He Was A Man Of Many Names
Speaking of names â even if it is one that’s not supposed to be spoken â Voldemort is a man of many. Fans of the series should be acquainted with most of them, but there are some that many will have never encountered. Most will tell you that Voldemort’s real name is Tom Marvolo Riddle, but that’s not entirely true. At least not for some of those who only read the books, that is.
In order to fit in with the fantastic “I am Lord Voldemort” reveal in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Voldemort’s name was changed in many foreign language versions of the book. In French, for example, he is known as Tom Elvis Jedusor while in Dutch language versions of the book he’s called Marten Asmodom Vilijn . Pretty much every foreign language version makes changes in this regard with some being drastically different from the original.
First Rise Of The Dark Lord: 1970s
Many of the witches and wizards who joined him came for a share of the power he offered, but increasingly many joined his following out of fear of reprisal. The years of Voldemorts ascent to power were marked with disappearances, and increasingly open violence.
Each Death Eater bore a sign, the Dark Mark, a skull with a serpent protruding from its mouth like a tongue, burned into his or her left inner forearm by the Dark Lord when they had killed, Death Eaters would send the same sign into the air, comprised of emerald stars blazing in a haze of greenish smoke, causing terror when it was seen.
Voldemorts first reign of terror lasted eleven years. During this time, Voldemort and his minions attacked anyone who resisted or who defended the rights of Muggles and Muggle-born wizards, and marked the gruesome scenes of torture and murder with the Dark Mark lest anyone else think to stand in their way. Whole families were wiped out and many others went into hiding.
Overwhelmed by reports of deaths, disappearances, and torture in an atmosphere of terror, Bartemius Crouch, then Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, authorized Aurors to use the Unforgivable Curses against suspects, empowered them to kill rather than capture, and some suspects were handed to the dementors without trial. Still, the Ministry could not cope with the situation, so Albus Dumbledore began organizing the resistance, creating the group that became known as The Order of the Phoenix .
The Different Meanings Behind Lord Voldemorts Many Names
Harrys introduction to the artist formerly known as Tom Riddle came from Hagrid, but with most of the wizarding world refusing to discuss the self-styled Lord Voldemort, it was Dumbledore who first named him for us.
It all gets so confusing if we keep saying You- Know-Who. I have never seen any reason to be frightened of saying Voldemorts name, he told Professor McGonagall at the beginning of Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone. Later he explained to Harry: Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.
As feats of defiance go it might seem a small thing, but given that inciting fear was a key Voldemort tactic, Dumbledores casual treatment carried a certain kind of resistance. But if Dumbledores resistance was, at least initially, subtle, Voldemorts was definitely not…
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Defense Against The Dark Arts
After graduating Hogwarts, Tom Riddle twice requests to return to the school to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts. The first time is immediately after graduation when he asks then-Headmaster Armando Dippet, who refuses because of the teen’s age and tells him to come back in a few years and ask again.
The second time is at least a decade later when Tom has more fully transformed physically and mentally into Lord Voldemort by diving deep into the Dark Arts and murdering people to create his Horcruxes. This time, Albus Dumbledore is the headmaster of Hogwarts but still refuses Tom the position. Dumbledore also confronts Voldemort about his true intentions for returning to the school, suspecting that the dark wizard wants to amass more followers for his army. The short conversation and denial of the post seal the resentment Voldemort feels toward Dumbledore the one person who refuses to be charmed and disillusioned by the young man.
Voldemort’s visit to Hogwarts ends with him “cursing” the Defense Against the Dark Arts position and successfully hiding Rowena Ravenclaw’s diadem in the Room of Requirement, which Voldemort has turned into a Horcrux.
Dumbledore’s History With Voldemort Explained
While the relationship between Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort is the crux of the entire series of books and films, the history between former Hogwarts Headmaster Albus Dumbledore and the dark wizard is equally fascinating. Though Voldemort vehemently boasted of his immortal power and refused to admit any fear, Dumbledore was the one wizard he was scared of.
In the “Harry Potter” books and films, Voldemort and Dumbledore first meet when the former was 11 years old, in an orphanage, and went by his birth name of Tom Riddle. As a result of his cruel and loveless childhood, Tom was prone to manipulative cruelty and violence even as his magical powers and narcissism grew. However, even as Tom evolved into Voldemort and became the most powerful dark wizard in history, Dumbledore still out-mastered him in both magical abilities and in the one thing Voldemort never possessed: love.
In a similar relationship to Dumbledore’s and Gellert Grindelwald’s, the one between Voldemort and Dumbledore goes back decades and is rooted in a quest for power and immortality. In parallels to Dumbledore’s defeat of Grindelwald after the dark wizard tries to take over the world, Dumbledore is also a key part of both of Voldemort’s defeats, including his final true death at the hands of Harry Potter.
From Horcruxes and Deathly Hallows to Hogwarts lessons and the love of Severus Snape, here’s the full history of Dumbledore’s relationship with Voldemort.
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They Just Give Up When Voldemort Dies
A worship of power unites the Death Eaters. Voldemort, to them, is power incarnate. Prejudice against muggle-born wizards and societal ties to each other bring them together as well, of course. But what truly binds them to each other is the belief that they are the best wizards around, wielding power that entitles them to rule the world. So, why, exactly, does this group of fanatics abandon their quest to take over the world when their leader dies?
When Voldemort falls, along with top lieutenants like Bellatrix Lestrange, the Death Eaters just … give up. Some, like the Malfoys, are pardoned after helping the forces of good, and some are imprisoned, but the rest simply give up, disband, and melt back into normal society. How can it be that no resistance to this new status quo forms? Can there really be no Voldemort supporters out there, looking to finance further Death Eater havoc? They can’t all have been faking their ardent devotion to Voldemort, and they can’t all have suddenly given up their obsession with power. The Death Eaters disappear with far too much ease, given their hardcore devotion to domination at all costs.
Why Don’t They All Take The Unbreakable Vow
Part of the joy of the Harry Potter universe is discovering new spells. Who among us does not envy being able to “Accio” our lost keys? Few spells, however, are as useful as the Unbreakable Vow, which forces its users to promise to do something under pain of death. So why aren’t the Death Eaters forced to make an Unbreakable Vow to Voldemort?
Voldemort is willing to rip his soul into shreds and murder helpless children to achieve his goals. Why wouldn’t he force every single Death Eater to make an Unbreakable Vow never to betray him? If the Death Eater honors the deal, awesome. If they don’t? They die. No muss, no fuss. If Voldemort had made Severus Snape take this vow when he first joined the Death Eaters, the story would have turned out quite differently. Moreover, anyone unwilling to enter into an Unbreakable Vow would be instantly singled out as a traitor. Seems like this would have been a more effective test of loyalty than having everyone get a tattoo of a skull.
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Bellatrix Lestrange Was Irrevocably Devoted To Voldemort & His Cause
Bellatrix remained loyal to the Dark Lord and his cause even after his disappearance. She frequently used the Cruciatus Curse on Voldemort’s enemies, including Alice and Frank Longbottom, before her capture and imprisonment. After escaping Azkaban, she immediately reunited with Voldemort and began serving him again.
While trying to recover the Prophecy from the Department of Mysteries, Bellatrix fought her niece, Tonks, and murdered her cousin, Sirius. Two years later, she would give birth to her and Voldemort’s secret child, Delphini, in Malfoy Manor, who only appeared in The Cursed Child. Bellatrix would later torture and question Hermione in the Malfoy Manor. Despite her skill and bloodthirst, Bellatrix was defeated and killed by Mrs. Weasley during the Battle of Hogwarts for threatening Ginny.
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Few villains are as iconic as Voldemort and his snake-tattooed followers, the Death Eaters.
Few villains are as iconic as Voldemort and his snake-tattooed followers, the Death Eaters. Their decades-long plot to kill Harry Potter and force a pure-blood reform on the Wizarding World made them as hateful as they were fearsome, especially once they began gaining power in the last Harry Potter films.
While under Voldemort’s rule, the Death Eaters committed multiple atrocities. For example, killing and torturing both wizards and Muggles alike, allying with dark creatures with their own terrible agendas, and taking over the Ministry of Magic.
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Deaths Disappearances And Injuries
Deaths known to be caused by the Death Eaters
Deaths suspected to be caused by Death Eaters
- Hannah Abbott’s mother .
Permanent injuries known to be caused by Death Eaters
- Alice and Frank Longbottom, tortured into insanity by Bellatrix Lestrange and others, fall or winter of 1980 .
- Remus Lupin, bitten by the werewolf Fenrir Greyback .
- Bill Weasley, bitten by the untransformed werewolf Fenrir Greyback .
Non-permanent injuries caused by Death Eaters
- Campsite manager Mr. Roberts and his family were levitated at the Quidditch World Cup by Death Eaters led by Lucius Malfoy. They were caught before they hit the ground, but had to have their memories modified .
- Katie Bell, placed under the Imperius Curse, possibly by Draco Malfoy. Cursed again when she touched a Dark magic necklace of opals .
Disappearances possibly caused by Death Eaters
- Caradoc Dearborn . Dearborn was a member of the first Order of the Phoenix during the 1970s.
- Mr. Ollivander: kidnapped by Death Eaters in the first weeks of the Second Wizarding War and used to manufacture wands for the Death Eaters recently escaped from Azkaban .
- Florian Fortescue: appears to have been “dragged off” by Death Eaters in the first weeks of the Second Wizarding War .
Lucius Malfoy’s Superiority Complex Made Him Voldemort’s Second
Lucius Malfoy worked as a Death Eater during both Wizarding Wars, being blinded by his own superiority complex and Voldemort’s blood-purity pursuits. Both times he managed to escape a life-long sentence in Azkaban relatively unscathed – despite playing an important role in Voldemort’s imminent rebirth.
Aside from making sure Ginny obtained Tom Riddle’s diary, Malfoy also lent his house to be used as Voldemort’s lair, corrupted his underage son into becoming a Death Eater, and placed the Imperius Curse on multiple Ministry officials. He was one of the few high-ranking Death Eaters to remain free after the Battle of Hogwarts.
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Mind Reading Could Come In Handy
Any good despot knows to value the loyalty of their followers. Few folks are as devoted to their leader as the Death Eaters, though some looking at you, Bellatrix Lestrange are a bit more fanatical than others. After Voldemort falls to the infant Harry Potter, many Death Eaters claim to have been under the Imperius curse. Then, upon Voldemort’s resurrection, they return to his side, claiming unwavering loyalty. But how is Voldemort to know who is telling the truth?
It’s simple: Legilimency. Legilimency is the magical art of reading minds. Voldemort is an accomplished Legilimens, as is Severus Snape. It is made clear that Voldemort uses this ability to check the loyalty of his Death Eaters on the regular it’s why Snape has to become so good at Occlumency, the ability that blocks Legilimency but for some reason, he restrains himself in key moments. Take the Malfoy family as they exist late in the books, when their loyalty is crumbling. They harbor doubts, to the point that Narcissa Malfoy lies to Voldemort’s face when he asks her if Harry Potter is really dead. Why doesn’t he use Legilimency in that moment? Why, in so many crucial moments, does a man without any problem strolling into others’ minds choose to trust their words alone?
He Was Actually A Half
Despite his assertion that Wizards should rule over the Muggle world and his now-infamous “Magic is Might” motto, it may surprise some series fans to learn that the Dark Lord was actually a half-blood wizard himself. His father, Tom Riddle Senior, was very much a muggle, something that Voldemort could never really come to terms with, as evidenced by his decision to murder both his father and his paternal grandparents when he was just 16 years old.
After taking on the Voldemort persona, Riddle set about highlighting his connections to the Gaunt family, whose lineage could be traced back as far as Salazar Slytherin. Eventually, after seizing enough power, he’s eventually able to come to terms with his muggle parentage and drop the act a little, though it’s doubtful that snobbish elitists like Lucious Malfoy would have accepted him as their leader so readily had they known the truth from the very beginning.
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Their Numbers Make No Sense
No revolution is the work of a single person, even if that person is a snake-faced, semi-immortal, ultra-evil wizard like Lord Voldemort. As Voldemort gains power, he also gains followers, but exactly how many he gathers is never made clear. To take over an entire society and essentially rule the world, you probably need more than the 30-ish wizards and witches named in the books and movies. Yet those are all the Death Eaters fans are ever introduced to.
In the first war against Voldemort, the Dark Lord seems to have had the might of hundreds of supporters. But how many of those supporters were actual Death Eaters? Not every supporter of the Dark Lord is a Death Eater, as not every supporter of Dumbledore is in the Order of the Phoenix. This murkiness gives fans pause: Who, exactly, is doing Voldemort’s dirty work? Can it all be chalked up to the handful of named baddies fans are introduced to? How much of it can be credited to the work of people like Sirius Black’s family wealthy purebloods who support Voldemort, but aren’t going out at night to burn down houses and murder muggles in their beds?
Though the Death Eaters are undoubtedly a powerful group, no leader can hope to rule for long without a large army and widespread support. It’s unclear if Voldemort ever had either of those, even if he had as much as a few hundred Death Eaters at one point.
Attempted Murder Of A Child
Sure, it’s the most obvious of Voldemort’s despicable acts, but that doesn’t make the attempted murder of a child any less reprehensible. Voldemort’s decision to act on the overheard prophesy is, in the end, his own undoing as his spell rebounds on him from the sacrifice of Lily Potter for her son, Voldemort is thrown into oblivion, hanging on to life only through his soul-tearing horcruxes, a state described as being worse than death.
The most terrible of Voldemort’s crimes is the murder of the innocent an infant child who’s done no wrong other than be born at the wrong place and the wrong time. In one of the series’ most powerful moments, Dumbledore reveals to Harry his theory that if Voldemort had simply ignored the prophesy, it would never have come true. Voldemort would never have created his own worst enemy, and the Dark Lord would have reigned unchallenged and supreme. As always, though, Voldemort fails to see what’s right in front of him and enters the home of the Potters, forever sealing his fate.
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Toying With Draco’s Emotions
Everyone’s favorite emo-haired, brooding bully is actually a tremendously complicated character who faces a host of challenging circumstances at a very young age. Wealthy and culturally privileged, Draco rarely receives the love and affection that he so desperately craves. Having two pureblood, Death Eater parents comes with its challenges: Draco is perpetually forced to put on a false face for the world, knowing his family is actually devoted to the re-emergence of the Dark Lord and his fanaticism for pure-blood supremacy.
All culminates when, with his father Lucious imprisoned, Voldemort calls on Draco to provide entry for Death Eaters into Hogwarts during Harry’s sixth year. Draco struggles to handle these difficult, burdensome tasks. He eventually succeeds, however, and Death Eaters intrude upon Hogwarts. Draco is unable to finish the task ultimately assigned to him: killing Dumbledore. Instead, everyone’s favorite potions teacher performs the deed. Draco, torn and conflicted throughout the entire second war, defects hours before the culminating Battle of Hogwarts, saving himself and his mother from imprisonment.
Peter Pettigrew Betrayed His Friends In The Name Of Power
The fourth member of the Marauders, Wormtail was a member of the Order of the Phoenix before defecting to the dark side and joining Voldemort’s Death Eaters. His hunger for power led him to betray his longtime friends, James and Lily Potter, who died while protecting their son from Voldemort.
After living for twelve years in his rat form, Wormtail returned to a weakened Voldemort and helped him regain his strength, even cutting off his own hand during the ritual in Goblet Of Fire. His cowardice and weakness were his ultimate downfall, as he died for hesitating to kill Harry at Malfoy Manor.
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