If only there is a villain in the story, then only a hero is born..Voldemort’s character portrayed a sense of fear, courage and evil. After he heard Sybil’s prophecy, his fear drove him to kill James and Lily and then ran behind Harry. What makes Voldemort a good villain?
He is not a good villain. He is far too impulsive, narcissistic, egotistical and predictable to be a good villain. It is ironical that the only books where seemed very frightening were the ones where he wasn’t even there. Otherwise, he is just one who manipulates young girls (book 2), can’t delegate work properly (book 4), can’t beat a bunch of unruly teenagers ( book 5), and gets killed by a boy who expects to die and defeated by a dead guy (book 7) . Not to mention that his coterie consists of crazy people who cant think for themselves and one person who has been fooling him for 14 years. He is only a villain only because others say so, and are fearful of him. Which is very different from someone like Tywin Lannister.
A wise man once said that a hero is only as good as the villain who opposes him. I am all but certain that wise man was captured, tortured to excruciating effect, then blasted into smithereens by one Tom Marvolo Riddle, otherwise known as Lord Voldemort, the most awesome bad guy of all time. For those of you who disagree, I pity you…the best way to incur the Dark Lord’s wrath (which usually involves his gigantic pet snake eating your head) is to fail to recognize his malevolent superiority. Therefore, before he inevitably catches word of your lack of faith (and he always does), allow me to lay bare precisely what makes him so exquisitely evil.
1. WHAT’S IN A NAME…THAT MUST NOT BE NAMED?!?!
Moby Dick. Goldfinger. Lex Luthor. All brilliantly delicious handles for some of film and literature’s greatest heavies. And how do the most powerful wizards and witches refer to the most feared member of their community? They don’t. “You-Know-Who” is the closest they’ll come to calling him anything, which is all the more surprising considering that He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is actually dead for the first three books. That, dear Muggles, is respect. And how did he amass the incredible street cred to earn it?
2. HE TRIED TO KILL A BABY
Back when this all started, Voldemort’s big move for power—the coup to end all coups—relied on murdering a drooly-faced Harry Potter, who just sat there innocently in his diapers as a large, angry man zapped him point blank with an Avada Kedavra curse. For those of you unfamiliar, this is the magical equivalent of a flamethrower that also launches grenades filled with acid. Onto a baby. Now that’s just cold. Even The Terminator, a robot whose sole purpose was to wipe out all of humanity, understood that while pregnant moms and yippy adolescents are fair game, babies are just plain off limits. So why does Voldemort try to kill Harry, not just as an infant, but repeatedly? What could his nefarious motive possibly be?
3. STRAIGHT-UP HATE
Lots of bad guys are simply motivated by taking over the world. The really special ones have a penchant for ethnic cleansing along the way. While both of these pursuits hold mild interest for Voldemort, what really gets him up in the morning is his hatred for Harry Potter. What’s Voldemort’s nefariously convoluted plan in the first book? Kill Harry. The second book offers an even more devious plot: Kill Harry. By the time the fourth book rolls around, he’s not even trying to disguise it anymore. A villain whose sole purpose in life is to kill the hero keeps his life nice and simple. Sure, there’s a prophecy in there somewhere, but I’m pretty sure it’s just an excuse for Voldemort to concoct a series of elaborate Wile E. Coyote death traps for Harry, only causing him to become progressively more enraged as he’s forced to endure the “meep meeps” of unrelenting failure. And guess what the Dark Lord doesn’t care about?
4. SISSYPANTS REDEMPTION
Sympathizing with villains as young children and then paving the way for their corresponding heartwarming redemption is all the rage these days. Star Wars committed an entire trilogy to young Anakin Skywalker—all for the purpose of helping us understand why he turned to the dark side. Even the Smoke Monster on Lost was a little boy, once. A boy who loved his mommy very much. Do you know what Voldemort thought of his mommy? Me neither. Because he killed her. Technically in childbirth, but who’s to say he wasn’t planning it for the nine months it took him to gestate? Later, when we meet him as a child in an orphanage, Young Tom (it isn’t until later that he must not be named) has already developed an interest in making things burst into flames and leading his friends into dark caves from which they never return. There is no heartbreaking tragedy that led this boy down a path of evil: he was simply born that way. And “redemption”? Please. In order to be redeemed, one must first be capable of guilt…or at the very least, admit to wrongdoing. The only thing Voldemort admits to doing wrong is murdering Harry Potter…and it ain’t for lack of trying. Which brings us to the final and most critical point distinguishing You-Know-Who from his loathsome peers…
5. HE’S, LIKE, REALLY HARD TO KILL
Have you ever considered breaking your immortal soul into a bunch of different pieces and then hiding them so you can resurrect yourself, just on the off chance that you get murdered? No? Well one guess as to who has.
When the Dark Lord wasn’t devising new and inventive ways to kill Harry, the guy actually had the foresight to design his own comprehensive life insurance policy. And here’s a spoiler alert for those of you who haven’t read the books—even this plan ultimately fails. Y’know, because good always triumphs over evil and stuff.
Voldemort seems to be a lot more sadistic and just generally insane from the averge run of the mill villain. But at the same time he is nothing less than a genius. I think that this combination of evil insanity and natural brillance make him a very formidable foe and an unique villain.
Personally I think he beats Darth Sidious and Darth Vader on the evildometer (thats a wrench to admit, especially from a Star Wars fan like me).
Well, the most obvious comparision that comes to mind is Voldemort-Sauron.
We have the horcruxes that prevent Voldemort from dying and we have the ring that prevents Sauron from dying. After they are being defeated for the first time (Voldemort by Harry, Sauron by Isildur) they both spend an existence in spirit form, trying to gain back power and a body.
Unlike Voldemort, Sauron never suceeds in it.
Both are declaring a war to the free world. Both use slaves and dark creatures in their army.
Both have a group of elite soldiers working for them (Sauron the Nine, Voldemort the DE)
Both seek absolute power.
The difference is that Voldemort is much more human than Sauron. We never get to meet Sauron in person, he is more like an evil force of doom, but in distance. From Voldemort we get to see his past, his parents, his flaws, his youth. This makes him in a way more terrific, because we see the development of a human into some sort of supervillain.
Lord Voldemort is not one of my favourite villians of all time, although in terms of purely literary characters he would not be far off the mark. One of things necessary for a great villian is that they must be a three dimensional character. I am not entirely sure that Lord Voldemort is yet. There’s very little grey with Lord Voldemort, he is for instance pure evil, cannot love, has practically no soul and was seemingly always like this.
I find it hard to compare Voldemort to Darth Vader, because Darth Vader has the possibility of changing. He still has good inside, weather Voldemort has chosen another path long ago. In this saga I would much more compare to the Emperor. We see in the newer SW movies also a more human emperor, his motivations and how he rose to power.
As for agent Smith, that’s difficult because in the first movie agent Smith is an employee of the machines, he does not work for himself but for others. He is not independent, not even an authority person and he does not seek power like Voldemort. However he does so in the Matrix sequels, becoming a virus with the purpose of infecting as much people as he can. This is more like Voldemort.
The literary villain who is most like Voldemort for me is Moriarty from the Sherlock Holmes stories. Moriarty is a diabolical fiend who will stop at nothing, though sometimes he seems to exist only in the mind of Holmes, which is hard for Watson to understand. That’s alot like the Harry-Voldemort connection that only Dumbledore seems to understand.
Also, this description is alot like Harry’s vision of the “spider” who is the mastermind of evil when he and Dumbledore are talking in HBP:
“He is the Napoleon of crime, Watson. He is the organizer of half that is evil and of nearly all that is undetected in this great city. He is a genius, a philosopher, an abstract thinker. He has a brain of the first order. He sits motionless, like a spider in the center of its web, but that web has a thousand radiations, and he knows well every quiver of each of them. He does little himself. He only plans. But his agents are numerous and splendidly organized. Is there a crime to be done, a paper to be abstracted, we will say, a house to be rifled, a man to be removed — the word is passed to the Professor, the matter is organized and carried out. The agent may be caught. In that case money is found for his bail or his defence. But the central power which uses the agent is never caught — never so much as suspected.”
Voldemort is quite generic and worked best as a distant yet menacing presence like in Philosopher’s Stone where for instance, he mostly only appeared in nightmares rather than the day to day routine. The author knows her creative limits well enough not to overtax them.
A better context to set him in would be amongst such more consistently present villains such as Snape or Umbridge in Order of the Phoenix.
Voldemort differs from Sauron and the Emperor from Star Wars in that they have different motivations. Sauron and the Emperor are motivated mostly by power. Voldemort has a lust for power mixed with bigotry against Muggles and Muggleborns. In this respect Voldemort is more similar to Adolf Hitler while Sauron and the Emperor are more similar to Joseph Stalin.
One other villain Voldemort has similarities to is Shakespeare’s Richard III. Richard had his young nephews murdered and then asked their mother for her daughter’s (the murdered boys’ sister) hand in marriage. Voldemort also committed murder within his family.
He is on his way to becoming the Warlock Lord Brona, a druid who has lost himself to the power of evil. He has his minions (Skull Bearers) who are leading the fight to let him take over the entire world. They are evil and his faithfull servants. He has the strongest magic with one “Good” Druid (and friends) there to stop him.
Voldermort is a breed of his own.The dimensions of his character are so unique that he can’t really be compared to other villans.A necessary evil though…