It would be wrong to write Voldemort off as a one-dimensional villain. The Dark Lord may have been talented beyond his years during his time at Hogwarts, eventually transitioning into one of the most powerful wizards ever seen, but it wasn’t just his insane magical prowess that made him so strong. It was also his ability to manipulate those unlucky enough to cross his path.
With that in mind, we now take a look at the characters from the eight Harry Potter movies who Tom Riddle was able to make fall under his spell - literally. Whether it be when he possessed dashing dark looks or had no nose, Voldemort has always been able to convince those weaker than himself to do his bidding...
10 Quirinus Quirrell
When Harry Potter fans meet Professor Quirrell - and by fans we mean those who hadn’t read the books when the Sorcerer’s Stone hit screens way back in 2001 - you would be forgiven for looking at him through rose-tinted glasses. What with his peculiar dress sense and anxious stutter, it was hard to see Hogwarts’ Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher posing a threat to anybody at the school.
Alas, looks can be deceiving. It emerges that Quirrell has merely been a vessel for Voldemort to continue his quest to rise to power again, having lost his powers at Godric's Hollow years previously. Voldemort was able to pressure Quirrell into letting him into the back of his head when their paths crossed when the latter was traveling, where he would be able to keep a close eye on his servant. Fortunately for Harry, however, he was able to beat the duo to the stone the Dark Lord coveted so much.
9 Ginny Weasley
Poor Ginny Weasley. Your first year at school is always going to be difficult enough, what with making new friends, finding classes, and managing your heavy workload. But things for the youngest of the Weasley clan were made far worse when, in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, she finds herself able to communicate with Voldemort via Tom Riddle’s old school diary, which had been planted on her by Lucius Malfoy during an altercation at Diagon Alley.
Voldemort, as his former self, manages to manipulate Ginny into opening the Chamber and setting the formidable Basilisk on the likes of Mrs. Norris, Nearly Headless Nick, Justin Finch-Fletchley, Colin Creevy, and Hermione Granger. Had it not been for Harry and Fawkes the Phoenix’s intervention, his plan to purge the school of muggle-borns would have succeeded.
8 Peter Pettigrew
Voldemort is absent from the Prisoner of Azkaban movie, released in 2004. After two unsuccessful attempts at rising to power, the Dark Lord lies low until he resurfaces at the beginning of the Goblet of Fire, where he is reunited with former servant Peter Pettigrew. And, during this movie, he manipulates the ex-Marauder into helping him carry out his plans.
It is on Voldemort’s orders that he murders Cedric Diggory after the Triwizard Tournament contestant ends up in Little Hangleton with Harry Potter via a Portkey. Pettigrew also helps Tom Riddle rise again, putting the bone of his father, blood of Harry and even his own hand into the cauldron required for the rebirth. Ouch.
7 Albus Dumbledore
Voldemort is so accomplished at manipulating people that, sometimes, he even uses other people to do it on his behalf. And it is on the orders of the Dark Lord that Barty Crouch Jr. takes up the post of Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts, posing as accomplished Auror Alastair Moody and convincing everybody, even Professor Dumbledore, that he’s the real deal.
Crouch shows his true colors after Harry returns from the graveyard in Little Hangleton with Cedric’s body by his side. Dumbledore is able to stop him just in time, finally realizing that Voldemort had been influencing his decision to allow Harry to compete throughout the entirety of the Triwizard Tournament. Crouch is never seen again on the big screen but, in the books, is subjected to the Dementor’s Kiss - against Dumbledore’s wishes.
6 Harry Potter
Even poor Harry is hoodwinked by Voldemort at some stage in the series, with the Heir of Slytherin’s plan in the Order of the Phoenix movie very nearly succeeding.
During that blockbuster, shortly after witnessing Fred and George Weasley bow out of education in style, Harry gets a vision that Sirius is Voldemort’s prisoner in the Ministry of Magic’s Department of Mysteries. He immediately rounds up Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Ginny Weasley, Luna Lovegood, and Neville Longbottom in a bid to get to his godfather - only to find out he’s been tricked. Though all six of the Hogwarts students would escape their fight with the Death Eaters, Sirius would fall at Bellatrix Lestrange’s hand.
5 Horace Slughorn
Professor Slughorn, to be frank, is a bit of a bumbling baboon during Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. But he is involved in one of the standout moments of the movie when his role in Voldemort’s ascent to greatness (or evilness) is made clear.
During their time at Hogwarts together, Tom Riddle asks Slughorn to elaborate on Horcruxes and what making them entails. The Hogwarts Potions Master initially shows Harry a memory of him saying no before it emerges that he did indeed tell the Dark Lord that murder, and specifically mass murder, would be enough for him to make seven of them. This is a case of Riddle manipulating his victims not through violence or intimidation, but merely through charm and intellect.
4 Draco Malfoy
In the Half-Blood Prince, Voldemort again chooses to stick to the shadows, despite allowing his Death Eaters to continue their reign of terror against both the wizarding and Muggle communities. He does, though, set Draco Malfoy the task of murdering Albus Dumbledore inside Hogwarts itself by using a pair of vanishing cabinets to act as a tunnel between both the school and Knockturn Alley’s Borgin and Burkes.
Malfoy is manipulated into carrying out the act after his father had failed to obtain the prophecy from Harry Potter inside the Department of Mysteries. After two failed attempts, involving both a cursed necklace and some laced mead, he gets the chance to kill Dumbledore in front of his aunt, Bellatrix Lestrange. He is poised to lower his wand and chokes at the opportunity and it’s left for Severus Snape to murder the Hogwarts legend instead.
3 Lucius Malfoy
Draco is not the only person of the Malfoy family who Voldemort chooses to manipulate during his reign of terror. Instead of targeting the son, the Dark Lord goes for Lucius himself at the beginning of Deathly Hallows: Part One.
Knowing he needs another wand to pursue Harry, who had relied on his own trusted one to keep Voldemort at bay over the years, Tom Riddle manipulates Lucius into giving his over. He knows that Malfoy doesn’t want to part ways with it - his facial expression of fear is proof of that - but he makes him give it over anyway. And his plan backfires, with Voldemort unable to get to Harry before the Boy Who Lived manages to get to safety at the Burrow.
Nagini is a strange one. We don’t know her full backstory, though the Fantastic Beasts movies have suggested she has the ability to transform into a giant snake - something she will later lose. But she falls under Voldemort’s control and the Dark Lord uses her on several occasions during both parts of the Deathly Hallows.
Firstly, she comes within a whisker - or scale - of getting to Harry and Hermione during their risky trip to Godric's Hollow. And she then obeys Voldemort when he orders her to attack Severus Snape near the end of Part 2, with the giant serpent biting the Hogwarts headmaster by sinking her teeth into him numerous times. Not a nice way to go...
Voldemort has manipulated some of the best and most-skilled wizards around, from Professor Dumbledore to Harry Potter, Horace Slughorn to Lucius Malfoy. So when he’s able to do that what can a weak, albeit lovely, Hagrid do?
The answer is precious little. Riddle, not content with getting the half-giant expelled during their time at Hogwarts together, forces the Hogwarts groundskeeper into carrying Harry’s ‘corpse’ after the Chosen One had ‘sacrificed’ himself in the Forbidden Forest. Hagrid is torn apart but agony turns to ecstasy when Harry reveals himself, leaves Voldemort reeling and is able to defeat his enemy once and for all at the end of the movie.