15 Unbelievable Facts That’d Change Your Views About Tom Riddle (Not Voldemort)
Voldemort, the antagonist from the Harry Potter series, is one of our culture’s Big Bads thanks to his facile ascension to that position. Voldemort was able to compete with other powerful characters, like Darth Vader, in the hearts of fans. He appeared just as terrifying as he was, with a reptile face that suggested his blood ran ice-cold. This was helpful. And as he emerges from near-death to once again wreck terrible havoc on the wizarding world throughout the course of the book, his evil scheme begins to take shape.
Even though Lord Voldemort’s malice is evident throughout the narrative, many fans are unaware of his lowly beginnings, when he was simply known as “Tom Riddle.” The last name is fitting as well, as his early years—always marked by torture, murder, and seduction—proved him to be a baffling puzzle that no one—not even Dumbledore—could fully solve before it was too late.
Added by Stuart Kilmartin on April 21st, 2022: With the recent Return to Hogwarts reunion special honouring Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’s 20th anniversary, it has been twenty years since viewers first saw Voldemort, the Dark Lord of the wizarding world. Young Tom Marvolo Riddle’s biography and motives were explored across the eight Harry Potter films as he was portrayed by a variety of actors during a variety of various time periods in the Harry Potter timeline. Despite this, the movies omitted a lot of information while examining Tom Riddle’s past and the causes of his turn to evil.
Table Of Content
- 1 A Man Of Many Faces
- 2 He’s A Half-Blood
- 3 He Assembled The First Death Eaters At A Young Age
- 4 He Became A Teenage Serial Killer
- 5 He Comes From A Family That Practiced Inbreeding
- 6 He Could Manipulate All Teachers, Except Dumbledore
- 7 He Had A Terrible Day Job
- 8 He Spent Summers Torturing Orphans
- 9 He Was A Kleptomaniac
- 10 He Was A Prefect At Hogwarts
- 11 He Was A Teacher’s Pet
- 12 He’s Harry’s Cousin
- 13 His Mother Died Of A Broken Heart
- 14 His Mother Seduced His Father With A Love Potion
- 15 Young Tom Riddle Was Quite Attractive
A Man Of Many Faces
The Harry Potter films have provided us with numerous views of the young Tom Riddle’s appearance over the years. Although the basic elements of his appearance—black hair, dark eyes, and a dark lord—remain the same, Voldemort has been portrayed by no fewer than three young actors and two actors who represent his more senior form. One of those performers had a really unique bond with the more experienced Voldemort.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets featured Tom Riddle for the first time on screen. Christian Coulson, who was 23 at the time, played him in the film. The potential evil wizard was next seen in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. In the film, two actors played the part of Tom Riddle: the older Tom Riddle (the one who tricked Professor Slughorn into divulging the Horcruxes’ secrets) was portrayed by Frank Dillane, who was 16 at the time. Hero Fiennes-Tiffin portrayed the young Tom Riddle in that film. Ralph Fiennes, who played Voldemort, has a nephew named this young man. Director David Yates stated that the young actor was hired because he resembled a young Ralph Fiennes rather than because of any family ties.
He’s A Half-Blood
One of Tom Riddle’s major obsessions when he rose to power as Voldemort was the purported “purity” of wizards. He detested “half-bloods” and “mudbloods,” or wizards without magical ancestry (those who had one magical parent and one non-magical parent). Ironically, young Tom Riddle was a half-blood himself, so this is all the more ironic!
When it comes to the parents of little Tom Riddle, his father was a Muggle who had fallen victim to Merope’s love potion, while his mother, Merope Gaunt, was a wizard who passed away just after giving birth to Tom. When Tom Riddle learned that he had a mixed ancestry, he was upset and, as Voldemort, he would essentially deny it. Later in life, he would publicly rail against anyone without pure wizarding blood and claim to be a pure-blooded descendent of Salazar Slytherin. Considering how many people would later swarm around the “pure blood” banner being held high by Tom Riddle, half-blood, all of this is darkly humorous!
He Assembled The First Death Eaters At A Young Age
One of the worst events in the Harry Potter story was, in many ways, the creation of the Death Eaters. Even though Voldemort was strong and menacing, his legion of devotees was evidence of how alluring his toxic beliefs were. Additionally, the Death Eater masks concealed their identities before they were out in the open, leaving wizards to constantly live in fear that a loved one might be spying for Voldemort. These individuals rose to prominence in the wizarding community (such as Lucius Malfoy), yet they began as Tom Riddle’s “friends.”
Tom Riddle gathered a team of Slytherin bullies to serve as his buddies and allies while he was a student at Hogwarts. Tom wasn’t really anyone’s friend, but as the head of these goons, he gained more authority. Young Tom was likewise able to control events without being directly involved because doing so would have damaged his reputation as a “model student.” Numerous members of this group were eager to utilise their growing influence and power to topple the Ministry of Magic and seize complete control of the wizarding world when Tom Riddle founded the first Death Eaters years later.
He Became A Teenage Serial Killer
Tom Riddle was indignant when he finally learned that he was a half-blood. It happened when he ran into his uncle, Morfin Gaunt, while doing research on his mother’s ancestry. Morfin remarked on how much Tom resembled “that Muggle,” alluding to Tom’s father. When Tom Riddle found it was accurate, he shocked Morfin, took his wand, and then killed his father as well as his grandparents.
While the crime was certainly gruesome, Tom Riddle also displayed another trait common to serial killers: a need to brag about his accomplishments. He ultimately succeeded in framing Morfin for the murders by altering his memory (resulting in Morfin’s lifelong imprisonment in Azkaban) and robbing him of a family signet ring. As a secret reminder of his awful deeds, Riddle openly wore this ring around Hogwarts as his second Horcrux. These murders served as part of his continual effort to conceal his modest origins in a way that made it easier to later imply that he was pure-blooded.
He Comes From A Family That Practiced Inbreeding
The fact that Tom Riddle originates from an inbred family is another factor in his obsession with the genetic makeup of wizards. As the only remaining member of the House of Gaunt, Tom Riddle’s subsequent life was foreshadowed by the family’s past, which had numerous members who were either insane, vicious, or both. This was a product of inbreeding, and Salazar Slytherin is an interesting character who is accountable for this distorted familial concept of magical purity.
Naturally, Slytherin held a firm belief in the purity of wizard blood. In order to preserve the purity of their ancestors’ blood, his descendants (like the Gaunts) chose to marry their cousins rather than mix with lower-class wizards. It turns out that no amount of wizardry can stop the impacts of generations of inbreeding from wreaking havoc on the family line. Despite the fact that his substantial mental instability may have been influenced by the family’s history of inbreeding, Tom Riddle was incredibly lucky to have such wonderful looks.
He Could Manipulate All Teachers, Except Dumbledore
The more information that is revealed about Tom Riddle’s early years, the more peculiar it appears that no one at Hogwarts ever learned of his horrible crimes. After all, he spent his early years organising potential killers, tormenting orphans, and killing family members. How then did a young Tom Riddle manage to deceive some of the brightest faculty and staff at Hogwarts?
The straightforward response is that the Hogwarts faculty and staff were only human, despite their amazing magical abilities. Although it was all an act and Riddle was secretly utilising this time to acquire secrets and strengthen his power, to them, Tom Riddle was a poor youngster who excelled in all of his subjects and made a good impression on all of his professors. Unsurprisingly, Dumbledore was the only person who consistently appeared to be able to see through the deception. When they first met, Dumbledore had witnessed the child who tortured, stole, and utterly misused his powers—the real Tom Riddle. Dumbledore never truly trusted Tom as a result, and Tom never even made an effort to gain Dumbledore’s trust. One of the many reasons Tom Riddle was so afraid of Dumbledore later in life was because of Dumbledore’s understanding of Riddle’s actual nature and lowly beginnings.
He Had A Terrible Day Job
Later, Voldemort would repeatedly put the entire wizarding community in danger. It would have been accurate to claim that he was one of, if not the most powerful person in the world, at any given time. But everyone has to start somewhere, and before Tom Riddle was posing a danger to global dominance, he was simply another member of the wizarding workforce.
Tom Riddle used to work at the magical store Borgin and Burke’s when he was a teenager. He was essentially a sales assistant who also served as a clerk and a salesman. He was actually quite competent at his work, assisting his employers in obtaining some spectacular and extremely rare magical artefacts. Of course, being Tom Riddle, he had a hidden agenda. He was able to use this to track down several potent artefacts, like Helga Hufflepuff’s Cup and the Slytherin Locket, which he would later turn into Horcruxes.
He Spent Summers Torturing Orphans
Young Tom Riddle began off very modestly, but as he matured, he would wield the entire might of the magical realm to torture and murder his adversaries. In actuality, the youngsters in the orphanage where he was raised were his first true victims. He spent years torturing them, and every time he visited the orphanage during the summer, he brought with him a legacy of fear due to what he had done.
His most notorious actions included torturing a couple of orphans by taking them to a cave and performing terrible acts there as well as hanging a boy’s beloved rabbit from the rafters. Sometimes he merely moved things around and whispered to snakes to spook and frighten others around him. Even if none of this comes close to what Lord Voldemort would do to the world, it shows how Tom Riddle developed a taste for other people’s suffering very early in life.
He Was A Kleptomaniac
In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter is shown carrying one of Voldemort’s horcruxes.
Harry Potter fans frequently concentrate on Tom Riddle’s most extreme antisocial characteristics. Consider all the manipulation, torturing, and killing. He was a thief and a kleptomaniac, though, which was a peculiar behaviour that had emerged early in life and that Dumbledore had called him out on.
Tom Riddle spent his summers away from Hogwarts in an orphanage because he was reared there, which was awful. In his early years in the orphanage, he enjoyed robbing other orphans and hiding their belongings in his cupboard. Dumbledore made Tom return everything to the orphans when he first visited him and cautioned him that stealing was not permitted at Hogwarts. Tom improved his cunning, but he never fully gave up stealing. He killed Hepzibah Smith to obtain the Slytherin Locket and Hufflepuff Cup, which Voldemort would later select as his Horcruxes, and he also took the Gaunt family crest.
He Was A Prefect At Hogwarts
Tom Riddle’s unexpected tenure at Hogwarts included, among other things, his appointment as a Prefect. Because there are only occasionally approximately six Prefects in each house, this is an extremely significant student position in the Hogwarts universe. Additionally, these Prefects have additional rights and obligations, thus acting as an extension of the professors’ power. Fans don’t know much about Tom Riddle’s time as a prefect, but he seems to associate it with how he seemed to all of the school’s professors, calling himself a “model student” and “very fearless.” As with everything else, however, this was only a ploy he used to gain the respect and loyalty of his peers as well as his teachers.
It also enhanced his access to Hogwarts, which young Tom believed to be his actual home and where one of the main reasons for his repeated attempts to become a professor there was his desire to keep discovering the mysteries concealed behind its walls.
He Was A Teacher’s Pet
It’s safe to conclude that Voldemort struggled with authority later in life. After all, he fought against authorities like the Ministry of Magic and figures of authority like Dumbledore, and he wasn’t content until he put himself and his allies in positions of authority. The fact that young Tom Riddle was a teacher’s favourite while attending Hogwarts is all the more unexpected in light of this. The fact that he became great friends with Professor Slughorn and was invited to join the so-called “Slug Club” with other deserving students who Slughorn believed would go on to have a significant impact on the world is perhaps the best indication of this.
To be sure, Tom Riddle had a purpose behind everything he did, and his close relationship with Slughorn was primarily motivated by his desire to learn illegal information from the man. This included understanding the operation of Horcruxes, which turned out to be an important component of Riddle’s future plans as Lord Voldemort.
He’s Harry’s Cousin
Voldemort and Harry become sworn adversaries throughout the Harry Potter books. Harry stands out as Voldemort’s greatest threat to his plans to rule the world. The fact that Tom Riddle and Harry Potter are linked to one another, though, is what makes this situation so ironic.
Fair enough, it’s a rather remote connection, but it’s all connected to the Deathly Hallows tale. The three brothers—Antioch, Cadmus, and Ignotus—of the Peverell family line were the subjects of that tale. Tom Riddle is linked to the second brother, Cadmus, while Harry’s father, James, was related to the third brother, Ignotus (the one who receives the invisibility cloak) (the one who gets the resurrection stone). As a result, despite being on a collision course that would have been fatal, Harry and Voldemort are actually distant cousins.
His Mother Died Of A Broken Heart
Voldemort and Luke Skywalker had an odd similarity in that their mothers both passed away from shattered hearts. In the instance of the mother of young Tom Riddle, she passed away following a protracted depressive episode that depleted both her will to live and her ability to utilise magic.
She had no real connection to Tom Riddle’s father, as was previously stated. She used a love potion to win his devotion and kept dosing him with it throughout the majority of their marriage. He fled after she stopped giving him drugs and essentially took all of their money with him. She consequently became destitute and unhappy and wasn’t even ready to employ magic to save her life. She gave birth to Tom Riddle, handed him off at an orphanage, gave him his name, and then passed away an hour later.
His Mother Seduced His Father With A Love Potion
As was previously established, Tom Riddle’s mother used a love potion to entice Tom’s wealthy Muggle father. The unfortunate fact is that Tom Riddle’s mother committed a terrible crime, despite the fact that some fans may dismiss this as just another instance of wizardry in the Harry Potter universe. Tom was formed as a result of her using magic to persuade a man against his will to be with her. Even more ominous, young Tom Riddle may have been doomed, according to J.K. Rowling.
This made it more difficult for Tom to comprehend love, which is why he frequently disagreed with Dumbledore about the notion that love was the most potent form of magic. The older Voldemort would not have misjudged the love Harry’s parents had for their son—a love that in the end saved Harry’s life—had his mother not employed that love potion. But Tom Riddle might not have turned evil in the first place if he hadn’t come from a loveless union.
Young Tom Riddle Was Quite Attractive
Most fans end up picturing Tom Riddle as Lord Voldemort when they try to picture him. Voldemort’s body has a lot of startling features, such as his snake-like appearance, pale complexion, and noseless face. This makes the fact that young Tom Riddle wasn’t the horrific being his elder self would develop into all the more startling.
Tom Riddle turned out to be tall and attractive, with dark hair and mesmerising dark eyes, despite the dubious genetics of his family line. One way he attracted members of the Death Eaters and managed to deceive most of his teachers was by using his attractiveness as a recruiting tool. It’s also how Voldemort was able to seduce young Ginny Weasley in the Chamber of Secrets; he used his journal to assume the persona of a brooding younger version and coax Ginny into doing terrible things.
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