How does Voldemort compare with other villains?

Rell
January 16th, 2007, 5:43 am
No coming of age fantasy would be complete without the cackling villian out to imprison the world.
How does Voldemort compare with other villians, including The Emperor from Star Wars, Saraun from LoTR, Arawn from the Prydain chronicals and many more?

Is he stereotypical, or very original, and in what ways?

MrVirtuous
January 16th, 2007, 8:01 am
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 (like DD but minus the evil part) 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).

DarwinMayflower
January 16th, 2007, 10:47 am
No coming of age fantasy would be complete without the cackling villian out to imprison the world.
How does Voldemort compare with other villians, including The Emperor from Star Wars, Saraun from LoTR, Arawn from the Prydain chronicals and many more?

Is he stereotypical, or very original, and in what ways?
The thing with Voldemort is that he isn't the most original of villains, but original in the sense of how we encounter him each and every time. From PS's Vapourmort, CoS's Memory Riddle, GoF's first encounter, OoTP second encounter which was a Dumbledore vs. Voldemort battle, and acting via proxies of Lucius, Crouch Jr., Bellatrix, Pettigrew and Snape...we never have really gotten the real sense of the villain that is Voldemort. We see different versions of him, but never the full on Voldemort version which is an incredibly smart way of doing it without resorting him being a villian that returns each issue/installment/episode in the same format like Pokemon's Team Rocket or Batman's Joker.

However there is a great lack of personality on behalf of Voldemort. Sure he's vicious, but never really all that scary apart from who he is. The interesting thing I find is that a great Voldemort counterpart of the Japanese anime Naruto (of which people say it's basically The Anime equivalent of Harry Potter) a simliar villain with similiar goals and aspirations and an obsession with Snakes is Orochimaru. Like Voldemort he uses people, obsesses with immortality and at one point fights a Dumbledore like figure The Hokage in a battle that actually precedes OoTP's wizard duel by months.

The interesting thing with Orochimaru is that I find him to be a much more interesting villain not because he's an anime character, but he really REALLY shows his ruthlessness. Even more than Voldemort. Whatever Voldemort could do, Orochimaru does it 7x worst (the magic number). He uses people so badly he doesn't give out empty promises of power and immorality to his followers...he actually feigns interest and even love to get people to follow him. Any magic that Voldemort does to kill or cause pain, Orochimaru has done incredibly more in evil ways. He exudes evil wereas with Voldemort you get a certain sense that he's like every tyrant...a coward at heart. With Orochimaru, you never get that sense that he's a coward or afraid of anything. He's just evil.

All in all Voldemort is a great villain, even so much that it inspired a similiar one in Japanese culture. Whether that's intetional or not, it's really up for debate but however evil Voldemort is...Orochimaru takes it to the next leve of evil.

guad
January 16th, 2007, 2:19 pm
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.

Picko
January 16th, 2007, 2:33 pm
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.

HBP helped to add depth to the character, and indeed it was perhaps the only redeemable feature of that entire book. Lord Voldemort is no longer as bland as he once was but he lacks a certain humanity that allows readers to even try to understand his motivations.

When I compare Lord Voldemort to other villians I'm naturally inclined to compare him to such villians as Darth Vader from Star Wars and Agent Smith from The Matrix. The latter villians have no end to their depth, providing a range of emotions for the viewer/reader to ponder and also a necessary amount of grey in their personalities that stops them from ever becoming boring. I don't believe that Lord Voldemort, as yet, compares favourably with some of the major villians that dominate discussion. A more HP-centric comparison might be to Severus Snape, where discussions about Snape are quite varied simply because there's a lot of grey to his character, whereas Lord Voldemort is more clean cut.

guad
January 16th, 2007, 3:37 pm
When I compare Lord Voldemort to other villians I'm naturally inclined to compare him to such villians as Darth Vader from Star Wars and Agent Smith from The Matrix. The latter villians have no end to their depth, providing a range of emotions for the viewer/reader to ponder and also a necessary amount of grey in their personalities that stops them from ever becoming boring. I don't believe that Lord Voldemort, as yet, compares favourably with some of the major villians that dominate discussion.
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.

silver ink pot
January 16th, 2007, 3:58 pm
The main difference between Voldemort and Darth Vader is that Vader had a mother who raised him, though not in great circumstances since she was a slave. Part of what turned him to the Dark Side was the thought of revenge for his mother - he discovered he didn't mind killing for selfish reason. Voldemort only cares about himself, while Anakin Skywalker was obsessed with his mother and then his wife.

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."

lunarsphere
January 17th, 2007, 1:24 am
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.

JimmyPotter
January 17th, 2007, 3:35 am
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.

Rell
January 17th, 2007, 3:37 am
I definately think that Voldemort has more depth than Saraun from LoTR. Saraun is nothing more than a menacing vapor whom we never actually meet. As for Star Wars, Darth Vader is not the real villain in the story - as in, he's not the one who took over the galaxy (though I know that it was in his eventual plans). Emperor Palpatine is a better parallel in my opinion, and I think we have a lot more depth to Voldemort than we do to the Emporer.

Even so, I like your comparison SIP - Darth Vader had connections to real people whom he loved, even if he was totally warped about it. Voldemort on he other hand does not seem to have any real connection to other people - which is why he is not redeemable (unlike vader). I wonder why Voldemort never connected to anyone. It's very strange in my opinion.

dobbysfriend
January 17th, 2007, 3:45 am
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.
(Shannara novels by Terry Brooks)

mistude
January 17th, 2007, 3:58 am
I really think that Voldermort is a breed of his own. I really believe that the dimensions of his character are so unique that he can't really be compared to other villans...

dobbysfriend
January 17th, 2007, 4:05 am
I really think that Voldermort is a breed of his own. I really believe that the dimensions of his character are so unique that he can't really be compared to other villans...

Actually, the Warlock Lord is simular in many ways to Voldermort. He may be even more evil, and he has more beings that are forced to fight his wars with him. His power is greater than any others.

silver ink pot
January 17th, 2007, 7:10 am
I'm older than alot of you, and I grew up in the age of "Western" movies on TV and at the theater. So I can think alot of old movies with villains every bit as nasty as Voldemort. There's one called "Once Upon a Time in the West," with Henry Fonda playing an arch villain/killer, and Charles Bronson a man who is tracking him down to revenge his brother's murder. Fonda is a totally cold hearted killer, with no feelings whatsoever - you can easily see him as Voldemort. Fonda has killed so many that he doesn't actually remember killing Bronson's brother, and doesn't understand the concept of brotherly love. Also, there's a whole subplot about a harmonica (mouth organ) which I immediately thought about when reading "The Secret Riddle" and hearing about the stuff Voldemort has hidden in his cupboard.

Another villain that comes to mind is "Khan" from Star Trek. He's the "super-human" clone discovered in one of the early Star Trek episodes, who reappears in Wrath of Khan (played by Ricardo Montalban). It's true that Khan is a bit more social, but he also has this feeling of superiority" towards regular humans, and wants to surround himself only with "perfect" people. He's power happy also, and doesn't have usual human feelings. Instead of using his super-intelligence for something good, he only wants to help those exactly like himself, and he wants to rule them

guad
January 17th, 2007, 10:53 am
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.
That just reminds me of another villain: The Head of the Hellebore family in the book "War of the Flowers" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_War_of_the_Flowers) (Tad Williams). He is part of the fairie fraction who believe in superiority over the humans, and who have the goal to erradicate the humans. The philosophy behind it is quite similar to the one Voldemort has. (the difference is that this villain is a pure fairie ) . And he also uses dark magic to achieve his goals.

leenielou
January 17th, 2007, 12:24 pm
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.

HBP helped to add depth to the character, and indeed it was perhaps the only redeemable feature of that entire book. Lord Voldemort is no longer as bland as he once was but he lacks a certain humanity that allows readers to even try to understand his motivations.

I would definitely agree with this (one of the few times? :p:lol:). I really adore Voldemort as a creation and a character. Most villains in series become so feared or infamous through their deeds, that giving them a back-story and motives is often a killer blow. I'm thinking of Hannibal Lecter particularly in this regard. In Red Dragon and The Silence Of The Lambs he was pretty much an enigma - a human man capable of terrifying, cold and atrocious acts that chilled the soul. In Hannibal we began to be shown a little of his back-story, which put a bit of a dampener upon his impact. And now we have the new book, Hannibal Rising, which details his entire youth, obviously to detail precisely why he does what he does. A lot of critic's reviews that I've read however feel (as do I) that this was a bad move. He isn't scary anymore. True, the things he does are still pretty gross, but one doesn't have to read about them whilst looking over one's shoulder. He has become pretty bland.

However, even after we find out about Voldemort's youth and his growth, we don't get that type of smoothing over. Voldemort is still terrifying evil. He splits his soul, he is deformed by dark magic. He kills casually. He may once have been a nasty, selfish but very probably lonely and scared little boy, but that doesn't take away from his overall impact. I think in that area, Voldemort is a very successful villain.

Say if we look at Darth Vader. He is supposedly one of the best villains of all time. He's got that fantastic way of killing people with his fingers. But I never thought that he was supposed to be the main villain, persay. Star Wars was all about him, something we especially see from the prequels. But if we're going with him being a villain, it's kind of ruined once we see him as a little boy, growing up, falling in love, being seduced by the evil Emperor...even if we blame the quality of the prequels for dampening his overall impact, it still happens. We know why he does what he does and it softens us to him. I can't say that I imagine this happening with Voldemort.

guad mentioned that it would be better to compare Voldemort to Palpatine in Star Wars, and I partly agree within the conteckts (gah, I have no "ecks" button) of my argument. Palpatine is a much stronger villain than Darth Vader. His motives never change. We see the prequels, we hear of his rise along the Sith power, and we see him in the final films, yet sympathy is never given. We never feel warmly of him. In that way, he is perhaps a little more successful than Voldemort, because we may never understand his overall motivations. And perhaps that is why. Because we never learn his full back-story, we never get the chance to decide whether or not we can understand him. We do not get the chance to see him as blander, or bolder, perhaps. I think we are meant to assume that he is just evil through-and-through, which is okay, I guess. But Voldemort - we know his life, and yet we still abhor him.

Other villains...Norman Bates! Psycho remains a great film, very scary and eerie, but the sequels hold no weight or impact. Why? Because we know now that he's just a man in a dress ;)

I could go on all day comparing other villains to Voldemort in this vein, but I'll stop now. Here's (http://www.filmsite.org/afi100heroesvillb.html) a link to the supposedly top 50 villains in film that may give anyone else some ideas :)

Xenophanes
January 17th, 2007, 1:08 pm
I wouldn't say that Voldemort is the best villain ever to enter pop culture, but he's a damn good (heh, pun) one anyway. What really makes him great is his relationship to the world of today. Villains like Sauron, Darth Vader, or the Emperor are all very effective, but in a more detatched way. Voldemort, on the other hand, is scary because he embodies the particular evils we face in our world. He's a bigoted, serial killing fanatic from a broken home, for goodness sake! We might not be able to understand how he could let himself do the things he does, but we understand the what and why of him perfectly.

guad
January 17th, 2007, 1:13 pm
Hmm, I was thinking now of Dorian Gray. We know that Tom Riddle was very good looking and charming too, and that he changed physically similar to how the Portrait changes, in the mesure their lifes and evilness grows (and Dorian is an orphean too, isn't he?)

I could go on all day comparing other villains to Voldemort in this vein, but I'll stop now. Here's a link to the supposedly top 50 villains in film that may give anyone else some ideas "Man from Bambi????" :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: Well, the paralell would be that they kill Bambis mother ( :sad: ) too.

dobbysfriend
January 18th, 2007, 3:50 am
He is such a typical megalomaniac. He wants to take over the world, he strikes fear into the hearts of men, he has loyal minions, and he makes mistakes. Just like Brona (Shannara), Khan (Star Trek), Darth Vader (Star Wars), Hilter (Germany), Brain (Pinkey & the Brain), Sauron (Lord of the Rings), the Borg (Star Trek), Gold Finger (James Bond).

JimmyPotter
January 18th, 2007, 4:45 am
I think one major difference between Voldemort and Darth Vader is the role love played in their lives. Tom Riddle never experienced love and is repulsed by it in others. Anakin Skywalker's love for Padme was used by the Emperor to manipulate him into turning to the Dark Side.

Voldemort is similar to many of the James Bond villains in that he talks too much before trying (unsuccessfully) to kill Harry.

Valkonde
January 18th, 2007, 9:45 am
Voldemort is similar to many of the James Bond villains in that he talks too much before trying (unsuccessfully) to kill Harry.

:rotfl: That is so true. In GoF, I was thinking, "Why doesn't he just kill Harry now, and make up some gloating story later? The Death Eaters aren't going to contradict him, after all!"


Personally, I don't care much for Voldemort. He talks too much, doesn't do enough. He is a good villian, being utterly insane and power hungry and enough of a genius to get power...But I like the Death Eaters better.

evil_mushroom
January 18th, 2007, 9:24 pm
I really like all the insight we got in HBP; I think it actually made Voldemort scarier, seeing him advance on the path of evil, from human to the sort of creature whose name is feared by all (I always thought that a great touch btw). I like the combination of power-mania and realistic bigotry, the power and weakness (the greatest, not knowing his own real weaknesses - i.e. love). It's also great that he's not just scary - he's a good example of tyrant, of the way backgrounds influence people (but choices trace the paths in the end) and of how pure evil can only survive through people weak enough to follow (the Death Eaters are always interesting, even moreso than Voldemort: the way they are humiliated and tortured by Voldemort and then they do the same to those they hate, feeling powerful). But back on topic, I like the Dorian Gray comparison; I think it works best as to how evil unquestionably degrades man. Voldemort probably has elements similar to Sauron but more human and contemporary ones too; he achieves much of what he wants through terrorism. However like all tyrants addicted to power he lacks perspective and wisdom, he has great fears that he never learned to overcome and surely that will be a part of his downfall.

dobbysfriend
January 19th, 2007, 3:41 am
:rotfl: That is so true. In GoF, I was thinking, "Why doesn't he just kill Harry now, and make up some gloating story later? The Death Eaters aren't going to contradict him, after all!"


Personally, I don't care much for Voldemort. He talks too much, doesn't do enough. He is a good villian, being utterly insane and power hungry and enough of a genius to get power...But I like the Death Eaters better.

Like they said in the Incredibles, the villians always spend too much time monologing!

Valkonde
January 19th, 2007, 10:38 am
Thinking on it, the Voldemort/Sauron comparison is fairly apt. Both started as just men, in the shadow of some other great evil (Voldemort was around when Grindelwald was big, Sauron worked for some other lord of Mordor whose name I can't recall right now...started with an M....). They both took over as the evil overlord after the previous evil was defeated, and became even more powerful and feared. Both tied their very existance to small objects that they are obsessively protective of, both grew armies around them to do their bidding, both seemed defeated for a while, but then returned with a vengance....You get the point.

The thing is, with Sauron, you never see his ascent to power in the books. In fact, you rarely ever see him. In the Potter books, there's some incarnation of Voldemort in all but PoA. And has been pointed out, HBP looked at the transition from a small, odd, but incredibly talented boy to the man that became Voldemort.

Moriath
January 19th, 2007, 11:30 am
Thinking on it, the Voldemort/Sauron comparison is fairly apt. Both started as just men, in the shadow of some other great evil (Voldemort was around when Grindelwald was big, Sauron worked for some other lord of Mordor whose name I can't recall right now...started with an M....). They both took over as the evil overlord after the previous evil was defeated, and became even more powerful and feared. Both tied their very existance to small objects that they are obsessively protective of, both grew armies around them to do their bidding, both seemed defeated for a while, but then returned with a vengance....You get the point.

The thing is, with Sauron, you never see his ascent to power in the books. In fact, you rarely ever see him. In the Potter books, there's some incarnation of Voldemort in all but PoA. And has been pointed out, HBP looked at the transition from a small, odd, but incredibly talented boy to the man that became Voldemort.

Sauron was never a man. He was a lesser God, a Maia (that's explained in the Simarillion). We do not know whether Grindelwald was ever as evil and powerful as Voldemort. On the other hand, Sauron was certainly never more powerful than Melkor. Granted, they share their obsession (hunger for domination, lust for power) and they both returned. But Voldemort is an evil you can grasp. Sauron is basically discarnate and represents a huge destructive power. Voldemort got rid of his human side but he still has some part of a human soul. He cannot see everything or dominate others by will alone. Comparing the two, I would always pick Sauron as the more powerful and scary one. An evil you cannot see and grasp is more frightening than a villain you know the family of. Or his days at school.

JimmyPotter
January 21st, 2007, 3:15 am
Where Voldemort and Sauron differ is in their motives. Sauron simply wanted to dominate all life. Voldemort also has certain bigotries.

The schemes of Emperor Palpatine are more grandiose. After all, he started a war in which he was the supreme commander on both sides.

Rell
January 21st, 2007, 3:20 am
The schemes of Emperor Palpatine are more grandiose. After all, he started a war in which he was the supreme commander on both sides.
They're similar in that they tried to manipulate the other side and stay anonymous until they gained power. They both have a talent for sowing discord.

evil_mushroom
January 21st, 2007, 10:50 pm
But Voldemort is an evil you can grasp. Sauron is basically discarnate and represents a huge destructive power. Voldemort got rid of his human side but he still has some part of a human soul. He cannot see everything or dominate others by will alone. Comparing the two, I would always pick Sauron as the more powerful and scary one. An evil you cannot see and grasp is more frightening than a villain you know the family of. Or his days at school.
You're probably right generally speaking, but to me it always seems that knowing Voldemort's past makes him even scarier, and definitely more complex than before HBP (although we found out about it gradually). To see a teenager so cruel and determined, to understand the germs of what will become his obsessions and will influence the whole world, that makes for a creepier character than the linear, absolute evil who often acts in a slightly silly way (f.e.,letting Harry escape :D). I also find it disturbing (in a good way) to follow his choices, his gradual loss of human traits - it's scarier to think the 'evil incarnate' of the series was once just a man (and how similar his backgrounds are to Harry's is a strength of the book). I also feel there's enough mystery left around Voldemort's becoming, so that you always feel you don't know and can't imagine all the dark deeds that marked his way to power. Of course there are also things I don't like so much about Voldemort's depiction, like the need to talk and gloat a lot :lol: (but in book 5 he was better).
I'm not saying he's scarier or a 'better villain' than Sauron, you can't really compare them - I think each fits his own universe. For example HP needs a villain who would resemble real-life tyrants and their bigotries, and also an example of decay (the rise of LV is simultaneous to his actual inner fall), of how choices matter; that way LV fits into the message of the books. LotR is connected to real life in a more subtle way, so Sauron is the best for that universe; I like the fact he's so 'abstract', the pure power of destruction that makes the tale happen, in a way. In Tolkien's universe he's very complex because of the inherent symbolism of a 'pure evil', because of the mythological feel of that world, while in HP a Voldemort without a complex human past would be too weak a character, imo.

dancingdream
January 22nd, 2007, 12:11 am
Comparing the two, I would always pick Sauron as the more powerful and scary one. An evil you cannot see and grasp is more frightening than a villain you know the family of. Or his days at school.

See, I would pick the villian who started out human, because reading it, you see qualities that you recognize in people you see every day, and you have to wonder if losing yourself in power and bigotry is really possible. Voldemort scares me so much because his policies are a mix between Nazi policies, and the policies of Hutu extremists during the early 1990s, two very real powers.

Nadia
January 22nd, 2007, 7:36 am
See, I would pick the villian who started out human, because reading it, you see qualities that you recognize in people you see every day, and you have to wonder if losing yourself in power and bigotry is really possible. Voldemort scares me so much because his policies are a mix between Nazi policies, and the policies of Hutu extremists during the early 1990s, two very real powers.

Voldemort is, in a way, scarier to us because we know that he could exist in real life (of course, he wouldn't have horcruxes and immortality, but still...). He was born poor, and grew to hate everything and everyone, because he wanted to be better than them. He is constantly trying to prove that he's superior to the rest of the world (seeking immortality) and he has the power and the ability to conquer certain sectors of the population that think like him, that hold some resentment to the 'normal people' (like werewolves and giants). In my opinion, he's scarier than Sauron because he's more 'real', he has motifs that make sense if you take a look into his past, and his feelings are the same feelings that any social outcast could feel.

Valkonde
January 22nd, 2007, 9:58 am
You'll forgive me, Madron, for my misinterpretation of Sauron. I've never read Simarillion, and in fact barely made it through the indexes at the end of Return of the King. :D

I would find Voldemort the more frightening villain, personally. In LotR, I always found the Nazgul to be more frightening than Sauron (perhaps because a giant eye doesn't seem too spooky). Both the Nazgul and Voldemort are similar, losing their humanity to their lust for power, both blindly taking that power at whatever cost, even if that cost is yourself.

What's even more frightening about Voldemort, I think, is that from a young age, he showed that he had great powers already, and that he could control them to harm others. As he proudly tells Dumbledore, he can make people do things, hurt them if he wants. The knowledge of what it is to be human also grants the knowledge of how best to harm those still in possessoin of their humanity. Voldemort is a master manipulator, like all sociopaths.

What's scary also is how well he can twist his meanings to get people to follow his insane ideas.
What's worse, some didn't need much convincing.

Moriath
January 22nd, 2007, 11:14 am
See, I would pick the villian who started out human, because reading it, you see qualities that you recognize in people you see every day, and you have to wonder if losing yourself in power and bigotry is really possible. Voldemort scares me so much because his policies are a mix between Nazi policies, and the policies of Hutu extremists during the early 1990s, two very real powers.

I see your point but this understanding would make the villains less scary for me. :lol: If I understand their motives and their very human greed and lust for power I can despise them for being corrupted and cold-hearted but at least I know they have a heart. A villain like Sauron in LotR or the God Torak in Eddings' Belgariad is different. One cannot understand their thinking because they are not human. Their is no human pattern of thinking and one cannot rationalise their actions. Their evil is as inconceivable and arbitrary as a natural catastrophe. We know that Voldemort's loveless childhood is the reason that his ability to feel love, mercy and compassion shrivelled. But all these superhuman, near-divine villains never had this ability in the first place. We cannot hope that they remember a time when someone was nice to them because it doesn't matter anyway.

Nadia
January 23rd, 2007, 6:02 pm
We know that Voldemort's loveless childhood is the reason that his ability to feel love, mercy and compassion shrivelled. But all these superhuman, near-divine villains never had this ability in the first place. We cannot hope that they remember a time when someone was nice to them because it doesn't matter anyway.

That's why I think Voldemort is more dangerous than other 'super villains'; because he knows about feelings, and he knows that he can manipulate people who feel (just like he did with Harry and Sirius in OotP). Other villains, such as Sauron, don't know about human feelings, not being humans themselves, so they don't know that they (the feelings) can be powerful weapons, to be used in favor of, or against them.

Rell
January 24th, 2007, 12:09 am
Dumbledore had Harry learn about Voldemort's past so that he would know him better and be better equipt to fight him. I think that knowing one's enemy takes away the fear that comes from mystic.

Remember though that Frodo was never expected to fight Saraun - so Frodo didn't have to know so much about him.

Nadia
January 24th, 2007, 6:36 am
Dumbledore had Harry learn about Voldemort's past so that he would know him better and be better equipt to fight him. I think that knowing one's enemy takes away the fear that comes from mystic.

Remember though that Frodo was never expected to fight Saraun - so Frodo didn't have to know so much about him.

That is why, I think, Harry is more involved in his mission than Frodo was.
Frodo never knew much about Sauron, that's why he couldn't resist the power of the ring; because he never knew much about it, and about it's true nature.
On the other side, Harry would never dreamt about making a horcrux, for example, because he knows Voldemort, he knows his true nature. And he knows that nothing good can come from following his footsteps.

arithmancer
January 24th, 2007, 8:29 am
Frodo never knew much about Sauron, that's why he couldn't resist the power of the ring; because he never knew much about it, and about it's true nature.

This is not true in the LOTR world. Gandalf's purpose in life was the defeat of Sauron, he knew and understood more of Sauron's true nature and evil than any other being in Middle Earth. Yet he categorically refused to take the Ring himself because he knew he could not resist it. The same is true of Galadriel the Elf Queen, another powerful, knowledgeable, and wise figure of Good in Tolkien's world. Frodo was remarkably capable of resisting the Ring, succumbing to it only at the very end, on the brink of accomplishing his quest. (Tolkien has explained his purpose in this - Frodo was a remarkable hero, but a mortal, and Tolkien as a religious man felt that Divine Grace was needed for success in such a significant endeavour, hence the little accident of Gollum's).

It's not that Frodo was ill-prepared, while Harry is well-prepared. It is that they are on different types of quests. Frodo did not have to fight Sauron, because the destruction of the Ring alone would destroy him. Whereas there is a prophecy that Harry and Voldemort must fight.

JimmyPotter
January 28th, 2007, 11:15 pm
Voldemort shares a similarity with the head computer Skynet in the Terminator movies in that both create their worst enemy while trying to destroy such enemy. Voldemort turned Harry into his worst enemy when he tried to kill him as a baby. Skynet caused the birth of John Connor by trying to kill his mother before his birth. If Skynet had not sent the terminator back, the humans would never have sent Kyle Reese back to stop it. Kyle Reese then conceived John Connor with Sarah.

kluvhp
January 29th, 2007, 6:20 am
I sort of relate Voldemort more with Adolf Hitler more than any fictional antagonists. One of Hitler's parents was Jewish (compared with Voldemort's muggle father), and he strived to eliminate whole sections of people: Jews, gays, people who opposed him, ect. This can be related to Voldemort by saying he wanted to destroy muggleborns, 'blood-traitors', people who opposed him, etc. Of course, now we've been introduced to a whole new aspect of Voldemort: His quest for immortality. I don't know of any fragment of Hitler we can relate this to, but who knows?

evil_mushroom
January 29th, 2007, 11:12 pm
Voldemort shares a similarity with the head computer Skynet in the Terminator movies in that both create their worst enemy while trying to destroy such enemy.
Yes, I've always found that interesting. There's also a similar idea commonly found in mythology, about the prophecies that only ever get accomplished because the one named by them heard them and tried to stop them from happening. That's what happened, I think, to Cronos, Oedip and a lot of other mythological figures I can't remember. It's a sort of vicious circle; they chose the exact actions that lead to the prophecy coming true, and that's what Voldemort did too. Maybe their greatest mistake, but also an intervention of fate. Probably they just didn't get the part that human will plays in the course of destiny (which Dumbledore makes Harry understand, and he accepts the challenge willingly).

I like the idea of Voldemort creating his enemy while trying to destroy him, though I think Harry was not 'created' as an enemy for him by that scar; he would have still been Voldemort's enemy without it, because the way this man scarred him and the world was deeper: his parents' death and his childhood, his tendency to get involved for the good make him an enemy for Voldemort already. However, that 'marking' was very important as it made Harry Voldemort's 'equal' - it was like the universe creating the balanced setting needed to end evil, the overwhelming principle that had destroyed the balance. Thus Harry was raised in similar conditions to Voldemort, yet his choices were very much different, and all the similarities add balance, complexity and give both a human and a symbolistic approach to the story. The two principles represented by Voldemort and Harry cannot exist separately (i.e., Voldemort cannot dominate the world without his equal showing up) and yet they cannot live together when they are both powerful (they defeat one another), so death and rebirth of each of them creates the final balance. *feels she may be rambling at this point* I'm always amazed by the symmetry of this story, its mythology-like balance and message, its powerful symbols, and even more by the way all these are approached from a human point of view, emphasising personal choices, traits, and everything variable in human nature; the everlasting and everchanging combine beautifully, I think, especially in the Voldemort/Harry relation.
I sort of relate Voldemort more with Adolf Hitler more than any fictional antagonists. One of Hitler's parents was Jewish (compared with Voldemort's muggle father), and he strived to eliminate whole sections of people: Jews, gays, people who opposed him, ect. This can be related to Voldemort by saying he wanted to destroy muggleborns, 'blood-traitors', people who opposed him, etc.

:agree: I completely agree, I've noticed that too. It seems typical for tyrants to fight and opress something that they have too, or rooted in their past. I find that very weak and yet capable of doing an awful lot of harm... Voldemort being a half-blood is very realistic, it's one of the things that makes me see him as a very complex character.

Chris
January 30th, 2007, 3:39 am
Hmm...never made the connection between Brain in Pinky and the Brain and Voldy before.

Just a quick addition to the Sauron / Vold comparison. To me Voldy seems scarier in the flesh; but that's in large part because Sauron was barely shown in the books and movies in the flesh. However, Sauron is a far more powerful force in his spirit form than Voldy - he can still control a large part of the world rather than being barely alive.

Interesting that almost every villian mentioned here has an achilles heel of sorts - Sauron's ring, Voldy's inability to recognize love as a power, Palpatine's trust in Vader (a weakness he should have seen - he (evidently) killed his own mentor...seems a Sith tradition of sorts), Vader's family loyalty, etc. I can't say what the other villian's achilles heels are without having read them :-P. Maybe if they didn't have an achilles heel they could never be killed / gotten rid of...

Valkonde
January 31st, 2007, 7:39 am
Well, villians need weaknesses. Not only to give people hope (they're not going to read a novel where evil triumphs), but because most villians are human. We want to demonize them, and they want to be demonized, but for different reasons. We demonize because it makes them less human when they're defeated. They want to be demonized because it makes them less human and therefore much harder to defeat.

Everyone has weaknesses. Villians overlook theirs out of denial of a weakness, they don't see a weakness, or they're distracted by their plans of world domination. Those are hard to pull of, by the way.

magicalmysteryg
February 8th, 2007, 4:09 am
I sort of relate Voldemort more with Adolf Hitler more than any fictional antagonists. One of Hitler's parents was Jewish (compared with Voldemort's muggle father), and he strived to eliminate whole sections of people: Jews, gays, people who opposed him, ect. This can be related to Voldemort by saying he wanted to destroy muggleborns, 'blood-traitors', people who opposed him, etc. Of course, now we've been introduced to a whole new aspect of Voldemort: His quest for immortality. I don't know of any fragment of Hitler we can relate this to, but who knows?

as hitler commited suicide, probably, that doesnt seem to be high on his list. but he did want his life's work to give him a metaphorical immortality, and in fact some have suggested that hitler is grindenwald.

unlike sauron, voldemort is scarier in the flesh. we never see sauron that way, and voldemort, as a vapor, is less threatening.

i agree that any good fictional villan must have a weakness, or more importantly, we must see that they are human. They cant be pure evil, they need to be more complex. i think that voldemort needs more humanity, in that sense--we need to know what can drive someone to be so mean, to be capable of such cruelty at eleven years old. definitly, in my opinon, a weak spot in the series. in star wars, for example, it was understandable how anakin became vader. i know LV was never good, but he seems to have been born pure evil, which seems harder to beleive. I realize that growing up unloved and an orphan cant be fun...but so was harry, and he hadnt hung a rabbit by the time he was ten.

Valkonde
February 8th, 2007, 9:46 am
Ah, but Harry is constantly told by Dumbledore that he's very unusual.

Harry's early life was full of neglect and abuse, yet he turned out normal. Which is odd.
Tom Riddle's early life was full of neglect of sorts; he wasn't mistreated at the orphanage, but he was treated like every other orphan there. And he turned out to be a complete sociopath. Which is also odd.

I don't believe Riddle was born evil; I don't think anyone is born evil. But I think that he was perhaps predispositioned towards being a bit insane (from the Gaunts) and/or arrogant (from the Riddles). So as his powers grew, and he gained control of them, he took an active stand to not fade into obscurity by any means necessary. Sometimes you have to take drastic measures to stand out.

Moriath
February 8th, 2007, 10:04 am
i agree that any good fictional villan must have a weakness, or more importantly, we must see that they are human. They cant be pure evil, they need to be more complex. i think that voldemort needs more humanity, in that sense--we need to know what can drive someone to be so mean, to be capable of such cruelty at eleven years old. definitly, in my opinon, a weak spot in the series. in star wars, for example, it was understandable how anakin became vader. i know LV was never good, but he seems to have been born pure evil, which seems harder to beleive. I realize that growing up unloved and an orphan cant be fun...but so was harry, and he hadnt hung a rabbit by the time he was ten.

Voldemort wasn't born evil, he was born loveless because he had never been loved. That's a social statement. Like Tolkien feared modern society with all its machines, JKR wrote about love as the greatest power since our society grows indifferent towards the weak and unprivileged. Children do not know what right and wrong is, they need to learn it.

Voldemort is a psychopath and something went obviously wrong in his childhood. The lack of love is certainly part of the reason he is a mass murderer now. However, the more we learn about him, the less scary he becomes for me. If there is a brutal crime in the media we tend to describe it as inhuman and monstrous. Of course, this means that it is only too human but as soon as we understand the motivation behind the crime - a cruel childhood, loss of loved ones at an early age, mistreatment and abuse - the villain is still bad but not monstrous anymore. An analysed evil is not as frightening as an evil we cannot grasp and understand. Voldemort was scarier when he was inhuman. As to Darth Vader, one could pity him in Return of the Jedi already. The background story - a tragic love story - did not make him scary at all.

kh312
February 8th, 2007, 10:15 am
he's just about the same really. the only exception is that rowling showed us how the wires work in voldys head and other villians we know only of their actions,not what made them do what they did nor what they're striving for.

JimmyPotter
February 11th, 2007, 4:03 am
Where Harry and Voldemort's early lives were different is that Harry spent the first 15 months of his life with parents who loved him (and each other) very much. Voldemort didn't even have that. I'm no expert on babies, but I think that how they are treated does affect how they will be later in life.

MioneBookworm
February 11th, 2007, 5:09 am
However, the more we learn about him, the less scary he becomes for me. If there is a brutal crime in the media we tend to describe it as inhuman and monstrous. Of course, this means that it is only too human but as soon as we understand the motivation behind the crime - a cruel childhood, loss of loved ones at an early age, mistreatment and abuse - the villain is still bad but not monstrous anymore. An analysed evil is not as frightening as an evil we cannot grasp and understand. Voldemort was scarier when he was inhuman. As to Darth Vader, one could pity him in Return of the Jedi already. The background story - a tragic love story - did not make him scary at all.

I agree. When you see their background, villains do become less scary. Voldemort has always been inhuman in the Harry Potter series. Of course, it is due to facts that might make us more sympathetic towards him, but that doesn't mean he's less evil all the same. I think that what was most scary about Voldemort at first, to us as much as to most of the magical community, was the fact that no one quite knew where he had come from, and even in his physical appearance as much as his deeds he was very far from human. Villains in Harry Potter itself like, say, Bellatrix, who are really nothing short of being as cruel as Voldemort, still inspire an amount of respect and fear that's nothing compared as the one people hold for Voldemort himself.

Darth Vader, though cruel, can't be compared to Voldemort. Firstly, because he redeemed himself: I doubt Voldemort will ever do so, since I believe love is required to redeem. There has to be a reason for it that's deep enough, and love is one of the few things that can go as deep as redeeming villains of that height.

Secondly, the Star Wars series treats love in a completely different way as the Harry Potter series. Love is, in a way - according to Master Yoda's way of relating things -, the path to the Dark Side of the Force(one of the many). Jedis can't love, because love is the path to jealousy, jealousy conducts to fury, and fury to the dark side. Siths, on the other hand, are driven by their feelings. Now, I'm not sure it was exactly like this, but something of the sort all the same. It shows, in a way, that love is a beautiful but also a very dangerous thing. It's probably the only thing that could lead you both in and out of the Dark Side of the force, as happened to Vader.

In Harry Potter, however, we haven't yet seen a character that is driven to the Dark Side because of love. Not even to save loved ones - it seems that the Dark side in Harry Potter represents quite the opposite, and sort of lacks love. Voldemort is the essence of the Dark Side in Harry Potter, and therefore he can't love, which clearly tells him apart from Vader.

That is, in a way, why I believe that Voldemort is quite more effective as a villain in comparison to Vader. Love is too unpredictable to construct a good villain, since you don't know which turns it's going to take. It sort of makes characters more pliable, if you know what I mean, and a really evil villain can't doubt on which side to take.

Mind you, Vader is still an excellent villain and gives great plot to the Star Wars series, but Voldemort is more appropriate for Harry Potter. A tougher and harder to destroy villain than Vader, he is just the product of the lack of love. And yes, as you say, there is clearly something wrong with him. It's just a matter of tastes, I just prefer that kind of villain.

Master_Auror_X
February 12th, 2007, 6:59 pm
Voldemort reminds me of the Emperor in Star Wars.They have a lot in common. Evil, Weird Face, and their mission is too take over the world. (for Voldemort the Magical word.)

Rell
February 12th, 2007, 11:20 pm
Voldemort reminds me of the Emperor in Star Wars.They have a lot in common. Evil, Weird Face, and their mission is too take over the world. (for Voldemort the Magical word.)
:welcome: Master_Auror_X!
A lot of people seem to want to compare Voldemort to Darth Vader, but I agree that there's more of a comparison to the Emperor. It's very interesting that their evil actions both have a direct reflection on their outward appearance. They are also both masters at sowing discord among their enemies so that their claim of power is easier.

JimmyPotter
February 25th, 2007, 3:45 am
Voldemort and the Emperor also both created their ultimate destroyer. We know about how Voldemort marked Harry. The Emperor made Darth Vader into a powerful Sith without fully driving the good from him. The good resurfaced when Darth Vader killed the Emperor to save Luke. In this case love was used to defeat the Dark Side. So perhaps in Star Wars love is a double-edged sword.

MinaMurray
February 25th, 2007, 2:43 pm
Personally, i link Voldemort to Hitler. and so the Mangemorts to the SS, the mudbloods to Jews, Gipsies,etc.

I don't link him to any Darth-something at all.
JK, i believe, inspired herself to reality, to historical facts, not to other fictions.

Night_Seeker
March 3rd, 2007, 10:59 am
Lord Voldemort is a very unique character in that, everything that he does, essentially is driven by fear. Fear of weakness and most of all fear of death. It adds depth to his character because it explains why he wants to control the world. He fears change, he fears difference. He fears being powerless. It all goes back to his being abadened by his mother and father. One by death, the other by muggle minded hatred of magic. These two things drive him to beleive what he does. Voldemort is deep down a lost and insecure child with the talents and skills of a powerful dark wizard, which makes him dangerous. He is quite mental, and thats what makes him unique to other villians. We're not even sure if he is truly aware of what he is doing. Voldemort seems to act on survival isntincts gone overboard.

This also makes him very human. Because who dosen't fear death?

His saddism comes from his comfort at watching others endure the same torment he is outwardly terrified of, which covers his fear and insecurity.

Darth Vader was driven to the dark side of the force, by fear of not death for himself but of losing those he loves. Love becomes a drug, if tainted with obsession, but true love never dies, which I think is one of the themes of SW.

While in the Potteverse, things aren't as complex. There are two distcint elements: Fear and Love. Fear=Bad. Love=Good.

I don't think Voldemort can be compared to Palpatine either. Palpatine is more controlled and stable than Voldemort. Voldemort is cunning and devious but dosen't possess the level of deception Palpatine does. Voldemort is too insane and is prone to mood swings, while the Emperer is always in control of himself.

Now as for comparing Voldemort to Sauron...Saruon is more of a fallen angel along the lines of Satan. Voldemort is just an average human with magic powers gone bad, more along the lines of Sauruman the White.

As for if Voldermort holds up against the other villains of modern times, yes you can say that. One thing Voldemort has that the other don't, is he's more reconizable as an everyday person. Palpatine is like Hitler, Sauron is like Satan, Voldemort is like the nice man down the street who turns out to be a serial killer, so he's more closely associated with the general population, and not just on an epic spirtual or political level.

Voldemort fits the mold perfectly as the ultimate villain of the Harry Potter world.

Xenophanes
March 3rd, 2007, 12:32 pm
Lord Voldemort is a very unique character in that, everything that he does, essentially is driven by fear. Fear of weakness and most of all fear of death. It adds depth to his character because it explains why he wants to control the world. He fears change, he fears difference. He fears being powerless. It all goes back to his being abadened by his mother and father. One by death, the other by muggle minded hatred of magic. These two things drive him to beleive what he does. Voldemort is deep down a lost and insecure child with the talents and skills of a powerful dark wizard, which makes him dangerous. He is quite mental, and thats what makes him unique to other villians. We're not even sure if he is truly aware of what he is doing. Voldemort seems to act on survival isntincts gone overboard.

This also makes him very human. Because who dosen't fear death?

His saddism comes from his comfort at watching others endure the same torment he is outwardly terrified of, which covers his fear and insecurity.
Excellent point. One of the things I like most about Voldemort is the fact that his motivations are exactly the same as our own, except he's a little more...er...homicidal in his methods :). He's afraid of death. He's afraid of dying. He's afraid of being ordinary, of being mundane and forgotten. He's afraid (as Dumbledore so astutely points out) of the people he persecutes, and so he persecutes them more. I also think he's afraid of anyone who has the courage to do what is right, no matter the costs to themselves (something which he is incapable of understanding). I suspect the reason he feared Dumbledore was not because he was the greatest wizard in the world, but because he was so unnaturally good (a certain dark-haired teenager may also provoke this reaction).

Night_Seeker
March 3rd, 2007, 12:50 pm
Yes, I agree with you. I never thoght Dumbledore was the only wizard Voldemort ever feared ONLY because of his power.

dasfres
April 30th, 2007, 10:11 am
Voldemort is not that unique of a villain. He seems to be largely modeled after Hitler, but his desire for power and fame are seen with all villains in the arts and history. His methods, although selfish, do not seem to be very ruthless. Even the dementors are capable of making people suffer worse than Voldemort could ever achieve, and therefore are arguably more evil than Voldemort.

What I believe makes him unique though is his quest for immortality. He was born a man, but desires to become a god through the destruction of his soul. The necessary devices that allow him to do this are provided through the wizarding world, which few villains would have access to, sans those from fantasy worlds. This sets him apart, as few villains have managed to tie their soul permanetly to the physical realm. Perhaps he was simply born into the right world, as such immortality would be impossible in a world such as the one Star Wars took place in.

Hanover_Fist
April 30th, 2007, 12:07 pm
Comparisons to Vader initially look good. A gifted orphan is trained by the most powerful wizards (I wonder if he played any role in helping Dumbledore defeat Grindelwald), only to see him betray them to join the Dark Side. Still, he has the lust for power and lack of love that make him more comparable to Palpatine.

For whoever said he was comparable to Orochimaru-bravo to you! This is to me the strongest comparison you could make. Both were trained by the most powerful of their day (Sarutobi in Orochimaru's case, Dumbledore in Voldemort's), but gained insatiable lust for power. Each left in a fury when denied a position that would link them to that power (Voldemort was refused the DADA position; Orochimaru was rejected as Sarutobi's successor as Hokage), and swore revenge on the institution. Each immersed themselves in learning powerful magic/jutsu, and both have the power to control snakes. Each has built up a following, but the minions follow more out of fear than respect. They each have a "favorite", a right-hand man (for Voldemort, it's Wormtail; for Orochimaru, it's Kabuto), but even they are kept at a distance. Each brings about the death of their former mentor (even if Snape is good, it was Voldemort's influence that led him to protect Draco). Each has the potential to suffer worse than their death. Voldemort would likely suffer more if he were to lose his powers and be no different than a Muggle. Orochimaru had his arms paralyzed, rendering him unable to ever perform another jutsu ever again. Look for the HP/Naruto thread in the Pensieve for a more detailed comparison (coming shortly, hopefully).

Voldemort's past can also be compared to Gaara's (another Naruto villain), as far as the lack of love that led them to care about and fight only for themselves.

For those of you who bring up Voldemort's prejudices and the comparisons to Hitler, I'm surprised nobody thought to make a connection to Magneto. Magneto believes that mutants should overthrow humans and rule by force, whereas Voldemort wants to rid the world of Muggles and Muggle-borns. Magneto's hatred is a reaction to the fear and hatred that humans have inflicted on mutants (Magneto himself was a Holocaust survivor, which intensifies his fears), and believes that a mutant revolution is necessary to ensure peace. While Voldemort has not expressed these fears himself, they undoubtedly exist in the wizarding world, as the books reference actual witch hunts and wizard burnings, and the need for the wizarding world to stay hidden and separate. Maybe Voldemort's prejudice comes from fear of what Muggles have done in the past, and believes that the wizarding world must eliminate this threat and take their rightful place as owners of the world.

dragonmaiden50
May 15th, 2007, 5:00 pm
Voldy Vs. Darth vader
well considering that voldy has killed many of my fav characters and darth really only killed oby one Voldy wins.
Voldy vs. Sauron
Sauron is a giant flaming eye with thousand of orcs. Umm...I think he wins.
Valdy vs. Dr. Evil
Voldy hands down.

witchygurl
May 15th, 2007, 5:14 pm
i love this thread!
I think that voldemort is different than most villians because he is human, but not. he doesn't have any feelings--his only insecurities are his fear of dying and his dad, a muggle. But personal jealousies, love, greed, don't come into play at all--only his want for power.

the villian he reminds me of most is the Wizard from Wicked (book, NOT musical). he is totally consumed by his own power and lives to persecute the people who he doesn't agree with. He, Hitler (who unfortunately was not fictional), and voldemort are all on the same line of genocide, kiling people different than they are. they all have their secret services.

Gandalf_Shaw
June 9th, 2007, 10:04 pm
Voldy Vs. Darth vader
well considering that voldy has killed many of my fav characters and darth really only killed oby one Voldy wins.
Voldy vs. Sauron
Sauron is a giant flaming eye with thousand of orcs. Umm...I think he wins.
Valdy vs. Dr. Evil
Voldy hands down.

Voldemort versus Sauron in his Beleriand form before he took the shape of the lidless eye. That would be a closer fight, but Sauron is ultimately much more powerful. Voldemort is slightly similar to the Witch-King of Angmar (both sorcerors, both learnt from others and both rely on secrecy) but Voldemort is a better constructed villain because he learns from mistakes.

teardrops17
June 12th, 2007, 8:05 am
for me, villains are those "other" characters "opposing" the main characters...
one doesn't need to be "evil" to be a villain... some villains have their own reason for being evil... they are also humans... and they can have their own story where they are the "protagonists" having their opponents as villains...

now voldemort cannot have his story...
for he needs to show his whole self... and there's nothing inspiring in his story...

there's no love...
as simple as that....

MLynas
June 20th, 2007, 12:27 pm
Voldemort is one of the biggest reasons that I read Harry Potter.

I believe him to be the perfect villain. I think it's in part to do with the whole "You-Know-Who" bussiness, and that we rarely see him. When you think about it, we see quirrelmort for a climax at the end of PS, souldemort at the climax of CoS, he doesn't appear in PoA and its not till GoF that we ever see our Villain in a body of his own, he only appears very briefly in Ootp and then he isn't in HBP, all in for someone of so much consequence, Harry has only met him in book time (not counting Godrics Hollow) four times!

Yet he is the most feared Wizard in the world.

Its this mystery that makes him such a great villain.

JimmyPotter
June 23rd, 2007, 4:14 am
Voldemort is one of the biggest reasons that I read Harry Potter.

I believe him to be the perfect villain. I think it's in part to do with the whole "You-Know-Who" bussiness, and that we rarely see him. When you think about it, we see quirrelmort for a climax at the end of PS, souldemort at the climax of CoS, he doesn't appear in PoA and its not till GoF that we ever see our Villain in a body of his own, he only appears very briefly in Ootp and then he isn't in HBP, all in for someone of so much consequence, Harry has only met him in book time (not counting Godrics Hollow) four times!

Yet he is the most feared Wizard in the world.

Its this mystery that makes him such a great villain.

In that regard Voldemort is similar to Sauron from LOTR, who is in spirit form throughout the story. Where they differ is that there is never any direct face-to-face confrontation between Sauron and Frodo, while there are a few between Harry and Voldemort.

owlpostgirl
June 23rd, 2007, 7:55 am
Compared with other villains....I'd say LV is better than most.

I have this one complaint with him that really bugs me to no end. I feel like he's written with contradictions in character/motivation. It seems like JKR is saying that LV was traumatized as a kid by his mother's abandonment, and consequently descended deeper into 'evilness' by choosing to blame Merope's weakness and search for immortality himself. But then she throws in all this information about how he was a twisted kid from the start: unresponsive and unemotional as a baby; doing freaky things to kids in caves; etc. That sort of stuff is all well and good for a creepy factor - but I think it paints LV as more of a sociopath who was broken from birth and would have gone bad no matter what. I feel like I'm getting manipulated as a reader.

/end of rant

I do like that JKR is trying to show some realism in his motivations: his fear of weakness and death is a theme folks can related to. I also like the tragedy of him: here he was, this handsome intelligent guy - he could be anything he wanted - and he chooses to become an evil, twisted, mass murderer.

I agree with the comparisons with Anakin Skywalker - they both had so much potential, and they both let their fears drag them down into evil.

Sauron, I don't think is a good comparison. Sauron is more of a nebulous evil omnipotent figure. He's not human, he's not meant to be understood, he's not based on any historical figure. He's an evil force to be destroyed.

IAnother villain that comes to mind is "Khan" from Star Trek. He's the "super-human" clone discovered in one of the early Star Trek episodes, who reappears in Wrath of Khan (played by Ricardo Montalban). It's true that Khan is a bit more social, but he also has this feeling of superiority" towards regular humans, and wants to surround himself only with "perfect" people. He's power happy also, and doesn't have usual human feelings. Instead of using his super-intelligence for something good, he only wants to help those exactly like himself, and he wants to rule them
Good comparison :tu:

leenielou
June 23rd, 2007, 10:58 am
I have this one complaint with him that really bugs me to no end. I feel like he's written with contradictions in character/motivation. It seems like JKR is saying that LV was traumatized as a kid by his mother's abandonment, and consequently descended deeper into 'evilness' by choosing to blame Merope's weakness and search for immortality himself. But then she throws in all this information about how he was a twisted kid from the start: unresponsive and unemotional as a baby; doing freaky things to kids in caves; etc. That sort of stuff is all well and good for a creepy factor - but I think it paints LV as more of a sociopath who was broken from birth and would have gone bad no matter what. I feel like I'm getting manipulated as a reader.

That's one of the things that I like most about his character. Jo doesn't give us any concrete reason to suspect either nature or nuture more than each other, which harks back to so many other famous works and their successful villains. He's like Caliban in that regard.

Rell
June 24th, 2007, 6:05 am
The thing is, I never really saw that as a reason to feel bad for Voldemort. Maybe if he were mistreated a lot, but that didn't seem to be the case. I don't mean to say that the orphanage was a cheery place, but I didn't get the impression that it had come out of "Annie" or anything like that.

I liked it because it gave Voldemort a way to justify himself, which is what villians do - but it still doesn't make me feel bad for him at all, and I don't think that was the point.

I also think that it provides a good contrast to Harry. Harry was an orphan, and he was mistreated, and he turned out "pure", to use Dumbledore's words, while Voldemort in a similar situation became a sociopath and mass murderer.

SusanBones
June 24th, 2007, 2:05 pm
Dumbledore gave Tom Riddle a clean slate, a chance to come to Hogwarts without anyone knowing anything about his past. Tom could create himself anew. He had good role models at Hogwarts to help him learn the proper way to act in society. He had people like him, admire him, look to him as a leader, something he never had at the orphanage. The important thing about Tom Riddle is that he could easily have gone to the good side, but chose not to. If he had stayed at the orphanage until he was old enough to leave it, then it would be easier to justify his behavior. But his life at Hogwarts made all the difference in how culpable he was for his choices.

oneinhufflepuff
June 26th, 2007, 4:53 am
Voldemort is a far better villian than average but in some ways he could be better. JKR particularily suceeds when she shows us his very convincing childhood, and his family. She also gets points for giving him his motivation as a fear of death- a very believable and personal motivation for any villian.
Where she fails I think she could possibly remedy by simply paying more attention to Voldemort in the story, perhaps in DH. His widespread terrorizing and army building is not very well motivated, IMO. In addition, he is not charming enough or slick enough among his DEs to convince me that they really love him, which they seem to do-he needs to be more charming than he is to inspire those kinds of emotions. Like the leaders of most cults, you know, they don't get anywhere by being threatening and mean, they are very sneaky with their followers.

SusanBones
June 26th, 2007, 1:04 pm
Where she fails I think she could possibly remedy by simply paying more attention to Voldemort in the story, perhaps in DH. His widespread terrorizing and army building is not very well motivated, IMO. In addition, he is not charming enough or slick enough among his DEs to convince me that they really love him, which they seem to do-he needs to be more charming than he is to inspire those kinds of emotions. Like the leaders of most cults, you know, they don't get anywhere by being threatening and mean, they are very sneaky with their followers.I agree. She doesn't really develop Voldemort's charisma. Most leaders have charisma. That is how the followers get attracted in the first place. Voldemort seems so unpleasant that it is hard to understand why anyone would join. We don't know how hard his Death Eaters will fight for him. Voldemort is still very much a mystery after 6 books. He is not as well developed as some of the other main characters.

Lillbet
June 26th, 2007, 4:11 pm
No coming of age fantasy would be complete without the cackling villian out to imprison the world.
How does Voldemort compare with other villians, including The Emperor from Star Wars, Saraun from LoTR, Arawn from the Prydain chronicals and many more?

Is he stereotypical, or very original, and in what ways?

Okay, here it is- I'm not a huge Star Wars fan, I read the Prydain Chronicles when I was a lass of 14... or 15 and no longer remember them, and LOTR in book form left me cold. I suck. :(

I want to chime in here anyway because I have a certain fondness for Voldemort as a villain- no, I don't want him to live, I just think he's really effective (for lack of a better word). Also guad really nailed it for me with the post comparing Voldemort to Dorian Gray: a charming man whose good looks vary in proportion to the ugliness in his soul.

While Voldemort appears to be a garden-variety sociopath- cruel, unpredictable, narcissistic, he talks too much, wants to justify himself, wants his followers to know that they don't "get" him, he wants to be "right" (proper, etc.) in his dealings with his adversaries- he is also vulnerable in that he fears death itself and, in fact, can die. It's going to take some doing, but he can be killed. That alone, I think, sets him apart since most noteworthy villains crave even the notoriety that comes with death.

Overall I agree with NadineTink. His humanity makes his inhumanity (and by extension Voldemort himself) that much more frightening. Which is why I always have to laugh when Dick Cheney is compared to Voldemort :lol:

Edit: And as for charisma, which SusanBones111 is right in suggesting Voldemort lacks, I'm hoping that JKR will reveal in DH how Voldemort gathered his followers to him and how he remains strong, because I too don't really see it at this point. Inferi are scary, but they make lousy conversationlists. :)

winny_616_tf
June 27th, 2007, 5:53 am
yes lv is a very good villain. he has the flare that most villain have. such as the evil stepmother from snow white, or cinderella. yet he has the whole wizard world afraid of him not just the person he wants dead. which most villains dont have. he tends to kill many people to get what he wants. which i like in villains. it gives them control of everyone and everything around them.

oneinhufflepuff
June 27th, 2007, 11:57 am
I think in particular, young Voldemort is an utterly perfect villian and one of the best I have read. In the muggle world, Tom Riddle would have very likely become a serial killer. It's this horror genre aspect to Tom Riddle that makes him so perfect, as he is a very believable serial-killer type, and his insertion in a magical world is a brilliant idea that makes him seem all the more real. I get chills every time I read the passage where Dumbledore tells Tom he's a wizard...and Tom says something like...I knew it, I knew I was special. Young Riddle is clearly modeled after the typical serial killer type-loveless childhood, tortures animals then moves on to humans, collects trophies, shows tendancies toward violence at a young age, commits first murder in the teens-it reads like a police profile, doesn't it?

I also particularly love that Jo gives Riddle a handsomeness and brilliance that he is widely recognized for. These are the kinds of people that humanity almost allows to be villians...the people who draw us in, who make us think "well he doesn't look like he could..." or "but he's so charming..." Very creepy. Older Voldy is not nearly as convincing as young Tom Riddle. I think it's because he make an awkward transition to a dictator/dark lord type when previously he was a very convincing solitary, secretive, its-personal guy. There's a difference between the serial killer type, which seems to fit him better, and the grandiose dictator type, who's motivations in real life are usually more deluded, more "I'm saving the world and will go down in history"...Voldy's motivations for doing anything with results not directly concerning or benefitting himself need more explaining!

I would say that his fear of death is the strongest argument for Voldemort being a unique villian- it's a brilliant motivation. There's an interesting tie-in with alchemy and the grail quest here. One could say Voldy is the anti-grail quester in a sense...searching for the key to immortality but always failing as it's necessary to understand love to achieve the grail/stone/immortality.

Overall, however, I still feel that Umbridge is Rowling's greatest pen and ink villian. A true original and a fantastically written character!

SusanBones
June 27th, 2007, 1:19 pm
I would say that his fear of death is the strongest argument for Voldemort being a unique villian- it's a brilliant motivation. There's an interesting tie-in with alchemy and the grail quest here. One could say Voldy is the anti-grail quester in a sense...searching for the key to immortality but always failing as it's necessary to understand love to achieve the grail/stone/immortality.

Overall, however, I still feel that Umbridge is Rowling's greatest pen and ink villian. A true original and a fantastically written character!You make some very good points. Voldemort has made himself safe from death, therefore, he is far more dangerous because he can't be killed. This makes him different from so many other villians. He does have his Achilles Heel, the fact that the horcruxes can be destroyed, but I am sure he feels pretty confident that he is safe.

He is also very dangerous because he doesn't have any guilt. He doesn't care who he kills. But many villians have this characteristic, so there is nothing unusual about this feature.

Umbridge is a fantastic villian. She is "supposedly" on the good side, which makes her very dangerous. She also got away with sending Dementors to Privot Drive. That action could have had a very bad result. But her ability to hide her evil ways with a veil of goodness is very dangerous.

Book_Worm_07
June 28th, 2007, 6:51 am
He is steriotypical because he wants to take over. But he is very original because of his need to kill Harry no other Villian has such a need to kill such a young person.

Onyma
June 29th, 2007, 2:09 am
Voldemort, at least in his youth, reminds me of Light from Death Note. Like Tom Riddle, Light is highly intelligent, ruthless, friendless by choice, terrified of death, and lastly, a cold-blooded mass murderer. I would say that when it comes to manipulating people, he is second to no one, not even the Dark Lord himself.

There are also physical similarities - both are tall, lean, exceptionally good-looking, and both occasionally exhibit a red gleam in their eyes.

troryfan
July 9th, 2007, 9:39 pm
I think that Voldemort makes a wonderful villain. While he has weaknesses, I think that these only serve to make him more powerful, as it makes him seem more human. Voldemort is so inhuman, that human qualities make him more scary.
I don't think the other villains in the Harry Potter stories could really compare with Voldemort at all.
He is sort of like Darth Vader in Star Wars. There are a lot of bad people, but Darth is truly evil.

Jo

eatus_Benevol1
August 3rd, 2007, 5:39 am
Valdemort does remind me of the Emperor in Star Wars - they both craved everlasting life and got rid of anyone in their way. But I don't think either of those two would be able to hold their own against Sauron from Lord of the Rings. Or maybe it was just the way Tolkien wrote and described Sauron -so much more savage; distance and unknoweable than Valdemort or the Emperor.

SeverusSnapeHBP
August 13th, 2007, 6:48 pm
I don't really like Voldemort because he's not really that original. Also because of the fact that he has almost no complexity to him. He doesn't struggle internally, he doesn't desire anything but what a typical villian desires. He's average for me on the villian scale.

Hannibal Lecter is my villian, so complex and so evil, and also so deceptive. And the fact that he's brilliant too. Sideous is the same way, but what truly makes Sideous scary is that he's able to manipulate people so well through words, not physical power.

Wright1771
October 1st, 2007, 9:56 am
He's up there with The Mekon!

JimmyPotter
November 3rd, 2007, 11:25 pm
It's been said that the Anti-Christ would be someone who is handsome and charismatic, a good talker. That seems to describe the young Tom Riddle, such as when he convinced the Grey Lady to tell him where she did Rowena Ravenclaw's diadem. He continued with the good talker bit as the adult Voldemort, convincing the dementors, werewolves, giants, and large spiders to join his side.

wickedwickedboy
November 4th, 2007, 4:07 pm
Lord Voldemort v. Ganon.

Ganondorf lives...I guess he wins.

Lord Voldemort v. Darth Vader

Vader showed remorse...I guess he wins.

Lord Voldemort v. The Master

Umm...I think we are going to see more from the Master, so the question is still up in the air.

Lord Voldemort I guess I would put on the level of the SGA wraith - and his minion Lucius even looked like them. They are defeatable yet, inherently less than intelligent about their own potential defeat.

JimmyPotter
November 12th, 2007, 5:58 am
Voldemort planting false images in Harry's mind of Sirius being in danger is comparable to Palpatine in Star Wars plating in Anakin's mind false images of Padme being in danger. It seems both Harry and Anakin should have learned Occlumency.

JediMasterSnape
December 28th, 2007, 3:39 pm
I think he is one of the darkest villains I have read yet. That is saying something, because I like Darth Vader and the Emperor in Star Wars a lot. I just think he comes off as more evil than those two. The only other I can compare him to might be Sauron from the Lord of the Rings.

Montse
December 28th, 2007, 3:51 pm
Like all villains He underestimated the power and ability of his foe.
He is a liar,like all villains-
He is associated with Snakes like evil in many religions.
Vol de mort means in frech to fly from death,he is not the first Villain to want to escape death,but just like all villains he had a flaw in the plan.

The_Green_Woods
December 29th, 2007, 1:18 pm
Monste, that was nicely said.

For me, Voldemort was fearful in the first 6 books, in the 7th, he was very insipid and foolish IMO.

He was very arrogant like other villians and he was also pretty much isolated like other bad people, who are pretty far removed from reality.

Montse
December 29th, 2007, 6:48 pm
Thankyou GreenWoods!

and yes..arrogant...most villains are...at least the serious ones...(the ones in cartoons are patheticly stupid really)

Rappy28
December 30th, 2007, 3:32 am
Vol de mort means in frech to fly from death,he is not the first Villain to want to escape death,but just like all villains he had a flaw in the plan.

Actually, "vol de mort" would mean either "flight of death" (with a pretty awkward syntax at that) or "theft of death".
"Vol de ..." can be used as "flight from ...", but to my knowledge, it would only be in an airport context. As in, for example, "vol de Paris", flight from Paris.

Err... sorry for the slight off-topicness. :scared:

Montse
December 30th, 2007, 4:18 am
Oh dont,my french sucks...i dont know much and what i do know I dont know it well,thankyou...

the general idea is there still though...nice acronym for him,with a hidden message,if you dont know french you dont get it...

JediMasterSnape
December 31st, 2007, 12:10 pm
I think that Voldemort makes a wonderful villain. While he has weaknesses, I think that these only serve to make him more powerful, as it makes him seem more human. Voldemort is so inhuman, that human qualities make him more scary.
I don't think the other villains in the Harry Potter stories could really compare with Voldemort at all.
He is sort of like Darth Vader in Star Wars. There are a lot of bad people, but Darth is truly evil.

Jo


I'm not sure about that. Vader still had a good side in him, while Voldemort apparently does not. Vader was willing to repent, Voldemort does not. Honestly, Vader seems rather a weak villian in a way compared to Voldemort. Look at what Voldemort was to do to attain immortality. I just somehow do not see Vader doing that.


I think one major difference between Voldemort and Darth Vader is the role love played in their lives. Tom Riddle never experienced love and is repulsed by it in others. Anakin Skywalker's love for Padme was used by the Emperor to manipulate him into turning to the Dark Side.

Voldemort is similar to many of the James Bond villains in that he talks too much before trying (unsuccessfully) to kill Harry.

The reason for this is arrogance. Being arrogant, these villains want to boast about their greatness. This is the major weakness in these characters.

Rappy28
January 1st, 2008, 1:31 am
Oh dont,my french sucks...i dont know much and what i do know I dont know it well,thankyou...

the general idea is there still though...nice acronym for him,with a hidden message,if you dont know french you dont get it...

Oh don't feel bad, I think French would be a pretty horrible language to learn perfectly, we natives are just lucky we were taught how to speak it when our neurons were still fresh and new. :)
And this will be my last off-topic post I swear. :scared:

The_Green_Woods
January 3rd, 2008, 1:05 pm
posted by JediMasterSnape
The reason for this is arrogance. Being arrogant, these villains want to boast about their greatness. This is the major weakness in these characters.

Yes, Voldemort was very arrogant and isolated like other leaders, mainly beause they are wanted criminals who cannot move freely. Over a period of time, they become completely dependent on others for their information and they suffer if they have placed their faith in wrong peopel; but in book 7 Voldemort was a bit too arrogant and a bit too willing to fall down for Harry's sake kinds.

dazzel21
January 19th, 2008, 4:26 am
he's a bit scary than any other villains...he gives me the chills when i first read HP book! a bit mysterious because he's supposed to be 'dead' and yet feared by wizardsto even say his name. i guess i kind of get into the characters of every wizard in the HP who's scared of him.

wickedwickedboy
January 21st, 2008, 10:16 am
I think he is one of the darkest villains I have read yet. That is saying something, because I like Darth Vader and the Emperor in Star Wars a lot. I just think he comes off as more evil than those two. The only other I can compare him to might be Sauron from the Lord of the Rings.

Well Vader is my favorite. But Palpatine was far more evil. He created the death star to wipe out entire planets; bombed entire regions of planets on a constant basis, wiped out leaders left and right and turned the hero of the tale (Vader) to the dark side to join him in his efforts. Voldemort was kind of small scale - he seemed to work mostly in England in his murderous efforts and also his political goals were still centered there. Unlike Palpatine, he never got a real chance to be 'Emperor' of the universe - which Palpatine did for 23 years, devastating it all the while. And his clone legacy continued even longer. But hey, I love dark lords so the more evil the better and I think Palpatine out did Voldemort by leaps and bounds. He was way cooler too because he could use the force.

I'm not sure about that. Vader still had a good side in him, while Voldemort apparently does not. Vader was willing to repent, Voldemort does not. Honestly, Vader seems rather a weak villian in a way compared to Voldemort. Look at what Voldemort was to do to attain immortality. I just somehow do not see Vader doing that.

I agree...Vader's goal was never immortality and he truly believed that he with an apprentice (Luke once he found out about him) would rule the Empire in a better way than Lord Sidious. And as you said, he was fighting the Jedi, Anakin inside of him the whole time, so he kept 'failing' on the dark side with acts and thoughts of compassion. He did allow his anger to rule him though and did a lot of killing of his own accord, 100's of Jedi, plus quite a number of generals and admirals in his army. He also carried out the orders of Lord Sidious, destroying villages, regions and entire planets. But if you read all of the canon including the novels, comics, etc., much of what he did for Sidious, he was against doing and that is why he wanted to overthrow the Emperor and rule with Luke. And of course in the end, Anakin won the battle and metaphorically killed Vader, so there was a lot of strength, compassion, love, remorse, repentence etc., etc. that Voldemort didn't have in his character. Plus Voldemort was a rather bad sort from youth upward, whereas Anakin was a compassionate kid, then a Jedi Knight hero before turning to evil and later returning to Jedi Hero again.

So overall I would agree that Voldemort was more evil - but Vader definitely carried out more evil acts than he did in between his hero states - for less diabolical reasons, I agree.

JediMasterSnape
January 26th, 2008, 2:48 pm
I just thought that Voldemort came across as kind of creepy. How many guys do you know of that are willing to do that. That is just plain scarey.

I also think we get to see Voldemort a little more than the Emperor or Darth Vader. On that thought, I guess I'm gonna have to get back into reading the novels. I really haven't been into them for about 6-7 months because of other reading.

LoonyMagic
January 29th, 2008, 11:54 am
I think Voldemort is a great villain. He is merciless, unpredictable at times and well, very scary. He is someone to be feared and usually, a very clever wizard. He is also very knowledgable in the Dark Arts. He's frightening and I think he would be high on the list of the best villains ever.

Goldenhair
January 29th, 2008, 9:48 pm
Voldemort-
Man
Life Span 80-90 years
Was volderized and came back after a 13 year break
6 Horcri
Controlled most of England for less than one year.
Is dead.

Sauron
"angelic nature"
Life Span 10,000 years
Was slain twice and was able after a period of respite to "regenerate his body" Prior to second death, was able to shape shift and appear as an elf.
Created Ring which increased his power, but diminished him if destroyed.
Controls most of middle earth, not once but twice. Also controls island nation state of Numenuor and convinces the royalty there to attack the island of the gods.
Still lives as a mean spirit as he is not mortal

Sauron was far more powerful. Gave his nine servants the "deception of being immortal like himself.

GrahamBadger
January 30th, 2008, 2:24 pm
Voldemort was a very well written character, with depth, emotions, and complexities. For this reason alone I do not consider him as highly as other villians. What I have noticed in popular movies/books these days is that we always feel like we have to humanize, or rationalize the characters, and it's gotten to the point where it is ridiculous. Every once in a while, or when it is a huge unexpected plot twist, sure, but it has gotten to the point where in every book with a villian I read I expect a chapter devoted only to his backstory and reasons for being evil.

Some of our greatest villians ever have had no reason or rhyme for anything they did. Hannibal Lecter (before that awful prequel) was just an evil cannibal played brilliantly by Anythony Hopkins who just made your skin crawl. If you are a comic book fan like me than look at the Joker. He is considered by many to be one of the greatest comic book villians, just for his pure evil nature, and he has never had a definitive backstory written on him, ever, he is just pure crazy evil for no reason. Sauron is another great example. Sure he started off good, but he very quickly went astray for nothing more than personal gain and never looked back. He didn't have some tragedy that turned him to evil, he just was.

Now I am not saying Voldemort is an awful villian, because he is not. He is very well written and crafted, I just wish he hadn't fallen into that steryotype of a villian with a tragic backstory to make you feel sorry for him. I don't want to feel sorry for the villian, HES THE BAD GUY! I think people have forgotten these days that actual evil exists and try to rationalize it all away and it is showing up in our literature and media which is very dissapointing. (Sorry I tend to ramble and get off track sometimes lol)

LoonyMagic
February 1st, 2008, 3:37 pm
Voldemort-
Man
Life Span 80-90 years
Was volderized and came back after a 13 year break
6 Horcri
Controlled most of England for less than one year.
Is dead.

Sauron
"angelic nature"
Life Span 10,000 years
Was slain twice and was able after a period of respite to "regenerate his body" Prior to second death, was able to shape shift and appear as an elf.
Created Ring which increased his power, but diminished him if destroyed.
Controls most of middle earth, not once but twice. Also controls island nation state of Numenuor and convinces the royalty there to attack the island of the gods.
Still lives as a mean spirit as he is not mortal

Sauron was far more powerful. Gave his nine servants the "deception of being immortal like himself.

Sure, Sauron is a much scarier villain and perhaps a better villain, but in the situation of the wizarding world that we are faced with Voldemort is the most terrifying villain that could be believed to actually exist. In the modern wizarding world, Voldemort is powerful and merciless villain.

GrangerHermione
February 2nd, 2008, 5:39 pm
I think Voldemort may be the most evil villain I have seen. He truly is heartless and merciless.

I do think he is comparable to Sauron, though. :)
They both have evil minions who do most of the work. Sauron has his Nauzgul, and LV has his DE. I think I am more scared of the Nauzgul, though. :scared:

dredrizzle11
June 4th, 2008, 5:41 pm
In my opinion Lord Voldemort is the most evil, hands down. Most other villains are able to feel something. I mean take the Emperor from Star Wars for example. He seemed to actually care a little about Darth Vader. Even Darth Vader at the end decides to help his son Luke Skywalker to defeat the Emperor. Also Sauron from LotR was a regular person who became evil after becoming powerful. Lord Voldemort on the other hand seems to always have been evil and sadistic as well as growing in both. His thirst for power was caused by his evilness rather than a his evilness being a result of the power. Moreover, he seemed not to care about anyone at all. Even his followers were extremely expendable.

wickedwickedboy
June 8th, 2008, 3:25 am
In my opinion Lord Voldemort is the most evil, hands down. Most other villains are able to feel something. I mean take the Emperor from Star Wars for example. He seemed to actually care a little about Darth Vader.

I would have to disagree. "gooooood...Now fulfill your destiny; take your father's place at my side." Sidious didn't care anymore about Vader than he did Dooku - and he was ready to have both die if a stronger Force sensitive came along. There was no good in Sidious, not even an ounce; everything he did was a part of his bigger plan including every nice gesture, every pleasant word and every benevolent promise. Imo, he was the epitome of evil. At least Voldemort became genuinely angry when Bella was killed; Sidious just side stepped the issue when he lost an apprentice - stepping over them like so much dust and on to finding a new one (i.e., Maul). Plus Palpatine/Sidious actually did take over the GFFA - trillions of people under his control. He used everything from bribery, force, lies and aggression to do it and he rose to the top through patience, cunning, secrecy and gile over eons of time. His evil filtered throughout the galaxy; oppressing and devastating billions...I mean the dude blew up an entire planet. Voldemort is in the top 20 though for sure, imo.

xhanax315
June 13th, 2008, 8:47 pm
One villian that I thought compared to Voldemort, is Thomas Harris' Hanniable Lecter. Reading Hanniable Rising made me picture a young Tom Riddle. They were both orphans, and killed for pleasure. Hanniable sought the murderers of Mischa and tortured them before he murder them. Even Lector morphed into something completely evil just like Lord Voldemort.

goonie102
August 7th, 2008, 5:43 am
One villian that I thought compared to Voldemort, is Thomas Harris' Hanniable Lecter. Reading Hanniable Rising made me picture a young Tom Riddle. They were both orphans, and killed for pleasure. Hanniable sought the murderers of Mischa and tortured them before he murder them. Even Lector morphed into something completely evil just like Lord Voldemort.

I Agree, Great Match Those Too

RemusLupinFan
August 7th, 2008, 9:55 pm
When I think of villains in other series as compared to Voldemort, a bunch of bad guys pop into my head. First, there's Emperor Palpetine/Darth Sidious, who rules the galaxy for quite a while. I see similarities between Voldemort and Sidious in their desires for ultimate power and domination. Another similarity is their deformed appearances, which reflects the deformities of their souls: Voldemort's due to the Horcruxes and Sidious' due to using force lightning for too long. But for me, Sidious' level of evilness was beyond Voldemort's. Personally, I found Sidious to be a lot creepier and a lot more evil. And for him, we don't know why he became evil, whereas we do see Voldemort's backstory. As for Darth Vader, I think there are differences in between he and Voldemort in the fact that Anakin was good for the first ~20 years of his life before turning evil, and the fact that he was redeemed in the end. Vader was pretty evil, but overall Voldemort was more evil and much less human than Vader.I think Palpatine out did Voldemort by leaps and bounds. He was way cooler too because he could use the force.I agree with that. :cool:

Other villains that comes to mind are Morgoth and Sauron. Of these two, I'd say Morgoth is more comparable to Darth Sidious than he is to Voldemort. Between Voldemort and Sauron, the comparison is closer, I think. Both tried to dominate by force and by taking away the free will of others using various means. Both were utterly ruthless during their fights with the good side as well. One difference between these two villains is that Sauron seemed to have more overall power and ruled on a larger scale than Voldemort.

Regarding Hannibal Lecter - I'm not very familiar with this story, though I did see the Hannibal movie (can't say I liked it much though!). But now that you mention it, there are some similarities in the backstories of these characters, though I'd say Lecter is a bit more like Anakin in that he was definitely good at one point and then went bad.

This isn't to say that Voldemort is a weak villain who isn't very scary - on the contrary. Within the context of the story, Voldemort is the baddest one around who has a significant impact on the world he's in.

Sacred_Memories
August 7th, 2008, 10:38 pm
I personally find Bellatrix a better villain than Voldemort.

permafrost
August 16th, 2008, 7:18 am
Voldemort seems different than most other villians in that he is simply evil. There's no real reason, no defining moment in his life that made him become the way he was, it was just in his nature. This is different than say, Darth Vader (an obvious comparison... but it's 12AM!) in that he was never "good"; he never loved a person in his life, and as a result didn't get that big emotional trauma when they died. It's really interesting, but, in a way, less likely to actually happen. Not many people can relate to Voldemort the way they might with other villains, and I think that's how JKR wanted it. He's just the bad guy. Pure and simple.

UselessCharmMaster
August 24th, 2008, 12:33 am
A bad guy without any depht. He's bad. He's bad. It's all.

Nox21
August 31st, 2008, 6:01 pm
A bad guy without any depht. He's bad. He's bad. It's all.

I don't know, I think Voldemort has a lot more going for him than just an intrinsic "badness" that is just there. I think Voldemort's complete rationality is the most frightening thing about him, and what makes him different than, say, Bellatrix. Most of the villains we hear about are psychotic, mentally insane in other ways, were nurtured into their evil stand by events early in life, or seek revenge. Voldemort, on the other hand, is completely rational. He bases his choices on a misguided quest for power, true, but the way he arrives at his belief that there is no good or evil but only power and those too weak to seek it is rational (albeit umm...wrong). In this way, he is reminiscent of Palpatine. I would hesitate to compare Voldemort to Sauron or Morgoth because they are not human characters and are therefore not subject to the same assumptions as man, although they do also exhibit this kind of intrinsic evil that Voldemort portrays.

Anyway, my point is that Voldemort is more frightening because of his rationality in choosing evil, contrasting with Bellatrix and even the Joker, who I think it is safe to say are mentally suspect. Think of that cold sense of power, of righteousness, that Voldemort feels before he murders. That, to me, is the most frightening thing about him.

MudBloodSare
September 4th, 2008, 8:50 am
I think Hannibal Lector is one of the most fascinating villains, expecially when played by Anthony Hopkins.

Also with Voldemort, it's great to have the fascinating look into his childhood (the trailer for the 6th movie looks awesome with that creepy glimpse of him as a child) but we don't exactly get to know what he is/was like as a young adult/older man...

What do people think of the whole 'love'thing - how Voldemort never really understood/appreciated it? denied/refused to believe it? how does this compare to other villains?

I love Scar from The Lion King haha so deliciously sinister & jealous of Mufassa. Do you tihnk Voldemort was jealous of Harry/Dumbledore/anyone else?? So many questions!

RemusLupinFan
September 4th, 2008, 4:41 pm
Do you tihnk Voldemort was jealous of Harry/Dumbledore/anyone else??That's an interesting question! I think he might have been a bit jealous of Dumbledore in a way, because Dumbledore did have some amount of power/standing in the wizarding world, and Dumbledore was able to frighten him (and perhaps because Dumbledore was so connected to Hogwarts, which was a special place for him). I don't think Voldemort was ever jealous of Harry though, because he always underestimated him whenever they met. I believe he viewed Harry with contempt, and as someone beneath him, who was only getting lucky during their confrontations. I don't think Voldemort harbored jealousy for those who had close friends/loving relationships because felt that love was also contemptuous (ie a weakness).

Trixa
September 7th, 2008, 7:50 pm
Voldemort, on the other hand, is completely rational.
He wasn't too rational in DH when he was killing his followers just because he was angry that Harry took the Horcrux from Gringotts (a situation he could have easily prevented).

Anyway, my point is that Voldemort is more frightening because of his rationality in choosing evil, contrasting with Bellatrix and even the Joker, who I think it is safe to say are mentally suspect.
Voldemort is just as crazy as Bellatrix and the Joker except that he has a cold kind of craziness while Bellatrix's insanity is of the overemotional type.

vampiricduck
September 21st, 2008, 4:33 am
I think Voldemort is a lot of different villains tied up in one, including the transparency and seemingly indulgently obliterating Morgoth (NOT the admin..) and also the seemingly invincible Sauron. He seems quite similar too to Lord Asriel(HDM) and to Iida Sadamu (Otori) in terms of a distinct lack of fair play and a particular irreligious immoral streak.

Outside of that, he's quite like Lews Therin Telemon, brilliant but so entirely corrupted by power that survival is too difficult, and staying with Wheel of Time, he's also like Shai'tan, the antithesis of everything good and worthwhile in the world. Sort of a "source of all evil" kinda guy.

But the huge difference with all of those is that, outside of Sadamu and Asriel, he's not as timeless as the others and doesn't compare to them in terms of strength and brutality, oddly enough. I suppose he's more modern, in that sense.

Perhaps he's also like Jadis, from the Chronicles of Narnia..

janblack
October 14th, 2008, 5:44 pm
Well... Voldemort is classic.... in a mad scientist kind of way...

sirius_lee_G
January 10th, 2009, 12:58 am
One similarity i see is that he always comes back. Like he gets defeated once, bam he's back again. Also, they all (most) seem to have that secret past...

BloodThirst
January 11th, 2009, 4:59 pm
The Dark Lord definitely does share alot of similarities to many other villains but he is also unique in his own sense. He was definitely sadistic and was willing to experiment in very very dark magic and also was willing to push his magic to it's limits.

His similarities with all villains is his lust for power. Also how he was feared by everyone in the wizarding world and how he had faithful followers.

The Dark Lord is definitely my favourite villain followed closely by Joker (from The Dark Knight).

Vladimir_Lupin
January 23rd, 2009, 10:10 pm
He is such a typical megalomaniac. He wants to take over the world, he strikes fear into the hearts of men, he has loyal minions, and he makes mistakes. Just like Brona (Shannara), Khan (Star Trek), Darth Vader (Star Wars), Hilter (Germany), Brain (Pinkey & the Brain), Sauron (Lord of the Rings), the Borg (Star Trek), Gold Finger (James Bond).

I disagree. On several parts. True, Voldemort may have been a megalomaniac. But he is not a typical villain. He is more akin to Hitler, who I think does not belong in that list of yours.

Typical villains in literature have a personal reason to take revenge on the world at large. They are deranged, hyper-individualistic, often wealthy and influential figures that try to enslave the world to their whims by farfetched plans.

Voldemort is something much more dangerous, something much more real. He is not borrowed from villains. He is borrowed from actual human ideas and goals.

Voldemort is a politician. He is a movement leader and a statesman. His goal is not world domination. His goal is pure-blood hegemony in Britain. His goal is a rigid society where the press tells you lies, where halfbloods are considered less than human, and muggles lesser still. Where not being born a pureblood Wizard will affect every moment in life and where a slip of the tongue may grant you one unmarked grave amongst thousands. And his strategies to getting to such a society are basic and realistic and tried and tested by hundreds of political Muggle organisations from the right, the center and the left.

Voldemort is a fascist, a racialist. He is larger than life and HE IS AMONGST US. Beware.

skullangel
February 5th, 2009, 8:25 am
When I think of villains in other series as compared to Voldemort, a bunch of bad guys pop into my head. First, there's Emperor Palpetine/Darth Sidious, who rules the galaxy for quite a while. I see similarities between Voldemort and Sidious in their desires for ultimate power and domination. Another similarity is their deformed appearances, which reflects the deformities of their souls: Voldemort's due to the Horcruxes and Sidious' due to using force lightning for too long. But for me, Sidious' level of evilness was beyond Voldemort's. Personally, I found Sidious to be a lot creepier and a lot more evil. And for him, we don't know why he became evil, whereas we do see Voldemort's backstory. As for Darth Vader, I think there are differences in between he and Voldemort in the fact that Anakin was good for the first ~20 years of his life before turning evil, and the fact that he was redeemed in the end. Vader was pretty evil, but overall Voldemort was more evil and much less human than Vader.I agree with that. :cool:
.

Quite right...

To me Dark Lord Voldemort and Dark Lord Sidious (Palpatine) are one easily on equal terms. Their level of evil is almost at par, but Palpatine has done worse things like giving clearance to kill an entire planet and much much worse.

Which makes me wonder what would happen if they fought.

Lord Voldemort
April 1st, 2009, 1:42 am
I am clearly superior to all other villains. Even Grindlewald was nothing next to me.

vampiricduck
April 1st, 2009, 2:23 am
I am clearly superior to all other villains. Even Grindlewald was nothing next to me.

I think you need a refresher course in How to be respectful on the boards. (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=106993)


Viva la Resistance!!! ;)

Random Death Eater
April 1st, 2009, 5:20 am
I think you need a refresher course in How to be respectful on the boards. (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=106993)


Viva la Resistance!!! ;)You will not speak to the Lord Voldemort in that manner! He may say anything he wishes!

Daggerstone
April 1st, 2009, 5:43 am
I am clearly superior to all other villains.

Actually, m'lord... You and old Dumby come pretty close... :eeep:

Random Death Eater
April 1st, 2009, 5:48 am
The Dark Lord has no comparisons. He is far more villianous.

Daggerstone
April 1st, 2009, 5:59 am
*is still holding out for the proof* Chaos, panic and disorder? Anyone?

jookyle
April 1st, 2009, 6:29 am
I am clearly superior to all other villains. Even Grindlewald was nothing next to me.

Please, flashing green light is nothing to intelligence. Which, you have very little of.

Daggerstone
April 1st, 2009, 6:37 am
Intelligence without a bit of AKing won't get you anywhere. *shrugs*

jookyle
April 1st, 2009, 6:38 am
Intelligence without a bit of AKing won't get you anywhere. *shrugs*

Until you decide to move to the left.

goonie102
April 17th, 2009, 3:10 am
Well It's Hard To Compare But Voldemort Would Be In My Top Five Of The Best Villians

Karleecakes
July 9th, 2009, 5:41 pm
You know, I love Moldy Voldy and all, but I just think as villain, he's rather...generic. Archetypical vengeful villain, of course he's smart and ruthless to boot, and no real motive other than, "I want to kill Harry Potter and rule the world." It's been done so many times before, although I've got to admit, JKR managed to breathe some new life into the tired stereotype.

ally_xx
July 10th, 2009, 2:16 am
I'd say he was the top of the list before Harry killed him.

Avian_Letrix
July 13th, 2009, 5:02 pm
I have to say, Volde is the third on my list behind The Joker for first and Sauron... what a guy who is insane and deadly... plus he has a gun so sorry joker wins

EmmyRocks
July 13th, 2009, 9:26 pm
I think he's tied for first, with the Joker. Both very scary characters, IMO.

Avian_Letrix
July 13th, 2009, 11:05 pm
lol that would be a battle to see.


SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY

COME SEE THE ULTIMATE SHOWDOWN

JOKER VS VOLDEMORT

, POTTERS AND WAYNES GET IN FREE ORDER NOW AND RECIEVE A PIECE OF THE LOSER NORMALLY COSTING YOUR SOUL

SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY

EmmyRocks
July 14th, 2009, 5:26 pm
:rotfl:

gertiekeddle
July 14th, 2009, 6:09 pm
Since this is a discussion area, let's continue to it and reduce the chitchat, please. :)

SevrusSnape
July 18th, 2009, 1:37 am
I would definitely put him in my list of top 5 villains, he was definitely original in the sense that he created 7 Horcruxes. Darth Sidious whom I'm sure is considered as one of the top villains has a similar situation to this having died a total of 4 times and coming back alive 3 of those times

Jigga
July 20th, 2009, 12:39 am
Voldemort is in the top 10 but my ultimate villain is Darth Vader. Vader has such an interesting back story

skullangel
July 20th, 2009, 1:09 am
It would be tie between Dark Lord Sidious and Dark Lord Voldemort... Except Dark Lord Sidious would lead by a nose seeing he held power till he got killed by Darth Vader.

It is my 2 sickles that Sidious and Voldemort are quite similiar. Where one succeded the other failed.

Rich
July 20th, 2009, 6:22 pm
I think he is different than the ordinary villian. He has a story behind him, one that one can connect to. He used to live in an orphanage, so one can just wonder about what his life was growing up. Because of him manifesting nothing but anger and hatred over the years, you can start to see why he became how he was. I've only seen LoTR from the list of movies with villains in the orginal post, and I think Sauran is just another villian. Obviously, it's a little different because of the theme of the movies and what-not, but still, there isn't as much background about him that makes him much different, unlike Voldemort.

DH_epicwin
July 22nd, 2009, 7:15 am
i think he is best compared to the joker except in motive (at least heath ledger's joker) he enjoyed killing for no reason and relied on nobody for help. the joker worked pretty much alone, and didnt depend on anyone for help. of course, where heath ledger's joker loved discord and chaos, voldemort wanted immortality. i'd say the joker was more successful in his goal IMO because voldemort is dead.

excusemydust
July 26th, 2009, 8:17 pm
I've been fascinated by the discussion of villain status in relation to Lord Voldemort and I'm prone to agreeing with those who say that Rowling's arch-villain is rather generic. For me, the prime archetype of evil has always been Cathy Ames from John Steinbeck's East of Eden. She served as a dialogue for the same discussion that Rowling opened with Voldemort - nature versus nurture and whether evil is born or made. Whereas Rowling seems to want to suggest ambiguity on that count and places the ultimate responsibility on the individual's choices, Voldemort's past and childhood seem to suggest the opposite - he was a bad egg from the start, even though he had the opportunity to change if he wished to.

From pp.95-6 of East of Eden

I believe there are monsters born in the world to human parents...And just as there are physical monsters, can there not be mental or psychic monsters born?...As a child may be born without an arm, so one may be born without kindness or the potential of conscience...to a monster the norm must seem monstrous, since everyone is normal to himself. To the inner monster it must be even more obscure, since he has no visible thing to compare with others. To a man born without conscience, a soul-stricken man must seem ridiculous. To a criminal, honesty is foolish. You must not forget that a monster is only a variation, and that to a monster the norm is monstrous.

As a side note, I've always thought that Dolores Umbridge was at least partly based on Cathy, although Umbridge is often declared a truly original villain. Cathy also had an office covered in lace and wore copious amounts of pink, and was a terrifying sadist. Also, Cathy is sometimes depicted as a cat - something that Umbridge also rather fancies; the cat is, in myth, the familiar of Satan.

meerkatmclovin
July 29th, 2009, 5:17 am
i think that voldy is extrmly original compared to other villains. most villains, such as the classic Disney ones, wanted the protagonist killed but used very strange methods on how to kill them. voldy simply wanted harry so he himself could kill him, no one else was allowed to kill him because of the prophecy. voldemort also kept on trying to get harry so he could kill him, in the disney classics after the antagonist failed to kill the princess or whatnot simply disappeared and everything was happy again, voldy kept on building his army and tried many times to capture and kill harry, but he never succeeded obviously

excusemydust
July 29th, 2009, 8:38 pm
i think that voldy is extrmly original compared to other villains. most villains, such as the classic Disney ones, wanted the protagonist killed but used very strange methods on how to kill them. voldy simply wanted harry so he himself could kill him, no one else was allowed to kill him because of the prophecy. voldemort also kept on trying to get harry so he could kill him, in the disney classics after the antagonist failed to kill the princess or whatnot simply disappeared and everything was happy again, voldy kept on building his army and tried many times to capture and kill harry, but he never succeeded obviously

You raise an interesting point, Meerkat! Lord Voldemort, unlike many other well-known villains, does not use his henchmen for this ultimate of tasks. It is a very personal obsession for him. He is not covert about his intentions, either. If he had been, he'd probably have succeeded. Well, that and Snape's being a traitor and all. :p

Shingie
August 2nd, 2009, 10:57 pm
Naw, I think Sybil's mother is more evil than Lord Voldemort. I can't remember her name, it was like... Hattie or something.

Amon Goeth is more evil than Voldermot. :scared:

DumbyOwnsYouAll
August 7th, 2009, 4:31 am
Lord Voldemort is the greatest villain of all time because:

1. He is extremely powerful, which always helps make a villain intimidating. The more influence he/she/it has, the more terrifying he/she/it is. Voldemort has many times proved himself to be perhaps the greatest duelist in history (I mean, he gave Dumbledore one helluva run for his money, and remember that Albus had the freakin' Elder Wand!!!). He discovered flight, which was previously thought to be impossible, and he invented all kinds of unique spells. His knowledge of magic was, is, and always will be unsurpassed. Minus love, of course...

2. He is physically grotesque. The best villains are ugly ones; it's a proven fact. Heath Ledger's Joker, Darth Sidious, Sauron, Umbridge, etc...they all are disgusting in appearance. Voldemort is basically half-snake now (perhaps reflecting his nature as Slytherin's last heir), for goodness sake! [staff edit]

3. He is a brilliantly intelligent individual. He is able to concoct the most elaborate plots (see the whole Triwizard Tournament incident and the attempted theft of Trelawny's prophecy from the Department of Mysteries), and has a great deal of knowledge concerning the very nature of magic itself, as noted above.

4. He is very cool, restrained and calm most of the time. This was one thing I disliked about Ralph Fiennes' film portrayal; his Voldemort is a total drama queen, no chillingly relaxed indifference whatsoever. This was actually central to Voldemort's character, because he is incapable of feeling whatsoever, but the films overlook this in favor of a more, um, "theatrical" villain. Voldemort's scary because he is so detached from everything! C'mon, people!

5. He murders indiscriminately, randomly, thoughtlessly and remorselessly. He kills people even when it is totally unnecessary ; see the family he struck down without a second thought while hunting down Gregorovitch in DH. He does it purely as a way of making him feel even more powerful. He gets high off the idea that he has the power to take life, which is ironic because he is utterly terrified of his own death. A great villain kills innocent people by the dozen, and it shows just how heartless and despicable they really are.

6. He is racist, an egomaniac and prejudiced individual. This makes Voldemort relevant in the real world, as intolerance and racism are very real problems in our reality. The word Mudblood is the Potterverse's equivalent of the word (forgive me here) ******; a degrading and vile put-down to those whom are looked at as sub-normal. Voldemort is made even more monstrous by the fact that he is the very thing he hates so viciously: he himself is a half-blood, and in his shame and self-loathing he projects his faults onto others in an attempt to stamp out what he sees as his own weaknesses. Who does this remind you of from our real world, hmm?

7. He is evil to the bitter end. A true villain does not renounce his wickedness even when offered to do so for his own good. This was what ruined Darth Vader for me, because George Lucas just had to give "Annie" some stupid sentimental excuse to suddenly become good again. This guy has slaughtered hundreds of Jedi, even children, and yet he only really begins to second-guess his allegiance when his son is about to die? If he showed no emotion killing those people, then why would he give a damn about his kid? It's trite, nonsensical and flat-out shameless.

Now Voldemort, he stuck by his guns unwaveringly. Even when all the evidence was against him and his chances of victory were absolutely zero, he screamed in denial and refused to accept his loss. Harry had Voldemort completely cornered and had explained every single screwup that had led Voldemort to this point, even pleading for Voldemort to try and feel some remorse, and he STILL did not listen to reason. He knew that his defeat was nigh, that the prophecy was about to be fulfilled, and he STILL tried his damn best to murder this half-blood brat who kept interfering with everything. When he cast his final Avada Kadavra, he knew that the Elder Wand would not allow itself to kill it's master, and he STILL did it as a desperate last attempt.

It was a desperate act of someone who knew his time was up, and that he was about to die, and decided to screw the prophecy and go for broke. His own arrogance, his own ego, his own unwavering belief that he was 100% superior in every way prevented him from seeing the reality of his predicament and how doomed he truly was. He died because of the very same thing that had made him such a monstrous and evil force: his desire to one-up EVERYTHING. Thus the irony. Every great villain dies because of their own doing.

Seven reasons, to equal seven Horcruxes. How neat!

I say it again: Lord Voldemort is the greatest villain of all time, in every medium. He is the pinnacle of corrupt humanity and heartless hatred. Bravo, Rowling.

lil_snuffles
August 7th, 2009, 4:37 am
He has a brilliant mind. He thinks things through, and expects the unexpected, even if his plan doesn't quite follow through. With this, he kind of reminds me of Jigsaw from the Saw films. He's very intimidating and very powerful. I mean, he even has his Death Eaters quivering at his feet. And finally, he keeps trying, like every great villain. He doesn't like to show weakness at all.

JimmyPotter
August 14th, 2009, 5:16 am
One could go either way with whether a villain is better being physically grotesque or attractive. An outwardly handsome man or a femme fatale can be just as dangerous, of not more so, than a physically grotesque person. Voldemort was handsome as the young Tom Riddle, and he used that to hook people. That is in part how he got his hands on 3 Founders' items that he made into Horcruxes.

I'm not really bothered by Darth Vader's return from the Dark Side. He was never the primary villain in the Star Wars saga; Palpatine was. Vader was more of a fallen hero who righted himself at the end. Voldemort does actually share some characteristics with Palpatine. Both are politically astute. Voldemort stayed in hiding immediately after his return in order to sow seeds of doubt in the stories of Harry and Dumdledore. In DH Voldemort installed a puppet Minister of Magic as opposed to declaring himself Minister again to sow seeds of doubt as to whether he was really in control of everything.

Voldemort and Palpatine are also good at sowing seeds of discord. Palpatine took it to an extreme in that he started a war in which he was the supreme leader of both sides.

AldeberanBlack
September 10th, 2009, 5:24 pm
He's not a particularly good villain. He is prone to the typical "evil guy" mistakes and errors of judgement. The decision to make "not knowing anything of love" a character trait of Voldemort severely reduced his depth and interest as a character, as did distorting his face. I think Olaf from Lemony Snicket's work is a much more interesting villain.

The Star Wars villains have suffered in recent times due to the way Lucas chose to portray them in the awful prequel series. Sauron in LOTR suffers from being too vague for my liking. The lack of a physical presence harms the character.

Perlidia
September 10th, 2009, 10:49 pm
He's not a particularly good villain. He is prone to the typical "evil guy" mistakes and errors of judgement.

I thought there were parts in the books which made Voldemort particulary frightning. i.e. the in order of the phoenix

"I have nothing more to say to you, Potter,” he said quietly. “You have irked me too often, for too long. AVADA KEDAVRA!”

His coldness and nonchalant dominant attitude are terrifying. However his character is not consistent, the "mistakes and errors of judgement" sometimes reduce him to a near comic book type villainy.

The greatest villain I have ever seen in a film was portrayed by Ralph Fiennes - Amon Göth. His performance as a Nazi was completely horrifying.

Nandi
October 15th, 2009, 4:41 pm
Shai'tan (Wheel of Time) and Sauron (Lord of the Rings) want more or less chaos.Which makes them more evil i would say.Voldemort has a vision which makes him more realistic you can compare him with the Adolf Hitler of the Wizard world

Bella_Crucio_U
October 25th, 2009, 2:53 am
First off, DumbOwnYouAll-nice job. I liked the way you summed it all up and I agree with everything you said :)

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.

I definitely agree with you when you say that Voldmeort is more like Hitler. I often say that as well. He has such a hatred for those who are not pureblood, but he himself isn't a pureblood. He wants to destroy anyone who falls under the Mudblood or Bloodtraitor catagory.
Plus Voldemort has never experienced love and his main goal is to be immortal. People fear him so much that they don't even want to say his name. That's a big acomplishment on his part.

Smitts
October 25th, 2009, 3:28 pm
First off, DumbOwnYouAll-nice job. I liked the way you summed it all up and I agree with everything you said :)



I definitely agree with you when you say that Voldmeort is more like Hitler. I often say that as well. He has such a hatred for those who are not pureblood, but he himself isn't a pureblood. He wants to destroy anyone who falls under the Mudblood or Bloodtraitor catagory.
Plus Voldemort has never experienced love and his main goal is to be immortal. People fear him so much that they don't even want to say his name. That's a big acomplishment on his part.

Agreed!

Most villains I find usually are intelligent. That was a typical trait that he shared being a villain.

LunaAvril
February 13th, 2010, 12:12 pm
I think that Voldemort is both original and non-original, in a way. So, he is the one evil, sadistic, power-hungry villain, which is comparable to many other literary villains. And he is still very special. I think there's almost a legend about him! Nobody knows really (until book six, of course) if he is dead, alive, weak, strong ...

HarryXGinny4evr
February 22nd, 2010, 4:51 am
Honestly, I would say Voldemort is very original. The main reason I say this is because most villains that are created have that soft side. With Voldemort, you don't see that because he doesn't have one. Nothing really gets to him, say family or something like, for example, Darth Vader, as some have mentioned. So yes, Voldemort is an original villain, and definately not the stereotypical villain.

captain Sparrow
February 25th, 2010, 1:45 pm
Honestly, I would say Voldemort is very original. The main reason I say this is because most villains that are created have that soft side. With Voldemort, you don't see that because he doesn't have one. Nothing really gets to him, say family or something like, for example, Darth Vader, as some have mentioned. So yes, Voldemort is an original villain, and definately not the stereotypical villain.

I agree with you, he is original. Of course other villains are also evil but it feels like Voldemort takes evil to the next level. Like you said Voldemort does not have a soft side...
But then again he has a weakness, Voldemort doesn't think anyone can beat him. He thinks he's unstoppable. And looking at it this way you can compare him with other villains.

ZombieMonkie
March 6th, 2010, 5:48 pm
Personally I feel Tom Riddle is a very classical example of a psychopath gone bad. Not only does he suffer a mental illness, he also have magical abilities.

Rowling says he never cared for anyone but himself, that love simply never occurred to him to be anything but a weakness. He see nothing negative in killing others for a means to an end. To me, that and his desperate search for immortality (thus setting him apart from other humans, in his own mind), are what actually makes him human. He was probably born with these syndromes. Dumbledore learns that he early on bullied children and animals. Voldemort hated everything to do with muggles and muggleborns because it had something to do with him, his humanity, and it "dirtied" him.

In other words; a very human character and not a very formidable villain at all(as far as they go, but he's a very interesting character if the Villain Boss trait is taken away from him). Tom Riddle was born sick , but with talent. Most villains, at least to my memory, have a road they walked down before they degraded or they had a good reason to become warped. Little Tom Riddle, on the other hand, was born sick and never got any help for it.

Unfeeling and uncaring for anyone else but himself and his own whims, he eventually retreated so far into his own madness he was easy to destroy. Just like in the real world, it's nearly impossible to comprehend that one sick man can destroy so many lives. Psychopathic villains' most formidable weapon is that ambitious people flock around them, starving for the power they radiate. Voldemort wouldn't have been anything but a mentally disturbed, but gifted, magician hadn't it been for his high up in the society followers. This is the truth in almost every case and with almost any dictator, unfortunately.

Slytherin_12
March 28th, 2010, 9:35 pm
I agree with you, he is original. Of course other villains are also evil but it feels like Voldemort takes evil to the next level. Like you said Voldemort does not have a soft side...
But then again he has a weakness, Voldemort doesn't think anyone can beat him. He thinks he's unstoppable. And looking at it this way you can compare him with other villains.

In the bolded, that's the same way I feel. He's pretty original in that specific way. The way he uses extreme methods to get what he wants. Much, much more powerful than the typical villians in movies, or TV shows or comics. Even in cartoons like Dragon Ball Z, you don't really see the villians going waaay over the top, other than trying to kill someone.

However, how he's described as brilliant, brings some villians into my mind. For instance, the Joker from the Dark Knight. They're both extremely cold, and always calculating their next moves. Though, Voldemort draws the line: he didn't have a troubled past, as far as we know. He was born that way--a psychopath. Insane for no reason whatsoever.

So, I think Voldemort is like other villians, but... he's more extended into something else.

JimmyPotter
April 28th, 2010, 12:30 am
What distinguishes Voldemort for me (and perhaps this just means I need to read more stories) is the ways in which the hero and villain have a surprising number of similarities. Both Harry and Voldemort had difficult early lives. Both had a special affection for Hogwarts. About the only difference between their early lives is that Harry spent 15 months with parents who loved him; Voldemort didn't even get that.

winky45
May 7th, 2010, 12:36 pm
What distinguishes Voldemort for me (and perhaps this just means I need to read more stories) is the ways in which the hero and villain have a surprising number of similarities. Both Harry and Voldemort had difficult early lives. Both had a special affection for Hogwarts.

I agree. It hit me how Voldemort was similar to Harry. Even the dark hair! And the fact that they both speak Parseltongue, the fact that the sorting hat chose Slytherin (but the sorting hat took Harry's choice into consideration), they both were orphans, they both didn't want to go back to their muggle homes, the fact they both found Hogwarts as the place where they really belonged.

Could Harry have developed into another Voldemort given other circumstances?

But I like Dumbledore's word: "It's our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."

Winky45:relax:

AldeberanBlack
May 28th, 2010, 9:05 pm
How does Voldemort compare with other villains?

Before the Star Wars prequels, he would have compared very poorly with awesome villains like Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader

Unfortunately after the Star Wars prequels, the Emperor and Vader have been significantly weakened as good villains (due to Lucas' terrible writing), so Voldemort improves in his standing.

Hannibal Lecter has been mentioned too, but again a character who was chilling in "Red Dragon" and "Silence of the Lambs" has been diluted by bad sequels.

Mother_mercury
June 30th, 2010, 5:47 pm
Personally, I find Voldemort much weaker than Sauron. He was never as powerful, and had a much more fatal character flaw. The only thing keeping him alive was him being clever enough to split his soul seven ways and hiding them, and his playing off the "Learned Helplessness" (see my discussion on the psychology of HP and the paradigm of the wizarding world) of the wizarding community.

APolaris
June 30th, 2010, 6:45 pm
He's pretty sadistic, his past is quite fully fleshed out in the books, and he has his occasional humorous line. (Think the dry "I regret it" after he has Nagini slaughter Snape.)

That said, I find him weaker than the majority of villains for two major reasons and one minor reason. The minor reason is that there are just much better, more complex villains within the books. Snape, though he is a hero in the end, puts on a much more convincing villainous facade (out of necessity) than Voldemort, particularly in the sense of how personal his rivalry is with Harry. Harry hates Voldemort for robbing him of his parents, but I feel he hates Snape much more personally because he actually witnessed Snape doing anything in person. Even Draco is IMO a better rival than Voldemort, whose sole personal connection to Harry is having killed his parents, something Harry no doubt shares with several others, a prophecy that acts solely as a plot device, and a few insights into his mind that mostly consist of him pretending to kidnap a father figure or hunting for a stick.

The first of the major reasons is that Voldemort is, IMO, too weak to be a convincing threat, especially to the wizarding world. His most used and most powerful spell just kills a single person. Big deal, a pistol can do that and so can nearly all of his own followers. Or what, is his Avada Kedavra supposed to kill people more powerfully than Bellatrix's, Dolohov's, Crouch Jr.'s, etc.? AK's existence ruins him as a fighter. The only spell he ever really uses that's capable of destruction on a large scale is Fiendfyre and he under-uses it. This is also why I liked the addition to the opening scene in HBP's film: it actually shows DEs doing more than fighting a single person or single family, something they rarely if ever do in the books. His ability to possess people is, granted, pretty scary, but he hardly uses it, and it's once again just something to do one-on-one.

The other issue is his capacity to threaten the wizarding world. I found it pitifully lacking in credibility. His "army" consists of what, 20 or 30 people, some dementors, and two giants? Of that list, the only thing I'd even consider a threat is the giants. Dementors, which are supposed to be terrifying, are frankly laughable. All the soul-sucking in the world doesn't matter when there's even a specific spell designed to instantaneously fight off a hundred of them at once that can be cast by a 13 year old kid. And Death Eaters? Don't make me laugh. There are so few of them that they barely constitute a special ops task force, let alone an army. Seriously, guys, just go buy some dice and make a D&D group. Meanwhile half of them are routinely beaten by a couple of children that just took their OWLs or some who didn't, and it takes 12 DEs to pacify 6 such kids. One kid even manages the momentous task of getting paralyzed by a brain's tentacles wrapped around him and they still can't kill him. Lucius can't do anything except pretend he's loyal to Fudge. Other than maybe Bellatrix and Dolohov, we're supposed to take these guys seriously as a threat to the wizarding world? Seriously, someone tell me how 20-30 people can pacify a wizarding community of thousands. They couldn't even beat a school. All any of them manage to do is hide in secrecy, perform a few missions under cover of darkness, and topple an already-corrupt ministry in a very non-convincing manner. What are all those half-bloods and ministry workers - *including Aurors* - doing just sitting there and not simultaneously attacking the Death Eaters? What are the people living in random villages and on random streets doing if not fighting back against them? Oh my, Voldemort might come if they begin an uprising. Yup, because hundreds or even thousands wizards, some of whom must have some combat skill and some of whom would have no compulsion about using AK against him, can't simultaneously fight one whose most-used spell can only take out one of them at a time, and who's been shown to be physically destructible even if his soul is temporarily immortal, something the wizarding world didn't know anyway.

Now, there are plenty of villains who have no powers of mass destruction or particularly large armies. Hannibal Lector is one example. But this is not a story about a rivalry that involves only a few people or a story about a serial killer. This is supposed to be a world-threatening epic. In an epic, the villain is supposed to be capable of credibly destroying the world in question, through either immense personal power (this is mostly seen in animes such as Dragonball) or through large armies (see Lord of the Rings, Braveheart, Star Wars, etc.) The "lurk around in secret and perform a bunch of small-scale missions" arc might work for serial killers, but IMO it doesn't work at all for an epic. I simply did not feel the threat there or see any credible reason why the Death Eaters were taken seriously as a police force, even when Voldy was out of the country. My dad was a cop and if he were told to take 20 people and subdue 1,000 other people who believed he was a threat to their way of life... let's take a guess at how well that would go over. If he were stationed alone or with one partner in a village and told to enforce some dictator's despotic orders there, let's all take a guess at how long that would last. Well, that's exactly what the DEs were doing in DH, and the villages they were subduing consisted of people with magical powers.

East
August 11th, 2010, 8:57 pm
^ Your right, his army really wasn't all that big, I think you're taking it too much at face value. You're forgetting two things that Voldemort was really good at: Fear and intimidation.

He had most of the wizarding world cowering under him from the mere threat of him. They wouldn't say his name. He turned people against each other, people were scared of saying the wrong thing to the wrong person. Doubt is a powerful emotion.

KirianWeasley
August 11th, 2011, 2:55 am
I feel like Voldemort's not all that much more evil or genius than most other villains. But I do think he has a much more interesting and thought-out rise to power. Most villains don't really get as fully explained and their evilness just seems inherent. Voldemort's development is shown throughout the novels, from child to evil mastermind. I thought that was something pretty interesting and unique about him, rather than just having a generic inherently evil person as the Dark Lord.

Lotoc_Sabbath
July 6th, 2012, 9:03 am
I couldn't think of the right place to post this so I apologize if I got it wrong

As we all know J.K.Rowling said that Voldemort if pure evil and has not got even a small part of good, I was thinking if there are other villans like this in literature, cinema etc....

The only one that came into my mind was The Joker from the Dark Knight.

Pokota
July 6th, 2012, 3:45 pm
I once did a thought experiment with a friend as to who would win between Sauron, Galbatorix, and Riddle if all three were at the heights of their power. The consensus we came to was that Riddle would claim the One Ring for his own and Galbatorix would eventually die of old age waiting for the other two to stop being so immortal.

Wab
July 6th, 2012, 7:08 pm
I say it again: Lord Voldemort is the greatest villain of all time, in every medium. He is the pinnacle of corrupt humanity and heartless hatred. Bravo, Rowling.

He ain't a patch on Randy Flagg, IT, Vlad Tepes, Mr Wednesday, Darcula or Frank Begbie.

Barbara_O
July 14th, 2012, 8:07 pm
Tom Riddle/Voldemort is a very complex villain, to be sure. We get to see some of how and why he became what he became. I find it interesting that in the end, although he lost all of the 'good' parts of humanity (if he ever really possessed them, which is arguable) he was left with the very human fear of death and what lies beyond.

The most effective villains are those in which we can, if however briefly, see ourselves. That makes them all the more frightening. As Friedrich Nietzsche said, "If you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." In that regard, Voldemort is one of the most effective villains in modern literature.

I don't know about anyone else, but I didn't sympathize with Randall Flagg; "It" was inhuman and therefore beyond understanding; Dracula was a product of his times. (No offense meant; these are also all good villain examples.) The real horror of villains to me is when I can see them hold up a mirror and show me the parts of myself I would rather not know I have. In that, Tom Riddle succeeds.

MsJPotter
July 25th, 2012, 12:14 pm
The real horror of villains to me is when I can see them hold up a mirror and show me the parts of myself I would rather not know I have. In that, Tom Riddle succeeds.

That's real good reasoning, but I would have to disagree in one respect. For me the scariest villain is Hannibal Lecter. The chances of meeting up with Voldie, Randall, or It is kinda tiny. But Hannibal, he is one real human character and he scared the pants off of me. Micheal Corleone was also really scary. You're right though, it's the humans you have to look out for.

SeverusSnapeHBP
September 15th, 2012, 1:17 am
The thing about Voldemort that always seemed to irk me is that for some reason, he always seemed too cartoony. There's just something about his personality that's almost generic and simple. Other then what he can do magically, he never really struck me as an imposing character psychologically or socially.

For example, Hannibal Lecter is an imposing villain because he's intelligent and knows exactly how to screw with people psychologically and emotionally, and he does it himself. He doesn't rely on other people to do stuff for him like Voldemort does.

One thing I think would've made Voldemort more imposing is a complete and utter disregard for anyone, even if he used terrorism and murder of muggles as a way to screw with the Ministry of Magic and utterly jeopardize the secrecy of their lives that the magical world holds so dear.

horcrux4
September 30th, 2012, 10:42 pm
I think one of the things that downgrades Voldemort for me as a supervillain is his appearance. If he had retained his good looks he would have been much scarier to me because he wouldn't have appeared to be the evil maniac that he was. The snake-face and red eyes made it obvious to anyone that saw him that he was wicked. Young Tom Riddle charming Slughorn into talking about horcruxes when he had already committed 3 murders and framing Hagrid for a monster he was setting off around the castle is more horrifying to me than Voldemort with his army of DEs and Inferi because everyone was deceived by him.

FurryDice
October 6th, 2012, 11:30 am
The thing about Voldemort that always seemed to irk me is that for some reason, he always seemed too cartoony. There's just something about his personality that's almost generic and simple. Other then what he can do magically, he never really struck me as an imposing character psychologically or socially.

For example, Hannibal Lecter is an imposing villain because he's intelligent and knows exactly how to screw with people psychologically and emotionally, and he does it himself. He doesn't rely on other people to do stuff for him like Voldemort does.

IMO, Voldemort knows quite well how to mess with people's heads. He knows how to manipulate people - in his Riddle youth and Voldemort older days, he knew how to deceive people and harm them emotionally. He psychologically scarred two children at the orphanage when he was nine or ten years old. He deceived practically everyone at Hogwarts, he charmed Hepzibah Smith. He knew exactly what to do to lure Harry to the Ministry - he knew how to mess with people emotionally.

I think that having followers made Voldemort more dangerous - he could get like-minded followers, lure them with the promise of power and prestige, the opportunity to torture and kill, etc. More people to take the risks, less risk for his supremely important self.


One thing I think would've made Voldemort more imposing is a complete and utter disregard for anyone, even if he used terrorism and murder of muggles as a way to screw with the Ministry of Magic and utterly jeopardize the secrecy of their lives that the magical world holds so dear.

Personally, I think Voldemort had that utter disregard for others in spades. He was the only one that mattered everyone else was disposable, everyone else was an object. Even his minions were just tools to make sure he got what he wanted. And I think it's clear that he wasn't too bothered about the Statute of Secrecy - very open and public attacks show that. Attacks on Muggles, murdered for fun show that.

I think one of the things that downgrades Voldemort for me as a supervillain is his appearance. If he had retained his good looks he would have been much scarier to me because he wouldn't have appeared to be the evil maniac that he was. The snake-face and red eyes made it obvious to anyone that saw him that he was wicked. Young Tom Riddle charming Slughorn into talking about horcruxes when he had already committed 3 murders and framing Hagrid for a monster he was setting off around the castle is more horrifying to me than Voldemort with his army of DEs and Inferi because everyone was deceived by him.

Mostly, I'm glad that JKR changed Voldemort's appearance. Take a look at the amount of fans Lucius has - his evil actions - in particular, attempting to murder children - don't matter because he's rich and good looking. I shudder to think how many HP fans would side with Riddle if he had kept his good looks. If we had seen a dignified-looking, handsomely ageing, sixty-something Riddle rather than a hideous Voldemort, I imagine he would have quite as many people saying his crimes don't matter as Lucius does.

MKOutlandMoon
September 23rd, 2013, 8:13 pm
It's odd. Tom/Voldy shares a childhood similar to mine. But to me, love's something I cherish twice as much.

In my own wizard series, Ceinlys Swift, I wanted to create a villain who is the exact opposite to Voldy, but who acts quite the same, it resulted in one of the most intriguing characters who makes you wonder all the time.

LadySylvia
October 2nd, 2013, 10:36 pm
The snake-face and red eyes made it obvious to anyone that saw him that he was wicked.


I found that rather cartoonish, myself. Many science-fiction/fantasy writers have a bad habit of doing this.


Mostly, I'm glad that JKR changed Voldemort's appearance. Take a look at the amount of fans Lucius has - his evil actions - in particular, attempting to murder children - don't matter because he's rich and good looking.


Not all fans have viewed Lucius in that manner. In fact, I don't recall encountering that many fans who have.