Voldemort is considered to be one of the most compelling villains in young adult literature, as he has skyrocketed into the pop culture stratosphere. Whether or not you’re charmed by Tom Riddle or transfixed by the sheer magnitude of his evil, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named has many secrets that he’d rather you not know about. The world that J. K. Rowling built with the Harry Potter universe is so expansive and well thought-out, that there is never a shortage of new information for fans to learn about after all these years.
Voldemort may not be the most loved character, but his influence has certainly left a chilling effect upon a generation of movie-goers. Like him or not, Lord Voldemort is a well-developed character that has quite the backstory threaded through the expansive Harry Potter universe.
Not only was Voldemort a formidable foe, his ability to recruit Death Eaters to do his bidding takes him to a while knew level. Voldemort was an extremely accomplished and resourceful wizard. It should be no surprise that Lord Voldemort has many fascinating secrets ready to be received through a Pensieve. These facts about Lord Voldemort certainly don’t take away from his evil legacy, but they are still fascinating.
Here are 15 Facts Even Die-Hard Fans Don’t Know About Voldemort.
15 The “T” in Voldemort is supposed to be silent
It seems fitting that the name of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named would be up for debate. J.K. Rowling announced on her Twitter that the "T" in Voldemort is silent, but assures fans she’s the only one who pronounces it that way.
Now that Voldemort has been immortalized in 8 films, 7 books, and various other forms of media, it’s probably set in stone that Voldemort is pronounced with the T, but it’s still unsettling to think that Voldemort’s iconic name was supposed to sound entirely different.
Voldemort’s name in French means "flight of death", which is actually integral to the plot of Harry Potter. This name is quite meaningful when you consider the important role the Horcruxes played in the story. However it is pronounced, it’s a really great name.
14 Harry And Voldemort Are Likely Relatives
While Rowling revealed that nearly all wizarding families are related to the brothers from the Deathly Hallows story, Voldemort and Harry share a personal connection. Both of them are in possession of family heirlooms that are part of the Hallows. Harry is related to Ignotus and it is likely that Voldemort is related to Cadmus.
Voldemort is obsessed with the idea of death and trying to learn how to manipulate and control it. There are some who may wonder why Voldemort wouldn’t go after the Deathly Hallows, but Dumbledore dismisses this idea.
The only Hallow that Voldemort would likely want is the Elder Wand, as there is nobody that he would want to resurrect and he is likely to arrogant to believe he needs the cloak. Dumbledore does insist that Voldemort would want the Elder Wand simply because would make him invincible.
13 Voldemort is not capable of love
Voldemort’s mother, Merope, was a witch who became infatuated with a muggle named Tom Riddle Sr. This set off a chain of events that would leave the couple's son to become not only unlovable, but simply incapable of love.
Merope decided to give Riddle Sr. a love potion and Voldemort was conceived while his father was still under its effects. This made Voldemort incapable of feeling the emotion love, having never been the product of it. To make matters worse, when Riddle Sr. snapped out of the effects of the love potion, he fled.
Voldemort’s mother then died, leaving him as an orphan. It’s clear that Voldemort never had much of a chance in the love department and grew up a cold and conniving young wizard who was obsessed with family purity and greatness.
12 Dumbledore Tells Harry That He Is A Horcrux In Chamber Of Secrets
Horcruxes become integral to the plot in The Half-Blood Prince, when Dumbledore tasks Harry with seeking them out. Dumbledore believed that Voldemort was unlikely too proud to believe that a young, inexperienced wizard would be the one to figure this out and defeat him.
The tasks required of Harry were meant for somebody of the caliber of Dumbledore’s strength. Regardless, Harry began his quest to destroy the seven Horcruxes and defeat the Dark Lord for good. While we now know that Harry was the last Horcrux, due to the events of The Deathly Hallows, Dumbledore actualy informs Harry of this at the end of The Chamber of Secrets.
Harry shares a mental connection with Voldemort because of this bond and his visions get increasingly worse throughout the series. Harry also speaks parseltongue. It is later discovered that this is due to his connection with Voldemort.
11 Voldemort is related to Salazar Slytherin
The Chamber of Secrets marked a dark point for Harry Potter series. While the first installment had its fair share of creepy moments, it was clear from the first petrified student that the stakes had been raised.
The discovery that Tom Riddle was the one who opened the Chamber of Secrets wasn't only an important part of this story, but it’s integral for Tom Riddle to establish his relation to Salazar Slytherin. Obsessed with being a pure-blood, Tom Riddle could only open the Chamber of Secrets if he were related to Salazar Slytherin.
The existence of the journal and the fact that it is a Horcrux, proves throughout history that Voldemort is in relation to the esteemed Salazar. It turns out that Voldemort didn’t open the chamber just to petrify and murder "mudbloods", although that certainly wasn’t something he was against doing.
10 Voldemort Was One of Hogwart's Best Students
The first thing to come to mind when you think of the Dark Lord is probably not his academic prowess. However, Voldemort left behind an academic legacy at Hogwarts, including many awards. Dumbledore even stated that Voldemort’s knowledge of magic was more extensive than any other wizard alive.
While Dumbledore is his only competition, it’s surely Voldemort's obsession with all magic, including the dark arts, that eventually raises Voldemort to be one of the most powerful wizards of all time. It is also Dumbledore that admits that Voldemort was one of the most brilliant students that Hogwarts has ever seen.
This is a huge revelation, considering that most of the wizarding world dare not speak his name, let alone admit that he is truly great at what he does.
9 Voldemort Made His First Horcrux At 16 Years Old
If you didn’t believe that Voldemort was magically endowed before, then you’ll be convinced by his ability to make his first Horcrux at 16 years old. Consider for a second that forming a Patronus was deemed so difficult that Hagrid could never do it.
The idea of severing a part of your soul and putting it into an object then sounds absolutely impossible. Always inquisitive, Tom Riddle was actually collecting information for his long-term plan to dominate the wizarding world. The skill to perform this sort of magic must be astronomical.
The fact that Voldemort was able to make so many Horcruxes before his soul finally became unstable and attached to Harry, is impressive in its own way. While Voldemort is truly evil, he is also astounding in his capacity for the magical arts and is certainly one of the greatest wizards of all time -- albeit the most evil.
8 His Mother’s Family Had A History Of Marrying Their Own Cousins
This fact may be glossed over as some minor information from Dumbledore in the sixth Harry Potter book. The scene contains a great deal of exposition, which may not be seen as so controversial. Basically, the Gaunt family was known for being severely unstable.
Dumbledore outright says that Voldemort’s family had a history of marrying their cousins and he does not mince his words. The Gaunt family did this due to thier obsession with Pure Blood heritage, something that the half-blood Tom Riddle Jr. would eventually use as a platform for his own horrendous acts.
Though Harry Potter began as young adult fiction, the series certainly matured with the readers and became much darker as the characters aged. Harry, then 16, would have been old enough to understand the back-story, but this still might be considered an inappropriate addition.
7 Tom Riddle And Lily Potter Received A Medal For Magical Merit
We might be hesitant to draw comparisons between Lily Potter and Voldemort, but there’s certainly reason to believe that the two were both magically gifted. Despite being a mudblood, Voldemort would have probably accepted Lily as one of his followers. He has been known to make exceptions for witches and wizards that showed exceptional potential.
While the pure-blood crusade was certainly important to Voldemort, it was secondary to his quest for power. While this may not necessarily be canon, it was revealed in Harry Potter: The Artifact Vault that Tom Riddle and Lily Evans were both mentioned as recipients of the Medal for Magical Merit in the production notes.
Whether or not the award adds up, there is significant evidence that both wizards were exceptional in regard to the magical arts. It’s a shame that Lily didn’t have more time to perfect her craft.
6 Tom Riddle Was Very Charming
You might think that such an evil wizard would be ill-mannered and disliked, but this wasn’t the case with Voldemort in his youth. Voldemort was idolized by nearly all of his professors – save for Dumbledore.
Dumbledore saw through young Tom Riddle as a young boy when he met him at the orphanage. Riddle stole from his housemates and was a rather cruel boy. Instead of learning from his mistakes, Riddle simply learned to become sneakier and eventually became the charismatic people-pleaser that would lead him to become the greatest dark wizard of all time.
In fact, it was his charm that made it so easy to learn about Horcruxes from Horace Slughorn, who later hid that he was the one to tell Voldemort about the sinister objects.
5 Voldemort Was A Half-Blood
Voldemort is definitely not proud of his roots, or at least, the origins of his father. After murdering his muggle family, Voldemort spent a great deal of time and effort covering up his attachment to the muggles. Voldemort started off his dark legacy with heinous acts of murder.
As far as wizarding history was concerned, Voldemort wanted to establish himself as a pure-blood, which is shown through his obsession with Salazar Slythern and thelegacy of wizarding families.
Despite this, Voldemort was a half-blood and gave himself a new name that was a play on Tom Marvolo Riddle. It’s interesting that Voldemort would base his name off of the man he so deeply hated, both for being a muggle and abandoning his mother.
4 His First Job Was At Borgin And Burkes
Voldemort is obsessed with wizarding history, so it shouldn’t be too surprising that he worked at Borgin and Burkes. This proves the extent to which Voldemort was willing to work to find magical artifacts and grow his power, prestige, and knowledge.
Voldemort’s professors were a little surprised that one of their best and brightest would choose a position as a shop boy, but it would all make sense years later, when he established himself as a perpetrator of the Dark Arts. One of the shop owners, Burke, had taken advantage of Riddle's poor mother and purchased Salazar Slytherin’s locket for a pittance.
Voldemort later murdered the owner, covered it up, and retrieved his family heirloom. After he had the locket, he disappeared from wizarding life, leaving the shop owners confused.
3 Voldemort Made More Horcruxes Than Anyone Else
No wizard had dared to consider that a soul could be split as many times as Lord Voldemort did. There is also only one book in existence that has detailed about Horcruxes, as even books dedicated to the dark arts revealed no information about the process of making one.
Voldemort, being so charming, was able convince Horace Slughorn to tell him about Horcruxes -- information Horace hid for years. In order to create Horcruxes, an unspeakable act of evil needs to be committed. This led Voldemort to become a serial killer.
Voldemort wasn’t necessarily picky about his victims as he killed an Albanian peasant and a homeless muggle for two of the Horcruxes. Voldemort created his first Horcrux while still attending Hogwarts. This resulted in the death of Moaning Myrtle when the basilisk was released from the Chamber of Secrets.
2 Why he picked his Horcruxes
When Harry and Dumbledore discuss the Horcruxes in The Half-blood Prince, Dumbledore reflects on the fact that Voldemort likely chose objects of great importance. Voldemort's journal establishes his legacy as the heir of Slytherin, making the journal his first Horcrux.
His grandfather’s ring was one of the Horcruxes, as it contained the Resurrection Stone. Voldemort also collected three relics from the four founding members of Hogwarts, including: Helga Hufflepuff’s cup, Rowena Ravenclaw's Diadem, and Salazar Slytherin’s locket.
His pet snake, Nagini, was also a Horcrux. There is the question of Professor Quirrel, seeing as no sacrifice was required since Quirrell hosted the main part of Voldemort’s soul and was technically just possessed. The final Horcrux was Harry Potter himself, but this was unknown to Voldemort. The greatest evil of trying to murder a newborn baby caused his soul to become unstable and he accidentally made a Horcrux instead.
1 Voldemort's Mother Died Of A Broken Heart
While the love potion that Merope gave to Tom Riddle Sr. certainly worked long enough for her to conceive her son, Merope believed that Riddle Sr. may have fallen in love with her. With this belief, she decided to stop supplying Riddle Sr. with the love potion.
Dumbledore believes that it was a love potion and not just the Imperius Curse, since a love potion would seem much more romantic. Voldemort’s father had nothing to do with his life, until Voldemort later murdered his father’s family. It’s no wonder that Voldemort was such a cold wizard.
We can’t help but wonder if Voldemort had been conceived from parents that truly loved each other, perhaps the fate of the wizarding world would have been spared.
Are there any other things about Voldemort from the Harry Potter series that we missed? Let us know in the comments!