Voldemort – A sociopathic-narcissist

Voldemort is an iconic villain in the Harry Potter fiction books, released originally as children’s books but have crossed into adult fiction. This has to be part way because of this antagonist, Voldemort, and of how sick and twisted he is. We the readers become aware of this almost immediately when we discover that he is a renowned killer; the most notable murder being that of the protagonist’s (Harry Potter) parents right in front of the boy’s eyes when he was a baby. He also tried to murder Harry Potter as well, but because of Harry’s mother this did not happen. Voldemort’s re-rise to power has been displayed throughout 7 books; the first time we ever actually see him he does not even have his own body, but is leeching life off another, Professor Quirell, and from this first appearance and seemingly humble beginning for the reader, we watch this character evolve into the most evil wizard of all time. The villain has such a huge influence, that he even leads his own cultish army – the ‘Death Eaters’ – who will do his bidding and whatever is asked of them.

The hardest thing to think about with this character is motivation because it is not explicit in the books. Some people might argue that he has no motivation, and is just a character for Harry to fight against. I feel, however, that if you look at the story, you can definitely find motivation. It is obvious to the reader that not only does he want to kill Harry Potter, but other wizards who do not want to follow his dark orders and are not ‘Death Eaters’, along with non-wizards (Muggles) too, denoting no discrimination. Voldemort himself had a terrible childhood, which could explain some of the sociopathic behaviour and the narcissism he seems to suffer from, for example he calls himself ‘Lord Voldemort’ which is self-inferred as he is not actually a lord. I briefly mentioned his cult like followers earlier: the ‘Death Eaters’. One major character, Draco Malfoy, joins the ranks of this cult and takes it upon himself to attempt to kill Dumbledore, the headmaster of ‘Hogwarts’. This shows that Voldemort will take anyone under his wing and his influence will cause someone as young as Draco to be driven to kill one of the most important wizards of all time. Bellatrix Lastrange, one of Voldemort’s longest running ‘Death Eaters’ also caused another major character’s parents’ to suffer an awful fate; so it could be said that Voldemort is like a type of propaganda machine for getting his ‘Death Eaters’ to do all his evil bidding. So Voldemort as a sociopath, narcissist, and a figure with as much power and fearful influence as propaganda is why I feel Voldemort does have motivation and is a truly iconic villain. All of his actions could plausibly be to please his own mental illnesses and possible issues of inner turmoil; you just have to look at the character as a whole in a wider context, not just judge based upon face value.

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