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Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis



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  #81  
Old October 6th, 2007, 8:19 pm
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Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by LotusFawkes View Post
I too thought teen-Tom was much better at "being" evil rather than merely "looking" evil. I'm sure a lot of people liked Ralph Fiennes performance as Voldemort but it came across too melodramatic to be realistic for me. More like a caricature than something actually dangerous. Teen-Tom, whoever played him, seemed much more real and therefore much more effective as something to be truly afraid of.
I agree with this. Although the movies are not canon, and are off-topic in this thread, you make a good point about the attractive Tom Riddle in CoS. The unattractive Voldemort is like a red flag telling everyone that here comes a dangerous man. The attractive and charismatic Tom Riddle is much more dangerous because you don't realize how evil he is until he has enticed you, like a spider to his web.


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Old October 6th, 2007, 9:40 pm
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Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by LotusFawkes View Post
I too thought teen-Tom was much better at "being" evil rather than merely "looking" evil. I'm sure a lot of people liked Ralph Fiennes performance as Voldemort but it came across too melodramatic to be realistic for me. More like a caricature than something actually dangerous. Teen-Tom, whoever played him, seemed much more real and therefore much more effective as something to be truly afraid of.
this is kind of off topic, but it's so much easier to make fun of an inhuman Voldemort than a pretty boy, just look at my avatar! Pretty Boy is one of the few insults you can use against a handsome Voldemort


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  #83  
Old October 6th, 2007, 9:48 pm
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Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis

...and let's bring this back "on-topic"


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  #84  
Old October 16th, 2007, 1:52 am
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Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis

I would agree that Voldemort's character did not come across as very frightening. It may be because we did not see enough of him throughout the series once he had returned. We heard about things that were happening and I do recall him torturing and even killing - but for some reason he always seemed very fallable to me, as if he could be hoodwinked taken out rather easily. I think that perhaps more graphic descriptions of his personal deeds would have assisted in carrying on the character that we say forming when he was youthful.

However, it may have been Jo's intention to keep Voldemort less than 'larger than life' - so that he was more realistic. If so, that worked I would say; but Voldemort came across more as if he behaved as an evil man rather than a classic dark lord imo.


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Old October 16th, 2007, 2:47 am
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Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis

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I would agree that Voldemort's character did not come across as very frightening. It may be because we did not see enough of him throughout the series once he had returned.
It didn't seem very scary to me, either, except when he had Charity Burbage hanging in the first chapter of DH and when he cold-heartedly killed Severus Snape. Then he seemed positively frightening. But I thought that he really seemed like just another bad guy in the forest scene and the final scenes of the book. Maybe if we had seen him kill Amelia Bones, for instance, we would have seen more of his evil powers. I wonder if some of it was toned down for the younger reader.


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Old October 16th, 2007, 8:49 am
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Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis

I don't know... I thought I wasn't scared of him at all, but one night, after I had been rereading the scene in Godric's Hollow (which I do find wuite frightening, when Harry realises he's in the house), I had a dream about Voldemort where he was downright terrifying.


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Old October 16th, 2007, 7:44 pm
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Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis

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It didn't seem very scary to me, either, except when he had Charity Burbage hanging in the first chapter of DH and when he cold-heartedly killed Severus Snape. Then he seemed positively frightening. But I thought that he really seemed like just another bad guy in the forest scene and the final scenes of the book. Maybe if we had seen him kill Amelia Bones, for instance, we would have seen more of his evil powers. I wonder if some of it was toned down for the younger reader.
I agree...the Charity Burbage scene was a scary display from Voldemort. And Snape's death too, was a cold display of his scary nature. Cedric's death was another in line with that - an innocent lad taken for no reason whatsoever except that he was present back in GoF (and the torturing of his DEs). Even in OOTP we saw Lord Voldemort's potential in his fight with Dumbledore and possession of Harry.

I agree that his character may have been toned down for the younger readers because apart from those things, we didn't witness the other atrocities, some of which sounded extremely scary (killing of groups of muggles, Order members and muggle born wizards) - but the way they were presented, I kept getting the impression that the DEs were doing most of the dirty work while Voldemort hid out. Plus we were not given any details about any of that.

So I think you might have hit the nail on the head. I think it was graphic enough for young readers and older readers were to simply assume that Voldemort was as scary as he was portrayed by the wizards that told us of those events (they seemed scared even if it wasn't very affectatious imo).


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Old October 16th, 2007, 8:36 pm
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Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis

I think Voldemort displayed too much hubris in Deathly Hallows. He was not the same iconic Dark Lord that we see in the other books. Harry was clearly much more frightened about death than he was about Voldemort. It seemed such a drastic change from the Voldemort we saw dueling with Dumbledore and the Voldemort we saw in Goblet of Fire. I suppose a part of that was because we were able to view things from Voldemort's perspective this time.


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Old October 16th, 2007, 9:53 pm
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Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis

I found that Voldemort was actually very terrifying, but not in the usual, fantasy-Dark-Lord way. Being a Muggleborn during DH would have been nothing short of terrifying, especially with gangs like the Snatchers going around trying to round them up and bring them to the Death Eaters to have them sent to Azkaban... you could basically go nowhere without having to hide your identity, and that was risky, too, because you could be found out easily enough. You also had to fear for the lives of your family and friends, along with your own. You'd face torture and Dementors, and other dark acts and creatures. So it was really Voldemort's reign of power that scared me. The fact that the Ministry was going along with it (of course, because of people being Imperiused and such) made it all the worse.

I actually liked that, though, that Voldemort was more realistic and less Dark Lord-ish. He reminded me much more of Hitler, and that kind of strikes home because we all know the horrors of the Holocaust. Just the fact that Voldemort thought he was doing the right thing is creepy enough as it is. The fact that he was irrationally afraid of death yet he killed others without a second thought is downright disturbing to me. Voldemort pretty much embodies the dark side of human nature, and I find that very scary, because there are some, in real life, who have been and are capable of the horrible things Voldemort did (in a Muggle way, of course). The way Voldemort threw over the Ministry so easily, the way he took over Hogwarts and morphed it into a school for the Dark Arts, again rather easily - it really made the world feel unstable and insecure, and I kept imagining it in the real world, and it wasn't too hard to imagine. So personally, everything about Voldemort terrifies me, because he's not all that far off from some real figures in history.

Something I found interesting in Death Hallows was in Voldemort's memory of the night he tried to murder Harry, he had pointed his wand at Harry and was uncomfortable by Harry's crying. He had never been able to stomach the children's crying at the orphanage when he was a kid. There's something about that that I found a bit strange of Voldemort, but I'm not sure what. What do you all think?


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Old October 17th, 2007, 3:49 am
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Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis

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Something I found interesting in Death Hallows was in Voldemort's memory of the night he tried to murder Harry, he had pointed his wand at Harry and was uncomfortable by Harry's crying. He had never been able to stomach the children's crying at the orphanage when he was a kid. There's something about that that I found a bit strange of Voldemort, but I'm not sure what. What do you all think?
Yes, I thought that was very strange also. A Dark Lord irritated by a crying baby. Voldemort was very odd in several ways - but that was likely the oddest. Maybe it foreshadowed his soul laying there crying in Kings Cross when Harry went to meet Dumbledore in DH. Kind of makes that scene even more gruesomely eerie in a way.


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Old October 17th, 2007, 4:07 am
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Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis

The inability to endure children has woven in and out of the M.O.s of some pretty gruesome mass murderers: Gage, Bundy, that creepy guy who killed all the kids and then ate them. (I've forgotten his name). It's a known trait of certain kinds of sociopaths, but someone else will have to give us the technical definition. I'm not qualified to do so.

I was totally freaked out by the blatant racism of the Voldemort regime and the way he steadily deprived the wizarding community of rights that had long been taken for granted. The people like Charity Burbage who "resigned" their jobs and disappeared off the face of the earth was another real-world jolt. And the pleasure and sense of rightness he experienced as he moved to murder a victim he'd hunted down... golly, Miss Molly, he was creepy.


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  #92  
Old October 17th, 2007, 4:09 am
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Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
Yes, I thought that was very strange also. A Dark Lord irritated by a crying baby. Voldemort was very odd in several ways - but that was likely the oddest. Maybe it foreshadowed his soul laying there crying in Kings Cross when Harry went to meet Dumbledore in DH. Kind of makes that scene even more gruesomely eerie in a way.
Getting irritated by a crying baby might have been showing that Voldemort was still human.


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  #93  
Old October 17th, 2007, 5:43 am
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Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis

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Getting irritated by a crying baby might have been showing that Voldemort was still human.
I tend to think the opposite, that Voldemort wasn't very human at all. As a baby Tom Riddle didn't cry much at all. I think he saw it as a sign of weakness and powerlessness, and a sign of dependency on others--things Voldemort hated. Must have been why he wanted to become the most powerful wizard ever. A crying baby just shows itself to be weak and powerless and dependent on others and so Voldemort would find these irritating. I suppose in some sense this is a human response, but not a very empathetic one. As a mom, when I hear a baby cry I hear someone who isn't very happy. This doesn't mean it can always be helped but it does require a better response than irritation.


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Old October 17th, 2007, 1:46 pm
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Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis

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I tend to think the opposite, that Voldemort wasn't very human at all. As a baby Tom Riddle didn't cry much at all. I think he saw it as a sign of weakness and powerlessness, and a sign of dependency on others--things Voldemort hated. Must have been why he wanted to become the most powerful wizard ever. A crying baby just shows itself to be weak and powerless and dependent on others and so Voldemort would find these irritating. I suppose in some sense this is a human response, but not a very empathetic one. As a mom, when I hear a baby cry I hear someone who isn't very happy. This doesn't mean it can always be helped but it does require a better response than irritation.
I'm not a mother (or father), but I was thinking of situations like on a plane or other areas where the "crying baby" joke is almost a cliche'. I guess this can be interpreted both ways - being irritated by the crying baby could show the disregard for humans and human life and weakness, etc. Or it could show that, despite his best efforts to suppress his own humanity and become immortal, he's still irritated by a very human thing - a crying baby.


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  #95  
Old October 17th, 2007, 1:47 pm
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Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis

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The inability to endure children has woven in and out of the M.O.s of some pretty gruesome mass murderers: Gage, Bundy, that creepy guy who killed all the kids and then ate them. (I've forgotten his name).
That would be Albert Fish.

My opinion is that his inability to tolerate crying made him less human. I think a normal human response to a crying child would be concern. Granted, if you're in a restaurant and a child's screaming their head off, it can be annoying. But, in Voldemort's case that fact that he didn't feel the least bit of concern at the slighted bit of crying shows to me that he really didn't have emotions like empathy.


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Old October 17th, 2007, 5:48 pm
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Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis

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My opinion is that his inability to tolerate crying made him less human. I think a normal human response to a crying child would be concern. Granted, if you're in a restaurant and a child's screaming their head off, it can be annoying. But, in Voldemort's case that fact that he didn't feel the least bit of concern at the slighted bit of crying shows to me that he really didn't have emotions like empathy.
Thanks, that was what I was trying to say.


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Old October 18th, 2007, 1:48 am
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Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis

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He had never been able to stomach the children's crying at the orphanage when he was a kid. There's something about that that I found a bit strange of Voldemort, but I'm not sure what. What do you all think?
I think it is connected to Tom Riddle's uncommunicativeness during his own infancy, in the way he rarely cried.

This sounds like a child either so traumatized or else so inherently antisocial that he can't or won't reach out to others, not even to caretakers who could see to his needs. His unresponsiveness seems like a twisted sort of self-preservation--rather than cry and announce he has hunger, he prefers not to let such a vulnerability be known--and this paves the way to his later secretiveness.

I also doubt he was as helpless as most young children and was quite independent of the adults for many of his needs. I'm imagining a bottle of milk floating away from some other baby's hands and right into Tom's....

Someone who never experienced the utter dependency of childhood for himself might have nothing but distaste, impatience, and superiority when he sees it in others. That's some of what I'm sensing about TR/VM's discomfort with crying children.

I also love the remark someone offered about the irony of this in light of the crying-baby-creature (all that's left of his soul, in other words) in DH.

It's like he has ended up being what the rest of us started out as, but without the possibility of ever developing further.


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Old October 18th, 2007, 10:03 pm
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Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis

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Or it could show that, despite his best efforts to suppress his own humanity and become immortal, he's still irritated by a very human thing - a crying baby.
That's what I thought too. It surprised me to see that Voldemort could not stand a baby crying, and I felt it continued the hubris we were shown throughout DH.


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Old October 26th, 2007, 1:18 pm
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Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis

I would agree with what some have said. Voldemort was more gruesome than scary in nature. I suppose too, when you actually have to face a gruesome character like Voldemort it would be more scary in person than reading about it. But there was that other side to him - when he was making business like statements at Hogwarts when he thought he'd killed Harry. As if ralling up the troops was all that was left to do before he took over as the Wizard King. It was cool that the crowd began to fight him and I suppose it speaks to Voldemort's 'scariness' that they took a while in doing so. Neville of all people leading the way (go Neville). Still, Voldemort was like a gruesome - business like dark lord and that is a twist on the normal in a way. Kind of like a weak mix between The Master from Dr. Who, The Wizard from the Wizard of Oz and Darth Vader.


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Old October 26th, 2007, 1:50 pm
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Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis

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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 imagine it would be a reminder to him that they have emotions that are full range and he doesnt. He finds emotions beyond anger and joy to be of little significance.


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Thanks, that was what I was trying to say.
You said it well.


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