- "Only I can live... forever."
- —Lord Voldemort.[src]
Tom Marvolo Riddle (31 December, 1926 – 2 May, 1998), later known as Lord Voldemort, was the most powerful Dark Wizard of all time. He was a half-blood wizard, son of Tom Riddle Sr., a wealthy muggle who abandoned his wife, and Merope Gaunt, who died shortly after childbirth. He was born and raised in a muggle orphanage, but eventually attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and was sorted into Slytherin house. An exceedingly handsome, polite and popular orphan, Tom Riddle was once thought to be the most talented pupil to ever attend Hogwarts. To the school at large he presented the respectable face of a student like any other. In reality, however, Riddle was cruel, sadistic, manipulative and power hungry. Having achieved outstanding grades in every examination he took, Riddle left Hogwarts and went on to a brief employment at Borgin and Burkes, before disappearing from public view completely.
Having embraced the seductive Dark Arts he encountered in his travels, the former Tom Riddle, now known exclusively as Lord Voldemort, raised an enormous army comprised of followers he recruited both at school and afterward, as well as many dark creatures. This army, known as the Death Eaters began a campaign of terror and violence never before seen in Britain. After hearing half of a prophecy referring to a single being with the power to destroy him, Voldemort set off to kill Harry Potter, to whom he believed the prophecy referred. After murdering Harry's parents, Lily and James, Voldemort turned his wand upon the boy. However, due to Lily Potter's loving sacrifice, Voldemort's curse rebounded upon him and his body was destroyed. Stripped of his power, Voldemort fled to a far flung forest in Albania, to await the day when he could regain a body and return to power. After thirteen years of waiting that day would finally arrive, and with the use of Potter’s own blood, the Dark Lord rose again.
Although he initially lay low, Voldemort was soon forced into the open, and began his bloody conquest of the wizarding world anew. After two years of constant warfare, Voldemort finally gained control of the Ministry of Magic, and ruled relatively unopposed, save for a few pockets of resistance. Despite his hold over the country, Voldemort was still unsatisfied, as he had yet to remove the danger the prophecy presented to him. After learning of Potter's location, Voldemort set out to destroy the boy once and for all launching his entire amassed force against Hogwarts. Upon arriving at the school, Voldemort was met by a full scale rebellion of Hogwarts staff and students, along with the members of the Order of the Phoenix and the residents of Hogsmeade. As the battle progressed the Death Eaters were driven into the Great Hall, where Voldemort engaged Harry Potter in a duel, and, because all of his Horcruxes were destroyed, Tom Marvolo Riddle was finally killed once and for all.
- "I remember she said to me 'I hope he looks like his papa', and I won't lie she was right to hope it, because she was no beauty — and then she told me he was to be named Tom, for his father, and Marvolo, for her father — yes, I know, funny name, isn't it? We wondered whether she came from a circus — and she said the boy's surname was to be Riddle. And she died soon after that without another word."
- —Mrs. Cole tells Albus Dumbledore about Merope Gaunt's last words
Tom Marvolo Riddle, was born on New Year's Eve, 1926 in an orphanage in London. His pure-blood mother, Merope Gaunt, oh how we love purebloods, died shortly after Tom's birth. Tom was raised by Muggles. Oh, praise Tom. He was the most wonderful man. I am so angry that I am trying to kill Harry Potter so WATCH OUT. Tom...sexy, hot, lovable, the greatest man that ever walked the Earth and tried to stamp out the filthy Mudbloods, oh how heroic he was. He was the best hero ever. I love him..
- "I can make things move without touching them. I can make animals do what I want them to do, 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, whisper things. "
- —Eleven-year-old Tom Riddle to Albus Dumbledore[src]
Tom Riddle grew up in a dingy orphanage, completely unaware of his wizarding heritage. He did have some grasp on his abilities beyond that of normal magical children of his same age, however, as well as an unusually high degree of control over them. Tom could move objects with his mind and cause them to travel floating wherever he wished, manipulate animals and creatures as he wished, speak Parseltongue, and use his power to inflict harm on other orphans. After getting into a fight with one boy, he used his powers to hang the boy's rabbit from the rafters. On one occasion, he took two orphans, Dennis Bishop and Amy Benson, into a cave, where he performed an act so horrifying that the two orphans were traumatised into silence. Young Tom Riddle also stole from fellow orphans and hid their possessions in his cupboard like trophies.
Discovery of being a wizard
- "His powers...were surprisingly well-developed for such a young wizard and — most interestingly and ominously of all — he had already discovered that he had some measure of control over them, and begun to use them consciously...they were not the random experiments typical of young wizards: He was already using magic against other people, to frighten, to punish, to control."
- —Albus Dumbledore on Riddle's abilities as a child[src]
When Tom was eleven, Albus Dumbledore, a professor at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, talked to Mrs. Cole first, who informed him of how unusual Tom was, sharing tales of his extraordinary influence over the other children. When Dumbledore was at last introduced to the boy, Tom at first believed him to be a doctor or psychiatrist of some sort, come to take him to an asylum. He was convinced after Dumbledore demonstrated his power by using a Flame-Freezing Charm on Tom's cupboard, and when he revealed that Hogwarts was a school for people with magic, which Tom realised his abilities were.
At a very early age, it is clear that Tom displayed a desire to be different and set apart from others (as is hinted when he mentions his dislike of his own name, because it is such a common name). He was not surprised at all upon being informed by Dumbledore that he was a wizard — he was, in fact, eager to believe that he had special gifts that no one else had. Tom also showed an eminent fear of death, considering it a human weakness. He claimed that his mother couldn't have been a witch, because if she was magical than she would have been able to avoid dying.
Tom's abuse of his wizarding powers alarmed Albus. He resolved to keep a close eye on him, "something I should have done in any case, seeing as he was alone and friendless." Dumbledore also warned Tom that at Hogwarts he would be introduced to the laws that controlled the usage of magic in the wizarding world, and that law-breakers were punished with severity not by Hogwarts but the Ministry of Magic. Riddle's demeanour changed after Dumbledore reprimanded him; he became more guarded and shielded his reactions. Dumbledore provided Riddle with enough information to find Diagon Alley and Platform Nine and Three-Quarters. Riddle bought some second-hand robes and spellbooks for himself, along with his wand-thirteen and a half inches; yew; phoenix feather core—at Ollivander's. Mr. Ollivander later said that the wand was very powerful; Voldemort was very pleased with it until the wand failed him during his confrontation with Harry Potter in the Little Hangleton Graveyard, many years later. Riddle also mentioned that he was a Parselmouth, which surprised Dumbledore.
Tom was educated at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from 1938 to 1945, and was Sorted in Slytherin House, a nod to his ancestor Salazar Slytherin himself. During summer breaks, he was forced to return to the Muggle orphanage, which he despised and dreaded more than any other place on earth.
Tom described the way he was seen as "poor, but brilliant, parentless, but so brave, a school Prefect, a model student." This opinion was also shared by the professors, including Horace Slughorn, who was taken in by Tom's charisma and who taught him about Horcruxes. The sole exception to this was Albus Dumbledore, who was, at that time, Professor of Transfiguration. Dumbledore remained suspicious about Tom's true nature; Tom, in turn, despised and feared Dumbledore. Riddle has gathered himself a gang of Slytherin thugs, a motley composition of "the weak seeking protection, the ambitious seeking some shared glory, and the thuggish gravitating toward a leader who could show them more refined forms of cruelty", most of which would become the first Death Eaters. Riddle claimed they were his friends, and would make it appear so in public, but in truth, he cares very little for them, using them as servants. He manipulated them to do his darker deeds in discreet manners, which led to nasty incidents that were never connected to them.
Tom became obsessed with his heritage and began researching it with an insatiable hunger. He learned of his Slytherin ancestry, discovered the existence of the Chamber of Secrets under Hogwarts, and tamed the basilisk which dwelt within. As the Heir of Slytherin through his mother's family, Tom was able to open the Chamber Slytherin had left behind in order to "purge the school of all those who are unworthy to study magic" — in Tom and Slytherins' eyes, Muggle-borns.
The basilisk injured many at Hogwarts in 1943. The last victim was a student named Myrtle, who was killed in the girls' bathroom when she saw the basilisk's yellow eyes. Hogwarts was to be closed, but Tom did not want to return to the orphanage. During that year, he even made a special request that Headmaster Dippet would allow him to stay at school over the summer break. To keep the school from shutting down, he framed fellow student Rubeus Hagrid and his pet Acromantula, Aragog. Tom convinced then-Headmaster Armando Dippet that Aragog was the monster that had terrorised the school. Hagrid was expelled, and Tom received an engraved trophy for Special Services to the School.
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, the very first of seven Horcruxes hoping it would one day lead someone to finish Salazar Slytherin's "noble work."
While researching his heritage, Riddle focused solely on who his father was, thinking him to be the magic parent, as he felt his mother could not have been a witch if she had died. He searched for his father's name in the school trophy room, in the records of Hogwarts prefects and in records of wizarding history, but found nothing to suggest his father had even attended Hogwarts. He was eventually forced to accept that his father was the Muggle parent, and that his mother was the magical one. It was around this time that Tom Marvolo Riddle gave himself the alias "Lord Voldemort," to spare himself of the reminder of his "filthy Muggle father."
- Tom Riddle: "Could I ask you something?"
- Horace Slughorn: "Ask away m'boy, then, ask away..."
- Tom Riddle: "Do you know anything about — about Horcruxes?"
- Horace Slughorn: "I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT HORCRUXES AND I WOULDN'T TELL YOU IF I DID! NOW GET OUT OF HERE AT ONCE!"
- — Horace Slughorn's false memory of his discussion with Tom about Horcruxes.[src]
Using his middle name, Marvolo, which derived from his maternal grandfather, Riddle discovered his mother's heritage and the Gaunt's bloodline connection with Salazar Slytherin. In the summer of 1943, Tom went to Little Hangleton to learn about his mother's family. While there, he met his uncle Morfin Gaunt, who thought that this stranger looked "mighty like that Muggle," Merope's husband, Tom Riddle Sr. Morfin Gaunt told Tom the story of his Muggle father, which infuriated Tom to the point of seeking revenge. Tom went to the Riddle home and murdered his father, grandfather, and grandmother with the Killing Curse. He covered up his crimes by altering Morfin's memory, causing him to believe that he was the killer. When the Ministry of Magic investigated the crime, Morfin — who had previously served three years in Azkaban for using magic in front of and against Muggles — freely admitted to it and was sentenced to life imprisonment in Azkaban. Tom took the family signet ring from Morfin and wore it like a trophy at Hogwarts.
During Tom's last year at Hogwarts, he was Head Boy and he received a medal for magical merit. He was regarded as one of the most brilliant students ever to attend Hogwarts. During this time, he questioned Professor Slughorn about the possibility of creating more than one Horcrux, something Slughorn felt deeply ashamed of in later years; at his mid-teen years, Riddle already sought to make himself immortal. Shortly before graduating, Tom charmed the spirit of Helena Ravenclaw, more commonly known as the Grey Lady and the ghost of Ravenclaw House, into revealing the location of Rowena Ravenclaw's Diadem. Tom sought to transform this diadem into another Horcrux.
After graduating, Tom immediately approached Armando Dippet and asked him for a chance to teach Defence Against the Dark Arts, and to remain at Hogwarts, for reasons that he did not confide with the then-headmaster. Dippet rejected this offer, deeming the boy too young, but invited Tom to reapply in a few years, if still interested in the post, something that Dumbldedore heavily advised against. Tom then presumably travelled to the far-flung forest in Albania about which Helena Ravenclaw 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, to the disappointment and surprise of many. He set to persuading witches and wizards to part with their valuable magical heirlooms—a job at which he was very good.
At this time, Tom befriended a wealthy, elderly witch named Hepzibah Smith. Hepzibah showed Tom her two most valuable treasures: Salazar Slytherin's Locket and Helga Hufflepuff's Cup. Tom killed Hepzibah to steal these objects and vanished without a trace. He covered his tracks well by implanting another false memory into an innocent bystander-Hokey, Hepzibah's house-elf. Hokey admitted to accidentally putting poison into Hepzibah's cocoa, which was believed, as Hokey was elderly herself. Meanwhile, Tom resigned his post at Borgin and Burkes and fled with the cup and locket, subsequently turning them into two more Horcruxes.
Tom disappeared for many years. He slipped deeper into the Dark Arts, travelled extensively, consorted with disreputable people, and underwent many dangerous magical transformations. At some point, Tom appealed once more to the Headmaster of Hogwarts, who was then Albus Dumbledore, for the position of Professor of Defence Against the Dark Arts. His true desire was to learn Hogwarts' secrets and recruit followers. Dumbledore denied him the position, suspicious of his intentions. The position was thenceforth cursed by Tom Riddle; teachers only held the position for a year, afterwards suffering some terrible fate or humiliation that caused them to leave the position.
Tom's visit to Hogwarts was not fruitless, however; he used the opportunity to hide Rowena Ravenclaw's Diadem in the Room of Requirement, where he believed it would never be found. He held onto the diadem for a decade before hiding it at Hogwarts.
First Wizarding War
The Rise of the Dark Lord
- "You don't know who his supporters are, you don't know who's working for him and who isn't; you know he can control people so that they do terrible things without being able to stop themselves. You're scared for yourself, and your family, and your friends. Every week, news comes of more deaths, more disappearances, more torturing... the Ministry of Magic's in disarray, they don't know what to do, they're trying to keep everything hidden from the Muggles, but meanwhile, Muggles are dying too. Terror everywhere... panic... confusion... that's how it used to be."
- —Sirius Black[src]
In the 1970s, Lord Voldemort, as he was now exclusively called, had gathered a following of witches and wizards who called themselves, collectively, Death Eaters. Some were supportive of his cause to dominate Muggles and Muggle-borns, others were greedy for power, and yet others joined the Dark Lord out of fear. Voldemort considered them more like servants than friends or family. They freely used the Unforgivable Curses and killed mercilessly and indiscriminately.
Lord Voldemort began taking advantage of the wizarding world's greatest weakness: the beings and creatures that they had outcast. The Dark Lord recruited giants, who had long ago been driven by wizards into the mountains, and werewolves, who were persecuted by most witches and wizards. Many feared the goblins would also join him, as they were restricted from wand use, but it never happened. Aurors were authorised to use Unforgivable Curses on Death Eaters without warning, and suspects were sometimes handed over to the Dementors without a Wizengamot trial. Many innocent people were locked away. For many years after, people were even afraid to speak his name, and he was referred to as "You-Know-Who" or "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named."
Under the staunch protection of Albus Dumbledore, the only person Lord Voldemort truly feared, Hogwarts remained a safe place of learning. The Order of the Phoenix was created by Dumbledore at this time to fight against Voldemort.
First fall from power
At the height of his power in 1979, a prophecy was given by Sybill Trelawney to Albus Dumbledore which predicted the fall of the Dark Lord. This prophecy was given in the Hog's Head Inn during an interview for the position of Professor of Divination.
- "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 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…The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies..."
- —Sybill Trelawney[src]
This prophecy was overheard by Death Eater and informant Severus Snape. According to Dumbledore, Snape only heard half of the prophecy and was then thrown out by the barman, Aberforth Dumbledore. He relayed to Lord Voldemort what he had heard, he did not realise that he missed an important part of the message.
Trelawney's description of the night's events was a bit different however, as she stated that after feeling "ill," Aberforth burst into the room with Severus Snape. This is in contrast with Dumbledore's description of events. In any case, Voldemort was threatened, and sprang into action to prevent the fulfilment of the prophecy.
There were, at the time, two babies to whom the prophecy could refer — Harry Potter, the half-blood son of James and Lily Potter; and Neville Longbottom, the pure-blood son of Alice and Frank Longbottom. Both families had sought to thwart Voldemort three times, and both families were members of the Order of the Phoenix. Both children in question were born at the end of the seventh month, July. Voldemort chose to target Harry instead of Neville; Dumbledore suspected this was because Harry shared a similar family heritage with Voldemort, both of them being half-bloods.
The Potters went into hiding, but were betrayed by their friend and Secret-Keeper, Peter Pettigrew. Voldemort murdered James and Lily, but when he used the Killing Curse on Harry, it rebounded and destroyed his powers. This happened because Lily sacrificed herself to protect her son, creating a powerful defence of ancient magic around Harry which protected him for many years.
After Lord Voldemort's first fall from power, the Death Eaters dispersed and attempted to return to normal life. Many claimed they had been under the Imperius Curse, while others stayed true to their master and continued his work, most notably the Lestrange family, who were eventually taken into custody, convicted at a trial, and imprisoned in Azkaban.
- "I was ripped from my body, less than spirit, less than the meanest ghost, but still, I was alive."
- —Lord Voldemort[src]
Lord Voldemort lost his physical form and was weak and powerless, but he remained alive. The Horcruxes he had created kept his soul bound to the physical world. He retreated to the forests of Albania, where he had previously found his fifth Horcrux, The Lost Diadem of Ravenclaw, and waited for his faithful Death Eaters to find him, but many of them now believed him dead, and those still faithful to him were either dead or in Azkaban. He gained physical form by inhabiting snakes, though he disliked doing so because the bodies of such animals were ill-equipped to perform magic, and because his possession significantly reduced their lifespans; none of his hosts survived for too long.
Search for the Philosopher's Stone
- "There is no good and evil, there is only power...and those too weak to seek it."
- —Voldemort speaking through Quirrell[src]
In 1991, Voldemort formed a plan to regain his body. Hogwarts Professor Quirinus Quirrell had made a voyage to Albania, where his foolish and gullible mind was vulnerable to Voldemort. He latched onto Quirrell's body and came back to Hogwarts with him. Voldemort ordered Quirrell to drink the blood of unicorns in the Forbidden Forest so he could gain power. He ordered Quirrell to steal Nicolas Flamel's greatest alchemical compound, the Philosopher's Stone, from a vault in Gringotts Wizarding Bank so he could make the Elixir of Life. Voldemort discovered the Stone had been removed earlier that same day, and through Quirrell's connections at Hogwarts, learned it was hidden at the school.
The same year that Voldemort set to the task of stealing the Philosopher's Stone, Harry Potter began his first year at Hogwarts.
There were many barriers protecting the Stone. Quirrell had to trick Rubeus Hagrid, who was then the Hogwarts Gamekeeper, into telling him how to get past the three-headed dog Fluffy. To do this, he enticed Hagrid into a card game with the wager of a dragon egg.
Severus Snape, who had switched sides near the end of the First Wizarding War and become professor of Potions, was suspicious of Quirrell and hounded him relentlessly. When Quirrell released a troll in the Hogwarts dungeons as a distraction, Snape blocked him off. Voldemort was not to be stopped, however, and ordered Quirrell to send a fake letter to Dumbledore, asking him to go to the Ministry of Magic. Voldemort moved forward with his goal, moving through the security barriers to the Mirror of Erised. Quirrell saw himself presenting the stone to his master, but could not figure out how to get it. It was only when Harry Potter arrived, believing he was protecting the Stone from Severus Snape, that Voldemort saw a way to get it. Dumbledore would later say, "Only those who wanted to find the stone, but not use it, could get it from the mirror." Voldemort figured this out, and Quirrell attacked Harry. When he touched Harry, however, his hands blistered and burned. Harry placed his hands on Quirrell's face, severely injuring and eventually killing him. Lord Voldemort's soul fled, once more without a body.
Re-opening the Chamber of Secrets
Lord Voldemort returned to the Albanian forest, weaker than ever. He had to wait yet again for someone to help him.
Sometime before 1992, Lucius Malfoy came into possession of Tom Riddle's Diary. This was the self-same diary created by Tom Marvolo Riddle as a boy in the 1940s. Malfoy planted the diary on eleven-year-old Ginny Weasley, who brought it to Hogwarts. She began writing in it, and found that a sixteen-year-old Tom Riddle was answering. She found comfort in the diary, not knowing she was being manipulated. The diary slowly drained the life and energy from Ginny, transferring it to itself. Under the diary's control, Ginny re-opened the Chamber of Secrets and released the basilisk, which petrified several students. While possessed, she also killed Hagrid's roosters and wrote threatening messages on the school corridors in rooster blood. Ginny became upset and confused, knowing that the diary was doing something to her, and tried to flush it down the toilet in Moaning Myrtle's bathroom. Harry Potter and Ron Weasley accidentally stumbled upon it, and Harry began communicating with the diary.
- Harry: "You. You're the Heir of Slytherin. You're Voldemort."
- Tom Riddle: "Surely you didn't think I was going to keep my filthy Muggle father's name? No, I fashioned myself a new name, a name I knew that wizards everywhere would one day fear to speak, when I became the greatest sorcerer in the world!"
- Harry: "Albus Dumbledore is the greatest sorcerer in the world!"
- Tom Riddle: "Dumbledore's been driven out of this castle by the mere memory of me!"
- — Tom Riddle and Harry Potter in the Chamber of Secrets[src]
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 written in the diary, or what she had done while under its influence. When Voldemort was ready to take his physical form from Ginny's life, the diary lured her into the Chamber of Secrets. Harry found Ginny in time and destroyed the basilisk with Godric Gryffindor's Sword. Fawkes also arrived, summoned by Harry's loyalty to Dumbledore. Harry used the basilisk's fang to stab the diary, thinking it would destroy its power. Not only was the diary destroyed, but Harry also unknowingly destroyed one of Lord Voldemort's Horcruxes.
Return to power
Voldemort was still very weak when, in 1994, his servant Peter Pettigrew, a.k.a. Wormtail, who had faked his death years earlier and hid from authorities in his Animagus form of a rat, had returned to his master. Together, they built a rudimentary body that Voldemort used for travel and performing magic. While in this form, Voldemort was forced to drink a potion made from Unicorn blood and venom from Nagini the snake to sustain him.
Pettigrew lured Ministry official Bertha Jorkins to Lord Voldemort in his forest hideout in Albania. He used magic to glean information about the Triwizard Tournament from Jorkins. Before killing her, Voldemort was surprised to find that someone else had put a Memory Charm on her and interrogated her to find the whereabouts of a loyal Death Eater, Barty Crouch Jr., who had been imprisoned in Azkaban and was thought to be dead. Voldemort uncovered that Barty Crouch Sr. was concealing his son at his home after helping him escape prison. Jorkins had stumbled upon Barty Jr. at his house, and Crouch Sr. placed a Memory Charm on her so that she would not report it.
Returning to the Riddle House in Little Hangleton, the site of his very first murder, Voldemort also killed Riddle groundskeeper Frank Bryce for overhearing their plan to crash the Triwizard Tournament. They went to the Crouch estate where Voldemort placed Crouch Sr. under the Imperius Curse and freed Crouch Jr..
Voldemort ordered Crouch Jr. to capture Alastor Moody, the new Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor at Hogwarts. Crouch Jr. and Peter Pettigrew did so, and created Polyjuice Potion which Crouch Jr. used to impersonate Moody for the entire school year. He influenced the Tournament for months, ensuring that Harry would be the one to get to the Triwizard Cup first which, unbeknownst to anyone, was a Portkey. Harry, in the spirit of sportsmanship, requested Cedric Diggory to tie with him for the win. When they both touched the Portkey, they were transported to a cemetery in Little Hangleton where Wormtail and Voldemort were waiting. Pettigrew murdered Cedric with the Killing Curse and used Harry's blood in a Potion for his master's rebirth.
Voldemort gained a new body and summoned his Death Eaters. Those who were perhaps most loyal to him, save for those who willingly went to Azkaban in his name, appeared. Voldemort mocked and humiliated Harry, and attempted to kill him, but their twin-core wands became locked in Priori Incantatem.
People who had been killed by Voldemort's wand came out as spectral visions. First Cedric Diggory, then Frank Bryce, followed by Bertha Jorkins, Lily and James Potter.They encouraged Harry, while distracting Voldemort. Harry pulled away and had enough time to grab Cedric's body and the Triwizard Cup to return to the Hogwarts grounds. Voldemort now had some of his followers, but Barty Crouch Jr. had been discovered, and was subjected to the Dementor's Kiss before he could be tried before the Wizengamot. Thus, the only knowledge of Voldemort's return was Harry's word, which was vigorously disputed by the Ministry. Voldemort was able to grow in power in secret.
Battle for the Prophecy
- Lord Voldemort: "So weak..."
- Harry Potter: "You' re the weak one... and you'll never know love, or friendship... and I feel sorry for you..."
- Lord Voldemort: "You're a fool, Harry Potter, and you will lose... everything..."
- — Tom Riddle and Harry Potter discussing the meaning of being weak [src]
In 1995, Dumbledore reconvened the Order of the Phoenix once more, using Sirius Black's family home at 12 Grimmauld Place as headquarters. Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley set up a similar organisation at Hogwarts called Dumbledore's Army, which was originally created to thwart the Ministry's meddling at the school under Dolores Umbridge.
Voldemort was now after the aforementioned prophecy housed in the Department of Mysteries, wanting to hear the whole of it. At this time, many of Voldemort's most loyal Death Eaters, such as Bellatrix Lestrange, escaped from Azkaban and returned to his side.
Voldemort's first attempt at securing the prophecy was to have Lucius Malfoy put Order member Sturgis Podmore under the Imperius Curse and send him to take the prophecy. However, Sturgis was unable to get into the Department of Mysteries. His next attempt was to use the Imperius Curse on an Unspeakable named Broderick Bode. He was ordered to retrieve the prophecy, but was seriously injured in the process and was put into a permanent ward at St Mungo's. From this, Voldemort learned that the only people who could retrieve a prophecy are the people who are included in the prophecy. He could not risk going into the Ministry himself, so he used a telepathic link through Harry Potter's scar to cause him to go there instead.
Members of Dumbledore's Army, including Harry, Hermione, Ron, Luna Lovegood, Ginny, and Neville Longbottom went to the Department of Mysteries seeking to rescue Sirius Black, who they believed to be trapped there. Harry wound up retrieving the prophecy from its shelf. At once, Death Eaters appeared, demanding Harry hand over the prophecy. The six D.A. members fought back, and during the battle that ensued, the prophecy was destroyed. Voldemort was forced to come to the Ministry, but upon learning of its destruction he tried to kill Harry.
His attempt was foiled by Albus Dumbledore, and a fantastic duel ensued. The duel came to a draw when Voldemort attempted to possess Harry instead, hoping Dumbledore would kill Harry in an attempt to destroy him at last, but Harry's heart, full of grief over the loss of his godfather Sirius, was able to force Voldemort out of his mind. Voldemort fled when Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge and other Ministry officials arrived. Voldemort's cover was blown and many of his Death Eaters, including Lucius, were taken into custody and sent to Azkaban.
- "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."
- —Lord Voldemort to his Death Eaters in 1997[src]
With Voldemort no longer needing to keep his actions silent, the Second Wizarding War had begun. The Dementors left Azkaban to side with the Dark Lord, who could offer them more scope for their powers. As a result, there were many attacks by the monsters. Mass Muggle killings, as well as the destruction of bridges, were rampant. What was claimed to be a hurricane to the Muggle world was in fact a rampage by the giants, whom Voldemort had drawn into allegiance. Voldemort himself duelled and killed Amelia Bones, the head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, who was described as having put up a good fight against him and as one of the greatest witches of the age.
In 1996, Draco Malfoy was inducted as a Death Eater, as Voldemort required a spy within Hogwarts. He ordered Draco to kill Albus Dumbledore, for he wished to punish Lucius Malfoy for his failings by giving his son a task he could not do. If Draco failed, he would meet terrible consequences. However, Draco was able to sneak a group of Death Eaters into Hogwarts through a pair of Vanishing Cabinets that connected Borgin and Burke's with the Room of Requirement. The first Battle of Hogwarts ensued.
Voldemort's plans were carried out when Severus Snape used the Killing Curse on Albus Dumbledore. Although the Death Eaters fled Hogwarts, the intrusion of Hogwarts Castle signified that there was no longer a single place safe from the Dark Lord.
Voldemort then took over Malfoy Manor as his headquarters. During the summer of 1997, he captured the Hogwarts Professor of Muggle Studies, Charity Burbage, and killed her before feeding her to Nagini. He also imprisoned and interrogated the kidnapped wandmaker, Ollivander, about why his wand could not duel against Harry Potter's wand. Ollivander revealed that their wands shared the same core, and would not work properly against each other. This came as a great relief to Voldemort, who worried that Harry had escaped from him in the graveyard by superior skill. Ollivander told Voldemort that he merely needed another's wand, and so he took Lucius Malfoy's.
When Harry Potter left 4 Privet Drive for the final time, Voldemort flew to the scene with his Death Eaters to fight the Order of the Phoenix. In the ensuing battle, Voldemort murdered Alastor Moody. When he attempted to attack Harry, Harry's wand reacted in a bizarre way, releasing golden fire at him and destroying Malfoy's wand. Before Voldemort could react, Harry reached the protection of the home of Ted and Andromeda Tonks, and Voldemort was forced to retreat.
Voldemort returned to his headquarters at Malfoy Manor and tortured Ollivander with the Cruciatus Curse. Ollivander told him truthfully that never in wandlore has he ever heard of such thing happening between two wands. Voldemort ordered Ollivander to tell him everything he knew about legendary wand known as the Elder Wand, otherwise known as the Deathstick or the Wand of Destiny.
Shortly after this, the Ministry of Magic was compromised and fell to the power of Voldemort when Minister Rufus Scrimgeour was murdered. News of this came to the Order of the Phoenix during the wedding of Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour at the Burrow. Voldemort established a totalitarian police state, with Pius Thicknesse, under the Imperius Curse, serving as a puppet Minister for Magic and Death Eater Yaxley as the head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. The Muggle-Born Registration Commission was created to round up Muggle-borns and imprison them in Azkaban. Harry Potter was declared Undesirable Number One with a reward on his head. Severus Snape, meanwhile, took over as Headmaster of Hogwarts.
Voldemort placed a Taboo Curse on his name which enabled his Death Eaters to instantly locate anyone who spoke his name out loud in the open. He chose not to publicly declare himself Minister in order to maintain an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty.
The search for the Elder Wand
- "Kill me then, Voldemort!... That wand will never, ever be yours!"
- —Grindelwald and Voldemort confronting in Nurmengard[src]
Eventually, after murdering people who got in his way, Voldemort found him,but was informed that the Wand had been stolen. Voldemort performed Legilimency on Gregorovich and saw the memory of the young blond boy who stole the Wand. Voldemort demanded to know the identity of the thief, but when Gregorovich didn't know it, Voldemort killed him.
Shortly after this, Nagini summoned Voldemort to Godric's Hollow, where Harry and Hermione were investigating the circumstances around the Potters' deaths. Harry and Hermione barely managed to escape. However, Voldemort found a picture of the aforementioned blond boy at the home of Bathilda Bagshot; this boy turned out to be none other than the Dark Wizard Gellert Grindelwald, whom Albus Dumbledore defeated in the 1940s.
Voldemort broke into the prison Nurmengard, where Grindelwald was being held, and demanded to know the location of the Elder Wand. Grindelwald baffled Voldemort by being completely unafraid of him and saying that he welcomed death; Voldemort killed him in a rage without gaining any information.
However, Voldemort deduced that Dumbledore, who had defeated Grindelwald, had the Wand. He killed Grindelwald, and stole the Elder Wand from Dumbledore's tomb.
Final Battle and death
- "If you continue to resist me, you will all die, one by one. I do not wish this to happen. Every drop of magical blood spilled is a loss and a waste... I command my forces to retreat immediately. You have one hour... I speak now, Harry Potter, directly to you... I shall wait for one hour in the Forbidden Forest. If, at the end of that hour, you have not come to me, have not given yourself up, then battle recommences. This time, I shall enter the fray myself, Harry Potter, and I shall find you, and I shall punish every last man, woman, and child who has tried to conceal you from me. One hour."
- —Voldemort announcing the one-hour ceasefire during the Battle of Hogwarts[src]
Following this, Voldemort was informed by several goblins from Gringotts that Harry and his friends had robbed the Lestrange's vault. This caused Voldemort to panic, and when he was informed that a small golden cup had been stolen, he was enraged. He realised at that moment that Harry was hunting his Horcruxes, but he could not figure out how he had discovered his secret when he never told anyone (In truth, Dumbledore and Harry had worked out, from studying Voldemort's past that Voldemort had created horcruxes, and also what the horcruxes were). Voldemort listed all the locations of his horcruxes in his mind, unaware that Harry was connected to his mind at the time, and unwittingly revealed that his last horcrux was at Hogwarts.
Following these revelations, Voldemort went to check out the Gaunt Shack and the Cave, returned to Hogwarts. By the time he got there, the residents had already ousted the Death Eaters teaching there and had begun preparing a defence against him. He rounded up his entire army of Death Eaters, giants, Dementors and Acromantula, and ordered the Hogwarts community to hand over Harry Potter. When, at midnight, they had not done as he had ordered, Voldemort commanded his army to fight the Aurors, professors, and students who were still in the castle. Voldemort himself was not present at the battle; he was investigating why the Elder Wand did not work any differently from his old wand. He came to the conclusion that it needed to accept him as a master, and ordered Nagini to kill Severus Snape, believing this would solve the problem by transferring mastery of the wand to himself.
Voldemort then called 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, the scar on his forehead, which was formed when Voldemort failed to kill him in 1981. When Harry met Voldemort in the Forbidden Forest, Voldemort used the Killing Curse on him almost immediately, but only destroyed the Horcrux, rendering his scar "normal." What was not revealed to Voldemort was that when he used Harry's blood three years prior to gain himself a new body, the blood passed Harry's mother's protection to Voldemort and anchored Harry to the living world through Voldemort. Harry was merely knocked to the ground and feigned death. Voldemort, as a result of destroying his soul shard in Harry, was also knocked out.
Unsure of what had just happened, Voldemort ordered Narcissa Malfoy to examine Harry's body. Narcissa did so and pronounced Harry Potter dead, eliciting celebration from the Death Eaters. Voldemort declared that no man could threaten him any more. He then forced the captured Rubeus Hagrid to carry the body back to Hogwarts for all to see. Voldemort did not realise, however, that Narcissa had lied to him in order to enter the castle to find her son.
Voldemort and his army marched to Hogwarts, proclaiming the death of Harry Potter and his victory. Neville Longbottom, instead of surrendering, charged at Voldemort. After Neville refused to join him, Voldemort placed a Full Body-Bind Curse and the Sorting Hat on him and set the hat on fire to make an example of him. But at that moment, reinforcements for the Hogwarts defenders arrived. Neville was able to throw off the curse and pulled Godric Gryffindor's Sword from the Hat, and used it to decapitate Nagini, destroying the last remaining Horcrux. Enraged, Voldemort attempted to kill Neville, but Harry, now beneath his Invisibility cloak interfered and cast a Shield Charm between them.
- Harry Potter: "There are no more Horcruxes. It's just you and me now Voldemort. Neither can live while the other survives, and one of us is about to leave for good. . . ."
- Voldemort: "One of us? You think it will be you, do you, the boy who has survived by accident, and because Dumbledore was pulling the strings?"
- Harry Potter: "...You won't be killing anyone else tonight. You won't be able to kill any of them ever again."
- — The final confrontation between Lord Voldemort and Harry Potter[src]
During the second round of the Battle of Hogwarts, Voldemort tried to strike down everyone within his reach and his weakened army forced its way into Hogwarts. In the Great Hall, his army was gradually cut down as Voldemort fought Horace Slughorn, Minerva McGonagall and Kingsley Shacklebolt all at once. When Bellatrix Lestrange, his last, best lieutenant, was killed by Molly Weasley, Voldemort turned his wand on her in rage. At that time, Harry revealed himself to be alive by casting a Shield Charm to protect her, and the pair faced each other in the Great Hall.
Here, Harry mentioned that by willingly sacrificing himself to Voldemort, he had protected everyone he loves in Hogwarts with the same magic his mother created when she died for him. Harry tried to explain to Voldemort that he had magic Voldemort did not have, and a weapon more powerful than his, in addition to warning Voldemort of the fate that lay in store for him if he was unwilling to feel remorse for his actions. Goading him by using his birth name, Harry told him that Snape's loyalty was with Dumbledore all along, that Dumbledore's death was planned, and that Snape was not the master of the Elder Wand; Draco Malfoy was.
- Harry Potter: "Yeah it did, you're right. But before you try and kill me, I'd advise you to think about what you've done.... Think, and try for some remorse, Riddle...."
- Voldemort: "What is this?"
- Harry Potter: "It's your one last chance, it's all you've got left.... I've seen what you'll be otherwise.... Be a man.... try.... Try for some remorse...."
- — Harry Potter explaining how Dumbledore's plan had backfired.[src]
Originally shocked, Voldemort remained unworried, because Harry did not have his original wand, and he told Harry he would kill him and then dispose of Draco. But Harry revealed that he had already overpowered Draco, so the Elder Wand was now rightfully his. Refusing to believe this, Voldemort fired the Killing Curse at Harry, while Harry countered with his "trademark" spell of Expelliarmus. The Elder Wand refused to kill its true master, and Voldemort's spell rebounded off Harry's, killing Tom Marvolo Riddle once and for all.
After his death, Voldemort's body was moved to a separate chamber away from the Great Hall. It is unknown what happens to it afterward. Voldemort's mutilated soul was, meanwhile, trapped in Limbo for eternity, unable to move on nor return as a ghost.
As a child, Tom Riddle was a very handsome boy with jet black hair and dark eyes. When Harry saw him in the Pensieve, he saw that there was no trace of the Gaunt family in his face, and that he was in his father in miniature: tall for eleven years old, dark-haired and pale. It is said that he bore a passing resemblance to Harry Potter. His good looks continued to increase as he grew older, and he cunningly used them to charm many of the teachers at Hogwarts. However, as he became more involved in the Dark Arts, his good looks left him, with his features becoming waxy and oddly distorted, and his skin was as pale as snow. The whites of his eyes took on a perpetually blood-shot look. Through the destruction of his soul and numerous bodily transfigurations from the creation of Horcruxes, he eventually took on the form of a tall, skeletally thin, and frail snake-like man with nearly translucent skin. His dark scarlet eyes were set in slits like a cat's; his nose was flat as a snake's; his fingers are unnaturally long and thin, like a spider's legs. He had long, sharp, pale blue fingernails.  He took to wearing a black hooded cloak, as well as several sets of elegant black robes. He is also known to have no lips.
Personality and traits
- "His knowledge remained woefully incomplete, Harry! That which Voldemort does not value, he takes no trouble to comprehend. Of house-elves and children's tales, of love, loyalty and innocence, Voldemort knows and understands nothing. Nothing. That they all have a power beyond his own, a power beyond the reach of any magic, is a truth that he has never grasped."
- —Albus Dumbledore [src]
Rowling described Voldemort as "the most evil wizard for hundreds and hundreds of years." She elaborated that he is a "raging psychopath, devoid of the normal human responses to other people's suffering."
He felt no desire or need for human companionship or friendship, and was unable to comprehend the idea of love or affection for another. He thought of everything in terms of power, and despite his tremendous knowledge of magic, his understanding of many things was extremely limited, especially of things that he considered to have no value. In fact, Voldemort was extremely independent, so much so that he refused to use the Elixir of Life to obtain his desired immortality, understanding that if the potion became contaminated or the Philosopher's Stone was stolen, it would rob him of his life. He, therefore, concluded that it would be intolerable for his immortality to be reliant upon the Stone and the Elixir. Rather, he would rely on his Horcruxes, which were extensions of himself.
He believed he was superior to everyone around him, and he held an extremely high opinion of himself. He frequently referred to himself in the third-person as "Lord Voldemort." Rowling alluded to this saying that Voldemort is "incredibly power hungry. Racist, really". Rowling has also stated that if Voldemort looked into the Mirror of Erised, he would see "Himself, all-powerful and eternal. That's what he wants." Voldemort was cold and merciless, ignoring Lily Evans' and Gregorovitch's pleas for mercy and killed them without a moment's remorse or hesitation.
Rowling also stated that the fact that Voldemort was conceived under the love potion Amortentia — administered by the witch Merope Gaunt to the Muggle Tom Riddle — was related to his inability to understand love; it was "a symbolic way of showing that he came from a loveless union — but of course, everything would have changed if Merope had survived and raised him herself and loved him. The enchantment under which Tom Riddle fathered Voldemort is important because it shows coercion, and there can't be many more prejudicial ways to enter the world than as the result of such a union".
As a child at Hogwarts, and in the early years of his adult life, Riddle was an intelligent, polite person who showed an enthusiasm to learn. He was described as "poor, but brilliant, parentless, but so brave, a school prefect, a model student". His role model attitude had earned him the trust and respect of his teachers, as well as the customers he was sent to deal with at Borgin and Burkes. However, this all was a ruse, in order for Riddle to manipulate others to gain what he desired.
Like most archetypal villains (particularly the evil genius archetype), Voldemort's arrogance inevitably led to his downfall. He also suffered from a great fear of death, which he regarded as a shameful and ignominious human weakness. The most important thing to Lord Voldemort was his own life. He equated death with being defeated, or being "beaten". According to Rowling, his Boggart would be his own corpse. Rowling also said that the real difference between Harry and Voldemort was that Harry accepted mortality, and thus Harry was in the end (arguably) stronger than his nemesis.
Even though he was so wrapped up in his ego, Voldemort could acknowledge his mistakes. He said that Harry Potter's escapes from him were because of his errors, not Harry's triumphs. When he was the formidable head of the Death Eaters, Voldemort took no nonsense from anyone and had extremely low tolerance for failures and disrespect. If he was angry, he could keep his cool, such as when the Death Eaters failed to retrieve the Prophecy, or when the Elder Wand didn't work for him. However, Voldemort possessed an explosive temper, such as when he tortured Ollivander, screaming at him and casting the Cruciatus Curse on him. He never hesitated to slay his own followers when he was enraged. An example of this was when he was informed of the 1998 Gringotts break-in involving the theft of the Horcrux that he stored in the Lestranges' vault. Voldemort immediately slayed the goblin who told him, as well as many other Death Eaters in his vicious rage. He expected complete respect from his Death Eaters, but he didn't care for any of them in return.
Deep under his terrifying demeanor, Voldemort appeared to have a more cowardly side, such as fearing a baby, or more precisely, what the baby would become, because of the Prophecy and trying to kill him, even though the baby couldn't have defended himself at the time. Additionally, he often had his Death Eaters fight his battles for him, so he could be safe, though he was perfectly capable of overwhelming most wizards and witches in personal combat. Voldemort did not join the first part of the Battle of Hogwarts because he was investigating the Elder Wand and why he was not its true master and because he believed Harry Potter would come looking for him and therefore he didn't need to fight. However it was also possible he was afraid he would die in the battle (which he eventually did). Voldemort was furious, yet terrified, when he found out when Helga Hufflepuff's Cup was stolen. Voldemort was also more afraid than Harry was when their wands formed Priori Incantatem. Nevertheless Voldemort was bold enough to engage Albus Dumbledore in a duel and Dumbledore was the most powerful wizard alive, with the possible exception of the Dark Lord himself. Also it should be noted that Dumbledore was believed to be the only person Voldemort was truly afraid of.
Voldemort was shown to be highly intelligent and charismatic, able to inspire many powerful and influential wizards to follow him as his loyal Death Eaters. He also possessed a dry, cynical sense of humour, usually laughing at the expense of others, but also capable of laughing at himself despite his usually narcissistic demeanour.
It is possible that Voldemort's inability to empathise, and his psychopathic nature, is also a result of the instability of his Gaunt heritage, as violence and mistrust were key personalities in his relatives. His arrogance and narcissistic side may have came from his father, a wealthy Muggle who was always snobbish and prideful.
Typical for a Slytherin, and unlike his blood traitor mother, especially as the Heir of Salazar Slytherin, Voldemort greatly believed in blood purity. In fact, his beliefs were far more extreme than an average pure-blood supremacist. Voldemort released Salazar Slytherin's Basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets in order to purge the school of "Mudbloods", even at the tender age of 16, thus showing his murderous hatred towards them, and kept a diary Horcrux to continue his actions, placing risk to a precious piece of his soul for his ideals. In his later life, Voldemort claimed that Muggle-borns were actually Muggles who stole magic from real wizards and witches, rather than actually inheriting it rightfully, and that they deserved to be punished for it. Whether he knowingly made this theory up or truly believed it is unknown. He ruthlessly killed Charity Burbage for supporting Muggle-borns. Despite his racist beliefs, however, he allowed the werewolf Fenrir Greyback to join his cause, though did not consider him an official Death Eater.
Despite his hatred to non-pure bloods, Voldemort himself was a half-blood, and under his rule for a year, he allowed half-bloods to continue to attend Hogwarts, albeit with less respect. Voldemort was ashamed of his Muggle-sided parentage so much, he denied it from everyone, and claimed to be a pure-blood, and proudly presented his ancestry from Salazar Slytherin.
Magical abilities and skills
- "...the most dangerous Dark wizard of all time..."
- —Albus Dumbledore on Lord Voldemort[src]
- Magic Mastery: Voldemort shows himself capable of holding his own well even against an Elder Wand-wielding Albus Dumbledore, and it is possible that if the latter wasn't the master of the Elder Wand, Voldemort would have defeated him. Voldemort claims he has experimented and pushed the boundaries of magic farther than they had ever been pushed. Albus Dumbledore himself had stated that Voldemort's knowledge of magic is more extensive than any wizard alive, and that even his most powerful protective spells and charms were unlikely to be effective if Voldemort returned to full power. In the films, Voldemort has shown the ability to contain spells and release them in a blast that resembles a shock wave. Young Tom Marvolo Riddle utilised magic without the use of a wand or even knowing the very existence of magic itself. He had a power to communicate with and control animals and inflict harm on those who oppose or annoy him. His unnaturally high level of control marks him a prodigy even as a child.
- Mastery of Dark Magic: Lord Voldemort was considered to be the most powerful practitioner of the Dark Arts the world had ever known. Besides developing Dark spells, hexes, charms, and jinxes, he has a masterful knowledge of the most unknown and complex magic capable of a Dark wizard. Voldemort was also a masterful practitioner of all three Unforgivable Curses, with a special affinity for the Killing Curse, having murdered enough people to create an entire army of Inferi. Ironically, this would be his final downfall.
- Lightning spells: Voldemort cast a powerful lightning spell up in the air when he tested the Elder Wand after stealing it from Dumbledore's tomb.
- Master Duellist: Lord Voldemort was an exceptionally skilled duellist and was able to hold his own extremely well against an Elder Wand-wielding Albus Dumbledore, and duel Minerva McGonagall, Kingsley Shacklebolt and Horace Slughorn (who were masterful duellists themselves) all at once. Voldemort's duelling ability was amazing due to the fact he was able to duel Albus Dumbledore to a stalemate by being unable to be defeated by Dumbledore wielding the Elder Wand, but likewise being unable to defeat Dumbledore due to his mastery of the Elder Wand. The same applied in his duel with Minerva McGonagall, Kingsley Shacklebolt and Horace Slughorn, by being unbeatable by wielding the Elder Wand, but being unable to defeat McGonagall, Shacklebolt and Slughorn as he failed to unlock the Elder Wand's power, and in fact they were protected by Harry's loving sacrifice.
- Charms Master: When Voldemort arrived at Hogwarts to steal Dumbledore's wand, he cast upon himself a Disillusionment Charm that was said to hide him from his own eyes. He also Summoned the Sorting Hat without fail to punish Neville for opposing him.
- Telekinesis: Lord Voldemort could enchant objects to travel floating in the air to wherever he wished, and move things with his mind. He displayed this ability from even when he was a child in the orphanage.
- Fire Spells: Like Albus Dumbledore, Voldemort was skilled with using fire. He burned Neville with a flick of his wand, and he created a large flaming serpent to kill Dumbledore during the Duel in the Ministry Atrium.
- Rennervate: At the meeting in Malfoy Manor in 1998, Charity Burbage had been floating in midair, upside down and unconscious. With a flick of Lucius Malfoy's wand, Voldemort revives Burbage with this spell non verbally.
- Apparation: Lord Voldemort could Apparate/Dissapparate within a matter of seconds. When he was duelling Dumbledore, he was even faster. However, there might have possibly been an Anti-Disapparation Jinx surrounding Numenguard prison, because Voldemort had to fly far away from the prison to Apparate to Malfoy Manor.
- Spell Penetration: In 1998, Voldemort used an unknown yet powerful curse to break the protections surrounding Hogwarts.
- Levicorpus: Lord Voldemort had Gregorovitch suspended in midair using this spell combined with the Full Body-Bind Curse.
- Legilimency: Tom Riddle is also known as one of the most accomplished Legilimens the world has ever seen, being able to delve and peer deep into the minds of others, seeing their deepest thoughts. Voldemort could almost always tell when someone was lying, and was able to use Legilimency to place visions in his victims' minds, such as the one he sent to Harry Potter in 1996. The most remarkable part about this skill was that he seemed to be working on it while he was still a child in the orphanage (as demonstrated when he commanded Dumbledore to stop lying to him). One of the few people who were skilled enough to shield themselves from this, via Occlumency, was Severus Snape.
- Occlumency: A highly accomplished Occlumens, Voldemort was thus to shield his own mind from penetration. However, in 1997, he lost control, allowing Harry to see occasionally through his eyes and hear his thoughts.
- Flight: Voldemort can fly without support, defying the law of magic that states only objects can fly through use of a flying charm. Voldemort first exhibits the ability to fly while in pursuit of Harry Potter over Little Whinging. However, this could simply have been achieved by charming his clothes. Another possibility is that he transfigured his body partially into a light substance, as he is described as trailing smoke.
- Amplified Voice: Lord Voldemort has the ability to speak over a vast area, sounding (to the recipients) as though he were standing next to them. He does this during the Battle of Hogwarts when he speaks to Hogwarts and the surrounding area of Hogsmeade. This spell has been used by other wizards, but never with such powerful results.
- Parselmouth: Voldemort is a Parselmouth, a trait he inherited from his ancestor, Salazar Slytherin. It seems that most of his Gaunt ancestors inherited this highly unusual trait; such traits are commonly passed down through families through inbreeding, a practice employed by the Gaunt family.
- Horcruxes: Voldemort is the only wizard explicitly mentioned as having created more than one Horcrux, and thus came closer to becoming truly immortal than any other wizard. These Horcruxes are Salazar Slytherin's locket, Helga Hufflepuff's cup, Nagini, Gaunt ring, Riddle Diary, Ravenclaw's diadem, and Harry Potter himself. (Nicolas Flamel was not truly immortal, for after he stopped drinking his Elixir of Life, he died).
- Transfiguration Master: Voldemort transfigured Dumbledore's fire-rope into a black snake during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries. He created an artificial, silver forearm and hand for Peter Pettigrew. What's more, he transformed the corpse of Bathilda Bagshot's into a disguise for his snake, Nagini.
- Morsmordre: The spell Morsmordre, which summons the Dark Mark in the sky, was of Voldemort's own creation. He and his followers used it to summon a floating, green Dark Mark, usually over the houses of their victims.
- Inferi Creation and Control: Voldemort is the only wizard mentioned to have the ability to create and control Inferi, and an army at that, though it is implied that other Dark Wizards, such as Gellert Grindelwald, have used or intended to use them.
- Power of Possession: Voldemort has the power to possess any living creature, and gain complete control over their actions by doing so. Once the possession is done, the victims will have no knowledge of what happened. While in his spectral form when he lost his body from a rebounding Killing Curse, possession was the only power that remained with him. This possession shortens the lifespan of the small animals he inhabits, and in the terms of wizards, his face would appear on the back of their head. In this case, it would seem that his possession is partial, as Quirrell has control of his own actions, but Voldemort's presence would allow the possessed wizard to perform more powerful magic.
- Wandless magic: Aside from Albus Dumbledore, Voldemort was the only known wizard to have performed a spell wandlessly in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, where he disarmed Harry Potter with a simple wave of his arm.
- Nonverbal Magic: When Voldemort was duelling Dumbledore, he nearly defeated Dumbledore without a single incantation. He could additionally cast non-verbal Cruciatus and Killing Curses.
- "They do not call me 'Tom' any more," he said. "These days, I am known as —"
- —Lord Voldemort[src]
Voldemort was born Tom Marvolo Riddle, a name he hated due to the fact that it was a common name. When he later learnt that his father and namesake was a Muggle, he decided to forge his own name, "Voldemort", from an anagram of his full name ("Tom Marvolo Riddle" is an anagram to "I am Lord Voldemort"). Using this name, he hoped to create a terrifying legacy of his own. At first, this name was used to refer to him or to address him. Later, he became so feared in the wizarding community that nearly everyone referred to him only as "You-Know-Who", "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named", or "The Dark Lord". Fudge even wrote it to the Muggle Prime Minister rather than saying it. According to Death Eaters, not pronouncing his name is a mark of respect. On Potterwatch, he was called "Chief Death Eater".
Albus Dumbledore was one of the few who dared refer to him as "Voldemort," although he preferred to use the name "Tom", using the former in conversation, and the latter when addressing Voldemort himself, showing his fearlessness. In ignoring the name Voldemort, Dumbledore disallowed him the intimidation he sought while appealing to what little remained of his former student deep within Voldemort. Dumbledore also insists on others to use the name "Voldemort", rather than "You-Know-Who", or such varieties.
After the coup at the Ministry in 1997, the Taboo curse was placed on the name "Voldemort"; speaking the name would summon Death Eaters, Ministry officials, or Snatchers via Apparition. This was used to find those who opposed Voldemort's rule, as only they would dare speak the name. This was how Harry, Ron and Hermione were found at Tottenham Court Road and before being brought to Malfoy Manor. Also, Kingsley Shacklebolt barely escaped Death Eaters when he spoke it. The taboo also caused the trio to be captured temporarily and brought to Malfoy Manor.
- Although J. K. Rowling has never quite explained the origins of the name "Voldemort", there are some possible theories. "Mors", or "mortum" is the Latin word for death (which has evolved in many Romance languages as "muerte" or "morte",and the English word "murder" indeed has its origins in the same root word as "mors"). Therefore, while not necessarily true, the possible meaning of the word "Voldemort" may be either "representative of death" or "embassador of death". Another possible etymology is the Proto-Germanic word "evol" (also "yfel", "yfol", "yvol, or "eyvfold", also, the English word "evil" has its roots there), which means "bad" or "evil", though the word "evol" in fact is not a Proto-Germanic word, with the word meaning "bad, evil" having been "ubilaz" instead. The Arabic word "demuhrt" which means "wizard" or more specifically "dark wizard" could also be an inspiration. Another etymology is the Old Russian word "vuldimortdek", which simply means "dark wizard". Yet, the most accurate etymology of Voldemort would be the French expression "vol de mort" which literally means "flight from death" (accurate considering his deepest fear) or "flight of death" (his unique power). The Catalan expression "vol de mort", also means "flight of death" or, since "Vol" may also be from the Latin root "volere" (will or desire), may mean "death wish".
- J. K. Rowling has said in an interview that the T in Voldemort is silent. This may be to the fact that the French word mort, meaning death, has a silent T.
- Voldemort, in Catalan, means "Flight of death", since Vol means flight, de means of, and mort means death.
Tom Marvolo Riddle
- Tom is diminutive of the name "Thomas" which means infidel or unfaithful, It was used as a formal male given name. It also means "twin."
- Marvolo implies "marvellous," but also contains the Latin root "volo" meaning "I wish, want, will, ordain, suppose, maintain that, be willing, to mean, signify, or denote." "Volo" also means "to fly, speed, or move rapidly." Tom Riddle can be seen as a character who wants to achieve greatness very quickly. Perhaps from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night character Malviolo. He was a Puritan who could not have fun and sought to stop the other servants from enjoying themselves. He is "sick with self love" and dreams of getting power. He thinks he is better than the others because he believes he is "pure." He is constantly the subject of practical jokes. It is here where the quote "Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them" comes from. At the end of the play, he swears revenge on the lot of them.
- A riddle is "a form of word puzzle designed to test someone's ingenuity in arriving at its solution." Riddles were used as a way to both puzzle the audience and teach them to understand poetic language.
|"Well, I think we should put it back in order for them, don't you?"|
- "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!"
- —Tom Riddle to Harry Potter showing that he was angry to his muggle father.[src]
Tom Riddle grew up in a Muggle orphanage, not knowing any members of his family. His mother, Merope Gaunt, died shortly after giving birth, not even attempting to use magic to save herself in order to raise her child out of depression over her husband abandoning her. Riddle’s father also showed indifference towards his son, as he left his wife while she was pregnant. The two met face-to-face in 1943, when Riddle killed his father and paternal grandparents. Riddle was disgusted by his Muggle relatives, and took on the alias Lord Voldemort partly out of a desire to be rid of his “filthy Muggle father’s name”.
Despite his maternal side of his family being direct descendants of the great Salazar Slytherin, Tom showed disappointment when he saw his uncle Morfin lived in a deplorable state, and was not above framing him for murder and stealing his prized heirloom ring. He also showed initial disgust of his mother, who he thought was a Muggle for unable to survive. However, when he discovered the truth, he killed his own father only to avenge himself, and not his mother.
The only member of his bloodline that Voldemort respects is Salazar Slytherin. Throughout his life, he kept referring his ancestor as "noble", proudly showed his connections to the ancient wizard and full-heatedly supported his ideals of blood supremacy. During the near end of the final battle, Voldemort expressed that Hogwarts would no longer need sorting, and Slytherin's emblem, shield and colour would suffice, thus attempting to change the historical school that he loved so much in favour of his idol.
- "I think he is perhaps as fond of her as he can be of anything. He certainly likes to keep her close and has an unusual amount of control over her, even for a Parselmouth."
- —Albus Dumbledore about Voldemort's affection for Nagini
Voldemort had a special relationship with Nagini, a snake that was his magical familiar as well as one of his Horcruxes. He had feelings for Nagini that he had not for anyone else; she was the one and only thing that he actually cared about. Often, Voldemort stroked her scales gently, wore her around his neck, and even used endearments and loving words when he spoke to her. Voldemort took excellent care of her, feeding her regularly and protecting her during the Battle of Hogwarts. Nagini never irked the Dark Lord and she consistently obeyed him, thus earning her adoration in the Dark Lord's eyes. She was extremely close to her master, and was extremely special to him. Lord Voldemort always enjoyed her company, and when he was unhappy, the snake always brought him much pleasure and comfort. He made her a Horcrux in 1994 after he murdered Bertha Jorkins. Lord Voldemort managed to rise again due to Peter Pettigrew milking Nagini's venom, which helped him return to a rudimentary body. He also stopped sending the snake on missions after he realised Harry Potter knew about his Horcruxes. When Nagini was beheaded by Neville Longbottom during the Battle of Hogwarts, Voldemort was furious and even felt some level of grief for the death of his snake, and attempted to kill Neville. As Nagini was the last remaining Horcrux, her death led to Voldemort's final defeat.
Tom Riddle met Albus Dumbledore at the age of 11, when the Professor came to invite him to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Although initially suspicious of Dumbledore, he was soon awed by his demonstration of magic, which pleased Tom, as it confirmed the suspicions he had long had about being “special”. The boy disturbed Dumbledore, however, when he admitted to being able to hurt people who angered him and to talk to snakes. Even as Tom became an extremely popular student among his peers and Professors, Dumbledore remained wary of him, and hence kept a very close watch on him. When Riddle (then known as Voldemort) returned to Hogwarts years after graduating to request the Defence Against the Dark Arts position from Dumbledore, who had become Headmaster, he turned him down, as he knew of his true evil intentions.
- Voldemort: "But nothing I have seen in the world has supported your famous pronouncements that love is more powerful than my kind of magic, Dumbledore."
- Dumbledore: "Perhaps you have been looking in the wrong places...,"
- Voldemort: "Well, then, what better place to start my fresh researches than here, at Hogwarts? Will you let me return? Will you let me share my knowledge with your students?"
- — Voldemort to Albus Dumbledore requesting for the Defence Against the Dark Arts post[src]
Voldemort despised Dumbledore, but he was also the only person he ever feared. In turn, Dumbledore refused to be intimidated by the Dark Lord, referring to him as Voldemort to others and as Tom in conversation, a subtle but steadfast refusal to allow Voldemort to dictate the terms of their relationship and a trait that would later be inherited by Harry Potter. Over the years, he learned about Voldemort’s past, taught Harry Potter about it, and led the efforts against him in the First and Second Wizarding Wars.
In 1996, Dumbledore and Voldemort met face to face in the Ministry of Magic during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries. Dumbledore addressed Voldemort as “Tom” and said it was foolish of him to come to the Ministry of Magic. Voldemort was angry and started a deadly duel with Dumbledore. During this duel, Voldemort tried hard to murder Dumbledore but was unsuccessful because Dumbledore was equally as powerful and successfully blocked Voldemort’s spells. After this duel, Cornelius Fudge arrived and saw Voldemort escape. This meant that Voldemort’s presence was exposed. Voldemort came up with another plan to kill Dumbledore. This involved using Draco Malfoy to carry out the mission. Dumbledore became aware of this plot and requested to Severus Snape that he would kill him instead of Malfoy. Despite dying in 1997 to Snape, it was through Dumbledore's support that allowed Harry Potter to defeat Voldemort once and for all in 1998.
Simply put, Harry Potter was Voldemort’s mortal enemy. This was the case ever since Voldemort heard part of a prophecy made about the individual with the power to destroy him; two infants met the criteria, but Voldemort considered Harry more of a threat than Neville Longbottom, possibly because Harry was a half-blood like him. In targeting Harry, Voldemort unwittingly “marked him as his equal”, thus sowing the seeds of his own destruction. On 31 October, 1981, Voldemort killed Harry’s parents before striking the infant with the Killing Curse. However, because Harry’s mother willingly sacrificed herself for her son, the curse backfired. Voldemort lost his physical body, and unintentionally transferred some of his powers and abilities to Harry, able to speak and understand Parseltongue for example, while a piece of his soul embedded itself in a scar on Harry’s forehead, inadvertently making the boy a Horcrux.
Thus, the scar created a connection between Voldemort and Harry. As the former grew closer to regaining a physical body over the year, Harry’s scar began to burn. Voldemort and Harry were met again in 1992, while Voldemort, with the help of Quirinus Quirrell, attempted to steal the Philosopher's Stone. Voldemort told Harry that he would give him power if Harry joined him and gave him the Philosopher's Stone. However, Harry refused, and held off Quirrell until Dumbledore arrived, forcing Voldemort to flee.
Voldemort also met Harry Potter a year later, when Tom Riddle's memory freed Slytherin's Basilisk and attempted to kill many muggle-born students. Harry killed the Basilisk and stabbed Tom Riddle's Diary with its tooth, destroying one of Voldemort's horcruxes.
With the assistance of Barty Crouch Jr and Peter Pettigrew, Voldemort used Harry’s blood in the ritual to regain a physical body in 1995. He then attempted to murder the teenager, but the similarity of their wands created the rare Priori Incantatem effect, enabling Harry to escape. Voldemort made numerous other attempts on Harry’s life in the next few years, notably using his connection to the boy and Legilimency to plant a false vision of Sirius Black being tortured in his mind in order to lure him to the Department of Mysteries. There, a battle ensued, and Voldemort failed to kill Harry again and to obtain a copy of the prophecy made about the two of them.
In his sixth year at Hogwarts, Harry learned about Voldemort’s past from Albus Dumbledore, and was disturbed to notice many similarities between them — they were both half-bloods and orphans with poor childhoods, both looking very like their fathers. However, Harry realised that they differed in one very important way — he had the ability to love, while Voldemort did not.
In 1997, the connection between the two grew stronger, and Harry began to see through Voldemort’s senses and into his mind whenever he lost control. He learned that he was a Horcrux, and thus willingly faced Voldemort during the Battle of Hogwarts, not fighting back as Voldemort hit him with a Killing Curse. However, because Voldemort had taken some of Harry’s blood — and thus his mother’s protection — into himself, the curse destroyed the piece of Voldemort’s soul within Harry. Harry survived, and the two faced off one last time. Harry urged Voldemort to feel remorse, to which Voldemort reacted with disdain. He attempted to kill him one last time, but the Elder Wand was loyal to Harry, and thus the Killing Curse backfired on Voldemort. Without his Horcruxes, the curse killed him, once and for all.
Voldemort and Harry are also related by blood, however distant, due to both of them being descended from the Peverells (Voldemort through the Gaunts and Harry through the Potters). This made the both of them distant cousins.
Bellatrix Lestrange was among Voldemort’s most loyal and trusted Death Eaters, to the point of being entrusted with one of his Horcruxes, which was to be stored in her Gringotts vault, though he did not tell her what it was. She was fanatically loyal to him — for example, after his first defeat in 1981, instead of trying to deny her loyalties like many others had, Bellatrix proudly declared that she was his most loyal servant and that he would return. Bellatrix also became outraged if anyone showed Voldemort disrespect, such as when Harry Potter called him by his name in 1996, and once said that if she had sons, she would be proud to give them up to the Dark Lord’s service. Bellatrix was also in love with and sexually attracted to Voldemort. Although he did not reciprocate, being incapable of love, Voldemort nevertheless considered the Lestranges among his best and most trusted servants. At the conclusion of the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, Voldemort took the time to rescue Bellatrix and Apparate away with her; the sole Death Eater he decided to help. When Bellatrix was killed by Molly Weasley during the Battle of Hogwarts, Voldemort was furious, and would have killed Molly if Harry had not intervened.
Bartemius Crouch Jr.
One of Voldemort's most loyal and trusted servants was Barty Crouch Jr.. Barty Crouch was imprisoned in Azkaban with Bellatrix Lestrange and two other Death Eaters. After that, he escaped with his father, who cast on him the Imperius Curse. Voldemort learned by Bertha Jorkins that there was a free Death Eater who would be glad to serve him once more, so Voldemort and Peter Pettigrew found Barty Crouch. Barty Crouch also helped Voldemort regain a physical body, and attempted to send Harry Potter to Voldemort. Barty captured and imprisoned Alastor Moody, a retired Auror, who was about to accept Dumbledore's offer to teach Defence Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts. So, Barty Crouch was disguised as Moody, put Harry's name into the Goblet of Fire and helped him with the task of the Triwizard Tournament. After that, Harry and Cedric Diggory were sent to Little Hangleton Graveyard, where Diggory was killed by Peter Pettigrew, and Voldemort took Harry's blood in order to be reborn. Voldemort also attempted to kill Harry, but failed. After the duel, Harry returned to Hogwarts and Barty Crouch attempted to kill him, saying that he was Lord Voldemort's most loyal servant, the only one who remained loyal at him. However, Harry was saved by Albus Dumbledore, Severus Snape and Minerva McGonagall, and Barty Crouch was given the Dementor's Kiss.
- "Perhaps you already know it? You are a clever man, after all, Severus. You have been a good and faithful servant, and I regret what must happen… The Elder Wand cannot serve me properly, Severus, because I am not its true master. The Elder Wand belongs to the wizard who killed its last owner. You killed Albus Dumbledore. While you live, Severus, the Elder Wand cannot truly be mine… It cannot be any other way."
- —Voldemort just before ordering Nagini to kill Snape[src]
Severus Snape became a Death Eater in the First Wizarding War. He was extremely loyal to Voldemort until he realised that the Dark Lord planned to murder Lily Evans. Severus then asked him to spare Lily, whom he loved dearly, and turned to Albus Dumbledore as well, becoming a spy in exchange for her protection. From that point on, Snape used Occlumency to prevent the Dark Lord from discovering his true allegiance.
After Peter Pettigrew broke the Fidelius Charm cast by the Potters, Lily died and Voldemort disappeared; however, Snape's loyalty did not waver, and he swore to protect Harry from the Dark Lord, honouring Lily's sacrifice.
When Voldemort was reborn and called his Death Eaters to him, Snape did not appear until two hours later. The Dark Lord was suspicious, and feared that Snape had abandoned his service. On Dumbledore's orders, Severus claimed that his delayed return had secured the Headmaster's continued trust. The Dark Lord questioned Snape extensively, and found all his answers satisfactory; Snape was then welcomed back to the inner circle.
Voldemort's trust in Snape was further cemented when the latter murdered Albus Dumbledore; the Dark Lord did not know that Dumbledore had previously arranged the assassination with Snape. Snape then became the Dark Lord's most trusted advisor and was given the position of Hogwarts Headmaster soon afterwards. Unbeknownst to Voldemort, Snape continued to undermine him as much as possible, following Dumbledore's instructions
When Minerva McGonagall began to coordinate the defences of Hogwarts Castle for the impending battle against Voldemort, Snape fled; his master summoned him to the Shrieking Shack soon afterwards. Snape then saw that the Dark Lord had cast special protection around Nagini, and attempted to leave the Shack to give Harry a message from Dumbledore (Dumbledore had instructed Snape that, once Voldemort seemed to fear for Nagini's life, he was to tell Harry that the boy was Voldemort's seventh Horcrux, and therefore had to die).
Dismissing Snape's concerns, Voldemort noted that, since Albus Dumbledore's murder, Snape had become the true master of the Elder Wand. Voldemort ordered Nagini to kill the Death Eater. Though Voldemort claimed he regretted the necessity of this action, he showed neither sadness nor concern for it. Seconds later, after Voldemort left, Snape gave Harry, who had witnessed the scene and entered the room upon Voldemort's departure, several memories that both revealed his true allegiance and passed on Dumbledore's message.
In his final duel against Voldemort, Harry revealed that Snape had been loyal to Dumbledore since Voldemort had targeted the Potters.
Peter Pettigrew, one of Lord Voldemort's most disloyal and cowardly servants, became a Death Eater during Voldemort's first rise to power, and betrayed James and Lily Potter to Voldemort in order to save his own life. After Voldemort's first defeat, Pettigrew didn't try to find his master; he transformed into a rat, and passed into the ownership of Percy Weasley. In 1994, it was learned who Scabbers really was, and Pettigrew escaped. As he didn't have anywhere else to go, Pettigrew went to Albania, where Voldemort was hidden, and, before he found him, he sent him Bertha Jorkins, a Ministry employee. Bertha Jorkins was very useful to Voldemort, as she told him where to find Barty Crouch Jr, a very loyal Death Eater. While Pettigrew helped Voldemort to regain a physical body, Voldemort used Legilimency to see Pettigrew's thoughts, and that Pettigrew wouldn't serve him, if he had anywhere else to go. Pettigrew also played a key role in Voldemort's rebirth, sacrificing his hand. After that, neither Voldemort nor the other Death Eaters treated Pettigrew as a loyal Death Eater or as a good wizard. In 1998, Voldemort eventually killed Pettigrew through the silver hand he had made for Pettigrew, when the latter stopped trying to kill Harry Potter.
The Malfoy family
- "Lucius, my slippery friend. I am told that you have not renounced the old ways, though to the world you present a respectable face. You are still ready to take the lead in a spot of Muggle-torture, I believe? Yet you never tried to find me, Lucius."
- —Lord Voldemort to Lucius Malfoy after his return[src]
Voldemort entrusted Lucius Malfoy with a Horcrux: his diary, which made possible the reopening of the Chamber of Secrets. The Dark Lord was enraged to hear, years later, that the diary had been carelessly handed to Ginny Weasley. Lucius did not know that the object concealed a part of his master's soul; in all likelihood, Voldemort had only told him that the object was enchanted to reopen the Chamber.
Lucius pretended to have been under the Imperius Curse after the Dark Lord's first downfall, and maintained a position of influence with the Ministry of Magic until the Second Wizarding War began. When Voldemort was reborn, he welcomed Lucius to his inner circle, and reprimanded Malfoy for running from the Dark Mark conjured at the Quidditch World Cup.
Lucius quickly began to lose favour, however, after Voldemort heard about the diary's destruction. When the Death Eaters under his command lost the Battle of the Department of Mysteries and failed to retrieve the Prophecy, the Dark Lord was also extremely disappointed; Lucius was sent to prison after the battle and, as punishment for the elder Malfoy's failure, Voldemort gave his son Draco Malfoy the nearly impossible task of murdering Albus Dumbledore, with the expectation that he, too, would fail, and then be punished accordingly by the Dark Lord.
Draco's scheme succeeded, but Voldemort continued to distrust the Malfoys' loyalty. He dwelt at Malfoy Manor for a while, and suspected that the family resented him for it. During his stay at the Manor, Voldemort used Draco as a pawn, forcing him to torture other Death Eaters, which effectively humiliated the Malfoy pride.
The following year, after Harry Potter managed to escape from the Manor, Voldemort tortured Lucius and began to treat him with complete disdain. Malfoy then focused on rescuing his son from Hogwarts during the Battle of Hogwarts between Death Eaters and Order of the Phoenix members at the school, fearing for Draco's life, and seemed to lose all care for the Death Eaters' cause. Voldemort snubbed Lucius' concerns for Draco and jeered that perhaps the teenager had chosen to ally himself with Harry Potter when he did not leave the school with the other Slytherins.
After Voldemort succeeded in casting the Killing Curse on Harry, Narcissa Malfoy was ordered to confirm the death. Harry was alive; however, Narcissa, only concerned for her son, demanded news of Draco from Harry and, upon learning that Draco was alive and well, she lied to the Dark Lord, stating that Harry was dead. She knew she and Lucius would only be able to return to Hogwarts and reunite with their son if they were part of a victory party. This allowed Harry to confront Voldemort for the last time soon afterwards, during which the Dark Lord was killed by a rebounding Killing Curse. Narcissa's instrumental intervention ensured that the Malfoys were not convicted for their crimes.
- "Welcome, my friends! Thirteen years it's been, and yet, here you stand as if it were only yesterday. I confess myself... disappointed. Not one of you tried to find me..."
- —Voldemort viciously greeting his Death Eaters in Little Hangleton.[src]
Those called Death Eaters were a group of Dark wizards and witches that followed Voldemort, fighting as the elite of his army during both the First and Second Wizarding Wars. However, Voldemort did not take kindly to failure or disloyalty of his servants. Therefore, during the time after First Wizarding War, most of them believed him dead and did not try to find him: they had to pay the price. When he summoned them after he regained his body, he tortured them, though he forgave them with the price the thirteen more years of service. The Death Eaters that Tom thought the most loyal and close were Bellatrix Lestrange, Lucius Malfoy, Severus Snape, and later Barty Crouch Jr. During the end of the Second Wizarding War, he seemed to have lost trust with these loyal Death Eaters.
Another disloyal Death Eater was Igor Karkaroff. After Voldemort's first defeat, Karkaroff pretended to be regretted, and betrayed many of his former comrades to the Ministry, in return for his freedom. However, he still was a pure-blood supremacist, and did not accept muggle-borns in the school he was headmaster. After Voldemort's return, Karkaroff escaped and hid, but was killed by Death Eaters in 1996.
Some of Lord Voldemort's first Death Eaters were Avery Sr., Lestrange, Mulciber Sr., Nott, Rosier Sr. and Dolohov. Others were Walden Macnair, Augustus Rookwood, Selwyn, Yaxley, Travers, Thorfinn Rowle, Alecto and Amycus Carrow, Gibbon, Crabbe, Goyle, Jugson, Avery Jr., Mulciber Jr., Evan Rosier and Wilkes. Despite allowing the werewolf Fenrir Greyback to be a Death Eater in practice, Voldemort did not allow Greyback to join his inner circle i.e. Greyback was not given the Dark Mark. This is likely because Voldemort was prejudiced against werewolves as he was with muggles and muggle-borns. However, Greyback was vicious and sadistic and Voldemort enjoyed that about him, thus letting him associate with the Death Eaters and become head of the Snatchers. Some of them, such as Crabbe, Goyle and Macnair managed to defect after Voldemort's first defeat. There were also others who were imprisoned, such as Dolohov and Rookwood, or killed by Aurors, such as Evan Rosier and Wilkes. However, it is possible that none of them would be able to die for Voldemort, possibly except for Rodolphus and Rabastan Lestrange, who were considered among Voldemort's most loyal Death Eaters. As Voldemort needed his Death Eaters, he forgave them and they started to serve him again.
Despite these Death Eaters claiming to be close to Voldemort, and understand him, Voldemort in turn saw them as little more than dispensable servants. All his life, Voldemort never once desired a friend, and as such did not truly felt connected to them. He does, however, value their services and uses.
- "You've no idea how he was like... Even then..."
- —Horace Slughorn talking about Tom Riddle.[src]
Professor Horace Slughorn was the Potions master during Tom Riddle's years at Hogwarts. Slughorn was also Riddle's mentor, and the one Tom liked most. Tom Riddle was also a member of the Slug Club, a club led by Slughorn, where only special students could become members. One day, Tom Riddle asked Slughorn about Horcruxes. Slughorn told him what Horcruxes are and how someone could create one, without knowing that Riddle would create some. With the information he got from Slughorn, Tom Riddle managed to create six Horcruxes and achieve immortality. Horace was embarrassed when he remembered what had happened, and he modified his memory.
However, Harry Potter managed to take his memory with the help of Felix Felicis in 1997, and learn about Voldemort's , and that he had to destroy them. Slughorn also fought Lord Voldemort, with the help of Minerva McGonagall and Kingsley Shacklebolt, during the Battle of Hogwarts. Harry Potter managed to get all the Horcruxes destroyed, and eventually defeat Voldemort once and for all.
- "...I was patient. I wrote back. I was sympathetic, I was kind. Ginny simply loved me... No one's ever understood me like you, Tom... I'm so glad I've got this diary to confide in... It's like a friend I can carry around in my pocket... If I say it myself, Harry, I’ve always been able to charm the people I needed."
- —Tom Riddle to Harry Potter on his manipulation of Ginny.[src]
Although Voldemort was overpowered and had lost his physical body, he managed to approach Ginny Weasley, a first year Gryffindor girl through one of his Horcruxes, his diary. Tom Riddle's soul eventually managed to overpower Ginny and make her do whatever he wanted, such as open the Chamber of Secrets, free the Basilisk and petrify many Muggle-born students. Ginny had not discovered who Tom Riddle really was and stated that he was "the only person who understands her". Voldemort also was able to regain a physical body by killing Ginny. However, Ginny was rescued by Harry Potter, who killed the Basilisk and destroyed Tom Riddle's Diary. Ginny met Voldemort again during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, when she saw Harry defeat Voldemort by love (in the film). Ginny also witnessed his final defeat by Harry, during the Battle of Hogwarts.
- "Monsters don’t make good pets, Hagrid."
- —Riddle before he turned Hagrid in[src]
Rubeus Hagrid was a fellow student with Tom Riddle at Hogwarts. However, they did not get on well. In 1943, Riddle opened the Chamber of Secrets, unleashing a Basilisk on Muggle-born students. After the death of Myrtle, Hogwarts was in danger of closing. Riddle decided to frame him and his dangerous pet, the Acromantula Aragog, for the crime. As a result, Hagrid was expelled from Hogwarts, but was allowed to stay on as gamekeeper as Dumbledore believed Hagrid to be innocent.
As Riddle went on became Lord Voldemort, Hagrid joined the Order of the Phoenix to fight against Voldemort and his Death Eaters. In 1981, Hagrid was devastated when Voldemort murdered his friends James and Lily Potter, but was relieved that Voldemort lost his powers and body when he tried to kill young Harry Potter. Although many thought that Voldemort was dead, Hagrid, agreeing with Dumbledore, believed that he would return one day. As with most of the wizarding community, he feared to speak of Voldemort's name.
In 1995, after his resurrection, Voldemort dispatched his Death Eaters to convince the giants to join their side, and set them on tracking and killing Hagrid, who was sent by Dumbledore on a same mission.
In 1998, Hagrid fought in the Battle of Hogwarts and was captured by the Death Eaters. After Harry sacrificed himself to be killed, Voldemort ordered Hagrid to carry his friend’s “dead” body. When Harry finally defeated the Dark Lord, Hagrid was amongst the first few to congratulate him on his triumph.
Voldemort first met Quirinus Quirrell in 1991, at a forest of Albania, when he travelled around the world. Voldemort managed to find his weaknesses and turned him into a faithful servant, by offering him power (and possibly immortality). After Quirrell left the forest, Voldemort ordered him to rob Gringotts bank, in order to steal the Philosopher's Stone. Quirrell did so, but the vault they robbed was empty.
Some time after that, Quirell started to share his body with Voldemort, in order fot the Dark Lord to be sure that Quirrell would not do any mistakes, while following Voldemort's orders. Then Voldemort ordered Quirrell to kill Harry Potter; Quirrell's attemps, however failed, but Harry himself went at the Philosopher's Stone Chamber, only to see Quirrell in front of the Mirror of Erised. Quirrell, under Voldemort's orders, wanted the boy to give him the stone, but Harry refused. Quirrell and Voldemort then tried to convince him that power was more important than his beliefs about good and evil, and more important than love. Quirrell then attemped to kill Harry, but when he touched him, his body started to burn and he was killed, since neither he nor Voldemort were able to understand love, while Harry's mother had died to protect him. Although Voldemort possibly thought Quirrell was a loyal servant, didn't try to save him, but let him die, while he fleed away from his body.
Wool's Orphanage residents
Tom Riddle grew up at an orphanage, since his mother was dead, and his father had abandoned them when Tom was still an infant. His relationship with the other children was bad; he bullied the other kids, as he wanted to harm those who were “mean to him”. This was possibly because he knew he was different from the other children; he was handsome, more intelligent and more powerful than them, and wanted to punish those who did not respect him. Some of them were Amy Benson and Dennis Bishop.
Tom Riddle didn't have a good relationship with Mrs. Cole, the matron of the orphanage, either. He thought that she disliked him, as she suspected he made bad things happen to other children. She came very close to discover that Tom had magical abilities, but she couldn't believe such thing. Furthermore, when Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts, went at the orphanage and invited Tom to go to a “special school”, Tom initially believed that Mrs. Cole had called Dumbledore in order to take him at an asylum.
Tom Riddle first met Hepzibah Smith when he worked at Borgin and Burkes. Then, he was a polite, handsome, and clever young man with a great capacity to charm and a powerful gift of persuasion. He firstly appeared to be friendly with Hepzibah, flattering her and making her feel pretty. However, when Hepzibah showed two of her greatest treasures - Salazar Slytherin's Locket and Helga Hufflepuff's Cup - to him, he became determined take them as his own, and make them into Horcruxes. He killed Hepzibah two days later, by mixing a lethal and little-known poison into her cocoa, and stole the two fabulous treasures.
Order of the Phoenix
The Order of the Phoenix were followers of Albus Dumbledore, who fought against Voldemort and his Death Eaters. Voldemort hated the Order of the Phoenix and even personally killed many of its members. The previously mentioned Severus Snape was a member who had defected from the Death Eaters and joined the Order of the Phoenix in order to work against Voldemort.
James and Lily Potter became prime targets for Voldemort during the First Wizarding War, when Voldemort discovered a prophecy that a child would have power to destroy him. This fit the description of their young son, Harry. On 31 October, 1981, Voldemort hunted down the Potters after they had been betrayed by Peter Pettigrew. He killed James first and ordered Lily to stand aside, so he could kill Harry. Lily refused to stand aside, so Voldemort killed her as well. This sacrifice protected Harry, and Voldemort’s curse backfired causing him to lose his powers and body. Lily was a Muggle-born, whom Voldemort hated. He later remarked of this to Harry in the Chamber of Secrets in 1993.
Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody was an Auror who fiercely fought against Voldemort during the First Wizarding War. After Voldemort’s first downfall in 1981, Moody was responsible for rounding up Death Eaters such as Igor Karkaroff. Evan Rosier was one of the Death Eaters killed by Moody. In 1994, Voldemort made a plan to be restored to his body. It involved his faithful Death Eater Barty Crouch Jr kidnapping Moody and disguising himself as Moody. For the next 9 months, Moody was trapped in his own magical trunk. Crouch had to keep Moody alive in order to use his hair for the Polyjuice Potion. Voldemort was restored to his body in 1995, but Barty Crouch Jr was exposed, and Moody was freed. During the Second Wizarding War, Moody returned to the Order of the Phoenix to fight against the Death Eaters once again. After Dumbledore’s death in 1997, Moody took charge of the Order of the Phoenix. Unfortunately, Moody was murdered by Voldemort during the Battle over Little Whinging.
Although Voldemort lost his powers in 1981, the Longbottom family were to suffer. Death eaters including Bellatrix Lestrange, her husband Rodolphus, her brother-in-law Rabastan, and Barty Crouch Jr. tortured Alice and Frank Longbottom. The Longbottoms were tortured into insanity and became permanent residents of St Mungo’s.
The Weasley family were part of the Order of the Phoenix. They bravely fought against Voldemort during both the First and Second Wizarding wars. They lost family members such as Fabian and Gideon Prewett, who were brothers of Molly Weasley, and Fred Weasley, who was killed in the Battle of Hogwarts. Voldemort had previously tried to manipulate Ginny Weasley in 1992, in an attempt to return to physical form. He was foiled by Harry Potter and Ginny was saved. Voldemort was furious when Molly killed Bellatrix and would have killed her had Harry not intervened. Most of the Weasley family watched the final duel between Voldemort and Harry and Voldemort’s death.
Behind the scenes
- Voldemort's real name, "Tom Marvolo Riddle," produces the anagram "I am Lord Voldemort."
- Tom Marvolo Riddle can also be rearranged to produce the anagram "Immortal Odd Lover", a possible allusion to his obsession with immortality.
- In the movies, the handle of Voldemort's wand appears to be made of bone.
- In French, Vol de Mort literally means "flight from death" (but grammatically means "flight of dead") which reflects his obsession with immortality.
- In the Chamber of Secrets, Voldemort said that his father abandoned his mother when he found out that she was a witch, when he really left after Merope stopped giving him Love Potions. Of course, this may have been how he saw the events, an attempt to twist them to justify his hatred of Muggles or simply his best guess as he might not have realised Merope used the potion.
- In 2001, Christian Coulson was cast as Tom Riddle in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, even though he exceeded the age group Chris Columbus had set for auditions. Ironically, when Coulson later expressed interest in returning for Half-Blood Prince, David Yates felt Coulson was "too old" to play the role again. Frank Dillane was eventually cast in Coulson's place.
- When Warner Brothers was casting the role for the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, rumours circulated that both Rowan Atkinson and John Malkovich were considered. Both rumours were proven to be false. The Malkovich rumour is a bit curious since, as an American, he wouldn't have been able to audition to begin with.
- In the first film, Voldemort's eyes are shown to be red, as it is stated in the books. However, in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film) and subquent film adaptations, Voldemort has light blue eyes, so that they would "show more emotion" than if they were red. Also, young Riddle has dark eyes (as described in the books) in Chamber of Secrets but light blue eyes in Half-Blood Prince.
- While "Voldemort" is canonically pronounced without the "t", the letter is pronounced in the film versions.
- Lord Voldemort's characteristics are like that of Adolf Hitler's: Hitler wanted to purify the human race of "non-Aryan" races, though there are rumours he himself had Jewish ancestry. Voldemort wants to kill anyone who isn't a pure blood yet he was a half-blood.
- Riddle was sixteen when he opened the Chamber of Secrets fifty years before the events of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, making him sixty-six in that book/movie. Doing the math, in Deathly Hallows during his final duel with Harry, he is seventy-one, which is the reverse of seventeen, Harry's age at the time.
- This is compounded by the fact that his original body "died" at the age of fifty-four when he tried to murder Harry Potter as an infant. Presumably, his resurrection in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire gave him a new fifty-four year old body. His soul, however tortured and distorted it finally became, would be seventy-one.
- While in the Goblet of Fire movie, he's shown with a forked, snake-like tongue, but in the Order of the Phoenix movie his tongue is normal.
- It is said by Rowling in her website that he cannot love because he was conceived under the effects of a Love Potion, instead of real love.
- J. K. Rowling revealed that after his death, Voldemort had to exist in the Limbo Harry talked to Dumbledore's spirit in, as the crouched human child-like form, and therefore unable to return as a ghost.
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Voldemort's full name can be seen written as Thomas Marvolo Riddle.
- In the film adaptations, despite characters still calling him "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named", "You-Know-Who", or (in the case of Death Eaters) "The Dark Lord", more characters call him by his name than in the book. Hermione first says the name in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, as opposed to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Wormtail and Barty Crouch Jr. both say the name in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Arthur Weasley says the name despite telling Harry not to say it in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
- In the film version of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Tom Riddle was played by Hero Fiennes-Tiffin at age eleven and Frank Dillane at age sixteen. Michael Berendt was also cast to portray Tom at age eighteen, but his scenes were cut from the final version of the film
- J.K.Rowling said that had Ginny died and Tom Riddle escaped the diary, Voldemort would have become stronger
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (First identified as Tom Riddle)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Appears in flashback(s))
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film) (Appears in flashback(s))
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game) (Appears in flashback(s))
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
- The Queen's Handbag (Mentioned only)
- Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4
Notes and references
- ↑ He was first known as this when he was 16.
- ↑ He was known as this when people was scared of the name Lord Voldemort.
- ↑ He was known as this when people was scared of the name Lord Voldemort.
- ↑ Known as this by Death Eaters.
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Chapter 1 (The Riddle House)
- ↑ Known as this by himself in 1943, and later by all in 1993.
- ↑ Called by Peeves following the Battle of Hogwarts
- ↑ We know that Chamber of Secrets takes place in 1992. Fifty years earlier was 1942. In this year, Hagrid was a third year, and Riddle was two above him, meaning he was a fifth year. 15 years before 1942 was 1927. However, Riddle was born on New Years, making it 1926.
- ↑ "J.K. Rowling and the Live Chat, Bloomsbury.com, 30 July, 2007".
- ↑ 10.00 10.01 10.02 10.03 10.04 10.05 10.06 10.07 10.08 10.09 10.10 10.11 10.12 10.13 10.14 10.15 10.16 10.17 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 11.7 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- ↑ 12.00 12.01 12.02 12.03 12.04 12.05 12.06 12.07 12.08 12.09 12.10 12.11 12.12 12.13 12.14 12.15 12.16 12.17 12.18 12.19 12.20 12.21 12.22 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- ↑ J.K. Rowling said in a 2003 interview the she was originally going to name them "The Knights of Walpurgis".
- ↑ 14.00 14.01 14.02 14.03 14.04 14.05 14.06 14.07 14.08 14.09 14.10 14.11 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 16.6 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 17.6 17.7 17.8 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- ↑ "J.K. Rowling on The Diane Rehm Show, WAMU Radio Washington, D.C., 20 October, 1999". Retrieved on 2007 August 15.
- ↑ Jeff Jensen (2000-09-07). "Fire Storm". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on 2008 April 20.
- ↑ A Good Scare.
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 "Anelli, Melissa and Emerson Spartz. "The Leaky Cauldron and MuggleNet interview Joanne Kathleen Rowling: Part Two," The Leaky Cauldron, 16 July 2005".
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 "'J.K. Rowling Web Chat Transcript". Retrieved on 2007 August 15.
- ↑ http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=evil&searchmode=none
- ↑ Enchanted with Potter Literature: Fans line up for hours to get their books signed
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Chapter 18
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Chapter 35
- ↑ Enchanted with Potter Literature: Fans line up for hours to get their books signed
- ↑ Michael Berendt's website.
- ↑