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Villain Overview
There is no good and evil. There is only power, and those too weak to seek it.
~ Voldemort's most famous quote.
Voldemort is my past, present, and future.
~ Tom Riddle revealing his true identity as Lord Voldemort to Harry Potter.

Lord Voldemort (born as Tom Marvolo Riddle), or simply Voldemort, is the main antagonist of the Harry Potter book and film franchise.

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 expanded his ambitions into overtaking the entire wizard world and shape it under his and Slytherin's supremacist views, becoming the most powerful Dark Wizard of all time and the lord of the Death Eaters in the process.

He made himself the archenemy of Harry Potter after trying to kill him as a baby, having learnt that he would grow into a threat.

In the films, he was portrayed by Ralph Fiennes (as an adult, who also portrayed Victor Quartermaine), 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 Philosopher's Stone, he was voiced by Ian Hart, who also played Quirinus Quirrell in the same film as well as Franklin Hall in Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.


Early Life

Harry Potter: Did you know, sir? Then...?
Albus Dumbledore: "Did I know that I had just met the most dangerous Dark wizard of all-time? No.
~ Harry and Dumbledore about the latter's first meeting with the boy that will grow as Voldemort

Tom Marvolo Riddle was born on New Year's Eve, 1926 in an orphanage in London. He was born to Merope Gaunt, a direct descendant of Salazar Slytherin, and Tom Riddle Sr., a wealthy and extremely snobbish Muggle. Merope magically tricked Tom Sr. into marrying her and kept him under control until she finally let him go, hoping he would have fallen in love with her on his own after, but he abandoned her without second thoughts, desperate and miserable, she died shortly after choosing a name for her newborn son. J.K. Rowling stated that due to the fact that he was born because of a love potion, it made him unable to feel love and made him the monster he was, though it would have been different if Merope survived and loved him.

11 years old Voldemort

Voldemort as an 11-year-old child.

Tom Riddle grew up in a dingy orphanage, completely unaware of his Wizarding heritage, though he did have a lot of grasp on his abilities beyond that of normal magical children, which he used to harm people he did not like. He was never caught for any of his acts, but was suspected nonetheless. He used fear and manipulation to control his fellow orphans and regularly stole from them, who feared him so much that they refused to share a room with him. Although he was far more intelligent than his peers, he already demonstrated disturbing sociopathic and megalomaniac tendencies.

When Tom was 11 years old, Dumbledore visited the orphanage and invited Tom to attend Hogwarts. Not much else is known of his childhood.

Hogwarts Years

When I first met young Mr Riddle, he was a quiet albeit brilliant boy, committed to becoming a first rate wizard. Not unlike others I've known. Not unlike yourself. If the monster existed it was buried deep within.
~ Horace Slughorn about his first experiences with Tom Riddle.

Tom Riddle was educated at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from 1938 to 1945, and was placed in Slytherin. During summer breaks, he would return to the Muggle orphanage, which he despised and dreaded more than any other place on Earth.

Tom Riddle

Tom as a Slytherin in Hogwarts.

Tom described himself as "poor, but brilliant, parentless, but so brave, a school prefect, a model student." This opinion was shared by the Professors, including Horace Slughorn whom Tom tricked into telling him about Horcruxes. The sole exception to this was Albus Dumbledore, the Transfiguration professor at the time, who still admits that Tom was the most brilliant student Hogwarts has ever seen.

Tom eventually became obsessed with his parentage and began researching it with an insatiable hunger. During his research, he realized his shared heritage with Salazar Slytherin. During this time, Tom relinquished the Muggle name he loathed and began going by the name " Lord Voldemort": an anagram of his given name: "Tom Marvolo Riddle" rearranged giving: "I am Lord Voldemort"

In his 5th year, Tom located the secret entrance to the Chamber of Secrets, and was able to control the Basilisk (the snake-like monster inside) because he was a Parselmouth. Tom turned the beast loose on the school, injuring many. The last victim was a student named Myrtle, who was killed in the girls' bathroom and whose soul later became a lingering ghost in the same restroom by the name of "Moaning". Hogwarts was to be closed, but Tom didn't want to return home. To keep the school from shutting down, he framed fellow student Rubeus Hagrid, who secretly raised Aragog, a baby Acromantula (Giant Spider).

Dumbledore, distrusting Riddle, kept a close watch on him after that. Because it was no longer safe to open the Chamber of Secrets, Tom created a diary to preserve a part of his soul, hoping it would one day lead someone to finish Salazar Slytherin's "noble" work. This diary was one of his seven Horcruxes. At Tom's last year at Hogwarts, he was prefect, Head Boy, and he had received a medal for magical merit.

Little Hangleton

Morfin Gaunt: I thought you was that Muggle, you look mighty like that Muggle>
Voldemort: What Muggle?
Morfin Gaunt: That Muggle what my sister took a fancy to, that Muggle what lives in the big house over the way, you look right like him. Riddle. But he's older now, in 'e? He's older 'n you, now I think on it... he come back, see.
~ A confrontation between Voldemort and his uncle Morfin

During the summer of 1943, Tom Riddle went to the small hut where his mother once lived. There he gained information about his mother and father, and then stunned his uncle Morfin Gaunt (the last remaining inhabitant) and implanted a false memory of him killing the Riddle family inside his head. Later that morning, all 3 Riddles were found dead in the drawing room of their home. Investigating wizards learned Morfin's wand was used to commit the murders and he confessed the murders. As for people in Little Hangleton, they grew to blame the Riddles' gardener Frank Bryce.

After Hogwarts

Shortly before graduating, Tom used his charisma to charm the spirit of Helena Ravenclaw (more commonly known as the Grey Lady, the ghost of Ravenclaw Tower) into revealing the location of Rowena Ravenclaw's Diadem. Then when he finished his education, he asked Armando Dippet for a chance to teach Defence Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts, but was deemed too young. After leaving Hogwarts, he presumably traveled to the far-flung forest in Albania about which Helena had told him and retrieved the Diadem. He murdered an Albanian and turned the Diadem into a Horcrux. Upon his return to Britain, he was offered several positions in the Ministry of Magic, but ended up working at Borgin and Burkes for Caractacus Burke, which disappointed and surprised many. His job was to "persuade" people to part with their valuable magical items — a job at which he was very good.

During his time with Borgin and Burkes, Tom charmed a wealthy, elderly lady named Hepzibah Smith. After several visits showed him her 2 most valuable treasures: Salazar Slytherin's Locket and Helga Hufflepuff's Cup. Tom killed her and stole the objects, vanishing without a trace. He covered his tracks well by implanting another false memory into an innocent person, Hokey, Hepzibah's house elf, who admitted to accidentally putting poison into Hepzibah's cocoa. Meanwhile, Tom ran away with the cup and locket and turned them into two more Horcruxes.



What he has become.

Tom disappeared for many years, slipping deeper into the Dark Arts. The more he made Horcruxes, the less human he became and eventually lost all trace of humanity. Tom appealed once more to Albus Dumbledore, now Headmaster of Hogwarts, for the position of Defence Against the Dark Arts professor, in an attempt to learn Hogwarts' secrets and recruit followers. Dumbledore denied him, knowing of his plan. The position has since been jinxed; teachers only held the position for a year until Riddle's death ended the spell. Riddle's visit to request the position was not fruitless, however; he hid Rowena Ravenclaw's Diadem in the Room of Requirement, where he believed it would never be found.

The Rise of the Dark Lord

In the 1970s, Lord Voldemort had gathered a following of witches and wizards, who named themselves the Death Eaters. He then began taking advantage of the Wizarding World's greatest weakness: the beings and creatures that they had outcast. He recruited Giants, Werewolves, Dementors and many others; and used his army to wage war against the Ministry of Magic. At the height of Voldemort's reign of terror (and for many years after), people were so afraid of him that they didn't even dare speaking his name, referring to him as "You-Know-Who" or "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named."

One of the Wizarding World's few remaining safe places was Hogwarts, which was under the staunch protection of Albus Dumbledore, the only person Lord Voldemort feared. Dumbledore created the Order of the Phoenix to fight against Voldemort, but they were outnumbered and suffered many casualties. In 1979, word came from an informant, Severus Snape, of a Prophecy that predicted Voldemort's downfall:

The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches…Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies…And the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not…And either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives…

This Prophecy was made by Sybill Trelawney, during a job interview with Albus Dumbledore for the position of Divination. According to Dumbledore, Snape only heard the part about Voldemort's downfall and to whom it may relate, before being thrown out by the barman, (Aberforth Dumbledore). Frightened, the Dark Lord sprang into action, unknowingly launching a chain of events that would eventually accomplish the fate he sought to avoid.

Die Lily Evans

Voldemort kills Harry Potter's mother.

Lord Voldemort realized he must kill the 2 babies to whom it could refer — Harry Potter, a Half-Blood, and Neville Longbottom, a Pure-Blood — For reasons known only to Voldemort himself, he chose to kill Harry instead of Neville (Dumbledore suspected this was because Harry shared his Half-Blood heritage with Voldemort). Due to the involvement of Peter Pettigrew, James Potter's friend-turned-Death-Eater, Lord Voldemort learned the Potter family's secret location. Voldemort murdered James and Lily Potter, but when he used the Killing Curse on Harry, it rebounded upon himself, ripping his soul from his body and destroying his powers. Lord Voldemort had been defeated by the one-year-old boy because Lily's love for her son created an invisible and powerful defense in Harry's skin when she died for him.

The Death Eaters were lost. Many claimed they had been under the Imperius Curse, while others stayed true to their master and continued his work, most notably the Lestranges; Bellatrix and her husband, Rodolphus. Eventually, they were all captured and locked away in Azkaban.

Missing Years

Lord Voldemort wasn't dead, however. His Horcruxes kept him alive, although formless and powerless. He retreated to the same Albanian forest he had traveled to find Rowena Ravenclaw's Diadem, expecting one of his faithful Death Eaters to find him and help him. But those still faithful to him were either dead or in Azkaban. He gained a form by inhabiting snakes, which never lived long.

Second Defeat

Voldemort: Let me speak to him.
Quirinus Quirrell: Master, you're not strong enough!
Voldemort: I have strenght enough for this!
Fortunately for Lord Voldemort, Professor Quirrell was wandering into the forest while on a vacation and he was able to make him into his follower. In 1991 - 1992, Voldemort ordered Quirrell to steal Nicolas Flamel's Philosopher's Stone from a vault in Gringotts Bank, so he could make the Elixir of Life. However, it had been removed by Hagrid right before Quirrell could steal it. Lord Voldemort then possessed Quirrel and took form on the back of his head, which was concealed by a turban. Quirrell often drank Unicorn blood to sustain his master.
Voldemort in Movie 1


Quirrell tricked Hagrid into telling him about Fluffy, the three headed Hound that was the first guard of the Philosopher's stone at Hogwarts. Now all they needed was a way to get into the Forbidden Corridor. Severus Snape was suspicious, however, and when Quirrell let loose a Troll in the dungeons as a distraction, Snape blocked him off.

Voldemort had Quirrell send a fake letter to Dumbledore, asking him to go to the Ministry of Magic, then moved on with their plan. They beat their way through the security enchantments and reached the Mirror of Erised. There, Quirrell saw himself presenting the stone to his master, but could not get it. It was only when Harry arrived that they could retrieve the stone, as only someone who wanted to find the stone, but not use it, could get it from the mirror. Voldemort figured this out, and Quirrell attacked Harry, but when he touched Harry, his hands blistered. Harry placed his hands on Quirrell's face, severely injuring him. Lord Voldemort's soul fled when Dumbledore barged in, once more without a body.

Second Exile and the Diary

Lord Voldemort returned to the Albanian forest, weaker than ever. He had to wait for another to help him.

In 1992, Lucius Malfoy placed a diary containing the soul fragments of Voldemort embedded in it into Ginny Weasley's cauldron who brought it to Hogwarts. She came in contact with the 16-year-old-Riddle Horcrux, who feigned to comfort her to manipulate her. Riddle's memory learned all he could about his future self defeat and Harry Potter. He slowly drained the life away from Ginny Weasley, and put her under his control. He made her open the Chamber of Secrets and release the Basilisk, kill Hagrid's roosters, and write threatening messages on the wall outside Moaning Myrtle's bathroom. Gradually, Ginny became suspicious, so she threw the diary away in Moaning Myrtle's Bathroom. Harry and Ron accidentally stumbled upon it, and Harry began communicating with Tom.

Potter the killer

Harry Potter destroying the diary with the Basilisk's fang.

Tom misled Harry about who opened the Chamber of Secrets, convincing him it was Hagrid. When Ginny saw that Harry had the Diary, she stole it back for she did not want Harry to find out all the things she had done while under its influence. When Tom was ready to take his physical form from Ginny's life, he lured her into the Chamber of Secrets. The switch was almost complete when Harry found them. Tom summoned the Basilisk to kill Harry, but Dumbledore's phoenix, Fawkes arrived and blinded the monster. Fawkes also brought the Sorting Hat, from which Harry withdrew Godric Gryffindor's sword. He killed the Basilisk, then used the Basilisk's fang to stab the Diary, unknowingly destroying one of Lord Voldemort's Horcruxes.

Rebirth and Second Rise to Power

I have my reasons for using the boy, as I have already explained to you, and I will use no other. I have waited thirteen years. A few more months will make no difference. As for the protection surrounding the boy, I believe my plan will be effective. All that is needed is a little courage from you, Wormtail — courage you will find, unless you wish to feel the full extent of Lord Voldermort's wrath —
~ Voldemort informing Wormtail of his plot to murder to Harry Potter in the oncoming Triwizard Tournament

In 1994, Peter Pettigrew, who had been hiding in his Animagus form of Scabbers, Ron's rat, ever since his Master's defeat, was unmasked and fled, eventually returning to his Master. He milked venom from Nagini the snake to built a rudimentary body that Voldemort could travel and perform magic with. Pettigrew had also captured Bertha Jorkins, a Ministry Official. Peter overheard her talking about a Triwizard Tournament at Hogwarts, and Voldemort used a Memory charm to retrieve the information from her, overpowering the previous Memory Charm cast upon her. He then found out about the whereabouts of a loyal Death Eater, Bartemius Crouch Jr, who Crouch Sr. was forcefully hiding in his home, after freeing him from Azkaban.

Voldemort had Pettigrew carry him to the old Riddle manor house, where they killed the groundskeeper Frank Bryce for overhearing their plan; and then to the Crouch home where they placed Crouch Sr. under the Imperius Curse, freeing Crouch Jr. They returned to the Riddle home, where Voldemort instructed Wormtail and Crouch Jr. to capture Alastor Moody, the new Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor at Hogwarts. Crouch Jr. drank Polyjuice potion with a few hairs of Alastor Moody, and went to Hogwarts to make Harry participate in the Triwizard Tournament. The fake Moody helped Harry through all the challenges, and when Cedric and Harry grabbed the Triwizard Cup (which, unbeknownst to them, was a Portkey), they were transported to outside the Riddle mansion, where Peter and Voldemort were waiting. Pettigrew killed Cedric, and used Harry's blood in a ritual for his master's rebirth. Voldemort regained his body, and called his Death Eaters. Those who were perhaps most loyal to him, save for those who willingly went to Azkaban in his name, appeared.

He then tried to kill Harry, but since their wands were made from the same Phoenix's feathers, the core wands connected, and those who were killed by Voldemort's wand came out as spectral beings, including Harry's parents. Harry pulled away, and the beings gave him enough time to grab Cedric's body and the Triwizard Cup to return to the Hogwarts grounds.

Barty Crouch Jr. had been discovered, and was given the Dementors' kiss before he could stand trial, leaving the only knowledge of Voldemort's return as Harry's word, which wasn't taken seriously by most. Due to this, Voldemort was able to operate in secret.

Prophecy Search

Lord Voldemort kept quiet about his return, and only few believed he was back. Yet Dumbledore started the Order of the Phoenix again, this time with a head start.

In 1995, Voldemort was now after the Prophecy in the Department of Mysteries, to hear the whole of it. Voldemort used the Imperius curse on an Unspeakable: Broderick Bode, and sent him in to get it. However, Bode was seriously injured, and put into a permanent ward at St. Mungo's, where he was eventually murdered by a Devil's Snare plant delivered to his bedside. Voldemort then learned that only the people the Prophecy is about are able to touch it, although understandably he couldn't risk going into the Ministry for fear of exposure. During this period of time, many of Voldemort's most loyal followers, such as Bellatrix Lestrange, escaped from Azkaban and returned to his side.

Eventually he became aware of Harry seeing through his eyes, so he set up a false vision, of Sirius being tortured at the Ministry. Harry, Hermione, Ron, Luna Lovegood, Ginny and Neville went to rescue him, as Voldemort predicted. Now that Harry had gotten the Prophecy, all they needed was to get it from him, but they put up a fight during which the prophecy was smashed.

Dumbledore vs. Voldemort

Voldemort battling Dumbledore.

In the end, Voldemort appeared and tried to kill Harry, but ended up duelling Dumbledore. After a destructive battle with Dumbledore, Voldemort possessed Harry, telling Dumbledore to kill him now, but he fled when Cornelius Fudge and other Ministry officials arrived, now convinced of his return. Many of Voldemort's Death Eaters, including Lucius Malfoy, were incarcerated and sent to Azkaban, though by this time the Dementors had left to side with the Dark Lord.

Second Wizarding War

Now that Voldemort no longer needed to keep his actions silent, he waged a second war against the Ministry of Magic. Mass Muggle killings and destruction, were rampant.

In 1996, he made Draco Malfoy a Death Eater, requiring a loyal follower within the school. He instructed Draco to kill Dumbledore, for he wished to punish Lucius Malfoy by giving his son a task he could not do. If he failed, he would meet terrible consequences. In the end, Malfoy was able to sneak a group of Death Eaters into the Castle through a pair of Vanishing Cabinets (the second of which was located in Borgin and Burke's), and a Battle at Hogwarts ensued. Voldemort's plans were carried out, as Severus Snape killed Dumbledore (Albus was dying and asked Snape to kill him and also to save Malfoy, for he had made an Unbreakable Vow with Draco's mother, Narcissa).

Voldemort's offer

Voldemort asking Lucius to give him his wand.

Voldemort made Malfoy Manor his headquarters. During the summer of 1997, he captures the Muggle Studies teacher at Hogwarts, Charity Burbage, and kills her before he feeds her to Nagini. He also questioned the kidnapped wandmaker, Ollivander, about why his wand reacted so with Harry Potter's wand. Ollivander told him that Voldemort needed another's wand and so he takes Lucius Malfoy's wand.

When Harry is removed for the last time from his Muggle home; Voldemort flies to the scene where his Death Eaters are fighting with Order of the Phoenix airborne. He kills Mad-Eye Moody and then heads straight toward Harry. There Voldemort attempts to duel with Harry, but Harry's wand released a spurt of golden fire at him and destroyed Lucius' wand (Harry's wand absorbed a fraction of Voldemort's magic during their duel at the graveyard). Harry managed to reach the protection of Nymphadora Tonks' parents home and Voldemort was forced to retreat.

Angrily, he returned to Malfoy Manor and demanded from Ollivander to answer why Harry's wand yet again reacted towards him, even with a completely different wand. Ollivander told him truthfully that never in Wandlore has he ever heard of such thing happening. Infuriated, Voldemort resolved that he needed the most powerful wand known to man to defeat Harry Potter: the Elder Wand, the Deathstick, The Wand of Destiny. He set out to assume mastery of the Elder Wand, not knowing that it was one of the 3 legendary Deathly Hallows.

During the wedding of Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour, Kingsley Shacklebolt announced through his Patronus that the Minister for Magic was dead and that the Ministry of Magic had fallen to Voldemort, giving him control over the entire Wizarding England. He establishes a totalitarian police state in its place and has all Muggle-Borns persecuted and imprisoned in Azkaban.

Voldemort traveled to Germany, in search of the wandmaker, Gregorovich. Eventually, Voldemort finally finds Gregorovich, who informs Voldemort that the Wand was stolen from him. Voldemort then performs Legilimency on him and sees a blond young man who steals the wand and disappears in the darkness. Since Gregorovich didn't know who the thief was, Voldemort killed him.

When Harry Potter and Hermione Granger go to Godric's Hollow, they fall into a trap devised by the Dark Lord, who knew that they would go there. Nagini, whom Voldemort had disguised as the historian Bathilda Bagshot, manages to capture Harry, and calls Voldemort. Harry escapes shortly before Voldemort arrives however, and Voldemort finds not Harry, but a picture of the thief at the scene.

Voldemort realizes that the thief is none other than the Dark Wizard Gellert Grindelwald, whom Albus Dumbledore defeated. He breaks into the prison where Grindelwald was being held, where Grindelwald proceeds to tell him that it wouldn't bring about what Voldemort sought, and that there was so much Voldemort didn't understand. Voldemort killed Grindelwald and stole the Elder Wand from the tomb of Albus Dumbledore.

The Battle of Hogwarts

Following this, Voldemort became aware that Harry Potter and his friends are seeking his Horcruxes, and realizes that three of them have been stolen, with another destroyed.

Death Eaters

Voldemort and his Death-Eaters are ready to attack Hogwarts.

Voldemort returns to Hogwarts following these revelations, to quell a revolution sparked by the arrival of Harry Potter. He rounds up his entire army of Death Eaters, giants, Dementors and Acromantulas and, after not receiving Potter, commands them to fight the Aurors, teachers, and students who were of age. Voldemort himself isn't present at the Battle; he is investigating why the Elder Wand doesn't work any differently than his old one. He comes to the conclusion that Severus Snape is the true master of the Elder Wand and orders Nagini to murder him.

Voldemort then calls a one-hour armistice, requesting Harry Potter in exchange for peace and no further deaths. Unbeknownst to Voldemort, Harry carried within him a seventh Horcrux, formed when Voldemort failed to kill him. When Harry meets Voldemort, Voldemort hits him with a Killing Curse almost immediately, but only destroys the Horcrux within, for when Voldemort used Harry's blood in the potion, it kept his mother's protection alive. Harry was knocked to the ground and feigns death.

Voldemort then marched to Hogwarts, proclaiming the death of Harry Potter and his victory. Neville Longbottom, instead of surrendering, charged at Voldemort, and the Battle recommenced.

Neville pulled the sword of Gryffindor from the Sorting Hat and decapitated Nagini with it, destroying the last of Voldemort's Horcruxes. Enraged, Voldemort attempted to kill Neville, but Harry interfered and cast a shield charm between them before the former could raise a wand. Voldemort entered the battle and forced his way into Hogwarts with his army, before getting locked in battle against Minerva McGonagall, Horace Slughorn, and Kingsley Shacklebolt all at once. When he saw Bellatrix Lestrange killed at the hands of Molly Weasley, he turned his wand on her, intending to kill her, but Harry revealed himself then to be alive, forcing the battle to stop, and the pair faced each other in the Great Hall.

Voldemort crawling

Voldemort crawling towards the Elder wand.

When the two men are facing one another, Harry proceeds to tell Voldemort that he has magic that Voldemort knows not and a weapon more powerful than his, in addition to giving Voldemort warning of the fate that lay in store for him if he was unwilling to feel remorse for his actions. Goading him by using his real name, Harry tells him that Snape's loyalty was with Dumbledore all along, that Dumbledore's death was planned and that Snape wasn't the master of the Elder Wand; Draco Malfoy was.


  • Voldemort's death (Book ver.)
  • Voldemort's death (Film ver.)

Originally horrified, Voldemort proceeded to tell Harry that it makes no difference, and that after he has killed Harry, Draco could be disposed of. Harry then states that if the Elder Wand is aware that Harry overpowered Draco in Malfoy Manor, then Harry himself is the true master. Refusing to believe this, Voldemort cast the Killing Curse at Harry, but Harry was indeed the master: The Elder Wand refused to kill its master and the spell rebounds, killing Tom Marvolo Riddle once and for all.

After his death, the jinx Voldemort put on The Defense Against the Dark Arts position was broken and the Dark Mark signs Voldemort gave to his minions faded from their arm, reduced into nothing but scars. Since the Horcruxes damaged Voldemort's soul to the point that he couldn't even become a ghost: he is stunted to exist in the baby-like form that Harry saw when he was in limbo, unable to cross over into the afterlife for all of eternity. Lord Voldemort, who was extremely afraid of death, received in the end, a fate far worse than that.



Voldemort's face on the back of Quirrell's head (notice the nose that looked like normal human's instead of slit as in the books).

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, 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. Afterwarda, he continuen 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 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 books he was described as having red eyes while in the movies they were blue. Also, when he inhabited Quirrel's body and manifesting his face on the back of his head in the film, his nose looked like normal one instead of slits.


Considered by many as "the most evil wizard in hundreds and hundreds of years", Voldemort is a narcissistic, cruel, obsessive, ruthless, and sadistic Dark Wizard whose evil nature surpassed those of common evildoers, let alone typical Dark Wizards would. In fact, his predecessor Gellert Grindelwald was paler in comparison as he displayed his fall, pity for those abused for their magic and even if only a little, care for his followers, everything which Voldemort utterly lacked. In addition of certain disregard for rules as Dumbledore stated, he performed the darkest of magic and had no regard for human life in his adult life, willing to kill so many to build an army of Inferi. Voldemort also did not believe in the concept of good and evil, as he made clear to Harry in their encounter at the Mirror of Erised, and that only power and "those too weak to seek it" truly mattered.

Voldemort's dark and anti-social personality can be seen even in his childhood. As a young boy, he terrorized his fellow orphans and hoarding things that he stole from them as a trophy, which would eventually blossom into his conception of the Horcruxes. He displayed the 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 Elixir of Life generated by the power of 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. Aside during his desperate times, Voldemort would also rely on his Death Eaters and army of versatile beings to do his bidding, from overtaking the Ministry of Magic to trivial matters that he did not think was worth his effort. During his reign of terror, he even trusted the conquered Ministry of Magic to his army while he would focus on other matters personally, assigning two of his precious Horcruxes to his lieutenant Death Eaters Bellatrix Lestrange and Lucius Malfoy since both have resources and skills to ensure their safety. Prior to his return to power, he also relied on the cowardly Wormtail to taking care of his crippled form. Owing to his need for solitude and independence however, he only wanted to make use of everything around him to the fullest without ever gaining any sentimental attachment to them, as he was easily prepared to discard anyone or anything once they fulfilled their purpose.

As revealed in Dumbledore and Harry's investigation on his background in The Half-Blood Prince, Voldemort's (unfortunate) inability to feel or understanding love had something to do with coerced love between his parents Merope Gaunt and Tom Riddle Sr. via use of the former's either use of love potion (by Dumbledore) or Imperius Curse (by Harry), an unmistakably symbolic loveless union that led to his birth. This however, can be averted had Merope choose to live for the sake of raising their son with love. The aforementioned flaw in turn, subsequently contributed to his lack of mercy on enemies and his followers alike; devoid of desire/need for human companionship or friendship, narrowed focus on the usefulness of people, objects, and powers to his goals to the point of ignoring or dismissing things that seemingly insignificant or not immediately useful to him (ex. house elves' magic due to their social status); and worst of all, not believing in anyone but himself, let alone value his fellow human beings except to the extent that they were useful to him. True to this, he did not treat his followers and supporters as actual friends and family like what he claimed, demanding them absolute loyalty and obedience, spitefully took revenge for their mistakes or even bad luck by torture or going after family members and mistreated or even killed them at the slightest provocation, and even sacrificing them to further his goals like he did to his most loyal supporter and secretly double agent Severus Snape.

To say that Voldemort is 100% incapable of feeling affection for others is not necessarily accurate, as there are a handful of individuals whom he genuinely cared about: Nagini, Bellatrix Lestrange, and his daughter Delphini. With Nagini, he displayed affection towards the Maledictus serpent not too different with those who loved their pet as if said pet is their own kin, shown to occasionally petting her and even entrusted her a piece of his soul when turning her into a Horcrux in addition of seeing her as his symbol of power and status as the Heir of Slytherin. With Bellatrix, despite of him perceiving her as nothing more than a servant like the rest of Death Eaters, he saw her too valuable to be discarded despite not as competent as Snape, saving her life when he was forced to retreat and left his incapacitated followers during the Battle of Department of Ministry, and outraged by her death at hands of Molly during Battle of Hogwarts in the book. As revealed in The Cursed Child, whatever affection that blossoming between the two culminated with him siring a child named Delphini. Moreover, in an alternate timeline when Voldemort succeeded in taking over the world, he treated his daughter in the same way his wife is. Nevertheless, it's evident that whatever bonds that he made with Bellatrix and his daughter were not enough for Voldemort to fully comprehend the concept of love, let alone understanding how it feels like and properly reciprocate Bellatrix's feelings for him.

In his youth, Voldemort was considered as a brilliant, handsome, quiet boy thirsty for knowledge who attracted sympathy from all the staff, which was helped through his careful flattery of them. As Hogwarts' seemingly flawless model student, his reputation and charisma allowed him to win the trust and respect from his teachers and of the customers he was sent to deal with at Borgin and Burkes. This all however, were both a ruse and testament of his capability as a master manipulator developed during those years, allowing him to discreet better to avoid persecution than he did at the orphanage as well as maintaining his perfect image at the same time. He also proved himself a consummate liar, having managed to trick Slughorn to reveal his knowledge about Horcruxes and denied any involvement when confronted by Dumbledore over mistreatments he done on his fellow orphan and later, the opening of Chamber of Secrets. Only a handful of individuals who saw troubling in Voldemort at that time; Hepzibah Smith, who saw his eyes flash red with avarice when he saw her treasured artefacts, and Albus Dumbledore, who observed psychological issues and their potential dark implications from their very first meeting.

Voldemort also displayed obsessive nature to the point of incapable of letting go or diversifying his interests and subsequently, developing paranoia akin to ones in typical tyrants. His main obsessions are immortality, upholding pure-blood supremacy, the attempts on Harry Potter's life, and the search for the Elder Wand. Said nature was reflected in his daily habits as well: he had a magpie-like tendency to collect lots of small objects and hold onto them. Voldemort's hoarding of things he stole from the other orphans during his childhood foreshadowed the conception of his Horcruxes, which also paralleled to act of trophy-taking not too different with typical serial killers. The Dark Lord put a great effort in his search for Elder Wand to further increase his powers and destroying Harry Potter, his greatest opposition, by any means necessary. Ironically, his obsession in taking the life of his nemesis was what eventually led to his own death and no better than tyrants before him.

Typical for a bigoted Slytherin and unlike his blood traitor mother, especially as the Heir of Salazar Slytherin, Voldemort greatly believed in blood purity. His beliefs were far more extreme than an average pure-blood supremacist owing to his strong disgust and hatred for Muggle world. In addition of erecting a statue depicting Muggles being crushed following the takeover of Ministry of Magic, he rebuked Muggle side of his parentage and welcomed his Death Eaters as his "true family", unleashing the Serpent of Slytherin to continue Salazar's cause in purging Muggle-borns at Hogwarts, claiming that Muggle-borns were ordinary Muggles who "stole" magic from real wizards and witches and deserved to be greatly punished for it, ruthlessly murdered Charity Burbage for supporting Muggle-borns, and ashamed of his Muggle-sided parentage. The shame from being born as they very thing he despised received a sympathy from Barty Crouch Jr. who remarked that they have disappointing fathers (though more likely that Voldemort simply relayed the disappointing father part, ignoring his blood status). Despite his racist beliefs however, Voldemort can suppress his hatred towards Muggle-borns who eager to join his cause and even welcomed others who are exceptionally talented into his ranks, as long as they were willing to serve him.

Despite his hatred towards non-pure-bloods, Voldemort himself was a half-blood. Under his rule for a year, he allowed half-bloods to continue to attend Hogwarts, albeit with less respect. As stated previously, Voldemort was ashamed of his Muggle-sided parentage so much that he denied it, left misleading hints that he was a pure-blood and proudly presented his ancestry from Salazar Slytherin. Hiding his status as half-blood is one of testaments of his hypocritical side, the other being his claim as a "Merciful Lord" with respect for his enemies despite many facts surrounding him proved otherwise.

Of his narcissistic and egomania, Voldemort could acknowledge his mistakes and displayed 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.

Despite of him usually maintained a calm, reserved, and sophisticated persona, Voldemort was capable of phenomenally explosive and violent fits of rage and became unpredictable as result when things don't go in the way he wanted. During his mood swings, he would instinctively cast Killing Curse at whomever he saw first even his own allies. An instance of this can be seen during his villainous breakdown where he slaughtered entire Gringgots after learning that the place was infiltrated by the trio who managed to steal one of his Horcruxes (Helga Hufflepuff's Cup) stored within. His fear even occasionally clouded his judgement as much as his anger to the point of him taking cowardly path such as attempting to murder Harry when he was still a baby, risking a piece of his soul within Tom Riddle's library when reopening Chamber of Secrets for a second time instead of doing the endeavor himself, and making error after error nearing the last days of his life to the point of unknowingly giving Harry better advantage against him as well as failed to see Snape's duplicity and Dumbledore's last plan. Even so, Voldemort can suppress and conceal his fears as well as confronting things that threatened him as shown when confronting the deranged Morfin Gaunt as a teenager and boldly engaging Albus Dumbledore in a duel.

Voldemort did however, capable of acknowledging the desire of others (only if those desires did not interfere with his ambitions and were presented by someone whom he deemed a worthy servant) as well as respected and, sometimes even, admiring bravery and skill in them. He took Snape's wish to spare Lily under the consideration before eventually set it aside when there's no way around between him and Harry, remarking Potters as brave (particularly James Potter who put up a courageous fight against him), and appreciated Neville Longbottom's "spirit and bravery" that the young man is worthy to be a new member for his Death Eater army (though this mostly out of knowledge over his pureblood status). Even with his inability to comprehend love and compassion, Voldemort has decent capability in valuing loyalty – he appreciated Death Eaters' genuine devotion for him and moved by Lestranges' determination to stay on his side no matter what. He even expressed some disappointment at Harry when his nemesis seemingly abandoned Hogwarts to save himself, as he had hoped his ultimatum would ultimately drive Harry to be killed by him.

Voldemort found it useful to maintain a system of followers drawn from the Slytherin-centric Wizarding aristocracy, disaffected paupers with long-gone noble origins, as well as criminal elements, and in their company spoke like one of them, lecturing on themes of blood purity, Muggle inferiority, and the proper order of society. 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 left 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 achieving their ends. While he only valued loyalty despite only seeing them as nothing more than expendable tools, Voldemort's contempt on Muggles and Muggle-borns for their alleged inferiority did unmistakably aligned with theirs.

Voldermort never fully abandoned his goal to fulfill Slyhterin's desire to make Hogwarts a school for Pure Bloods only, as after he "killed" Harry Potter his first act was to declare that Slyhterin would be the only house in Hogwarts from that point onward during his victory rally.

Voldemort's weaknesses are his arrogance, fear of death (which he regarded as a shameful and ignominious human weakness), a d total disregard of things that he could not understand such as love as stated previously, all of which greatly contributed to his downfall. Failed to realize that attempting to cast a Killing Curse on a victim after killing a protector who had voluntarily sacrificed themselves would result in the curse rebounding off due to the magic of love, not accounting house-elves such as Dobby would use their magic against him and his forces simply due to their social status, and equating death with being defeated or loss of domination, the ultimate humiliation. The biggest difference between Harry and Voldemort was that Harry, as the true Master of Death, accepted mortality, which ultimately made him a stronger person than his nemesis. Furthermore, due to his immense evil and lack of a human soul, he was completely unable to cast the Patronus Charm, an incredibly powerful and benevolent protective charm that is a manifestation of positive energy and happiness, none of which Voldemort possessed. Lastly, the obsession for immortality which led to him creating seven Horcruxes greatly costed him the inability to pass on due to damage he done on his very soul, let alone returning as a ghost.

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 achieve something similar to telekinesis, manipulate animals, and "make bad things happen to people who annoy him", in a much more controlled display of magic than wizards exhibit at that age.

Voldemort grew into one of the most powerful wizards to ever exist, second only to Dumbledore himself. He masters 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 showing his great power.

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. Voldemort is also said to be very skilled at Occlumency, however his use of this talent wasn't greatly shown in the series.

Finally, Voldemort is extremely intelligent and knowledgeable, and capable of thinking of almost perfect plans. If it wasn't for his extreme megalomania and his utter inability to comprehend human emotions and reactions, he would not have fallen.


Don't you turn your back on me, Harry Potter! I want you to look at me when I kill you! I want to see the light leave your eyes!'
~ Lord Voldemort taunting Harry Potter in Goblet of Fire film.
I was ripped from my body, less than spirit, less than the meanest ghost, but still, I was alive.
~ Voldemort about the aftermath of.his ill-fated attempt to kill the baby Harry.
See what I have become? Mere shadow and vapour ... I have form only when I can share another's body... but there have always been those willing to let me into their hearts and minds.... Unicorn blood has strengthened me, these past weeks... you saw faithful Quirrell drinking it for me in the forest... and once I have the Elixir of Life, I will be able to create a body of my own.... Now... why don't you give me that Stone in your pocket?
~ Voldemort to Harry about his non-corporeal and parasitic state of existence before demanding the Philosopher's Stone in his possession.
I remember only forcing myself, sleeplessly, endlessly, second by second, to exist. ... I settled in a faraway place, in a forest, and I waited. . . . Surely, one of my faithful Death Eaters would try and find me. . . one of them would come and perform the magic I could not, to restore me to a body . . , but I waited in vain...
~ Voldemort admonishing his Death Eaters for failing to resurrect him sooner
Harry Potter... the Boy Who Lived... come to die.
~ Lord Voldemort before killing Harry Potter.
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.
Harry Potter: You're the weak one. And you'll never know love, or friendship. And I feel sorry for you.
Voldemort: You're a fool, Harry Potter. And you will lose...everything.
~ Lord Voldemort and Harry Potter to each other.
Voldemort: You do not seek to kill me, Dumbledore? Above such brutality, are you?
Dumbledore: We both know there are other ways of destroying a man, Tom. Merely taking your life would not satisfy me, I admit.
Voldemort: There is nothing worse than death, Dumbledore!
Dumbledore: You are quite wrong. Indeed, your failure to understand that there are things much worse than death has always been your greatest weakness.
~ Voldemort to Dumbledore before their duel.
You have been taught how to duel. Harry Potter? We bow to each other. Harry, Come, the niceties must be observed. . . .Dumbledore would like you to show manners. . . . Bow to death, Harry. ... I said, bow, Very good, And now you face me, like a man . . . straight-backed and proud, the way your father died. . . .
~ Voldemort preparing to duel Harry Potter
I have been careless, and so have been thwarted by luck and chance, those wreckers of all but the best-laid plans. But I know better now. I understand those things that I did not understand before. I must be the one to kill Harry Potter, and I shall be.
~ Voldemort discuses Harry Potter's triumphs and his own failures.
For those of you who do not know, we are joined here tonight by Charity Burbage who, until recently, taught at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Yes . . . Professor Burbage taught the children of witches and wizards all about Muggles . . . how they are not so different from us . . . Not content with corrupting and polluting the minds of Wizarding children, last week Professor Burbage wrote an impassioned defence of Mudbloods in the Daily Prophet. Wizards, she says, must accept these thieves of their knowledge and magic. The dwindling of the purebloods is, says Professor Burbage, a most desirable circumstance. . . . She would have us all mate with Muggles . . . or, no doubt, werewolves. . . .
~ Voldemort tormenting Charity Burbage before murdering her.
Say it again! Say it again! Impostors? What impostors? I thought Gringotts had ways of revealing impostors? Who were they? And they took? Tell me! What did they take?
~ Voldemort interrogating a Gringotts Goblin, becoming aware of Harry's Horcrux hunt
I know that you are preparing to fight. Your efforts are futile. You cannot fight me. I do not want to kill you. I have great respect for the teachers of Hogwarts. I do not want to spill magical blood. Give me Harry Potter, and none shall be harmed. Give me Harry Potter, and I shall leave the school untouched. Give me Harry Potter, and you will be rewarded. You have until midnight.
~ Voldemort's ultimatum before Battle at Hogwarts
You've been a good and faithful servant, Severus, but only I can live forever.
~ Voldemort before killing Severus Snape in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.
Kill the spare.
~ Voldemort orders Wormtail to kill Cedric Diggory.
Avada Kedavra!
~ Voldemort's last word in the book, and also his final Killing Curse.
I killed Snape!
~ Voldemort's last word in the film.

Other Appearances

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.

He was voiced by Eddie Izzard.

Ralph Fiennes was also in the movie as Alfred Pennyworth, but it was decided that he shouldn't play both characters.

How it Should Have Ended

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Voldemort appeared in the episode "How Harry Potter Should Have Ended", where he is defeated by Harry. 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.


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 the average age of a Muggle, 71.
  • Voldemort shares many similarities with the Naruto villain, Orochimaru. Both have snakes as a motif, both seek immortality, both are former students of the hero's mentor, and both have a battle with this mentor. The difference however, Orochimaru is much familiar with concept of love, has greater interest in seeking the greatest secret of life rather than world domination, and eventually redeemed himself in the end.
  • According to J.K. Rowling, Voldemort's character drew certain parallels to three real-life dictators; Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Benito Mussolini, with Adolf Hilter being similar to Voldemort most out of three.


           HarryPotter Villains

Death Eaters
Lord Voldemort | Severus Snape | Draco Malfoy | Lucius Malfoy | Peter Pettigrew | Barty Crouch Jr. | Bellatrix Lestrange | Corban Yaxley | Alecto Carrow | Antonin Dolohov | Augustus Rookwood | Thorfinn Rowle | Evan Rosier | Cedric Diggory | Fenrir Greyback | Stan Shunpike

Death Eater Supporters
Quirinus Quirrell | Dolores Umbridge | Snatchers (Scabior) | Gregory Goyle | Vincent Crabbe | John Dawlish | Kreacher

The Alliance
Gellert Grindelwald | Credence Barebone | Vinda Rosier | Queenie Goldstein | Gunnar Grimmson | Abernathy | Krall | Carrow | Nagel | Krafft | MacDuff

Other Dark Wizards & Witches
Salazar Slytherin | Morfin Gaunt | Marvolo Gaunt | Gilderoy Lockhart | Cornelius Fudge | Herpo the Foul | Merwyn the Malicious | Ekrizdis | Delphini | Patricia Rakepick

New Salem Philanthropic Society
Mary Lou Barebone | Credence Barebone

Basilisk | Acromantula (Aragog & Acromantula Colony) | Dementors | Centaurs | Giants | Inferi | Nagini | Mountain Troll | Charlatan | Death

Lord Voldermort
Lord Voldemort