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About Lord Voldemort, the Most Powerful Dark Wizard in Harry Potter’s Series

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J.K. Rowling is one of the best known authors this generation has seen in many years. Her imaginative stories tell the tale of a magical realm full of wizards and witches. One of her most famous series, Harry Potter, deals with a ruthless and frightening antagonist: Lord Voldemort. In this captivating story, Harry Potter must undergo traumatic and life altering experiences to successfully beat the Dark Lord.

Before Lord Voldemort became the most powerful dark wizard, he first went by the name Tom Marvolo Riddle and was born December 31, 1926. His mother, Merope Gaunt, was a witch while his father, Tom Riddle Sr, was a muggle which is known as a non-magic individual. It is said in this story that Tom’s father left his mother before he was born and his mother soon passed after his birth. Tom was then placed into an orphanage, unaware of his magical abilities. However, as Tom got older he realized he possessed magic and from a young age learned how to harness it. He also could speak Parseltongue which in the wizarding world is the ability to speak to snakes. While in the orphanage, he never used his power for good and often would scare and threaten the other children there. At age eleven, Tom met Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. This is where Dumbledore convinced Tom to attend and harness his power for good, even though he did not. He was said to be liked among the staff and students but never truly had “real” friends. He seemed emotionless towards people and of the “friends” he had he would manipulate them into doing horrible deeds. Later on in his life, Tom became obsessed with finding out who his father was and assumed he was a wizard. After finding out the truth, Tom was ashamed of his family’s lineage and took the name Lord Voldemort to disassociate himself from heritage.

Throughout the years, Voldemort killed many people and most were mudbloods. These were people who were muggle born witches and wizards with no sign of magical background. Voldemort also began creating seven Horcruxes out of several different objects while also killing seven people in the process. Since Voldemort split his soul into seven different pieces he lost all his human qualities and began to look abnormal, resembling a snake. He spent the next decade gathering powerful witches and wizards and formed the “Death Eaters.” These individuals believed they were the dominant group against Muggles and Muggle born. Death Eaters also only used dark magic and tried to recruit other mythical creatures such as vampires and giants. As the years passed, Voldemort continued to kill, not having a shred of guilt. He started a war between the light and dark wizards which went on for the next eleven years. Until Voldemort’s attempt to kill Harry Potter as a child failed and he became incredibly weak.

After losing his power, Voldemort went into hiding and failed to regain it until one of his faithful servants helped bring him back to full power. He became obsessed with trying to kill Harry and had many attempts but never succeeded. Voldemort then began to lose his power once Harry started destroying Horcruxes. Eventually, Harry killed Voldemort in their final battle at Hogwarts.

Based on the DSM-5, Lord Voldemort displays signs of Antisocial Personality Disorder. In the series, Voldemort is a highly intelligent individual and powerful. With his power, comes evil and he is mainly driven by the power he receives. He is also described as being charming, cruel, and full of darkness. He uses people for personal gain and never shows any love or affection towards anyone. He also is obsessed with power and used dark magic to obtain it. Voldemort displays these characteristics because of his traumatic childhood.

Growing up, Voldemort denied his social norms and did illegal acts with his friends. Little is known about what these acts were but it was established that they were illegal. He kills without a thought or care, showing that he has no forms of normal reactions. He is emotionless and deceitful. He lies to get what he wants and sacrifices those who will get in his way. One diagnostic criteria of a person with Antisocial Personality Disorder is that they generally fail to plan ahead. Throughout the books and movies, it is clear that Voldemort acts irrationally and never thinks before he acts. During the “Battle at Hogwarts,” he sends his army in first with no sign of motive except to kill everyone who gets in their way. Across the story, the motive that is driving Voldemort is his need for power. In the story, Harry denies him that power and steps in the way of him becoming the most powerful Dark Lord.

On his journey for more power, he shows sign of aggressiveness and recklessness. Voldemort has no regards for the safety of others since he usually will kill anyone that tries to stop him. During the movie “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt. 2,” he states that “On this night, you [Harry] have allowed your friends to die for you, rather than face me yourself. There is no greater dishonor.” Here, Voldemort states that instead of fighting only himself and Harry, Harry choose to let his loved ones fight alongside him. However, Voldemort also gathered an army to defeat Harry’s and killed many in the process of finding Harry. If Voldemort wanted Harry all along, he would not have killed others and instead only killed him. During this scene, Voldemort also states, “Join me in the Forbidden Forest, and confront your fate. If you do not do this, I shall kill every last man, woman, and child who tries to conceal you from me.” In this scene, Voldemort again displays that he is a ruthless killer and will stop at nothing until he gets what he wants.

Another diagnostic criteria for those with Antisocial Personality Disorder is their lack of remorse. Throughout the entire series, there is never one book that does not have Voldemort killing something or someone. As he was claiming his Death Eater army, he killed those witches and wizards who refused to join him for his cause to take over the Muggle borns. He even attempted to kill Harry as a young child, after already killing his parents right in front of him. He has no sign of guilt and only cares about his power. During the fourth film, Voldemort traps Harry and his friend Cedric in a graveyard. Before he gains his power back, Voldemort tells his faithful servant to kill Cedric, having no motive at all. He simply does not care and therefore the servant kills him.

During Voldemort’s early childhood, he developed a pattern of disregard. He never followed any social norms and tormented many in the orphanage. However, while he attended Hogwarts he gave the impression that he did care. Voldemort would often “charm” the students and professors, making them believe he was a trusting student. He often manipulated those who he deemed “friends” and made them do terrible things. In the Sorcerer’s Stone, Olivander stated that “He [Voldemort] did terrible things, but great.” Later on, Olivander would aid Voldemort in the hunt for the Elder Wand which would make him the most powerful wizard of all. But in doing so, he sent one of his followers to kill the owner of the Elder Wand, that being Dumbledore. The one person who tried to help and remedy Voldemort’s darkness, instead he killed him.

Those individuals who have antisocial personality disorder lack empathy as well. It is evident that Voldemort lacks empathy since he never forms true relationships. Instead, he has “followers” who praise him and refer to him as “Lord.” Due to his heritage, he also changed his name believing that he is better than a Mudblood. When he lived in the orphanage, he also believed his magical powers made him better than others and therefore abused the other children. This can also be seen by those who have this disorder.

There are few individuals who seek medical attention for antisocial personality disorder. Those who do seek care do so in order to remedy a problem whether it be drug or alcohol abuse. People who do seek help could be offered an evaluation and treatment. They could be offered a variety of different services including medication, psychotherapy, and counseling. However, since Voldemort is a harmful person, he would need hospital care as well. The best form of treatment for Voldemort should be psychotherapy. During psychotherapy, the main goal is for Voldemort to acknowledge his nature and understand the consequences of his disorder. Therefore, he would be able to control his ruthless, manipulative, and deceptive behaviors. Also psychotherapy should bring light upon his traumatic childhood and his emotionless behavior towards others.

Lord Voldemort or Tom Riddle was a very power driven wizard. He went against his societies beliefs and formed a deadly group whose main goal was to take over the Muggle and wizarding world. He sought power and darkness and with that he lost everything. From his traumatic childhood and early adolescence, he displayed signs of antisocial personality disorder. Voldemort showed no love or emotions for others and killed without remorse. He deceived and manipulated many people when he tried to gain power. But also he showed charm and other likeable characteristics. He made it seem as if he was the “purest” wizard when in actuality he was the scariest wizard of all. He lied and tortured many all for the sake of his power, which he truly never possessed.

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