Prophecies and the Marauder’s Map: Voldemort vs. Tom Riddle

by Brandon Ford

Ahoy all! I am back and ready to subject myself once again to the torture of your criticism and I kid, Conan, I kid! I’ll address this once and I’m done with it. We all love Harry. My statements in the previous article were meant to simply point out that at his present maturity and wizarding level, he is in no shape to tango with the Dark Lord Voldemort. There are no two ways about it. Harry is almost an adult now and it is time for him to step up and be the man we all know he can be and for us to stop the “famous Harry Potter routine” that he hates anyway. It’s called constructive criticism. Deal with it!

Meanwhile, back at the Hall of Justice, I have just finished my re-read of Prisoner of Azkaban. Ooooh! So many wonderful things in that book: a brilliantly orchestrated mystery, abounding conspiracies, the revelation that Peter Pettigrew has been pulling a Michael Jackson for twelve years (I’m just playin’, Mike. You’re still the King!), Hermione’s progression from the other half of Harry’s conscience to a major power player in JKR’s expanse world, and a cornucopia of back story – the likes of which we had yet to see until this point. But amidst all these wonderful new discoveries, there is one that shall be the subject of this week’s rant. I submit for your entertainment and consideration: the Marauder’s map.

Rules of the Marauders Map

Many of these will be “No $#!+ Sherlock’s,” but these are the things we know about the map that will aid us in our theorizing as well as the implications of this wonderful magical device.

1. Activation
“I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.”
Brilliant statement but gives access to the brilliance within this“spare bit of parchment.”

2. Expanse
The map (according to PoA) shows all the grounds that were explored by the Marauders during their nighttime romps around the school. It also contains most, if not all, of the secret passages and offices. Anything in Hogsmeade goes off the page of the map. But then we ask ourselves: is the Chamber of Secrets on the map? If it is, why didn’t it occur to Fred and George to look on the map for it? Also what about all those rooms in PS/SS, the trio had to go through to get to the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone?

3. Rules of the Map
In the immortal words of Lupin: “THE MAP NEVER LIES!”

-Polyjuice Potion can’t fool it (poor Barty Crouch, Jr.). -Being an Animagus – don’t think so (poor Pettigrew). -Invisibility Cloaks – not likely (poor Harry-trick step-GoF) -Non-Humans appear on it (poor Peeves and Mrs. Norris).

4. Weakness of the Map
The map CANNOT distinguish between two people who have the same first and last name. When Imposter Moody (real name Bartemius Crouch, Jr.) was searching Snape’s office, the map simply said “BARTEMIUS CROUCH” minus the “Jr.” (For full details, see page 690, GoF) So we must beware of other names and identities of people.

5. Proper Name Rule
A corollary to the ‘Weakness of the Map’ rule is that it only shows proper names. It never shows titles. Dumbledore, Snape, and all of the teachers are referred to by first and last name only: NO TITLES! It never distinguishes who is a professor and who is not, which makes for a little confusion if you don’t know someone is a professor.

6. Tells You What to Do
The Marauder’s Map can tell you how to do things. When Harry was unsure how to open the secret passage into Hogsmeade, the map showed the “dot Harry” with a little speech bubble saying “Dissendium.” Harry then spoke these words and the passageway opened. Obviously, the map has vast stores of information. This begs the question: would it also have passwords to House common rooms, Dumbledore’s office, etc.?

7. Wipe It Clean
“Mischief Managed” indeed. You have to say that to wipe it clean.

Now that we know the rules that we have to work under, it’s time to follow JKR’s advice and start asking the right questions. The following is from jkrowling.comand asks a good question:

“Why didn’t Fred and George notice Peter Pettigrew on the Marauder’s Map before Prisoner of Azkaban?”

As I said, it was a good question. But this is not about asking the good question; this is about asking the RIGHT question. And in this case, the right question should have been: “Why didn’t Fred and George notice LORD VOLDEMORT on the Marauder’s Map before Prisoner of Azkaban?”

This idea brings to mind several questions about the Marauders Map. Because of the ‘Proper Name’ rule and the ‘Weakness of the Map’ rule, one can assume that if looking on the map for Professor Quirrell during PS/SS, one would notice something odd. He was still able to think and act independently and had his own body. He merely had the misfortune of having Voldemort sticking out of the back of his head. My question, then, is if “the map never lies,” what would it have said?

Since Quirrell was still his own person, in his own body, would the map have just said “_________ Quirrell” (I don’t think we learn his first name)? Or, would it have said “Tom Riddle”? That leads to my next question. Many have said many times that Voldemort “doesn’t have enough human left in him to die.” If that is the case, does the human “Tom Riddle” no longer exist? In which case, would the map say “Lord Voldemort” or “Tom Riddle”?

If we are to assume that since the map never lies and that there were two people inhabiting the same body, I believe the map would have said “_______ Quirrell and ????????”. That ???????? would then be filled based on the outcome of this supposition: If we divide Voldemort into Voldemort and his human counterpart, Tom Riddle, then we have to account for something. The Voldemort in Book One was a vapor. He had no body of his own. Being a bodiless vapor, an entity if you will, I would qualify him as “non-human.” Non-Humans appear on the map, therefore I think the entity, the vapor of Voldemort, lacking all humanity outside of a living host body would be labeled “Lord Voldemort.” But, when looking at the map, the “vapor” was attached to Quirrell and sharing a body with him. So, now he has a human element. The problem is that this human element is NOT Tom Riddle. Therefore, I submit, that the answer would probably be “________ Quirrell & Lord Voldemort.” Either that, or the map would be confused and simply put ???????? as it would have no idea who that person TRULY was.

But all this vapor business brings up another problem: the lovely Ginny Weasley. The spirit of TOM RIDDLE possessed her in her first year. Recall that by Voldemort’s own admission, he went through many magical transformations to try to conquer death. However, this was (to our knowledge) WELL AFTER he was sixteen. Since these magical transformations had not taken place, the TOM RIDDLE in the diary was in fact TOM RIDDLE. Which then begs the question: if Fred and George were looking at their sister on the map at the SAME TIME that she doing one of her bad deeds in the Chamber of Secrets, would the map have said “Ginny Weasley” or “Tom Riddle” or both? Recall that when Ginny was possessed, she was not herself, she was Tom Riddle; otherwise, she would have been unable to control the basilisk (remember that it doesn’t matter if you speak Parseltongue, only the HEIR of SLYTHERIN can control the snake). Since “the map never lies” would it have exposed the true evil within the innocent child?

This is a wholly different case than before. The possession in this case is NOT body sharing, but mind sharing/control. Quirrell, no matter what, had free will (though it may not have looked that way to him). Ginny was totally under control and could do nothing that Riddle didn’t make her do. In this case, I do not think the Map can read minds (though it can talk), so I think the map would have said “Ginny Weasley.” HOWEVER, when the Spirit of Tom Riddle freed itself from the book in the Chamber of Secrets, it presents an entirely different matter. In that case, the spirit would classify as not human, but also NOT Voldemort. So the map would say “Tom Riddle” because (say it with me) THE MAP NEVER LIES!!

To go back to my original point about Quirrell, I think it is very necessary to determine for sure exactly what the map would say in such strange instances. To recap, I said earlier that I think that since it was two entities in ONE body that the map would say either both persons’ names or neither person’s names. Why do we care? Because this lets us know if Voldemort can fake out the map. According to JKR, there can be hundreds of dots on the map at a time and it would be insane to try to search for someone on it. Voldemort has shown us twice that he can do his evil deeds inside of Hogwarts unbeknownst to Dumbledore (which in itself is a scary thought). But if (and I’m not saying its true) my weird Dracomort theory came to fruition, what would the map say? Now according to my theory, this is not body sharing like Quirrell, nor mind control like Ginny. This is full on embodiment. The child Draco Malfoy would cease to exist, either that or be trapped in some sort of limbo while Voldemort uses this new body. Would the map then say “Tom Riddle,” “Lord Voldemort,” or “Draco Malfoy”?

Which finally brings me to my point. I have inundated you faithful readers with these mind-numbing scenarios to reach this point. I hope you have bared with me, because even I got confused and I’m writing it. If Voldemort walked straight into the castle as he is as of OotP, in his own body, what would the map say? Remember, the potion used to restore his body had not only of his entity, but bits of Harry, Pettigrew, and Mr. Tom Riddle (Voldemort’s daddy). Add to that the ‘Proper Name’ rule, and you have one confused Marauder’s map. The body he has is NOT the original body of Tom Riddle. What we have is a magically created Frankenstein body of sorts. So then what does the map read when it says someone’s name? Is it their body or is it the soul? Polyjuice Potion changes the look of he body but not the body itself, and Animagi transformation does not hide the true identity of the person within the animal. Does “Tom Riddle” still exist? Doubtful. But I say that to say this: if Voldemort walked into Hogwarts and the map still said “Tom Riddle,” we should all be very, very happy!!! Because, if there is still that human element in him, we have the key to defeating Voldemort because there is enough human left in him to die.

I believe Voldemort seems unaffected by Dementors because he has no soul to steal. Either that, or it is magically shielded from them. I would think with all the horrors he has witnessed and experienced, Dementors would have a field day with him. I think the human part of Tom Riddle lies within his soul. The soul, I believe, is something individual and unique to every living thing – like a fingerprint or the retina of the eye. I think that is what the map is somehow able to read, which is why superficial transformations and devices cannot fool it. Therefore, if it is true that Voldemort has lost his soul or somehow perverted and altered it in such a way to make him unaffected by Dementors (I say unaffected because he can meet with them and order them around and they for some reason have no desire to suck the happiness out of him and feed off his negative emotions which he has in vast quantities), then Tom Riddle would truly be dead and therefore not appear on the map. But, with this new body and the blood of Harry, hand of Pettigrew, and bone of Tom Riddle, Sr., it is possible that the entity of Tom Riddle may once again be back in some fashion. Whew. We need to take a quick break and move on to something else really quick, but we’ll return to this.

The Other Lost Prophecy

I promised myself I would stay away from controversy this week, but I’m a glutton for punishment. I cannot take full credit for the insanity I am about to spew because one of you Potter-philes emailed me with a crazy notion about another prophecy. As far-fetched as it was, it actually makes perfect sense and ties in to all that blabbering I just did about Tom Riddle.

I mentioned at he beginning of this article that I just finished reading PoA. The implication of that should then be that I have also just started my re-read ofGoblet of Fire, my second favorite of the series. Now pay close attention, cause this is gonna go kinda fast. According to the first chapter of Goblet of Fire, in 1944 a teenage Tom Riddle returned to the Riddle House and murdered his father and grandparents. What struck me as interesting is that since Harry was born in 1980 (thank you HP Lexicon) and the events of Book Four take place in 1994, the repetition of “half a century ago” and “fifty years ago” by JKR implicates 1944 as the year that Tom Riddle made his first true step along the dark path.

One could argue it was the murder of Moaning Myrtle that began it. Myrtle was killed sometime before the end of the 1942-1943 school year. My guess is 1943, because Tom Riddle talks about being able to stay in school over the summer and since this school year corresponds with the 1992-1993 school year of Harry (being the 50 year counter part), we would be talking about Myrtle’s death happening during spring of 1943. We know that Riddle was already having those in his closest circle begin to call him Voldemort and he was responsible for the death of Moaning Myrtle. But honestly, I think that was an accident. Myrtle was in the toilet, heard a boy’s voice opened the door, and all she saw was the basilisk’s eyes. Remember, if you look in the basilisk’s eyes, that’s it. You die. That simple. You don’t have to do anything but see the eyes. I think opening the stall startled Riddle and the snake, they both turned, she looked in its eyes, and she died. This death seriously jeopardized his chances to stay at Hogwarts over the summer, which led directly to the framing of Hagrid… and you know the rest. The murder of his father was a conscious, deliberate, cold-blooded murder – no doubt justified in Riddle’s mind by some misplaced devotion to the mother that died while giving birth to him.

But why do I say all this? This is stuff we know. I say this because let’s look at that curious year: 1944. What is so special about it? To our knowledge, nothing. But the year 1945 is VERY crucial. It is the year Dumbledore defeated the dark wizard Grindelwald. That means, that in the wizarding world during 1944, the war between Dumbledore and Grindelwald was reaching its climax and would be over in less than a year: the same time that Tom Riddle was starting fully down the road of evil.

I am a believer that all actions are motivated, and that in Harry Potter, though we cannot see them, the wheels of the future are constantly in motion (that last little bit is a little tease for my article two weeks from now – hopefully much shorter as well). To grasp my point, let us turn to my favorite Shakespeare play, Macbeth. Quick synopsis: Macbeth, having just come from battle with his buddy Banquo, is stopped by the Weird Sisters (who incidentally are the Yule Ball band in Goblet of Fire) and is told that he is a Thane (think of a duke or an earl for comparison) of Glamis and is about to be named Thane of Cawdor and that one day he will be king! Mac shrugs them off, but when he meets up with Duncan, the King, Duncan makes him Thane of Cawdo,r thus making the Weird Sister’s prophecy come true. Mac then decides that he wants to be king NOW, so a little murder is of no consequence. He kills Duncan and then kills the guys he framed for killing Duncan and is named king. I won’t go into the rest of the story, but you get my drift. Mac was given a prophecy and an element of it came true without his interference. Wishing that the rest of the prophecy were to come to fruition, he MAKES it come true by killing the king.

Now let’s go back to our buddy, Voldemort. I don’t think that Voldemort woke up one morning and said, “You know what, I wanna be evil from now on.” I don’t think it works like that. I think at some point during Tom Riddle’s research between the 1938-1939 school year when he started at Hogwarts and the 1942-1943 school year when he released the basilisk (again interesting real historical years), Voldemort came across a prophecy (one given perhaps by Sibyl Trelawney’s great-great grandmother, Cassandra Trelawney, though obviously that would be around 20 years before Voldemort was born, i.e. if Sibyl is about 40 years old, then Cassandra would be 120 roughly) which went something to this effect (THIS IS MY PROPHECY THAT I MADE UP!!! THIS IS JUST A THEORY!):

The great war of our time approaches its twilight and the Dark Lord shall fall at the hands of the Great One. But as this battle reaches its climax, the sun rises on the Heir of Slytherin who shall walk among us more powerful even than the Dark Lord himself. He will prove his worth by severing all ties to his Muggle parentage and begin a reign of terror the likes of which the world has never seen…

LET ME REITERATE THAT I MADE THIS UP!!! When one is dealing with prophecies, certain conditions have to be met in order for the reader to act accordingly. When I read GoF, I looked and looked but could find no real motivation for why Voldemort would NEED to kill his father other than to avenge his mother. Then I thought, what if he thought he was supposed to? As I said, I believe all actions are motivated. We do not know when Voldemort discovered that he was the Heir of Slytherin. His mother didn’t tell him because she died in childbirth and he was raised in a Muggle orphanage. I think in researching his family tree he discovered he was the Heir of Slytherin. Being a Slytherin was probably cool enough for him, but to find out he was a blood relative of one of the school founders obviously made Tom Riddle feel doubly important and superior. Then let’s say he discovers this prophecy and a red flag goes off. Remember, every prophecy seems to have certain conditions to it. But if he saw a prophecy specifically about the Heir of Slytherin, he would know it would have to be about him. Or perhaps the prophecy is even older; perhaps it was found IN THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS!! We’ve only seen one part of the Chamber. I contend that there may be even more secrets in the Chamber that Harry is unaware of. When I said in an earlier editorial that Voldemort might have to kidnap Trelawney and extract the Prophecy from her, what if he breaks into the castle but instead goes into the Chamber to fish out some of his old things first?

It is for this reason that I wanted to know what the map has to say about Voldemort. Is the Chamber on the map? And if it is and Voldemort gets in there, will he show up on the map? Tricky, tricky.

The Lost Prophecy

All this prophecy business got me thinking again. Recall that earlier, I said that if the Map labels Voldemort still as Tom Riddle, that that might hold the key to killing him. I got to then thinking about the Lost Prophecy heralding the coming of Harrison P. People ask me all the time my opinion on the prophecy and I never answer, because it is confusing as all get out. So in my research (and yes folks I did extensive fact checking for this one) I read “The Lost Prophecy” in OotP. In it Harry specifically asks Dumbledore: “does that mean that one of us has to kill the other one in the end?” To which Dumbledore replies: “YES.” CASE CLOSED!!! People keep bringing in all these theories about other people being involved! FOLKS, it says quite clearly that either Harry kills Voldemort or Voldemort kills Harry! No Neville. Certainly now no Mark Evans. No Half-Blood Prince. No love. No Dumbledore. No Peter Pettigrew. It comes down to H and V!!!

However, when talking about Harry and Voldemort, we are not talking about two people: we are talking about three – Harry, Voldemort, and… Tom Riddle. I feel we must always remember (not to invoke the ‘Obi-Wan’ rule) that they are two different entities. Tom Riddle was seduced by evil and by power upon learning his true heritage (and also perhaps by hearing some prophecy). The day he killed his father, the day he became a cold-blooded killer, he ceased to be the human teenager, Tom Riddle, and became the sinister, the powerful, the evil Lord Voldemort. But that should not suggest that Voldemort does not still have that human element left in him.

When Voldemort was separated from his body after trying to kill Harry, he WAS NO LONGER HUMAN. He was a vapor, a shapeless entity capable of sharing bodies but not able to sustain one of his own for a long period of time. Then we get Goblet, where he gets a new body that has pieces of TOM RIDDLE, SR., Harry, and Pettigrew used to make it. Now here’s where it gets dicey. TOM RIDDLE (Marauder’s Map ‘Proper Name’ rule in effect) is now once again part of Voldemort’s body. Therefore, perhaps the phrase “and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives” implicates this TOM RIDDLE portion as a key factor in bringing about Voldemort’s end. Voldemort’s ties to his mother were destroyed with his first body, which she, in essence, created. But this new body, HE created with his father’s – A MUGGLE’s – bones. His magical tie to his mother, though still present in the entity (the vapor part I mentioned) that controls this new body, is not present in the flesh – the organic matter – of the new body. It is then my prediction that Voldemort can be destroyed only by finding some way to tap into that human part from his father. By somehow tapping into that and adding to it “the power the Dark Lord knows not” with a dash of Harry Prophecy power, I believe we have a nice recipe of Filet Voldemort that Harry can use to serve up a can of whoopass resulting in the end of Voldemort.

But this is all speculation. And personally I love Mr. Weasley’s sage saying: “Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can’t see where it keeps its brain.” That darn map. So many questions.