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Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle: Character Analysis



 
 
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  #41  
Old November 8th, 2006, 12:08 am
princessaxyl  Female.gif princessaxyl is offline
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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)?
I dont know about number one villain. Sure he has done some terrible things in his time, but i guess it depends on if you are talking Villain as in fiction or anyone. Because id say what VM has done is nothing compared to Hitler, or even some fictional Villains, none of which i can of course think of right now. I think he cant count as the number on villain because he gave Lilly a chance to live. That, for me, gives him one very human like quality. I believe he saw some of himself in that situation, and so he gave her, a mother, a choice, just like his mother had. I believe he wanted to see what other mothers would do, and in doing so he showed himself to have at least a little...empathy is not the right word to use here but its kinda where i want to go. Not that he can feel the emotions of another, but he can put himself in that situation per se. I think that sets him apart from most Villains, who are unable to do so, and exist purley for the purpose of being evil.


2) Just what is Voldemort's goal, besides the obvious immortality one? Does he want to rule the whole wizarding world or the whole world, period?
I think his goal was to prove himself. Even at the orphanage, as the small child, i think he felt the need to prove that he was special, DESPITE the fact that he was an orphan. As a child, he was raised in an orphanage with possibly hundreds of other children exactly like him, he was neither special nor unique. Its quite possible that this lead to a desire to be well known, to be special and have people know how great he was. Of course he took a slightly twisted approach to this mentaility, but i believe that this was his drive, his reason for wanting to be well known. And once he found out he was a wizard, then he knew he was special, but it wasnt enough; he had to be special in the wizarding world too. Immortality would grant him this. As you can probably tell now, i dont think VM is pure evil, i think there are strict psychological reasons or events for his behaviour.


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?
See my above answer. Also, i think that because he was bitter about his mother dying despite being a witch, when he found out it was her, that his need to prove his greatness (is that a word?) manifested into a need to prove that he was not weak like his mother, that nothing would overcome him BECAUSE he was magic. Thus in order to achieve this, he needed the help of the dark arts, but in order to be sure nothing would overcome him he needed to be the best. I think it was the feelings towards his mother and father that lead to the malfunctioning being we see today, rather than a concious choice to be evil.

4) Not answered.

5. Will there be any personality changes due to the blood of an enemy coursing through his veins? Will it be a weakness that he has Harry's blood in particular? Does it truly give him Lily's protection in the way that Harry has Lily's protection?
I dont think personality changes, but i dont think he has yet realised he is not longer the descendant ot SS. No do i think he will be weaker because of it, or because of harrys blood. I dont think it will make much of a physical difference, but his mentality (once he discovers his error) will change. How will our supreme handle not being so special anymore? I personally feel it will infuriate him, and leave him mentally challeneged, which will eventually allow his downfall from harry. Think about it, he has always taken pride in the fact that he is SS heir, shown heavily in the CoS, but now that he is no longer filled with such importance, what will he have? If his followers found out, would he be just another half blood aspiring to something they cant achieve. I think this knowladge will leave him mentally weak and thus vulnerable to Harry and Legillimency (if he manages to get around to it).

6. How effective are Voldemort's methods for controlling his followers? How do his methods compare to those of other leaders in the Potterverse?
VMs methods of leading surround fear and punishment, with his apparent "close friendship" as a reward, and we know this because all the DE's seem to think they alone are his close confidant. This seems to be a very powerful tool, although in most cases none to effective because only a few DE's searched for him after the downfall. In comparision to other leaders, his methods seem weak. He has only a few (judging from the graveyard scene) DE's, whereas DD, who dose not attempt to rule others but merely ot guide them whilst allowing them to choose thier own way, seems to have the majority of the wizarding world following him. I suppose that VM, with his history of orphanages and the violent streak running in the guant bloodline, has learned no other way of leading than by fear.


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  #42  
Old November 8th, 2006, 7:15 pm
Kharina Kharina is offline
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Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle : Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by princessaxyl View Post
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 dont know about number one villain. Sure he has done some terrible things in his time, but i guess it depends on if you are talking Villain as in fiction or anyone. Because id say what VM has done is nothing compared to Hitler, or even some fictional Villains, none of which i can of course think of right now. I think he cant count as the number on villain because he gave Lilly a chance to live. That, for me, gives him one very human like quality. I believe he saw some of himself in that situation, and so he gave her, a mother, a choice, just like his mother had. I believe he wanted to see what other mothers would do, and in doing so he showed himself to have at least a little...empathy is not the right word to use here but its kinda where i want to go. Not that he can feel the emotions of another, but he can put himself in that situation per se. I think that sets him apart from most Villains, who are unable to do so, and exist purley for the purpose of being evil.
That would make him a better villian, IMHO. Villians who are totally one dimensional, pure evil characters aren't really very well thought out characters. I think Voldemort does lean a little towards the pure evil. However, we don't know yet because we don't know what he will do in Book 7. The Lily thing could be some empathy evidence: it strikes me as odd but I really have no theory about it. However it could be for another reason that is not to do with Voldemort being merciful at all.


  #43  
Old November 9th, 2006, 9:07 am
princessaxyl  Female.gif princessaxyl is offline
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Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle : Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by Kharina View Post
That would make him a better villian, IMHO. Villians who are totally one dimensional, pure evil characters aren't really very well thought out characters. I think Voldemort does lean a little towards the pure evil. However, we don't know yet because we don't know what he will do in Book 7. The Lily thing could be some empathy evidence: it strikes me as odd but I really have no theory about it. However it could be for another reason that is not to do with Voldemort being merciful at all.
I agree that it makes him a better character, but im not sure about Villain. Id be interested to hear why you think he is the Number one Villain. I read your original post, very good!However, you only mention that he is an interesting Villain, not the number one. What do you think?

-mods, i hope i am allowed to ask questions to another member here, as it is not criticism, but if not i apologise. I did read the rules, but was unsure when i found a post i actually wanted to know more about.


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  #44  
Old November 15th, 2006, 3:30 pm
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Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle : Character Analysis

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he gave Lilly a chance to live. That, for me, gives him one very human like quality. I believe he saw some of himself in that situation, and so he gave her, a mother, a choice, just like his mother had. I believe he wanted to see what other mothers would do, and in doing so he showed himself to have at least a little...empathy is not the right word
How interesting! This is one of the most sympathetic views of Tom that I've ever seen... I don't think empathy is a bad word to use. In the book _Ender's Game_, (GREAT book, by the way) the main character is able to do serious harm to people because he's empathic. Not that I think Tom was considering Harry's feelings in that moment, but it's still an interesting word to use.

About Voldemort losing his head, I also think the whole prophesy incident is pretty telling. He went after it without hearing the whole thing, and there's something interesting about the part he did hear. Not only does it not say who the kid is, it doesn't actually specify who the dark lord is either. Voldemort isn't mentioned by name, so in the heat of the moment, he designated himself as well as Harry.


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  #45  
Old November 15th, 2006, 4:42 pm
Kharina Kharina is offline
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Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle : Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by princessaxyl View Post
I agree that it makes him a better character, but im not sure about Villain. Id be interested to hear why you think he is the Number one Villain. I read your original post, very good!However, you only mention that he is an interesting Villain, not the number one. What do you think?

-mods, i hope i am allowed to ask questions to another member here, as it is not criticism, but if not i apologise. I did read the rules, but was unsure when i found a post i actually wanted to know more about.
I don't think he's the number one villian by a long stretch. He's interesting, but I don't think JKR has shown us another side to him yet, although she has shown us some of his history which makes him more interesting and gives him more depth. However, all that history shows is that he was nasty from the age of 11. I hope we'll see that he had some good in him at some point in his life in book 7. I think a good villian is one you can identify with to a certain extent, at least up to a certain point. I can't do that with Voldemort purely from what we've been shown in the series: I have to use my own imagination. I think we will be shown something of the other side he once had in book 7. Until then, though, I'm a little reluctant to commit to how good a villian he is. I think so far there are more interesting villians in the Harry Potter books alone. Snape, for example, (Although I personally believe he is on Harry's side, some people see him as a villian and certainly he isn't exactly a good person even if he's on the good side).

That said, Voldemort does have a lot of presence, and some interesting character attributes, as well as history, which makes him a pretty good villian in that respect.

I hope that answered your question!


  #46  
Old November 15th, 2006, 10:33 pm
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Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle : Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by Picko View Post
I've always leaned towards the idea that Voldemort's ego is such that he would never consider a student a direct threat to him. I would think that Voldemort would attribute Harry's many escapes a result of simple luck or Dumbledore's intervention rather than Harry's ability. Perhaps if Harry was far older and experienced but at the moment I just cannot see Voldemort having a lot of respect for a student, nor can I see him holding back on his plans because that student is around.
I perfectly understand what you're saying, but you seem to forget the prophecy. You see, Harry has been the only person to have survived the AK curse; he has defied the Dark Lord six times, no, seven times already, so I'm sure even Voldemort has some big concerns about Harry, regardless if he is just a student (in fact, Harry was just a baby when he defied LV the first time).


  #47  
Old November 15th, 2006, 10:42 pm
njdog102  Male.gif njdog102 is offline
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Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle : Character Analysis

Wouldn't it be 5 times that he defied Voldemort. The first time when his parents were killed, then books 1,2,4, and 5. Harry didn't face Voldemort in the 3rd or 6th book.


  #48  
Old November 16th, 2006, 1:03 am
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Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle : Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by njdog102 View Post
Wouldn't it be 5 times that he defied Voldemort. The first time when his parents were killed, then books 1,2,4, and 5. Harry didn't face Voldemort in the 3rd or 6th book.
Hmmm, I think you're quite right.


  #49  
Old November 20th, 2006, 5:45 am
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Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle : Character Analysis

He's very interesting because he was a bad person almost from the time he could be anything. Its almost as if he really didnt have a choice in what he became. The account of Mrs. Cole in HBP told us that he was odd since his infancy. She said he hardly ever cried. I don't know if no crying is the sign of some mental disorder or whatever, but its just something you dont expect a baby to do.

Yet, so much emphasis is placed on the value of choices in the books. There is also no doubt that Voldemort has only himself to blame for his ultimate fate. Perhaps people are naturally inclined to be good or bad from birth and the circumstances determine how far those inclinations go. Had Voldemort been born into a reasonably supportive family, he might still be a bad person, but only to the extent that Malfoy and Dudley are. But then theres the paradoxical case of Harry, who should have turned out not a great person, but instead is a supremely good person. Would Harry really have become as good a person he is if he was brought up without the challenges?


  #50  
Old November 24th, 2006, 11:25 pm
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Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle : Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by Nicole
Just what is Voldemort's goal, besides the obvious immortality one?
I think he is just enjoying himself. He knows he is so superior to other people, they might as well be groveling at his feet and doing his bidding. It amuses him.

I think he is also disgusted by how easy people are to manipulate, the pathetic fears and desires that motivate them, and wants to distance himself from that. To attain immortality as none of them would ever be capable of achieving.

How pathetic would it be, what a waste of his talents, if he spent his life maneuvering minions, only to die like one of them and have everything he had established disappear? He might as well dominate them for all eternity. Shouldn't be too hard to figure out how, after all, and he likes a good challenge. A challenge worthy of his massive intellect, doing something no one has ever done before.

Now I have a question: why does he trust Severus Snape?


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  #51  
Old November 25th, 2006, 2:03 pm
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Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle : Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by capella_black View Post
why does he trust Severus Snape?
Personally, I don't think Voldemort trusts anyone, not even Snape. Just mho, though.

Why does Voldemort trust Snape?


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  #52  
Old November 30th, 2006, 4:07 pm
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Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle : Character Analysis

I agree that he probably does find people pretty contemptable for being so easily manipulated. If so, then the more he gets what he wants, the less enjoyable it is...

I think that so far as believing Snape will do what he says he will, the benefits probably outweight the risks. Also, as long as Voldemort feels confident he can read Snape's mind, why shouldn't he continue trusting him? I wouldn't be surprised if Snape really were his favorite. After all, he can do more than anyone else Voldemort knows, and he doesn't appear to have any ulterior motives. He's also so cold and distant that the two of them probably get along pretty well. If he actually trusted Snape, I suppose he would stop using legilimency on him. Although, who knows. Maybe if he really did believe in Snape he would want even that to be a secret, and keep doing it so no one would get the idea there was a clear favorite in the group. That sounds more like him.


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  #53  
Old November 30th, 2006, 5:10 pm
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Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle : Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by shadowdogs View Post
I agree that he probably does find people pretty contemptable for being so easily manipulated. If so, then the more he gets what he wants, the less enjoyable it is...

I think that so far as believing Snape will do what he says he will, the benefits probably outweight the risks. Also, as long as Voldemort feels confident he can read Snape's mind, why shouldn't he continue trusting him? I wouldn't be surprised if Snape really were his favorite. After all, he can do more than anyone else Voldemort knows, and he doesn't appear to have any ulterior motives. He's also so cold and distant that the two of them probably get along pretty well. If he actually trusted Snape, I suppose he would stop using legilimency on him. Although, who knows. Maybe if he really did believe in Snape he would want even that to be a secret, and keep doing it so no one would get the idea there was a clear favorite in the group. That sounds more like him.
I agree with most of what you say except for the point of Snape being his favorite. I do not think Voldemort has favorites. I believe that to him all people are expendable, Death Eater or not. He trusts only those he thinks he can read, but only takes that trust so far. I believe he is smart enough so that, if a person was to betray him, there are other things in place to compensate for that. Of course he has to trust some people with some things, but, again, I believe he gives that trust only to people he thinks he can read but does so without playing favorites. I just don't see him trusting one person more than another - I just see him trusting someone for the task at hand.


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Old November 30th, 2006, 5:28 pm
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Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle : Character Analysis

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wouldn't be surprised if Snape really were his favorite. After all, he can do more than anyone else Voldemort knows, and he doesn't appear to have any ulterior motives. He's also so cold and distant that the two of them probably get along pretty well. If he actually trusted Snape, I suppose he would stop using legilimency on him. Although, who knows. Maybe if he really did believe in Snape he would want even that to be a secret, and keep doing it so no one would get the idea there was a clear favorite in the group. That sounds more like him.
I don't think Voldemort has any favorites. I think it's like a game he lets the Death Eaters play against each other. They are always trying to be his favorite, therefore they sell each other out and don't trust each other. This works well for Voldemort because he could get a lot of information through back stabbing Death Eaters.


  #55  
Old November 30th, 2006, 11:37 pm
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Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle : Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by snapegirl77 View Post
I don't think Voldemort has any favorites. I think it's like a game he lets the Death Eaters play against each other. They are always trying to be his favorite, therefore they sell each other out and don't trust each other. This works well for Voldemort because he could get a lot of information through back stabbing Death Eaters.
But if he did have a favorite I think it would be Wormtail. Voldy thinks he is so much better and far more important than all others that all he expects from his followers is blind obedience to his orders. That is what he was trying to do in the orphanage, make himself feared and looked up to and that is exactly how Wormtail sees him.


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  #56  
Old December 1st, 2006, 3:26 pm
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Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle : Character Analysis

Oh, I didn't mean to say Voldemort and Snape are best pals or anything. But he does a lot of work for the Dark Lord, and he doesn't seem as irritating to deal with as Bellatrix or Lucius, who, despite their sycophancy, also like a lot of attention. Of course, if I were Voldemort, I would be extremely suspicious of Snape, just because he's around the second most magical person in the story. On one hand, having such a powerful wizard as a minion is a real feather in his cap, but on the other, Snape has less to gain from the association than most other DEs. I would be worried about him as competition.

Also, I always pictured Voldemort being truly disgusted by Wormtail. He did have to rely on him at one point. I'm sure Voldemort hated accepting his help. Seeing him must be a reminder that he was once helpless.

I totally agree with you, Artemis and Snapegirl, that even if he did have any real positive feelings for anyone, he would ignore them in favor of advancing his own agenda. I think he does a lot to encourage competition and spite among the DEs.


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  #57  
Old December 3rd, 2006, 10:45 pm
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Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle : Character Analysis

I don't think Voldemort likes Snape (or anyone) but I think he might have an odd sort of respect for Snape. They are both very intelligent, and if Snape plays it right, Voldemort might recognize some of his younger self there. Only Snape lacks the social skills to actually lead the Death Eaters, so he wouldn't be too threatening as someone who would take over.

Also, how many Death Eaters would dare waltz in two hours after they'd been summoned? Voldemort might sort of appreciate someone with nerve like that. Makes life a bit more interesting for him, doesn't it?

Oh, and I think he despises Wormtail.


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  #58  
Old December 3rd, 2006, 11:07 pm
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Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle : Character Analysis

Well, snape didn't "waltz in", as he explained in HBH. He had to show his allegiance to DD.


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Old December 4th, 2006, 1:14 am
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Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle : Character Analysis

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1) Do you think Voldemort deserves to be voted the "number one villain"? What qualities and/or actions make you think so (either way)?
No. I find Voldemort more interesting than terrifying. I think his character has the potential to be the #1 literary villain, but JKR has given him little "screen time" in HP, and the adult Voldemort (not Riddle) wasn't in HBP at all. How can we get to know Voldemort enough to find him truly terrigying without seeing a few more chapters from his PoV? Plus, Harry is always narrowly escaping him, and while that's necessary for the plot...it just makes Voldemort seem more like one of those cliched cartoon villains. We never really see Voldemort do anything particularly terrifying, like what Bellatrix supposedly did, but its a children's book, so we really can't expect to see tons of torture/violence.

Quote:
2) Just what is Voldemort's goal, besides the obvious immortality one? Does he want to rule the whole wizarding world or the whole world, period? Does he really care about ridding the world of Muggles, Muggleborns and Squibs, or is that just the lure to attract a group of elite-by-blood followers? What made him circumvent the Ministry of Magic route when it seems a political career would be an asset on the path to a goal of world domination? What aspects of his personality keep his minions loyal to his wishes?
I don't think he cares about muggleborns. He just wants control. I think that he gave up on the ministry as an option because he finds government to be slow and dull, and Voldemort likes breaking rules and making a scene rather than conforming and gradually changing. He wants to be "special" and being another government Minister wouldn't be good enough.

Quote:
6. How effective are Voldemort's methods for controlling his followers? How do his methods compare to those of other leaders in the Potterverse?
Voldemort tries to have a personal "freindship" with them, calls them his "most loyal servant", etc. When that dosn't work, he uses torture and threats. Fudge is different because he is more stubborn, and fights with someone on basically the same side (Dumbledore) for all of OotP instead of realizing the real enemy. Voldemort tries to make his followers his "friends" to increase their loyalty.


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Old December 4th, 2006, 2:27 pm
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Re: Lord Voldemort aka Tom Marvolo Riddle : Character Analysis

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Well, snape didn't "waltz in", as he explained in HBH. He had to show his allegiance to DD.
I agree. If Snape returned to Voldemort the second he could have, his usefullness to Voldemort would be limited. Granted, he had many years worth of information already to give to Voldemort. It just makes more sense for Snape to wait, go back late and explain that he still could spy on Dumbledore after all these years. That's very useful to Voldemort.


 
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