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Was Voldermort innocent?


Voldemort - Harry Potter

Who was he? Tom Riddle, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named (that is so annoying to write), and finally, his fabulous villainous wizarding name - Voldemort. Tom Riddle was a gifted student who attended Hogwarts. His intellect and instability led him to leading a dangerous and ultimately unsuccessful attempt to relegate muggles (no wizarding folk) below the magical families of Earth. He was defeated when …. oh no - no spoilers allowed - just in case you’re one of 7 people in the world who don’t know what happens in the story.


Why was he completely villainous? Anybody who leads a group/gang/band/whoop (of gorillas)/conspiracy (of lemurs)/(I’m not making these up. These are real names for groups) rumpus (of baboons) where was I? Anybody who leads such a group of awful people called DEATHEATERS does sound quite villainous. They could have been called flowersingers, but nay, DEATHEATERS. Names can be empty and hollow, but not in the case of the big V. Voldemort led his delightful friends to murder Harry Potter’s parents, try to murder Dumbledore (spoiler alert), wreak havoc on - strangely - just England, and try a great many times to kill a teenage boy and his friends. That sounds rather hideous.


Extenuating circumstances: Voldermort was a bit rotten, but perhaps not totally guilty. As a boy, his mother died in childbirth and his father abandoned him. With such a start in life, who would not be affected? Growing up, he had vast and powerful gifts for magic and attended the most esteemed school of magic in the Wizarding world - Hogwarts. Nevertheless, though his teachers could see he was an orphan (ironically, like Harry Potter), he was not guided down the right path. He was obsessed with becoming acclaimed and famed, but his teachers could have done more. He tried to educate himself across a range of magical fields, eventually learning of horcruxes and seeking to become immortal. Also, what kind of secondary school/high school has books on such dark magic for kids to sneak in and find? Additionally, was Voldemort any different to Grindelwald and Dumbledore? Dumbledore possessed the Elder Wand and had sought similar great power. Is that the right person to guide a young Tom Riddle?


A real world idea:

It looks at the idea of criminality and where criminal acts are forged. Are they from the person or from the society? It could be argued that Tom Riddle was a victim of his own gifts and an absence of love around him. It’s like the bully at school who terrifies everyone around them, but goes home to a lonely and depressing home-life.

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