Study Guide

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Tom Riddle (Christian Coulson)

Tom Riddle (Christian Coulson)

Okay, so Tom Riddle is—big reveal—Lord Voldemort. His full name is actually Tom Marvolo Riddle and we're guessing he went through quite a bit of parchment before he came up with that "I Am Lord Voldemort" anagram.

Totally worth it though, because that was a slick reveal in the Chamber of Secrets.

Meeting the young Voldemort in this movie is interesting because we get to see how the darkest of dark wizards operated before anyone knew how terrible he was. We've gotta admit, the kid is pretty smooth.

Sixteen-year-old Tom Riddle is a Slytherin prefect who appears poised, handsome, and persuasive. When he frames Hagrid for opening the Chamber of Secrets, everyone seems ready to believe exactly what Tom says. (Everyone except Dumbledore, that is.) Yes, Tom Riddle is up to some seriously dark magic. He's murdered another student but he's got the staff at Hogwarts thinking he's an angel.

Not only is this guy a master manipulator, he also lacks any remorse for what he's done. Just look at this conversation he has with Dumbledore after Myrtle is found dead in the bathroom:

ALBUS DUMBLEDORE: It is not wise to be wandering around this late hour, Tom.

TOM RIDDLE: Yes, professor. I suppose I... I had to see for myself if the rumors were true.

ALBUS DUMBLEDORE: I'm afraid they are, Tom. They are true.

TOM RIDDLE: About the school as well? I don't have a home to go to. They wouldn't really close Hogwarts, would they, professor?

ALBUS DUMBLEDORE: I understand, Tom, but I'm afraid Headmaster Dippet may have no choice.

TOM RIDDLE: Sir, if it all stopped, if the person responsible was caught...

ALBUS DUMBLEDORE: Is there something you wish to tell me?

TOM RIDDLE: No, sir. Nothing.

You've got to admit this is a pretty stone-cold conversation. A girl has just been murdered and Tom's main concern is whether or not he's going to have to leave Hogwarts. What did he think would happen? They'd leave the school open so he could take out the Muggle-borns one by one? Come on, Tom.

We also get another tidbit about Voldemort's background in this movie. Tom Riddle mentions that he changed his name because he didn't want to keep his "filthy Muggle father's name." Ah, so the great Lord Voldemort's not a pure-blood wizard, is he?

Sure, Voldemort hates Muggles, but it's clear that's he's also not super into the whole wizarding blood feud that people like the Malfoys are fighting. Sure, Voldemort will use those people as his followers but, in the end, "killing Mudbloods doesn't matter to [him] anymore." He's more worried about his own personal power.

Killing Harry Potter is totally his to-do list though. He came so close this time. Maybe next movie, Voldy!

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