Harry Potter: one of the most popular series of all time. It's hard to imagine meeting anyone who has not heard of The Boy Who Lived and his adventures. J.K. Rowling's magical world inspired an entire generation of readers all over the globe. However, we cannot talk about Harry Potter without also talking about his arch nemesis: Voldemort.
Raised as an orphan, the boy known as Tom Riddle lived out his days as an outcast, increasing in power and intellect with each day. Soon he was discovered by Dumbledore and invited to live at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. There, he slowly worked his way up the ranks until he had a following and the status of Prefect. It was in those hallowed halls that Riddle increased his power, influence, and knowledge of magic, including the dark arts. Through talking (read: sucking up) to Professor Slughorn, Riddle discovered the purpose of Horcruxes and started down a dark and dangerous path.
From here, he started his campaign to become the most powerful immortal wizard of all time, taking on the poetic moniker Voldemort. He even went so far as to start a war in an attempt to overthrow the entire wizarding world. During this time, he heard of a prophecy regarding his downfall and end, which led him to his attempted assassination of baby Harry Potter. Thus, we arrive at the start of Harry's story.
Voldemort is one of the most infamous villains of all time, but what do we know about him physically? He is human after all. Let's dive in and discover the scars across Voldemort's body together.
25 He Could Fly Without A Broom
As if Voldemort was not showing off enough, the guy taught himself to fly unsupported through the air. We all know that brooms are one of the best ways to get around for the wizarding community, but Voldemort decided he was too good for that.
He even taught it to his death eaters to make it easier for them to attack from above. This makes sense since you don't have to hold on to a broom when in the middle of a battle.
24 Voldemort Became Ugly Because Of The Dark Arts
During his time as a young man, Riddle supposedly has sharp eyes and was considered fairly attractive. However, this all changed as he delved deeper into practicing the dark arts.
This look is not something a charcoal sheet mask will fix, honey.
His eyes became sunken and his face slowly began distorting into the ugly reptilian mug we know and hate today. The dark magic actually distorted not only his mind but his body as well. Take this as a lesson - don't major in the dark arts, kids!
23 He Can Use Magic Without A Wand
Determination can lead you to do great and terrible things, as Voldemort has shown us. Not only is his magical prowess remarkable, but he is so talented that he taught himself how to use magic without a wand. Although he does indeed have a wand (Thirteen and a half inches, yew, phoenix feather, shares its core with Harry Potter's wand in case you were wondering) he does not use it often. It didn't stop him from getting into a sticky situation, as we will discuss in a bit.
22 He And Harry Are (Distantly) Related
The Deathly Hallows are arguably the three most powerful magical objects in the world. The Elder Wand, The Stone Of Resurrection and The Cloak of Invisibility have been woven into legend through tales by Beedle the Bard, but they are indeed real.
It really is a small world after all!
The Peverells, Harry's relatives, owned the Cloak while the Gaunts owned the Stone. These two facts heavily imply that, as the original trio of owners were brothers, Harry and Voldemort are distant cousins.
21 Voldemort Was A Ghost At One Point
Okay, that's a little off, let me explain. After trying and failing to end Harry, Lily's love for Harry caused the spell to backfire and in a way expel Voldemort's soul from his body. This led him to become a ghost-like creature.
Did someone call the Ghostbusters on Voldemort at one point?
As Voldy put it: 'I was ripped from my body, less than spirit, less than the meanest ghost...but still I was alive.' This allowed him to possess animals and eventually people, leading him to possess Professor Quirrell in the nineties.
20 He Was Intentionally Designed To Look Like A Demonic Snake
Think about it. Voldemort has scars and wounds all over his body from practicing the dark arts. This led him to become more and more deformed; he became skeletal and pale. His large eyes were blood red and he grew a flat nose with slits for nostrils. His fingers became spidery and his fingernails turned icy blue. If that doesn't give you nightmares I don't know what will. Honestly, I dare you to look me in the eyes and tell me that you would not freak out if you saw him in your room at night.
19 Voldy The Magical Vampire: He Lived Off Unicorn Blood
Now, when Voldemort was expelled from his body, he was very weak. He was so weak that he could barely do basic magic. Sure, he could possess people, but only if he committed an awful taboo amongst wizards. In order to obtain the power to possess people, Voldemort began to drink unicorn blood. However, drinking unicorn blood comes with a price; you live a half-life, a cursed life. From the moment Voldemort drank unicorn blood for the first time, he became dependent on it; if he were to ever stop, he would immediately be destroyed.
18 Voldemort Cannot Touch Harry
For most of the books, Voldemort is unable to touch Harry. This is due to the spell that Lily cast before her good-bye that protects Harry from Voldemort through the power of her love. This is a problem for someone who needs to end Harry ASAP.
Talk about having the ultimate stranger danger shield!
However, during The Goblet Of Fire, Voldemort brewed a potion to give himself a full living body again. This blood required the blood of an enemy and, of course, he chose Harry. Having Harry's blood in his veins meant that Voldemort could finally touch Harry and hurt him. Curse those loopholes!
17 Voldemort Comes From A Family With ... Weird ... Traditions
Although Voldemort went to a Muggle orphanage, he has a pureblood heritage running through his veins. His mother was a descendant of the Gaunt family, a pureblood line directly related to Salazar Slytherin himself. The Gaunt family was obsessed with maintaining their pureblood status but went way too far to preserve it. This family had a habit of marrying their cousins to avoid watering down their bloodline. His mother, however, used a love potion to marry a wealthy man against his will. Voldemort was conceived of a loveless union which caused his dad to leave the family. This event is what caused Voldemort to be unable to feel or understand love.
16 He Can Control Your Mind - Do You Know What's Real?
As mentioned earlier, Voldemort worked incredibly hard to improve on his magic skills. This effort and natural talent eventually earned him multiple titles including the title of best legilimancer in the world. While Occlumency is the power to protect your mind from being read or invaded, Legilimency is the power to control and wipe minds. Voldemort was so advanced that he could rearrange and plant fake memories into victims such as his uncle. Voldemort framed his uncle for the elimination of his father and landed him in Azkaban for life.
15 Voldemort Is A Half-Blood
Voldemort's mother did indeed use love potions on a wealthy man for an extended period, but did you know that Voldemort's father was a Muggle? Going against the Gaunt family tradition, she used love potions on Tom Riddle Senior for an extended period of time until she discovered that she was pregnant. Once she realized, she convinced herself that her husband did truly love her and stopped giving the potions to him. This backfired massively and Voldemort's father walked out on them when Voldemort was young. This caused Voldemort to hate his Muggle heritage and do everything in his power to distract others from it.
14 Voldemort Was Super Old When He Was Finally Eliminated
Born on December 31st, 1926, Voldemort lived a long life full of wicked deeds. He endeavored to become immortal and would do anything to achieve his goal. He even went so far as to create Horcruxes; objects with pieces of his soul inside of them. This meant that even if his body was destroyed, his soul would live on.
That's not exactly immortality though, is it?
Think of it as a twisted form of life insurance. However, Harry and his crew destroyed each of his Horcruxes one by one before ending Voldemort on May 2nd, 1998. This means that Voldemort was 72 when he finally ended.
13 He Was Terrified Of Passing On
Wanting to be immortal would generally imply a fear of passing on. He saw losing his life as a Muggle weakness and, wanting to be rid of all traces of weakness, sought to evade the end of his life. Voldemort's boggart apparently took the form of his own lifeless body. He was so afraid that it even leaked into his name; Voldemort means 'flight from death' in French (also you are apparently not supposed to pronounce the 't', which I did not know until now.) It is a good thing for the wizarding world that he did reach the end of things.
12 He Is Fluent In Parseltongue
Among Voldemort's many natural talents, he can also use Parseltongue AKA the ability to talk to snakes. Due to him having a direct bloodline to Salazar Slytherin, he can converse with snakes and convince them to do his bidding. That's why Voldemort has a snake called Nagini who helps him torture and end victims. Because Harry has a piece of Voldemort's soul in him, he can speak Parseltongue too. At least there's one upside to being a villainous wizard's Horcrux.
11 Voldemort Is Incredibly Smart, But Pride Blinded Him
From before his time at Hogwarts, Voldemort was incredibly sharp-minded. He taught himself dark arts and how to use magic without a wand, but he was also proud. As we all know, pride comes before the fall. Voldemort managed to narrow his future attacker to two people but did not even consider Neville Longbottom despite his equal stake in his demise. This is because he perceived Harry to be the most dangerous as he was the most similar to Voldemort.
10 He Could Not Move On After Passing
Now, Harry going around and ruining Voldemort's horcruxes was a problem. This meant that Voldemort, once in the limbo version of platform 9 3/4, did not have enough soul to pass on to the next plane of existence.
Bet it is not what Voldemort had in mind all those years ago.
Instead, he was curled up as a pathetic flayed baby and stuck in that realm forever. This is sad in a way, but could this be a version of immortality?
9 Voldemort Was Incredible At Transfiguration
Transfiguration is the art of making an object look, feel and sound like something else (remember McGonagall's class where Ron turned his cup into a half-rat? Think better than that.) Just like everything else, it would seem, Voldemort is amazing at Transfiguration as well. For example, he made Nagini appear to be Bathilda Bagshot for an extended period of time just in case Harry returned to Godric's Hollow. He also transformed Dumbledore's fire-rope into a snake and gave Peter Pettigrew a forearm to replace the one he lost.
8 Voldemort Can’t Control Harry
As we now know, Voldemort is an excellent legilimancer with the power to control and possess people. Well, most people. Thanks to Harry's cure-all shield of Lily's love, he is protected from Voldemort's control as well.
The power of love conquers all in the wizarding world
Voldemort gets hurt and is repelled by her love and thus cannot invade his mind that way. Voldemort can, however, show Harry visions and invade his dreams to convince him to find his prophecy. Somehow those are creepier.
7 His Similarity To Harry Weakened His Wand
Anyone who was an avid fan of the wand selection process (like me) know that your wand's composition is heavily dependent on your personality and how you think. Not only this but 'the wand chooses the wizard', meaning the likelihood of Harry and Voldemort having twin phoenix tail feathers is astronomical. This similarity shows that, at their core, Voldemort and Harry are similar people. However, this similarity does get Voldemort into trouble as these wands cannot hurt each other or their masters, causing Voldemort to use others' wands when battling Harry.
6 Voldemort Split His Soul Into Seven Pieces
We all know by now that Voldemort is super powerful in the magic department and dabbled in the dark arts. This skill and knowledge lead him to split his soul into seven pieces total.
Nicholas Flamel probably has a few things to say about that.
Harry being a Horcrux was unintentional, but he still counts. Putting your soul into seven Horcruxes is the most of any wizard before Voldemort; some would put Voldemort closest to immortality for a period of time.
5 He Was The Most Powerful Wizard
Bearing all of what we said in mind, it comes as no surprise that Voldemort was the most powerful wizard of all time until his end. He excelled in most fields of magic and was an excellent leader in dastardly ways. How, then, was he beaten by a teenager? Voldemort overlooked some crucial facts about Harry, Neville and key moments in the series, which ultimately lead to his downfall at the hands of The Boy Who Lived. It would be sad if he were not the villain.
4 He Used To Be Hot
Before Voldemort became a scaley nightmare wraith, he was supposedly pretty handsome. He had sharp eyes, an excellent intellect and was incredibly charming. Therefore it is not a surprise to discover that he was a Prefect with many followers in Hogwarts and had more than a few admirers during his time. It's too bad that his use of the dark arts turned him into nightmare fuel. Imagine how the people who crushed on him felt later on in life.
3 Voldemort Was A Hairless Scaly Baby At One Point
Roughly during the events of The Goblet Of Fire, Pettigrew and Nagini brewed a potion of unicorn blood and Nagini's venom to bring Voldemort into the physical plane as he was still in his ghostly creature form at that point. However, this potion was fairly low-level magic, therefore it gave Voldemort a pale, small infant-like form with scales as it could not sustain his full-sized form. Voldemort still retained full intelligence and awareness but was just baby-like physically. I bet this form was super gross to hold and deal with.
2 He Had Followers Even At Hogwarts
Being the handsome, charming, enigmatic guy that he was, Voldemort soon gained a fair following during his time at Hogwarts. He could not feel love so these people were not friends of his, they were more Slytherin bullies who liked his magnetic energy and traditional yet extreme ideals. This was useful for Voldemort as he could orchestrate events that would not touch his 'perfect school pupil' persona but still wield power. Many of these followers became early death eaters after graduating.
1 He Had Serial Attacker Tendencies Even Was An Orphan
Voldemort's sadistic traits showed very early on in his life. He often bullied and even tortured fellow orphans in his orphanage - two of them were abused so terribly that they refused to say what Riddle had done to them.
If you're looking for warning signs, these would be examples.
Not only this, but Riddle would often take items from the victims that had meaning to them, preferring to keep them as trophies. Not only this but on hearing the truth about his Muggle heritage, he immediately ended his father and his father's entire family as a teenager.