Tom Riddle Character Bio

Harry Potter is 8-part film series based on the eponymous novel series by J.K. Rowling. The movies were released from 2001 to 2011 and were distributed by Warner Bros. The Harry Potter franchise became one of the most widely acclaimed and popular series of the early 2000s and has continued to gather loyal fandom from across the Globe. 

The fictional world of Wizards and Witches attracted audiences of all age groups. The series is set in the early 20th century, where Wizards, witches, and the use of magic were a common sight. The story is about an 11-year-old orphaned Wizarding genius and a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry Potter, and his fight against the mighty Lord Voldemort. His journey is epic, along with his friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley. There is no doubt that it will be a favorite for many generations to come. 

Harry Potter series is widely lauded for its fantastic storyline, plot twists, costumes, set designs, cinematography, and visual effects. In addition, the characters are beautifully portrayed, with each having its own story and development. 

Tom Marvolo Riddle (aka the Lord Voldemort), an English Born Half-Blood Wizard known as the most powerful and dangerous Dark Wizard to ever live, was the main villain in the series. His hunger for immortality led him to do the vilest act known to mankind. He is rightfully the most hated villain of all time.

Quick Facts About Tom Riddle

Full Name: Tom Marvolo Riddle

Birth Date: 31 December 1926

Birthplace: Wool’s Orphanage, London, England, Great Britain

Also Known As/Alias: 

  • Lord Voldemort (Self-proclaimed title and chosen name, an anagram of his real name)
  • You-Know-who (by Wizarding Community)
  • He-who-must-not-be-named (by Wizarding Community)
  • The Dark Lord
  • Chief Death Eater 
  • Heir of Slytherin

Death Date: 2 May 1998

Death Place: Great Hall, Hogwarts Castle, Highlands, Scotland, Great Britain.

Zodiac sign: Capricorn

Siblings: None

Children: Delphini (Daughter)

Partner/Spouse: Bellatrix Lestrange (Partner) 

Most Memorable Moment:

  • Discovery of being a Wizard, Albus Dumbledore’s first visit.
  • Opening the Chamber of Secret and creating the First Horcrux
  • Murder of the Riddle Family

Magical Heritage: Half-Blood

Hogwarts House: Slytherin


  • 13 1/2″, Yew, phoenix feather core
  • Elm, dragon heartstring (Temporary)
  • Elder, 15″, Thestral tail hair core (Temporary, Never Mastered)

Patronus: None

Actors Who Played: 

  • Hero Fiennes-Tiffin (Child, Harry Potter, and the Half-Blood Prince))
  • Christian Coulson (Teenager, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets)
  • Richard Bremmer (Flashback, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone)
  • Ian Hart (Voice and Likeness, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone)
  • Frank Dillane (Teenager, Film 6)
  • Ralph Fiennes

Tom Riddle Birthplace And Parents

Tom Marvolo Riddle was born at Wool’s Orphanage in London on 31 December 1926. His mother, Merope Riddle, died immediately after giving birth; she lived only long enough to name him after his father (Tom) and Grandfather (Marvolo). Tom was raised at that Muggle-run Orphanage.

Tom Riddle Snr., Marvolo’s father, was a wealthy muggle living in a village called Little Hangleton, near Gaunt Shack. It was believed that Merope Gaunt, Tom’s mother, used Imperius’s curse or Love potion to entrap and marry him. However, after she got pregnant, she stopped bewitching Tom Sr. in hopes that he had fallen in love with her or would just stay for the sake of their child. However, as soon as the curse broke, he came to his senses. He regained his free will and ran away from Merope with the intent to never see her again.

Tom’s maternal family were the last known members of the House of Gaunt. The Gaunts were an ancient and onetime affluent wizarding family notorious for creating individuals with aggressive and unstable temperaments due to generations of inbreeding and incest. They were the descendants of Salazar Slytherin, who believed in keeping the bloodline pure. Hence, cousin marriages were a standard norm, and it was thought to be their downfall in society.

Tom’s maternal grandfather, Marvolo Gaunt, and maternal uncle, Morfin Gaunt, despite their ill-fame, poverty, illiteracy, and physical and mental illness, proudly called themselves “Royalty.” They were the last known male Slytherin pure-blood descendants of Salazar Slytherin. Therefore, Tom was the true ‘heir’ of Salazar Slytherin through his mother’s side.

Tom Riddle’s Physical Traits

In Childhood And Early Adulthood

Tom Riddle was a handsome, tall, good-looking young boy with jet-black, neatly parted hair, pale skin, and deep dark eyes. He was pretty attractive and never failed to charm other people with his distinguishing features and alluring but quiet persona. Tom resembled his father, a fact Tom hated the most. He had weirdly long fingers, a high-pitched voice, and a cold laugh.

In His Late 20’s

Tom’s good looks and charming persona began fading away after indulging in Dark arts and splitting his soul several times to create Horcruxes. His features looked more waxy and reptilian, and he lost his aura. Tom’s skin turned white, and his eyes took a bloodshot appearance.

Tom Riddle Early Life

After the death of his mother and abandonment by his father, Tom grew up in a dreary muggle-run orphanage. Tom himself and the orphanage staff were unaware of his magical background and thought that his mother worked in a circus.

Despite not knowing his magical background, Tom still had a grasp over his magical abilities. He used his powers to inflict harm on other orphans, steal things and store them in his cupboard as souvenirs. As a result, he was always the cause of trouble for other children and was considered a bully.

The Evildoings

Tom showed megalomanic abilities from early childhood. He enjoyed causing harm. Tom had little to no regard for human or animal life and did not hesitate to kill animals. After arguing with him, he once hanged Billy Stub’s rabbit from the rafters. 

He once took two other orphans, Dennis Bishop and Amy Benson, into a cave. He performed such a terrifying act that the two orphans were traumatized into silence.

Discovery Of Being A Wizard

Albus Dumbledore told Tom about his magical background and that he was a wizard. Dumbledore performed Flame-Freezing Charm on his cupboard and told him about Hogwarts, a school for the people with magic. Tom told him about his ability to speak Parseltongue.

Dumbledore admonished Tom for stealing things from other children and said that if he wanted to attend Hogwarts, he would have to follow the code of conduct and behave appropriately. He reiterated that lying, cheating, and stealing were not tolerated there.

His Reaction

Learning that he was a Wizard did not surprise Tom. He always believed himself to be unique and superior to others, and he even disliked having a common name. He always hated the human characteristics and loathed the idea of death, considering it a human weakness.

The Journey Towards Hogwarts

Dumbledore guided Tom about the Diagon Alley and Platform nine and three quarters. He gave him a stipend to buy the necessities for school and use in his journey. Riddle bought some second-hand robes, spell books, and a wand with the money.

Tom Riddle Hogwarts Years: (1938 To 1945)

In Hogwarts, Tom was placed in House Slytherin, and he immediately established himself as a brilliant student. However, Dumbledore was alarmed by his previous behavior at the orphanage and kept an eye on him. Tom often regretted letting Dumbledore see his natural and unfiltered side.

He despised going back to his orphanage on vacations and was always keen on learning more and more. However, the facade he built with his attractive personality and handsome looks were brilliant. He became the school prefect and was always the “model” student. 

A Gang Of Thugs

In Hogwarts, Tom gathered a group of boys from the house Slytherin which he called a group of his friends but, in reality, considered them nothing but servants. He used to get his dirty work done from them to escape the suspicion. These group members later became known as Death Eaters.

Hatred For His Heritage And Murder Of The Riddle Family

Tom Riddle was always curious to know about his heritage. He always thought of his father to be the “magical” parent. Tom believed that his mother was a muggle-born, or else she would not have died of poverty and sickness. Much to his dismay, Tom found out that his father was actually a muggle it was his mother who was a witch and a member of the Gaunt family. Through his mother’s side, he was a descendent of Salazar Slytherin and called himself his true heir.

He started hating his father and called him a “filthy muggle.” Finally, he got rid of his muggle name and referred to himself as “Lord Voldemort” (an anagram of his real name). Many believed that his hatred for his father led him to evil.

Upon learning from his uncle Morfin Gaunt that he looked like his muggle father and what he did to his mother, Tom became furious and went to his father’s home. He killed his father, grandfather, and grandmother and used their deaths to form another Horcrux (a Gaunt family signet ring).

Opening The Chamber Of Secrets And Learning About Horcruxes

Tom Riddle learned about the creation of Horcruxes from Professor Slughorn during his sixth year at Hogwarts. He was always obsessed with immortality and wanted to create seven Horcruxes (as this is the most potent number) to split his soul into seven parts. In the same year, Tom successfully opened the Chamber of secrets. It was a Chamber built deep in Hogwarts castle by Salazar Slytherin.

He sealed it so that only his true heir would be able to open it and unleash the horror in it to purge the school of all muggles. Tom successfully opened it and tamed the beast called ‘Basilisk,’ which frightened the students and killed one of them, Myrtle Warren (the Moaning Myrtle). Eventually, he used this murder to preserve a part of his soul within his school diary (one of the first Horcrux he created). Later he framed another student, Rubeus Hagrid, and his Aragog for opening the Chamber.

Tom Riddle After Hogwarts Years

The Transformation

Immediately after graduating from Hogwarts, Tom applied for the position of Defence against the Dark Arts teacher. Headmaster Dippet declined the request, after which Tom created a jinx on the post so that no later teacher could continue on the post for more than one year. He again applied after a long time, but Dumbledore declined as he knew his real intentions.

Tom then started working at Borgin and Burkes on Knockturn Alley. His job was to find valuable objects and sell them at lower prices. Unfortunately, he left the job and vanished after killing Hepzibah Smith for a gold locket belonging to Slytherin. During this time, his appearance started to change due to continuous indulgence in Dark Arts and the splitting of his soul to create Horcruxes.

Disappearance And Reemergence As Lord Voldemort

Reemergence As Lord Voldemort

Tom Riddle then disappeared for over a decade and traveled across the world, meeting Wizards and Witches of ill-repute and exploring in length the Dark Arts and the destructions it could cause. Finally, he emerged as Lord Voldemort. He gathered an army of Death Eaters, Werewolves, and Inferi. This marked the beginning of the First Wizarding War.

There were two Wizarding Wars in which Voldemort caused destructions, evils, deaths of muggle families and committed all sorts of atrocities he could. As a result, he was feared all across Britain.

Opening The Chamber Of Secrets Again And Meeting Harry Potter

With the help of Ginny Weasley, Tom was successful in opening the Chamber of Secrets once again and lured Harry Potter into it. Although he was hurt badly, Harry managed to beat him and save Ginny and himself. It was the first confrontation Harry and Riddle, Lord Voldemort, had.


Finally, in the year 1996, Lord Voldemort was defeated at the hands of Harry Potter during the Battle at Hogwarts. 

Tom Riddle Family

Tom did not establish any meaningful relationships throughout his life and was ignorant of feelings like love, compassion, and care. At some point in his later life, he did establish a rather unconventional relationship with one of his loyal Death Eaters, Bellatrix Lestrange. He conceived a daughter with her, named Delphini. 

Bellatrix Lestrange

Bellatrix Lestrange was one of Tom’s most faithful and entrusted Death Eaters. Tom Riddle (now famously known as Lord Voldemort) even gave her one of his Horcrux (although she did not know about it). 

Bellatrix was in love with him and even sexually attracted to him. She never left Voldemort’s side, not even when most of his Death Eaters retreated and denied allegiance with him after the end of the First Wizarding War.

Tom did hold her in high importance, and he used to call her “Bella” like her other family members used to. Lack of love and affection in Tom’s childhood made such feelings of compassion alien to him. Hence their relationship was more of a Master and Loyal Servant.

After their death, it was revealed that Bellatrix and Voldemort did engage in a sexual relationship and conceived a daughter, Delphini. Likely, Voldemort did not want Slytherin Bloodline to stop with him; hence, he chose Bellatrix as a perfect mate due to her Witchcraft skills and bloodline.


Delphini was the daughter of Tom Riddle and Bellatrix Lestrange. Tom (Voldemort) died when she was a child; hence they did not share a close (or any) relationship.

However, Voldemort was alive in the alternate timeline accidentally created by Scorpius and Albus Dumbledore. In that timeline, Voldemort had put his daughter Delphini (known as Augurey) in Charge of the Ministry of Magic. 

There, she served as a loyal member of the army of Death Eaters. However, what made her apart from the other Death Eaters was her official symbol- the bird- emblazoned in a fascistic manner, just like her father’s Dark Mark.

Tom Riddle’s Magical Abilities And Skills

According to Albus Dumbledore, Tom Riddle was the most brilliant student attending Hogwarts. From a very young age, he showed extraordinary magic skills, unprecedented for any kid of his generation. Later, Tom became known as the most dangerous and powerful Dark Wizard to ever exist. He did the vilest of the acts and performed abominations no one could think of. 

Magical Mastery From A Young Age

Tom Riddle grew up in a dreary orphanage and was unaware of his magical background for most of his childhood. However, he could still use magic, which he used to torment other children. Tom could move objects with his mind, control animals and their movements, talk to them, and could even make nasty things happen to those who annoyed him. As a result, he was a bully, and other children feared him. He was also eloquent at speaking Parseltongue.

Dark Arts And Magical Mastery

Voldemort became known as the evilest and most skillful practitioner of Dark Arts to ever exist. His profound ability for wickedness and devastation and his lack of morals, paired with great magical power and lethal skills, earned him the reputation of being unbeatable. Moreover, his knowledge of Dark Arts was excellent, even so, that he could create not only one but seven Horcruxes.

He could perform Necromancy, and he raised an army of the dead called Inferi. He could perform all three unforgivable curses (the Cruciatus Curse, Imperius curse, and the most dangerous of all, the Killing Curse). 


Tom Riddle, aka Voldemort, was a great duelist with skills parallel only to Albus Dumbledore. He had beaten and even killed many Master Duellists, and in the art of Dueling, he was genuinely unbeatable. Furthermore, he was highly aggressive, could switch styles within seconds, and frequently used Dark Magic to overpower opponents.


Voldemort was highly skilled and knowledgeable in Potions as well. With the help of Peter Pettigrew, he was successful in making Regeneration Potion which resulted in him gaining a new physical body and extreme power. In addition, he was highly skilled at making Emerald Potion (the Drink of Despair) and Rudimentary Potion.


Tom Riddle, aka Voldemort, was highly skillful in the art of Charms. 

Some of his unique charms were Disillusionment Charm (it was so powerful that it hid him from his own eyes), Summoning Charm, Disarming Charm, Shield Charm, and Silencing Charm. Tom was also an expert at modifying other people’s memories, especially his victims.


From a very young age, Tom was a Parselmouth, i.e., he was capable of speaking Parseltongue (the ability to understand and converse with snakes). It was a feat familiar to the descendants of Salazar Slytherin. 

Occlumency And Legillimency

Voldemort possessed exceptional Occlumency and Legillimency abilities. He could invade other people’s brains while essentially shielding his own. He could delve and stare deeply into other people’s minds and even control the minds he entered.

Immortality And The Creation Of Horcruxes

From a young age, Tom hated the idea of death and considered it a human weakness. His quest for immortality led him to perform the vilest of the acts. He created seven Horcruxes by splitting his soul every time. 

Tom Riddle’s Wand

Tom Riddle’s first Wand that he bought from the money Dumbledore gave him was a Wand made of Yew Wood. It was 13 1/2 inches long, with one of Fawkes (Phoenix) feathers at its core. Voldemort shared a matching wand core with Harry Potter, and his Wand was a ‘twin’ of Harry’s Wand (a fact Tom realized later). From 1997 till his death, he used a series of temporary wands to bypass Harry Potter’s Wand and overpower him. He got possession of the Elder wand but could never master it.

Tom Riddle’s Famous Quotes

‘I can make things move without touching them. I can make animals do what I want them to do without training them. I can make bad things happen to people who annoy me. I can make them hurt if I want.’

– Tom Riddle, ‘Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince’

“There is no good and evil; there is only power and those too weak to seek it.”

– Tom Riddle, ‘Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone.

Tom Riddle Appearances In The Books

 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

  • Tom Riddle’s diary, Harry meeting Tom in the Chamber of Secrets, Harry learning the truth about Hagrid and Aragog.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

  • The story of Tom Riddle Sr. and Merope Gaunt, The Cave, Albus Dumbledore meeting young Tom Riddle, Tom’s early year at Hogwarts, Murder of Riddle Family, creation of the first Horcrux, Questioning Professor Slughorn about Horcruxes, The murder of Hepzibah Smith, Tom Riddle’s reapplying at Hogwarts.

 Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows

  • The Final Duel.

Tom Riddle Appearances In The Movies

  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • The final duel (Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, movie)

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Did Tom Riddle Become a Teacher at Hogwarts?

Answer: Immediately after graduating from Hogwarts, Tom did go back to ask Armando Dippet to allow him to teach Defence Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts. However, headmaster Dippet declined his request, owing to his young age. 
He again asked for the same position after two decades. Still, He was declined again by Headmaster Dumbledore, who was aware of his true intentions.

Question: At What Age did Tom Riddle Create his First Horcrux?

Answer: Tom Riddle was only 16 years old when he created his first Horcrux, a school diary. He opened the Chamber of Secret and released the Basilisk, which threatened other students and killed one of them, Myrtle Warren. Tom used her death to create the Horcrux, which came into the hands of Ginny Weasley many decades later.

Question: What Achievement did Tom Riddle Share with Lilly Potter?

Answer: Both Lily Potter and Tom Riddle were exceptional students at Hogwarts, and they were one of the best Hogwarts had. Both Lily and young Tom Riddle received the Medal for Magical Merit for their extraordinary performance at the school. Also, both were members of Horace Slughorn’s Slug Club. Lily’s protection spell (on her son, Harry Potter) led to the first defeat Voldemort ever faced.

Question: How was Tom Riddle Related to Harry Potter?

Answer: Tom Riddle, aka Voldemort, and Harry Potter were the Archnemesis in the series. However, they were actually distant cousins. Harry Potter’s family descended from Ignotus Peverall (who got the Invisibility Cloak). Meanwhile, Tom Riddle’s family from his mother’s side descended from Ignotus’s Brother, Cadmus Peverall.

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