Lord Voldemort

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Lord Voldemort (/ˈvoʊldəmɔr/)[1][2] (born as Tom Marvolo Riddle) is the primary antagonist of the Harry Potter series written by British author J. K. Rowling. Voldemort first appeared in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (published as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in the United States), which was released in 1997. Voldemort appeared either in person or in flashbacks in each book and film adaptation in the series, except the third, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, where he is only mentioned. Voldemort has been voted number one in polls for literary and film villains.[3][4]

In the series, Voldemort is the archenemy of Harry Potter, who according to a prophecy has "the power to vanquish the Dark Lord". Voldemort's obsession with blood purity signifies his aim to rid the Wizarding world of Muggle (non-magical) heritage and to conquer both worlds, Muggle and Wizarding, to achieve pure-blood dominance. Almost no witch or wizard dares to speak his name, instead referring to him as "You-Know-Who", "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named" or the "Dark Lord". He was born Tom Marvolo Riddle, the last descendant of wizard Salazar Slytherin,[5] one of the four founders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

According to an interview with Rowling, "Voldemort" is pronounced with a silent 't' at the end, as is common in French.[2] This was the pronunciation used by Jim Dale in the first four U.S. audiobooks; however, after the release of the film version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, in which the characters who dared refer to him by name pronounced it with the "t", Dale altered his pronunciation to that in the films. The pronunciation has since been used in the other films as well.

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