Hey everyone, Welcome to another installment of Harry Potter Theory. In today’s theory, we’re going to be discussing Tom Riddle, Horcruxes, Lord Voldemort and the properties of Dark Magic. More specificall, we’re going to be discussing the ravaging effects that Horcruxes had on Tom Riddl, both on his appearance and on his soul. What truly prompted him to become ‘Voldemort’? And, what happened to his nose? How did he go from possessing human-features to snake-like features and, eventually, no recognizable features at all? In the Half-Blood Prince, Harry gasps at what becomes of the once handsome ‘Tom Riddle’- entirely unsure of what he has become: “Harry let out a hastily stifled gasp.
Voldemort had entered the room. His features were not those Harry had seen emerge from the great stone cauldron almost two years ago: They were not as snake-like, the eyes were not yet scarlet, the face not yet masklike, and yet he was no longer handsome Tom Riddle. It was as though his features had been burned and blurred; they were waxy and oddly distorted, and the whites of the eyes now had a permanently bloody look, though the pupils were not yet the slits that Harry knew they would become.
He was wearing a long black cloak, and his face was as pale as the snow glistening on his shoulders. ” Let’s dive in to the destruction of Voldemort: Before we get starte, let’s just clear up exactly what a Horcrux i, since they’re pretty vital to the rest of the theory. Essentially, a horcrux is an object in which a dark witch or wizard has imbued part of their soul. The purpose of which is to achieve immortality. “Well, you split your soul, you see, and hide part of it in an object outside the body.
Then, even if one's body is attacked or destroyed, one cannot die, for part of the soul remains earthbound and undamaged. " Horcruxes were considered to be one of the most vile pieces of dark magi, and the very topic of a Horcrux was so ‘taboo’ that very few witches and wizards (even in the darker sphere) ever even knew of their existence. Those who did know, on the other hand, were smart enough not to discuss them any further. Well, I guess with the exception of Horace Slughorn.
Books DEDICATED to dark magic like ‘Magick Most Evile’ blatantly refused to speak on Horcruxes, which should be a testament to JUST how bad they were: “Of the Horcrux, wickedest of magical inventions, we shall not speak nor give direction —" In fact, the only book in the wizarding world with ANY kind of proper information on Horcruxes was a book entitled “Secrets of the Darkest Art’ which was hidden away in Dumbledore’s office. The book, bound in faded black leather with accents of purple, gave explicit instructions on HOW horcruxes were made, HOW to destroy them, and HOW creating one can effect you. The book, however, only discusses the consequences of creating ONE horcrux, and in this respec, Voldemort took things MUCH further.
In this regard, Voldemort’s achievements and the various outcomes (good and bad) that came from creating MULTIPLE Horcruxes were entirely unprecedented. No one could have reasonably predicted what Horcrux creation would have done to his body and min, as it had never been done in this sort of scale before. This brings us to the young, impressionable Tom Riddl, the orphan that tragically, never quite stood a chance. In the Half-Blood Prince, we’re taken all the way back to 1938, where we see a much younger, sprier Dumbledore visiting a troubled-looking young boy in an orphanage, who is sitting alone in the corner of the room.
Other than an uncomfortable looking expression on his face (no doubt concealing a myriad of emotions) he looked like any other little boy, and would have blended right in with the other orphans to any kind of passerby. At least, that would be your first impression, but if you stuck around for any reasonable amount of tim, you would have seen first hand that young Tom Riddle was NOT like the other children, and I’m not just talking about the fact that he was magical. You see, young Tom loved to torment the other orphans.
He was an exceedingly hostile young boy, processing and concealing all sorts of emotions and inner-turmoil that the rest of the world knew not. Tom himself didn’t understand what was wrong with him, but he always knew he was differen, and he knew that he needed to make an impression on the world. After his introduction to Dumbledore, he’s invited to Hogwarts school, where he quickly becomes a shining pupi, an innately talented wizard with a passion for knowledg, all driven by the pursuit for power. After spending some time at Hogwarts a young Tom Riddle would eventually come to befriend professor Horace Slughorn, Riddle’s (then) potions professor. Slughorn had a tendency to choose favourites from his classes, He had a keen eye for identifying if someone would go on to achieve greatness in some capacity, and would always take great pride in their accomplishments.
Usually, at least. If you were close with Slughorn, he would tell you anything, and that’s probably why on one occasio, after just the right amount of manipulation and flattery from Riddle, he provided him with pivotal information on Horcruxe, the very form of magic that was instrumental in Voldemort’s rise to power. This was the beginning of the end for Riddl, as from this point onward he now possessed the necessary information to curse his soul, mind and bod, all in the needless pursuit of power. With this new information, Riddle embarked on his journey of creating Horcruxes, and from that moment on he started to de-humanize himself both physically and mentall, gradually slipping and moving even further away from the man that he once was. Because of his Horcruxes, Voldemort couldn’t di, he was tethered to the world through these objects.
But, that certainly didn’t mean that Voldemort was truly aliv, he had a cursed existence. "I believe that Voldemort is now so immersed in evil, and these crucial parts of himself have been detached for so long, he does not feel as we do. " So, what exactly does dark magic DO to you? Why does it change your appearance? What happened to Voldemort? Well, in essenc, Voldemort’s appearance changed because of the actions that he undertook.
Every time he murdered someone, every time he cast unforgivable curses, and every time he created a horcru, he tore his soul apart even further, which made him become less human, and more monster. It wasn’t just Horcruxes that altered Tom Riddl, it was the combination of everythin, living an evil existence with nothing but the wrong intentions. Voldemort didn’t turn in to the monster that he was overnight (at least not physically), it was a gradual process that occurred over years of performing dark deeds.
For example, there is a moment where Dumbledore shows Harry a memory of Voldemort after he resurfaced. This was after he had disappeared for ten years. He came back to Hogwarts to hide the Ravenclaw Horcrux and to ask Dumbledore, who was newly appointed as headmaster, for the Defence Against the Dark Arts position.
At this point it’s made clear that Tom Riddle’s appearance had drastically changed. No, he wasn’t white-skinned with no nose, but he wasn’t the handsome boy that he once was. He had clearly begun to spiral down the dark descent in to the unnatural horrors that dark magic can bring. Basically, with each Horcrux that he create, Voldemort became paler, more snakelike, and less human. Dumbledore felt that one of the main contributing factors in the degradation of his appearance was the damage that he had done to his soul: "Yet it fitted: Lord Voldemort had seemed to grow less human with the passing years, and the transformation he had undergone seemed to me to be only explicable if his soul was mutilated beyond the realms of what we might call usual evil.
. . " And we see a perfect example of this in the afterlife, after Harry’s encounter with Voldemort in the forbidden forest: “Harry turned slowly on the spot, and his surroundings seemed to invent themselves before his eyes. He had spotted the thing that was making the noises. It had the form of a small, naked child, curled on the ground, its skin raw and rough, flayed-looking, and it lay shuddering under a seat where it had been left, unwanted, stuffed out of sight, struggling for breath.
” Harry was met with the last piece of soul that Voldemort possesse, a damaged, tormented representation of what dark magic can do to a person. Voldemort lived a cursed life where he would routinely rip his own soul apart in pursuit of immortality, and such acts come at a great cost. The pathetic, wriggling child squirming along the floor, was all that was left of Voldemort’s soul. In conclusion, there’s no ONE spell or one action that one can take in order to change their appearance in the way that Voldemort did. It takes a lifetime of dedication to dark arts and dark deed, that’s the only way one could possibly expect to recreate the unprecedented horrors achieved by Lord Voldemort.