Tom Riddle, also known as Lord Voldemort, spent 11 years in an orphanage. His father Tom Riddle, Sr, abandoned him after learning his mother was a witch. His mother, Merope Gaunt, died during childbirth. When Tom was eleven, Professor Albus Dumbledore brought him to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Tom Riddle: The Hogwarts Years
Tom Riddle is easily the most brilliant student Hogwart has ever seen. He’s also a bully and a manipulator. While a student at Hogwarts, he opens the Chamber of Secrets, unleashing the monster within, a basilisk. The large snake kills a student named Myrtle, later known as Moaning Myrtle, the ghost that haunts a girl’s lavatory. Riddle frames Rubeus Hagrid, a half-warlock, half-giant, for the murder and Hagrid is expelled from Hogwarts. Though he’s able to stay on as the Hogwarts groundskeeper, he’s never to perform magic again.
Soon Riddle takes the letters of his name, Tom Marvolo Riddle, to create the anagram, “I am Lord Voldemort.” Though most won’t call him this for years, his close friends call him “Lord Voldemort” at his urging. While on summer break, Voldemort finds his father and kills him and his grandparents and frames his uncle for the murders.
After graduating from Hogwarts, Voldemort practices to become a great, dark wizard. He murders Hepzibah Smith to obtain two irreplaceable artifacts, Salazar Slytherin’s locket and the Hufflepuff Cup.
While practicing the dark arts, Lord Voldemort learns to split his soul into seven pieces, called Horcruxes. The Dark Lord himself is one Horcrux. The others are his diary, which is destroyed in the Chamber of Secrets, Marovolo Gaunt’s ring, which is destroyed by Professor Dumbledore, the Hufflepuff cup, an item owned by Godric Gryffindor or Rowena Ravenclaw, and Nagini, Lord Voldemort’s Snake. There is also one more yet to be named Horcrux.
The Dark Lord
Voldemort returns to Hogwarts, hoping to teach Defense against the Dark Arts, Professor Dumbledore turns him down. Voldemort becomes obsessed with ridding the world of “mudbloods” or wizards and witches not of pure blood. Any wizard opposing him becomes a target of Voldemort and his Death Eaters. Wizards and witches around the world are in fear of their lives. They’re afraid of even mentioning Voldemort’s name and instead refer to him as “You Know Who” or “He Who Can’t Be Named”.
James and Lily Potter, along with their 16 month old son Harry, are in hiding from Lord Voldemort. Not only are the Potters members of the “Order of the Phoenix,” a secret society devoted to ridding the world of Voldemort, but they are also concerned for their son who is in danger.
A prophecy by Sybil Trelawney leads Voldemort to believe Harry will be responsible for his downfall. He sets out to kill the young child. At the Potter house he kills James at the door and Lilly while she protects her son. While trying to kill Harry, the spell rebounds back at him, causing Harry’s lightning bolt-shaped scar, and also causing Voldemort to become much less of a being, practically dead. He hides out in Albania with his faithful servant, Peter Pettigrew, until the time was right.
The Return of Lord Voldemort
Lord Voldemort returns during Harry Potter’s first year at Hogwarts, surviving as a parasite on the back of Professor Quirrell’s head. He tries unsuccessfully to obtain the Sorcerer’s Stone which contains the elixir of life.
Finally, with assistance from his followers, Voldemort is able to return to his body and lure and capture Harry Potter. Harry’s blood is used to help Voldemort come back to life. Voldemort casts the Arvada Kedavra curse on Harry at the same time Harry tries a disarmament curse. The curses lock together and Voldemort’s past victims help Harry get away.
Voldemort rises into power, once again wreaking havoc on the wizarding and muggle world. Harry Potter vows to destroy all Horcruxes and rid the world of Voldemort forever.