Why Was It 'Essential' That Voldemort Kill Harry Potter?
‘So the boy ... the boy must die?’ asked Snape, quite calmly.
‘And Voldemort himself must do it, Severus. That is essential.’
Deathly Hallows - page 551 - UK Hardcover - chapter 33, The Prince's Tale
Dumbledore tells Snape it is 'essential' that Voldemort be the one to kill Harry, I'm assuming in order for the piece of Voldemort's soul in Harry to be properly killed as well.
Hermione destroyed the Hufflepuff cup; Ron destroyed the Slytherin locket; Neville killed Nagini; Harry destroyed the diadem and Tom Riddle's diary. So the Horcruxes were not immune to destruction at the hand of someone other than Voldemort. And as it ended up, Harry himself wasn't even a Horcrux, but rather just an unknowing host to a parasitic bit of Voldemort's soul.
Why was it 'essential' that Voldemort be the one to kill Harry in order for the piece of Voldemort's soul to die?
The first thing that comes to mind is maybe only the Elder wand would be powerful enough to destroy the horcrux, and Dumbledore was (correctly) banking on Voldemort taking the Elder wand after his death.
@MikeBrown - No. As per Pottermore, Harry was NOT a horcrux (despite serving as a soul piece container). I asked as a separate Q
@JustinC - nope. Harry was not YET the master of Elder Wand at the time Dumbledore said that. DD was under impression that Snape was (or nobody).
@DVK Harry was not a Horcrux, but the quote is on Pottercast, not on Pottermore. Pottermore only covers Philosopher's Stone right now, so she hasn't gotten anywhere near the Harry as a sort of Horcrux bit yet.
@DVK - good point. We don't have an exact timeline on that memory but it must have been well before Harry became the wands master.
@Justin - 100% before. Harry became a master after he overpowered Drac Malfoy in the manor in DH. The Dumbledore quote is from when Dumbledore was still alive in HBP.
I disagree. Rowling has claimed several times that Harry is not a horcrux but he sure seems indistinguishable from one in function.
@KonradRudolph - I get what you're saying re: Harry being a Horcrux (or not, as it apparently was). JKR explains that Harry isn't a Horcrux because the Horcrux spell and magic wasn't performed when Voldemort's curse rebounded. However, I've always wondered, despite her saying he is not a Horcrux, why Harry had to die in order for Voldemort to be killed. To kill that bit of Voldemort's soul, that's why. Which, IMO, makes Harry at the very least Horcruxish. :)
Harry didn't destroy the diadem. Crabbe destroyed it accidentally with Fiendfyre while everyone was fleeing from the Room of Requirement.
I thought it had to do with the protection Harry's mother gave him by sacrificing herself. There's a scene where Dumbledore says that it was a mistake for Voldemort to take Harry's blood as part of his new body - that by doing so the protection was enhanced to the point that Voldemort couldn't really kill him. So it was essential because anyone else really would've killed him.
Also, I think Dumbledore expected (or at least hoped) that Harry would sacrifice himself, which would give the same sort of protection to the people Harry loved.
but doesn't the protection end when Harry turns 17? And the final battle was after Harry was 19
@debal I thought that was all about being under the protection that all young wizards get, not about Harry's mom's love.
It was definitely about his mother's blood still protecting him as a child. Although I think this answer misses the aspect of saving Harry - the strong hint is that it had to be Voldemort in order to destroy the Horcrux without killing Harry. Some remnant of the link between them, perhaps?
@debal, first, Harry was not yet 18 at the time of the battle. He turned 17 at the beginning of DH, and the battle took place in the following May. Second, the blood protection would fade with time, so Dumbledore built an extra protection using the blood connection with his aunt. That is *that* protection which broke when he turned 17.