"Voldemort" redirects here. For the software project, see Voldemort (distributed data store).
"He Who Cannot Be Named" redirects here. For the member of the Dwarves, see Dwarves (band). For Him Who Is Not to be
Lord Voldemort (/ˈvoʊldəmɔːr/, /-mɔːrt/ in the films; born Tom Marvolo Riddle) is a fictional character and the main antagonist in J. K. Rowling's series of Harry Potter novels. Voldemort first appeared in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, which was released in 1997. Voldemort appears either in person or in flashbacks in each book and its film adaptation in the series, except the third, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, where he is only mentioned.
Voldemort is the archenemy of Harry Potter, who according to a prophecy has "the power to vanquish the Dark Lord". Nearly every witch or wizard dares not utter his unmentionable name, and refers to him instead with such expressions as "You-Know-Who", "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named" or "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. Through his mother's family, he is the last descendant of wizard Salazar Slytherin, one of the four founders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He is the leader of the Death Eaters, a group of evil wizards and witches dedicated to ridding the Wizarding World of Muggles and establishing Voldemort as its supreme ruler.
According to Rowling, the 't' in "Voldemort" is silent, as it is in the French word for death, "mort". Jim Dale pronounced it so in the first four US audiobooks, yet the characters in the film version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone pronounced the "t"—after which Dale changed his audiobook pronunciation accordingly. For all the UK audiobooks Stephen Fry pronounced the name including the "t".