As the primary antagonist of one of the most popular fiction books, and subsequent film series of all time, people of all ages know the name Lord Voldemort is synonymous for "evil." But even as the famed villain in the Harry Potter universe, he is still a complicated character that can be difficult to understand.
If you are an avid fan of the books, many of these facts won't come as a surprise, but if you've only enjoyed the series from seeing it on the screen, there are some things that the movies didn't have the time to cover.
Here are 23 facts about Tom Riddle/Lord Voldemort that you may not have known if you haven't read the books:
1. Tom Marvolo Riddle was born on December 31, 1926 in an orphanage.
Meaning he was born just two years earlier than Rubeus Hagrid!
2. He was a direct descendent of Salazar Slytherin on his mother's side.
3. He was also a half-blood after his mother, Merope Gaunt, used a love potion to seduce his Muggle father, Tom Riddle Sr.
4. Once she was pregnant, Merope stopped using the potion in the hopes that he had really fallen in love with her.
After her love spell was broken, Tom Sr. abandoned his pregnant wife.
5. Since he was conceived under a love potion, he was unable to ever truly understand love.
6. His "filthy Muggle" father's abandonment is what led to Lord Voldemort's hatred of Muggles.
The only way this may have changed would have been if his mother, Merope Gaunt, had survived and raised him in a loving way.
7. Despite being a highly complicated and dangerous process, Tom Riddle made his first Horcrux at just 16 years old.
8. He murdered his Muggle father, grandfather, and grandmother and framed his wizard uncle when he was still a student.
Tom Riddle then used a charm to alter his uncle Morfin Gaunt's memory to keep the Ministry of Magic from finding out it was him.
9. Although he was an odd boy, he was extremely studious, good looking, and charming while he was a student.
10. Tom Riddle graduated Hogwarts as Head Boy, received a Medal for Magical Merit, and was considered by many to be one of the most brilliant students to ever attend the school.
11. After graduation he asked to stay at Hogwarts and teach Defense Against the Dark Arts.
He was turned down by the Headmaster at the time for being too young. Dumbledore later convinced him to never hire Tom Riddle.
12. Even though he was offered a few positions at the Ministry of Magic, he instead decided to work at Borgin and Burkes.
He would convince witches and wizards to sell him their magical heirlooms. With his charming and conniving personality, this was an easy task.
13. He was turned down by Dumbledore for the position of Defense Against the Dark Arts professor for a second time.
He cursed the job title it so that professors would only last one year
14. Sirius Black’s brother, Regulus Black, was a young Death Eater who died in an effort to destroy one of Voldemort’s Horcruxes. Voldemort never found out about his betrayal.
15. Despite being a pure-blood supremacist, if a non-pure-blood witch or wizard showed true talent he would allow them to become a Death Eater.
Even though Lily Evans was Muggle born, he would have let her join his ranks and let her serve him.
16. When his physical form was destroyed from his attempt to kill Harry, his soul would inhabit snakes.
He hated this because the snakes were less than desirable for performing magic and his ghostly form shortened the host’s lifespan.
17. Voldemort tasked Draco Malfoy to kill Albus Dumbledore because he assumed he couldn’t do it.
As punishment for Lucius Malfoy’s shortcomings, he assigned Draco to be the one to kill Albus Dumbledore in the hopes that he would fail. This would give him a good enough reason to hurt, or possibly kill, Draco for failing.
18. If Lord Voldemort were to look into the Mirror of Erised he would just see himself, immortal and all powerful.
19. The night he killed Lily and James Potter, Voldemort had an uncharacteristic act of mercy.
He refrained from killing a Muggle child who complimented his “Halloween costume”because he felt the child’s murder would be "unnecessary."
20. Despite the magical law stating only charmed objects could fly, Voldemort mastered the art of broom-less flying and was able to teach it to Professor Snape.
21. Voldemort feared death as saw it as a human weakness that he was above.
Since Harry was willing and able accept his own mortality, it ultimately made him stronger than Voldemort.
22. Voldemort’s Boggart would be his own corpse
23. Lord Voldemort died at the age age 71 on May 2, 1998.
Surprisingly, these are only 23 of many lesser-known facts about the villainous wizard that is Lord Voldemort. If I left anything out that you'd like to add, please feel free to share it in the comments section below!