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How does Voldemort compare with other villains?



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  #61  
Old June 20th, 2007, 11:27 am
MLynas  Male.gif MLynas is offline
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Re: How does Voldemort compare with other villains?

Voldemort is one of the biggest reasons that I read Harry Potter.

I believe him to be the perfect villain. I think it's in part to do with the whole "You-Know-Who" bussiness, and that we rarely see him. When you think about it, we see quirrelmort for a climax at the end of PS, souldemort at the climax of CoS, he doesn't appear in PoA and its not till GoF that we ever see our Villain in a body of his own, he only appears very briefly in Ootp and then he isn't in HBP, all in for someone of so much consequence, Harry has only met him in book time (not counting Godrics Hollow) four times!

Yet he is the most feared Wizard in the world.

Its this mystery that makes him such a great villain.


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  #62  
Old June 23rd, 2007, 3:14 am
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Re: How does Voldemort compare with other villains?

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Originally Posted by MLynas View Post
Voldemort is one of the biggest reasons that I read Harry Potter.

I believe him to be the perfect villain. I think it's in part to do with the whole "You-Know-Who" bussiness, and that we rarely see him. When you think about it, we see quirrelmort for a climax at the end of PS, souldemort at the climax of CoS, he doesn't appear in PoA and its not till GoF that we ever see our Villain in a body of his own, he only appears very briefly in Ootp and then he isn't in HBP, all in for someone of so much consequence, Harry has only met him in book time (not counting Godrics Hollow) four times!

Yet he is the most feared Wizard in the world.

Its this mystery that makes him such a great villain.
In that regard Voldemort is similar to Sauron from LOTR, who is in spirit form throughout the story. Where they differ is that there is never any direct face-to-face confrontation between Sauron and Frodo, while there are a few between Harry and Voldemort.


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  #63  
Old June 23rd, 2007, 6:55 am
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Re: How does Voldemort compare with other villains?

Compared with other villains....I'd say LV is better than most.

I have this one complaint with him that really bugs me to no end. I feel like he's written with contradictions in character/motivation. It seems like JKR is saying that LV was traumatized as a kid by his mother's abandonment, and consequently descended deeper into 'evilness' by choosing to blame Merope's weakness and search for immortality himself. But then she throws in all this information about how he was a twisted kid from the start: unresponsive and unemotional as a baby; doing freaky things to kids in caves; etc. That sort of stuff is all well and good for a creepy factor - but I think it paints LV as more of a sociopath who was broken from birth and would have gone bad no matter what. I feel like I'm getting manipulated as a reader.

/end of rant

I do like that JKR is trying to show some realism in his motivations: his fear of weakness and death is a theme folks can related to. I also like the tragedy of him: here he was, this handsome intelligent guy - he could be anything he wanted - and he chooses to become an evil, twisted, mass murderer.

I agree with the comparisons with Anakin Skywalker - they both had so much potential, and they both let their fears drag them down into evil.

Sauron, I don't think is a good comparison. Sauron is more of a nebulous evil omnipotent figure. He's not human, he's not meant to be understood, he's not based on any historical figure. He's an evil force to be destroyed.

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Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
IAnother villain that comes to mind is "Khan" from Star Trek. He's the "super-human" clone discovered in one of the early Star Trek episodes, who reappears in Wrath of Khan (played by Ricardo Montalban). It's true that Khan is a bit more social, but he also has this feeling of superiority" towards regular humans, and wants to surround himself only with "perfect" people. He's power happy also, and doesn't have usual human feelings. Instead of using his super-intelligence for something good, he only wants to help those exactly like himself, and he wants to rule them
Good comparison


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  #64  
Old June 23rd, 2007, 9:58 am
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Re: How does Voldemort compare with other villains?

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Originally Posted by owlpostgirl View Post
I have this one complaint with him that really bugs me to no end. I feel like he's written with contradictions in character/motivation. It seems like JKR is saying that LV was traumatized as a kid by his mother's abandonment, and consequently descended deeper into 'evilness' by choosing to blame Merope's weakness and search for immortality himself. But then she throws in all this information about how he was a twisted kid from the start: unresponsive and unemotional as a baby; doing freaky things to kids in caves; etc. That sort of stuff is all well and good for a creepy factor - but I think it paints LV as more of a sociopath who was broken from birth and would have gone bad no matter what. I feel like I'm getting manipulated as a reader.
That's one of the things that I like most about his character. Jo doesn't give us any concrete reason to suspect either nature or nuture more than each other, which harks back to so many other famous works and their successful villains. He's like Caliban in that regard.


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  #65  
Old June 24th, 2007, 5:05 am
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Re: How does Voldemort compare with other villains?

The thing is, I never really saw that as a reason to feel bad for Voldemort. Maybe if he were mistreated a lot, but that didn't seem to be the case. I don't mean to say that the orphanage was a cheery place, but I didn't get the impression that it had come out of "Annie" or anything like that.

I liked it because it gave Voldemort a way to justify himself, which is what villians do - but it still doesn't make me feel bad for him at all, and I don't think that was the point.

I also think that it provides a good contrast to Harry. Harry was an orphan, and he was mistreated, and he turned out "pure", to use Dumbledore's words, while Voldemort in a similar situation became a sociopath and mass murderer.


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Old June 24th, 2007, 1:05 pm
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Re: How does Voldemort compare with other villains?

Dumbledore gave Tom Riddle a clean slate, a chance to come to Hogwarts without anyone knowing anything about his past. Tom could create himself anew. He had good role models at Hogwarts to help him learn the proper way to act in society. He had people like him, admire him, look to him as a leader, something he never had at the orphanage. The important thing about Tom Riddle is that he could easily have gone to the good side, but chose not to. If he had stayed at the orphanage until he was old enough to leave it, then it would be easier to justify his behavior. But his life at Hogwarts made all the difference in how culpable he was for his choices.


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  #67  
Old June 26th, 2007, 3:53 am
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Re: How does Voldemort compare with other villains?

Voldemort is a far better villian than average but in some ways he could be better. JKR particularily suceeds when she shows us his very convincing childhood, and his family. She also gets points for giving him his motivation as a fear of death- a very believable and personal motivation for any villian.
Where she fails I think she could possibly remedy by simply paying more attention to Voldemort in the story, perhaps in DH. His widespread terrorizing and army building is not very well motivated, IMO. In addition, he is not charming enough or slick enough among his DEs to convince me that they really love him, which they seem to do-he needs to be more charming than he is to inspire those kinds of emotions. Like the leaders of most cults, you know, they don't get anywhere by being threatening and mean, they are very sneaky with their followers.


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Old June 26th, 2007, 12:04 pm
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Re: How does Voldemort compare with other villains?

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Originally Posted by oneinhufflepuff View Post
Where she fails I think she could possibly remedy by simply paying more attention to Voldemort in the story, perhaps in DH. His widespread terrorizing and army building is not very well motivated, IMO. In addition, he is not charming enough or slick enough among his DEs to convince me that they really love him, which they seem to do-he needs to be more charming than he is to inspire those kinds of emotions. Like the leaders of most cults, you know, they don't get anywhere by being threatening and mean, they are very sneaky with their followers.
I agree. She doesn't really develop Voldemort's charisma. Most leaders have charisma. That is how the followers get attracted in the first place. Voldemort seems so unpleasant that it is hard to understand why anyone would join. We don't know how hard his Death Eaters will fight for him. Voldemort is still very much a mystery after 6 books. He is not as well developed as some of the other main characters.


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  #69  
Old June 26th, 2007, 3:11 pm
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Re: How does Voldemort compare with other villains?

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Originally Posted by Rell View Post
No coming of age fantasy would be complete without the cackling villian out to imprison the world.
How does Voldemort compare with other villians, including The Emperor from Star Wars, Saraun from LoTR, Arawn from the Prydain chronicals and many more?

Is he stereotypical, or very original, and in what ways?
Okay, here it is- I'm not a huge Star Wars fan, I read the Prydain Chronicles when I was a lass of 14... or 15 and no longer remember them, and LOTR in book form left me cold. I suck.

I want to chime in here anyway because I have a certain fondness for Voldemort as a villain- no, I don't want him to live, I just think he's really effective (for lack of a better word). Also guad really nailed it for me with the post comparing Voldemort to Dorian Gray: a charming man whose good looks vary in proportion to the ugliness in his soul.

While Voldemort appears to be a garden-variety sociopath- cruel, unpredictable, narcissistic, he talks too much, wants to justify himself, wants his followers to know that they don't "get" him, he wants to be "right" (proper, etc.) in his dealings with his adversaries- he is also vulnerable in that he fears death itself and, in fact, can die. It's going to take some doing, but he can be killed. That alone, I think, sets him apart since most noteworthy villains crave even the notoriety that comes with death.

Overall I agree with NadineTink. His humanity makes his inhumanity (and by extension Voldemort himself) that much more frightening. Which is why I always have to laugh when Dick Cheney is compared to Voldemort

Edit: And as for charisma, which SusanBones111 is right in suggesting Voldemort lacks, I'm hoping that JKR will reveal in DH how Voldemort gathered his followers to him and how he remains strong, because I too don't really see it at this point. Inferi are scary, but they make lousy conversationlists.


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Old June 27th, 2007, 4:53 am
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Re: How does Voldemort compare with other villains?

yes lv is a very good villain. he has the flare that most villain have. such as the evil stepmother from snow white, or cinderella. yet he has the whole wizard world afraid of him not just the person he wants dead. which most villains dont have. he tends to kill many people to get what he wants. which i like in villains. it gives them control of everyone and everything around them.


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  #71  
Old June 27th, 2007, 10:57 am
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Re: How does Voldemort compare with other villains?

I think in particular, young Voldemort is an utterly perfect villian and one of the best I have read. In the muggle world, Tom Riddle would have very likely become a serial killer. It's this horror genre aspect to Tom Riddle that makes him so perfect, as he is a very believable serial-killer type, and his insertion in a magical world is a brilliant idea that makes him seem all the more real. I get chills every time I read the passage where Dumbledore tells Tom he's a wizard...and Tom says something like...I knew it, I knew I was special. Young Riddle is clearly modeled after the typical serial killer type-loveless childhood, tortures animals then moves on to humans, collects trophies, shows tendancies toward violence at a young age, commits first murder in the teens-it reads like a police profile, doesn't it?

I also particularly love that Jo gives Riddle a handsomeness and brilliance that he is widely recognized for. These are the kinds of people that humanity almost allows to be villians...the people who draw us in, who make us think "well he doesn't look like he could..." or "but he's so charming..." Very creepy. Older Voldy is not nearly as convincing as young Tom Riddle. I think it's because he make an awkward transition to a dictator/dark lord type when previously he was a very convincing solitary, secretive, its-personal guy. There's a difference between the serial killer type, which seems to fit him better, and the grandiose dictator type, who's motivations in real life are usually more deluded, more "I'm saving the world and will go down in history"...Voldy's motivations for doing anything with results not directly concerning or benefitting himself need more explaining!

I would say that his fear of death is the strongest argument for Voldemort being a unique villian- it's a brilliant motivation. There's an interesting tie-in with alchemy and the grail quest here. One could say Voldy is the anti-grail quester in a sense...searching for the key to immortality but always failing as it's necessary to understand love to achieve the grail/stone/immortality.

Overall, however, I still feel that Umbridge is Rowling's greatest pen and ink villian. A true original and a fantastically written character!


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  #72  
Old June 27th, 2007, 12:19 pm
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Re: How does Voldemort compare with other villains?

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Originally Posted by oneinhufflepuff View Post
I would say that his fear of death is the strongest argument for Voldemort being a unique villian- it's a brilliant motivation. There's an interesting tie-in with alchemy and the grail quest here. One could say Voldy is the anti-grail quester in a sense...searching for the key to immortality but always failing as it's necessary to understand love to achieve the grail/stone/immortality.

Overall, however, I still feel that Umbridge is Rowling's greatest pen and ink villian. A true original and a fantastically written character!
You make some very good points. Voldemort has made himself safe from death, therefore, he is far more dangerous because he can't be killed. This makes him different from so many other villians. He does have his Achilles Heel, the fact that the horcruxes can be destroyed, but I am sure he feels pretty confident that he is safe.

He is also very dangerous because he doesn't have any guilt. He doesn't care who he kills. But many villians have this characteristic, so there is nothing unusual about this feature.

Umbridge is a fantastic villian. She is "supposedly" on the good side, which makes her very dangerous. She also got away with sending Dementors to Privot Drive. That action could have had a very bad result. But her ability to hide her evil ways with a veil of goodness is very dangerous.


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  #73  
Old June 28th, 2007, 5:51 am
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Re: How does Voldemort compare with other villains?

He is steriotypical because he wants to take over. But he is very original because of his need to kill Harry no other Villian has such a need to kill such a young person.


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  #74  
Old June 29th, 2007, 1:09 am
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Re: How does Voldemort compare with other villains?

Voldemort, at least in his youth, reminds me of Light from Death Note. Like Tom Riddle, Light is highly intelligent, ruthless, friendless by choice, terrified of death, and lastly, a cold-blooded mass murderer. I would say that when it comes to manipulating people, he is second to no one, not even the Dark Lord himself.

There are also physical similarities - both are tall, lean, exceptionally good-looking, and both occasionally exhibit a red gleam in their eyes.


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Old July 9th, 2007, 8:39 pm
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Re: How does Voldemort compare with other villains?

I think that Voldemort makes a wonderful villain. While he has weaknesses, I think that these only serve to make him more powerful, as it makes him seem more human. Voldemort is so inhuman, that human qualities make him more scary.
I don't think the other villains in the Harry Potter stories could really compare with Voldemort at all.
He is sort of like Darth Vader in Star Wars. There are a lot of bad people, but Darth is truly evil.

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Old August 3rd, 2007, 4:39 am
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Re: How does Voldemort compare with other villains?

Valdemort does remind me of the Emperor in Star Wars - they both craved everlasting life and got rid of anyone in their way. But I don't think either of those two would be able to hold their own against Sauron from Lord of the Rings. Or maybe it was just the way Tolkien wrote and described Sauron -so much more savage; distance and unknoweable than Valdemort or the Emperor.


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Old August 13th, 2007, 5:48 pm
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Re: How does Voldemort compare with other villains?

I don't really like Voldemort because he's not really that original. Also because of the fact that he has almost no complexity to him. He doesn't struggle internally, he doesn't desire anything but what a typical villian desires. He's average for me on the villian scale.

Hannibal Lecter is my villian, so complex and so evil, and also so deceptive. And the fact that he's brilliant too. Sideous is the same way, but what truly makes Sideous scary is that he's able to manipulate people so well through words, not physical power.


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  #78  
Old October 1st, 2007, 8:56 am
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Re: How does Voldemort compare with other villains?

He's up there with The Mekon!


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  #79  
Old November 3rd, 2007, 10:25 pm
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Re: How does Voldemort compare with other villains?

It's been said that the Anti-Christ would be someone who is handsome and charismatic, a good talker. That seems to describe the young Tom Riddle, such as when he convinced the Grey Lady to tell him where she did Rowena Ravenclaw's diadem. He continued with the good talker bit as the adult Voldemort, convincing the dementors, werewolves, giants, and large spiders to join his side.


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Old November 4th, 2007, 3:07 pm
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Re: How does Voldemort compare with other villains?

Lord Voldemort v. Ganon.

Ganondorf lives...I guess he wins.

Lord Voldemort v. Darth Vader

Vader showed remorse...I guess he wins.

Lord Voldemort v. The Master

Umm...I think we are going to see more from the Master, so the question is still up in the air.

Lord Voldemort I guess I would put on the level of the SGA wraith - and his minion Lucius even looked like them. They are defeatable yet, inherently less than intelligent about their own potential defeat.


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