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The Psychology of Being Voldemort

By Devina (The Charmed One)

Ok, let me clarify one thing from the start: I do NOT like this character. He's vile and evil and crazy…so he's basically bad.

Now, there are broadly two types of evil people: one, who is evil as soon as he's born and the second, who becomes evil later. Some points make me think Voldemort was a bad guy ever since he took his first breath, while some make me think he was a victim of circumstances (Again, I am specifying I am not sympathizing with him).

He was born Tom Marvolo Riddle and was left to live in an orphanage. His father was a Muggle, while his mother was a witch. Remember what I said earlier? Muggle + Witch/Wizard= HALF-BLOOD. His father abandoned his mother and refused to take in Voldemort. Tom Riddle was an excellent student at Hogwarts, and even was a Prefect and went on to become the Headboy. After he left Hogwarts, we know by Dumbledore's account, that he immersed himself in the Dark Arts. However, his fall into evil started even during school. Note that he let loose the Basilisk and rearranged the letters of his name to spell "I am Lord Voldemort".

Most important question: Why does he do this? Hatred against his father, and being named after him was traumatizing as his father was the one responsible for him spending a major part of his growing years in a Muggle orphanage. He felt a need to separate himself from that which he thought was evil. The point is, his hatred for his father gradually expanded into a hatred for Muggles in general leading to his wide-spread discrimination and pure-bloodism, if you get what I mean. The transition from Tom Riddle Jr. to Lord Voldemort took place, I suspect, after the 4th or 5th year, when he was old enough to understand almost everything. Thinking deeper, he was lonely. So he made friends…big deal. I suspect hardly any of them knew what he really thought about, and probably there was more awe than true camaraderie. Loneliness was pursued by an endless desire for someone to cherish him, to applaud his achievements, to berate his mischief…he didn't get that. He didn't know his family, only the hatred of his father. Some people can go over the edge and in this case, Voldemort did.

What about after that? Did he ever think about why he needed to be the all-evil-all-powerful-dictator? Not really…although he's mentioned many times that his ultimate goal is immortality. Why exactly? To remind the world and himself of his father, by killing again and again? To make sure that no one else, especially a father, never tortured his child again? Perhaps that is so. We'll come back to this point later. But however much he tortures Muggles, tries to take over, tries to rule them, aside from the hunger for power, the root is to lash out against his father. He killed his father relatively quickly. His father and his parents didn't even know what was coming; they died with looks of surprise and shock. No pain. Voldemort didn't get a chance to make them pay for all the hurt they caused him. It wasn't enough for him to kill painlessly. He realized - like those cruel children who torture animals and deserve to be thrown in jail, forget juvenile court - that he would get pleasure in torturing Muggles and think that it was his father he was hurting. Nothing was ever enough. The goal to hurt others, to give pain increased until nothing satisfied him. He had to go on.

Talking about the point I raised earlier, about him wanting to avenge other wronged kids, we come to Crouch Jr. Having one of his Death-Eaters being kept hostage by his own father aroused the anger against the father of the loyal Death-Eater. He helped Crouch Jr, to escape and led to Crouch Sr.'s death. His need to hurt didn't stop there either. It almost seems like it never would.

While I totally agree that being hurt, or being abandoned is a painful experience (myself I cannot comment on the implications, and it would be a ridiculous thing for me to say 'I understand what it feels like' because I don't and this line makes me irritated, but I've gone off the point, so…) it gives no excuse for anyone to turn 5000% evil.

I've read all these speculations about how, in the end, Harry redeems Voldemort, turns him good. *sigh* If Voldy would turn out to be Harry's long-lost father, we'd be back on the Death-St… ahem, sorry. Voldemort cannot be Harry's father come hell or high water, but why can't there be any good left in him? Because he's gone too far along. Even if he does, somehow, feel sorry, regret, he'll die in 2 seconds, coz well, I SAY SO.

Hey, I just thought of something. Voldemort was put into Slytherin because he was a descendant of Salazar Slimy, uh, Slytherin. Harry went into Gryffindor because many believe he's the heir of Gryffindor, plus he chose to. The point is, he could have easily been stuffed into Slytherin, had he not asked not to. Why can't he be descended from Salazar (If you try hitting me, let me tell you I know karate), say from his mother's side? Or his father's, whichever way you will.

In any case, returning to Voldy's psycho mind…he's complicated. Point to be noted, hate him all you will, let me even head a Voldemort-Haters Club, but don't think that he wasn't good once, because I truly believe that a long time ago, he was good.

And to end this:
"In violence we forget who we are." -Mary McCarthy
Source: Quote Garden

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