his master's orders, Kreacher brutally punished himself. He placed the locket in a glass case in the drawing room and left it undisturbed for many years until the Order of the Phoenix began to use the house as headquarters in the summer of 1995.

The Order undertook a massive, overdue cleaning of the house, and the locket was placed into a rubbish pile to be thrown away. The reason this locket was placed into the rubbish pile, was because it would not open no matter how hard the residents of 12 Grimmauld Place tried. Kreacher, however, secured the locket and hid it in the cupboard where he slept, along with some other Black family heirlooms that he had salvaged from the trash.[5]

Mundungus in diagon alley

Mundungus Fletcher selling his stolen items in Diagon Alley

After the death of Sirius Black less than a year later, Order member and career criminal Mundungus Fletcher combed the house and stripped it of many of its remaining valuables, including the locket from Kreacher's cupboard.[5] He fenced his wares to whoever would buy them, including Aberforth Dumbledore, and in Diagon Alley, where he was caught by Dolores Umbridge. The locket caught Umbridge's eye, and she agreed to let Fletcher off without punishment in exchange for it. She later used the locket to enhance her pure-blood credentials, claiming the locket to be a Selwyn family heirloom.[6]

Reclaiming the locket[]

Albus Dumbledore: "I have been looking for a very long time. I think... perhaps... I may be close to finding another one."
Harry Potter: "And if you do, can I come with you and help get rid of it?"
Albus Dumbledore: "Yes, I think so."
— Dumbledore and Harry discussing the hiding place of the locket[src]

For many years, Albus Dumbledore had been suspicious of Lord Voldemort's experiments with the Dark Arts, and after careful consideration came to the same conclusion that young Regulus Black had come to; namely, that Voldemort had created Horcruxes to ensure his immortality. However, he had no proof until May of 1993, when Harry Potter killed Salazar Slytherin's Basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets and returned with the remains of Tom Riddle's Diary.[13]


Dumbledore teaching Harry about Horcruxes

After hearing the peculiar way in which the diary acted, Dumbledore believed he finally had proof for his theory, although he regarded with some concern the fact that the diary Horcrux had intended to be used as a weapon as much as a safeguard, leading him to conclude that it might not have been the only Horcrux Voldemort had made. He shared his theory about Horcruxes with Harry during his sixth year at Hogwarts in an informal series of lessons.[13]

Harry pensinive

A private lesson with Dumbledore, Harry about to view a memory in the Pensieve

During these lessons the pair observed memories concerning Lord Voldemort at various junctures in his life. Such as, when Riddle first found out he was a wizard to a memory of his time after Hogwarts, when he was assigned a task during his time as a assistant at Borgin and Burke. Dumbledore also bounced more theories about Voldemort off Harry. Together they came to the conclusion that several famous artefacts that had disappeared around Voldemort had been made into Horcruxes, included Salazar Slytherin's Locket.[13]

Finding the false locket and Dumbledore's death[]

"He turned the locket over in his hands. This was neither as large as the locket he remembered seeing in the Pensieve, nor were there any markings upon it, no sign of the ornate S that was supposed to be Slytherins mark. Moreover, there was nothing inside but for a scrap of folded parchment wedged tightly into the place where a portrait should have been."
— Harry finding out the locket was fake[src]

Albus Dumbledore spent a great deal of time in his final years attempting to locate any Horcruxes Voldemort had made, a search which proved both fruitful and disastrous with the finding of Marvolo Gaunt's Ring in the summer of 1996. Although he successfully destroyed the Horcrux, he was infected with a debilitating curse that left him only a year to live. However, Dumbledore continued his search for more clues that might lead to the discovery of the other Horcruxes.[13]

Albus Dumbledore to drink Emerald Potion

Dumbledore bent over the basin with the Drink of Despair

Believing he had located one, Dumbledore and Harry left the school one evening in June of 1997 in the hopes of obtaining and destroying it.[14] Apparating to the cave by the sea, they made their way among the waves and spray. Upon reaching the inside of the cave, Dumbledore surmised the location of the door (through sensing the magic) and made the payment himself over Harry's objections, remarking that Harry's blood as far more valuable than his own. The pair ventured into the depths of the cave, walking along the shores of the vast lake. Dumbledore abruptly stopped, startling Harry, and located an invisible chain suspended above the lake. The chain raised a small boat out of the water's depths on which they sailed to the island in the middle of the lake.[11]

Locket in cave

The fake locket with the note from Regulus Black

Once there, Dumbledore attempted to obtain the locket, but could not penetrate the green potion. Extracting a promise from Harry, he began to drink the potion, and when it became too much to bear, Harry forced it down his throat.[11] When the potion was finished, Harry attempted to conjure water to revive Dumbledore, but was unsuccessful due to the cave's defences. He then attempted to draw water from the lake, which awakened the Inferi. As Harry was about to be dragged under the lake, Dumbledore revived enough to conjure a ring of fire which drove back the Inferi, and after claiming the Horcrux, the pair fled the cave.[11]

Dumbledore defeated

Snape killing Dumbledore on top of the Astronomy Tower

After Apparating back to Hogsmeade village, Dumbledore was still severely weakened when they noticed the Dark Mark above Hogwarts. Borrowing broomsticks from Madam Rosmerta, Harry and Dumbledore flew to the Astronomy Tower, unaware that a fierce battle was already taking place in the school's corridors. Atop the tower, they were ambushed by Draco Malfoy, who disarmed Dumbledore, but not before he could bind Harry, who was concealed under his Invisibility Cloak.[15]

Soon, more Death Eaters arrived, and when Draco hesitated, Severus Snape cast the Killing Curse, killing Dumbledore and sending his body plummeting to the ground below.[15] The Death Eaters fled the castle, and Harry recovered the locket from Dumbledore's broken body. Examining it, Harry realised that it was fake, and believed that Dumbledore had died in vain.[12]

Infiltrating the Ministry[]

Mundungus Fletcher: "...was selling in Diagon Alley and she come up to me and asks if I've got a licence for trading in magical artefacts. Bleedin' snoop. She was gonna fine me, but she took a fancy to the locket an' told me she'd take it and let me off that time, and to fink meself lucky."
Harry Potter: "Who was this woman?"
Mundungus Fletcher: "I dunno, some Ministry hag. Little woman. Bow on top of 'er head."
— The trio questioning Mundungus about the locket[src]
RAB note

Harry and Hermione reading the note from Regulus Black inside the fake locket

Harry found a note in the fake locket. Signed by a mysterious "R.A.B.", the note cryptically addressed to Lord Voldemort said that he had stolen the real locket and that he planned to destroy it.[12] When Harry and his friends, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, set off to locate all the Horcruxes, they decided the first order of business was tracking down R.A.B. The trio had no luck throughout the next two months, but after they were forced to flee from both Bill and Fleur's wedding and Tottenham Court Road, they went into hiding at 12 Grimmauld Place, which Harry had inherited from the late Sirius Black.[16][5]

While searching the house the next morning, Ron noticed a small sign on the door to Regulus Arcturus Black's room, bearing his full name.[5] Having discovered R.A.B., the trio searched the house, finding no sign of the locket, until Hermione recalled that it had been thrown out during their cleaning two years earlier. In a last ditch effort, Harry summoned Kreacher, who told them the whole story about the locket, including he had salvaged it and how it was later stolen by Mundungus Fletcher.[5] Harry ordered Kreacher to find Fletcher, who told them that Dolores Umbridge had taken the locket from him.[6]

Umbridge locket

Dolores Umbridge wearing the Horcrux while interrogating Muggle-borns

Over the following month, Harry, Hermione, and Ron scouted the Ministry and developed an elaborate plan to get into the building and retrieve the locket. Setting out on 2 September, the trio infiltrated the premises without difficulty. Once inside, they were forced to separate, with Ron going to work on maintenance and Hermione leaving to take stenography in court proceedings, leaving Harry alone to search the building.[17] Donning the Cloak of Invisibility, Harry searched Umbridge's office to no avail.

Soon after, Harry joined Hermione in the courtroom, where the two spotted Umbridge sporting the locket. From under the cloak, Harry stunned Umbridge, and Hermione took the locket after conjuring a replacement. The trio narrowly managed to escape, but were forced to abandon 12 Grimmauld Place, as their hideout had been compromised when the Death Eater Yaxley was accidentally brought inside the house's defences.[7]

Locket's destruction[]

"I have seen your dreams, Ronald Weasley, and I have seen your fears. All you desire is possible, but all that you dread is also possible... Least loved, always, by the mother who craved a daughter... Least loved, now, by the girl who prefers your friend... Second best, always, eternally overshadowed...."
— The locket preying on Ron's fears[src]

Out in the wilderness for months, the trio were forced to merely keep the locket in safekeeping until a way could be found to destroy it. As they wandered listlessly up and down the country, they took turns wearing the locket, which began to wear heavily at their physical and emotional health.[18] Harry once thought, the first time that he wore the locket, "... and it seemed to Harry as he sat there ... that the Horcrux against his chest was ticking away the time he had left". This could possibly be a foreshadow to the moment before Harry's death when he thought, "Now he saw that his life span had always been determined by how long it took to eliminate all the Horcruxes."

Harry ron fight

Harry and Ron rowing violently and aggressively before Ron abandoned the hunt for Horcruxes

While Harry and Hermione held up well against the negative forces of the locket, Ron was particularly susceptible to the locket's powers, causing him much discomfort and unexplained rage. One evening weeks into their journey, the trio overheard another band of fugitives discussing current events. In the course of the conversation, they learned that Ron's sister, Ginny Weasley was among a band of students punished for attempting to steal Godric Gryffindor's Sword from the Headmaster's office at Hogwarts. This enraged Ron, who was wearing the locket, but Harry and Hermione were revelling in the realisation the sword could destroy Horcruxes. This pushed Ron over the edge emotionally and, after a violent and aggressive row with Harry, he stormed off into the night.[19]

The Sword of Gryffindor

Harry attempting to obtain the Sword of Gryffindor from a frozen lake

After weeks and a highly dangerous visit to Godric's Hollow, Harry and Hermione were encamped in the Forest of Dean. While on guard duty for the night Harry followed a bright white light into the forest. With this guidance from Severus Snape's Patronus Harry was able to find the Sword of Gryffindor at the bottom of a frozen pond.[8] After a a couple of failed attempts to retreive the sword Harry realised what he had to do. Stripping down, Harry waded into the freezing pool to retrieve the sword.

He described the sensation of being submerged in the icy water as incredibly painful. Rather than allow him to acquire the sword, the locket around his neck tried to kill him by strangling him. The locket then kept him under the water, nearly drowning him.[8] Harry thought he was going to die and imagined the arms closing around him were the arms of death. In reality, Ron returned and rescued Harry from drowning, ripped the locket from his neck, and retrieved the sword in the process.

Locket destruction

Ron destroys Salazar Slytherin's locket, one of the seven Horcruxes

After a brief reconciliation, Harry decided that Ron must be the one to destroy the locket, since he recovered the sword. Harry spoke the word "open" in Parseltongue, causing the locket to spring open. Inside the locket's picture windows were two eyes that resembled Tom Riddle's eyes, before his soul-severing caused his eyes to turn red. The locket then began to mentally torture Ron mocking his greatest fears. Apparitions then came out of the locket, and Ron was transfixed by visions of Hermione and Harry, who cruelly mocked him, saying that his mother would have preferred to have had Harry as her son instead of Ron, calling him stupid, cowardly, presumptuous, and inferior to the "Chosen One", and proceeding to passionately kiss, playing on Ron's fear that his two friends had started a romantic relationship.[8]


The destroyed remains of the locket

The real Harry was yelling at him, Ron was able to break through the cruel images and, in a fit of rage, smashed the locket with Gryffindor's sword, shattering both glass windows inside the locket and destroying the Horcrux. Afterwards, Harry admitted that he only loved Hermione Granger as a sister and believed that she felt the same way. Harry then picked up the locket (still largely intact save for its shattered windows and broken chain) and stored it away.[8]


"In a distant part of Harry's brain, that part that connected to the angry, burning scar, he could see Voldemort sailing fast over the dark lake in the ghostly green boat....He had nearly reached the island where the stone basin stood... A wrath like physical pain blazed through Harry, setting his scar on fire, and for a second he looked down upon a basin whose potion had turned clear, and saw that no golden locket lay safe beneath the surface... He could see the Inferi-filled lake sliding beneath him, and he felt the ghostly green boat bump into the underground shore, and Voldemort leapt from it with murder in his heart —"
— Harry witnessing Voldemort's discovering the locket's disappearance[src]
The Killing Curse

Voldemort reacting to the theft of the cup, one of his Horcruxes

Following Harry's break-in of Gringotts and theft of Helga Hufflepuff's cup (another Horcrux), Voldemort became aware that Harry was hunting down his Horcruxes in an attempt to defeat the Dark wizard once and for all. With this information, Voldemort decided to return to the places he had hidden each fragment of his soul, check to see if they were safe, and redouble their protection. Deciding Marvolo Gaunt's ring was in the most danger (Dumbledore, knowing that Voldemort's middle name was Marvolo, might have made the connection between him and the Gaunt family), he checked in the Gaunt shack and found that the Horcrux was missing.

He then decided to visit the seaside cave and check on the locket, and was furious to discover that the locket was gone as well.[20] With murder in his heart, Voldemort decided to head to Hogwarts Castle, having been summoned there by Alecto Carrow and thus knowing it was Harry Potter's current location.[21]


"Out of the locket's two windows, out of the eyes, there bloomed, like two grotesque bubbles, the heads of Harry and Hermione, weirdly distorted. Ron yelled in shock and backed away as the figures blossomed out of the locket, first chests, then waists, then legs, until they stood in the locket, side by side like trees with a common root, swaying over Ron and the real Harry, who had snatched his fingers away from the locket as it burned, suddenly, white-hot."
— The locket defending itself from Harry Potter and Ron Weasley[src]

Before becoming a Horcrux, the locket was described by Hepzibah Smith as having "all kinds of powers", though she failed to elaborate,[3] and the only way to open the locket was to speak to it in Parseltongue.[8]

After it was turned into a Horcrux, the locket had many additional powers. Most noticeably, the soul shard within seemed to willingly exert a negative influence on those in its proximity. When worn by Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley in late 1997, it made them all irritable, suspicious, and unable to summon enough happiness to use a Patronus.[18] However, someone as malicious as Dolores Umbridge would have an affinity rather than an aversion to it, and not be hindered by it.[7]

Riddle-Harry and Riddle-Hermione taunting Ron

Slytherin's Locket taunting Ron with images of Harry and Hermione

The locket also had magic in place to protect itself; when Ron attempted to destroy it, it created a vision to show him his worst fears and deepest insecurities. At times, it also burned very hot, such as when Harry wore it in proximity to Nagini, another Horcrux, and when he tried to pick it up while its continued existence was being threatened. It even attempted to strangle Harry to prevent him from retrieving Gryffindor's sword, knowing that he would use it to destroy the locket.[8]

It seems the glass of the locket allowed the piece of Tom Riddle to have a visible, although immaterial presence; when the locket's doors were open, Riddle's eye could be seen watching from inside. On a similar note, the locket may also have had the potential to possess individuals, in a manner similar to another Horcrux (Tom Riddle's Diary), as Harry saw "a trace of scarlet" in Ron's eyes at one point during the locket's attempt to prevent him from destroying it.[8] However, this may just because of his jealousy.

Behind the scenes[]

"Dumbledore scooped the locket from the bottom of the stone basin and stowed it inside his robes. "
— Dumbledore and Harry retrieve the locket from the cave[src]

The locket as it appears on the cover of the British Adults edition of Deathly Hallows

Salazar Slytherin's Locket (DH film)

The locket on display at Comic-Con 2010

Slytherin’s Locket WU

The locket as it appears in Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

  • In the books, Slytherin's Locket is described as a "large, oval locket of heavy gold" with a "serpentine 'S' in green jewels", but in the films, the locket is shown as a relatively small octagon locket of silver, with a golden, glass-like front in which the 'S' in green jewels lays.
  • According to Albus Dumbledore, Voldemort saved the creation of his Horcruxes for significant deaths. However, the locket's conversion into a Horcrux was through an unimportant Muggle tramp, with seemingly no connection to Voldemort.
  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, Harry and Hermione are seen trying to destroy the locket by using spells like the Reductor Curse, Incendio, and Blasting Curse.
  • The locket was the only of Lord Voldemort's Horcruxes that was not destroyed in or anywhere near Hogwarts. The diary[22] and the cup were both destroyed in the Chamber of Secrets, the ring in the Headmaster's office, the diadem in the Room of Requirement, Nagini in the Entrance Hall. The piece of Voldemort's soul that was inside of Harry was destroyed outside the castle in the Forbidden Forest. Furthermore, Voldemort himself was killed in the Great Hall.
  • The Noble Collection sells an exact replica of the locket.
  • In the various video game adaptations, the destruction of Slytherin's locket has often been expanded into a boss fight, requiring Harry to assist Ron in defeating the manifestation(s) of Voldemort's soul before he can destroy it.
    • In the console versions of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, Voldemort's soul manifested as a group of large snakes and spiders coming out of the locket, which Harry and Ron merely fought off with various combat spells.
    • In the handheld versions of the game, the fight was more elaborate. Voldemort's soul first appeared as a massive three-head snake. One of the heads slammed onto the ground, creating a shockwave. Harry then used the Levitation Charm to strike the head with a nearby rock before he and Ron attacked it with Stunning Spells. After it has taken enough damage, it retreated temporarily into the locket, which then spewed forth various spiders. Once all the spiders were dead, the three-headed snake re-appeared, this time striking the ground with two heads at once. After the snake was finally defeated, the locket produced a version of the teenage Tom Riddle, similar to that produced by Tom Riddle's diary, which combated Harry and Ron with various green energy balls and a red, laser-like spell.
    • In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7, Voldemort's soul fragment manifested as a massive cloud erupting from the locket. Possibly playing off the fact that the locket claimed to be able to see Ron's fears, it summoned forth a group of spiders, which frightened Ron to the point where he could not approach the locket to strike it with the Sword of Gryffindor. Once Harry destroyed the spiders, Ron could freely attack it. Unlike in the other adaptations, the locket required multiple hits from the sword to be destroyed. While this is all there was to the fight in the handheld versions, the console versions added a final phase once the locket was down to only needing one last hit. It conjured forth the illusionary Harry and Hermione, as well as a vortex that prevented Ron from getting near the locket. The two had to construct a large fan to push away these threats and stab the locket for a final time.
  • The locket is used as an icon to represent the final book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, on Pottermore.
  • The effects of wearing the locket are similar to another, dark and deadly magical artefact from another franchise, the One-Ring from The Lord of the Rings. Both artefacts, when worn around the neck, exhibit powerful, dark effects upon the wearer, such as darkening their thoughts and turning them against their allies, though the locket is not quite as intense in this regard.
  • The metals that the locket and the Sword of Gryffindor are made of are opposite of the colours that represent their houses.


The Harry Potter Wiki has 64 images related to Slytherin's Locket.

Notes and references[]

  1. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 6 (The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black)
  2. Pottermore - From the story: Slytherin's Locket
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 20 (Lord Voldemort's Request)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 17 (A Sluggish Memory)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 10 (Kreacher's Tale)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 11 (The Bribe)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 13 (The Muggle-Born Registration Commission)
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 19 (The Silver Doe)
  9. 9.0 9.1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 10 (The House of Gaunt)
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 13 (The Secret Riddle)
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 26 (The Cave)
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 28 (Flight of the Prince)
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 23 (Horcruxes)
  14. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 25 (The Seer Overheard)
  15. 15.0 15.1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 27 (The Lightning-Struck Tower)
  16. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 9 (A Place to Hide)
  17. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 12 (Magic is Might)
  18. 18.0 18.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 14 (The Thief)
  19. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 15 (The Goblin's Revenge)
  20. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 27 (The Final Hiding Place)
  21. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 30 (The Sacking of Severus Snape)
  22. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

See also[]