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hermy_weasley2 July 13th, 2007 12:49 am

Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis
 
Welcome to the post-DH discussion of Lord Voldemort. Previous discussion without spoilers can be found here: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis


This discussion is expected to evolve, but the following are some questions that people may answer if they wish:

Quote:

Lord Voldemort was voted the number one villain in the BigBadRead, an online Bloomsbury poll to find the UK's favourite literary villain from a children's book.
1) Do you think Voldemort deserves to be voted the "number one villain"? What qualities and/or actions make you think so (either way)?

2) What do you think of Voldemort's takeover plan in DH? What do you believe his ultimate objectives were?

3) Tom Marvolo Riddle was a brilliant student, considered charming by many, and apparently a model of good behavior (prefect, Head Boy). How did he go so wrong on his life path? How did his childhood environment affect who he became? What was it about his years at Hogwarts that kept him on the path to evil? Why did he take a job as a lowly store clerk when he left Hogwarts?

4) Professor Trelawney prophesied that the Dark Lord would return more powerful than before.
Quote:

Originally Posted by JKR
...Lord Voldemort requires my constant presence at the moment, as his Dark plans are unfolding in all their grisly glory. I hope those of you who voted for him in the Big Bad Read enjoy reading about him in book seven, where he finally gets the legroom for which he has been aching during all those years in exile.

What things do you expect Lord Voldemort to do to show this greater power and increased legroom? Which of his plans can move forward now that Albus Dumbledore is dead?

5. How effective are Voldemort's methods for controlling his followers? How do his methods compare to those of other leaders in the Potterverse?

6. Voldemort has committed murder, "the supreme act of evil" according to Horace Slughorn. But it seems that splitting one's soul ("an act of violation, it is against nature" according to Slughorn) multiple times is also supremely evil. How has the act of creating Horcruxes damaged and/or aided Voldemort?

7. What flaws do you think led to his downfall? Could he have avoided it?

toonmili July 24th, 2007 4:49 am

Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis
 
Okay what I noitced about Voldemort is that he billed himself to be some big larger than life wizard but really he was just the little Tom who was a big show off, who liked to play finders keepers. He hadn't changed since the orphanage. They way Harry talked him down was sad to see.


And WHO would have guessed that Voldemort was a matchmaker. Telling Severus there were better pureblood women out there. If he ever comes back alive he could take a job working E-Harmony.

lunagranger July 24th, 2007 6:10 am

Voldemort- perhaps weakened??
 
Did you think Lord Volemort was perhaps a bit weakened in DH....I mean I never really though his horcruxed would have been able to be destroyed so easily..without him interfereing much....I though his biggest weakness was his underestimation of his enemies, be it Dumbledore or even Harry...most of the times his death eaters seemed to echo his evilness..but voldemort...he was usually busy on going further on the part of immortality...like colecting the elder wand...I think even the horcruxes he made.were a little too obvious to someone who had already et about destroying them..and I never ever expected to him to hide one in the room of requirement..even the insights which harry got into voldemort's mind were not detected by him..and they were invaluable to harry..who could see them or shut them off on his will...and BIGGEST of all voldemort left the task of finind harry to his death eaters...when he knew harry was ...the chosen one..that should have been the most important task for him..shouldn't it?
overall I think voldemort was showned a little "realistic" and weakened in DH..what are your thoughts?

Chris July 24th, 2007 7:10 am

Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis
 
Voldemort after DH looks both more flawed and more terrifying. His magical power was immense, and he was all over the place. The flying bit was cool but terrifying.

However, his attitude regarding the horcruxes was shockingly arrogant. He believed so much in his plan that he had no backup. Maybe the process of creating horcruxes blinded him to their weaknesses.

His takeover plan was brilliant, in a word. It would have worked, too, had it not been for Harry knowing how to defeat him.

thagrimreaper July 24th, 2007 7:40 am

Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis
 
I suppose I'll be the first one to state it outright: Voldemort completely sucked in this book. His presence, while intimidating, was from terrifying, and his series of colossal blunders were what contributed to his downfall (another major problem, it really had nothing to do with Harry whatsoever)

It is incredible that after assuming effectively complete control over the Ministry of Magic, the Weasleys survive without questioning for months at a time. It is no secret that they are close to Harry Potter, and even more obvious that they are some of the biggest opposers of Voldemort's rule. So why in Merlin's beard was Arthur still able to continue working at the Ministry? Every smart dictator purges the ranks of their opposition after a successful coup d'etat - Voldemort was too obsessed with finding the Elder Wand to care about, you know, consolidating his rule and instilling a sense of stability.

If he was truly evil, he really should have instituted some programs for genocidal Muggle-born mass executions...but nah, he was content leaving them locked up with dementors, waiting to be rescued. I don't buy this "I want to preserve pure-blood wizards" excuse....it seems like a copout to explain why Voldemort doesn't just kill more people outright, enabling them to survive and fulfill the standards of deus ex machina that have been established. (See: Neville at the end)

Not to mention his ****-poor leadership at the Battle of Hogwarts. I understand standing back and waiting for Harry to come to him, but calling off his forces while he had the clear advantage? Sending Narcissa, a knowingly reluctant supporter to check on Harry instead of doing the smart thing and blasting his head off outright? Why, again, am I supposed to be afraid of this guy's intelligence?

There are also multiple examples of his stupid blunders shown in Deathly Hallows. His taking of Harry's blood, when he could have used any other wizard's - this ends up protecting the very person he has tried so desperately to kill. His hiding of the Horcrux in the Room of Requirement - so incredibly dumb that I could scarcely believe it. His inability to recognize that Snape was working against him, which played a vital role in his downfall in both wars. His general sloppiness in his Horcrux guarding, including both his poor protection schemes/locations for the Horcruxes, and his inability to recognize that parts of his soul were being destroyed until it was far too late.

I suppose the case of Voldemort was another illustration of how a person in the background can have their reputation inflated by a sense of mystery surrounding the person in question, but when exposed, that sense of mystery disappears and a more realistic view of the person is thus formulated. The image of a ruthless, genocidal, and sharp Voldemort was for me completely shattered in Deathly Hallows. It's quite a shame, I was hoping he would be someone who could manifest a great deal of hated and fear, but it does not seem he was that much of a threat after all.

EDIT:
Quote:

Originally Posted by toonmili (Post 4633340)
And WHO would have guessed that Voldemort was a matchmaker. Telling Severus there were better pureblood women out there. If he ever comes back alive he could take a job working E-Harmony.

Voldemort ships Harry/Hermione! No wonder he was destined to lose, he was delusional....

Loony_Tinne July 24th, 2007 8:14 am

Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis
 
The only thing that is scary about this guy is his brutality.

He is a reactor. He reacts to problems without thinking through all the implications of his actions. He takes Harry's blood because he/Quirrill gets burned by touching him. He plans to kill Dumbledore because he beats him at the ministry. He's only reacting.

He's so arrogant he can't help but brag on himself and give his enemies a chance think about what to do to defeat him. He's so rediculus he spends an entire year trying to get the stupid prophesy. I still can't figure out what he was thinking. He managed to get 6 DE in the hall of prophesies undetected why didn't he just send them in first to get rid of the guard and then get it himself. The Aurors only showed up because Dumbledore alerted them.

In the end I don't think he's as smart as Hermione. I guess my only conclusion is that he bought his own propaganda.

koli July 24th, 2007 8:34 am

Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis
 
1) Do you think Voldemort deserves to be voted the "number one villain"? What qualities and/or actions make you think so (either way)?

Yes. He is far beyond "usual evil" and he has no remorse for it. WHO TRIES TO KILL A BABY?!?!

2) What do you think of Voldemort's takeover plan in DH? What do you believe his ultimate objectives were?

I think that Voldemort wanted to use the Elder Wand to get rid of Harry. I think his sights were solely on killing Harry. I mean he had other things too, like killing Muggleborns and brainwashign students at Hogwarts in mind, but his number one priority was Harry.

3) Tom Marvolo Riddle was a brilliant student, considered charming by many, and apparently a model of good behavior (prefect, Head Boy). How did he go so wrong on his life path? How did his childhood environment affect who he became? What was it about his years at Hogwarts that kept him on the path to evil? Why did he take a job as a lowly store clerk when he left Hogwarts?

I think that this is what lies at the heart and sole of JKR's story. Riddle could have been one of the greatest and most admired wizards of all time. He had the potential for being a wonderful human being. His CHOICES are what led him wrong. He chose to become obsessed with his magical heritage, leading him to Slytherin and to chose to believe in Slytherin's skewed views of blood and purity. As for the Borgin and Burkes job, I think he thought it was the next best place to find artifacts of the founders of Hogwarts for Horcruxes.

4) Professor Trelawney prophesied that the Dark Lord would return more powerful than before.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JKR
...Lord Voldemort requires my constant presence at the moment, as his Dark plans are unfolding in all their grisly glory. I hope those of you who voted for him in the Big Bad Read enjoy reading about him in book seven, where he finally gets the legroom for which he has been aching during all those years in exile.
What things do you expect Lord Voldemort to do to show this greater power and increased legroom? Which of his plans can move forward now that Albus Dumbledore is dead?

I think his legroom was the control over the ministry and hogwarts.

5. How effective are Voldemort's methods for controlling his followers? How do his methods compare to those of other leaders in the Potterverse?

I think it's foolish to scare people into submission. It results into false loyalty and high chance of betrayal.

6. Voldemort has committed murder, "the supreme act of evil" according to Horace Slughorn. But it seems that splitting one's soul ("an act of violation, it is against nature" according to Slughorn) multiple times is also supremely evil. How has the act of creating Horcruxes damaged and/or aided Voldemort?

The Horcruxes were the downfall of voldemort. He made the Horcruxes because he was scared of death. He tried to prevent his own death but instead caused it.

7. What flaws do you think led to his downfall? Could he have avoided it?

He could have just walked away from all of it and lived. However, he was obsessed with ruling the "potterverse" and by being obsessed there was nothing he could do to avoid his downfall.

The_Pirate_King July 24th, 2007 10:03 pm

Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis
 
1) Do you think Voldemort deserves to be voted the "number one villain"? What qualities and/or actions make you think so (either way)?

Lord Voldemort is certainly qualified for the aforementioned title; his continual obsession with power coupled with his perpetual refusal to repent (as can be seen in his maniacal pursuit for immortality, no matter what the cost) make him a strangely nonhuman character, the ultimate antithesis of Harry, who (by the end) has evolved into a nearly perfect example of a protagonist (exhibiting the pseudo-Jesus sacrifice of life for others out of love is very telling). The only other characters who probably supersede Voldemort (in my opinion) are J.R.R Tolkien’s Morgoth (Melkor) and Sauron, both of whom are superhuman by nature and ergo are capable of inflicting greater damage on those around them without remorse. Either way, he is a very deserving candidate of the "baddest of the bad."

2) What do you think of Voldemort's takeover plan in DH? What do you believe his ultimate objectives were?

Quite simply, I believe that his plan went accordingly until the very end of the book; a takeover of he Ministry of Magic (a “corruption coup” if you will), a takeover of Hogwarts and its conversion into a school for the Dark Arts, and the death of Harry Potter would have all been priorities in his plan: By taking over the Ministry, he governs the people, by taking over Hogwarts, he ensures followers into future generations, and by killing Harry, he ensures his immortality (or so he thinks; he is quickly educated to think otherwise later). Rowling reveals that it is not her character’s actions or acquisitions of things that matter; it is their motivation for acquiring certain things tat defines tem (i.e. their choices). In Sorcerer/Philosopher Stone, for example, she reveals that Harry gets the stone because he does not desire to use it for himself or selfish gains; in the same way, he does not intend to use the Deathly Hallows selfishly by the end of the book, and thus attains them.

3) Tom Marvolo Riddle was a brilliant student, considered charming by many, and apparently a model of good behavior (prefect, Head Boy). How did he go so wrong on his life path? How did his childhood environment affect who he became? What was it about his years at Hogwarts that kept him on the path to evil? Why did he take a job as a lowly store clerk when he left Hogwarts?

I think that Rowling deals (somewhat) with inherent evil here and that “absolute power corrupts absolutely:” From the earliest days we see Riddle, he is a youth that abuses his powers. This strikes me as somewhat unfair to him as by the time he is taught right from wrong by Dumbledore, he is too steeped in contempt for the rest of the non-magical world to know the difference. Ergo, I think the more pressing question is: How are he and Harry different? As he meticulously states in Chamber of Secrets, they are both raised by Muggles who they hate; why did Riddle go so wrong, whereas Harry becomes a completely selfless character? I think there are two explanations: One is that Harry is not put in a position to dominate as a child; on the contrary, his magical powers (which are apparent but inferior to Riddle’s) do not aid him in hurting Dudley or the Dursleys in any way intentionally , whereas Riddle abuses his powers from day one because of the fact that he is the only wizard around. The explanation for their differences lies in the aforementioned choices that they have to make; it is our choices, not our birthrights or talents, that define us (as they were both descended from the Peverell family, I believe). Regarding his job at Bourgin and Burkes, his attraction to Dark Artifacts, their properties, and those who deal with them seem all too obvious; mere academic knowledge could not aid him in his quest to push the boundaries of magic “farther than they have ever been pushed before.”

4) What things do you expect Lord Voldemort to do to show this greater power and increased legroom? Which of his plans can move forward now that Albus Dumbledore is dead?

Book is out, I’m pretty sure predictions need not apply; obviously, the ability to fly is the new magical ability that stands out most in his new arsenal, in addition to his obsession with the Elder Wand, which is (to him) yet another source of power)

5) How effective are Voldemort's methods for controlling his followers? How do his methods compare to those of other leaders in the Potterverse?

Voldemort generally follows the Roman emperor Caligula’s philosophy: “Let them hate us as long as they fear us.” However, as he quickly finds out (and so many tyrants before him), to govern the people, you have to earn their respect, which can only temporarily gained by fear (even Narcissa Malfoy lies to him, essentially revealing that he has lost her allegiance unless he emerges victorious). Obviously, he is a stark contrast to those (Dumbledore) who teach that caring and listening to the governed is the way to govern; occasionally throughout the series, the Ministry of Magic (before its fall to Voldemort) oppresses its people (e.g. Umbridge), but this form of oppression usually falls, indicating that right will always win in the end.

6) Voldemort has committed murder, "the supreme act of evil" according to Horace Slughorn. But it seems that splitting one's soul ("an act of violation, it is against nature" according to Slughorn) multiple times is also supremely evil. How has the act of creating Horcruxes damaged and/or aided Voldemort?

This one’s explained pretty well the in book, don’t really feel the need to extrapolate; destroys his ability to posses others who have intact souls, is against nature, mutilates him beyond humanity; on the other hand, it would have allowed his immortality sans one certain Albus Dumbledore.

7) What flaws do you think led to his downfall? Could he have avoided it?

Obviously hubris is his biggest flaw, although his “tragic pride” obviously turns out to be a good thing for our young protagonist; his belief that he is superior to others and his rash actions accordingly lead to his downfall; in a sense, Voldemort can be viewed as a tragic figure, one that has never known love or repentance; those features that make a human what he or she is. Thus, he is not human himself, only a walking killing machine who relishes others pain nearly as much as power, and is destroyed in his single-minded quest for it. Perhaps his “tragic fall” is for the best- repentance seems to have been the only true way out for him.

Tom Riddle is incontrovertibly and unequivocally evil- his is a “sad end to a sorry tale,” one that reminds us that evil is- and always will be- in this world. He joins the ranks of C.S. Lewis’s Jadis (otherwise known as the White Witch from The Chronicles of Narnia), Tolkien’s Sauron, and others who are the utter antithesis of good and, through their foils (opposing characters) reveal the dichotomy of good and evil, each sides' constant battle for us, and the reality that truth (and therefore, right) must prevail if we are to retain our humanity.

lorna July 24th, 2007 10:58 pm

Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by toonmili (Post 4633340)
Okay what I noitced about Voldemort is that he billed himself to be some big larger than life wizard but really he was just the little Tom who was a big show off, who liked to play finders keepers. He hadn't changed since the orphanage. They way Harry talked him down was sad to see.


And WHO would have guessed that Voldemort was a matchmaker. Telling Severus there were better pureblood women out there. If he ever comes back alive he could take a job working E-Harmony.

eharmony :rotfl:

I've stated a couple of times that I think in some ways Voldemort is a weak villian. For one thing...talk about lack of attention to detail
Phoenix tears...I forgot...mother's love...I forgot...oh I don't actually have to kill anybody to get the wand allegiance....I didn't know that.
Putz.
They guy doesn't even know how his wand works. Your the "greatest" wizard ever
and you don't know how your wand works. Be like I didn't know how to start my car.
Putz.

That out of the way...his callous disregard to he followers was probably the most evil thing about him.
That he had no love for his enemies...that's a gimme. But to just palm off Malfoy worry over his son and so callously murder his "trusted" death eater Snape (and he didn't even know Snape ever betrayed him) to get his wand to work. talk about the banality of evil.

I just looked over the last question and remembered a line of dialogue from an old TV show that I think says what I think about Tom M. Riddle.

"Your a victim too, sir, but your such a walking pile of manure it's hard for me to care"

Potterphiliac July 24th, 2007 11:17 pm

Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis
 
So glad to be directed to this thread. I was looking for it but obviously not hard enough.

1) Do you think Voldemort deserves to be voted the "number one villain"? What qualities and/or actions make you think so (either way)?

I think #1 Villain is really a way of saying most hated villain. Which is not the same as most accomplished villain. Or most intelligent. Does that make sense? In any event, I don't think he was the most disturbing villain. After all was said and done, he seemed rather sad and pathetic. Emasculated by his own narrow-mindedness.


2) What do you think of Voldemort's takeover plan in DH? What do you believe his ultimate objectives were?

I think his takeover plan was both brilliant and not well thought out. The brilliant part was the way in which he got others to do his dirty work (child's play for him). The part that was not well thought out (it would seem) is the 'what next?' part. He wasn't much of a leader, insofar as he had little control of his emotions and needlessly murdered his own followers, dirty-work-doers. He would have had no patience for the subsequent sniping and power plays that would have ensued a completely succesful coup.


3) Tom Marvolo Riddle was a brilliant student, considered charming by many, and apparently a model of good behavior (prefect, Head Boy). How did he go so wrong on his life path? How did his childhood environment affect who he became? What was it about his years at Hogwarts that kept him on the path to evil? Why did he take a job as a lowly store clerk when he left Hogwarts?

Con artists and sociopaths are very charming; they are skilled at playing to the weaknesses of their intended prey. So, it's not surprising at all that he would have been considered charming. Being charming is not the mark of good character, however.

I think his bad character was molded by both nature and lack of nurture. He carried the blood of a family that had been plagued by mental instability. Add to that the loneliness and rejection that he likely experienced as an orphan with a father who never wanted him. His self-loathing, as exemplified by his denial that his mother was a witch and his father a muggle, further corroded his character. Once he was at Hogwarts, he compensated for his self-hatred by throwing himself into proving his worthiness by pursuing any and all magic that would set him apart as "special." The problem, of course, that no amount of ability or recognition would alleviate his deeply ingrained sense of self-hatred.

He took a job as a lowly clerk simply because it suited his purposes to learn more about the dark arts while keeping a low profile at the same time.


4) Professor Trelawney prophesied that the Dark Lord would return more powerful than before. What things do you expect Lord Voldemort to do to show this greater power and increased legroom? Which of his plans can move forward now that Albus Dumbledore is dead?

Hadn't given this question much thought. The flying was a neat trick. Ultimately, I was unimpressed by any new powers simply because at the heart of the wizard I saw a scared man, desperate to prove to others that Harry Potter was powerless before Voldemort, therefore, yet made Harry important with his single-minded pursuit of him. The reason Voldemort wanted to kill Harry himself was because he did not want any other wizard or witch to be perceived as having succeeded where Voldemort had failed. It would have undermined his power.

5. How effective are Voldemort's methods for controlling his followers? How do his methods compare to those of other leaders in the Potterverse?

They were effective with the weaker minded followers, whose primary focus was that they should not suffer. With the stronger ones, like Narcissa, not so effective. His methods were crude and almost juvenile in comparison to Dumbledore, who trusted Harry and didn't attempt to control him. Same for Remus and Mr Weasley; they simply trusted.

6. Voldemort has committed murder, "the supreme act of evil" according to Horace Slughorn. But it seems that splitting one's soul ("an act of violation, it is against nature" according to Slughorn) multiple times is also supremely evil. How has the act of creating Horcruxes damaged and/or aided Voldemort?

I think the obvious answer is that he became less and less human with each splitting, until his soul was unrecognizable as anything remotely resembling human.

7. What flaws do you think led to his downfall? Could he have avoided it?

His supreme flaw was his fixation with Harry. Had he left Harry alone, he would not have made Harry important. He would not have given Harry a reason to fight. He would have won, frankly. Harry was his undoing but only because Voldemort made him so.

His other great flaw was his narrow-mindedness. What he did not value, he thought had no value and, therefore, he was incapable of seeing it as a threat to him. He died, still ignorant of the power of caring for another. In that respect, he wasn't much of a learner. Certainly not great, even though he had great powers.

Edit: I think I want to amend my last answer to say that his biggest flaw was the way he operated out of fear. He feared death and corrupted his soul out of a craving to escape death. He feared his own sense of self and of being seen as anything less than a superior being and so denied his real heritage. His fear of death is what undid ultimately undid him; it's what led him to attempt to kill the infant Harry, as well as the teen Harry. His fear of feeling would not allow him to conceive of remorse, which is what ultimately would have saved him.

The_Pirate_King July 25th, 2007 2:09 am

Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by thagrimreaper (Post 4634601)
I suppose I'll be the first one to state it outright: Voldemort completely sucked in this book. His presence, while intimidating, was from terrifying, and his series of colossal blunders were what contributed to his downfall (another major problem, it really had nothing to do with Harry whatsoever)

It is incredible that after assuming effectively complete control over the Ministry of Magic, the Weasleys survive without questioning for months at a time. It is no secret that they are close to Harry Potter, and even more obvious that they are some of the biggest opposers of Voldemort's rule. So why in Merlin's beard was Arthur still able to continue working at the Ministry? Every smart dictator purges the ranks of their opposition after a successful coup d'etat - Voldemort was too obsessed with finding the Elder Wand to care about, you know, consolidating his rule and instilling a sense of stability.

If he was truly evil, he really should have instituted some programs for genocidal Muggle-born mass executions...but nah, he was content leaving them locked up with dementors, waiting to be rescued. I don't buy this "I want to preserve pure-blood wizards" excuse....it seems like a copout to explain why Voldemort doesn't just kill more people outright, enabling them to survive and fulfill the standards of deus ex machina that have been established. (See: Neville at the end)

Not to mention his ****-poor leadership at the Battle of Hogwarts. I understand standing back and waiting for Harry to come to him, but calling off his forces while he had the clear advantage? Sending Narcissa, a knowingly reluctant supporter to check on Harry instead of doing the smart thing and blasting his head off outright? Why, again, am I supposed to be afraid of this guy's intelligence?

There are also multiple examples of his stupid blunders shown in Deathly Hallows. His taking of Harry's blood, when he could have used any other wizard's - this ends up protecting the very person he has tried so desperately to kill. His hiding of the Horcrux in the Room of Requirement - so incredibly dumb that I could scarcely believe it. His inability to recognize that Snape was working against him, which played a vital role in his downfall in both wars. His general sloppiness in his Horcrux guarding, including both his poor protection schemes/locations for the Horcruxes, and his inability to recognize that parts of his soul were being destroyed until it was far too late.

I suppose the case of Voldemort was another illustration of how a person in the background can have their reputation inflated by a sense of mystery surrounding the person in question, but when exposed, that sense of mystery disappears and a more realistic view of the person is thus formulated. The image of a ruthless, genocidal, and sharp Voldemort was for me completely shattered in Deathly Hallows. It's quite a shame, I was hoping he would be someone who could manifest a great deal of hated and fear, but it does not seem he was that much of a threat after all.

EDIT:

Voldemort ships Harry/Hermione! No wonder he was destined to lose, he was delusional....


While you bring up a number of good points that are quite legitimate, I think that you call into quesiton a few "flaws" in Voldemort's character in relation to the plot unfairly:

1) Voldemort's Ministry's retention of Weasley is a hole in the book that can't really be ignored; I agree that the "keeping pure bloods alive" excuse is pretty lame. However, regarding the whole Muggleborn purging deal, you have to remember that he had control over the Ministry without it fully being revealed, placing a puppet in his place; I think a genocide within 6 months of the Ministry takeover may have put the rest of the wizarding community in some doubt, who seemd to be able to combat Vodlemort's Death Eaters with some success (see: battle of Hogwarts after Harry "dies"). I do see where you are coming from, though. Kudos for pulling a good literary term out of the bag.

2) Couldn't agree with you more on this one- Rowling probably should have set this up differently; keep in mind however, that he still has some level of apprehension about finding Harry, thus calling off the forces so that he does not make a getaway while they fight to the death.

3) a) This is the paragraph that bothers me most. He takes Harry's blood because it allows him to touch Harry, if you will remember from Goblet of Fire: Dumbledore (@ King's Cross in Harry's "dreamlike state") admits that Harry and Voldemort have entered realms of magic that have never been explored before, thus Vodlemort's ignorance. Ergo, it seems nothing but advantageous at the time for Voldemort.
b) Remember (once again @ King's Cross) that Dumbledore tells Harry that Voldemort belives that the Room of Requirement is known only to him (or works only for him); thus, hiding a Horcux in a place that is dear to him and apparently impossible to locate makes perfect sense. (Although you do bring up a good plot point in that: Draco never told Voldemort about the Room of Requirement? Seems a bit fishy after the stunt he pulled off last year. Voldemort shoud recognize the room instantly when Draco described it to him.
c) He trusts Snape with good reason: Snape is a powerful wizard who, despite (possibly) being suspicious due to his frequent employ of Occlumency against Voldemort, killed Voldemort's greatest nemesis. Voldemort is as clueless as our protagonists throughout the book as to Snape's allegiances, completely fooled into thinking that he is Voldemort's follower. He even allows Hogwarts to be poisoned by the Dark Arts and alerts Voldemort to Harry's departure date from the Dursleys! All in all, Snape was a very convicing doulbe agent who was invaluabe to Dumbledore's side: remember, the onyl true proof of his remorse and love for Lily to Dumbledore was his patronus, which was a doe: The same as hers.

Voldemort: Flawed? Yes. Adds some plot holes? Yes. Is a "joke" of a character in the 7th book? No.

Rowling needed to conclude the downall of a very powerful wizard in a reasonably convincing way; while I agree that she did not do a perfect job, I think it is acceptable.

Voldemorts8thHorcrux July 25th, 2007 2:32 am

Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis
 
1) Do you think Voldemort deserves to be voted the "number one villain"? What qualities and/or actions make you think so (either way)?

Yes, definitely, he is merciless, powerful, cunning, etc, everything a villain needs

2) What do you think of Voldemort's takeover plan in DH? What do you believe his ultimate objectives were?

It was great, better than any other villain I had ever read about. His ultimate objectives were to kill Harry, take over, get rid of all muggles and mudbloods, become the greatest wizard ever, become immortal, and things like that

3) Tom Marvolo Riddle was a brilliant student, considered charming by many, and apparently a model of good behavior (prefect, Head Boy). How did he go so wrong on his life path? How did his childhood environment affect who he became? What was it about his years at Hogwarts that kept him on the path to evil? Why did he take a job as a lowly store clerk when he left Hogwarts?

Tom Marvolo Riddle was a "role model", but that was his mask, something for the current "higher authorities" to look at so his other darker deeds could go unnoticed. He never went wrong, he was wrong. His years at Hogwarts helped him realize how to become great, it played only a small part of his evil, except maybe give him a taste of power. He didn't want a mere title, he wanted the power of people actually fearing him, actually seeing him as the boss. Hogwarts taught him how to harness his abilities so he could realize his dreams.

4) Professor Trelawney prophesied that the Dark Lord would return more powerful than before. What things do you expect Lord Voldemort to do to show this greater power and increased legroom? Which of his plans can move forward now that Albus Dumbledore is dead?

He can kill more people, control more people, instill more fear, destroy more mudbloods and muggleborns. Once Dumbledore was dead, he could take over Hogwarts and he had just destroyed a idol that people had looked to for hope.

5. How effective are Voldemort's methods for controlling his followers? How do his methods compare to those of other leaders in the Potterverse?

Voldemort used fear, people went to him in hope of not dying, he controlled other by having them follow his ideas that wizards were on top. For those who weren't death eaters, he used fear to surpress any potential rebels. Other leaders, like Dumbledore and Harry, were like beacons of hope. Dumbledore was strong and powerful, and a good leader and people liked him, that's why people wanted him to be in charge. Harry was the "chosen one" and the "Boy who lived" so people looked to him for hope. He had also done a lot of anti Voldemort things so people thought he was extremely powerful.

6. Voldemort has committed murder, "the supreme act of evil" according to Horace Slughorn. But it seems that splitting one's soul ("an act of violation, it is against nature" according to Slughorn) multiple times is also supremely evil. How has the act of creating Horcruxes damaged and/or aided Voldemort?

Creating a horcrux made him unstable and inhuman. Any love or friendship he had previously was almost completely wiped out by creating a horcrux. After that, there was almost no return to the good side.

7. What flaws do you think led to his downfall? Could he have avoided it?

He was arrogant, he thought he was untouchable. He could've had more security around his horcruxes, not overlook the youthful, the mugglebornes and the good. He also shouldn't have overlooked Harry. He also should've realized how unstable he was with making Horcruxes, how evil he was. I wonder if he ever realized how evil he was. His goals were obviously evil, but did he ever realize that they were evil? I'm sure if his father hadn't abandoned him, he wouldn't have hated muggles that much. He just wanted to be immortal with the Horcruxes, that was really it. His intentions weren't actually that evil, it was his methods that were.

YellowPoofBall July 25th, 2007 10:32 pm

Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis
 
Deathly Hallows; Chapter 17He did not like crying, he had never been able to stomach the small ones whining in the orphanage-


That was one of the strangest things I read in the book. It seems so out of character for Voldemort to not like when someone cries. I would have thought he'd take joy at having made someone cry.

Rell July 30th, 2007 8:33 pm

Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis
 
I find it interesting that we have a scene in DH where not only are we in Voldemort's POV, but also in his thoughts. His thinking during the Godric's Hollow scene was quite disturbing (which is to be expected), but also seemed to me to be very simple and juvenile. I'd have thought him to be thinking with some more complexity.

snapegirl July 30th, 2007 8:46 pm

Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by YellowPoofBall (Post 4651160)
Deathly Hallows; Chapter 17He did not like crying, he had never been able to stomach the small ones whining in the orphanage-


That was one of the strangest things I read in the book. It seems so out of character for Voldemort to not like when someone cries. I would have thought he'd take joy at having made someone cry.

I thought that line was brilliant. I think that line isn't explaining children crying because of what Voldemort did to them, it is explaining the usual crying/fussing of babies and small children. When a baby cries, the human instinct should be to try to comfort the baby and fix what's wrong. Voldemort lacked this feeling at an early age. He never felt compassion or concern.
It also reminded me of the line in HBP when Dumbledore visits the orphange and Mrs. Cole tells him that Tom Riddle was a strange baby and he didn't cry.

General_Ridley July 31st, 2007 7:18 am

Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis
 
In a few words, The Dark Lord was the perfect character study of a sociopath.

He needed to have trophies that he deemed special.
He needed toexecute every plan with a bang.
He could not feel basic emotions like compassion and love.
He couldn't even understand the concept of such emotions.
His own arrogance was his own undoing.
there's more that I simply don't have the time to say.

All in all, he was a hopeless case. He was utterly pitiful. He was a tragedy that just needed to happen, without any of the redeeming characteristics that would make him a true tragedy.

And yet, his character was my most liked character.

HannahAdams August 1st, 2007 6:03 pm

Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis
 
i thought and ive posted this elsewhere,

let me just copy paste:


i think voldemort must hate part of himself,
if he hates muggleborns so much,
so that he covers up that fact, that he is a halfblood.
hes prooving to himself as much as anyone else that he is great!

Xander_Peverell August 1st, 2007 6:54 pm

Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by HannahAdams (Post 4681743)
i thought and ive posted this elsewhere,

let me just copy paste:


i think voldemort must hate part of himself,
if he hates muggleborns so much,
so that he covers up that fact, that he is a halfblood.
hes prooving to himself as much as anyone else that he is great!

Of course Voldemort hates part of himself.
I mean, if you found out your Father - a Muggle - had deserted your mother because she was a Witch (yes I know Merope wasn't the most attractive thing in the world, but I'm trying to make a point), of course you'd hate the part of yourself that you shared with him.
That's the underlying reason he changed his name, so as not to keep his "filthy muggle father's name".
He despised himself for being half blood because of his father. That's where the root of all this hatred seemed to come from. Deep down inside, he hated his father - a Muggle - which seemed to develop into a general hate for all Muggles, Muggle Borns, and the reason he pased himself off as Pure.

Rell August 1st, 2007 6:57 pm

Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis
 
I think Voldemort probably thought of his muggle side as something to be despised and repressed.

starcrosd August 1st, 2007 7:13 pm

Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by HannahAdams (Post 4681743)
i thought and ive posted this elsewhere,

let me just copy paste:


i think voldemort must hate part of himself,
if he hates muggleborns so much,
so that he covers up that fact, that he is a halfblood.
hes prooving to himself as much as anyone else that he is great!


Sound like Hitler to anyone else? Hitler was part Jewish, yet hated Jews beyond all belief.

I think Voldemort is a pitiable character. Yes, he's a psychopath, as JKR said herself, but maybe something would have changed, had his mother lived to care for him? He grew up without love, remember. At that time in the 6th book [I don't remember quite where] where Dumbledore is telling Harry about Voldemort's past, and they discuss how V's mother could have made the choice to live but did not, and Dumbledore asks Harry at one point if H feels sorry for V, Harry says no. I've never understood that, because I would. I would think Harry of all people would sympathize, as he also grew up without a mother or father, although his were probably as bad as or worse than V's orphanage.

Perhaps Voldemort could never have broken free of his familial tendency towards madness, but I do believe that he is to be pitied in some ways... every bad guy has a side story. I don't think that people are evil just to be evil. [call me naive, but I believe i :p]


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