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Old July 25th, 2007, 1:09 am
The_Pirate_King  Undisclosed.gif The_Pirate_King is offline
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Join Date: 24th July 2007
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Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis

Originally Posted by thagrimreaper View Post
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" 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.


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.

Last edited by The_Pirate_King; July 25th, 2007 at 1:12 am.
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