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Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?



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  #141  
Old May 13th, 2010, 9:47 pm
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Re: Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?

doesn't this go back to the idea of Evil, is it born or made? I know there was a thread on this idea of evil.


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  #142  
Old May 13th, 2010, 9:52 pm
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Re: Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?

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Originally Posted by MistressofRaven View Post
To the original topic, Bad genes (look at the Gaunts!) and growing up in an orphanage without real parents. But I think the biggest influence is knowing that his own father does not want him. I think the difference between Voldemort and Harry is that Harry knew his parents loved him and died to protect him. Voldemort, however, knew that his own father was alive and well and did not love him. I think a little of it had to do with his own free will, but, for me, free will is a feel good answer. It's possible that a kid in his situation could have grown to be as good as Hermione Granger or Neville Longbottom, but it would have been extraordinary and unrealistic IMO.
Are you saying that children who are abandoned by their fathers normally turn out to be psychopaths? Because I really don't think that is the case.

fruitia pickleweed summed it all up brilliantly imo. In terms of the story, and depending on your philosophy it could be one or all three of those factors. I personally think it was a mixture of everything.


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  #143  
Old May 13th, 2010, 10:34 pm
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Re: Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?

I'd say a lot of things influenced Tom. He came from a family that had been interbreeding for generations. His grandfather, uncle, and mother were all slightly unhinged themselves, and while I shy away from the idea that "badness" can be carried down genetically, I think there was a history of psychiatric problems due to cousins marrying cousins, etc.

His parents abandoned him for one reason or another and the people at the orphanage only had a vague idea of what Tom was capable of and what he was really like. They knew there were nasty incidents with other children, but apparently didn't see the signs of a serious problem. Dumbledore saw them, but only decided to keep an eye on Tom.

And Dippet and Slughorn only encouraged his bad behavior by favoring him. Being good-looking, charismatic, and talented gained Tom the approbation of nearly everyone once he came to Hogwarts. Having already tried to dominate other children at the orphanage, he found that he could also do so at school and get away with it. In short, he never suffered the consequences of his actions. He never learned his own limits, and went on to believe he could defy authority, then laws, then nature itself.

Then there's Tom himself. He had a lot of strikes against him from the start, but he did decide at a young age to try and dominate other people...his environment (and possibly his genes) only made that decision much more likely.


Some of these people had understandable reasons for acting as they did, though, so I don't think it's really right to "blame" them all. They contributed, but some of them only acted with limited information or as they thought best. It would have been paranoid of Dumbledore to immediately react to Tom's behavior at their first meeting and checking on Tom was really all he could do at that point. And I'm really unsurprised that the staff at an orphanage in the 40's had little to no experience in dealing with a child like Tom.
Tom's father's life was disrupted when he was forced into a relationship with someone he didn't love, and so would want to get out of there. Merope was unable to understand love herself, since she never received it, and so wouldn't know how much Tom needed her care.

A lot of these people just weren't equipped to take care of Tom the way he needed. They all had their shortcomings and limits as to how much they could step in. There are a few that could have changed their ways, but I think that overall, it was simply a case of a disturbed boy living in an ignorant and harmful world where his aggression and arrogance were able to take root and grow.


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  #144  
Old May 13th, 2010, 10:49 pm
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Re: Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?

I agree with the majority...Voldemort is to blame.
Whilst his upbringing wasn't ideal...it was actually better than Harry's. Harry may have lived with his aunt and uncle but they showed 0% love in him, they never wanted him around. At least at the orphanage they took the kids out on days, and overall they didn't seem like an unkind orphanage.
Voldemort wanted more out of life...he didn't want to simply sit back and be a brilliant, talented person..he wanted to be the MOST powerful, brilliant and talented person ever. His desire for power and control drove him to do the things he did. You cannot say that the Orphanage, or the fact that he had no parents, were responsible for him being an insane, power-hungry, mass murderer. It's understandable he might have had problems in life, but there are orphans in real-life who Im sure have lost both parents and you wouldn't expect them to all grow up as serial killers. Voldemort chose his path in life. He was given a fresh clean start at Hogwarts. With this, he could have chosen to go down the right path, become successful, have a family or he could have chosen to down the wrong path (as he did).


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  #145  
Old May 13th, 2010, 10:52 pm
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Re: Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?

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Are you saying that children who are abandoned by their fathers normally turn out to be psychopaths? Because I really don't think that is the case.
Not normally, no. I'm saying that little of what we do in life is purely a matter of us making our own choices because there are many other influences. None of us are born in a vacuum and the stuff that happens in our lives affects us.


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  #146  
Old May 14th, 2010, 2:11 am
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Re: Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?

If Tom's demeanor as a child was anything like the memory depicted of him at the orphanage in HBP, then I'd say it was simply what he knew as a boy. From being orphaned, from being so different, from anger, it all boils down to the fact that any amount of light within him was snuffed out before Dumbledore came to retrieve him.

Although, I dunno how much can be said for how much joy he experienced upon arriving at Hogwarts. Jo said that it was his true home and he loved all of it, but it's hard to say if that sense of happiness had any further influence on his character.


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  #147  
Old May 14th, 2010, 2:19 am
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Re: Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?

Voldemort himself is to blame. He wasnt like Harry who could see good in bad situations. Dumbledore even says something to the effect of "The fact you can love after all that has happened to you, is in fact quite astounding." The fact that the Gaunts were really inbred to the point of madness has a factor. Also the fact Voldy was conceived from binding the father with a love potion can have a factor. But yeah, his own choices and the fact he took pleasure even as a small child in harming and dominating others was what was to blame.


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  #148  
Old May 14th, 2010, 2:45 am
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Re: Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?

Who is to blame for him going bad?

Wow, another thought provoking question. I don't think anyone is to blame but Tom Riddle himself. It was clear that from an early age, he knew right from wrong. He knew he terrorized the other Children at the Orphanage and smiled and gloated about it. He knew it was wrong to torture animals, but he did it by merely "making them do things". He took pride in what he did. So no one is to blame but him.

From all outward appearances, the lady who operated the Orphanage genuinely cared about Tom and his fate in life. Yes, she did have him in isolation (to protect the other Children), but from what you could see, he had clean clothes, was well fed and cared for. Not neglected and abused like Harry. He also terrorized the other Children because he enjoyed seeing them cry, etc.

The only way I can back my opinion is to compare his situation to Harry's. He was raised under similar circumstances, but worse if you ask me. Lily entrusted Petunia with the life of this precious Child and hoped she'd protect him. Instead, she and Vernon violated that trust. They abused that poor Child. They encouraged Dudley to bully him and beat him up. However, despite all they did to him, Harry outshone them in his intelligence, his compassion for other people, etc.

Let's say Tom was raised by his Grandfather and abused like Merope was. If he was abused, tortured, treated like a slave, held captive, then yes, he could be easily blamed.

As for Tom Riddle SR, I don't think he's to blame at all. He was an innocent victim of a neglected girl who was desperate for adoration.

As for Merope herself, she was made into an emotional cripple. Even if she "knew" what she was doing on the night she got pregnant, I see her so crushed by these two jerks that she consciously didn't fully comprehend what she was doing and the long term effects.

No matter how you look at this, no one but Tom Riddle aka Voldemort himself is to blame.


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  #149  
Old May 14th, 2010, 8:29 am
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Re: Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?

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Originally Posted by MistressofRaven View Post
Not normally, no. I'm saying that little of what we do in life is purely a matter of us making our own choices because there are many other influences. None of us are born in a vacuum and the stuff that happens in our lives affects us.
I agree as i said earlier he comes from bad stock.And he had no real parents who could have taught him straight away that he could not get away with his bad behaviour.Dumbledore who knew what Tom was capable of should have controlled him more i think.And Tom feeling no one really wanted him and thinking he was smarter then all of them must have thought he did not have to leave by their rules.So in my view it was not all Tom's fault.The most common excuse i read alot here is that so and so is only a teenager.While i don't agree cause we are talking in a world where someone is considered an adult at 17 and someone of 15 should have some sense of responsibility but if that excuse is made for others it is also so for Tom Riddle.I do think if Dumbledore had been stricter with Tom Riddle or had told other teachers to be very strict with him Tom might not have turned out as bad as he did.And showing him someone did care about him would not have hurt either



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  #150  
Old May 14th, 2010, 7:50 pm
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Re: Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?

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I agree as i said earlier he comes from bad stock.And he had no real parents who could have taught him straight away that he could not get away with his bad behaviour.Dumbledore who knew what Tom was capable of should have controlled him more i think.And Tom feeling no one really wanted him and thinking he was smarter then all of them must have thought he did not have to leave by their rules.So in my view it was not all Tom's fault.The most common excuse i read alot here is that so and so is only a teenager.While i don't agree cause we are talking in a world where someone is considered an adult at 17 and someone of 15 should have some sense of responsibility but if that excuse is made for others it is also so for Tom Riddle.I do think if Dumbledore had been stricter with Tom Riddle or had told other teachers to be very strict with him Tom might not have turned out as bad as he did.And showing him someone did care about him would not have hurt either
Well, I actually do excuse the characters somewhat because of their youth. People don't all of a sudden become responsible, mature, sensible adults the second they reach the age of majority. I don't excuse Tom Riddle as much as I do other characters because he was, of course, a lot worse then young Dumbledore or young Snape.


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  #151  
Old May 14th, 2010, 10:06 pm
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Re: Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?

It is really hard to say why Voldemort went bad. I think it almost brings us back to the question, is evil born or made?
I do think that Tom Riddle Sr. leaving him had a big part on why he became evil. I'm not saying it's Tom Riddle Sr. fault, but if he hadn't left them, I don't think Voldemort would've hated Muggles/Muggle-borns as badly.


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  #152  
Old May 14th, 2010, 11:06 pm
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Re: Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?

This is one of the hardest questions (if not the hardest) you could ask about this series of books. And to be completely honest, I can't give a straight answer . Things like fate, upbringing and ambition all have to be considered when dealing with this problem. I would tend to lean towards Tom Riddles attitude, along with his upbringing as the main factors in the rise of Lord Voldemort.


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  #153  
Old May 15th, 2010, 4:19 am
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Re: Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?

I think it is probably both of Tom's parents' faults for how he turned out, because his father left him before he was born, and then his mother abandoned him, with no other family (or willing family) left to take care of him, so he must have felt very abandoned and uncared-about, and unimportant. So when he finally found out about his magic, he probably saw it as a way of revenge on his Muggle father for leaving him, Tom using his magic to torture and torment the other Muggle children in the orphanage. Like the case about the rabbit, or the cave...but overall, I believe it was Tom's fault, or his parents...or both.


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  #154  
Old May 15th, 2010, 4:35 am
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Re: Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?

Voldemort seemed to be a souless person from the time we first see him in the orphanage at age 11. I don't think we see enough of his childhood to know if anything could have steered him in toward good instead of evil.

When all is said and done, though, Riddle/Voldemort was responsible for his own actions and therefore is solely to blame for going bad.


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  #155  
Old May 15th, 2010, 6:48 am
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Re: Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?

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Voldemort seemed to be a souless person from the time we first see him in the orphanage at age 11. I don't think we see enough of his childhood to know if anything could have steered him in toward good instead of evil.

When all is said and done, though, Riddle/Voldemort was responsible for his own actions and therefore is solely to blame for going bad.
I have to disagree where everything seemed to go right for Harry after a certain age everything had been going wrong for Tom Riddle.The lack of love by anyone and the complete lack of guidance besides him being from a family that has been bad for centuries has been of influence whatever Dumbledore said there was more to it then making the right choices.You see the same by other people in novels who were outcasts by society believe they don't have to live according to their laws either.


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  #156  
Old May 16th, 2010, 5:00 am
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Re: Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?

I think that Voldemort himself is to blame altho I agree with alot of the previous comments that his family history (inbreeding, lack of loving family/parents) was definitely a negative influence.

Harry Potter had grown up an as orphan and he was treated horribly at the Dursley's, yet he still remained a compassionate person, capable of love, friendship, and had a good attitude, etc. and he knew his parents had died to protect him and because they loved him.

On the other hand, Voldemort was also raised as an orphan (however, neither of his parents had seemed to want him/love him which probably contributed to his negativity) but he, even as a young child, chose to be angry, hateful, cruel and vengeful (killing Tom Riddle SR, Marvolo Gaunt, etc). Not only did he not want or need love & friendship he was also incapable of it...from his hate/vengence he only aspired to be the most powerful dark wizard the world had ever known and achieved that goal but at the cost of his humanity.



Last edited by lovehp2010; May 16th, 2010 at 5:49 am.
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  #157  
Old May 16th, 2010, 5:48 am
Nandi  Undisclosed.gif Nandi is offline
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Re: Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?

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On the other hand, Voldemort was raised at the orphanage (also without loving parents) however, even as a young child, he chose to be angry, hateful, cruel and vengeful (killing Tom Riddle SR, Marvolo Gaunt, etc). It seems like not only did he not want or need love & friendship he was also incapable of it...from his hate/vengence he only aspired to be the most powerful dark wizard the world had ever known and achieved that goal but at the cost of his humanity.
His parents abbadoned him they were not murdered like Harry's and I think the guidance he got at school was non-existent even though Dumbledore knew his background and him having a bit of a bad character.You can put a stop to that if you start early enough.


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  #158  
Old May 16th, 2010, 7:23 am
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Re: Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?

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His parents abbadoned him they were not murdered like Harry's and I think the guidance he got at school was non-existent even though Dumbledore knew his background and him having a bit of a bad character.You can put a stop to that if you start early enough.
Unfortunately I think it was already too late for Tom when DD met him.

According to Dumbledore in HBP, when Tom Riddle was at Hogwarts, he favorably impressed the teachers there and gained their sympathy, drew attention to himself, was well liked by all of the staff and charming to them so his guidance at school would have been pretty positive (if he had wanted guidance). He was talented, good looking and attracted alot of people to him... but he was extremely thirsty for knowledge.

I personally think that Tom himself, had already decided early on that since he didn't have, know or understand about love, it was stupid and foolish emotion that he didn't want or need anyway. He probably would have rejected Dumbledore and anyone else's offer of assistance or friendship/love, etc. (ie. Tom Riddle said i don't need you and I'm used to doing things on my own... and refused Dumbledore's help to take him to Diagon Alley when he first found out he was a wizard)

He believed himself to be above other wizards since he was Slytherin's heir and was "special" because only he spoke parseltongue. Dumbledore had given Tom the benefit of the doubt (because he was quiet and not outwardly aggressive, hostile etc) but Voldemort actually wound up despising and fearing Dumbledore because DD was not charmed by him and didn't fully trust him like other people did.

Tom Riddle as a child at the orphanage, showed no hint of remorse for his bad behavior, was secretive, commanding/demanding, a thief and enjoyed being powerful (magical), punishing and instilling fear in others more than gaining their love/friendship. He craved more magical power, above everything else and he realized could obtain other things such as immortality, (and didn't care that he had to kill others in order to achieve his goal). He had alot of followers the DE's (minions) but no friends (equals).

Dumbledore had once said to Harry that even tho Harry had gone thru so many horrible things (parents death, sirius's death, living with the cruel Dursley's etc), he was amazed that Harry was still capable of love.

So Harry could have decided to go Voldemort's route but chose not to. Harry had not known love or kindness as a child while living with the Dursleys. But he chose to develop friendships and be capable of love, when he went to Hogwarts. Dumbledore had probably planned and hoped that he could help Tom but unfortunately it was already too late, but he was able to help and guide Harry, because Harry accepted it and still managed to stay "normal" under his bad circumstances (the dursleys).



Last edited by lovehp2010; May 16th, 2010 at 8:02 am.
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  #159  
Old May 16th, 2010, 8:15 am
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Re: Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?

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He believed himself to be above other wizards since he was Slytherin's heir and was "special" because only he spoke parseltongue. Dumbledore had given Tom the benefit of the doubt (because he was quiet and not outwardly aggressive, hostile etc) but Voldemort actually wound up despising and fearing Dumbledore because DD was not charmed by him and didn't fully trust him like other people did.
And yet he did not keep a close eye on him while in school.And we see a lot of examples of people who change during these 7 years i am sure if Dumbledore had been more prominent in Voldemorts life he might have changed too.Not to become a saint but he would be less of a uncaring character then he ended up to be.



Last edited by Nandi; May 17th, 2010 at 10:22 am.
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Old May 16th, 2010, 7:30 pm
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Re: Who is to blame for Voldemort going bad?

Dumbledore, in expressing the author's view, remarked that it is not a person's abilities that show what he/she truly is, but his/her choices. From this it is clear that Voldemort himself is to blame for his going bad. However, I think Dumbledore is to blame for Voldemort having the tools to satisfy his evil desires. Dumbledore said he did not know that he had just met the most dangerous dark wizard of all time when he met Riddle at the orphanage; I think Dumbledore should have known. Riddle was taking sadistic pleasure in hurting people and then there was the killing of the rabbit. Most psychopathic killers it seems start out by killing animals. When Dumbledore heard these things he should have revoked Riddle's place at Hogwarts. Then Voldemort would have been an uncontrollable criminal but one with powers limited by not having a wand, among other things. Granted, Dumbledore told the matron Mrs. Cole that Riddle had a place at her school no matter what she told him, so revoking Riddle's place at Hogwarts would have meant that Dumbledore was breaking a promise. Whether it was a justified breaking of a promise is another question.


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