J.K. Rowling’s exquisite Harry Potter novels have delighted so many over the years. She created such rich and thorough storylines for each of her beloved characters, and fans love to delve deep into theories, speculations, and questions about some of the choices she makes.
Take Lord Voldemort, for example. Rowling has written one of the literary world’s greatest villains, on par with the likes of Sherlock Holmes‘ Professor Moriarty or The Lord of the Rings‘ Sauron.
Born Tom Riddle Jr., a wizard known as a “half-blood” because he had a magical mother and a Muggle father, he was orphaned and only learned of his magical heritage when he is recruited by Albus Dumbledore to attend Hogwarts. Once there, Tom begins his true descent into evil, as he searches endlessly for ways to make himself more powerful and immortal, taking on the title of Lord Voldemort. He forms an army of followers and starts a war to gain control.
However, there’s a prophecy floating around that Voldemort will be defeated by a child born in the seventh month, and after discovering Lily and James Potter’s son, Harry, preemptively strikes to wipe him off the earth. Except it backfires, and Voldemort spends several years seeking revenge.
Still, some of his actions puzzle us and certain facets of his character just don’t add up.
Here are 15 Things About Voldemort That Make No Sense.
15. HIS PLAN TO GET HARRY’S BLOOD
When Voldemort is finally ready to become a fully formed person (well, person is stretching it) in The Goblet of Fire, he needs Harry’s blood to seal the deal. One would think the easiest way to do this is just have one of his Death Eaters or spies on the inside at Hogwarts obtain a blood sample.
But no. Instead, Voldemort cooks up this elaborate year-long plan to illegally enter Harry into the Triwizard Tournament (and why they let him compete is another headscratcher) and manipulates the tournament so Harry can eventually win and be transported to a secret cemetery, where the blood-letting ceremony can be carried out. We guess the Dark Lord wanted to do this so he could also kill Harry at the same time, but we literally have a hundred ideas that would be far less complicated.
14. WHY DIDN’T HE USE UNBREAKABLE VOWS?
He Who Must Not Be Named missed a golden – and a kind of obvious – opportunity to make sure all his Death Eaters were 100 percent loyal to him. He could have used Unbreakable Vows.
The spell binds whoever casts it to another wizard in order to fulfill a promise and only death can break it. For example, in The Half-Blood Prince, Draco Malfoy’s mother uses it with Severus Snape to make sure her son is protected at all times, and Snape does indeed carry out the vow – until he dies, of course.
But Voldemort does not use Unbreakable Vows with his Death Eaters, which leaves him vulnerable for betrayal (thanks, Snape!) It’s indeed puzzling why the Dark Lord wouldn’t think of this, but maybe he doesn’t have enough time or just really thinks they’d be loyal out of fear.
13. WAITING UNTIL THE END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR TO ATTACK
Naturally, we wouldn’t have all those great Hogwarts moments if Voldemort just attacked Harry all the time, but it does seem odd he waits until Harry has had a full year of instruction before he tries to kill the boy. And in Prisoner of Azkaban, Voldemort lays low the whole time.
It could be the Dark Lord values a wizard’s training, but more than likely, it just takes time to figure out the plan. We know Voldemort can’t attack Harry outside of Hogwarts because of protections put in place, and getting at him at Hogwarts is also next to impossible. Plus, Voldemort has to rely on Death Eaters with sub-par intelligence to assist him. Still, you’d think after each failed attempt, he’d switch things up and maybe try to kill Harry earlier in the year.
12. WHY DIDN’T HE ATTACH HIMSELF TO SOMEONE ELSE AFTER QUIRRELL?
Voldemort possesses Professor Quirrell in the first Harry Potter book, The Philosopher’s Stone, basically because he can. The weak-minded Quirrell finds the floating-through-space essence of Voldemort and wants to learn more, but the Dark Lord just sees an opportunity to regain some semblance of a human form, along with searching for the Philosopher’s Stone to gain immortality. It’s always about living forever with this guy.
It’s a nifty trick until young Harry destroys Quirrell’s body with the touch of his hand (as the love of his mother courses through him), and Voldemort escapes. What we don’t understand is why Voldemort didn’t just find another body to possess. It would have given the Dark Lord a more comfortable existence before he reanimated himself.
11. THAT SNAKE-FACED BABY BODY
Instead, Voldemort decides to abandon that idea and use a rudimentary body as a go-between. As described by Harry himself in The Goblet of Fire, it’s an “ugly, slimy and blind… shape of a crouched human child… hairless and scaly-looking,” with a face “flat and snake-like, with gleaming red eyes.” Gross.
He then comes up with a potion that will bring him back into the world fully formed. Like we said, possession seems a better temporary choice, but if he wants to take the rudimentary body route, why not just do that from the start? Get that potion cooking with the unicorn blood, Nagini’s snake venom, and Harry’s blood — and be the Dark Lord a lot sooner. Apparently, Voldie wants to do things the hard way.
10. WHY DOES HE STAY AWAY FOR SO LONG?
All of this begs the real question, which is: why does it take Voldemort 10 years to finally resurface? We know the deal: after killing James and Lily Potter, his Killing Curse attempt to murder the 1-year-old Harry rebounds and obliterates his corporeal body, further splintering his soul and sending whatever spectral form is left off to Albania to hide.
Now while Voldemort wasn’t able to get to Harry right away because he was protected under the Dursleys’ enchantment bubble, he should have come back in one of those other forms we just described above, wreaking havoc while working furiously on a plan to get his body back. It seems the Dark Lord’s rage and revenge would overcome his humiliation of being bested by toddler much sooner than it did.
9. THE WHOLE TOM RIDDLE/DIARY FIASCO
This scenario really doesn’t make much sense, even if it is cool to watch in The Chamber of Secrets. When Tom was at Hogwarts, he created his first Horcrux with his diary (and Moaning Myrtle’s murder by the Chamber’s Basilisk). Lucius Malfoy eventually obtains the diary and slips it to Ginny Weasley in hopes of it opening the Chamber once again, which it does.
What we are scratching our heads over is the fact the teenage Tom, fed by little Ginny’s fears that she writes in the diary, grows stronger and eventually materializes. If she died, he’d be whole again. Doesn’t this defeat Voldemort’s whole purpose of finding a way to return in his adult body? Had he succeeded, then You Know Who would have had to go through his whole life again. That seems highly unlikely.
8. WHY DIDN’T DUMBLEDORE STOP TOM RIDDLE EARLIER ON?
As the Transfiguration professor at Hogwarts, Albus Dumbledore met a young Tom at an orphanage to recruit him as the kid had no idea he was half wizard. Naturally, Tom was already a little evil then, and Dumbledore was alarmed by it, reprimanding the boy, but he also thought proper wizard training would help Tom control the bad impulses. That was Dumbledore’s first mistake.
The problem we have is later, when Tom is at Hogwarts and displays his clearly brilliant but malevolent intellect. Dumbledore turns a seemingly blind eye towards the lad. It’s true Tom played the dutiful student very well and hid many of his evil tendencies, but this is Dumbledore we’re talking about. He always suspected Tom of any number of bad deeds, so why didn’t he do something about Tom before it really hit the fan?
7. VOLDEMORT AND BELLATRIX LESTRANGE’S “SPECIAL” RELATIONSHIP
Okay, this is just weird and extremely off-putting. In the stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, we find out Voldemort and his most loyal Death Eater, Bellatrix Lestrange, had, er, intimate relations, probably sometime around the events of The Half-Blood Prince, which resulted in a child (more on her in a bit).
There are so many thoughts and questions about this, but the main one revolves around the issue of whether the reanimated Voldemort actually had human male anatomy. For all the distorted features and unnatural ways the Dark Lord returned to form makes us think this just can’t be true. For Bellatrix’s part, we’re sure she wanted it badly, but perhaps the sex was some strange magical type of conjugal visit? It gives us the shivers just thinking about it.
6. VOLDEMORT’S DAUGHTER, DELPHINI
To add insult to injury to this weird tryst, Bellatrix gets pregnant and has a daughter, Delphini (Delphi, for short), who is born in secret before the Battle at Hogwarts. In The Cursed Child, the orphaned Delphi naturally turns into the same sort of sadistic and manipulative witch like her parents, but her whole appearance is just murky.
As the villain of the play, Delphi tries to alter the timeline using a Time Turner so she can meet her father and stop him from trying to kill Harry, thus fulfilling some sort of prophecy told to her by Bellatrix’s former husband Rodolphus Lestrange. It’s not clear if he prophesied this himself, or if he is simply repeating it from someone else? And who would that be? Honestly, we still can’t get past the image of Voldemort and Bellatrix hooking up.
5. HIS “PURE BLOOD” AGENDA WHEN HE IS HALF-BLOOD
Tom Riddle became obsessed with his heritage once he got to Hogwarts. First, he was convinced his father was actually a wizard and not a Muggle but then came to the realization he was indeed a half-blood. This infuriated him enough to go a kill his Muggle father, grandfather, and grandmother. In following his magical heritage from its ancient, inbred roots (from Salazar Slytherin to the Gaunts), he firmly believed the only true wizard was someone who was pure blood.
So began Voldemort’s mission to rid Hogwarts (and the wizarding world) of mudbloods and half-bloods by opening up the Chamber of Secrets and continuing Slytherin’s work. But at any time the Dark Lord could have been called out for his own mixed blood. We think that Slytherin himself would not have approved of Voldemort. Try as he might, he would never be a pure blood.
4. HARRY AS HIS “ACCIDENTAL HORCRUX”
This is where Voldemort clearly made his most fatal error. In trying to kill baby Harry, Voldemort forever cursed himself by creating a pseudo-Horcrux within the boy, thus connecting the two until death parts them.
Here’s what we don’t fully understand: How did that actually happen? Up to that point, the Dark Lord had complete control over which splinters of his soul went into what objects, so why does his failed attempt to murder Harry shave off a sliver of Voldy’s soul and place it inside Harry?
It’s true there are special circumstances surrounding this – namely the fact that Lily’s love sacrifice somehow encased the boy in a unique enchantment, destroying Voldemort as we knew him. But for Harry to eventually be the Dark Lord’s seventh Horcrux without his knowledge seems odd, given all the power the evil wizard had.
3. HE’S EVIL BECAUSE HE WAS BORN WITHOUT LOVE
Throughout the book series, it’s made abundantly clear that because Harry was deeply and truly loved by his parents, especially his mother. This differentiated him from Voldemort, even if the two shared some unsavory traits.
Tom Riddle’s mother, Merope Gaunt, fell for Tom Riddle Sr., but he didn’t reciprocate his feelings, so she gave him a love potion. When they conceived Tom Jr., it’s under coercion of sorts, and the boy was essentially born from a loveless union (and Merope died in childbirth). J.K. Rowling once said it was symbolic of why Voldemort cannot understand love and turned evil because love was absent from the beginning.
This begs the question if she’s implying all children born from rape/abuse could become evil. Rowling clarified the statement a little by saying if Merope had lived and raised Tom, maybe things would have been different, but that still doesn’t account for the fact that Harry Potter was neglected and abused as a child and grew into a compassionate hero nonetheless.
2. THE ELDER WAND ISSUE
This has been a slightly confusing plot point for many Harry Potter fans. Was Voldemort ever the wand’s master? The most accepted explanation is that because Harry disarmed the wand’s last owner, Draco Malfoy (who had disarmed its current owner, Dumbledore), then the wand was Harry’s, even if Voldemort physically possessed it (thinking he got it from killing Snape, who killed Dumbledore).
However, a Reddit user came up with a theory that Voldemort was still the Elder Wand’s owner before Harry defeated him. He suggests that Grindelwald didn’t really best the wand’s original owner Gregorovitch, and therefore it wasn’t passed to Dumbledore when he defeated Grindelwald in a duel. Instead, when Voldemort killed Gregorovitch, he became the wand’s true owner. The reason it doesn’t work for Voldemort in the events leading up to the Battle at Hogwarts is because his powers are waning from half of his Horcruxes being destroyed.
1. HE SHOULD HAVE LET SOMEONE ELSE KILL HARRY
Honestly, it boils down to this. Yes, there is the whole thing that Voldemort and Harry are connected by blood, and that Harry is indeed one of the Dark Lord’s Horcruxes, but killing Harry earlier on wouldn’t have necessarily killed Voldemort because he already had other Horcruxes. Any of the Death Eaters could have done it, particularly Lucious Malfoy – who really would have loved the honor -or even Bellatrix Lestrange in a fit of rage.
Of course, having someone else dispatch Harry would defeat the whole purpose of the series, and naturally, Voldemort’s enormous ego and requisite amount of exacting revenge would never have allowed that to happen. We’re just saying things could have been wrapped up pretty neatly for the Dark Lord, and he could have gone on dominating the wizarding world.
Any other Voldemort plot points in Harry Potter that leave you scratching your head? Let us know in the comments below!
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