This Villain was Headlined on March, 2009.
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|“||You think I was going to use my filthy Muggle father’s name forever? I, in whose veins runs the blood of Salazar Slytherin himself, through my mother’s side? I, keep the name of a foul, common Muggle, who abandoned me even before I was born, just because he found out his wife was a witch? No, Harry. I fashioned myself a new name, a name I knew wizards everywhere would one day fear to speak, when I had become the greatest sorcerer in the world!||„|
|~ Voldemort to Harry Potter.|
|“||There is no good and evil, there is only power and those too weak to seek it.||„|
|~ Lord Voldemort to Harry Potter in their first meeting.|
|“||Harry Potter... the Boy Who Lived... come to die.||„|
|~ Lord Voldemort before killing Harry Potter.|
Tom Marvolo Riddle (December 31, 1926 - May 2, 1998), later better known as Lord Voldemort or simply as Voldemort, is the main antagonist of the Harry Potter franchise. He serves as the overarching antagonist of the Sorcerer's Stone, Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince, his Diary Horcrux serving as one of the two main antagonists (alongside Lucius Malfoy) of Chamber of Secrets, the unseen overarching antagonist of Prisoner of Azkaban, the main antagonist of Deathly Hallows and the posthumous overarching antagonist of Cursed Child.
He is the heir of Salazar Slytherin who was destined to open the Chamber of Secrets and purge Hogwarts from all Muggle-born students. Initially, Riddle's goals were only to fulfill his role as Slytherin's heir, but over time, he had expanded his ambitions into taking over the entire wizard world and shape it under his and Slytherin's supremacist views, becoming the most powerful and feared Dark Wizard of all time above Gellert Grindelwald, as well as the founder and Lord of the Death Eaters in the process. He also serves as Harry Potter's archenemy.
In the films, he was portrayed by Ralph Fiennes (as an adult, who also portrayed Amon Goeth in Schindler's List, Rameses in The Prince of Egypt, Victor Quartermaine in Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of The Were-Rabbit, Raiden the Moon King in Kubo and the Two Strings, Barry in Dolittle, Francis Dolarhyde in Red Dragon, Dennis "Spider" Cleg in Spider, and Hades in Clash of the Titans); Christian Coulson (16-year-old) in Chamber of Secrets; and both Hero Fiennes-Tiffin (11-year-old) and Frank Dillane (15-year-old) in Half-Blood Prince. In The Sorcerer's Stone, he was portrayed by Richard Bremmer in the flashback scene, but voiced by Ian Hart (who also played Professor Quirrell in the same film, Frankin Hall in Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Ryan McGregor in the BBC adaptation of Noughts & Crosses).
In his early years, Tom Riddle was an extremely handsome boy. He was described as having jet black hair, perfectly carved features, and dark eyes. The novel further elaborated him being virtually identical to his father and devoid of traces of Gaunts in him. As he grew up, his involvement in the Dark Arts gradually deformed his appearance; in the flashback of him requesting a position at Hogwarts, he had become deathly pale, his face waxy and oddly distorted, and the white of his eyes now had a permanently bloody look. Afterwards, he continued to go through many transformations, until he became what he is. He is tall, and skeletally thin. His face is an almost opaque texture, with deep, dark scarlet red eyes set in slits, like a cat's gleaming in the dark. His nose is as flat as a snake's, leaving small incisions for nostrils, and his fingers are unnaturally long, like a spider's legs. He can usually be seen wearing his black hooded cloak that always covers his face.
In the films, his physical description remained same albeit with some changes; he was given blue eyes so they would "show more emotion" and when manifesting his face on the back of Quirrel's head while inhabiting him, his nose looked like normal instead of slits. Additionally, his restored body is shown to have very apparent veins on the top and back of his bald head (which some viewers misinterpreted as scale-like) and his eyes appeared normal instead of slits (Goblet of Fire film briefly showed him with slit-like eyes upon opening them however).
|“||Voldemort: There is nothing worse than death, Dumbledore!
Albus Dumbledore: You are quite wrong. Indeed your failure to understand that there are things much worse than death has always been your greatest weakness.
|~ Albus Dumbledore about Lord Voldemort's failure to understand the natures of death.|
Considered "the most evil wizard in hundreds and hundreds of years", Voldemort is a psychopath, devoid of compassion and remorse, and single-minded in his pursuit of absolute power. He feels nothing for anyone but himself, and considers all others his inferiors. He is also obsessed with achieving immortality, and regards death as a shameful human weakness; in interviews, creator J.K. Rowling has said death is Voldemort's greatest fear. His ultimate ambition is to be all-powerful and live eternally, controlling the world and everyone in it forever.
As a young boy, he took sadistic pleasure in using his powers to bully and abuse other children, and hoarded things that he stole from them as trophies, which would eventually blossom into his conception of the Horcruxes. He exhibited a need for independence that bordered on pathological, preferring to operate in secrecy and solitude whenever possible. Dumbledore remarked that he prefers to use Horcruxes instead of the Elixir of Life generated by the power of the Sorcerer’s Stone to attain immortality - he only needs the latter to restore his physical form before resorting to an alternative four years later given he found reliance on the Elixir intolerable.
Despite his independent streak, he does rely on assistance from others if necessary. Voldemort often relies on his Death Eaters and an army of versatile beings to do his bidding, from overtaking the Ministry of Magic to trivial matters that he does not think are worth his time. During his reign of terror, he trusts the conquered Ministry of Magic to his army, assigning two of his Horcruxes to his lieutenant Death Eaters Bellatrix Lestrange and Lucius Malfoy, since both have the necessary resources and skills to ensure their safety. Prior to his return to power, he also relies on the cowardly Peter Pettigrew to take care of his crippled form.
As revealed in Dumbledore and Harry's investigation on his background in The Half-Blood Prince, Voldemort's inability to feel or understand love is related to the coercive relationship between his parents, Merope Gaunt and Tom Riddle Sr.; Merope used a love potion on Tom in order to conceive a child. She died in childbirth, and Tom abandoned the child, leaving him to grow up alone; therefore, Voldemort grew up not knowing how to form emotional bonds. Without the need or desire for human companionship, he came to see other people as objects existing to serve and benefit him, and to be discarded once they outlived their usefulness. The only other living creature that he displays any real affection for is his pet serpent Nagini, even entrusting to her a piece of his soul by turning her into a Horcrux.
In his youth at Hogwarts, he was a model student and manipulated his teachers - except Dumbledore - into giving him whatever he wanted, especially information about Dark Arts such as Horcruxes. He was also a consummate liar, having managed to trick Slughorn to reveal his knowledge about Horcruxes and feigned innocence when confronted by Dumbledore about mistreating his fellow students and, later, opening the Chamber of Secrets. Only two individuals saw through Voldemort at that time: Hepzibah Smith, who saw Voldeort's eyes flash red with avarice when he saw her treasured artefacts; and Dumbledore, who knew from their first meeting that the boy was dangerous.
Voldemort is a racist, despising non-magical humans ("Muggles") and those who are of mixed magical and Muggle heritage - even though he is one of the latter himself. In addition of erecting a statue depicting Muggles being crushed following the takeover of Ministry of Magic, he rebukes the Muggle side of his parentage and welcomes his Death Eaters as his "true family", unleashing the Serpent of Slytherin to continue Salazar's cause in purging Muggle-borns at Hogwarts. Despite his racism, however, Voldemort is willing to accept into his ranks half blood wizards, such as Barty Crouch Jr., whom he sees as useful to him.
In spite of his narcissism, Voldemort can acknowledge his mistakes and displays a degree of calculated humility. He did not hastily announce his return of power as soon as he regained his physical form except to his supporters and with his candor and charm, winning him his followers and sought to make hay of his missteps, openly revealing such unflattering information to his followers and using it to illustrate how he could use his wits to further enhance his powers. He also showed his followers leniency, even though they had not sought to help him after his downfall, realizing he could not afford to mistreat them until returning to full strength. However, as Harry noted, he did not learn from mistakes he made, especially relating to matters he did not value such as love.
While typically presenting a calm, reserved, and sophisticated manner, Voldemort can fly into fits of violent rage when things don't go the way he wants. During his mood swings, he instinctively casts Killing Curse at whomever happens to be there, even his own allies. An instance of this can be seen during his breakdown where he slaughters dozens of Gringott goblins after learning that the place is infiltrated by Harry Potter and his friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasely, who managed to steal one of his Horcruxes (Helga Hufflepuff's Cup) that stored within.
Voldemort finds it useful to maintain a system of followers drawn from the Slytherin-centric Wizarding aristocracy, disaffected paupers with long-gone noble origins, and petty criminals. Yet as immortality and world domination being his main goal as the dreaded Dark Lord, Voldemort treated the fight for pure-blood supremacy and purifying the wizarding race as secondary priorities in his reign. He allowed his followers to set up a pure-blood supremacist regime at the Ministry of Magic to control the government, to compensate them for their service, and to ensure their continued loyalty. He also leaves the matters about wizarding aristocracy in the hands of his followers (matters which he had little to no interest with) while focusing on increasing his own dominion and stamping out opposition, using his Slytherin ancestry and promises to help them achieve their ends. Voldemort also appeals to their shared contempt for Muggles and Muggle-borns.
Voldemort's weaknesses are arrogance, fear of death, and total disregard for things that he does not understand, all of which eventually contribute to his downfall. The biggest difference between Harry and Voldemort is that Harry, as the true Master of Death, accepts his mortality, which ultimately makes him the stronger person. Furthermore, due to Voldemort's immense evil and lack of a human soul, he is unable to cast the Patronus Charm, a powerful and benevolent protective charm that is a manifestation of positive energy and happiness, which Voldemort is incapable of feeling. Lastly, Voldemort's obsession with immortality leads to him creating seven Horcruxes, which ironically leaves him unable to achieve his goal of living forever.
Powers and Abilities
|“||I can make things move without touching them. I can make animals do what I want without training them. I can make bad things happen to people who are mean to me. I can make them hurt if I want to... I can speak to snakes too. They find me, they whisper to me.||„|
|~ Tom Riddle about his magical abilities he demonstrated at the orphanage.|
Before even knowing the very existence of magic itself, a young Voldemort could already use his magical power to move objects, manipulate animals, and "make bad things happen to people who annoy", in a much more controlled display of magic than wizards typically exhibit at that age. he proves to be a gifted student during his years at Hogwarts, even before finding the Chamber of Secrets.
Voldemort became one of the most powerful wizards of all time, second only to Dumbledore himself, mastering virtually every field of magic and Dark Magic. He has proven able to create artificial limbs such as Peter Pettigrew's silver hand; to conjure objects (like shields) within seconds; create and control Inferi (undeads); to summon snakes; to compel people's movements (forcing Harry Potter to bow in their duel) and suspend people bound in midair; to transfigure objects and elements into living beings; to perform high-level telekinesis; to turn corpses into disguises, like he did with Bathilda Bagshot; to cast curses; to curse a word into a Taboo that unleashes spells when uttered; to create tatoos that summon his servants and sends message upon being touched; to speak to snakes and control them; and many more.
Voldemort has also devised many magical feats of his own, such as the Morsmordre, (which summons his symbol, the Dark Mark), the ability to fly without support at high speeds, the ritual that restored him, and other. He is extremely skilled in magical duels; being able to cast spells, counter-spells, an to Apparate/Disapparate with great speed and precision, and to cast powerful and complex spells in mid air with enough accuracy to strike a moving target. He masters the Unforgiving Curses which are the Killing Curse Avada Kedavra, the Torture Curse Cruciatus and the Mind-Control Curse Imperium with great proficiency; and is seen using other powerful attack spells (The movies depicts him casting fire, magical blasts and sonic booms). He likely taught his followers every attack spell they are seen using.
Voldemort is an exceptionally powerful practitioner of Legilimency, being able to tell whenever a person is lying and to delve into their deepest thoughts without resistance. One of the few people who are skilled enough to shield their mind from him is Severus Snape, who is extremely skilled at Occlumency. Voldemort would often plant illusions into the minds of his victims to manipulate them.
The LEGO Batman Movie
Lord Voldemort appeared as a supporting antagonist in The LEGO Batman Movie, being a prisoner of the Phantom Zone. He is released on Gotham City by the Joker, who uses him to help him wreck havoc and try and destroy Batman. He is defeated when Batgirl sends him back to the Phantom Zone.
Here, he was voiced by Eddie Izzard, who also played Sir Miles Axlerod in Cars 2, Abel Gideon in Hannibal, Nigel Bakerbutcher in The Simpsons, Professor Bedlam in My Super Ex-Girlfriend, Dr. Schadenfreude in Igor, and Hervnick Z. Snerz in the 2019 Netflix series Green Eggs and Ham.
How it Should Have Ended
Voldemort appeared in the episode "How Harry Potter Should Have Ended", where he is defeated by Snape. Afterwards, he would become a recurring character for the "Villain Pub" segments, usually joined by Loki Laufeyson, the Joker, and Emperor Palpatine.
He is voiced by Daniel Baxter.
Space Jam: A New Legacy
Lord Voldemort will be appearing in the 2021 film Space Jam: A New Legacy, the anticipated sequel to the 1996 Warner Bros. hybrid film Space Jam. He is going to appear alongside other villains from other Warner Bros. properties to challenge LeBron James and the Looney Tunes into a basketball match. Much like in The LEGO Batman Movie, Voldemort will be reunited with the Joker and Agent Smith.
It's currently unknown whether Ralph Fiennes will reprise his role or if Lord Voldemort will be recast.
The following gallery contains images of those who were killed by Voldemort. Some of them deliberately murdered to tear his own soul apart so the fragments can be fashioned into Horcruxes.
- The name Voldemort comes from the French "vol de mort", meaning "flight of death" or more figuratively "theft of death" (In correct French pronunciation, the T at the end is silent; however, it is generally pronounced by English-speakers).
- Ironically, Lord Voldemort seeks immortality, only to die at 71, the average age of a Muggle. Furthermore, due to all the damage he inflicted on his soul, he can't even have immortality in the form of a ghost.
- According to J.K. Rowling, Voldemort's character is based on three real-life dictators: Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Benito Mussolini. However, Voldemort parallels much of Hitler.
- Both hated their fathers; Hitler had a strict and brutal father who disapproved of him while Voldemort's father deserted his mother after the love potion wore off. Both had mothers who were empathic towards them and were very supportive though Voldemort's mother died after giving birth to him.
- Both excelled in what they loved to do. Voldemort excelled in his academics in Hogwarts though was forbidden from applying to the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher post while Hitler excelled in art though he was rejected in art school.
- Both shared a common hatred; Voldemort to muggles and muggle-borns after researching his family's history and Hitler to Jews after knowing the Jewish heritage of the professor who rejected his entry to art school and the doctor who tried to save his mother from dying of cancer.
- Both shared fascist ideologies and promoted racial superiority despite not being the true examples of the ideology; Hitler promoted Aryan supremacy by claiming that tall, blonde-haired and blue eyed people were the master race despite him being blue-eyed, brown-haired and standing only 5'9 ft. Voldemort promoted pure-bloods as the supreme race of wizards and wished to purify the wizarding race of half-bloods and muggle-born but was actually a half-blood himself.
- As did Dolores Umbridge, Voldemort left permanent scars on Harry Potter. However, Umbridge is far more hated than Voldemort among fans.
- In The LEGO Movie universe, it's possible that Lord Voldemort wasn't defeated by Harry Potter or his Horcruxes didn't get destroyed like in the Harry Potter canon, as he is seen imprisoned in the Phantom Zone.
- According to J.K. Rowling, Voldemort most likely doesn't eat, having reached a point of inhumanity in which he doesn't actually need food.
- Although it was established that Nagini being the only one whom Voldemort cherished, The Cursed Child stated that the Dark Lord apparently felt the same way towards Bellatrix Lestrange as much as he viewed her as mere tool like the rest of his followers, so much that the two sired a child that later revealed to be Delphini. Given to such installment's controversies (ex. Cedric Diggory's bizarre fall from grace, possibility of Voldemort being sterile as te unfortunate side effects of his deformations via. repeated Horcrux creations and other meddling with harmful Dark Arts) however, this trait of his was not considered canon among astute fans lore-wise.
Other Dark Wizards & Witches
The LEGO Ninjago Movie