A new Harry Potter Tiktok shows how Tom Riddle’s reveal that he is the evil Lord Voldemort was handled in languages other than English. Though the notorious J.K. Rowling villain was introduced in the author’s first entry in the seven-book, eight-film series, it was the second book/film, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, in which Voldemort revealed via an anagram that he was actually former Hogwarts student, Tom Riddle.
In terms of villains in popular franchises, there’s no question that Voldemort – aka the Dark Lord, You-Know-Who – is one of the greatest ever created. What Rowling established with the character throughout the books was frightening enough, but once the books were adapted into films and Ralph Fiennes was brought on as Voldemort, that fear factor was drastically amplified. Clearly Rowling had an advantage in building the character over the course of seven novels, carefully crafting his backstory and fleshing out the havoc that he’d wreaked in the years leading up to Harry’s discovery that this was the wizard who killed his parents. But there’s also something about the costume and makeup used to turn Fiennes into Voldemort that put the character on par with iconic villains like Darth Vader or the Xenomorph.
One of the key requirements for a truly memorable villain in either books or films is the ability for the character to translate across the widest margin of cultures possible. Basically, if a villain is English-speaking, the same degree of fear inducing and menace found in its persona must be able to effortlessly transition to markets that aren’t English speaking. Voldemort is by all definitions, one such character. And while enough time has now passed with regard to how established Voldemort is globally, Tiktok user Sophia Smith Galer has gone to the trouble of showing Harry Potter fans how the anagram used to reveal Voldemort in Chamber of Secrets differs in some non-English speaking countries. For example, Galer explains that in French he would be Tom Elvis Jedusor, which is an anagram of Je suis Voldemort.
Arguably most interesting of the various Voldemort reveals that Galer highlights is the Slovenian version, which abandons Tom Riddle altogether in favor of a character called Mark Neelstin. It’s a strange sounding name for a villain of Voldemort’s calibre, but then again this is likely due to the fact that English speakers have been used to knowing the name Tom Riddle for so long now. Ultimately, the differences in names has zero effect over how intimidating the character is, as the Harry Potter franchise continues to be one of the highest grossing franchises currently in existence.
It’s likely that what Galer has revealed in the above video is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of interesting differences that can be found between the international versions of Harry Potter. As one of the most widely translated book series of all time, there’s ample room for differences to occur. Hopefully Galer’s Tiktok will inspire other Potter fans around the world to share differences they’ve noticed.
Next: Why A Harry Potter Reboot Would Be Better Than A 9th Movie Or Cursed Child
Source: Sophia Smith Galer
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