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Harry Potter - 16 facts you probably don’t know about Voldemort

He's one of the best Harry Potter villains and the Big Bad of all the best movies in the series, so let's take a look at the most fascinating Voldemort facts.

Harry Potter Voldemort facts

The most dangerous dark wizard in more than a century needs little introduction beyond the name Lord Voldemort. He’s the devilish guy who turns up at the end of almost every school year to terrorize Harry and his mates.

When we’re first introduced to Voldemort, he’s thought to be dead, defeated by Harry Potter when he was just a baby. Little do they know that one of the best Harry Potter characters planned for his own demise and created several Horcruxes. Through sheer willpower and the help of a desperate servant, Voldemort manages to return to life. But there’s a lot more to this Dark Lord that we’ve learned from watching the Harry Potter movies in order over and over.

16. The Mirror of Erised is wasted on him

Over the years, we’ve learned what the Harry Potter cast and the characters they play would see if they looked into the Mirror of Erised, showing their most desperate and deep desire. Unfortunately, Voldemort’s desires are not quite as inventive.

In a 2005 interview with The Leaky Cauldron, the Potter author revealed that Voldemort would look in the mirror and see “himself, all-powerful and eternal. That’s what he wants”. Boooooo! We expect a little more imagination from our Harry Potter villains.

Professor Quirrell looked into the Mirror of Erised in the first Harry Potter movie

15. Boggarts are wasted on him too

Voldemort isn’t any more inventive when it comes to Boggarts. For the unitiated, Boggarts are devilish little creatures which take the form of whatever scares the person in front of them the most.

In the Leaky Cauldron interview mentioned above, the author revealed that Voldemort’s most potent fear is of death and, specifically, his own death. With that in mind, a Boggart would take the form of his corpse.

14. His name has to work globally

A big revelation at the end of Chamber of Secrets involves the fact that the name Tom Marvolo Riddle is an anagram of “I Am Lord Voldemort”. It’s a cool little twist, but created big problems when the books and movies had to be translated into different languages.

So to name just a few, he’s called Tom Elvis Jedusor in France (“Je suis Lord Voldemort”) and Anton Morvol Hert (“Lord Voldemort”) in Greece. Awkward to say the least.

Voldemort's name has to work as an anagram in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

13. He was partly inspired by British gangsters

The Harry Potter author has stated that the inspiration for the Wizarding World being too scared to use Voldemort’s name came from the Kray twins. The duo were played by Tom Hardy in the movie Legend.

Notorious gangsters in London during the 1950s and 1960s, their reign of terror was so severe that people feared even using the name Kray in case they faced retribution. This level of power and fear was so awe-inspiring for the author that she decided to borrow it for Voldemort.

Harry Potter Voldemort facts - Tom Hardy as the Kray Twins in Legend

12. His biggest plot twist was actually revealed very early

At the very end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, we learn that Harry Potter became a Horcrux on the night of his parents’ murder. This is news to Harry, to Voldemort, and to all of us. However, it wasn’t news to Dumbledore, who actually hinted at this revelation way back in Chamber of Secrets.

During the debrief between Harry and Dumbledore at the end of the story, the headmaster explains that Harry can speak Parseltongue because Voldemort “transferred some of his powers” to him on that fateful night.

And the reason for that transfer of powers? Part of his splintered soul latched on to Harry, making him a Horcrux. If only Dumbledore had been a bit straighter with Harry, we could have saved a lot of time.

Harry Potter Voldemort facts: Voldemort casts Avada Kedavra

11. He’s related to Harry

The magical world is such that almost all pure-blood wizards are related in some way, but the connection between Voldemort and Harry Potter is stronger than most. Harry is, as we know, directly related to Ignotus Peverell – one of the original owners of the Deathly Hallows – and that’s why he receives the Invisibility Cloak as an inheritance.

Voldemort, meanwhile, counts Marvolo Gaunt’s ring as a family heirloom. That ring contains another of the Hallows, the Resurrection Stone, suggesting that Voldemort is related to Cadmus Peverell. That’d be the most awkward family barbecue ever.

10. Young starter

Every Harry Potter fan worth his salt knows that Voldemort created Horcruxes to make himself immortal. What they might not know is how early Voldemort got started with this plan. He was just 16 years old when he used the death of Moaning Myrtle to split his own soul and hide it in his diary. Grim.

Harry Potter Voldemort facts: Tom Riddle makes first Horcrux

9. Not so proud

While telling Harry about the Horcruxes, Dumbledore says he suspects that Voldemort reserved the murders of special enemies to create Horcruxes. He was wrong. According to Pottermore, Voldemort made the prestigious Salazar Slytherin’s locket into a Horcrux after murdering a “muggle tramp”. He must have been in a rush that day.

8. Grindelwald versus Voldemort

There’s debate in the Harry Potter fandom over which of these two terrible dark lords would win in a duel. While they do meet in the books, and Voldemort kills Grindelwald, they never have a proper wizard duel.

That said, they have both fought Dumbledore, who seemed to think that Voldemort was the deadlier of the pair, describing him to Harry as “the most dangerous dark wizard of all time”. Voldemort is described as ”the most powerful dark wizard of all time” in his Pottermore bio, so if it came to chucking spells at each other, we’d give Voldemort the win, although the Elder Wand complicates things.

Harry Potter Voldemort facts: Voldemort laughs

7. Beyond human desires

We see throughout the films that numerous eldritch experiments Voldemort conducted on himself gave him a host of weird and wonderful powers. In fact, the Potter author has claimed on Twitter that he was so far removed from humanity that he no longer had to eat to sustain himself.

So we can comfort ourselves with the fact that Voldemort no longer knew the joy of a takeaway pizza. No amount of immortality could make up for missing out on that.

Harry Potter Voldemort facts: Voldemort grabs Harry Potter

6. The ‘T’ is silent

The ‘T’ in Voldemort’s name is supposed to be silent and, as such, should be pronounced as ‘Voldemore’. This is supposedly because Voldemort’s name is a corruption of the French ‘vol de mort’, which means flight from death, and as such, you wouldn’t pronounce the ‘T’.

When the Harry Potter movies came out, the cast pronounced it with a hard ‘T’ sound, and the wrong pronunciation entered the pop culture vernacular.

Harry Potter Voldemort facts: Lucius and Voldemort

5. De-Voldification

After Voldemort died, work went into demystifying the former dark lord. A book called Marvolo: The Truth was printed, which explained that Voldemort was really Tom Marvolo Riddle and deconstructed the myth ‘He Who Must Not Be Named’ had built around himself.

Harry Potter Voldemort facts: Voldemort and Bellatrix

4. Daddy dearest

Voldemort was, in fact, a father, although a lot of fans don’t like to admit it, as revealed in the stage show The Cursed Child. Specifically, Voldemort has a daughter named Delphini, who he conceived with Bellatrix Lestrange.

We’re not quite sure why an omnicidal fascist who believed himself immortal would want a child, but apparently, he did. During the play, Harry refers to Delphini as “The Ultimate Horcrux”, so it’s possible that Voldemort saw her continuing his lineage as a softer form of immortality. Perhaps we’ll get more detail when the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child release date comes around on screen.

Shockingly, considering his inability to love, we see via some time travel shenanigans that had he triumphed over Harry in the Second Wizarding War, he would have made her his most trusted lieutenant, giving her a place in his Ministry of Magic. I guess he could love someone after all.

Harry Potter Voldemort facts: Voldemort holds the Elder Wand

3. Voldemort’s Nose

One of the biggest questions surrounding Voldemort is, ‘What happened to his nose?’ Infuriatingly, there’s no straight answer to this question, and there’s some debate in the Harry Potter fandom as to when he lost his nose.

Some believe he only lost his nose after his resurrection in Goblet of Fire and that his new body is some sort of mashup of snake and man. It’s a cool theory, but it falls apart like a cheap wand when you stop and think about it. None of the Death Eaters stops and questions who Voldemort is, so he presumably looks the same as he did when they last saw him.

Similarly, we don’t know specifically what caused him to lose his nose, whether it was his experiments with Horcruxes or some other foul ritual. All we have to go on for his hideous transformation is a line in Half-Blood Prince. During a trip to the Pensieve, Harry sees a younger Voldemort trying to apply for a teaching job at Hogwarts. Harry notes that Riddle’s handsome features looked “burned and blurred; they were waxy and oddly distorted, and the whites of his eyes now had a permanently bloody look”.

As Voldemort himself explains, he “pushed the boundaries of magic further, perhaps, than they have ever been pushed”, so we can safely guess it was his immersion in the dark arts that made him look like a monster.

Harry Potter Voldemort facts: Voldemort reborn

2. Eye of the beholder

Several times in the books, Voldemort is described as having snake-like red eyes. In the film, however, the dark lord has human-looking light blue eyes.

This was reportedly done so we could see the emotion in Ralph Fiennes’ eyes while he played Voldemort. That said, when he first takes on corporeal form at the end of Goblet of Fire, he does have reptilian slits for pupils, but they quickly take on a more human form.

Harry Potter Voldemort facts: Voldemort in Limbo

1. A fate worse than death

After his defeat at the end of The Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Voldemort didn’t get to move on to the afterlife like other characters who died in Harry Potter. Ironically in his attempts to make himself immortal through his Horcruxes, Voldemort accidentally ensured he would never die, just not in the way he intended.

Remember that weird baby Voldemort Harry and Dumbledore saw in the spiritual Kings Cross? Well, that’s how Voldemort will spend the rest of eternity. He’s trapped in Limbo, stuck in that raw stunted form forever, a fitting punishment for someone who attempted to pervert the natural course of life and death.

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If you want to add a bit more magic to your life, check out our guide to the best fantasy series. Our new movies article can predict the future for you, or alternatively, learn the secret inspiration behind the Deathly Hallows symbol.

Finally, we’ve also got a guide breaking down everything we know about the upcoming Harry Potter TV series release date and the Fantastic Beasts 4 release date. You can also see if any of the Harry Potter movies appear on our list of the best movies ever. And if you’re up for a long read, you can also find out why we can’t forgive the Harry Potter finale for this terrible book change.

The creator of the Harry Potter series, JK Rowling, has made a number of transphobic remarks on social media in recent years. If you’d like to learn more about transgender equality or lend your support, here are two charities we encourage you to visit: the National Center for Transgender Equality in the US, and Mermaids in the UK.