Across movies and literature, few villains have become as iconic as Lord Voldemort. Even people who have never read the books or seen the Harry Potter movies can recognize the name. He terrorized the wizarding world for decades, to the point that people were afraid to even say his name. Sure, he was finally taken down by a teenager, but it did take that teenager seven years.
Harry had to get through seemingly endless hurdles, live life on the run, and outmaneuver Death Eaters to finally get to a point where he could take out Voldemort - and he had a lot of help. It also took seven victories to finally finish the Dark Lord. He came frighteningly close to achieving immortality through his Horcruxes, making him an even more formidable opponent.
Voldemort recruited thousands of loyal followers, got away with countless crimes and basically redefined dark magic. However, he didn't become the most dangerous dark wizard of all time by sheer luck and timing. Voldemort was a gifted wizard, and he used his skills to employed his magical knowledge at every turn. Also, being born in the early '40s, he was quite a bit older than Harry Potter - he literally had decades more experience as a wizard.
During that time, Voldemort was not only able to study and perfect complex spells, but he was also able to invent some as well. With such extensive knowledge, there are bound to be things that only he is able to do. Harry Potter was an exceptional wizard, but there were plenty of areas where Voldemort outmatched him.
Here are the 17 Things Voldemort Can Do (That Harry Potter Can't).
17 Fly Without A Broom
Harry Potter was known for many things. One big thing was his ability to fly. He was a phenomenal Seeker for the Gryffindor Quidditch team, and he even relied on his flying skills to get through the first task of the Triwizard tournament. Voldemort never played Quidditch, but then again, he didn't need a broom to fly.
During his transformation from Tom Riddle into Voldemort, the Dark Lord figured out how to fly through thin air.
According to J.K. Rowling, this process is similar to doing magic without a wand (something Voldemort was also very gifted at). Brooms, like wands, are tools used to channel magic. Voldemort was so tuned into his magic, he could get where he needed to go by flight – something Harry himself never mastered.
16 Bestow the Dark Mark
Lord Voldemort amassed thousands of followers over the years who would come to be called Death Eaters. Once they had officially pledged their allegiance to the Dark Lord, Voldemort's closest followers would be branded with the Dark Mark. It was basically a magical tattoo on their left forearm. Voldemort would use it to summon his Death Eaters at will. There is no possible way of getting rid of the Dark Mark.
Like Voldemort, Harry did attract some followers, though not nearly in the same way. He led the group that called themselves Dumbledore's Army. However, the group only formed so that they could learn how to defend themselves in battle, since Umbridge refused to teach them. Harry was their teacher, but never their "lord." All they had to do was sign up, not get branded.
15 Create Horcruxes
One of Voldemort's defining character traits was his desire to cheat his demise. To do that, he created seven Horcruxes, each with a piece of his soul hidden inside so he could return if something ever happened to his body.
Theoretically, Harry could definitely create a Horcrux. The exact process of creating one is unclear, but the key component is claiming a life, which is something Harry would never do.
The only person he ever took the life of was Voldemort himself. On top of that, Harry would likely never want to achieve immortality. When push came to shove, he willingly sacrificed to save everyone else, not knowing that he would be able to come back. So realistically, it makes sense that Voldemort was the only one to create Horcruxes in the series.
One of the biggest plot points of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was Harry's legilimency lessons. After Harry saw Nagini's attack on Arthur Weasley in his sleep, Dumbledore realized how strong the connection between Harry and Voldemort was so he instructed Snape to start teaching Harry how to protect his mind.
Legilimency was one of Voldemort's strongest abilities. Snape even noted how Voldemort took pleasure in invading the minds of his victims. In the long run, Harry's lessons didn't make much difference. Voldemort was able to make Harry think that Sirius was being tortured in the Department of Mysteries and Harry saw the attack on Gringott's after stealing the cup. Though he was sometimes able to keep the Dark Lord out, more often than not, Harry was easily manipulated.
13 Curse a job
Voldemort was many things: vindictive, emotionless, and egotistical. However, above all, he was petty. The Dark Lord could hold a grudge like no one else. When he was turned down for the Defense Against the Dark Arts position at Hogwarts, Voldemort was so angry that he literally cursed the position.
From then on, every person who landed the job was there for no more than a year.
Harry Potter was an angsty character, there's no denying that. It's a trait that most fans agree that he passed on to his son, as seen in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. However, the only real grudge he held was against Voldemort taking out his parents (which is obviously valid). Harry would never - and really could never - curse a job just because he was turned away.
12 Create a Blood-sacrificing curse
Voldemort was the most dangerous wizard of all time, and a big part of that was due to how smart he was. As a student at Hogwarts, Tom Riddle was a dedicated pupil. His areas of interest were less than ideal, but he devoted himself to honing his skills to near perfection.
This eventually led to him being able to create spells and – what he used more often – curses. One of his more intricate curses came as part of protecting his Horcrux in Salazar Slytherin's locket. No one could even get into the cave without first weakening themselves via blood sacrifice. It was an impressive feat of magic, one that even Dumbledore would've struggled to accomplish. Harry was a talented wizard, and with years of training, he could probably invent equally intricate spells, but during his time facing Voldemort, it definitely wouldn't have happened.
Through legilimency, Voldemort could get inside anyone's head. However, in some cases, he wanted to do more. Harry Potter was one such case. When the two faced off at the Ministry of Magic in Order of the Phoenix, Voldemort actually possessed Harry's mind and body.
Voldemort was able to speak through Harry, mess with his memories, and cause intense pain.
He could also possess animals, though his magic was limited while in those bodies. It's said that in the years after trying to take down Harry, Voldemort would often possess snakes and this is why his face came to look how it did. This has never officially been confirmed, but it would make sense. Voldemort was very attached to his Hogwarts house, being a direct descendant of Salazar Slytherin, and snakes were clearly important to him.
10 Implant False Memories
In the magical world, it's very easy to erase memories altogether. Both Hermione Granger and Gilderoy Lockhart were particularly gifted at that spell. However, adding entirely new memories is much harder. Even so, Voldemort could do it - and he did, at least twice.
For the most part, he used it for the purposes of framing others for his crimes. The first time Voldemort used the Memory Modifying Charm was on his uncle, Morfin Gaunt. Voldemort implanted the memory of taking the lives of the rest of the Riddles, making it easier to place the crime on Gaunt. He then used it again later on a house-elf. The actual name for the incantation has not been revealed, but odds are high that it's not something that was taught at Hogwarts.
9 Create an army of zombies
In the Wizarding World, lots of mythical creatures are real: unicorns, werewolves, even giants. One creature that isn't real is zombies. However, Voldemort came pretty close to making that happen. As another means of protection for his locket Horcrux, he created inferi.
Using necromancy, Voldemort reanimated the bodies of his victims to guard his treasure.
The spells used to create inferi are very complex. Once again, Voldemort's advanced magical knowledge helped him achieve this feat. Inferi can only be destroyed by fire, making them a valuable asset to the Dark Lord. Where exactly he learned this skill is unclear, but it's doubtful it came from Hogwarts – even from the restricted section. Harry would never have any use for an army of inferi, but even if he did, it would take years for him to crack the spell.
8 Claim Lives
Voldemort was willing to do anything and everything he had to to get what he wanted - and this included claiming lives. He took down anyone who got in his way in any form. Lily and James Potter were among the very lucky few who escaped him, and they did it not once, but three times.
Voldemort took eight lives alone just to create his Horcruxes (he took down both Lily and James on the night that a piece of him was transferred into Harry). Voldemort didn't have any regard for lives outside of his own. For example, think of how easily he took Cedric Diggory's life. Harry was always conscious of risk; he didn't even want his friends coming with him to the Department of Mysteries for fear of them getting hurt.
7 Detach from people
Voldemort always had followers, never friends. He did what it took to get what he wanted from people. Sometimes this included feigning a friendship. However, in reality, Voldemort never truly cared for anyone but himself; he couldn't feel emotions like a normal person could. This stems from the fact that he was born as the result of a love potion. Then, when his father left and his mother didn't give him attention, Tom Riddle's ways were sealed.
Harry even taunts Voldemort with his lack of connection in Order of the Phoenix, saying how Voldemort will "never know love or friendship. And I feel sorry for you."
It's Harry's happy memories of his friends and their bond that help him to knock Voldemort out of control.
6 Work with dementors
One of the creatures that Voldemort and his followers relied most heavily on was the Dementor. They had legions of Dementors at their disposal, and often sent them off to torture people. In Order of the Phoenix, Harry and Dudley are attacked by a pair of Dementors at the behest of Voldemort (though Cornelius Fudge refused to believe it). Because they generally worked alongside the creatures, Death Eaters never learned to conjure a Patronus.
Harry was particularly sensitive to Dementors, as we learn in Prisoner of Azkaban. According to Lupin, it's likely because there is so much pain in Harry's past. The Dementors can sense this and so they target him specifically. As a result, Harry learns to conjure a Patronus very early on in his education. It's highly doubtful that he'd ever be capable of working alongside the creatures.
5 Move against Dumbledore
In his life, there was only one person who Voldemort truly feared: Dumbledore. He knew that Dumbledore saw him for what he was: a manipulative, vindictive boy obsessed with power. Dumbledore kept Tom Riddle under close watch, making it much hard for him to complete his nefarious deeds. Of course, this made Dumbledore Voldemort's number one target. The fact that he also owned the Elder Wand didn't help his case.
On the contrary, Dumbledore was a close mentor and friend to Harry. He trusted his professor implicitly, even when the assigned tasks were crazy and dangerous.
Harry made this very clear when talking to Aberforth Dumbledore. He even yelled at Ron for doubting their former headmaster while hunting Horcruxes. He would never do anything to hurt Dumbledore.
4 Frame the innocent
During his ascent to "Dark Lord" status, Tom Riddle had to take great care to cover his tracks. He couldn't raise any red flags if he wanted to quietly build a following, so he got really good at redirecting blame. He framed multiple people for his own work. In fact, he was quite successful at it.
In Chamber of Secrets, we learn that Riddle framed Hagrid for the demise of the student who would eventually become Moaning Myrtle. He convinced the headmaster that Hagrid's spider Aragog was to blame, rather than Riddle's basilisk. Because of this, Hagrid's wand stripped from him. However, even before this, Riddle framed his Uncle Morfin Gaunt for claiming the lives of the rest of the Riddle family. Gaunt had a history of torturing muggles, which added a lot to Riddle's story.
3 Have authority at Hogwarts
During his time at Hogwarts, Tom Riddle was very charming. He was able to get both students and teachers to give him what he wanted, when he wanted it. So really, it should come as no surprise that he was made a prefect. You can even spot the designating pin on his robes during Chamber of Secrets.
With the title of prefect, Riddle had extra authority in the halls of the school.
Prefects are allowed to take House points away and they patrol the train on the way to school and the hallways while at school. On top of all that, Tom Riddle was later named Head Boy, giving him authority over all of the prefects. All in all, he had a lot of pull at Hogwarts. Both Ron and Hermione were made prefects, but Harry never was.
2 Telepathic communication
As mentioned by Snape, the Dark Lord took great pleasure in invading the minds of people using legilimency. However, he didn't always to make his victims see things. Sometimes, he could get inside peoples heads just with his voice. This is something that we see in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.
Once Voldemort realizes that Harry has infiltrated the castle, he is able to project his voice throughout the grounds. For whatever reason, it seems to affect the women more, as multiple female students begin screaming when Voldemort begins his speech. Even Molly Weasley seems to be struggling when Voldemort's voice comes through again mid-battle. It's unclear how exactly he does it, but it's effective.
1 Take over the Ministry of Magic
In order to take over the magical world, it's essential that the government is on your side. That was something that Voldemort had no trouble making happen. Using the imperius curse, Voldemort and his followers were able to gain control over people close to the Minister, including Pius Thicknesse. With this, the Death Eaters successfully infiltrated the ministry and murdered the Minister for Magic (Rufus Scrimgeour at the time), and made quick work of taking over.
Harry and his friends could barely make it in undetected, and certainly didn't make it out undetected.
Without the numbers, and of course, the willingness to take by force – remember, they were reluctant to use the imperius curse at Gringotts – Harry and his team could never have taken the Ministry back without destroying Voldemort altogether.
Are there any other things that Voldemort can do that Harry can't in the Harry Potter series? Let us know in the comments!