Harry Potter is one of the most famous and universally beloved fictional franchises of all time, and Lord Voldemort, the story's main villain, is one of the most feared, reviled, and reluctantly enjoyed bad guys in all of fiction. Voldemort's single-minded obsession with becoming the greatest dark wizard alive was the driving force behind his meteoric rise as well as his unbelievable downfall. The terrifying simplicity of his character made him one of the scariest villains children and adults ever saw.
But while Lord Voldemort is one of the most epic villains of all time, there are of course elements of his characterization that seemed to work well or make sense at the time, but that in retrospect seem downright absurd. There are quite a few elements of Voldemort's character that haven't really stood the test of time, and here's the 10 most glaring examples of that.
10 His Obsession With Blood Purity
So Lord Voldemort is hardly the only wizard in Harry Potter who is obsessed with blood purity, and it's clear that this is J.K. Rowling's magical allegory for real life racists.
However, Voldemort is one of the most powerful wizards who ever lived, yet he's a half blood. Plenty of other wizards who have been extraordinary have been half blood or less, and plenty of pure bloods have been utter and complete failures at magic. Voldemort is incredibly arrogant and at least not a total moron, so his blood purity obsession seems pretty illogical.
9 His Raging Mommy Issues
Horrendous villains with raging mommy issues is a trope that has become so painfully overused that it's more surprising when an evil person doesn't have serious maternal issues. Voldemort seems to be entirely devoid of love or even basic human caring, however both Harry and Dumbledore speculate that perhaps if Merope Gaunt had survived childbirth then the darkest of dark wizards may never have turned quite so evil.
And, just no. A mother's love is certainly one of the most powerful magical forces in the Harry Potter universe, however the absence of it does not make Voldemort who he is.
8 His Raging Daddy Issues
It's actually interesting to see how someone as evil and vile as Lord Voldemort can come from relatively mundane and relatable circumstances. However Voldemort's idolization turned loathing of his father is just unnecessary in retrospect.
Voldemort initially believed that his father must have been the source of his magical power since his mother died at childbirth: something that seemed ignominious for someone with magical abilities. But once he realized that his father was a muggle, his reaction was more predictable than his refusal to believe his father's muggle heritage was possible.
7 His Totalitarian Regime
Voldemort's desire to become the unequivocal ruler of the magical world no matter what is an accurate reflection of many of the world's most terrifying real life readers.
And while it seemed like totalitarian regimes had become a thing of the past around the time the Harry Potter books were being released, the frightening and abrupt rise of far right bigotry and policies now makes Voldemort's behavior and beliefs just hit a little too close to home. The world is scary enough on it's own, and the villain in children's books doesn't necessarily have to be.
6 His Resurrection On Quirrell's Head
The resurgence and rebirth of Lord Voldemort is one of the longest and most important storylines inHarry Potter, but his very first appearance really did not stand the test of time.
Aside from Quirrell somehow having a LITERAL OTHER FACE on the back of his head that he managed to hide for a year without anyone noticing, the special effects that made this book plot point a reality really look awful years later. Voldemort is meant to be the scariest wizard of all time, but his appearance in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone looks downright laughable today.
5 The Evil Orphan Trope
It's clear that Voldemort and Harry are supposed to contrast and parallel one another in many ways, one of the biggest being that while both are orphans, Voldemort became the most evil wizard of all time whereas Harry remained a good and loving person.
And while tragically losing both of your parents is an undoubtedly traumatic experience, it's pretty weak to use that as an explanation for becoming one of the most monstrous beings that ever lived. Blaming the parents for the failures of their children feels incredibly dated in this day and age.
4 He Who Must Not Be Named
For most of Harry Potter, most witches and wizards are so terrified of the mere memory of Lord Voldemort that they refuse to say his name. Instead of speaking the word Voldemort aloud, they choose to refer to him as "You-Know-Who" or "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named."
Wizards are supposed to be so terrified of saying his name that there is even a plot point about putting a magical taboo on his name to find the people who aren't afraid to say it. But in retrospect, were there really no other ways to refer to Voldemort that wasn't quite as clunky and childish?
3 His Appearance
Voldemort was undoubtedly consumed with the acquisition of power and domination of the wizarding world, but the fact that those were his priorities doesn't mean that nothing else could have mattered to him.
Voldemort's appearance was intimidating and disturbing, but there's no way on earth that someone as vain and as powerful as him would accept looking that haggard. Young Tom Riddle was known a handsome boy, and Voldemort undoubtedly would have wanted to be the best wizard at absolutely everything, including being the best looking wizard that the wizarding world had ever seen.
2 His Incessant Soliloquies
To say that Lord Voldemort had a flair for drama would be the understatement of the century. It seems like Voldy couldn't accomplish anything without making it the most dramatic thing that's ever been done. He certainly loved to lavishly state his own superiority at every opportunity.
However, you'd think after a while that he would have figured out that if he could just shut the hell up and do what needs doing then a lot of his plans that failed miserably would have actually been successful. Yes he's arrogant beyond belief, but he's also not that dumb.
1 His Over The Top Schemes
Similarly, if Voldemort could have just shut his mouth and gotten the job done or just executed a simple but effective plan then he likely would have won the Wizarding War.
After being bested by baby Harry, it seemed like Voldemort could never be satisfied by simply defeating him; he had to invite an audience in the great show of killing Harry Potter once and for all. If he had just dedicated himself to accomplishing a certain task instead of needing to show off at every turn, then he could have become the king he always envisioned himself as.