Tom Marvolo Riddle
Tom Marvolo Riddle (Lord Voldemort)
Tom Marvolo Riddle is one of the most pivotal characters in J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series, more famously known by his dark moniker, Lord Voldemort. He’s the series’ main antagonist, representing the dark side of magic and the perils of seeking power and immortality at any cost.
Biography & History
Birth: Tom Riddle was born on December 31, 1926, in the village of Little Hangleton, to Merope Gaunt (a witch) and Tom Riddle Sr. (a Muggle). Merope used a love potion to ensnare Tom Sr., but when she stopped giving him the potion, hoping he’d stay out of true love, he left her.
Orphanage: After Merope died shortly after giving birth, Tom was raised in Wool’s Orphanage in London.
Hogwarts Years: Tom was a Slytherin at Hogwarts and quickly became known for his charm, intelligence, and leadership qualities. But he was also obsessed with his heritage, especially his connection to Salazar Slytherin, and began to despise his Muggle lineage. It was during his time at Hogwarts that he discovered the Chamber of Secrets and opened it, leading to the death of a student, Myrtle Warren. He also started gathering a group of followers, the precursors to the Death Eaters.
Creation of Horcruxes: Obsessed with immortality, Riddle discovered the dark magic of Horcruxes, splitting his soul and hiding parts of it in various objects. Over time, he created seven Horcruxes.
Rise as Voldemort: Abandoning his birth name, he became Lord Voldemort, amassing followers and starting the First and Second Wizarding Wars. His actions led to the deaths of countless witches, wizards, and Muggles.
Downfall: Voldemort’s quest for power led him to target Harry Potter, whom a prophecy named as the one with the power to defeat him. His first attempt to kill baby Harry backfired, leaving Voldemort powerless for years. After regaining his strength, he continued to seek Harry’s destruction, culminating in the Battle of Hogwarts where he was finally defeated.
Power-hungry: Voldemort’s main goal was to achieve immortality and supreme power over the wizarding world.
Fear of Death: Despite his power, he had a deep-seated fear of death, which drove many of his actions.
Charismatic: In his youth, Voldemort was known to be exceptionally charming and persuasive, traits he used to manipulate and gain followers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why did Voldemort want to kill Harry?
A prophecy made by Sybill Trelawney stated that a child born at the end of July would have the power to vanquish the Dark Lord. Believing Harry to be this child, Voldemort sought to kill him.
What were Voldemort’s Horcruxes?
Voldemort’s Horcruxes were: Marvolo Gaunt’s ring, Salazar Slytherin’s locket, Helga Hufflepuff’s cup, Rowena Ravenclaw’s diadem, Tom Riddle’s diary, Nagini (his snake), and a part of his soul accidentally placed in Harry Potter.
“There is no good and evil, there is only power, and those too weak to seek it.”
“I am Lord Voldemort.”
Voldemort’s story serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of unchecked ambition and the perils of fearing death. He’s a complex character whose actions shaped the fate of the wizarding world in the series.