Voldemort Had a Perfect Plan for True Immortality, And One Little Thing Messed It Up
By splitting his soul into seven pieces, the Dark Lord had a perfect chance to achieve true immortality… But he took one extra step — and messed up the whole thing.
Throughout the entirety of the Harry Potter series, number 7 has been of utmost significance: in the seven books, this number has been mentioned a whopping 159 times! J.K. Rowling has been building up curiosity around this mysterious number for years until it was finally revealed what its importance was really all about.
As we learned in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, seven was "the most powerfully magical number.” It’s stated as a fact by young Tom Riddle when he was speaking to Professor Slughorn about Horcruxes, and the same memory led Albus Dumbledore to believe that Lord Voldemort wanted his soul split into seven pieces.
This memory also led many fans to a common misconception that Voldemort wanted to create seven Horcruxes. This is false for the sole reason that to have his soul split in seven, he would’ve only needed six Horcruxes — but at one point, he did accidentally create the seventh, thus ruining the whole plan.
It’s never revealed what would’ve happened if Voldemort were to remain split in seven: perhaps, the Horcruxes would’ve become indestructible; perhaps, his original body would’ve been. Either way, after extensive research based on Arithmancy, Tom Riddle came to believe that having six Horcruxes was the way to true immortality.
To create a Horcrux, a wizard has to kill someone, and Voldemort was using “special” murders for that goal. Harry Potter, the boy who was prophesied to become his doom, was the last “special” victim on the Dark Lord’s list. After murdering little Harry, Voldemort wanted to create his sixth and final Horcrux but things went south.
As the Dark Lord cast Avada Kedavra at the baby, the curse ricocheted into him instead, destroying Voldemort’s mortal body and turning him into something short of a shadow. This understandably led him to believe that his plan failed — but it didn’t.
After coming back to the world of the living, Lord Voldemort hurried to create his final Horcrux, turning his snake Nagini into it. However, he didn’t realize that he already had six Horcruxes at the time: the ricocheted Avada Kedavra created a Horcrux out of the baby the Dark Lord failed to kill. Lord Voldemort didn’t know that.
Nagini became the seventh Horcrux and the eighth piece of Lord Voldemort’s soul thus defeating the entire purpose of his Arithmancy-based plan to achieve true immortality. We may never learn what would’ve happened if he were to keep his soul split into just seven pieces, but one thing’s for sure: it would’ve been a disaster.
Fortunately, this unlikely chain of events led to Tom Riggle Jr. screwing himself over once again as he was typically doing so the Wizarding World didn’t have to face the immortal and undefeatable Dark Lord that could’ve been…
If Voldemort’s theory was ever correct, that is. It’s likely that he just took a wild guess and bet it all on the magical number 7, but either way, the house always wins — and in the Harry Potter series, the house goes by the name of Death.