“Years ago, I knew a boy that made all the wrong choices”
The Sad Origin of Tom Riddle
A century ago, in 1927, on the steps of an orphanage, a little boy was born and abandoned. Whom to love him? Whom to teach him how to love? He was a product of a love potion! Devoid of family’s love, Tom Riddle grew up in the muggle world alone, waiting… but for what? As if he always knew, that he had something bigger, that this world didn’t belong to him! And then, in 1938, came Dumbledore. You’re a wizard, Tom! A wizard?
“I knew I was different… I knew I was special. Always, I knew there was something.”
And then, as Dumbledore is about to leave, Tom reveals the most crucial point in the wizarding world… “I can speak to snakes.” What would have happened, if Dumbledore did something then? If he had listened to Tom? If he didn’t just nod his head and say “your power is unheard of”? Would we have had Voldemort?
Why Did Tom Riddle become The Voldemort?
Now, to be or not to be, this is the question. And Tom Riddle chose to be. This intriguing puzzle of a human being, all those years that had passed, you might think, why and how?
He’s a half-blood. He’s muggle-born. He’ll never be a well-known powerful wizard. Tom Riddle was obsessed with his parentage, as Dumbledore told Harry. He wanted power, and he could never get it from his father’s side. So, imagine his feelings when he discovered that he was the true heir of Salazar Slytherin from his mother’s side? What power could that give him?
That’s why Tom abandoned his real family and sought parentage in Slytherin, a symbolic father. And now, Lord Voldemort was born. Would he ever leave connections with his muggle father?
“You think I was going to use my filthy Muggle father’s name forever? I, in whose veins runs the blood of Salazar Slytherin himself, through my mother’s side? I keep the name of a foul, common Muggle, who abandoned me even before I was born, just because he found out his wife was a witch? No, Harry — I fashioned myself a new name, a name I knew wizards everywhere would one day fear to speak when I had become the greatest sorcerer in the world!” (CoS 314)
Tom’s name change is a symbol. It’s a way of communicating with the world, saying, “I’m the next power, I’m the divine.” Voldemort is a pure-blood, the purest of them all! No one would ever dare say anything else. He thinks that by that, he cleaned the filth of the muggles off him. That’s why he hates muggles because they deprived him of being in power.
The Story of Voldemort and Horcruxes
When Tom was still a child, he used to collect trophies and objects. This is a serial killer pattern. This is, as Dumbledore noted, the first action of Voldemort’s collection of Horcruxes. Voldemort becomes obsessed yet again. He got access to the Dark Arts, he learned everything, he went into depth. What did that cost him? His mortality. Tom used to be handsome. He was tall, thin, and pale, with jet black hair and dark eyes. However, as he got deeper into Dark Arts, he was robbed of his good looks.
He became fearful of death, death is a human weakness! And fear is the biggest motif of a human. He wanted to protect himself, he who came to know and learn everything, does he die? He should not! What if his soul did evaporate, disappear, after his death like a smoke? Would he, after what he had discovered, die and vanish as nothing had happened?
But a foolish professor explained the concept of Horcruxes to him, oh he didn’t know what he had created, the darkest power! This human being, who had no heart, who never understood what love meant, would he care if he killed people in order to live forever? To be or not to be, and Voldemort chose to be very deeply. 7 was the divine number in his belief, 7 is where he’d become unstoppable. 7 Horcruxes, 7 souls, one of which is Harry Potter.
But what does greed do? Destroy. Killing after killing, Voldemort becomes less human. Fate is sarcastic, isn’t it? He was warned, never to make more than one Horcrux. But he wanted more. More means he can protect himself, more means he can kill death. But to run away from death, death comes to you. One night, in the Potter’s house, Voldemort was killed. He who must not be named, who has wrecked the wizarding world, has vanished. Look at his end, what you run away from, will always come back to you. Tom Riddle / Voldemort feared his soul would disappear, and it did. He banished himself from his own body and sought refuge in other wizards’ bodies.
Representing Tom Riddle’s / Voldemort’s Fear in the Words of Plato
“They fear that when the soul leaves the body it no longer exists anywhere, and that on the day when the man dies it is destroyed and perishes, and when it leaves the body and departs from it, straightaway it flies away and is no longer anywhere, scattering like a breath of smoke.”
“But, I think, if when it [the soul, that loves the body] departs from the body it is defiled and impure, because it was always with the body and cared for it and loved it and was fascinated by it and its desires and pleasures, so it thought that nothing was true but the corporeal…”
What does this mean in Voldemort’s case? He has departed from his body, what he fears the most has happened. But did he know anything but himself? In the true world, were his motifs anything but for his own sake? He was selfish and greedy, he was a complete villain. So, what would be his quest now other than to return? To have a corporeal yet again? His definition of life was and will always be physical.
The Movie Culture Synopsis
To end this article, I’d love to say, sometimes you have to study the labyrinth of a human to understand what is truly going on…