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Dumbledore's Army

Lord Voldemort

Compiled by R.V. Crouch

Revision date: July 27, 2002

Lord Voldemort is the personification of evil in the Harry Potter series. He is JKR’s version of the ultimate bad guy. As a foil for Harry’s good, he fits the bill perfectly. As a three-dimensional villain, he doesn’t fail to convey to the readers the reason behind his evil. As a powerful and menacing adversary, he succeeds in adding the requisite degree of thrill and scare to the novels. Most of all, he forms an essential element in the rich diversity of characters that makes the Harry Potter books such an enjoyable read.

Alternative names: The Dark Lord, You-Know-Who, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, Tom Marvolo Riddle.

Pronunciation: The name Voldemort is pronounced as Vol-duh-more (t is silent).

Meaning: Vol-de-mort is Latin for ‘flight from death’. Some believe the translation to be ‘theft by death’.

Physical appearance: Lord Voldemort is tall and skeletally thin with chalk white skin. His face is snake-like with wide, livid, scarlet eyes having vertical pupils. He has a lipless mouth, flat slit like nostrils and large spidery hands.

1. LV’s sign: The ‘Dark Mark’-An emerald colored skull with a serpent protruding from the mouth. It serves as LV’s calling card. He and his Death Eaters send the Dark Mark into the sky after committing a murder. They use it as a means of spreading terror and bending people to their will. The spell used for issuing the Dark Mark is ‘Morsmordre’. On the forearm of his Death Eaters the mark is a vivid red skull with a serpent. When LV touches the Mark of any Death Eater, it burns black. It serves as signal for his Death Eaters to DisApparate and Apparate instantly at his side. Lord Voldemort also uses the Dark Mark to distinguish his Death Eaters from others.

(a) Why didn’t the Ministry use the Dark Mark to identify Death Eaters?

There are two points to suggest that the Ministry were oblivious of the fact that LV had placed the Dark Mark on his Death Eaters (that it was actually not common knowledge):

1.When Snape revealed the Dark Mark to Cornelius Fudge the latter was truly shocked and repulsed at the sight of it. His reaction was one of disgust, confusion and disbelief.

2.Sirius Black was also entirely unaware of the existence of the Mark on the forearm of Death Eaters. When Harry narrated the Snape-Karkaroff incident to him, he didn’t have a clue regarding the significance of it.

(b) Why didn’t the Ministry know that the DEs had the Mark branded into them?

During Lord Voldemort’s first reign, a number of his Death Eaters were caught and imprisoned. It’s extremely unlikely that the Ministry failed to notice the common Mark that the DEs shared. After Voldemort’s fall from power, the Mark naturally faded away. However, this still doesn’t account for why the MLES was not aware of this important point.

1.Theory posted by Medusa975 (on 5/24/01). LV can make the Mark fade.

Conceivably, Lord Voldemort can make the Mark fade "long distance" if he wants to, when a follower is captured.

2.Theory proposed by Christina Teresa in her Fanfic For the love of Hufflepuff-The DEs can make the Mark fade.

In this fic, the author suggests the possibility of the Death Eaters being able to make the Mark appear and disappear on their own accord, the knowledge of the magic required for doing so being exclusive to LV and the DEs.

(c) Why didn’t Albus Dumbledore reveal the existence of the Dark Mark to the Ministry?

Severus Snape turned spy for Dumbledore ‘at great personal risk’. He wouldn’t have failed to mention that the Dark Lord had branded his symbol into the forearm of each Death Eater. The following line from GoF also indicates Dumbledore’s knowledge of the same-

‘It’s coming back…Karkaroff’s too…stronger and clearer than ever…’

Now, Why didn’t Dumbledore pass this information to the Ministry?

Theory posted by Durayan (on 5/24/01). Dumbledore believes in second chances.

Barty Crouch was a political extremist.

GoF quotes:

1.‘’Course Dumbledore trusts you,’ growled Moody. ’He’s a trusting man, isn’t he? Believes in second chances. But me-I say there are spots that don’t come off, Snape. Spots that never come off, d’you know what I mean?’

Snape suddenly did something very strange. He seized his left forearm convulsively with his right hand, as though something on it had hurt him.

2.Crouch fought violence with violence, and authorized the use of the Unforgivable Curses against suspects. I would say he became as ruthless and cruel as many on the Dark Side. He had his supporters, mind you-plenty of people thought he was going about things the right way.

Albus Dumbledore realized that such a tool for locating the former associates of Voldemort would lead down the path of death camps and the like for those so marked, and therefore declined to inform the Ministry of such. Dumbledore, for one, thinks that people can change for the better. He’s a man who believes in the possibility of redemption and in giving people second chances.

2. A brief history of Lord Voldemort:

Lord Voldemort was born as Thomas Marvolo Riddle in the year 1927. His father was a Muggle and his mother a witch. Tom Riddle’s father abandoned his wife when he discovered what she was. She was pregnant with young Tom Riddle at the time. Tom Riddle’s mother died giving birth to him and left him to be raised in a Muggle orphanage. She lived to name him-Tom after his father, Marvolo after his grandfather.

Tom Riddle began his schooling at Hogwarts in 1938. Judging from Albus Dumbledore’s remark that he was the most brilliant student Hogwarts had ever seen it would be fair to presume that he excelled academically. He was sorted into Slytherin House-the house infamous for producing the maximum number of Dark witches and wizards. Slytherin students were known for their cunning, ambition, resourcefulness, determination, disregard for rules, and for their disdain and prejudice toward students of purely Muggle-parentage. Tom Ridde was, however, extremely popular amongst the teachers and was considered a model student. He was made a Prefect in his fifth year and Head Boy in his seventh.

At some point in time Tom Riddle discovered that he belonged to an extremely eminent and ancient line of wizards. That he was in fact the last and only descendent of Salazar Slytherin-one of the four founders of Hogwarts.

How he discovered this is bit of a mystery.

Tom Riddle discovered that he was the heir of Slytherin-a person with the ability to speak Parseltongue and destined to open the Chamber of Secrets. Riddle spent five years trying to discover the location of the chamber and opened it in his fifth year. He unleashed the Basilisk within, which subsequently began to attack Muggle-Borns. After a girl died he terminated the attacks to avoid the closure of the school and pinned the murder on a fellow student, Rubeus Hagrid. Riddle received a Special Award for services to the school for discovering the ‘culprit’. He did not open the chamber again during his time at Hogwarts, due to the persistently close watch of his transfiguration professor, Albus Dumbledore. But he created a diary in which he preserved the memory of his sixteen-year old self.

After his graduation in 1945 Tom Riddle disappeared from the wizarding scene. Before doing so he killed his father and his Muggle grandparents, in revenge for their abandonment of him. After that he traveled far and wide and sank deeply into the Dark Arts. He consorted with Dark witches and wizards and learnt their ways. He resurfaced as Lord Voldemort (a name that he had prepared for himself at school from the letters of his real name) in 1970, discarding the name of his father who had disowned him.

For eleven years Lord Voldemort amassed followers and instilled fear in the wizarding world. He tortured and killed Muggles, Muggle-Borns and non-supporters of his movement. The degree of fear he created was so high that wizards and witches refrained from speaking his name, referring to him as ‘You-Know-Who’ instead. In 1981,on Oct31st, he came to Godric’s Hollow. There, he killed Lily and James Potter. When he turned his wand on Harry Potter and cast the Killing Curse it backfired and destroyed his body. He fled Godric’s Hollow.

In 1991-92 he made an attempt to steal the Philosopher’s Stone to acquire a body, but was thwarted by Harry Potter. In 1995 Lord Voldemort successfully returned to power with the aid of his servants Bartemius Crouch and Peter Pettigrew. He used his father’s bone, Peter Pettigrew’s flesh and Harry Potter’s blood to create a new body.

*Dates for T.M.R’s timeline can’t be pinned with absolute certainty. This is mainly because of the vagueness of two points:

1.The first episode of the Chamber of Secrets occurred fifty years (precisely?) before the second (1992-1993). The fifty years point could place the first episode exactly in 1942-1943 or simply in the same period (early 1940s).

2.T.M.R’s birth month is not known. He was sixteen when he was in his fifth year. He may have turned sixteen during his fifth year or may have started his fifth year as a sixteen-year old.

3.Voldemort’s Goals:

GoF quote: ‘You know my goal-to conquer death.

CoS quote: ‘I fashioned myself a new name, a name I knew wizards everywhere would one day fear to speak, when I had become the greatest sorcerer in the world.

Chats with J.K.Rowling:

Question: How does the Dark Lord affect American wizards and witches?

JKR: He affects everyone, but his plan is European domination first.

(1) At the cemetery, the Dark Lord makes it perfectly clear that his goal is to achieve eternal life. The name that he fashioned himself from the letters of his birth name means ‘flight from death’. This concurs with what he admits his objective to be. The desire for immortality could be regarded as the basis of Lord Voldemort’s depravity. In his eyes, its achievement would be a mark of his invincibility and the culmination of his ambition to be the greatest sorcerer in the world.

(2) JKR’s stated that his plan is ‘world domination’. He intends to takeover Europe and then turn his attention to the rest of the world. Therefore, like many characters in history and fiction, Voldemort is obsessed with the idea of world supremacy and complete unopposed authority.

(3) The eradication of Muggles and Muggle-Borns as an objective is questionable. It is not a point that has been explicitly stated but rather inferred from the extreme prejudice and violence that he and his Death Eaters display toward them. Judging from Arthur Weasley’s remark that half of the Muggle-Killings during Voldemort’s first reign of terror was committed out of fun, it would be reasonable to presume that the total extermination of Muggles is not a real objective. In spite of that, the suppression of Muggles and their enslavement may be one of his goals since his open acts of violence come very close to breaching the International Code Of Warlocks’ Statute Of Secrecy.

(4) Though he aims at ‘world supremacy’, he is principally comparable to a terrorist.

Reasons:

a. He and his Death Eaters have no recognized political force. The acts of torture and murder that his DEs commit are under the cover of masks, which they discard when they choose to interact in normal society.

b. Judging from their numbers in GoF, the Death Eaters hardly seem to be a force capable of dominating countries. c. Lord Voldemort himself is merely a ‘name’ in the public eye. He has no recognized physical form or history.

(A) Theory posted by Dahl951on 3/11/02.Is LV just a name?

Take a look at these two lines-

PS quotes:

1.'Never mind that, do you think he remembers what You-Know-Who looks like?'
Their mother suddenly became very stern.
'I forbid you to ask him, Fred. No, don't you dare. As though, he needs reminding of that on his first day at school.'

2. 'No one ever lived after he decided to kill 'em.'

The point is fairly simple. Many of you might have realized this well before now-It seems that no one in the wizarding world (with the exception of the DEs and Harry) is aware of the appearance of Lord Voldemort. The fact that Fred didn't know tells us that his physical description hasn't been mentioned anywhere. Molly's reaction suggests that she too is unaware of it. Hagrid's line makes it look that the people who confronted the Dark Lord never lived .So, what these people saw remained a secret too.

Therefore, it seems that the name 'Voldemort' doesn't have a real owner in the public eye. He's called the ‘Dark Lord’, but that doesn't give him a physical form, does it?
If you were to look at it from this angle, the pseudonym You-Know-Who that the wizarding world gave him begins to make sense. The intense fear was amplified because they didn't know who he was, they didn't know what he looked like.
However, it seems that one person does know LV's appearance even though he shouldn't- Dumbledore.

CoS quote: ...underwent so many dangerous magical transformations that when he resurfaced as Lord Voldemort he was barely recognizable.

Dumbledore seems to know everything but he never reveals it. He apparently knows what LV looks like...but the rest of the wizarding world doesn't. He knows Voldemort's history but doesn't reveal it.

CoS quote: Very few people are aware that Lord Voldemort was once called Tom Riddle.

(B) Voldemort is more of a terrorist:

1.Theory posted by Zsenya on 3/14/02.LV isn’t political.

Voldemort is more of a terrorist. If no one knows what he looks like, except a select few, then he's trying to go about things in a very roundabout way. He has often been compared to Hitler on these boards, but if he were like Hitler, he'd have found a way to get himself made Minister of Magic first. Why didn't he do that? It seems obvious to me that the wizarding population is just as susceptible to mass hysteria as the Muggle population, in many ways more so. They seem to be a very "believing" group of people. I wonder why LV didn't try to gain power through "official" means.

2.Theory posted by Clio on 1/8/02.The Death Eaters are a radical extremist group that is not comparable to the Nazis.

The DEs are a secret organization. They don't seem to know all their fellow DEs, which strongly suggests they operate like classic terrorist cells. Voldemort's followers commit heinous crimes and spread terror, although the DEs number is limited and they are an underground organization. Hitler's followers didn't commit their atrocities until they actually were in power. Just then they showed their true ugly face and Hitler became the most horrible dictator of the twentieth century. But unlike Voldemort, his 'movement' operated at the edge of legality and cleverly used all loopholes the constitution gave them before they got power. Plus, they didn't take over the government by force. Power was handed to them after an election when the whole democratic system was already breaking down. I cannot see that happening in the wizarding world, because almost everybody seems to hate and fear Voldemort. The political system seems to be functioning. The DEs strike me as more of a terrorist organization. Fanatics, who use violence as a means to achieve an outlandish goal. ETA, IRA, KKK and a lot of those radical communist groups from the seventies come to mind.

(5) The fact that he refrains from directly placing himself in the spotlight poses the point that if his main goal is world domination, then he is in fact going about it in a twisted way.

Two possible explanations for this are-

1. His ‘goal’-to conquer death. In other words, he’s refraining from exposing himself until he has achieved immortality and invulnerability. Though he speaks to the contrary, he is aware that there are wizards who have the power to defeat him if he allows himself to be drawn into the open. The defeat of the Dark Wizard Grindelwald in 1945 is often correlated to the end of WWII. If we were to speculate, we could imagine that Grindelwald was a Dark Wizard who tried to sway the wizarding world in a political manner. He became an open and public figure, a person who exposed himself and his vulnerabilities, weaknesses which another wizard (Dumbledore) was wise enough to recognize and use to defeat him. Tom Riddle graduated in the year of Grindelwald’s downfall. He then disappeared for a quarter of a century and returned as Voldemort. Lord Voldemort may have begun to recruit followers in an underground fashion to ensure that he didn’t commit the same mistake as Grindelwald.

2. LV considers himself above the political system. (Theory proposed by Alec Dossetor and Teri Krennek in their Fic ‘The Arithmancer’s Apprentice’)

Extract from Alec Dossetor and Teri Krennek’s Fic:

Tom wondered if such a speculation could be true, and if Grindelwald would ultimately fail. Certainly Grindelwald commanded much power… For the first time, Tom let himself wonder what it would be like to have such control, and be called a lord; to have power like that of Grindelwald, with force enough at his command to hope to be able to change a world; or privilege like the Earl of Mountwarlock’s, with devoted retainers to serve him and the authority to resist being overcome by a powerful league of opponents.

And you could have that, too, if you wanted it, a voice whispered in his mind, and the scope of his ambition surprised him. No one alive knew it yet, but he was already the heir himself to one of the most powerful wizards in history, and he was determined to unlock the Chamber of Secrets, and whatever mysteries his ancestor had left behind.

But the Chamber, he suddenly realized, was just a beginning. There could be more – there would be more. But he couldn’t see himself rising in the Ministry, as Lord Mountwarlock had predicted. There was no dignity in that, or in the countless petty lies of politics. His thoughts went back to the earl’s belief that Grindelwald had tried too soon, that the wizarding families didn’t yet feel threatened enough to risk going down with him.

Their position is still quite secure. The Ministry’s nothing like as intrusive as it’s going to be in thirty years…

They might not feel threatened yet, but they would do in time, and if by then Tom was known as the last of an ancient family, the one true heir of Slytherin, and possessed the power to lead them, they would fall ripe into his hand. Not the smallest murmur of half-blood or Mudblood would even be whispered of Slytherin’s heir. The notion startled him for a moment. He’d never realized before how potent and influential his personal quest could become.

Also see Grindelwald and Tom Riddle.

4.Voldemort’s attack on the Potters:

[1]Motive:

The most popular theories concerning Lord Voldemort’s motive to kill Harry Potter are:

(1) Heir of Gryffindor.

(2) Prophecy

(3) Heir of Gryffindor and Slytherin.

[1] Heir of Gryffindor:

This theory states that Harry Potter is the Heir of Gryffindor and that the Potters are the last descendants of Godric Gryffindor. Voldemort went after the Potters to vanquish the persons most likely to result in his downfall.

Interview with J.K.Rowling:

Interviewer: And I'm going to ask one other question, which you'll say isn't clever at all. The significance of the place where Harry and his parents lived, the first name -

JKR: Godric Gryffindor. Very good, you're a bit good you are, aren't you?

Interviewer: Thank you.

JKR: I'm impressed. My editor didn't notice, I said to her haven't you noticed any connection between where Harry's parents were born, not born, where they lived and one of the Hogwarts houses and she's sitting there going erm, I'm not being rude about Emma, she's a brilliant editor, the best ever. But know she didn't pick that up either. You're a bit good you are.

SQ quote:

Prettyannamoon (posted on 10/25/01): JKR has said no one has guessed yet what she's going to do (which I don't believe entirely, but still...). When I got to meet her, the kid I had been standing in line with asked if Harry was the heir of Gryffindor, and she said in her sweet voice, "Can't tell you!" So who knows. She didn't discount it. It still could be a possibility.

Theory proposed by HeirOfGryffindor, Samantha543, Prettyannamoon, and Linneria:

The Potters are descendants of Godric Gryffindor.The points in favour of this are-

1.James Potter and his family resided at Godric’s Hollow.

2.Harry pulled out Godric Gryffindor’s sword from the Sorting Hat in CoS. It is possible that Dumbledore was speaking literally when he said only a true Gryffindor would be able to draw the sword.

3.Lord Voldemort being Tom Riddle and the Heir of Slytherin gains greater significance.

4. In the Shrieking Shack, Sirius Black says,’…ready to strike the moment he could be sure of allies…to deliver the last Potter to them.’ Black’s line partially conveys the idea that the Potters harbour an important bloodline. The line also seems to indicate that Voldemort went after the rest of the Potters and destroyed them all.

5.Harry’s wand shot out Gryffindor colours(red and gold) when he held it for the first time.

6. In PS, Voldemort said, ’Your mother needn’t have died. She was trying to save you’. This point is usually put forward as another piece of evidence to support the above theory. The fact that Lily’s death was not necessary may suggest that the motive for going after the Potters lay principally in James and Harry(The Gryffindor bloodline).

7.Harry’s zodiac sign is Leo (The Lion). The symbol of Gryffindor is the Griffin (half-lion,half-eagle). His birthstone is the ruby. The handle of Godric Gryffindor’s sword was studded with rubies.

8.James was a chaser, and Harry is a seeker. Chasers deal with the Quaffle, which is scarlet. Seekers deal with the snitch, which is gold. Scarlet and gold, Gryffindor colors...

Counterpoints to the ‘Heir Of Gryffindor’ theory:

1.LV would not use Gryffindor blood:

CoS quote: ’I, in whose veins runs the blood of Salazar Slytherin himself, through my mother’s side?’

Lord Voldemort is extremely proud of his Slytherin heritage. If Harry is indeed Gryffindor’s descendant, it seems unlikely that Voldemort would unhesitatingly use Harry’s blood. For a person as egotistical and bloodline obsessed as LV, it seems uncharacteristic and improbable for him to put Gryffindor blood in his body. Furthermore, he would be perpetuating the very thing he’s trying to destroy.

2.Goes against the theme of the books?

CoS quote: ’It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities’

GoF quote: ‘You fail to recognize that it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.’

SQ quote:

Spin1978 (posted on 1/27/02): Gryffindor-It's a state of mind, not a matter of blood!

The idea that Harry is Gryffindor’s Heir and destined to destroy the Dark Lord gives him a position of importance that he was born with. It partly counters what is viewed as the theme of JKR’s works that it matters what one makes of one’s life, instead of what one is born as.

[2]Prophecy:

This theory can be independent or coupled to the first. It basically involves a prophecy that the Dark Lord’s downfall would result at the hands of a Potter. It would explain why he went after the Potters and why he was intent on destroying them. The prophecy may have been voiced by a number of Seers, Professor Trelawney being one of them.

Fanfic view:

Extract from Imogen’s Fanfic ‘Alpha and Omega’:

"Yes, Harry," Dumbledore continued, in that same low tone. "You see, your father was very much fulfilling his destiny with what he did. You know about Aurors, and what they do, but James was far more than that. Far more. Have you ever come across the idea of Truitinae Bonitas in your studies?" Harry shook his head, listening intently. "It is not a common thing, in fact it is extremely rare and the sign of a very powerful wizard. The Potter line is the only one that remains as far as I am aware. It is a gift or a curse, depending on how you look at it, Harry. It must begin with someone who is born in that unique second of time when the planets are in perfect equilibrium, the point where everything hangs in the balance. Good and evil, life and death are all there as one. The person born at this pinpoint of eternity has the ability to dramatically alter these ultimate balances in the way they choose. This happened many generations’ back in your family, and has been handed down magically from father to son since, picking up impetus and strength as it has gone on. Your father chose to fight for the good, against the Death Eaters, their rise to power and what they intended on doing to our world." (Albus Dumbledore)

In this fic, the author bases LV’s motive to kill the Potters on a prophecy called the ‘Clairmoon Prophecy’. Dumbledore describes the gist of it in the above extract. It follows the idea that a person from the Potter bloodline is destined to bring the Dark Lord down from power.

[3] Heir of Gryffindor and Slytherin.

Theory posted by Muniloopin on 12/29/01.

I think Harry is heir to both Gryffindor and Slytherin.

He’s Gryffindor on his father's side (explains why he could pull the sword in CoS and all the other points in support of the ‘Heir of Gryffindor’ theory). He’s Slytherin from his mother’s side. That would tie up with the green color of Lily and Harry's eyes, JKR's hint that Harry's eye-colour would be important later, and also her hint that we'd learn something unexpected about the Dursleys. Petunia being the descendant of Slytherin would be very unexpected indeed! It would also explain why Harry almost got sorted into Slytherin even though he is not particularly ambitious and why he’s a Parselmouth. It explains why Voldemort was willing to spare Lily if he could get to Harry. Also, it would allow for the 'descendant of Gryffindor' idea but nevertheless put forward the theme that choices are important.

Counterpoints to the ‘Heir of Gryffindor and Slytherin’ theory:

1.Dumbledore specifically says (in CoS) that Voldemort is the last remaining descendant of Slytherin.

2. Voldemort called Lily a 'Muggle' at the cemetery. He was speaking in a derogatory fashion. If Lily were related to Slytherin in some distant way or the other, he wouldn't have said that.
3. Slytherin does not own the colour green. Also, Voldemort's eyes are red at this point. Red, technically, is a Gryffindor colour.

[2] The night of the attack:

(A) Theory posted by R.V.Crouch on 8/12/01.James and Lily may not have known that LV was after Harry.

PoA quote: "Not Harry...not Harry...please not Harry...kill me instead...take me instead."

These words of Lily Potter may be put down to the last ditch attempt of a mother to save her child. But, if one were to exclude that possibility, they are...extremely illogical.
If Harry is indeed Gryffindor's heir and the future possible cause of Lord Voldemort's downfall, she must have known that those pleas of hers were entirely futile.
"Kill me instead...take me instead" doesn't make any sense. How could she possibly be a substitute victim?
Her pleas for mercy and constant repetition of the words ' Not Harry' suggest that she hadn't anticipated Voldemort turning his wand on Harry. If she had known that Harry was Gryffindor’s descendant, she would also have known that Voldemort would inevitably try to kill him.
Therefore, (a) Her words were irrational owing to the moment, or

(b) Lily was not aware that Lord Voldemort was after Harry.

If Lily didn’t know, it would seem that James was unaware too.

In other words, when Lily and James went into hiding, they were not aware that LV was after Harry.

(B) Theory posted by Circex on 11/18/01.James and Lily may not have known that the Potters were Gryffindor’s descendants.
James and Lily might not have known that they (the Potters) were the Last of the Gryffindors. Hermione says in CoS that the founders lived over a thousand years ago. Harry could have been the Heir of Slytherin and not known it. The same should apply to Gryffindor. Therefore, Lily was simply trying to convince Voldemort not to harm a helpless, innocent baby when she was pleading for mercy from him.

(C)‘Why didn’t Lily flee when James Potter held off LV?’

1.Theory posted by AliraG on 8/12/01.Lily saw what was to happen.

This may seem like an extremely farfetched thought. But I think it’s possible that Lily was a seer. It almost connects... the eyes... the way that she doesn't run and ends up saving Harry by doing something stupid and forfeiting her life...

What if she Saw what would transpire that night if she stayed and she also Saw what would transpire if she ran? What if she knew that the only way to save Harry's life was to forfeit hers instead? So, my theory is that she didn't run because she somehow knew absolutely and exactly that not running, not leaving, was the only thing that she could do.

2.Theory posted by User on 8/14/01.Lily was trapped.

I've always thought she couldn't flee because Voldemort prevented it. How? Not sure on that, but if you think about it, would Voldemort leave such a gaping hole as to allow his 'prey' to run away? If it were so easy to get away from Voldemort, why have so many other wizarding families also died? I think Lily did not really have enough time to run away, or even if she did, then Voldemort put up spells to trap them in the house. Makes sense, doesn't it?

(D) Theory posted by R.V.Crouch on 8/27/01.History between LV and Lily Potter.

Interview with J.K.Rowling (Oct 20th 1999):

Question: Very good. One more question. Are we going to learn more about Harry's mom in the next book?

JKR: This is one of those questions. Some of the best questions I get are about --- people have clearly read the books so well and they're sensing that there's more to be told about certain people but I can't ever answer them very fully because I will end up giving things away. There is something very important about Harry's mother that he hasn't yet discovered but he's not going to find it out in the next book. It's too important for Book 4. He finds it out later in the series. (pause). That was interesting.

PS quote: Your mother needn’t have died. She was trying to save you.

PoA quote: Stand aside, you silly girl…stand aside, now…

GoF quotes:

1.You stand Harry Potter upon the remains of my late father…a Muggle and a fool…very like your dear mother…

2.My curse was deflected by the woman’s foolish sacrifice, and it rebounded upon me. Aahh, pain beyond pain my friends…

The only thing we hear Lord Voldemort say that night is his incessant orders that Lily Potter stand aside. Why does he call her a fool? Why does he call her sacrifice foolish? It was her sacrifice that resulted in his downfall. He knows that.
Yet, he calls it a foolish sacrifice. I think it tells us that he wouldn’t have killed her had she stood aside. In his eyes, she chose to defy him instead of live. Since he doesn’t understand love, he considered it an unnecessary and foolish decision on her part.

His willingness to spare Lily (a Muggle-born witch) is very intriguing. As I see it, there are three possibilities:
(a) She could have been of some use to him.
(b) Her death would have been disadvantageous for him.
(c) He was actually willing to show mercy.

Now,
(a) If he wanted to use her, he could have stunned her and then cast 'Avada Kedavra' on Harry, couldn’t he?
(b) If her death was a disadvantage to him in any way, he could have done the same.
(c) Therefore, we come to mercy. The reason for allowing her to live cannot be simply laid to the fact that her death was pointless. In PS, Voldemort says, "Your mother needn't have died. She was trying to save you. "However, Cedric needn't have died. But he ordered his execution in three words. That tells us that he was indeed being merciful (no other possibility). That in turn could only happen if
1. There is some history between Lily Potter and the Dark Lord. I'm not suggesting that she was on the Dark Side or that there was a relationship between the two. Both possibilities are exceedingly unlikely,
2.JKR made a flaw. She failed to see how incongruous the personality of Voldemort is with his initial decision to spare Lily, or

3.We (the readers) are not interpreting Voldemort’s character properly.

(E) ’’Curious quirk’’ that saved Harry:

In an interview, J.K.Rowling described Harry’s survival at Godric’s Hollow as a ‘curious quirk’. This conveys the possibility of there being something more than Lily’s sacrifice which protected Harry that night.

1.Theory posted by Peachie Aki on 2/1/02.Harry’s eyes reflected the curse.

I have developed a theory that is based on simple science:
1. Colors appear as they are because of the certain light frequency they reflect.
2. An object that appears green, for example, would reflect that specific frequency of light.
3. The Avada Kedavra curse is green, as are Harry's eyes.
Therefore,
I believe Harry's eyes reflect the same frequency of light as the A.V. curse is composed of. The reflection caused the curse to rebound onto Voldemort, nearly killing him.
*This would account for the "curious quirk" described by Rowling.
Why, then, did Lily die from the curse?
As we saw in the movie, Voldemort aimed for her chest. On the contrary, he aimed for Harry's eyes.

2.Theory proposed by Zsenya in her Fanfic-A Mother’s Spell. Lily had performed charms on Harry to protect him.

Extract from Zsenya’s Fic:

The book was entitled Spells of Love and Sacrifice and Lily had already placed two of them on her sleeping son. The first would shield him from death in the event that she herself died trying to save him; Lily knew that she would do everything in her power to save her son's life. The second would turn a spell meant to kill him back to the originator, causing death or, at least, serious damage. She wasn't sure that anything could kill Voldemort - he was barely human anymore. The third and final spell, which she would administer this evening, was perhaps the greatest of all in her opinion. The spell would transfer her love for her son, at the instant of her death, to a pure soul, most likely a newborn baby. That love would guide this person to seek out Harry and protect him throughout his life.

(F) Was Peter at Godric’s Hollow that night?

Theory posted by Bittersweet on 4/6/02. Peter came to Godric’s Hollow with LV and took the Dark Lord’s wand.

Fudge in PoA pg 208(US) describing Pettigrew’s "murder" by Sirius says,

"Eyewitnesses- Muggles of course, we wiped their memories later- told us how Pettigrew cornered Black. They say he was sobbing, "Lily and James, Sirius! How could you?" And then he went for his wand. Well, of course, Black was quicker. Blew Pettigrew to smithereens...."

Further down that page Fudge describes what he found as one of the first Ministry people on the scene, and he does not mention finding Pettigrew’s wand. I think that is a very important omission.

"...And Black standing there laughing, with what was left of Pettigrew in front of him... a heap of bloodstained robes and a few- a few fragments-"

If Wormtail had left his wand laying around after his confrontation with Sirius, most likely it would have left evidence that Wormtail was involved with the Death Eaters, or that Wormtail had killed all those people. Sirius might not have gone to Azkaban if such evidence was left around.


Sirius says on pg 363 PoA(US)

"when I cornered him, he yelled for the whole street to hear that I'd betrayed Lily and James. Then before I could curse him, he blew up the street with the wand behind his back...'

I suspect Pettigrew had two wands.

My hunch is Pettigrew had his wand and Voldemort's. It’s the only reasonable way Voldemort could have got his wand. Someone was keeping it for him. Voldemort has had his own wand ever since Wormtail returned to him. So Wormtail must have been the keeper of Voldemort’s wand. That would mean that he must have been with Voldemort when Voldemort attacked the Potters.
Given Flitwick’s description of the Fidelius Charm on pg 205 PoA (US), I think Voldemort needed Pettigrew there to take him to the Potters. Wormtail as secret keeper couldn't just give Voldemort directions, but had to personally be the one to knock on the door.

Counterpoints to above theory:

For Lord Voldemort to have acquired his wand, there is no doubt that Peter should have been the one to return it to him. However, there are two points to suggest he came later, rather than with LV:

(a) When Voldemort turned into a spirit, he fled. If Pettigrew was there at the time of his downfall, LV would have had a servant to possess.
(b) Harry’s memories of the night seem to indicate that Lord Voldemort came to Godric’s Hollow alone.

SQ quote:

Zsenya (posted on 3/14/02): This is really from the movie, and so perhaps some poetic license was taken here, but I was surprised at how "wimpy" Voldemort appeared when he showed up at Godric's Hollow. True, all we saw was a cloaked figure opening a door. But it seemed so... Muggle. I mean, would Voldemort just show up at a house and open a door when he could blast in through a variety of other methods. In the back of my mind, I wonder if that was actually Peter Pettigrew. I'm not sure what that has to do with Voldemort, but I know that we're missing very important pieces of the puzzle.

5.Voldemort’s weaknesses:

  [1] Mortality:

GoF quotes:

1.But I was willing to embrace mortal life again, before chasing immortal. I set my sights lower…

2.And now, I was tested, and it appeared that one or more of my experiments had worked…for I had not been killed, though the curse should have done it.

Theory posted by SPECTRE on 4/9/02.Voldemort can be killed.

In addressing the Death Eaters after his "rebirthing party" Voldemort says of his new body, " . . . I was willing to embrace mortal life again, before chasing immortality. I set my sights lower . . . I would settle for my old body back again, and my old strength."

So Voldemort's new body does not have the special powers that enabled him to survive the confrontation in Godric's Hollow! Earlier, he says that "one of" his experiments in immortality saved him that time, indicating that he does not know which it was. It would seem that he would have to do quite a bit of work to restore his old invulnerability. Perhaps he won't have time before things heat up; if the Order of the Phoenix (assisted by the Trio, of course) can keep him off balance and behind schedule, perhaps he won't be able to repeat the immortality experiments, and he can really be killed once and for all now!

Yes, he does say, "the lingering protection his mother (Lily) once gave him (Harry) would then reside in my veins, too . . ." But that protection is stretched rather thin; Harry can be killed, ergo, so can Voldemort.

Counterpoints to above theory:

1.GoF quote: I would settle for my old body back again, and my old strength.

This line of Voldemort’s suggests that his new body may actually have all the power of his old body. In other words, if someone were to successfully cast ‘Avada Kedavra’ on him, what happened on Oct31st 1981 would happen all over again. He would lose his body and turn into a spirit.

2.Voldemort had not truly achieved immortality during his first reign. It’s true that he was not killed by ‘Avada Kedavra’. But he was left powerless and without physical form. The Philosopher’s stone would have assured him true immortality. After he failed to acquire it, he set his sights lower and opted for the next best thing-his old body and his old power. The latter would save him from Avada Kedavra perhaps, but it was definitely not a form of true invulnerability. Therefore, in Voldemort’s eyes, perhaps it’s not ‘immortality’. He admits to having walked down the path further than anybody else (conveniently forgetting Nicholas Flamel in his conceitedness), but does not admit to having reached his goal.

[2] Use of Harry’s blood:

GoF quote:

For a fleeting instant, Harry thought he saw a gleam of something like triumph in Dumbledore’s eyes. But next second, Harry was sure he had imagined it, for when Dumbledore had returned to his seat behind the desk, he looked as old and weary as Harry had ever seen him.

Chats with J.K.Rowling:

1.Question: Why did Dumbledore have a look of triumph in his eyes at the end of book four?

JKR: Good question... excellent question, in fact, and like all the best questions I get asked, I can't answer it! Because it would give too much away. However, well-spotted. Have fun guessing... someone's bound to get it right!

2. Question: In the fourth book, when Harry tells Dumbledore about his fight with Voldemort and how Voldemort could touch him after he took Harry's blood, Harry thinks he sees Dumbledore smile slightly. Why? Is Dumbledore really on Voldemort's side after all?

JKR: Hmmmm....like all the best questions I get asked, I can't answer that one. But you are obviously reading carefully. I promise you'll find out!

3. Question: Is it true that since Voldemort took Harry's blood by force, that Harry can kill Voldemort, but Voldemort can't kill Harry?

JKR: It's an interesting theory, but I wouldn't trust it too much!

4.Question: I was wondering about Dumbledore's facial expression in Goblet when he found out that Voldemort had touched Harry. The narrative says that Dumbledore reacted with a look of triumph. Aside from the problem of interpreting triumph on someone's face, I was wondering if that is an attempt to throw question on Dumbledore's character or is he triumphant, perhaps, that Harry can be touched by LV without being destroyed (or something like that)?

JKR: I frequently look triumphant I'll have you know. I'm sure you won't be surprised that I 'm not going to explain why Dumbledore looked that way. Well-spotted though.

Dumbledore’s ‘gleam of triumph’ suggests that Voldemort has possibly weakened himself by using Harry’s blood. (I’m discounting the unlikely possibility that Dumbledore is a ‘competing Dark Wizard’ or is ‘with Voldemort’).

(A)Theory posted by Lauren Weasley on 4/6/02.Lily’s love

PS quote: ’If it’s one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it’s love.’

I would assume since that protection, that goodness, is in Harry’s very skin, it’s also in his blood. I would think that having that goodness involved in the magic that gave him a new body would be kind of like sewing weeds in a garden. Or perhaps flowers in a weed. Eventually, probably not until a key moment, Harry’s mother’s mark will defile the purity of Voldemort’s evil, making it less powerful, less potent, and to some extent counteracting it. I think Dumbledore understood that because of the very goodness in Harry’s blood, Voldemort, in his desire for revenge has signaled the beginning of his own end by allowing something so good and incomprehensible to him into his sanctuary.

(B) Theory posted by SPECTRE on 4/5/02.’Sympathetic Magic’

Anthropologists who study cultures that believe in or practice magic have classified particular magical beliefs. Writers like L. Sprague deCamp (The Complete Enchanter) and Robert Heinlein (Magic, Inc.) have sometimes used these principles as "laws" of magic. One of them is sympathetic magic, the belief that two items which were once part of a whole retain a connection such that a magical action on one can affect the other. For example, an obeah doll must be made with the hair or nail trimmings of the intended victim. Placing a curse on the doll affects the person because the hair or nail trimmings were once physically part of the victim. In another example, taking a sliver of wood from the beam of a house would enable a wizard many miles away to cast a spell causing the beam to burst into flames. Priori incantatem is another example of the same-two feathers from the same phoenix.

If Voldemort is now made up partly of a sample of Harry's blood, perhaps Dumbledore knows that a spell cast on or with Harry could affect or even destroy Voldemort. This would account for the "gleam of triumph" in Dumbledore's eyes when Harry tells him that Voldemort used his blood to resurrect himself. It would be Dumbledore thinking, "AHA! So Voldemort has gone and made the fatal mistake that will make him vulnerable."

Of course, Dumbledore would never approve of using such a spell if it would harm Harry. But others might if Voldemort and the Death Eaters have the wizarding world panicked. (Remember that Trelawney's second real prediction was that the Dark Lord would be "more terrible" and more powerful than before.) There may come a time when Harry has to hide from Ministry officials who are prepared to sacrifice him to save the wizarding world. I can see Fudge taking this position, hoping by desperate measures to redeem his earlier refusal to act. This is just the kind of thing that Crouch Sr. might have done too.

(C) Theory posted by R.V.Crouch on 4/6/02.’Access to LV’s basic constituents-Based on SPECTRE’s theory of ‘Sympathetic Magic’

PoA Quote: ’You heard what Pettigrew’s mother got back, didn’t you? The Order Of Merlin, First Class, and Pettigrew’s finger in a box.’

Dumbledore's 'gleam of triumph' could have lain in the fact that they have access to all three of Voldemort's constituent elements. Perhaps a spell could be invoked to affect Voldemort using all three ingredients-Tom Riddle Sr’s bone, Peter Pettigrew’s finger, and a sample of Harry's blood.
Personally, I always felt that the triumphant look specifically concerned the usage of Harry's blood. But, it may all have clicked in place in Dumbledore’s mind when Harry mentioned the last ingredient-his blood.

(D) Theory posted by StickPegasus on 1/2/02.Life-Debt.

PoA quote: When one wizard saves another wizard’s life, it creates a certain bond between them. This is magic at it’s very deepest.

I've always thought of it as a life-debt.
Voldemort, by using Harry's blood to resurrect himself, has put himself in Harry's debt. In a way, Harry has "saved" Voldemort's life. Therefore, the ancient magic that Dumbledore talked about at the end of book 3 comes into play- Voldemort has created a situation in which he owes Harry and they're linked. Perhaps this fact will save Harry in the future- some kind of Payback Spell…

(E) Theory posted by Prettyannamoon on 1/23/02.Voldemort has Gryffindor blood.

What I think would be a cool twist was if Harry is the heir of Gryffindor, that Voldemort has to rid the world of all his rival's blood before he can gain full power (thus explaining why he was after James and Harry but not Lily). But Voldemort messed up... now the only way he can rid the world of the blood of Gryffindor is to kill himself - for Harry's blood is in him. That would be sweet justice, even if it wouldn't flow with the theme of the books, which is love and friendship (Lily's sacrifice) being more important than your bloodlines. People have argued that Voldemort would have caught that, and wouldn't have used Harry's blood if that were the case. But perhaps he doesn't know about it yet. Dumbledore, however, does.

(F) Theory posted by Prettyannamoon. Basilisk injury.

The post in which Prettyannamoon put forward her theory isn’t available. I’ve tried to convey the gist as I remember it-

CoS quote:

But as warm blood drenched Harry’s arms, he felt a searing pain above his elbow. One long, poisonous fang was sinking deeper and deeper into his arm and it splintered as the Basilisk keeled over sideways and fell, twitching, to the floor.

Harry slid down the wall. He gripped the fang that was spreading poison through his body and wrenched it out of his arm.

GoF quotes:

1.He felt its point penetrate the crook of his right arm, and blood seeping down the sleeve of his torn robes

2.Dumbledore walked around the desk and told Harry to stretch out his arm. Harry showed them both the place where his robes were torn, and the cut beneath them.

Prettyannamoon’s theory suggests a significance of the site from where Wormtail drew Harry’s blood. In CoS, the Basilisk injures the area just above Harry’s elbow. In GoF, Wormtail punctures Harry in the crook of his arm (roughly the same region). Though it’s not explicitly stated there is a possibility that the arm which was subjected to the blood removal is also the arm (the right arm) that was injured by the Basilisk. Therefore, could Voldemort possibly suffer any adverse residual effect of the Basilisk fang and venom? It can also be noted that Dumbledore walked around the desk and asked Harry to show him exactly where Peter drew blood.

[3] Use of Pettigrew’s hand:

Theory posted by Emo Tuesday on 1/2/02 Imperfect flesh.

In GoF, during the resurrection of Voldemort, Pettigrew/Wormtail uses his own hand in the process- the hand that had four fingers. I believe that Pettigrew using a hand with only four fingers will give Voldemort some sort of a weakness. Why would JKR have specifically mentioned that it was the hand with only four fingers instead of just mentioning it as his hand?

[4] Egoism:

Theory posted by JK on 10/11/01.Lord Voldemort is overconfident.

Voldemort's downfalls so far have been caused mainly by overconfidence and trying to appear too clever/powerful.

In CoS, he gloated and set the Basilisk on Harry instead of killing him himself. In GoF, by attempting to establish his superiority over Harry by killing him in a duel rather than when he was tied up, or while he was unarmed, he allowed Harry to get away and probably caused himself to lose face in front of his Death Eaters. Dumbledore's look of triumph when Harry tells him about Voldemort taking his blood suggests that there could be consequences of that which Voldemort has not foreseen.

This brings me to a quote:

If you have to look along the shaft of an arrow from the wrong end, if a man has you entirely at his mercy, then hope like hell that man is an evil man. Because the evil like power…they will talk. They will gloat…

So hope like hell your captor is an evil man. A good man will kill you with hardly a word.

From Men at Arms by Terry and Lyn Pratchett, Corgi Books,Moorebank,NSW,1993.

Overconfidence features in a large way in the downfall of empires in history. How many empires have fallen because they stretched one country too far? It happened to both Napoleon and Hitler when they attempted to invade Russia. It plays a part in fantasy too. I'll look at two examples, viz., Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings.

Star Wars
The Emperor was overconfident. Instead of killing Luke, he was sure he could be turned and become a powerful ally. He brought Luke before him and called him "my young apprentice", although Luke had made no sign he wanted to turn. Palpatine assumed that the Rebels would fail, and that Vader would remain loyal to him, being too far- gone to turn back to the good side. He assumed his predictions would be correct. He assumed the second Death Star was adequately protected.

He was wrong. Luke did not turn. The rebels succeeded. His predictions were wrong. Vader turned on him and killed him.
Overconfidence destroyed Palpatine.

The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion.

Sauron was overconfident. When he created the Ring, he had power. But he was greedy and wanted more. He put on the Ring and the elves were instantly aware of him. In the tale of Beren and Luthien, the hound they were with could only be destroyed by the most powerful wolf in the world. So Sauron disguised himself as a wolf to become the most powerful wolf. He was sure he could do it. And he was defeated and trapped by the hound. He was forced to give up some of his disguises. He did not foresee the betrayal of Saruman. He placed excessive faith on the Lord of the Nazgul, thinking no man could slay him. He was confident no one could break through into Mordor and was mistaken.

Similarly, I think Voldemort’s ego is going to destroy him in the end.

SQ quotes:

Episcopal Witch(posted on 10/11/01):

Maybe, instead of continuing to overstep himself because of overconfidence, he'll learn from his past mistakes. It would make him much harder to defeat… and much scarier.

Swirly Head(posted on 10/11/01):

1.What's the fun in being evil if you can't gloat? What separates the truly evil from the merely bad is the fact that they enjoy what they do. Voldemort would glean little enjoyment from simply killing Harry outright. This is his nemesis and he wants to make him suffer.

2.Still, J.K.Rowling won't let Voldemort become an entirely stereotypical villain. I feel that Harry will either come up against Voldemort in the next book and escape due to Pettigrew's debt or some other factor, perhaps Draco, or someone else will go against Voldemort and die. I don’t think JKR will play the same card again, at least not in the next couple of books.

[5] Phoenix song:

FBAWTFT quote:

increase the courage of the pure of heart and strike fear into the hearts of the impure

The above quote from ‘Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them’ describes the effect of Phoenix song on a person of good or evil nature. When LV hears it, a feeling of fear sweeps through him. This presumably led to his unusual reaction to ‘Priori Incantatem’ and his subsequent defeat in the same duel with Harry. The Phoenix song is a weakness, as it would make LV more vulnerable or less threatening if Fawke’s is in the vicinity.

[6] Harry’s dreams:

Harry can perceive Voldemort’s activities in his dreams. The two are connected by the failed ‘Avada Kedavra’ curse. When Voldemort is in the vicinity or is planning the murder of someone, Harry’s scar burns. The fact that Harry can at times see and know what Voldemort is doing puts the latter in a position of disadvantage.

6.Voldemort’s plan of attack:

GoF quotes:

1.’The Dementors will join us…they are our natural allies…we will recall the banished giants…I shall have all my devoted servants returned to me, and an army of creatures whom all fear…’

2.You shall have better victims than that soon, Macnair. Lord Voldemort will provide…’

PoA quote:

’The Dark Lord will rise again with his servant’s aid, greater and more terrible than ever before.’

Chats with J.K.Rowling:

Question: Ms. Rowling, will Voldemort's evil ways rise again, such as Muggle killings?

JKR: Well, his temper hasn't exactly improved while he's been away, has it? So I think we can safely say, yes.

Theory posted by Ryncar on 5/26/01.Delayed attacks

In many of the Fanfics I've read, I have noticed that most authors have Voldemort immediately attacking someone/something and generally drawing attention. Sometimes the author justifies You-Know-Who's hasty behavior by saying he was angry about not being recognized as having returned.

What bothers me about this is that Voldemort does not seem like he'd care if the general public acknowledged his presence just yet, rather he'd want to wait until he was stronger (and immortal again), before alerting anyone other than his followers that he is in fact alive. The main reason for this would be that Voldemort would not want to draw attention to himself while he is still vulnerable (not having the Dementors, Giants, etc. on his side yet). Also, by lying low, Voldemort makes Dumbledore’s plight to stop him more difficult (less people believing Dumbledore, having to work behind the Ministry’s back – which could lead to Dumbledore’s men being caught and prosecuted by Fudge). Therefore, LV’s silence would hinder Dumbledore.

Fanfic views:

Ryncar’s theory of ‘Delayed attacks’ is also proposed by Doctor Cornelius in his fanfic Harry Potter, Prisoner of Azkaban and by Sanction in her fanfic-‘The Phoenix and the serpent’.

(1) In Fanfiction, it’s generally believed that Voldemort will acquire the Dementors and his faithful supporters, but not the giants. This idea is owing to the very strong possibility that Dumbledore has asked Hagrid and Madame Maxime to serve as envoys to the giant community from the ‘good side’. It’s considered that they will be able to persuade the giants to join them before Voldemort does.

(2) Fanfic plot bunny (posted by Catwoman on 5/2/02): Canon tells us that Voldemort is planning to free the Death Eaters from Azkaban and that Dumbledore is very concerned about this. My plot idea revolves around a mission to break into Azkaban in order to get to the Death Eaters before Voldemort does. Since Sirius knows more about Azkaban than anyone else, he will be able to lead the mission.

This plot bunny is interesting for a few reasons:

(a) JKR has stated in chats that she can’t reveal whether Sirius’s name is cleared or not in the next book since it’s too important a piece of information.

(b) It seems unlikely that Dumbledore will entirely give up on the ‘Azkaban issue’, even though the Ministry isn’t on his side. Even if he is able to persuade ‘ those at the Ministry who are not as short-sighted as Cornelius’, he may still have to take the matter into his own hands.

(c) Sirus would indeed know all the complexities of Azkaban considering that he broke out of the place. Plus, he himself was a high-security prisoner.

7.Voldemort’s fate:

Chats with J.K.Rowling:

1.Question: Do you plan to give Voldemort his victory or somehow break his immortality to kill him?

JKR: Dhanya, do you really, really think I'll answer that?

I don't blame you for asking though...

2.Question: Ms. Rowling, will Voldemort ever die?

JKR: Do you really, really think I will answer that?

Poll:

Based on the poll ‘Who will kill Voldemort?’ that was posted on 10/8/01,the SQ opinion on who will decide Voldemort’s fate, as on 6/21/02, is:

1.Harry-78

2.Peter-14

3.Voldemort himself-22

4.He will not die-16

5.Someoneelse-27

The poll is based on 157 votes.

SQ quotes:

1.Jill (posted on 11/15/01): If Rowling follows the fairy-tale rules of the weakest becoming the protagonist and the salvation of all, if she is throwing in a major plot twist, then the character who will finally do in Voldemort is...Neville. I don't know how or where, but he will have the honor of killing Voldemort. I believe that he is a very important, oft-overlooked, dark horse candidate for the job.

2. Rainhawke (posted on 10/12/01): I'm going to make a strange choice -- Sirius or Remus.
Peter's too obvious, although I kind of like it, but it does follow the Gollum and Wormtongue pattern (of LoTR) too closely. I personally don't think Dumbledore’s going to make it to the end, and I'd hate to see Harry kill anyone, even Voldemort. He's too innocent to add causing death to his list of sorrows.
Perhaps Harry will get injured in the final fight and Sirius will kill Voldemort in one of his notorius fits of rage -- Sirius has suffered a heck of a lot directly because of Voldemort. He could be taking revenge for James as well.
Remus would be very dramatically ironic because having a despised werewolf kill the most evil wizard of all times would be one in the Ministry's eye.

3. Bluemeanies (posted on 2/4/02): I actually voted for he lives, because, well I'm a slight pessimist, and also believe in the spiritual continuation of evil. What is Voldemort? Is he a man, or an idea, or a path along which humanity could fall? And does killing the man kill either the idea or the path?

4.DHDRabbi (posted on 3/3/02): Hermione loves her Arithmancy class. We know that new magic can be developed since the Wolfsbane potion is new. Arithmancy would be the science that helps to create new spells. Maybe Hermione will develop a new spell to help in the fight against Voldemort.

Fanfic views:

1.After the End, by Arabella and Zsenya:

Voldemort is destroyed by a charm called ‘Expecto Sacrificum’. Harry casts the charm on LV, the magic of the charm being successfully invoked by his friends Ginny, Ron, Hermione, his former Professor Remus Lupin, and his godfather Sirius when they try to protect Harry from Voldemort’s Killing Curse. The Fic is therefore based on the idea that Harry will not destroy Voldemort on his own, but with the aid of his friends; their friendship and love forming an important element in the ultimate downfall of the Dark Lord.

2.If We Survive, by R.J.Anderson:

Harry destroys Voldemort, but after the latter is unknowingly weakened to a considerable degree by a calculated sacrifice of Albus Dumbledore’s. Dumbledore allows Voldemort to kill him when the Dark Lord threatens to wipe out the school unless the Headmaster surrenders himself. By his sacrifice, Dumbledore breaks the strength of Voldemort, in a manner similar but less obvious to the way Lily Potter did at Godric’s Hollow on Oct31st 1981.

3.From across the Great Divide, by Ashwinder.

Extract from Ashwinder’s Fic:

She could see in him now the person who dared face down Lord Voldemort; who duelled with him, even though they both knew their wands would not function properly against each other; who was able to remain locked in battle with evil until others could intervene, combine their magic, and finish Voldemort off. (Ginny’s POV)

Lord Voldemort’s ultimate defeat occurs at the hands of many witches and wizards. While Harry locks the Dark Lords strength in ‘Priori Incantatem’, the others vanquish him in a collective effort.

  Redemption?

Can Voldemort be redeemed?

Theory posted by Doctor Cornelius on 6/21/02. LV’s redemption is theoretically possible but unlikely.

My best guess at this point is that JKR has set up the repentance/redemption of Voldemort as a theoretical possibility, but one that will almost certainly not actually happen.

If you take the view that there's a certain amount of "blood on hands" after which no redemption should be possible, then you are disagreeing with Lucas' redemption of Anakin/Vader after his vaporization of Alderaan (among other crimes), not just on a literary level but a moral level also. Of course it's possible to hold such a view, but please be aware that your view on the issue comes from moral and/or religious factors that we can't expect to resolve in this forum.

The more interesting question, though, is- What are JKR's views on redemption? The closest she's come to addressing the issue so far is in the implied Dumbledore/Moody conflict over "second chances" (recall Moody-Crouch's remark to Snape in "The Egg and The Eye"), in which Dumbledore clearly speaks for JKR in supporting second chances.

Of course it's still an open issue whether JKR is treating redemption as a limited or unlimited possibility. Given that our only evidence thus far points to "second chances" with no limitation stated, I tend to lean toward the possibility that she'd favor unlimited redemption. But of course this isn't certain; and let's all of us be careful not to read our own views on the subject into JKR's writing.

Tolkein's work is very interesting in his handling of the issue. One of the key moments in LotR is where Sam, at the gates of the Sammath Naur on Mount Doom, makes a clear decision to take pity on Gollum-- and, moments later, Sam's pity resulted in Frodo, and all of Middle-Earth, being saved from the greatest of all possible disasters. Likewise Gandalf allows Saruman second chances in their debate in TTT, but is very firm-handed in doing so; there remains a path open for Saruman to repent, but Gandalf is careful in watching his back and not allowing for trickery. (In the Silmarillion, much harm had come from too-easy acceptances of false repentance by Morgoth and, in the Second Age, Sauron.) The only real repentance in LotR is that of Boromir, who hadn't fallen far or long; I'm sure there are examples in the Silmarillion but I can't rattle them off at the moment.

In any case, Tolkein's implied view seems to be that repentance must always be treated as a possibility, but that it becomes less and less likely the further the person falls, and that one must be on one's guard against manipulation through false claims of repentance.

I expect that JKR's view will be at least more or less similar to that-- but not for sure; we'll see. One possibility that I've thought of is that at the very end, for just a moment, the dying Riddle/Voldemort will have a real chance, to renounce his crimes and die at peace-- it will seem possible, but then-- he collapses back, shakes his fist at the Universe, and dies.

Theory posted by Theleprachaun8mysox on 6/21/02.LV’s redemption would affect the theme of the books.

I think JKR did a wonderful job of not making him a 2D villain. I don't think he can be redeemed though. I think he is way past redemption. Here's what I think JKR did on purpose- Voldemort has had a bad childhood. You can actually understand him and how he became evil. But think about this. He was an orphan. He grew up with Muggles. Sad childhood. Who else does that sound like? Harry! They even pointed out all the similarities between them in CoS. I think JKR did this on purpose because Harry is the exact opposite of Voldemort. In CoS Dumbledore says that Harry chose to be in Gryffindor, which makes him very different from Tom Riddle. He said, "It is our choices that make us who we are, far more than our abilities." I think this is a big point in the novel. Voldemort is evil because that is how he chose to react to the situation he was in. No matter what your life is like, you are still responsible for the person you choose to become. I think Voldemort being redeemed would ruin this major theme.

8.Voldemort’s wand.

PS quotes:

1.‘ Thirteen and a half inches. Yew. Powerful wand, very powerful, and in the wrong hands…’

2.’No two Ollivander wands are the same, just as no two unicorns, dragons or phoenixes are quite the same.’

3.’I remember every wand I’ve ever sold, Mr. Potter. Every single wand. It so happens that the phoenix whose tail feather is in your wand, gave another feather-just one other. It is very curious indeed that you should be destined for this wand when its brother-why, its brother gave you that scar.’

4. ‘The wand chooses the wizard, remember…I think we must expect great things from you, Mr. Potter…After all, He Who Must Not Be Named did great things-terrible, yes, but great.’

GoF quotes:

1.’Harry’s wand and Voldemort’s wand share cores. Each of them contains a feather from the tail of the same phoenix. This phoenix, in fact,’ he added, and he pointed at the scarlet and gold bird, perching peacefully on Harry’s knee.

2.’My wand’s feather came from Fawkes?’ Harry said amazed.

3.’Yes,’ Dumbledore said. ’Mr Ollivander wrote to tell me you had bought the second wand, the moment you left his shop four years ago.’

Yew mythology:

In early times, the darkly glorious yew-tree was probably the only evergreen tree in Britain. Both Druids with their belief in reincarnation, and later Christians with their teaching of the resurrection, regarded it as a natural emblem of everlasting life. Its capacity for great age enriched its symbolic value. The yew's reputation for long life is due to the unique way in which the tree grows. Its branches grow down into the ground to form new stems, which then rise up around the old central growth as separate but linked trunks. After a time, they cannot be distinguished from the
original tree. So the yew has always been a symbol of death and rebirth, or of the new that springs out of the old.

The leaves, seeds and fruit of the Yew tree are poisonous and the wood was formerly used to make the English Longbow.

The tree’s association with death, rebirth and immortality makes it fairly fitting for the Dark Lord’s wand to be made of this wood.

1.Who took Voldemort’s wand after his downfall on Oct31st 1981?

See ‘Voldemort’s attack on the Potters’-‘The night of the attack’-‘Was Peter at Godric’s Hollow?

2.Voldemort, Harry and Fawkes:

  (A) Fawke’s feathers:

a. Theory posted by Vindictive on 8/10/01.Fawkes supplied the cores of two and only two wands, those of the most powerful wizards of the time.

When Mr. Ollivander said, "the wand chooses the wizard", I assumed that it was mostly based on magical aptitude and potential, not personality per se. Remember, although the core is the magical part, a magical substance by itself does not a wand make. I think the fact that Ollivander keeps on spouting the types of wood he uses is also significant He doesn’t tell Harry what his parents’ wand cores were made of, just the wood.

As for the significance of Fawkes- I think JKR told us this because it creates a further bond between Dumbledore, Voldemort, and Harry. I also think it makes Fawkes more mysterious and important in the future. Remember how Ollivander said the phoenix that gave the feather for Harry's core only gave up one other feather? He makes this sound unusual. Perhaps phoenixes usually contribute more than just two tail feathers to wands? In any event, the fact that Fawkes has given only two feathers, and they were to the two most powerful wizards in their generations (We're all assuming Harry will become this, right?) should be noted. Why Fawkes? I’m afraid I can't really think of a real reason from what the books say. We don't know much about Fawkes. He seems to be unusual only in the fact that he has become domesticated (Dumbledore's pet).

b. Theory posted by R.V.Crouch on 8/10/01.Harry’s wand was deliberately created to battle LV.

Its possible that the wand Harry has was deliberately created. That it was designed for the specific purpose of battling Lord Voldemort.

This quote of Mr.Ollivander’s is interesting-’No two Ollivander wands are the same, just as no two unicorns, dragons or phoenixes are quite the same.’

It suggests that normally Mr.Ollivander never use’s the same source for more than one wand.

Therefore,

(a) Mr. Ollivander was specifically asked by someone-else to make Harry’s wand,

(b) Voldemort’s wand or Harry’s wand is not an Ollivander creation, or

(c) JKR made a flaw in writing that statement.

(b) seems very unlikely. I think we can discard it. (c) is possible I suppose. But I don’t think it can be accepted if there’s an alternative explanation.

(a) looks like a feasible possibility. If someone asked Mr.Ollivander to make a second wand with the same core as LV’s, I can see him doing so. I think the identity of this ‘someone’ is Dumbledore.

Reasons:

a. Mr. Ollivander wrote to Dumbledore immediately after the purchase of the second wand.

b. He refrained from commenting on the specialty of Harry’s wand at ‘The Weighing of the Wands’ ceremony (possibly at the prior request of Dumbledore).

c. Fawkes is Dumbledore’s pet.

d. Dumbledore is a good and powerful wizard of considerable eminence who was working tirelessly against LV.

Now, Dumbledore may have acquired Fawkes after Voldemort’s rise to power. We don’t know when Fawkes became his pet, do we? The reason-to create the second wand. Locating the bird that supplied the core of Voldemort's wand would be extremely difficult, but Ollivander apparently remembers such things too. He commented on the particular unicorn that had given the core of Cedric's wand (saying that it was a fine male unicorn that had nearly gored him).

Also, I don’t think Dumbledore told Ollivander who the wand would be for. Why? Ollivander took a long time to give Harry his wand in PS. He was also quite surprised Harry was compatible with the wand. (His words ‘Curious…Curious’).

c. Theory proposed by Doctor Cornelius in his Fanfic-Harry Potter, Prisoner of Azkaban. Fawkes will serve as a constant source of feathers for Harry’s wand.

Extract from Dr.C’s FanFic:

But, Professor," Harry asked, "how can I practice spells or… or anything? My wand…." He held out its broken pieces.

"That," replied the Headmaster, "can be remedied, I believe, with help from one of our friends." Even as he spoke, Fawkes fluttered onto Harry's knee. He craned his neck around, plucked a feather with his beak, and presented it to Harry, laying it on top of the broken pieces containing one of his own feathers.

"You see, Harry?" added Dumbledore. "As long as Fawkes exists, you will always have a wand to match Voldemort's. Mr. Ollivander has cast in his lot with us, and I will be seeing him this afternoon… if I may?" He held out his hand, and Harry entrusted him with Fawkes' feather.

(B) Phoenix song:

FBAWTFT quote:

increase the courage of the pure of heart and strike fear into the hearts of the impure

The above quote from ‘Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them’ describes the effect of Phoenix song on a person of good or evil nature. When LV hears it, a feeling of fear sweeps through him. This presumably led to his defeat in ‘Priori Incantatem’. The Phoenix song is interesting because it would make LV more vulnerable or less threatening if Fawke’s is in the vicinity.

9.Voldemort’s character:

1.Ambition, prejudice and anger.

PS quotes:

1.’There is no good and evil, there is only power, and those too weak to seek it’

2.Dunno if he had enough human left in him to die.

3. If there is one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it is love.

CoS quotes:

1.‘I fashioned myself a new name, a name I knew wizards everywhere would one day fear to speak, when I had become the greatest sorcerer in the world.

2.’I, keep the name of a foul, common Muggle, who abandoned me even before I was born, just because he found out his wife was a witch?

Interviews with J.K.Rowling:

1.E: Voldemort’s a half-blood too…

JKR: Like Hitler! See! I think it's the case that the biggest bully takes their own defects and they put them on someone else, and they try to destroy them. And that's what he [Voldemort] does. That was very conscious - I wanted to create a villain where you could understand the workings of his mind, not just have a 2-D baddie, dressed up in black, and I wanted to explore that and see where that came from. Harry in Book Four is starting to come to terms with what makes a person turn that way. Because they took wrong choices and he [Voldemort] took wrong choices from an early age.

2.JKR: In the second book, Chamber of Secrets, in fact he’s [Voldemort’s] exactly what I’ve said before.He takes what he perceives to be a defect in himself, in other words the non-purity of his blood, and he projects it onto others. It's like Hitler and the Arian ideal, to which he did not conform at all, himself. And so Voldemort is doing this also. He takes his own inferiority, and turns it back on other people and attempts to exterminate in them what he hates in himself.

3.JKR: What I'm working towards here is the fact that our choices rather than our abilities show us what we truly are. That's brought out in the difference between Harry and his archenemy, Tom Riddle. In Chamber of Secrets, Harry is told by the hat that if he goes into Slytherin he will become a powerful wizard. He chooses not to do that. But Tom Riddle, who has been twisted by ambition and lack of love, succumbs to the desire for power. Though he's supposed to have died years before, his malign spirit manipulates events through an enchanted diary.

Twice during interviews JKR has compared Lord Voldemort to Adolf Hitler. The basis for her comparison has, however, been a rather debatable issue. She has assumed that Hitler was not purely of the Aryan bloodline. That Hitler had Jewish relations is now in fact believed to be a myth.

But the point JKR has tried to make concerning his character is still clear. Voldemort is a half-blood who was rejected before he was born, by his Muggle father. The fact that he terminated the Basilisk attacks in his fifth year when the threat of returning to the Muggle orphanage loomed over tells us that his stay at the orphanage during the early years of his life was extremely unpleasant. His pride was hurt by his father’s rejection and his childhood was made miserable at the orphanage.

His hatred for Muggles can therefore be understood, if not condoned.

The third of the above three quotes is rather interesting. In it, JKR has conveyed what she viewed as the two basic ingredients for Voldemort’s antisocial personality-lack of love, and intense ambition. His desire for power is understandable, considering that he must have felt belittled by his past. He was filled with a desire to prove himself, which led him to perform brilliantly at Hogwarts. This, coupled to his vow to revenge himself upon his father and the Muggle world that had despised him for eleven years, made him fulfill his destiny as the heir of Slytherin, delve into the Dark Arts and become the greatest sorcerer in the world.

JKR’s line that he succumbed to the desire for power and made the wrong choice at an early age (in contrast to Harry) also tells us that the Sorting Hat did give him the opportunity to go into another house-possibly Gryffindor? In other words, young Tom Riddle did not have a purely flat personality. The Sorting Hat saw the characteristics of different houses in him, just as it did in Harry. But Tom Riddle made the wrong choice…

Lord Voldemort, as he is now, seems to be far beyond the scope of redemption. He’s psychopathic and intent on world domination. In fact, one could tentatively put him in the class of ‘pure evil’.

2.Egoism and megalomania.

CoS quotes:

1.’I, in whose veins runs the blood of Salazar Slytherin himself, through my mother’s side?’

GoF quotes:

1.’They, who had seen proofs of the immensity of my power, in the times when I was mightier than any wizard living?’

2. ‘I, who have gone further than anybody along the path that leads to immortality.’

3.’Now see the way that fate favours Lord Voldemort.’

4.’You see, I think, how foolish it was to suppose that this boy could ever have been stronger than me’.

5.’I am much, much more than a man.’

Egotism and self-centeredness feature very prominently in Voldemort’s personality. He is exceedingly proud of his magical prowess and his Slytherin heritage. There are two ways of explaining his extreme conceitedness.

1.Though he doesn’t realize it, it’s possible he inherited the quality from his late father, Tom Riddle Sr. His father was a conceited, snobbish and cold individual as well. Just how Harry is ‘truly his father’s son’, Voldemort may ironically be the same.

2.The second explanation is based on Nurture instead of Nature. As JKR’s said, Voldemort ‘takes his own inferiority and projects it into others’. His pride over being a true Slytherin and such a powerful wizard may be exaggerated in an unconscious effort to wipe out the part of himself that he hates (being born to a Muggle and raised by Muggles).

3.Humour.

GoF quotes:

1.’Hold out your arm,’ said Voldemort lazily.

‘Oh, master…thank you, master…’

‘He extended the bleeding stump, but Voldemort laughed again. ’The other arm, Wormtail.’

2.’Harry Potter has kindly joined us for my rebirthing party. One might go so far as to call him my guest of honour.’

3.’Invite him inside, Wormtail. Where are your manners?’

4.’Wormtail,I need somebody with brains, somebody whose loyalty has never wavered, and you, unfortunately, fulfill neither requirement.’

5.I will allow you to perform an essential task for me, one that many of my followers would give their right hands to perform…’

6.’We bow to each other, Harry,’ said Voldemort, bending a little, but keeping his snake-like face upturned to Harry. ’Come, the niceties must be observed…Dumbledore would like you to show manners…bow to death, Harry…’

7.’We’re not playing hide and seek, Harry’

Despite his evil and sadistic nature, Voldemort does have a sense of humour, twisted though it may be. In fact his humour, which is of the sarcastic variety and his sadism walk hand in hand, as the above quotes from Goblet of Fire prove.

4. Merciless or Merciful?

Interview with J.K.Rowling:

JKR: I'm dealing with a villain who does hold human life incredibly cheap. That's how it happens: one squeeze of the trigger. Gone. Forever. That's evil. It's a terrible, terrible thing but you're right, I know where I draw the line. Other people will draw the line in a different place and they will disagree with me.

GoF quotes:

1.’Kill the spare’

2.’She had served her purpose. I could not possess her. I disposed of her.’

3.’I do not forgive. I do not forget. Thirteen years. I want thirteen years repayment before I forgive you’

4.’Wormtail, Wormtail’ said the cold voice silkily, why would I kill you? I killed Bertha because I had to. She was fit for nothing after my questioning, quite useless.’

5.’He forgave them, then?’ he said. ‘The Death Eaters who went free? The ones who escaped Azkaban?’

PoA quote: Stand aside, you silly girl…stand aside, now…

PS quote: Your mother needn’t have died. She was trying to save you.

As far as the issue of mercy is concerned, surprisingly, there just might be more to Voldemort than meets the eye.

The popular belief in Fanfiction is that LV is merciless. This belief is not entirely without basis. Many Muggle-killings and tortures during his first rise were committed out of fun. Cedric Diggory was murdered for merely being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Voldemort left Quirrel to die at the end of PS after the latter had served him faithfully for so long. JKR herself has said that he ‘holds human life very cheap’. She has described him as ‘psychopathic’ and as ‘a person who does not feel with normal emotions in matters related to death’. From this, it would seem as if he is quite incapable of mercy.

But -He did give Lily Potter the chance to live.

See Voldemort’s attack on the Potters- The night of the attack- History between LV and Lily Potter.

It would therefore seem that under certain circumstances he could be merciful. This seems to contradict his character as we interpret it.

Weak alternative possibility-Lord Voldemort is not an indiscriminate killer of wizards and witches. Yes, he has no regard at all for human life. But he only kills if there is indeed a concrete motive or definite reason. JKR’s quote could mean that he has no qualms about killing when the need arises. That could explain why he was willing to spare Lily. Its also interesting to note that he explains himself for murdering Bertha Jorkins on two occasions. But this alternative possibility does not concur well with his character either (the murder of Cedric Diggory for example).

As for the apparent mercy that he displayed toward his Death Eaters at the cemetery, it can be explained by the fact that he needs them. In order to regain the kind of power he had thirteen years ago he needs as many powerful and acquitted Death Eaters as he can get. Only then will his influence once gain begin to pervade the wizarding world.

5.Perceptiveness.

PS quote: ‘…Now…why don’t you give me that Stone in your pocket?’

GoF quote:

1. ‘You have no wife,’ said the cold voice, very quietly. ’Nobody knows you’re here. You told nobody that you were coming. Do not lie to Lord Voldemort, Muggle, for he knows…he always knows…’

2.’My Lord ! I-I have no wish to leave you, none at all-‘

‘Do not lie to me!’ hissed the second voice. ’I can always tell, Wormtail! You are regretting that you ever returned to me. I revolt you. I see you flinch when you look at me, feel you shudder when you touch me…’

The Dark lord has a moderate degree of acumen. He’s very good at spotting a liar. That may be because he’s so proficient at lying himself. Just how Dumbledore was able to spot Tom Riddle for what he was, Riddle was able to spot Dumbledore’s dislike of him. Despite his ability to detect deception, Voldemort was not very efficient at recognizing his unfaithful Death Eaters for what they were during his first ascent to power. He was unable to see through the facade of loyalty which Death Eaters like Lucius Malfoy had erected.

6.Charm and Manipulation.

PS quote: ‘Lord Voldemort showed me how wrong I was. There is no good and evil, there is only power, and those too weak to seek it…’

CoS quotes:

1. ‘If I say it myself, Harry, I’ve always been able to charm the people I needed.’

2. ‘Older and wiser wizards than she have been hoodwinked by Lord Voldemort.’

GoF quotes:

1.’Lord Voldemort’s gift for spreading discord and enmity is very great.’

2.’Extend them the hand of friendship, now, before it is too late,’ said Dumbledore,’ or Voldemort will persuade them, as he did before, that he alone among wizards will give them their rights and their freedom!’

LV can’t exactly be described as charming, given his deadly serpentine appearance. But he is a master manipulator. He uses a person’s weaknesses against him/her. The sixteen-year old memory of Tom Riddle was able to use Ginny’s insecurities as an eleven-year old witch to befriend her. She poured out her heart and soul to him and he used her fears and secrets to effectively possess her and to try to return to the real world. As the real Tom Riddle, he deceived the entire Hogwarts staff (with the exception of Dumbledore) and managed to conceal his true nature and motives from all but those he trusted.

He was wise enough to know which Marauder to manipulate and turn, using that person’s weaknesses of cowardice and inferiority against him. Given that there are many faithful and die-hard Death Eaters in Azkaban who chose not to renounce him, we can assume he has a certain degree of charisma amongst his loyal Death Eaters.

Dumbledore’s statement regarding the giants tells us he influenced these creatures as well during the first reign, playing with their desires for proper recognition and their bloodthirstiness. House-elves who seem to have more potential magical prowess than even wizards were treated like ‘vermin’ during his rule. He successfully used their conditioned inability to oppose wizards to exploit them to the maximum.

7.Lord Voldemort’s fear of Albus Dumbledore.

Voldemort is afraid of Dumbledore. The Dark Lord didn’t attempt to take over Hogwarts during his first reign. His fear of Dumbledore could be attributed to the Headmaster’s fame as the most powerful wizard of modern times, but its more likely as a result of what Voldemort saw of Dumbledore when he was at Hogwarts. Dumbledore was the only teacher who made Tom Riddle feel uncomfortable at school. Riddle recognized Dumbledore’s perceptiveness and realized that he was able to see him for what he was. When he left school, it was during the time of another Dark Wizard’s dominance- Grindelwald. At the time Tom Riddle graduated, Grindelwald was defeated by Dumbledore; a battle which made the Hogwarts professor very famous. Therefore, Voldemort’s continuing fear of Dumbledore may well be due to what he witnessed of Dumbledore’s power and intellect in school and after.

Fanfic views:

Tough Guide to Harry Potter Fanfiction, by Rugi and Gwena

Extract from Rugi and Gwena’s Fic:

Voldemort is certainly fearsome but is only a direct threat to his death eaters and Severus Snape. He wiles away his empty hours crucioing his incompetent underlings and masterminding byzantine plots. Which he then leaves in the hands of said incompetent underlings. Even kidnapped victims presented to his throne will probably end up being tormented largely by Peter Pettigrew or Lucius Malfoy. Voldemort being much too busy lounging around, toying with his wand to bother with more than a crucio or two. He is highly skilled, however, at expressing polite threats and megalomaniacal ambitions. The only person he directly fights is Harry. And given his record in that area, you shouldn’t be surprised when he loses. But your tour guides might let him kill Dumbledore first as a consolation prize.

The above is a satirical but fairly accurate description of LV’s portrayal in Fanfiction. In many ways, it concurs with certain facts regarding Voldemort’s personality.

10. Tom Riddle’s resemblance to Harry Potter:

Chats with J.K.Rowling:

1.Question: Is Voldemort some sort of relative of Harry's? Possibly his mother's brother?

JKR: I'm laughing...that would be a bit Star Wars, wouldn't it?

2.Question: Harry Potter for grownups again! Is Voldemort the last remaining ancestor of Slytherin, or the last remaining descendent of Slytherin?

JKR: Ah, you spotted the deliberate error. Yes, it should read "descendent." That's been changed in subsequent editions. (Keep hold of the "ancestor" one, maybe it'll be valuable one day!)

PS quotes:

1.Dumbledore and Professor Mcgonagall bent forward over the bundle of blankets. Inside, just visible, was a baby boy, fast asleep. Under a tuft of jet-black hair over his forehead they could see a curiously shaped cut, like a bolt of lightning.

2.The tall, thin, black haired man standing next to her put his arm around her. He wore glasses, and his hair was very untidy. It stuck up at the back, just like Harry’s did.

CoS quotes:

1.A boy of about sixteen entered, taking of his pointed hat. A silver prefect’s badge was glinting on his chest. He was much taller than Harry, but he, too, had jet-black hair.

2.’Because there are strange likenesses between us Harry Potter. Even you must have noticed. Both half-bloods, orphans, raised by Muggles. Probably the only two Parselmouths to come to Hogwarts since the great Slytherin himself. We even look something alike…’

3.’You can speak Parseltongue, Harry,’ said Dumbledore calmly, ’because Lord Voldemort-who is the last remaining descendent of Salazar Slytherin-can speak Parseltongue. Unless I’m much mistaken, he transferred some of his powers to you the night he gave you that scar.’

PoA quote:

1.’An easy mistake to make,’ said Dumbledore softly,’ I expect you’re tired of hearing it, but you do look extraordinarily like James. Except for your eyes…you’ve your mother’s eyes.’

There are no concrete theories on this topic. It’s generally believed that J.K.Rowling is unlikely to relate the two as it would be cliched. From the quote, it would seem as if JKR herself thinks so.

But for the sake of speculation-

1.The theory that Harry resembles Tom Riddle because of the events of Oct.31st 1981 can’t really be accepted. Harry looks exactly like his father(with the sole exception of the colour of his eyes).Therefore, the interesting resemblance is not that between Harry and Riddle, but between James and Riddle. If a connection is to be sought, it’s between James Potter and Tom Riddle.

2.Dumbledore’s remark that Voldemort is the last remaining descendent of Slytherin seems to nullify any possibility of Harry being related to LV. There is of course the very faint possibility that Dumbledore is mistaken.

3.There was once a fairly popular, quite farfetched, but now forgotten idea that Lily put a charm on Harry to make him look so extraordinarily like his father. Why? Harry is not James Potter’s son. Whose is he? Open to speculation. But this theory wouldn’t keep with the tone of the HP books at all.

SQ quotes:

1.Smitelf (posted on 6/25/01): If the Mirror of Erised had shown a young Tom Riddle, pre-transformation...he could very well have been there without Harry realizing it was the great Lord Voldemort. Also, it doesn't mention Petunia being in the mirror either. Remember that the Mirror of Erised shows what you want to see, and the last things Harry would have wanted to see staining his beautiful family moment would be Petunia and Lord Voldemort, so perhaps they were left out.

2. Zsenya (posted on 3/14/02): Tom Riddle was certainly the right age to be a grandfather of someone in Harry's generation.

11.Tom Riddle’s diary/Voldmort’s present self:

Theory posted by Arabella on 4/11/01.LV and the sixteen-year old memory of Tom Riddle are not connected.

(1) On Tom Riddle's Diary: I'm under the impression that before Ginny opened the diary, it had been "sleeping" since Tom shut it, which was after the CoS events 50 years before. So I'm assuming that Tom, in his diary state, knows nothing about the fact that he eventually grew to become Lord Voldemort. We know he already had his new name picked out, because he spells it in the air for Harry during the scene in the Chamber. But that doesn't mean Tom knew that he'd grow to be as successfully evil as he actually did. I'm thinking that Ginny gives him all the information he has about a) The Dark Lord he became b)The war he creates c)Harry Potter and the downfall of Voldemort. Ginny is the person who fills in Tom's future/history for him and spends much of her time hero-worshipping Harry's defeats of the Dark Lord. This is how Tom understands what Harry Potter is, to him, and it's why Tom is so particularly eager to kill Harry at the end of the book.
(2) On Voldemort at present: I don't think he has any recollection of the Chamber of Secrets. I think that his phantom diary self is wholly unconnected from his spirit self (the one that barely existed and went around possessing Quirrell, etc.) The reason I think this is because he says nothing about it in the Death Eaters chapter of GoF, when he's detailing the years of his demise and the events of his rise to new power. He talks about Quirrell and the Sorcerer's/Philosopher's Stone - he talks about finding Wormtail. He skips the Chamber altogether. Also, in the same scene, Voldemort berates Lucius Malfoy for doing nothing to find him and for running from the Dark Mark. I don't think Voldemort is aware that Lucius planted the Riddle diary in among Ginny's things.

12.Who did LV kill in the past?

PS quote: an’ he’d killed some o’ the best witches an’ wizards of the age-the Mckinnons, the Bones, the Prewetts

Chats with J.K.Rowling:

Question: There is a girl named Susan Bones who was sorted in the first book and there was a family called the Bones that Voldemort tried to destroy, is this a coincidence or will Harry meet her in future books?

JKR: Susan Bones’ grandparents were killed by Voldemort.

Theory posted by Ginny Potter on 5/14/01.LV killed the Evans family.

Here's my theory on the Dursleys-Since we don't know what happened to the rest of Harry's relations, it is possible that Voldemort was responsible for destroying the Evans family. This would explain why Petunia is so terrified of magic. She could also blame Harry and his kind for the death of her parents. Long shot, I know, but it's a theory.

13. Grindelwald and Tom Riddle:

PS quote: Professor Dumbledore is particularly famous for his defeat of the Dark Wizard Grindelwald in 1945.

CoS quote: He disappeared after leaving the school…travelled far and wide…sank so deeply into the Dark Arts, consorted with the very worst of our kind, underwent so many dangerous magical transformations, that when he resurfaced as Lord Voldemort, he was barely recognisable.

(1) Theory posted by Soupytwist on 3/3/02. Tom Riddle apprenticed under Grindelwald.

It's possible that Grindelwald trained Riddle, and that's how he (Riddle) picked up at least some of his Dark Magic. He might well have had a group similar to the DEs, and Riddle might have joined that. 50 years before CoS, when Riddle was HeadBoy (and therefore 7th year) would be 1944, and if he joined Grindelwald immediately after leaving Hogwarts, it'd have been at just the right time for Tom to join before the war started going against them.

Counterpoint to above theory:

T.M.R apparently graduated in July 1945.If Grindelwald’s defeat coincided with the end of WWII, it would have been May 1945.Therefore, Grindelwald would already have been defeated at the time of Riddle’s graduation.

Then again, the whole fifty years before CoS point could be considered vague. Dates on T.M.R’s timeline are subject to change. Riddle may have graduated before the defeat of Grindelwald too. Also, Grindelwald’s defeat may not have occurred in May 1945, but later on in the year.

Also see A brief history of Lord Voldemort.

(2) Theory posted by Julietvalcouer on 3/3/02.Grindelwald was a sorcerer working for the Nazis.

If you know anything about the Nazi High Command and Himmler's SS in particular, you'll know that they were very seriously into the occult. The castle that served as the official SS headquarters had several rooms designed with occult practice in mind. A lot of it was based on their interpretation of "Teutonic" myths, twisted around to fit their vision of a racial homeland. It's possible that Himmler was deeper into it than Hitler himself, and it's been speculated that he and the SS higher-ups had a vision for Germany driven by their occult beliefs that was in conflict with Hitler's plans. Katherine Kurtz has a book, "Lammas Night," in which she has characters using magic to fight the German sorcerers. I've always thought Grindelwald was probably working for the Nazis, and Dumbledore's defeating him coincided with the defeat of the Third Reich by the Allies.

Fanfic views:

Alec Dossetor and Teri Krennek explore the Grindelwald-Tom Riddle connection further in their Fics ‘The Arithmancer’s apprentice’ and ‘Imperius Quidditch’.

Extract from ‘The Arithmancer’s apprentice’:

“How could a Muggle war affect Grindelwald?”(Tom Riddle)

“That’s just the point. It did. In those days some of us identified quite strongly with our Muggle compatriots, and the first Muggle war when it began all but tore the wizarding communities apart. You might find this quite hard to believe, but there were even those in every nation that wanted the wizards to join in the fight! Especially those with Muggle relatives. Some of them did fight, and then we had to put them down: in the end we had civil war in Russia – just as the Muggles did, for that matter… That’s partly why we’re so careful now to have as little to do with their wars as we can. But it led to a very real crisis in our world. Durmstrang was closed for almost a term – almost a bit like now in a way. There was tension between Russian and German wizards, the masters and governors all were at odds – well, you’ll know all about that. And it reopened the whole Mudblood versus pureblood debate. If our ties to the Muggle world were tearing us apart, the old die-hards who’d maintained that we should never have had any ties with Muggles at all – that we shouldn’t have let in the Muggle-borns… well, it suddenly seemed they’d been talking sense. And while we were all at each other’s throats, shortly before the end of 1914, Grindelwald, increasingly openly, began to rebuild the Dark Order.”(Harvey Lunchington-a Daily Prophet journalist)

This Fanfic presents a very rational basis for the dislike pureblooded wizards have toward Muggles and wizards of Muggle parentage. Of course, since it was Salazar Slytherin who started the whole ’pureblood’ issue, it doesn’t serve as a primary reason for the bigotry. Despite that, it could definitely have fuelled the hatred certain purebloods had toward Muggles and Muggle-Borns. The idea also suitably expands young Tom Riddle’s views on ‘purity’, providing a more practical beginning for the direction his life took after school. Even though it was principally hatred, anger and ambition that drove Tom Riddle toward his destiny as Dark Lord, the fic provides a potential political rationale to precede his ascent to power and explores the ‘brilliant’ side of him that Dumbledore refers to in CoS.

Also see Voldemort’s Goals.

14.How powerful is Lord Voldemort?

PS quotes:

1.’You flatter me. Voldemort had powers I will never have.’

2.’After all he’s done…all the people he’s killed…he couldn’t kill a little boy?’

3.’some just wanted a bit o’ his power, ‘cause he was getting’ himself power, all right’.

4.’No one ever lived after he decided ter kill em.’

5. ‘After all, He Who Must Not Be Named did great things-terrible, yes, but great.’

PoA quotes:

1.’The Dark Lord…you have no idea…he has weapons you can’t imagine…’

2.’The Dark Lord will rise again with his servant’s aid, greater and more terrible than ever before.’

It’s in no dispute that Lord Voldemort is a powerful sorcerer. But the degree of power he possesses is an interesting issue. The above quotes (from unbiased persons-Dumbledore, Hagrid, McGonagall, Ollivander, and Trelawnwey) prove that Voldemort, incredibly conceited and manipulative though he may be, is not untruthful when speaking of his magical prowess. Granted Peter is not an unbiased source. Still, this statement of his seemed genuine enough.

(1) LV and Dumbledore:

An interesting point to note is Dumbledore’s acknowledgement of Voldemort’s superior power. Albus Dumbledore is considered by the wizarding world to be the greatest wizard of modern times. LV himself fears Dumbledore. Despite this and the fact that Dumbledore is modest, its worthwhile to observe that Dumbledore does not lie.

SQ quotes:

1.Dahl951 (posted on 4/30/02): If Dumbledore says Voldemort is more powerful than he is, I would say that's true. Would he say a lie for the sake of being modest? I think Dumbledore is a person who would value honesty more than modesty.

2. Catwoman (posted on 4/30/02): I think that if either of them had the power to destroy the other one, they would have already done so.

3.Gilraen V (posted on 4/30/02): Voldemort does literally have powers Dumbledore doesn't have (the Dark Arts). But it doesn't necessarily follow that Voldemort could automatically defeat Dumbledore in a magical duel.

4.Arabella (posted on 1/12/01): "Moody's" deception was a huge shock for me - especially considering that Dumbledore was right there all year, and never knew what was happening. Dumbledore was portrayed, until that point, as knowing everything and being somewhat omnipresent; he was pivotal to the survival of the dream team in the first three books. He saved Harry from passing out at the end of SS, his Phoenix armed Harry at the end of CoS, and he inspired their daring save of Sirius and Buckbeak at the end of PoA. But in GoF... he's totally shocked. He's got no idea. Sure, he steps in at the end and saves Harry, but only just. And to me, that was a revelation-Dumbledore is fallible, it is possible to hoodwink him. I think that lends a whole new level of vulnerability to Hogwarts. How often have we heard that Hogwarts is the safest place on earth because Dumbledore is there? Not anymore.

Also see Voldemort’s character-Lord Voldemort’s fear of Albus Dumbledore.

(2) Wandless magic?

Interview with J.K.Rowling:

JKR: "You can do unfocused and uncontrolled magic without a wand (for instance when Harry blows up Aunt Marge), but to do really good spells, yes, you need a wand."

In PS, when Quirrell tried to kill Harry with a deadly curse he raised his hand to perform the magic…not a wand. He also produced ropes out of thin air by snapping his fingers. In the movie, he creates a wall of fire in a similar way. JKR has said that magic can be performed without a wand but it’s unfocussed or weak. The fact that Quirrell (with Voldemort) had been capable of executing powerful precise magic is interesting.

The only other form of wandless magic we’ve seen is the ‘Animagus transformation’. And it’s a point to note that this is not a very common ability (one requiring a lot of energy).

Therefore, it seems that LV is powerful enough to perform magic to a certain extent without a wand, even though he would be able to execute his spells more efficiently with one.

All said and done, LV does use and need a wand to wield his full power, by his own admission and actions in GoF-

1.’and without the means to help myself…for I had no body, and every spell which might have helped me required the use of a wand…’

2.Voldemort slipped one of those unnaturally long-fingered hands into his pocket and drew out a wand. He caressed it gently, too; and then he raised it, and pointed it at Wormtail.

(3) Can LV still possess people?

SQ quotes:

1.R.V.Crouch (posted on 4/16/02): GoF quote: Only one power remained to me. I could possess the bodies of others. Well, the word remained caught my attention. Did Voldemort have the ability to possess a person when he had a body? In other words, can he still do it now? (even though he’s not in spirit form).
2.Mrs.Sirius Black (posted on 4/16/02): I don't think Voldemort can still possess someone in the way that he possessed Quirrell, unless he wants to leave his own body in order to do it. There is no need for him to anyway since he has a body of his own now. However, in CoS, Tom Riddle enchanted Ginny. I think he could still enchant someone.

Fanfic view:

‘Voldemort’s eyes’- by Catherine: This Fic describes a form of Dark Magic which Voldemort and his servants invoke to project the Dark Lord’s consciousness into a sixteen-year old witch. The purpose of the possession is for LV to gain access to Hogwarts and assassinate Dumbledore.

(4) Use of Harry’s blood:

GoF quote:

But I knew the one I must use, if I were to rise again, more powerful than I had been when I had fallen. I wanted Harry Potter’s blood. I wanted the blood of the one who had stripped me of power thirteen years ago, for the lingering protection his mother once gave him would then reside in my veins, too…

LV is pleased to have Harry’s blood in his body. From his words in GoF, it’s clear that he considers it to be the most important ingredient of his rebirth-an ingredient that restored him to full power and more. Ironically, the actual benefit he accrued from the use of Harry’s blood is as much of a mystery as the possible weakness which arose from it (Dumbledore’s ‘gleam of triumph’).

The obvious advantage was his ability to physically touch Harry. But the exact way in which Harry’s blood has given him immense power is not particularly clear. Voldemort says, ‘the lingering protection his mother once gave him would then reside in my veins, too’. How Lily Potter’s sacrifice could possibly strengthen LV is an unanswered question. The mechanism of this power is an unexplored issue. One popular and plausible fanfic theory states that LV needed that protection to neutralize Harry’s. In other words, he would be able to successfully kill Harry with the Killing Curse only if he himself had Lily’s protection. And at the present point in time, killing Harry Potter is his priority.

(5) Harry’s Scar:

Harry’s scar does not make Lord Voldemort powerful in any particular way. But it could be regarded as one of the Dark Lord’s strengths-

Fanfic view:

Extract from Sine Qua Non, by Arabella:

Harry knew that half the advantage Voldemort had over him was the fact that his very presence splintered Harry’s head in agony. He had never been able to keep a clear head, with Voldemort nearby.

The author puts forward an interesting point concerning Harry’s scar and LV. In a duel between the two, the tremendous pain in the scar (due to LV’s presence and rage) would definitely work against Harry and in Voldemort’s favour. In fact, it’s quite possible that for Harry to be able to ultimately defeat Lord Voldemort, he will first have to conquer this weakness of his.

15.’Mars is bright tonight’.

PS quotes:

1.Ronan sighed. He flung back his head and stared at the sky. ’Mars is bright tonight.’

2.’Mars is bright tonight,’ Ronan repeated while Hagrid watched him impatiently. ‘Unusually bright.’

3.Bane walked over to stand next to Ronan. He looked skywards. ’Mars is bright tonight,’ he said simply.

Two different centaurs quote this obscure line thrice. Mars is the Roman God of War. He was a warrior who engaged in perpetual conflict, bloody warfare and mindless killings.

Lord Voldemort is a wizard not dissimilar. He instigated and executed a number of mass Muggle-killings and governed a group of wizards who led a reign of terror for eleven years against society, both wizarding and Muggle.

It could be argued that JKR deliberately established an analogy between the two, though the similarities between Mars and LV cease at a certain point.

‘Mars is bright tonight’ may indicate LV being strengthened by his consumption of unicorn blood (through Quirrel).

Theory posted by Muniloopin (on 3/3/02).Prediction of Harry’s death.

"Mars is bright tonight" has intrigued me since the first reading. Today I decided to search a bit for Mars-myths. I came across this-

the association between the planet Mars and the tree of heaven/World pillar is well established- "The Tree of Life, when it rises no higher than the mountain of Marsis is regarded as a pillar supporting heaven."
In addition to the mountain and tree, Egyptian scribes appear to have compared the World Pillar to a giant ladder or stairway leading to heaven. It was via this celestial staircase that the deceased king typically mounted to heaven...

So, were the centaurs predicting Harry's death? ... the death which was avoided by Firenze? Was that why Bane was so angry - because Firenze used his knowledge of the future to change it? Does this mean that something else that’s prophesied will be made untrue? That the future can be controlled?

GoF quotes:

1.Today, however, will be an excellent opportunity to examine the effects of Mars, for he is placed most interestingly at the present time.

2.Harry watched lazily as Professor Trelawney began to point out the fascinating angle Mars was making with Neptune. The heavily perfumed fumes washed over him, and the breeze from the window played across his face. He could hear an insect humming gently somewhere behind the curtain. His eyelids began to droop…

Mars and Neptune in Karmic Synastry:

Mars conjunct Neptune between charts. This connection bears the potential of inspired dreams and can help the Neptune person focus their spirituality and their energies into structured and helpful channels. The Mars persons get the chance to infuse their own actions with Neptune's spirituality and ethereal music. Warrior energy combined with mystical dreamer.

This once again indicates a correlation between LV and Mars.

Harry dreams about LV torturing Wormtail at a time when Mars is making an astrologically important angle with Neptune. Therefore, the Mars person (Lord Voldemort) infused his actions into Neptune’s (Harry’s?) spirituality.

Neptune is associated with ‘mystical dreamer’, just how Mars is related to ‘Warrior energy’. In so far as the former is concerned Harry can be considered as an analogy to Neptune. His dreams about Lord Voldemort carry an air of mysticism and are a reflection of what truly happens in areas with the Dark Lord. The analogy doesn’t maintain itself, however, since Neptune is the Sea God, and a connection between Harry and Neptune on that basis is not particularly apparent. Still, it is interesting to observe that in a previous Divination class, Harry drew up two Neptunes while constructing his birth chart.

Tom Riddle’s birth month:

If LV is indeed a Mars person so to speak, is it possible that Tom Riddle was born in March? March is the calendar month named after Mars.

16.Political Condition of the Wizarding world in a Post-Voldemort era:

Theory posted by Poppy on 4/20/02. Integration of Hogwarts houses and a modification of the wizarding view of Muggles.

Will the Wizarding world become more "politically correct" in a Post-Voldemort era? What I'm wondering is will the animosity between the Hogwarts Houses decrease? And if so, in what way? Will there be more integration between Houses? Will Slytherin open up to more half-bloods?

Would it seem realistic if perhaps the European magical schools had closer contact and the student rivalry became more of an inter-school issue rather than an inter-house feeling? Perhaps there will be an all-school Quidditch team that competes against Beauxbatons and Durmstrang. This would certainly cause students of all Hogwarts houses to pull together. Although I can't imagine that the inter-house rivalry would go away all together. There is still the house cup of course, and the deduction of house points seems to be a very effective method of discipline. But perhaps the inter-house rivalry will become more lighthearted rather than malicious.

What about the way Wizards view Muggles? Would this change as well? Arthur Weasley is looked down on by even non-DE's for what's termed as "lack of wizarding pride". It is almost as if Muggles are considered a sort of sub-species of wizards. Would this change in a post-Voldemort era as well? For example, would Martin, the Mad Muggle comics become a thing of the past as the wizarding world's view of Muggles changes?

Theory posted by Doctor Cornelius on 4/20/02.Redemption of Slytherin house.

It’s my idea that one of the results of Book 7 could be "the redemption of Slytherin House." It is quite possible that one of Dumbledore's hopes is that someday Snape will be able to start a renewed Slytherin tradition without all of Salazar Slytherin’s baggage (although Snape still has some issues of his own to work through first).

The tricky thing is- How can Slytherin be united to the other Houses and still remain Slytherin? That may be where JKR is going; but how the solution will work out is not obvious.

Theory posted by Zisk on 4/20/02Wizarding view of Muggles will not alter.

The Magical world is too rooted in the past for it to achieve ‘Political Correctness’

Slytherin will distance itself from Dark Wars.

I don't think that the wizarding world (at least in Europe) will change too much after Harry defeats Voldemort (should that happen). Voldemort has already risen once and was in the prime of his power when he fell. He was anti- Muggle and Muggleborn and it seems that most of the wizarding world was terrified of him. And yet, when he fell, they still maintained their anti-Muggle sentiments. No, they aren't rabid Muggle haters who are going into the world and tormenting them for kicks, but they do look down on people like Arthur Weasley - as Poppy pointed out.

I think that a good number of wizards do consider Muggles a sub-species because Muggles can't do magic. And nothing, even the second fall of Voldemort, will ever convince them otherwise. Even Arthur reveals his own view of Muggles as a group somewhat below wizards through his condescension. Even if it isn't intentional, it is there.

That being said, wizards seem to overlook the amazing leaps of humanity that Muggles have made. For instance, after the fall of Hitler, Muggles banded together and rebuilt a relatively peaceful world in Europe by getting over age-old differences. From what we see of Hogwarts, Durmstrang and Beauxbatons there seem to be some issues remaining in the wizarding world that go beyond 'friendly' school rivalries. And this is a post-Grindelwald era. Where's the solidarity? In fact, it seems that things in the magical realm were in such disarray that Voldemort and the Dark Forces were able to rise roughly thirty years after the last major Dark Wizard. At least the Muggles in Europe can claim that no second Hitler rose.

The magical world seems to be very, very deeply rooted in the past. While Muggle society moves more and more towards a general meritocracy, wizarding society seems to be generally rooted in bloodlines and tradition. For this reason, I don't think that "Political Correctness" will hit the wizarding world for a very long time.

As for the houses - it all depends on how Slytherin acts during the war. If they all go DE (which I doubt) then it could be the end of the house - honestly, who would want to be in the house that spawned a twice-fallen Dark Lord? More likely, the future Slytherins will try to separate themselves from the Dark Wars. And given that we only read the books from a Harry-centric PoV, I'm sure there are nice enough Slytherin students who are already trying to do just that. They can't all be bad.

And it seems that all animosity at Hogwarts is directed towards Slytherin. But in time, as those students work to distance themselves from DEs - things will probably get better. It seems that the HP world is in a very politically charged time as we read along, and politics makes people mean. As things settle down, so will the dust. And it will probably become more of a 'friendly' house rivalry based on Quidditch and house points alone instead of some dogma inflicted by adults.

And you never know, Slytherin may open up to more half-bloods. But I think that Slytherin will remain the most conservative house, taking few Muggle-borns and rather tolerating them much better as ambition and drive slowly gain ground on pureblood status.

 

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