Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

“You can’t imagine what he was like, even then.”

Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) returns to Hogwarts after helping the headmaster, Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) secure Horace Slughorn (Jim Broadbent) as a new professor. Once he returns to school, Harry and Dumbledore sift through Dumbledore’s old memories of the little boy who would grow up to become Lord Voldemort.

Tom’s Problem
One of the darkest parts of the series, The Half-Blood Prince is also one of my favorites. It allows a glimpse of young Tom Riddle, a boy who is often compared to Harry Potter in terms of looks, wizarding prowess, and nerve. The relationships Harry Potter keeps, however, are where the similarities between the two foes come to an end.

Antisocial Personality Disorder

We’ve covered this one before; let’s look at the specifics of this in the guise of Tom Riddle.

  • Manipulation
    Tom coerces Professor Slughorn into divulging information about creating horcruxes. “Very dark magic,” a horcrux is an item that conceals a part of a wizard’s soul, therby rendering that wizard immortal until the object itself is destroyed. Already uncomfortable, Professor Slughorn further explains that creating a horcrux means ending a life, something Tom Riddle is unfazed by during the conversation.
  • Disregard for the Rights of Others
    Until Half-Blood Prince, we don’t know much about Voldemort. We do know that he shared faces with a professor, drank unicorn blood, possessed a little girl through a diary (…Diary of a Mad Horcrux), made his “servant” cut his arm off to resurrect him, and is willing to implicate children in plots to punish their own parents.
    I feel like we have all we need here.
  • Lack of Remorse
    The guy never apologizes or cries. That’s a Red Flag even in fictional characters.

What About Draco?
Like Tom Riddle, Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) is conceited and cunning. The motivation for Draco’s actions, though, directly opposes the motivation of lil’ Voldemort’s: He does it all for love. Draco’s dad, disgraced by The Dark Lord, is the reason Voldemort tasks Draco with murdering one of his oldest enemies. Of course, Voldemort expects Draco to fail and in so doing, he plans to kill the son of Lucius Malfoy (Jason Isaacs) as a punishment for failing to deliver Voldemort the prophecy in Order of the Phoenix. Draco only takes on this impossible task in order to save his dad, something Voldemort would never do.

Though Draco is insufferable, there is a heart under there somewhere.


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