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July 13, 2020—When we meet the Tom Riddle of 1943 in Chamber of Secrets, he’s a charming, handsome boy of sixteen whose face masks the evil within. When we meet him in 1992, on the back of another man’s head, his face is “chalk white with glaring red eyes and slits for nostrils, like a snake.” When he appears again in the graveyard at Little Hangleton in 1995, we also see that his hands and fingers are spider-like and that his pupils are slits, like a cat’s.

But how does that transformation from attractive schoolboy to deformed Dark Lord occur? This question was recently posed to me by someone who is rewatching the movies but who has never read the books. I realized that, as the movies never even attempt to address Voldemort’s appearance, others might have the same question. His disturbing looks are not, as the asker put it, “just for evil effect,” though the movies don’t leave you any reason to believe otherwise.

The Horcruxes

Tom Riddle becomes so disfigured primarily because of his Horcruxes. Before his enterprising Dark Arts work, nobody had ever made more than one Horcrux. Voldemort made seven. In the 6th book, Harry actually sees a memory of Voldemort from the time period during which Voldemort has made some, but not all, of his Horcruxes, and we get a glimpse of what he looks like during his physical transition from a handsome man into the monster we know and despise.

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.

As Victoria and I discussed in episode 6 of season 1, the process for making a Horcruxes, though unexplained, is certainly grotesque and horrifying. Either the process of doing such an unthinkable Dark ritual 6 times, the actual loss of most of his soul, or a combination of the two, has marred his appearance to resemble a strange mash-up of animal features rather than a human man.

The Resurrection Ritual

Some also theorize that the ritual used to resurrect him further mars Voldemort’s appearance. This is chiefly because the small temporary body that he uses throughout Goblet of Fire requires that he regularly ingest a potion containing venom from Nagini. Peter Pettigrew finds the task of regularly milking the massive snake for his master’s wellbeing a particularly distasteful one. (Whether Nagini’s status as a former human has any bearing on her usefulness in this potion is unknown.)

Nagini

That small body maintained by snake venom then becomes the basis for Voldemort’s new body. It is dropped into a giant cauldron with the blood, flesh, and bone necessary to complete the ritual and restore Voldemort’s full form.

Because of this, some people attribute his more snake-like qualities to that same ritual. And while I won’t say that the idea is completely outside the realm of possibility, remember that his nose is slitted like a snake’s already when we meet him in Sorcerer’s Stone. And while his slitted pupils are mentioned for the first time post-resurrection, they’re specifically described as cat-like, not snake-like. Lastly, we know that his face is already so horrifying in 1981 that it sends a child running away in terror once he gets a good look at it.

I’m inclined to think that Voldemort’s appearance is the same when he kills James and Lily Potter in 1981 as it is when he emerges from the ritual cauldron 13 years later. And if there are changes, I’d attribute them to his losing more of his soul when Harry becomes a Horcrux than to the influence of snake venom on his resurrection ritual.

What do you think? Are the Horcruxes entirely to blame for Voldemort’s physical deformities, or are there other factors at play?

Written by Taylor, Co-Host of Dwelling on Dreams

Top 3 why does voldemort look the way he does Synthesized by BSS news

Voldemort’s Disfigured Face Explained

  • : looper.com
  • : 02/25/2023
  • : 4.94 (643 vote)
  • : In its place are two reptilian slits that render him profoundly less human in appearance — which is exactly what he wants. How did the man who …

How did voldemort ‘ s face changed | Fandom – Harry Potter Wiki

  • : harrypotter.fandom.com
  • : 03/05/2023
  • : 4.47 (422 vote)
  • : It was because of creation of his horcruxes. His soul got mutilated because of it’s ripping so many times and thus Voldemort grew less human in …
  • : Tom Riddle becomes so disfigured primarily because of his Horcruxes. Before his enterprising Dark Arts work, nobody had ever made more than one Horcrux. Voldemort made seven. In the 6th book, Harry actually sees a memory of Voldemort from the time …

Why does Voldemort look the way he does?

  • : gamefaqs.gamespot.com
  • : 05/08/2023
  • : 4.2 (486 vote)
  • : As mentioned by others, Voldemort’s appearance is the result of mutations from his experiments in the Dark Arts, specifically from splitting his soul so many …
  • : Tom Riddle becomes so disfigured primarily because of his Horcruxes. Before his enterprising Dark Arts work, nobody had ever made more than one Horcrux. Voldemort made seven. In the 6th book, Harry actually sees a memory of Voldemort from the time …

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