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View Full Version : Why does Voldemort look like a snake?


lady_yuna
November 25th, 2004, 7:01 am
I was thinking for long time that when voldemort was in school he looked normal and then now he looks like a snake was because he was kicked from his body or is it what he did to be Immortal or something different because he loves snakes and do you think he is a snake Animagus?

hpfan_08
November 25th, 2004, 7:43 am
He could be, but he is the heir of salyzar slytherin, so maybe salyzar looked like a snake and that family trait stuck.

Corbin Dallas
November 25th, 2004, 7:56 am
First hpfan 08 love the siggy :D,
now to topic:
I have 2 ideas on this, first get's back to Dumbledore saying in Hp and Chamber, that Riddle underwent dangerous transformations and consorted with the worst of Wizarding kind to gain his power, this could be one way,
the other has to do with the rebirthing in Goblet, Riddle had Wormtail milk Nagani's venom to mix with unicorn blood to create a weak and fragile bodt so Riddle wouldn't need to possess anymore to endure. when Riddle was reborn, the Nagani Venom may have affected Riddle in some fasion leading to his new and improved Snakelike appearence.
Hope this makes sense...
CD

Rhoryn
November 25th, 2004, 10:44 am
I always thought that he transfigured himself to look like a human snake, not like an animagus, but to only go half way there.

drewboy_uk
November 25th, 2004, 10:48 am
The Aurors in OoTP immediately recognize Voldemort - so he can't have looked that different after his rebirth. I don't think the snake-venom affected him to be honest.

I tend to go with the theory that Dumbledore mentions, after all, Dumbledore and Hermione are the two characters that JKR uses for exposition, because people generally believe that they know all, so what he says is probably the reason!

Baron_G
November 25th, 2004, 11:53 am
The Aurors in OoTP immediately recognize Voldemort - so he can't have looked that different after his rebirth. I don't think the snake-venom affected him to be honest.

Nothing to really think about. He came out of the cauldron looking the same as he did before. Harry recognises the face that haunted his dreams for four years. JKR has said from the beginning that Voldemort's face was snake-like, the moment Quirrel removes his turban. His face in baby form was similar. Hagrid too says he wasn't ever human enough.

Yes, this must be part of the transformations he underwent. I personally think it is also the reason he survived the rebounding curse. But there's a whole other thread for that topic.

JakeOfRavenclaw
November 25th, 2004, 12:09 pm
I imagaine that when he was doing all those experiments on himself to try to become immortal his apperence was twisted. Since he is the heir of Slytherin, the transformations probably brough out the snake inside of him.

OhhhMacadamia
November 25th, 2004, 10:30 pm
Maybe a part of his soul has snake-like characteristics, so that when he underwent all those "dangerous magical transformations," that fact was manifested in his form. Or perhaps teh potions he used contained snake venom or molted skin.

Charlatan
November 27th, 2004, 3:50 am
It would make sense that the reason he looks like a snake has to do with him being an animagus,but I don't think thats the cause of it....although I do think he's an animagus.......It would probably have alot to do with his experiments on immortality because in CoS,JKR describes him as looking normal,so it had to come later in life when he started to experiment....

natemac
November 27th, 2004, 4:26 am
First of all, Charlatan, is that when Bilbo goes all freaky for the ring in movie 1? Because if it is, that scared the bongos out of me! I jumped half way out of my seat. ("And so they were, at peaceful Rivendale, with the creek going and the sunshine on their faces, Bilbo is giving Frodo gifts, then his eyes pop out and he's like 'garrrrrrrrrrrrr'"). Anyway.


My initial thoughts on this thread were that who knows why he looks snakelike. So many things have happened to him physically, that there may be reasons we never know about that affected his appearence. Maybe he wanted to look snakelike. Maybe the spells he casted on himself had that side affect. Maybe he wanted to look like that to add a scary effect. Who knows.

Personally, I think that his mind overpowered his physical properties, and that he naturally transformed into a snake-like appearance.

Maybe JKR just wanted to add more of that famous "magically world feel" to the books, just writing it so LV sounds scarier and more evil.

In the Harry Potter books, all the evil is directed towards the snake. Whether it be parsletongue, Slytherin's Symbol, the Dark Lord's pet basalisk, or Lucius's cane/wand. If all evil is represented and related to a snake, then why not have the epidimy of evil look like one?

-nate

Marisa
November 27th, 2004, 4:54 am
maybe by the time that he had transformed and everything, there wasn't anything human enough left in him to look normal, and since he is the heir of Slytherin and also loved snakes, that could be why he looked so snakelike...

grammer
November 27th, 2004, 6:34 am
I imagaine that when he was doing all those experiments on himself to try to become immortal his apperence was twisted. Since he is the heir of Slytherin, the transformations probably brough out the snake inside of him.

In addition to the snake being associated with evil (Serpent in the Garden of Eden etc.) the snake was ALSO the ancient Greek symbol of imortality. It was believed that snakes were reborn when they shed their skins. Also, there was a myth that the snake could bit it's own tail and become a circle (also a symbol of infinity - a circle has no beginning and no end.) It seem likely that snakes were prime ingredients in potions for immortality, and part of incantations with that goal in mind.

Barbara Kennedy
November 27th, 2004, 6:52 am
Perhaps these threads can help?

The Snake Relation: Voldemort’s Bane or Key? (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=29801)
Dunno if he had enough human left in him to die (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=12903)
How did Voldemort attain his power?(spoilers within) (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=32693)
Voldemort’s “immortality”: get a new body when I die (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=33583&)
Did Voldemort recover his original body? (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=23269)
The snake at the London zoo in PS/SS is Voldemort (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=13946) (maybe not much help, but you might want a look)
Does Nagini Possess any special powers? (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=37232)

Charlatan
November 28th, 2004, 3:49 am
yes natemac,thats definately Bilbo......with his eyes popping out....anywho,just a thought,since Voldemort looks and has alot in common with snakes,is it possible that he sheds his skin?And if so,is that why he's so pale(ignoring the fact that he hasn't seen the sun since i don't know when...)?

Polychrome
November 28th, 2004, 3:52 am
Two Words: Michael Jackson :elaugh:

Corbin Dallas
November 28th, 2004, 8:09 am
Two Words: Michael Jackson :elaugh:
Yes I can see it now, Voldy's new way of attacking people, doing a dance with the animated dead in toe, as well as the Death Eaters and Dementors,
all we need is Vincent Price to do the voice over... :rotfl:
CD

dementorsekiss
November 28th, 2004, 8:17 am
Maybe because of all the transfigurations he went, he became so snaky.
And i think the way he looks is related to the precautions he took so as to prevent his death. :huh:

Aragorn10
November 28th, 2004, 3:22 pm
He just has a thing with snakes so he did all those things to himself to look like a snake.

Kidney Pie
November 28th, 2004, 3:31 pm
In dangerous beasts and where to find them, there is a snake called an ashwinder. It doesn't live very long after hatching, only long enough to mate and lay eggs. According to the book, all this happens in about an hour. Why does such a creature even want to live and procreate? I guess like all creatures it has a desire to live and produce offspring, but it doesn't seem to have much of a use. The eggs are so hot they are like hot coals and can burn a house down if the snake lays eggs in a house.
Anyway, the snake is described as an ash or pale color with red eyes. It sounds very much like it could be important. Could a snake with such a short life span as this be the key to the series? Maybe in the end Voldemort could transform into one.

Or maybe...maybe...his mother died giving birth to him....what if she were somehow a snake at the time? I mean, like she was an animagus of one of those. That'd be weird though, like he'd have to be an animagus too. Or hatch from an egg. Or be born human from a snake....

grammer
November 28th, 2004, 8:58 pm
Right, It was an easy delivery, he slithered out.... Ewww Bad image :no: :scared:

I don't know if the infant would change form when the animagus mother does, but it might make giving birth easier :lol:

Serpentina
November 28th, 2004, 9:10 pm
In GOF after his rebirth Voldemort tells that he posessed snakes during his hiding in Albania for staying alive. He also used unicorn blood and snake venom for that weak body-like something he created with the help of Wormtail. This body was used in the "rebirth-mixture" so the snake-ingredients are still parts of him.

anabel
November 28th, 2004, 10:27 pm
Slytherin didn't look snakelike. His statue in the Chamber of Secrets is described as "ancient and monkey-like, with a long thin beard". Only the beard is snake-like.

a) Tom Marvolo Riddle looked completely normal
b) After leaving school he "underwent so many dangerous, magical transformations, that when he resurfaced as Lord Voldemort, he was barely recognisable."
c) His appearance in the graveyard after the rebirthing ceremony is such that both Harry and the DEs recognise him at once.

So it was the "dangerous, magical transformations" from Tom to Voldemort that made him snake-like. I wonder if it was deliberate, due to his affinity with snakes and the use of snake-ingredients in potions, or if the end result of his transformations was to reveal more of his true nature in his outward appearance. JKR says that an Animagus cannot choose what creature he or she turns into. Maybe Voldemort's tranformations worked a bit like that - the snake was in him all the time but the magical transformations gave him an outward appearance that reflects what is on the inside.

rotsiepots
November 30th, 2004, 10:34 am
I've never really thought about this question before -- I always assumed that Voldemort looked like a snake because of the extreme lengths he went to to attain immortality.

There are a lot of strange people on this planet who undergo all sorts of medical procedures to emulate the appearance of various people/things. Jocelyne Wildenstein, for example, decided she wanted to look like a cat. Bearing a resemblance to a snake is possibly something Voldemort consciously sought, rather than ended up with as a result of "magic gone wrong".

anabel
November 30th, 2004, 10:44 am
I've never really thought about this question before -- I always assumed that Voldemort looked like a snake because of the extreme lengths he went to to attain immortality.

There are a lot of strange people on this planet who undergo all sorts of medical procedures to emulate the appearance of various people/things. Jocelyne Wildenstein, for example, decided she wanted to look like a cat. Bearing a resemblance to a snake is possibly something Voldemort consciously sought, rather than ended up with as a result of "magic gone wrong".
That's interesting. I always assumed that Voldemort's appearance was a sign of his corruption. (Michael Jackson springs to mind, no direct comparison intended!) All his attempts to reach immortality had in a way destroyed the human being who had been a gifted student and Head Boy at Hogwarts and turned him into a monster.

But maybe Voldemort also sought an appearance that would strike terror into everyone who saw him, and I think he has achieved that.

gryffin_hauz_88
December 1st, 2004, 8:02 am
Maybe because snake symbolizes evil. That's that I think.

Tane
December 1st, 2004, 2:00 pm
Maybe it has something to do with Voldemorts animagus form being that of a snake. I tend to think that Salazar was an animagus wizard who could transfigure into a serpent hence Slytherin house being represent by a snake.

Peter shows some looks that resemble a rat; Sirius has similar rough features for the dog form so perhaps Voldemort looks a little like a snake because that is his animagus form.

MoodyHarry
December 1st, 2004, 4:30 pm
Maybe it has something to do with Voldemorts animagus form being that of a snake. I tend to think that Salazar was an animagus wizard who could transfigure into a serpent hence Slytherin house being represent by a snake.

Peter shows some looks that resemble a rat; Sirius has similar rough features for the dog form so perhaps Voldemort looks a little like a snake because that is his animagus form.I like how JKR related animagi to the personalities of the person.

Pettigrew is a rat because he "ratted" out his friends. Definitions of rat: desert one's party or group of friends, for example, for one's personal advantage. One who reveals confidential information in return for money. A person who is deemed to be despicable or contemptible.
Sirius is a dog because he is loving and loyal to his friends at all costs.

Voldemort is a snake obviously because of the connection to Slytherin house, but also this definition: A deceitful or treacherous person. There is also the typical thought of how evil snakes are. If we want to delve into the Bible, there is Adam, Eve and how Eve was "tempted" by the snake to commit sin, resulting of course in the connection of evil and snakes.

kundama
December 1st, 2004, 5:05 pm
surely voly is definatly an animagus, harry was inside his head when he bit mr weasly, in the dept of myst. harry hasn't been inside any one elses head, so voli must be an animagus? no?

anabel
December 1st, 2004, 10:19 pm
surely voly is definatly an animagus, harry was inside his head when he bit mr weasly, in the dept of myst. harry hasn't been inside any one elses head, so voli must be an animagus? no?
Dumbledore said Voldemort was possessing the snake at the time.

RemusLupinFan
December 4th, 2004, 5:15 pm
I agree with anabel that Voldemort’s outward snake-like appearance likely is a manifestation of the corrupt, evil monster that he is on the inside. I also agree that the “dangerous magical transformations” Riddle underwent were responsible for producing Voldemort’s eventual snake-like look. During this time, Riddle’s exterior really came to look like what he truly was on the inside: a twisted, evil man. Also, Voldemort’s close association with snakes must have had some influence on his final appearance:-belonging to Slytherin House
-being able to speak Parseltongue
-controlling the Basilisk in the CoS
-possessing snakes in Albania in order to survive
-using snake ingredients (such as skin and venom) in the rebirthing potion
-his pet snake NaginiI imagine that Voldemort either doesn’t mind looking like a snake, or it was a deliberate move on his part. I tend to think it just turned out that way as a result of his transformations, and he used this snake-like appearance to his advantage to cause increased fear among followers and enemies alike.

Another reason for the strong snake imagery surrounding Voldemort may be that it is a characterization device employed by JK Rowling. The purpose of giving Voldemort such exaggerated snake-like qualities is so that readers will pick up on references to him even if he is not pointed out by name.

Also, I’m not sure Voldemort actually is an animagus, but I do think that there’s a strong possibility that his animagus form is likely to be a serpent.

superfeds
December 4th, 2004, 7:00 pm
Well the Voldemort is the last suriving heir of Slytherrin and Im sure he idolizes the snake being a parslemouth Im sure that has something to do with his outward appearance, but his transformation has to do something with his methods to cheat death and I think with the venom from Nagini. I think Voldemort wants to strike fear into people anyway he can, and looking like that would be one way of doing that.