Friday, September 9, 2016

WBI: Voldemort (AVPM)

Wait, you already discussed Voldemort! So I did, clever one. But hold on to your sorting hat, because today we’re referring not to Potter Canon but the Starkid production that is A Very Potter Musical.


WBI Profile

Classification :: Ξ012578!#&@
Role :: Agent of Chaos (destructive, vengeful wizard)
Motivations :: chaos (corrupting MOM), evil (hurting people), idealism (kill mudbloods), lifestyle (evil, dancing), personal/material gain (power, a physical body, revenge), power/influence (magical dictatorship)
Bonus :: magic (wizard), minions (death eaters), family ties (Quirrell), name (Voldemort)


Notable Actions

occupying Quirrell’s body—though Quirrell volunteered his body for his Dark Lord, the close proximity Voldemort shares with him makes him see someone as something other than a servant

overtaking Hogwarts—through a series of complicated events, Voldemort obtains a new body and overtakes Hogwarts and the Ministry of Magic in his new body, and ends Harry Potter’s life at last

dancing—Voldemort’s musical numbers reveal that he is both artistic and has a special sort of flair for torture which he will no doubt incorporate into his new regime


Significance to Other Characters

Quirrell—though Voldemort’s initial vessel seemed as different from him as could be, their time shared together allowed them to become close, even friends, and even something more (and I ship it so hard)

Harry—Harry is, as always, the main goal behind Voldemort’s destruction; however, even after Harry dies he returns and kills Voldemort right back (ish)

Dumbledore—as you might expect from an irreverent and borderline-abusive headmaster, Dumbledore does his best to help Harry find a way to kill Voldemort and then departs for Mars with Rumbleroar

Draco—like in the books, Voldemort enlists Draco to kill Dumbledore, but when Draco eventually fails, he joins forces with Harry, Ron, and Hermione so that in the end he helps defeat Voldemort


Big Idea

humorous—Voldemort is a scary dude, but he gets played for laughs a lot. He’s not like his canon counterpart: he dances, he deals with romantic drama, and he’s kind of depressed. The ludicrousness of this characterization is what makes him so endearing.

same actions, different person—on that note, it’s interesting that this Voldemort is so endearing when he doesn’t behave differently than the canon. He killed Harry’s parents, split his soul into seven parts, and intends to eliminate muggle blood from the gene pool. This Voldemort is a different person, though, because he conceptualizes and reacts differently to the same crimes we tie to his name.

human—Voldemort has one key difference contributing to the former ideas. He still has the ability to love. Rather than taking away from the force of his character, this makes him morally complicated and unpredictable, so that he goes through the story as much a dynamic character as Harry. We have a vested interest in his fate. Isn’t that odd?

I like this Voldemort better.

The canon Voldemort has gradually lost my esteem over the years because of that key element of his character: he is unable to love. Sucks to be conceived under the influence of a love potion. Not only does that part of the worldbuilding open the door to a lot of psychopaths in the wizarding world, but it makes Voldemort an idea instead of a character. Rowling’s Voldemort is evil, end stop. He has been doomed to be unloving, prejudiced, and power-hungry from birth, and that sums up the beginning and end of his character.

I think that’s kind of sloppy. Would it kill the story to give Voldemort a little nuance—not with a tragic backstory, but with morally gray behavior?

That’s what we see in AVPM. We have a villain who finds joy in dancing, has a fling with Bellatrix Lestrange, and finds love inside a body that isn’t his. His soul is in shreds and yet he is just as human as Harry Potter and he still wants to kill muggles and muggle-borns because he can. He doesn’t have the canon Voldemort’s logical justifications—he just lives for this chaos. He loves. He feels compassion. He needs affection and support like anybody. And murder and destruction enflame his very soul.

You tell me—which character scares you more?

Have you seen A Very Potter Musical? Who was your favorite character?


  1. I haven't seen the musical yet, although I plan to because apparently it's hilarious. This Voldemort looks super interesting, although to be honest I'm not sure which one scares me the most. I think this Voldemort (and I'm commenting without seeing the musical, so I could be totally wrong here) could be reasoned with, the other not. Either way, I'd rather not meet him down a dark alley somewhere.

    1. It is really good! I've enjoyed it, anyway. :) I'm not sure that's the case, though. I mean, this Voldemort can SORT OF be reasoned with, but only by one person. For the most part he cannot be reasoned with and that is why he is still someone who must be defeated.

  2. I have not seen this, but I am already convinced that it's hysterical. Awesome post! This version of Voldemort does sound like a lot more fun and a more nuanced character than the canon version.


    1. It is! And yeah, he has a lot more nuance, which is what I like to see in my bad guys.

  3. I've watched some of AVPM but not all. But this clip is hilarious. (I take my foot...) I really like how AVPM adapts harry potter canon but is still based on it in a lot of ways. Voldermort is kind of scarily unpredictable but also funny...kind of like Donald trump.

    1. (YOU TAKE YOUR LITTLE FOOT) Yeah, they were very clever in making it familiar enough to our beloved story to be good, but still inventive and new. :) Voldemort is sort of like that but JK Rowling says Donald Trump is worse soooo


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