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Characters: Harry Potter Death Eaters
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    General Death Eater Tropes 

Here come the villains! Listed below are Voldemort and his followers, the enemies of Harry and his friends. The name of the group comes from their belief that they can "conquer death." Mortal enemies to the Order of the Phoenix, the Death Eaters' goal is to exterminate all "impure" wizards, create a new world order in the wizarding society, and (eventually) achieve immortality. During both the First and Second Wizarding Wars, they are Voldemort's inner circle and act as the elite force in his army.

Death Eaters are recognizable by the Dark Mark, a magical sign branded into their forearms by Voldemort that burns whenever he summons them to him. The Dark Mark also serves as a Calling Card, which Death Eaters cast into the sky over the scene of a murder.

Dumbledore describes the Death Eaters as a motley crew of "the weak, seeking reassurance; the ambitious, wanting power and shared glory; and the brutish, gathering around a leader who could show them new forms of cruelty."
  • Aerith and Bob: Their names are very different from each other, ranging from Lucius and Bellatrix to Evan and Peter.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Several Death Eaters come from aristocratic families, though not all of them (there's little that's aristocratic or cultured about Greyback or the Carrows, for example).
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Voldemort's tendency to rule through fear and his constant mood swings means that Death Eaters jockey with each other to score brownie points and earn his good graces, often backbiting and belittling each other, with the likes of Barty Crouch Jr. and Bellatrix Lestrange insisting they are Eviler than Thou and more loyal than everyone. Snape's grasp of this management strategy allows him to easily ingratiate himself into Voldemort's good graces over more loyal and consistent followers.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: Downplayed. The Death Eaters are willing to work with dark creatures like werewolves and giants that the rest of the wizarding world won't have anything to do with, but those who aren't pure-blood wizards will never rise higher than Psycho for Hire (with the exception of Snape and Voldemort, who is a half-blood himself. They don't have problems with gender equality, though it seems there are fewer women Death Eaters than they are in their counterparts in the order. Women Are Wiser perhaps.
  • Evil Counterpart: To the Order of the Phoenix.
  • Dumb Muscle: The Carrows, Greyback, the Snatchers...
  • Fantastic Racism: Natch.
  • Fascist, but Inefficient: The constant infighting between factions trying to get in Voldemort's favor cause them to be much less effective than they could be. Their fear of Voldemort also cause them to be more hesitant in their actions even when it could have paid off.
  • Final Solution: In the last book, they implement a plan to either kill or subjugate all so-called "Mudbloods." This would include any magical beings, as well.
  • Gang Of Bullies: Tom Riddle is said to have lead a gang of them when he was a student at Hogwarts. This gang would later become the first Death Eaters.
    • According to Sirius, Snape was in one of these when he was a student, consisting of Avery, Rosier, Wilkes, Mulciber, Lucius Malfoy, Bellatrix and Rodolphus Lestrange before they all became Death Eaters.
  • Generation Xerox: Many of the Death Eaters of different generations shared the same surname (Rosier, Avery, Mulciber, Lestrange, Malfoy), likely indicating a father/son relationship between them. This is justified as the first-generation Death Eaters started out as fellow classmates of Voldemort when he was still Tom Riddle, and they were a Gang Of Bullies at Hogwarts that operated in a similar manner to the Death Eaters.
  • Hypocrite: Voldemort and his Death Eaters are prejudiced against wizards with less-than-pure wizarding blood and non-human magical creatures in general despite he himself having a Muggle parent. While he's counting on the anti-Muggle feelings of his followers, he genuinely despises Muggles and anything he considers Mudblood—and he apparently has a one-drop rule for everyone except himself and personal Death Eaters like Snape. While they also recruited giants and werewolves, they probably rationalized them as second- and third-tier "citizens" in Voldemort's new England.
    • It was suggested a few times that Voldemort was exploiting the prejudices of his own followers more than enforcing his own, and that he really didn't care about anything but his own power anymore. Voldemort's own half-blood status was one of the reasons he started going after power. He considered his father to be lowly, weak and cowardly for turning away his mother, and was determined to ignore his own history and go with wanting power.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: They believe in the superiority of pure blood, and will kill anyone they feel is inferior to them. Their leader, Voldemort, hates anyone not of pure wizard blood, yet he himself is not pure-blood; Adolf Hitler viewed Aryans, commonly portrayed as blonds with blue eyes, as the master race, yet he himself was brown-haired with brown eyes, and may have had a bit of Jewish ancestry. J. K. Rowling acknowledged the Death Eaters are supposed to represent the Nazis. In the fourth movie, they're also symbolized as Klansmen—check out the KKK-inspired headgear, torches and "burning signal."
    • And that's not even getting into the seventh book, for most of which the Power Trio are on the run in one of the most blatant parallels of Nazi-occupied Europe ever seen. The Ministry of Magic has become so corrupted from the inside by Les Collaborateurs, that they essentially pass the Nuremberg Laws against Muggle-born wizards and, under the guidance of Umbridge, are shown creating pamphlets touting blood purity whose content and saccharine covers call to mind the publications of Julius Streicher. The various Death Eater minions inside the Ministry are dressed in khaki clothes, with red, white and black armbands bearing the Dark Mark. The sign of the Deathly Hallows has a history very similar to that of the swastika, as well (originally an innocent symbol, then used by wizard-supremacist Grindelwald, etched on walls by stupid pricks to get attention...).
      • The Film of the Book of Deathly Hallows shows a snippet of Hermione's torture from the book, except instead of just hearing her screams, we also see Bellatrix doing...something with her dagger to Hermione's arm. When we see Hermione's arm, we can see that Lestrange carved "Mudblood" into the inside of Hermione's forearm, much like how the Nazis tattooed numbers into the forearms of the Jews in concentration camps.
    • The Polish translation of Deathly Hallows explicitly called those who hunted Muggle-borns and La Résistance for profit szmalcownicy. Real Life szmalcownicy sold hiding Jews to the Nazis during The War.
      • Said Snatchers can also be compared to the Einsatzgruppen that hunted Jews, inter alia, in occupied Europe.
  • No Honor Among Thieves: And it's because Machiavelli Was Wrong. Voldemort has no appreciation for his followers and would sacrifice any of them without a second thought. So naturally, the Death Eaters have no real loyalty to him either and would sell him out if it were to their advantage. The main exceptions are Bellatrix and Crouch Jr., both of whom are personally devoted to Voldemort and, oh yes, insane.
  • Not Brainwashed: Some Death Eaters (including Lucius Malfoy) avoided being sent to Azkaban at the end of the first war by claiming to have been under the Imperius Curse.
  • Number Two: Voldemort operates in complete secrecy leading many wannabe Death Eaters claiming to be his Number Two, which Dumbledore notes is a major delusion he enables. The Death Eaters don't have formal rankings, and depending on Voldemort's whims, people can move in and out of the center as per his paranoid thoughts. This allows a shifty Wild Card like Snape to easily ingratiate himself back into Voldemort's good graces despite having the most precarious situation after Voldemort's return.
  • Oddly Small Organization: Partly justified, since they are Voldemort's fanatical inner circle and are sent on all special tasks. The Mooks below them are known as Snatchers, and are not so much an actual organization as an army of collaborators. In the last book, most of their dirty work is done by swarms of inhuman Dementors.
  • Putting on the Reich: They view pure-blooded wizards (themselves) as the master race, and their ideology centers on cleansing the world of "Mudbloods." Also, in the fourth film, their black robes and pointed hoods intentionally resemble the Ku Klux Klan.
    • Not to mention the last two movies (but particularly so the first one): the anti-Muggle propaganda pretty much follows the original color scheme, and the security guys at the Ministry look like members of the Gestapo, complete with red armbands, which are also worn by the Snatchers.
  • Sudden Name Change: For the first three books, they were simply referred to as "Voldemort's followers/supporters." Once the term "Death Eaters" is introduced in Goblet of Fire, no one ever calls them anything else.
  • You Don't Look Like You: The Death Eaters' attire changed considerably between the fourth and fifth films. In the fourth film, they wore black robes with tall pointed hoods resembling the KKK, with skull-like masks. Starting with the fifth film, possibly because people complained the tall pointy hats looked silly, especially for the indoor scenes, because the comparisons with the KKK were too obvious, or simply because of the change in director, they switched to normal-sized black hoods with ornate metal masks.
    • In the first film, Voldemort has red eyes and a large, hooked nose. In the fourth film, he matches his appearance in the book save for having blue eyes with round pupils.

    Voldemort 
"There is no good or evil. There is only power... and those too weak to seek it!"

Portrayed by: Ralph Fiennes (fourth film onward), Richard Bremmer (body, first film), Ian Hart (voice, first film), Christian Coulson (Tom Riddle, second film), Frank Dillane (Tom Riddle, sixth film), Hero Fiennes-Tiffin (young Tom, sixth film)

Real name: Tom Marvolo Riddle. AKA The Dark Lord, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, You-Know-Who. The Evil Overlord of the wizarding world in Britain, he fears no one but Albus Dumbledore. Before his downfall, some ten years before the main plot of the first book, he killed hundreds, if not thousands, of people and gathered a huge band of followers, known as "Death Eaters." He tried to kill one-year old Harry Potter after murdering both of his parents, but failed due to The Power of Love. The rebounding curse hit him instead, but he remained alive due to his Horcruxes, which contained parts of his soul.

After rising again and seizing power, he is killed by Harry (and another rebounding curse) in a Showdown at Sunrise. Has something of a snake fetish, and can talk to snakes. Furthermore, he's outright insane and creepy. If you haven't noticed, drawing tattoos of skulls vomiting a snake isn't a sign of optimal mental health.

19 years later, he's still dead.
  • And I Must Scream: His final fate is being imprisoned in the body of a flayed infant in what appears to be the limbo between life and death.
  • Animal Motifs: He can speak to snakes, looks like one, has a pet snake, descends from a guy whose emblem was a snake and, of course, studied in his House at Hogwarts...
  • Animal Eyes: His eyes are stated to resemble those of a snake. Like the snake-like slitted nostrils, it is strongly implied that these features were the result of his creating seven Horcruxes.
  • Arch-Enemy: To Harry and Dumbledore, and probably to the entire wizarding and Muggle worlds.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: His title "Lord Voldemort" is merely an anagram of his real name, but he is the heir of a noble title from his Muggle father's side of the family tree (though he considers this title beneath him). And on his mother's side, he's the last descendant of a line that could be considered wizard nobility.
  • Badass: Voldemort was hands-down one of the most powerful wizards in the series.
    • Badass Grandpa: He was 71 by the final book, though he had been a disembodied spirit for 14-odd years of his life, during which he did not age physically. He also doesn't look the age, being an example of more specifically Evil Makes You Ugly rather than Evil Makes You Old. It's also clear from the series that wizards age differently than everyone else.
  • Bad Boss: It is very clear that most of his underlings—including ideological "true believers" and even those who joined the Death Eaters just to satisfy their sadism—obey him out of abject terror. As punishment for failure, he is not above sending their children to what he thinks is certain death, or having a psychotic temper tantrum and killing whoever happens to be nearby. And he has a nasty habit of holding onto grudges. If you upset him thirteen years ago, expect him to find and kill you. This comes back to bite him in the final book; when Bellatrix and the Malfoys have captured a facially-disfigured Harry they're too afraid to call Voldemort. If it really is Harry, Voldemort could kill him and take out the last thing standing in his way. If it turns out it's not Harry, when Voldemort got the news and arrived there's a high chance he'd kill everyone involved just for getting his hopes up.
  • Bald of Evil: He loses his hair as a part of his transformation.
  • Bastard In Sheep's Clothing: As a teenager, although Dumbledore was able to see through it.
  • Belated Backstory: Half-Blood Prince reveals more of his backstory than any other book in the series.
  • Berserk Button: Unless you happen to be Albus Dumbledore, don't use the name "Tom Riddle" in his presence if you value your life.
  • Big Bad: For the series as a whole, but he directly fills the role in Books 1, 4, 5 and 7.
    • Big Bad Ensemble: With Cornelius Fudge in Order of the Phoenix.
    • Bigger Bad: The adult, present-day Voldemort doesn't appear at all in the second, third or sixth books, but he remains the most dangerous villain of the series, as well as the root of the threats in the three aforementioned novels.
  • Black Cloak: Although it's more of a really dark green color in the fifth and seventh movies.
  • Blitz Evacuees: Tom Riddle attended Hogwarts during World War II. Luckily for him, the Blitz only lasted from September 1940 to May 1941, so assuming he stayed at Hogwarts during Christmas break, he was safe.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Harry Potter is unique in this regard, as it successfully justifies its villain's Bond Villain Stupidity. Voldemort is one of the most knowledgeable wizards of all time (perhaps apart from Dumbledore), but he's not particularly wise with the magic he wields, particularly the older branches of magic. This might be because, as a Muggle-raised wizards, he sees magic and power as the solution to any problem or, alternatively, because shredding your soul into seven pieces has some potentially negative side-effects.
    • That said, his decision to engage in monologuing instead of killing Harry straight away, meant that his younger Diary self ended up giving Harry the time to figure out how to defeat him in Chamber of Secrets, as well as making him the sole person responsible for derailing Barty Crouch Jr's evil plan in Goblet of Fire.
    • While Voldemort had insisted that he has to be the one to kill Harry, evidently that did not extend to personally making sure his foe is absolutely dead. Tropes being tools, if Voldemort had personally checked, he may have resorted to more crude, Muggle ways of ensuring Harry was dead.
  • Boomerang Bigot: One of the goals of the Death Eaters was the elimination or marginalization of any wizard who wasn't pure-blooded, especially if they were Muggle-born, but Voldemort himself was a half-blood.
    • Moreover, being a half-blood is probably the reason he is so powerful in the first place. He comes from a long line of powerful and dangerous wizards, but by the time he came along, most of their power had been diluted by constant inbreeding. If his father wasn't a Muggle, he probably would be just as pathetic as his uncle or grandfather. That said, their side of the family is probably why he is so messed up in the first place, so the trope may be justified; he is literally too Ax-Crazy to notice his own hypocrisy, or maybe just to care.
  • Breaking Speech: To Ron in Deathly Hallows, via his Locket Horcrux.
  • Broken Ace: As mentioned before, he was Head Boy at Hogwarts and admired by nearly every professor except Dumbledore.
  • Broken Pedestal: As a young orphan, he was obsessed with his roots, believed that his Lineage Comes from the Father, and that his father was a wizard. His discovery that this wasn't the case led to his Start of Darkness.
  • Casting Gag: His 11-year old self is played by Hero Fiennes-Tiffin, Ralph Fiennes' nephew, in the sixth film.
  • Catch Phrase: "Do not lie to Lord Voldemort. He knows... he always knows..."
  • The Charmer: While at Hogwarts and as a young man, he was noted as highly charismatic and used this to sway many people into following him. Later, he abandoned subtlety altogether and simply controlled them through fear; though as his followers will tell you, he's still pretty damn charismatic.
  • The Chessmaster: He orchestrated a complex but successful plot to get Harry right from under Dumbledore's nose. He systematically murdered powerful members of the Ministry of Magic and the Order starting in Book 6, and took control of the Minister of Magic's closest advisers and men. With his position, he silently overthrew the entire wizarding government. Also, he places traps for Harry throughout Deathly Hallows (Bathilda Bagshot's house, anyone?), showing he knows his enemies' thought processes. Not to mention his way of taking advantage of the shunned beasts of the wizarding world and making them a part of his already-huge army, something Dumbledore could not even persuade them to do. Book 2 anyone? Diary!Riddle leaves clues, and attacks Harry's closest friends in order to lure him to the Chamber, just so he could meet him.
  • Child by Rape: His mother drugged his father with a Love Potion. It's implied that this has something to do with his inability to understand love, or is symbolic of how he is unable to understand love; he came from a loveless union.
    • He mostly turned out the way he did because he grew up feared by other kids in the orphanage. He knew there was something different about him, and used this to his advantage to scare and manipulate his peers. It is said that if his mother hadn't died and had raised him with love, he would have turned out differently.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: While a feared and terrible killer for the most part, the over-the-top theatrical manner in which he conducts his actions often lead him to this.
    • He briefly considers killing a child For the Lulz when the latter mistook his natural getup as a Halloween costume. But decides "Quite Unnecessary!".
    • There's also his creepy attempt to ingratiate with Draco and the other Death Eaters by announcing the wedding of Bellatrix' niece to Remus Lupin.
    • His cursing of the Defense Against the Dark Arts position after Dumbledore rejected his application is perhaps his Crowning Moment of Pettiness. He had little hope of getting the job, and used it as an excuse to stash another Horcrux but still doomed its-implied-three decades of turnover staff to terrible fates and bad luck, turning it into the series Running Gag, which even Dumbledore admits is Actually Pretty Funny after a while.
  • Compelling Voice: Can project his voice across a crowd without the use of magic.
  • Crazy-Prepared: He creates Horcruxes as back-ups, in case he should ever die. But does he make one or two as most people would? No, he makes seven.
  • Creepy Child: As a kid, he was a creepy orphan who often tormented the other kids at the orphanage. Two of them even went permanently mute after what he did to them. He went around torturing little kids, killing bunnies and stealing toys, for goodness' sakes!
    • Oh geez, Frank Dillane's depiction of the teen Voldemort in Half-Blood Prince isn't much better.
  • Creepy Long Fingers: His hands are compared to "giant pale spiders" several times.
  • Crippling Overspecialisation: Comes back to bite him. He considers the only real tool he ever needs is the Killing Curse (and, to a lesser extent, the other Unforgivable Curses), and when this doesn't work on Harry (for various reasons), his attempted solutions consist of trying the same thing again with different wands. He also ignored areas of wizarding knowledge that could have helped him attain his goal of immortality, as seen in the last book.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: In the last book, his name is made a Taboo and anyone who says it immediately alerts the Death Eaters to their location. This is because the only people who are brave enough to say his name are the people who oppose him, like Harry.
    • Heck, he was even Dangerously Genre Savvy long before that; for starters, he planned on creating six Horcruxes, whereas most wizards created one, possibly as insurance in case someone does try to destroy one of the Horcruxes.
    • Another example is how he used Harry's blood to resurrect himself. He knew that he couldn't touch Harry from the first book, so he made sure that when he was revived, he'd be able to get around the protective charm as well. However, this action spectacularly backfires on him, as Dumbledore realizes as soon as he hears it and directly leads to his downfall.
    • His Genre Savvy eventually leads to a rare moment of self-awareness, where in the final book upon learning that Harry is chasing his Horcruxes, he immediately goes over his other pieces and realizing that they weren't that hard to find at all. That someone who knew his past, like Dumbledore, would have some idea where to look. Paying the price of putting them in places of personal significance.
  • Dark Lord on Life Support: He spends the first four books just trying to reclaim his physical body.
  • Dark Messiah: The Death Eaters see him as this, believing that he will subjugate and exterminate mudbloods and muggles and create a world where the old wizarding families will rule supreme. However, while Voldemort does share those prejudices and takes advantage of this ideology, its quite clear that his own ambitions to live forever and achieve limitless magical rather than political power come first; its also clear that even most of his followers obey him less out of devotion to him or the cause than because he terrifies them.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Almost constantly speaks in a sarcastic tone. Some examples include:
    • "Wormtail, I need someone with brains, someone whose loyalty has never wavered. And you, unfortunately, fulfill neither requirement."
    • "I'm going to sit here and watch you die. Take your time, Potter, I'm in no hurry."
    • "Will you babysit the cubs, Draco?"
    • When Lucius Malfoy extends his hands in the hope that Voldemort would give him his wand in exchange for borrowing Malfoy's: "You want me to give you my wand, Lucius..."
  • Devil in Plain Sight: Throughout his life, he had a talent for being charming, despite the fact that he was bad, bad news.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Voldemort's messing with forbidden soul-destroying magic and his dismissal of inferior magic and Fantastic Racism often makes him blindsided when something truly unexpected comes his way. Most notably, his killing of The Chosen One - a simple one-year-old baby, a couple who don't have a wand and the treachery of their best friend who is Beneath Suspicion when he attacks them, What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
    • This becomes a nearly constant Running Gag in the last book where, one by one, Voldemort's plans and gambits get foiled despite finally Putting on the Reich and taking over Hogwarts. It starts immediately when he finds out that Harry discovered one of his Horcruxes and stole it from Gringotts, and starts a Villainous Breakdown of epic proportions.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: In the films. His feet resemble talons with long, sharp toenails that appear to be blue.
  • Do Not Call Me Tom: See Berserk Button.
  • The Dreaded: Lord Voldemort, AKA "You-Know-Who" and "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named." He is even quite fond of using his own name in all his sentences, such as "DO NOT LIE TO LORD VOLDEMORT," just to get the message that he's high and mighty across.
  • Despotism Justifies the Means: There's hints throughout the series that he really doesn't give a damn about this whole "pure-blood superiority" thing; he just wants power for its own sake.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Voldemort once applied for the position of Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts though his primary goal was to hide the Ravenclaw diadem Horcrux in the Room of Requirement. Dumbledore rejected his application because he knew Voldemort had ulterior motives for being there and he wanted him gone. That and he figured a snake-like Humanoid Abomination that reeked of dark magic probably wouldn't be a good influence on students. Even though he had accomplished his real goal, Voldemort still felt pissed off by the rejection. And that's why no Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher has ever managed to hold on to the position for more than a year after Voldemort's visit. Turns out the position really is jinxed.
    • Word of God later stated that, while Voldemort's death lifted the curse, Slytherin's shady reputation nonetheless stands.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Shows contempt toward Wormtail, though it's uncertain whether it's because of Wormtail's betrayal of the Potters or because he's a whiny little Gonk who switches sides at the drop of the hat.
    • Most likely it's Voldemort's huge ego where he imagined loyal, competent Death Eaters like Bellatrix Lestrange or Lucius Malfoy to bring him back rather than a Dirty Coward with nowhere else to go. Being a last resort for someone who lived 12 years as a rat is not a pleasant truth to realize.
  • Evil Albino: His use of Horcruxes pretty much turned him albino (and destroyed his nose).
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Because Voldemort has no concept of love or mercy and fails to understand their value, he doesn't see how such emotions could possibly threaten him.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • He is Dumbledore's match in terms of magical abilities and cunning (though arguably not in wisdom). In fact, this goes even further when Dumbledore turned out to have a similar idea of wizards' superiority over Muggles during his youth.
    • Voldemort is also Harry's in terms of growing environment and personality. While Harry is born from the loving union between his parents, Voldemort is born from the completely loveless (and magically forced) union of his own parents. Also, Harry's parents, in an ultimate act of love, sacrificed themselves so that Harry may live, while Voldemort's father abandoned him and Voldemort's mother died due to despair, leaving her son all alone in the world (which explains Voldemort's inability to understand love). Personality-wise, Harry and Voldemort are courageous and smart; however, while Harry goes out of his way to help his friends, Voldemort uses people for his own ends and throws them away when they are no longer useful. Voldemort and Harry are also both wizards raised in a Muggle world, though while Harry accepts magic has its limitations, Voldemort does not, using it as a solution to almost everything and overlooking certain kinds.
    • Also serves as this to Severus Snape. A half-blood who hated his Muggle father and identified with his mother's heritage, and who had the Hogwarts career that Snape likely aspired to. Lily's friendship and kindness to Snape probably rescued him from going too deep.
    • He's also similar to James Potter, who was pure-blood and Gryffindor but ran a Gang Of Bullies and escaped serious punishment thanks to good looks and sound academic standing. Alongside this, they shared a penchant for exploring all of Hogwarts' secrets.
  • Evil Is Petty: Cursed the Defense Against The Dark Arts post at Hogwarts simply because he was turned down for the job. Even Dumbledore is amazed at the childishness of this action.
    • Not to mention the time he murders an entire family simply because he went to the wrong house.
  • Evil Genius: He is the mastermind of the takeover of the wizarding world, he manipulates all of his followers into playing power games to get in his favor, and he concealed his evil nature from all of the adults around him during his school years while orchestrating many dangerous incidents which he and his followers were never properly connected to. And this is all under everyone's nose, including Dumbledore's, and even Dumbledore could never prove he did any of it. He is also regarded as "the most brilliant student to ever enter Hogwarts." He made his first Horcrux while in Hogwarts, and hoodwinked information out of many people, as well as framed Hagrid for the killing of a girl, while simultaneously receiving an award for saving the school. He is pretty damn smart. If only he was less arrogant, he may have gone so much further...
  • Evil Makes You Ugly: Snake eyes, flat face, no nose... In the movies, he has long, rotting fingernails, disgusting, sharp, yellow teeth, and looks like a corpse. Justified because of all those Horcruxes he made, as it's said that even one Horcrux can irreparably damage the soul!
    • When Harry sees a memory of Voldemort after he had made his first two (or more) Horcruxes, he notes that his former good looks now appear waxy and slightly distorted like a bad photograph. He also appears to briefly display red eyes when plotting to murder someone. Voldemort didn't look that much different after the first Horcrux was made; in the flashback where he discussed Horcruxes with Slughorn, he was already wearing Marvolo Gaunt's ring—meaning, he'd already killed his father and made it into a Horcrux.
    • Beauty Is Bad: That said, Tom Riddle was a sociopath and a murderer before he became Lord Voldemort, and in flashbacks he's stunningly beautiful and charming.
  • Evil Old Folks: See Badass Grandpa.
  • Evil Overlord: The hoped-for end result of his Evil Plan.
  • Evil Plan: Wipe out the Muggle-born wizards and Take Over the World.
  • Evil Sorcerer: His first stated action in the books was the murder of two people and attempted murder of their one-year-old child. He only gets worse from there.
  • Expy: Has shades of Adolf Hitler and Darth Sidious.
    • Probably of Dorian Gray, too; young Tom Riddle's attractiveness is very much emphasized by the characters and the narration; the more evil he commits, the uglier he becomes, and he has multiple Soul Jars, while Dorian had, well, a beauty jar. One of Voldemort's Soul Jars even takes the form of his young, beautiful self.
  • Fan Nickname: "Voldy." Although Peeves calls him this In-Universe after he dies.
  • Fate Worse than Death: A trope beyond his comprehension; for him, nothing could be worse than death. Turns out not to save him from death. Or what comes after it, which really is worse.
  • Faux Affably Evil: As a Hogwarts student. He managed to fool nearly everyone there except Dumbledore, even being named Head Boy for his efforts. No longer the case by the time of the book, though any of his supporters can tell you he's still quite charismatic. In both cases, though, it seems to be an act to gather supporters and flunkies, and sycophants to feed his ego.
    • Before and during the Battle of Hogwarts, he tries to cultivate a "benevolent dictator" image for himself, claiming that he wants to avoid spilling magical blood when, in reality, he doesn't care how many people are killed as long as Harry is ultimately one of them. Few people buy it.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Laser-Guided Karma strikes every single one of his attempts to kill Harry. When he killed Lily Potter, he had just signed a contract with fate for being destined to lose.
  • Finish Him!: What ensues usually isn't pretty.
  • First Name Basis: Non-friendship example. Most people call him "He Who Must Not Be Named" out of their fear for him. Those that oppose him like the Order call him "Voldemort" while his followers address him as "The Dark Lord," both titles Voldy coined for himself. Only Dumbledore still calls him by his name "Tom" because he refuses to let him make himself more than just a man.
  • For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: A small child compliments Voldemort on his "costume" when he goes to kill the Potters on Halloween night. He avoids suspicion by blending in with everyone else.
    • And he seriously considers killing the kid, just for the hell of it.
  • Frame-Up: His modus operandi in his years as Tom Riddle. Commit a crime, delete all evidence and find a patsy to pass his crime on while he gets away with it. Was successful in this gambit with Dumbledore not able to unearth evidence until years later for some of his crimes, with his victims suffering and dying in Azkaban. Hagrid is fortunate to be merely expelled after Riddle accused him of being behind the attacks during their school years.
  • Freudian Excuse: He was conceived under the effects of a Love Potion. When his mother released his father from its effects, his father left the both of them, making his mother lose the will to live. However, Voldemort himself doesn't seem too concerned about this.
    • On his mother's side, the Gaunt/Slytherin bloodline has been affected by generations, even centuries, of incestuous inbreeding, which both diluted the magical potential of the family and produced a bunch of batshit insane nutcases. His grandfather and uncle were both terribly messed up; and his mother, who was physically and verbally abused by both of them, had her own serious issues and was probably traumatized her entire life (and is perhaps the only Gaunt readers can sympathize with). That Voldemort's father was a Muggle, ironically enough, was the reason for his own phenomenal magical potential, but it is heavily implied that it was his genes that made him into a psychopath.
    • Subverted. J. K. Rowling states that if Voldemort's mother Merope had survived and raised him with love and affection, he would have turned out differently. Is it a guarantee that he would be a "good" wizard? No—afterall, parents aren't always responsible for everything their kids do (and besides, other environmental factors shape behavior, such as peer pressure or societal structures/norms that work to socialize people into becoming a certain way)—but he certainly would not have turned into the Large Ham-of-a-batshit insane-Ax-Crazy-homicidal-psychopath-with-a-botched-nose job that he's become known for. However, like what Dumbledore said in the sixth book, we shouldn't judge poor Merope so harshly. She never had Lily's courage and was already very weak near the end of her life because of everything that's happened to her; not to mention, she became very destitute after Tom Riddle Sr. left her after the love potion stopped controlling him.
    • Voldemort's belief that magic can prevent death stems from his Parental Abandonment. He initially refuses to believe that his mother is magical because he felt that if she had magic, she would have lived to raise him (something that even Harry expresses surprise at). His fixation on his imagined magical father and initial dismissal of his mother as weak, ultimately leads to bitter disillusionment when he realizes the truth. His mother's betrayal by his Muggle father (as he assumes it) leads him to regard love as a weakness. These experiences and the wrong conclusions he draws goes on to define his personality.
    • The extent to which his childhood in the orphanage defined his personality, can be glimpsed in Deathly Hallows where in a flashback scene, he initially looks at baby Harry with curiosity and only uses the curse when he starts to cry, noting "he never could stand the crying in the orphanage". In many ways, his life is a subversion of a Changeling Wish Fulfillment fantasy where orphans find out they have a Secret Legacy and Orphan's Plot Trinket and that Deceased Parents Are the Best, showing that the person could end up as a narcissistic sociopath as easily as a Heartwarming Orphan.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: His lifelong goal was to shed his common upbringing as an orphan in an orphanage with a common name into something which people would fear and respect. He got what he wanted and became the most feared wizard of his age.
  • Gang Of Bullies: He apparently was the leader of one during his Hogwarts years that consisted of future Death Eaters. He claimed they were his friends, but likely just saw them as enemies. This gang would get into all sorts of trouble while Tom maintained his model student act.
  • Glamour Failure: Harry notes that Tom's Horcrux-self's eyes appear to turn red whenever he is plotting murder. [[spoiler: This briefly happens to his good-looking physical self a few times in flashbacks; before Voldemort's eyes went red permanently.
  • Good Hurts Evil: For a long time, was physically incapable of touching Harry because of a magical spell based on Harry's mothers' love for him; trying to do so was enough to kill at least Quirrell, when he was his host. He gets over that, but it still hurts him to possess Harry when Harry is feeling certain strong emotions (i.e. love).
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: He's very hot-tempered and equally trigger-happy.
  • Hellish Pupils: In the books only, although in the fourth movie his pupils were slits for a brief time after his resurrection.
  • Hero Killer: He's the most dangerous dark wizard of the age, and, to boot, killed Harry's parents.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Voldemort could hold some sort of record for this.
  • Humanoid Abomination: A rare example of a person who aspired to be this. He sees humanity as restricting and is afraid of death and wishes to transcend it by creating six horcruxes. He ends up as a pale-skinned bald man with no nose or lips, red eyes with slitted pupils, unnaturally long fingers, and blue fingernails.
  • Hypocrite: Voldemort discriminates against half-bloods and muggle-borns, but he is half-blood himself.
  • I Have Many Names: Tom Riddle, Lord Voldemort, You-Know-Who, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, the Dark Lord.
  • Immortality Seeker: Life-long goal.
  • It's All About Me: Even for an Evil Overlord, he has a massive ego.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Harry noted that he immediately accepted being a wizard, where Harry had several doubts. Dumbledore noted that Voldemort was quite eager for evidence that "he was special". This extends to his choice of Horcruxes and the places where he chose to hide them; all of them he regarded as evidence of his inevitable greatness. Harry's understanding of Voldemort in regards to this is what keeps him in good standing in his hunt for Horcruxes
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Before he started making Horcruxes, Voldemort is mentioned as extremely handsome.
  • I Want Them Alive: He refuses to allow anyone to kill Harry Potter because he believes Harry mus die by his hand alone.
  • Jerkass: He's often pointlessly, even pettily cruel. For example, in the seventh book, he takes a moment to mock Bellatrix and the Malfoys for no real reason apart from amusing himself.
  • Karma Houdini: Until the very end of the book and his attack on Lily Potter He committed five murders in his youth, framed three others and always escaped justice with Dumbledore not able to find evidence of any of his wrongdoings beyond a lingering suspicion. By the time he became Voldemort, he was so powerful at subverting the Ministry and staying in hiding that the Ministry essentially conceded he had Karma Houdini Warranty, which he actually did.
  • Knight of Cerebus: He's always been around, but it's his full-fledged return in the end of the fourth book that gives the series its Cerebus Syndrome.
  • Large Ham: Only in the movies. Seems to have slipped off of a sanity (or ham) slope near the end.
    • His now-infamous "NYAAAAAAH!" in the movies. Ralph Fiennes has said that he initially tried not to go over the top with Voldemort, but soon realized that there's pretty much no other way to play the character.
    • There are a few brief mentions, especially in the seventh book, that "Voldemort screamed," which could be interpreted as the Big Nyaah.
    • "Harry Potter is dead! Yeh-heh-heh!"
    • In the movies, when screaming "Avada Kedavra!", it's so ridiculous and over the top it ends up sounding like "UVAHDUH KADUVRAH!"
  • Leave Him to Me: Every time he comes across Harry. Although he's proven himself quite incompetent when it comes to Harry, he MUST be the one to kill Harry Potter (as he even says in Deathly Hallows Part One). However, considering that his Avada Kedavra curse has only hit Harry once, it makes sense that he would feel that Harry is no longer protected against him (especially when he actually possessed the blood of Lily and James Potter and thus also won't end up having the Avada Kedavra curse backfire on him like it did the last time). I mean, come on, he's some kid whereas Voldemort is an extraordinary wizard.
  • Living Forever Is Awesome: His philosophy and primary motivation.
  • Living Lie Detector: In a very chilling way. He can invade the minds of anyone standing before him, and read their innermost thoughts or show them visions. Well, except for Snape, much to Voldemort's eventual displeasure. He doesn't bother with Narcissa either, deciding to Crucio a certain corpse to make sure.
  • Looks Like Orlok: Except without the pointy nose... or any nose at all, for that matter.
  • Love Potion: The basis of his conception. After it wore off, daddy left. It's a big reason why he doesn't understand love.
  • Manipulative Bastard: In his very first appearance, he's trying to use Harry's emotions against him to get his hands on the Philosopher's Stone, switching almost effortlessly from angry and threatening, to calm flattery. The second book might have been the most triumphant example of his ruthless manipulative skills, the fourth book had him use the terror his Death Eaters had of him to keep them under his control, the fifth book had him lure Harry to the Ministry of Magic by sending fake images of himself torturing Sirius, the sixth book showed him doing it to everyone around him in the Pensieve flashbacks, and forcing Draco Malfoy to go after Dumbledore, in a plan that he hoped would either end with Malfoy dead (the expected outcome), or Dumbledore dead. He was using the fear Malfoy had for his parents' lives against him, in order to do as he wished. Of course, this also showed how little he understands love and compassion; otherwise, he would have realized that neither Dumbledore nor Malfoy would have killed the other. Seventh book had him attempting to goad Harry into coming to face him to die by saying that the Battle of Hogwarts would end if Voldemort was allowed to kill Harry, since Harry was the only reason he came to Hogwarts in the first place. It worked but backfired spectacularly in the end. Pretty much any time he's talking, he's being this.
  • Meaningful Name: "Vol de mort" is approximately French for "flight of death/from death." Alternatively, "voleur de mort" would be "thief of death." The letters in "I am Lord Voldemort" can be rearranged to read his actual name.
  • Meaningful Rename: He renamed himself to "Voldemort", because he didn't want to use the name of his Muggle father.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: His life philosophy is that any problem that comes your way can be killed, partly because he doesn't think there's any Fate Worse than Death. This leads him to make the false assumption that merely killing Snape would be enough to secure The Elder Wand's allegiance.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Quite! The guy's name is French for "flight of/from death".
  • Narcissist: Thinks of himself as "extraordinary" and the greatest wizarding genius who ever lived; he's totally self-centred and cares nothing for anyone or anything but himself and his own grandiose ambitions. He is also insistent thathe, and he alone, must kill Harry Potter, in order to prove to the world and himself that this young boy is not better than him. He is also the leader of a cult that prides itself on its elitism and racism, and he regards himself as wholly superior even in that circle.
  • Never My Fault: Flies in a rage whenever something doesn't go his way and takes it out on his underlings for "failing" him. He also thinks of himself as Above Good and Evil and thusly is incapable of being morally wrong in anything, because the only thing that matter is power.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: He continually screws himself over in his pursuit to kill Harry.
  • Noble Demon: In one of the great ironies of the series, Voldemort's one recorded instance of playing this for Severus Snape after he asks him SpareHerMyLiege results in the fruit of his downfall. He was genuinely willingly to let Lily Potter live creating in the process a Spanner in the Works magical contract that seals his fate.
  • Noodle Incident: He apparently did something to two of his fellow orphans while on a trip to the seaside (which was apparently bad enough to render them permanently mute), but what he did precisely is never revealed.
  • The Noseless: The closest thing to a nose he has is the snake-like slit nostrils on his face. It's strongly implied that this as well as the serpent eyes were the direct result of his creating Horcruxes.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Invoked: When he had the Ministry of Magic in his pocket for most of book 7, Fred and Kingsley had this little exchange: "You-Know-Who's strategy of remaining in the shadows is creating a nice little climate of panic..." and "The air of mystery is creating more terror than actually showing himself."
    • The same applies to book 6, where he doesn't appear at all except in flashbacks, creating an incredibly tense and suspenseful plot right up to the Wham Chapter at the end.
  • Obviously Evil: He looks monstrously inhuman, which complements his psychopathic nature quite well.
  • Oh, Crap: His reaction on learning that Harry took a Horcrux from Gringotts, that his greatest secret, the source of his immortality, was compromised, shows him afraid for the first time in the books.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: He invokes this by making up "I am Lord Voldemort" as an anagram of his full name. Taken further when people use "You-Know-Who" in reference to "Voldemort" because they are scared to invoke his "name." Only Dumbledore and later Harry has the courage, or maybe disrespect and desire to belittle him, to call him "Tom."
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Justified in this case. Thanks to his accidentally making Harry Potter a horcrux due to the events of Lily's sacrifice, Harry Potter was the only one capable of matching up against Voldemort, at least until Voldemort unknowingly removed his horcrux from Harry, and Nagini (the final horcrux) ended up killed by Neville.
  • Only Mostly Dead: What he is in the first few books before his revival at the end of Goblet of Fire.
  • Our Liches Are Different: He excised the majority of his soul in his pursuit of immortality.
  • The Paranoiac: Voldemort is a pure paranoid sociopath. He is incapable of love (and pretty much every other positive emotion) because he never experienced it himself and is unable to understand it, leading to an extreme Might Makes Right way of thinking as he thinks power is the only thing that matters in the world. He hates Muggles as inferiors despite secretly being half-blood himself, is utterly terrified of death to the point that he can't imagine anything worse than it, believes himself to be the greatest wizarding genius who ever lived despite being repeatedly bested by a teenage boy (on whom he swore eternal murderous revenge), and has an explosive Hair-Trigger Temper that he often takes out on his own followers. Oh, and he's built a personality cult around himself based on his aforementioned supposed genius along with vague ideas of class and racial superiority, yet he is incapable of tolerating even the slightest criticism of his plans or behaviour.
  • Parental Abandonment: While he doesn't come off sympathetic, his incestuous background and parental neglect does explain why he's so messed up since his childhood.
  • Pet the Dog: One of the greatest and darkest subversions ever: Voldemort calls a temporary cease-fire in the final battle at Hogwarts, telling his enemies through telepathy that he's giving them time to rest and bury their dead... only to immediately follow this by saying they now face a choice: surrender Harry Potter to him or else he guarantees that he will slaughter every last man, woman, and child in Hogwarts.
    • When Snape asks Voldemort to spare Lily Potter in the hopes of Comforting the Widow, he was actually going to uphold his side of the bargain. He asked Lily to step aside and would not have killed her had she let him kill her son Harry instead. This proves to be the Spanner in the Works.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: He is the (or at least a) wizarding equivalent of Hitler, after all.
  • Possession Burnout: After being "killed" by Harry, any body he possessed or inhabited that wasn't his own tended to wear out, requiring things like drinking unicorn blood or using the Philosopher's Stone.
  • Power Parasite: A surprisingly milder version - he stole Dumbledore's Elder Wand to serve as its new master. Didn't quite turn out that way, thanks to Harry.
  • Pride: If pride were a physical substance, he'd explode.
  • Primal Fear: He's so afraid of death that he'll kill others and go to great lengths to avoid it.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Type C. For a start, he's obsessed with getting revenge on a small boy, because of what said boy did when he was a ''baby'' (or, worse, just because of the boy's reputation for defeating him as a baby). Besides that, he never admits he's wrong, throws violent tantrums when things don't go his way, constantly blames others for his own mistakes, and has acted the way he does for most of his life.
    • There's also a great deal of childishness in his actions. His keeping of Horcruxes in places significant to his childhood and early adolescence. The creation of a made-up scary sounding name is another.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: In the books only; the films let Ralph Fiennes keep his blue eyes while playing the character. Leading to...
  • Reminiscing About Your Victims: As a remorseless killer, Voldemort shows this from time to time. His unexpected return to Godrics Hollow in the 7th book gives us a Through the Eyes of Madness look at the night he killed Harry's parents.
    • More creepily, he tells Harry about the time he murdered Tom Riddle Sr, his father, after harvesting his dead father's bones for a Magic ritual, noting that it was the first time he felt at peace with his Muggle roots.
  • Removed Achilles Heel: In Goblet of Fire, by using Harry's blood as a component in the ritual to restore himself to power, he manages to bypass the Power of Love protection that made it impossible for him to touch Harry in Philosopher's Stone.
    • Dumbledore famously realizes however, that by removing that Achilles' Heel, he has created an even bigger one, which shows up in the final book.
  • Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up: He tested his early powers on his fellow orphans and was behind a number of unpleasant incidents throughout his years at Hogwarts. The only one of his schoolmates we know ended up working against him is Hagrid, whom he framed for Myrtle's death.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Abandons Quirrell's body at the end of Philosopher's Stone and leaves him to die.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, it's implied that his final fate is to remain in a sort of limbo (specifically, the netherworld where Harry met Dumbledore after he died) forever, incapable of harming anyone ever again.
  • Sealed Evil In A Six Pack: Voldemort had separated his soul several times and placed them in Horcruxes so that he could be resurrected if he is killed.
  • Self-Disposing Villain: Twice.
  • Self Fulfilling Prophecy: By choosing Harry, he set in motion the chain of events that brought about his downfall.
    • However, Word of God has stated that if he had chosen Neville instead, the result would have been much the same.
  • Self-Made Orphan: In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, we learn that he murdered his father and grandparents as soon as he discovered they were Muggles, and not the Wizards he imagined.
  • Serpent of Immortality: The closer to immortality Voldemort got, the more snake-like he seemed. Also, Voldemort took a piece of his soul and made his pet snake Nagini a Horcrux probably making her immortal.
  • Shipper on Deck: His locket Horcrux ships Harry/Hermione... for the sole purpose of emotionally torturing Ron.
    • Possibly meant to troll the fandom shippers of that pairing as well.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: Right before his final clash with Harry.
  • Sissy Villain: Comes across as this in the film versions.
  • Smug Snake: Almost literally.
  • Social Darwinist: This philosophy is delivered by Quirrell in the book and himself in the film. "There is no good and evil; there is only power and those too weak to seek it."
  • The Sociopath: Let's see: Consummate Liar, casual manipulation of everyone around him, superficial charm (in his youth), a history of childhood cruelty, remorseless violation of the rights of others, egocentricity, and an inability to understand love? That's Voldemort, all right.
    • He displayed the tell-tale signs of being a Sociopath even as a child, which Dumbledore chose to overlook in favour of his policy of trying to give a troubled individual a chance to prove themselves. Which really begs the question of why Hogwarts doesn't have some kind of psychiatric test to weed out students who really should not be given access to unlimited magical power?!
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: An aspect of his character emphasized in Fiennes' version of him. He generally speaks in a soft and polite (if very creepy) voice, and as for the sadist part, see above.
  • Soul Fragment: When he tried to kill the one-year old Harry and failed, he accidentally made him into a Horcrux, forging a connection between their minds.
  • Soul Jar: The Horcruxes in general.
  • Spanner in the Works: To himself, due to the whole extra Horcrux situation.
  • Speak of the Devil: People fear his Voldemort alias so much they refer to him as "You Know Who" or "He Who Must Not Be Named."
  • Straight Edge Evil: Harry Potter is a children's series, so it avoids sex on the whole. Still, Voldemort seems to be asexual, interested only in power and magic.
  • Straw Nihilist: The statement in the first book that Professor Quirrell makes about Voldemort showing him that there's no good and evil but only power and those too weak to seek it, is often described by fans to be Voldemort's philosophy, which is quite justified. His description of love as a weakness and his belief in being special paints him as this.
  • Take Over the World: His ultimate goal, along with attaining eternal life.
  • Tall, Dark and Handsome: In his teenage years. His beauty is more remarked on than that of any other character — including Love Interests and Veelas. Unfortunately for him, the years have not been kind.
  • Teen Genius: In the flashbacks to his teen years.
  • That Man Is Dead: His opinion of Tom Marvolo Riddle boils down to this, and he doesn't appreciate Dumbledore (and later Harry) calling him by his birth name.
  • Third-Person Person
    • "You will have better victims; Lord Voldemort will provide."
    • "All that is required is for you to display a little courage, courage you will find unless you wish to feel the full extent of Lord Voldemort's wrath."
    • Among others.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: Whenever Harry is sucked into Voldemort's mind or gets a sense of his emotion, we get this. The most Nightmare Fuel example is his reminiscing of the night he killed Harry's parents.
  • To Create A Playground For Evil: The Death Eaters certainly seem to believe that the world he creates will be their own personal plaything. It's implied that this is more wishful thinking on their part, however, as Voldemort's aim is to to rule the world. Anything else that happens to it is just a by-product of his means to that end.
  • Tom the Dark Lord: The Trope Namer. Depreciates his real name since it's not a unique or interesting villain name.
  • Too Clever by Half: He can go head to head with Dumbledore. That speaks for itself. Though Dumbledore beat him, it had to do more with Dumbledore's wisdom and his understanding of love and Voldemort's personality.
  • Too Dumb to Live: He keeps using the same Killing Spell on the one kid it clearly doesn't work on, until it finally fails so epically it kills him.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: In the final book, he installs puppet regimes at Hogwarts and the Ministry of Magic. They don't last.
  • Übermensch: Remarks to Frank Bryce that "I'm so much more than a man!". He regards human morality as weak and sees love as a weakness. If the Quirrel quote is indeed his credo, he seems to see himself as beyond good and evil. The Through the Eyes of Madness glimpse of his thoughts on the night of the Potters murder shows that in his mind he is able to kill without any great feeling of anger and hatred, showing a viewpoint that doesn't seem remotely human.
  • Uncatty Resemblance: He keeps a pet snake, and looks serpentine on his own.
  • The Unfettered: Voldemort allows nothing to interfere with his goals. In his quest for power and immortality, he has slaughtered countless innocents, defied the laws of man and nature, and even torn apart his own soul. Basically, if it isn't himself or an extension of him, Voldemort has zero qualms about sacrificing it.
  • Villain Ball: He winds up holding this repeatedly. He's certainly got more tricks up his sleeve than Avada Kedavra, but the Killing Curse is quite clearly his Weapon of Choice. And when he doesn't use that, he tends to fall back on the other Unforgivable Curses rather than anything else.
  • Villainous Breakdown: While Harry’s focus sharpens the crazier things get, Voldemort is noticeably unbalanced by unexpected occurrences, a combination that winds up screwing him over repeatedly. To count:
  • Villain with Good Publicity:
    • Not him per se, but his wizard supremacist views are endorsed and backed by Ministry propaganda in the last book.
    • His ideas about militant ethnic cleansing (although implied to be a front for his true, personal aims) were popular among some during both wars - but it's implied that his extremism cost him some followers... notable among them Regulus Black, who seemed to join up because of the pureblood agenda, then turned on Voldemort once he saw what the latter was willing to do to achieve his ends. Also, Narcissa Malfoy, who was a pureblood supremacist to the letter, but couldn't abide Voldemort's attempt to sacrifice her family.
    • In his later school years, he was made Prefect and then Head Boy as well as receiving an award for Services to the School while he was opening the Chamber of Secrets, unleashing the Basilisk on innocent students, and pinning it on Hagrid.
  • We Can Rule Together: Hints at this with Harry in the first book, then plays it straight with Neville at the end of the seventh book. Dumbledore and the Order perfectly understand that this is Schmuck Bait. He seeks to rule alone himself and the Death Eaters who believe otherwise are seriously deluded or insane, or both.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: His decision to sic Nagini on Severus Snape rather than just AK'ing him on the spot proves to be a fatal mistake, as it allows Snape to pass on vital information to Harry in his dying moments. Of course, this is just typical of Voldemort's nature as an overconfident sadist, and he likely believed Snape to be the master of the Elder Wand, which he may have thought would not harm its master.
    • Back at the climax of The Goblet Of Fire; if Voldemort didn't release Harry and just stabbed him with the knife, the story would've been way shorter.
    • Seems to have learned his lesson after that: the next time he meets Harry he immediately and unceremoniously casts the killing curse.
  • Winds of Destiny, Change: That curse he put on the Defense Against the Dark Arts Teaching post and how it works across the books would earn him a degree in this subject.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Brutally shown when he tries to kill Harry as an infant, which leads to his initial downfall. Later on, he sends 16 year old Draco Malfoy on a suicide mission under penalty of death, and launches a full-on assault on Hogwarts, with many of the casualties being students. Also considers murdering a Godric's Hollow kid just for getting in the way. He doesn't follow through with it.
  • X Meets Y: Word Of Goddess says that he's a combination of Adolf Hitler (genocidal madman, who deep down is what he hates) and Josef Stalin (megalomaniac willing to do anything for power who changed his name).
  • You Have Failed Me: If you're lucky, after you've ticked off Voldemort, he'll kill you without putting you through the Cruciatus Curse first.

    Bellatrix Lestrange 
"Well, well, well, look what we have here. It's Harry Potter. He's all bright, and shiny, and new again, just in time for the Dark Lord!"

Portrayed by: Helena Bonham-Carter

Next to Voldemort, Bellatrix is the Death Eaters' head honcho, and she's one mean Death Eating queen. She was one of the few females in the group, as well as among the most dangerous and sadistic of Voldemort's followers. At the end of the First Wizarding War, Bellatrix and her husband, Rodolphus Lestrange, his brother Rabastan, and Barty Crouch Jr. tortured Aurors Alice and Frank Longbottom to the point of insanity searching for information on Voldemort after his first downfall. Bellatrix was sentenced to life imprisonment in Azkaban for the crime, but escaped in the 1996 mass break-out, along with nine other Death Eaters. She participated in several battles of the Second Wizarding War, making it a particular goal to kill any relatives who were members of the Order of the Phoenix, including her cousin Sirius Black and niece Nymphadora Tonks. She was killed by Molly Weasley.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: In the books, she was quite a looker before she was imprisoned in Azkaban, but in the movies, she's played by Helena Bonham-Carter.
  • Alliterative Name: Before she was married, she was Bellatrix Black.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • Set up as this to Neville Longbottom, particularly in the climax to The Order Of The Phoenix.
    • Despite, this, it's actually Molly Weasley who disposes of Bellatrix at the end of The Deathly Hallows. Word of God always said Molly was the one who was going to kill Bellatrix.
  • Ax-Crazy: Moreso in the films; she takes great joy in killing and torturing.
  • Badass: By virtue of being a Hero Killer.
  • Baby Talk: To Harry in the Department of Mysteries:
    "The little baby woke up fwightened and fort what it dweamed was twoo."
  • The Baroness: Mostly of the Rosa Klebb-variety, but being played by Helena Bonham-Carter mixes this with a few traits of te sexpot.
  • Big Screwed-Up Family: Born into the House of Black. She somehow manages to be the most screwed up of them all.
  • Cassandra Truth: Bella is the only Death Eater who doesn't trust Snape, even going so far as to tell her sister, Narcissa, that she believes Voldemort is "mistaken" in trusting him. Considering Bella's feelings about Voldemort, her deep mistrust of Snape is pretty damn telling. However, it does say in Book 6 that many of the Death Eaters spoke behind Snape's back, but Bellatrix was probably the only one to confront him. But Bellatrix's suspicions were not based on just distrust, she was insanely jealous of Snape's position with Voldemort, which is why she grills him with questions, which he has already been asked by Voldemort himself.
    Snape: "Do you seriously believe that the Dark Lord has not asked me each and every one of those questions? And if I had not been able to give satisfactory answers to each and every one, do you really think that I would be sitting here right now?"
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: In her own batshit crazy and psychotic way.
  • Character Exaggeration: Bellatrix is much more obviously deranged and maniacal in the films, and probably even more sadistic. In the books, she's more serious and focused.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Bellatrix Lestrange loves this.
  • Combat Sadomasochist: Shades of it in the books; the films have her skipping around gleefully after killing Sirius.
  • Dark Action Girl: Voldemort's best lieutenant.
  • Dark Mistress: She wishes she was this to Voldemort, but he doesn't care for such things.
  • The Dragon: To Voldemort.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Bellatrix seems to have a close relationship with her sister, Narcissa; they call each other Cissy and Bella, and Bellatrix is confident that Narcissa wouldn't hurt her, because they're siblings. On the other hand, she doesn't seem to care about her husband and is unsympathetic to Narcissa's fears for Draco's life, stating that if she had children, she'd be happy to "give them up to the service of the Dark Lord".
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • To Hermione Granger. Especially in the movies, where there are more physical similarities between Emma Watson and Helena Bonham-Carter than the book versions.
    • And to Sirius Black, as well. She's the psychotic, muggle-hating counterpart to Sirius Black, a good man and White Sheep who was falsely accused of betraying the Potters.
      • In addition to this both are equally talented, equally devoted to their cause and equally intense. They were both strong, attractive, important people in their respective causes who went to prison and came out the other end scarred and a bit loopy.
  • Evil Is Hammy: This makes her even more terrifying.
  • Foil: To Molly Weasley, according to Rowling. Their battle in Deathly Hallows was supposed to illustrate the differences between the two women: Bellatrix puts her ideas before the people in her life, whereas caring for and loving others is what is most important to Molly — and what drives her to kill Bellatrix. Narcissa could also be seen as her foil; they share the same cause, but Narcissa's devotion to her husband and son and desire to protect them above all else are what keep her from going as far as her sister does. It's even lampshaded in some scenes where Narcissa is reluctant to let Draco take on certain tasks and Bellatrix can't understand why.
  • For the Evulz: She delights in torture, violence, and destruction.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: By Half-Blood Prince, Snape has replaced Bella as Voldemort's favorite. She doesn't take this well. Heavy emphasis on the "monster" part.
  • Goth: Her clothes are never described explicitly in the books, but in the films, she dresses in very Gothic clothes (Helena Bonham-Carter, who is a Perky Goth, has mentioned that she chose the clothes herself), complete with a corset, black eyeliner and dark lipstick.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Even by Death Eater standards, it really doesn't take much to set her off.
  • Hero Killer: Prefers torture, and is extremely dangerous, as The Dragon to Voldemort. She kills Sirius, Dobby, and Tonks.
  • Ignored Enamored Underling: To Voldemort, who values but doesn't love her.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Word of God is that she's in love with Voldemort, who cannot even fathom the concept of love.
  • In-Series Nickname: Bella.
  • I Was Quite a Looker:
    • She used to be very attractive, but after years in Azkaban, her face became "gaunt and skull-like."
    • Naturally, the movies avert this. Completely.
  • Jerkass: She loves not only killing and torturing, but also taunting others about the deaths of their loved ones.
  • Karmic Death: Bellatrix might have lived a little longer, had she not tried to kill Ginny and mocked her very pissed-off mother as she jumped to her defense. This doubles as a Death by Irony, considering that Bellatrix killed Sirius when he underestimated her abilities. Later, Bellatrix is killed when she underestimates Molly.
  • Kick the Dog: Repeatedly.
  • Knife Nut: Downplayed. She'll use a wand in actual combat, but seems to have developed a taste for using them in torture. Just ask Hermione and poor Dobby.
  • Lady Macbeth: Though her Macbeth didn't need any encouragement at all.
  • Large Ham: Only in the film versions. Helena Bonham-Carter devours the scenery during all of her scenes. It's delicious.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Gets her ass handed to her by Molly Weasley after mocking her about Fred's death.
  • Laughing Mad: See Evil Laugh (or rather "Loony Cackle") below.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: How her death is portrayed in the film.
  • Loony Cackle: Just listen to her in the movies, especially during the battle between she and Molly.
  • Mad Love: Bellatrix is madly obsessed with Voldemort and will do anything for him. He exploits this mercilessly.
  • Meaningful Name: Bellatrix is the feminine form of "warrior" in Latin. It's also the name of a star in the Orion constellation.
  • Morality Pet: Apparently her younger sister Narcissa, who is the only person she seems to care about, at least in a non-creepy way. Bellatrix being who she is, however, and given how she treats relatives who stray from the family tradition, this "caring" likely lasts only as long as Narcissa is loyal to the Dark Lord.
    • Played With between her and Voldemort—she's described as his "favorite" and "most loyal" follower, and while there are some hints that he cares for "Bella" it's hard to determine how genuine they are, especially since he invites his followers to mock her and Narcissa at one point.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Especially when she's carving "Mudblood" into Hermione's arm in the penultimate film.
  • Psycho Supporter: Voldemort's most devoted follower.
  • Psychopathic Womanchild: She's pretty much the female poster child for this trope.
  • Sanity Slippage: Fourteen years in Azkaban leaves a few psychological scars, even for Bellatrix, who wasn't exactly sane to begin with.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: In Order of the Phoenix, she goes from this to this.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Her devotion to pureblood supremacy led to the falling out between her and Andromeda after she married a muggle-born. She also has this with Narcissa; while Bellatrix is obsessed with Voldemort and the Death Eater philosophy, Narcissa fears Voldemort and would willingly betray him to protect her family.
  • Slasher Smile: Has this in the movie.
  • The Sociopath: Textbook example, just like her boss.
  • Softspoken Sadist: In the book versions.
  • Statuesque Stunner: A throwaway line in Book 7 describes her as taller than a 17-year-old Harry, who's probably just about as tall as the average 17-year-old male. Averted in the films as she's played by a 5'2" Helena Bonham-Carter.
  • Taken for Granite: Courtesy of Molly in the eighth movie. And then becomes Literally Shattered Lives less than a second later.
  • Throwing Your Knife Always Works: She kills Dobby this way, although Bellatrix was aiming for Harry.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: In the book, she's implied to have been AK'd nonverbally by Molly. In the film, Molly hits her with a couple of curses in rapid succession. One kills her and appears to either turn her to stone or begin to decompose her body on the spot. The second frags her into about a million little chunks. At least Voldemort left a body to bury (or burn).
  • Thicker Than Water: Subverted. Bellatrix feels that it's her duty to kill the members of her family who are on the wrong side in the war.
  • Torture Technician: She was sent into Azkaban for torturing Neville Longbottom's parents into insanity to find out Voldemort's whereabouts, and is noted by Dumbledore to enjoy "playing with her food". In fact, the Cruciatus Curse seems to be her signature MO, though she isn't afraid to use more mundane methods of torture, as implied in Deathly Hallows.
  • Troll:
    • "I killed Sirius Black! I killed Sirius Black!"
    • "What will happen to your children when I've killed you? When Mummy's gone the same way as Freddie?"
    • She can't seem to help herself, but both of these come back to bite her in the ass. The first one finds her on the wrong end of a Cruciatus curse, and the second gets her killed.
  • Undying Loyalty: She was one of the few Death Eaters who tried to look for Voldemort after he disappeared, and she proudly went to Azkaban for him, convinced that he will free her.
  • Villainous Valor: When Bellatrix is sentenced to imprisonment in the Azkaban, she goes proudly and without any fear. (She expects Voldemort to free her eventually, but spending even a day there is a horrifying experience).
  • Yandere: She's completely obsessed with Voldemort.

    Lucius Malfoy 
"Busy time at the Ministry, Arthur, all those extra raids? I do hope they're paying you overtime. Though judging by the state of this, I'd say not. What's the use in being a disgrace to the name of wizard if they don't even pay you well for it?"

Portrayed by: Jason Isaacs

Draco's rich, well-connected daddy. Despite being Obviously Evil, Lucius is a Villain with Good Publicity for the majority of the series. Though a Death Eater, he is not particularly loyal and will not hesitate to turn his back on Voldemort to save his own skin. Or that of his son.
  • Almighty Janitor: Until he's exposed as a Death Eater, he practically owns Britain. His job? None at all.
  • Anti-Villain: By the time of Book 7, he's closer to this trope than a full out villain, especially when it is shown that he cared for his family's well being enough to abandon Voldemort. His short time in Azkaban between Book 5 and Book 6 probably also helped as well.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: The Malfoys have a massive amount of wealth. That, along with Fantastic Racism, explains their pride and smugness.
  • Badass Decay: In-universe. His status among the Death Eaters after what they regard, with some justice, his Epic Fail. His defeat at the hands of a gang of barely trained school students, and moreover total failure of the mission and compromise of Voldemort's return to power.
  • Blond Guys Are Evil: Long, platinum blond hair and a large dose of elitism.
  • Break the Haughty: He's introduced as a smoother, more competent version of his son, and someone with real menace in the second book. In the course of that book, he gets Out-Gambitted by a 12 year old wizard and his own House Elf. A few years later, he's The Leader of a squad of dangerous Death Eaters tasked to recovering a precious MacGuffin and loses to a gang of barely-trained school students and then gets caught and sent to Azkaban where Voldemort lets him stew in for a year. When he's out, he's regarded as a has-been with zero respect, with his house unceremoniously hijacked as Voldemort's Supervillain Lair.
  • Classy Cane: Which doubles as his wand.
  • The Dragon: At first; after his failure in Order of the Phoenix, he gets replaced by Snape (a Dragon with an Agenda) and Bellatrix (a straight example) for the remainder of the series. In his notes for The Tales of Beedle the Bard, Dumbledore, Magnificent Bastard extraordinaire, admitted that it was his long term wish to dislodge Malfoy from his position as Voldemort's favorite Death Eater.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones and Pet the Dog: The redeeming trait of the Malfoys is that, even though they all agree with the Death Eaters philosophy- and two of them are Death Eaters- they are a close family who genuinely love each other.
  • Fiction 500: Lucius is implied to be one of the richest men in wizarding Britain.
  • General Failure: For Voldemort's second in command, he has an abysmal record of success, thrice failing a perfectly good set up.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Somewhat. After his wife betrayed Voldemort to protect Draco, the Malfoys perform a Screw This, I'm Outta Here!.
  • Jerkass: From his introduction he was haughty and prejudiced.
  • Karma Houdini: Despite everything he's done throughout the series, he never gets what he deserves. This is primarily due to his wife's actions. Probable subversion, however, as Jason Isaacs believes he will be estranged from society and his family, never completely forgiven for what he put them through.
  • Love Redeems: Let's face it, the only thing that prevents him from being a complete villain is the fact that his love for his family hugely outweighs his loyalty to Voldemort.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: It is hard to find an aspect of his appearance that does not simply scream "Wealthy Douchebag".
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Combines a bit of Louis Cypher in his first name with a last name meaning approximately "evil-doing."
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Thanks to Malfoy hijacking Voldemort's Horcrux(Riddle's Diary), Dumbledore who had probably suspected that Voldemort had used Horcruxes, not only had definite proof but could put two and two together that there were more, and since it was made in Riddle's school days, was able to get a rough time frame of when and where Voldemort made the rest.
  • Not Brainwashed: After Voldemort's first defeat, Lucius (like many others) claimed that he had been Imperiused into helping him. It prevented him from being formally punished, but according to Hagrid, a lot of people long suspected the truth.
  • Only Sane Man: Especially when working along Bellatrix and the more Ax-Crazy Death Eaters.
  • Opportunistic Bastard: Lucius is out for himself and his family and will take any chances that come his way, first to increase their power, and then to save their skins. He doesn't usually have a plan either—he'll let somebody else do the thinking, and try to benefit from their work. In the backstory, he joins Lord Voldemort for the power involved, and also because its racist cause adhered with his prejudiced mindset. After Voldemort's power is shattered and the Dark Lord disappears, Lucius abandons his master and pretends his deeds were because of brainwashing, allowing him to escape justice. Perhaps the best example of Lucius's "planning capabilities" is how he orchestrated the opening of the Chamber of Secrets. He simply plopped Tom Riddle's diary into Ginny Weasely's lap, let Tom Riddle do all the work, and sat back, taking advantage of the chaos for his own ends. When Lord Voldemort returned to power in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Lucius goes back to Voldemort to avoid incurring the Dark Lord's wrath, and once again carries out Voldemort's will. Throughout the series, Lucius only has one consistent loyalty and that's to his family. Eventually, when Voldemort's cause endangers his son's life, Lucius defects from the Death Eaters for Draco's safety.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Draco apparently inherited his Fantastic Racism from his father.
  • Pragmatic Villain: Compared to some of his more Ax-Crazy fellow Death Eaters, the fifth film demonstrates that Lucius is seemingly the only one focused on the original goal of retrieving the prophecy while the other Death Eaters seem more intent to drop this in favour of killing Harry. Lucius actually seems sincere when he claims he will let Harry go in exchange for handing over the prophecy.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The slightly more reasoned and measured lieutenant in comparison to the hotheaded, belligerent, unbalanced Bellatrix.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Which he trades on to get out of prison the first time. Subverted, years later, where, much to the readers satisfaction, he's exposed as a servant of Voldemort and spends time in Azkaban for a year. He's more sober after that.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: So very much.
    • Rich Idiot with No Day Job: Well implied he inherited all his money, and after being sacked as a school council member in book two he doesn't seem to get another occupation.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In the final book and movie, with his family.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Due to his wealth.
  • Spanner in the Works: Much to Voldemort's fury, Lucius proved to be this. His hijacking of Voldemort's teenage diary(which he didn't know was a Soul Jar) for his essentially petty vendetta against Arthur Weasley, not only led it to being destroyed but provided Dumbledore damning intelligence to track down all the rest of Voldemort's horcruxes.
  • Sword Cane: His wand is concealed in his silver-topped cane.
  • Too Dumb to Live: In the second movie, he attempts to use the Killing Curse on Harry right outside of Dumbledore's office.
    • Can be blamed on Jason Isaacs to an extent, as he literally just said the first curse that came into his head. He himself admitted that that had been too far.
    • Using what is the highest honor any Death Eater could receive, a piece of their master's own soul, in a shameless petty grudge turns out to be this when Voldemort returns. In fact, it's a miracle he isn't killed for it, Voldemort being The Sadist that he is, prefers to let him rot in Azkaban for a while, hijack his home for his headquarters and use his son Draco to take his place by giving him a suicide mission. In his defense on that last point, Dumbledore himself expresses doubts that Lucius knew what the diary really was, or else he wouldn't have used it the way he did.
  • Unholy Matrimony / Minion Shipping: Despite being a follower of Lord Voldemort (and a Jerkass), him and his wife genuinely love each other.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Until Book 6, that is. Whilst Harry's POV establishes him in Book 2 as being a massive douchebag from the jump, it's implied that he had at least a somewhat decent reputation in the eyes of most of the public.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Forget hurt. In the film adaptation of The Chamber of Secrets he was about to blast Harry with Avada Kedavra practically right outside Dumbledore's office, but Dobby cut him off before he got more than the first word out.

    Narcissa Malfoy 
"Is he alive? Draco, is he alive?"

Portrayed by: Helen McCrory

Narcissa is a pure-blood witch, the wife of Lucius Malfoy and the mother of Draco Malfoy. She is the youngest sister of Bellatrix Lestrange and Andromeda Tonks. Although never officially a Death Eater herself, Narcissa believes in the importance of blood purity and supports her husband in following Lord Voldemort during the First and Second Wizarding Wars.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Stuck-up and patronizing, along with being born into a rich family.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Narcissa and Lucius, whose marriage, from the fans' point of view, might simply have been one of convenience until the opening scene of Deathly Hallows made clear it was not.
  • Big Fancy House: Against her will, Voldemort uses her house as a headquarters, making her and her husband extremely uncomfortable.
  • Blondes are Evil: Averted during her Heel-Face Turn; however, Narcissa is generally snobbish towards others.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Harry, or, at least for the time being...
  • The Dog Bites Back: Voldemort's biggest mistake was sending Draco on a suicide mission. Not only did Draco end up becoming a Spanner in the Works, but it earned Narcissa's ire, who betrayed Voldemort the first opportunity she got by concealing that Harry was still alive.
  • Evil Matriarch: Her personality is similar to that of her son, Draco. She complains about Harry and his friends to a shopkeeper, asking why they serve "their kind."
  • Heel-Face Turn: Narcissa's is a major example. When Voldemort casts a Killing Curse on Harry during the Battle Of Hogwarts, he asks Narcissa to check Harry's vital signs. She uses this opportunity, when she sees that he is alive, to covertly ask him if he knows of Draco's well-being. When Harry replies quietly that he is safe, Narcissa betrays the Dark Lord, saying that Harry is dead.
  • In-Series Nickname: Bellatrix calls her "Cissy".
  • Karma Houdini: According to Word of God, the reason the Malfoys never got their comeuppance was in large part due to Narcissa's decision to spare Harry's life by lying to Voldemort in exchange for the knowledge that her son was still safe.
  • Love Redeems: Like her husband, her main redeeming factor is the fact that she loves her son so much that she is willing to stab Voldemort in the back to protect him.
  • Mama Bear: She is fiercely devoted to her family, and will do whatever it takes to protect them.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Take a wild guess what the root word of her first name is.
  • Only Sane Woman: Alongside the other Malfoys, particularly when next to Bellatrix or Voldemort.
  • Rich Bitch: She's described as cold and haughty.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Narcissa values wealth and power as much as Lucius does. But both value their son even more.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In the movie, she walks away with Draco and Lucius at the start of the climatic final battle and never looks back. In the book during the final battle, she and Lucius stop fighting for Voldemort and are frantically searching for Draco.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: With both Bellatrix and Andromeda.

    Peter "Wormtail" Pettigrew 
"Harry, James wouldn't have wanted me killed! Your dad... your dad would have spared me! He would have shown me mercy!"

Portrayed by: Timothy Spall

Former Marauder, who betrayed James and Lily Potter's whereabouts to Lord Voldemort, leading to their deaths, then pinned the crime on Sirius Black.
  • Chekov's Pet: Who would have ever thought ''Scabbers'' would be so significant to the plot of these books?
  • The Chessmaster: It's often forgotten by fans that Sirius accused Pettigrew of passing information to Voldemort for an entire year and he was a member of the Order of the Phoenix. Which means that he didn't just fool Sirius and James, but also the likes of Dumbledore, Alastor Moody and several other talented witches and wizards. When suspicions of a mole entered the Order, Dumbledore is implied to have suspected Sirius, while Sirius suspected Remus. It's not until too late that Sirius realized that it was Peter all along!
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Sirius explicitly characterizes this as Wormtail's mentality. He would never be part of any side unless he was not only safe or protected but respected and powerful and would willingly betray at the first sign of weakness. He betrayed the Marauders when they were weak and didn't set out to find Voldemort for a long time because the latter was Dark Lord on Life Support. Only when he had nowhere else to go due to his Broken Masquerade did he go find Voldemort to return him to power, and even then he seemed to regret it. Voldemort noticed and so kept a close eye on him.
  • Cornered Rat: Pun intended, but he seems to show exceptional magic, intelligence and initiative when he's backed into a corner.
  • The Corruptible: Not that his friends realized until it was too late. Sirius assumed the Death Eaters would target him first and the unassuming Peter would be a less obvious Secret Keeper. Peter still couldn't take the pressure and spent the rest of his life in pretty miserable conditions as a result.
  • Crouching Moron Hidden Monster: He's painted as a poorly-skilled wizard, much like Neville Longbottom, who needed to rely on his friends to scrape by in school. However, he becomes an Animagus with help from his friends and keeps the disguise for twelve years (as Scabbers, Ron's pet rat), he creates a blast strong enough to blow apart a busy street and kill twelve Muggles in the process, casts a fully-functional Killing Curse with Voldemort's wand, and brews at least two incredibly difficult Dark potions to keep Voldemort alive and help him regain his body, respectively.
  • Dirty Coward: Sirius summed it up best:
    Sirius: Harry, this vermin is the reason you have no parents. This cringing bit of filth would have seen you die, too, without turning a hair. You heard him. His own stinking skin meant more to him than your whole family.
  • The Ditz: Was a poor student at Hogwarts in comparison to his Teen Genius friends. But even then, he seems to struggle answering a basic question about a werewolf despite running around with a werewolf once a month.
  • The Dog Bites Back: It doesn't justify his betrayal one bit, but Peter was on the receiving end of James and Sirius' condescension and their tendency to belittle his slow-wittedness, never making him truly feel like an equal. Word of God admitted that his subsequent triumph over Sirius has shades of Who's Laughing Now?, with Sirius realizing that Peter was smarter than they gave him credit for.
  • The Rat Was The Mastermind: In Prisoner of Azkaban.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Neville. He was a friend of his generation's Power Trio, had a reputation as a poor student, and had more potential than anyone gave him credit for. Harry instinctively casts him as that generation's Neville just from hearing about him. What makes them different is that Neville has the courage to take a stand when it counts and even call the trio out when they are doing something dubious(as in Book 1) whereas Peter bottled his resentment and accepted being a sidekick and never called his friends out at all.
    • He's specifically an ironic Shadow Archetype to Severus Snape. One of them unwittingly compromises the safety of his childhood friend, another one willingly betrays said friends to the Dark Lord. In their school days, Snape was a Slytherin and friends with future Death Eaters, while Peter was a Gryffindor and friends with the most popular and anti-Dark Arts students.
  • Extreme Doormat: How James treated him in the Pensieve flashback in the book, being a fawning fan of James' lame trick and taking his constant insults without reply. Years later, Sirius Black realizes, far too late, that this in fact made him perfect traitor material, willing to serve only the "biggest bullies in the playground".
    • Unlike Ron, who also felt Overshadowed by Awesome like Peter, Wormtail never voiced out and worked his resentment and insecurity, instead he chose to bottle it and accept being the Sidekick of the powerful, whether its the Marauders or Voldemort.
  • Faking the Dead: Fearing retribution from Death Eaters and the Order for knowing the truth of his role in the Potters' death. But still he spent 12 years as a rat.
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic II (In the four Marauders.)
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Was this to the Mauraders, at least how it appeared to outsiders. However it's clear they genuinely loved him and trusted him with their lives, which made his betrayal of them all the worse.
  • Freudian Excuse: Wormtail's a coward and a bastard, with just about no redeeming moments or qualities in between, but it still has to be mentioned that it's heavily implied Remus was the only person who was ever consistently nice to him, even going so far as convincing James and Sirius to let him join their circle, being constantly seen as the 'hanger on' and complete Butt Monkey of the group, even by his teachers and classmates, both played no small part in his later betrayal.
  • Gonk: In the films.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: See Karmic Death, below.
  • Informed Attribute: Although placed in Gryffindor, known for its courage, Pettigrew displays, during the books and in Sirius' and Remus' flashbacks, attributes more suited to Slytherin: hiding his true abilities behind a mask of weakness (he is an Animagus, and can successfully cast the Killing Curse, both of which are difficult tasks), seeking the protection of those stronger than he, and successfully deceiving his friends. (Dumbledore often thought "we sort too soon.")
  • It's All About Me: He only cares for his own safety.
  • Karmic Death: Voldemort's rebirth potion requires "flesh of the servant, willingly given"; Peter cuts off his hand, and Voldemort rewards him with a silver hand. In Deathly Hallows, the hand strangles Peter when he betrays a tiny impulse of reluctance while attempting to kill Harry, to whom he has a life debt. In the seventh and eighth movies, we don't get to see what happened to Wormtail.
  • Karma Houdini / Spared By Adaptation: Assumed in the films, thanks to his death being deemed too disturbing for a PG-13 movie. Of course, just because he didn't die the same way as in the books doesn't mean that he necessarily survived. He wasn't anywhere in the last movie. If he did survive, chances are he ended up in Azkaban.
    • There's also possibility that Dobby's attack may actually killed him instead of stunned him. Alternatively, Voldemort may also killed him later in You Have Failed Me situation offscreen, considering that Peter is the warden of protagonists' prison at the time.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: Appears to have made this choice after escaping from Harry, Sirius and Remus at the end of the third book. From there on, he readily serves Voldemort's slightest whim, playing a role in his subsequent resurrection.
  • Token Evil Gryffindor: Peter, despite showing absolutely none of the traits associated with it, was Sorted to Gryffindor. It can be assumed the Sorting Hat saw the potential of bravery and whatnot in Wormtail, but he clearly didn't live up to it.
  • Manipulative Bastard: While on the lam, he runs into former classmate Bertha Jorkins who figures out his identity and that he's been Faking the Dead. Pettigrew is able to convince her to trust him and leads her into a trap, earning rare praise from Voldemort who was able to capitalize on Jorkins being an unexpected goldmine of valuable information.
  • Meaningful Name: Wormtail is quite good at worming his way out of trouble, isn't he?
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Considered to be a bit of a dunce, Wormtail not only managed to become an Animagus at the age of 15, a impressive feat even with helpnote , but was skilled enough to join the Order of the Phoenix, which included such powerful wizards as Moody and Dumbledore. He was cunning and sly enough to be a spy for the Death Eaters and discreet enough to deflect suspicion from everyone, even Dumbledore. After the fall of Voldemort, his escape plan bordered on Magnificent Bastard, as he accused Sirius of betraying James and Lily for all those around them to hear, created a massive explosion that killed 12 innocents and faked his death by slicing one of his fingers off and transforming into a rat, leaving Sirius behind to be framed while he spent 13 years hidden with a wizarding family. He was skilled enough to cast the powerful Killing Curse with a wand that was not his, and he was capable of brewing several complicated potions that gave Voldemort his corporeal form again.
  • Only Known By His Nickname: Mostly people just call him Wormtail.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Within the Marauders, Wormtail was the odd one out, the least talented and least interesting in terms of personality. This in a way led to his Start of Darkness.
  • Pet the Dog: Just like Voldemort, one of his very few acts (perhaps the only one) of extremely relative honor leads directly to his death. When Harry reminds Wormtail he owes him a lifedebt, Peter briefly hesitates to kill him while he has the chance, realizing too late that, in doing so, he had just signed his own death warrant.
  • Red Right Hand: How Sirius figures out that Peter is still alive and has been hiding as Scabbers for years: Scabbers is missing the first toe on his left-front paw. The largest piece of Pettigrew found by the Ministry was his left index finger.
  • Skewed Priorities: When Peter pathetically tries to drudge up sympathy at the end of Prisoner of Azkaban, he tries to remind Ron that he was a good pet. Sirius angrily pointed out that his defense of being a better rat than a human being is Not Helping Your Case.
  • Team Killer: To the Marauders as a whole, betraying The Leader (James), his wife and their son to his master in exchange for his life and then framing Sirius, condemning him to 12 years in Azkaban.
  • True Companions: James, Sirius, and Remus loved Peter like a brother and would have done anything for him, even died for him. Peter did not reciprocate. Like,''at all.''
  • Ungrateful Bastard: He is this to the core. Despite James and Sirius making fun of him as friends, they did make him part of their adventures and helped him perform extraordinary feats of magic and as Sirius stated, would have died for him. He willingly chose to betray them to Voldemort, claiming to save his life, but actually because he wanted to be Voldemort's Number Two and part of his triumph.
    • Likewise, Sirius shows extraordinary trust in Peter Pettigrew, making him the Secret Keeper to the Potters, telling him that they wouldn't have accepted had Sirius not vouched for him. In spite of this love and trust, Peter frames Sirius for his crime, sending him to 12 years in prison for a crime which Wormtail committed.
    • Likewise Harry saving Wormtail's life leads him to willingly seek out Voldemort and return him to power. Voldemort is very Genre Savvy, noting that Wormtail is already regretting finding Voldemort and returning him to health.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Was 'posthumously' awarded the Order of Merlin first class after he was 'murdered' by Sirius Black, the man who supposedly betrayed the Potter's to Voldemort. Harry even favorably compares him to his friend Neville when hearing more about him. Too bad it wasn't actually ''Sirius'' who ended up betraying Harry's parents to the Dark Lord, after all...
  • Was It Really Worth It?: Peter doesn't profit at all from any of his crimes and Harry realizes that Wormtail probably regretted doing all the terrible things he did.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: So Voldemort makes Peter Snape's assistant in Half-Blood Prince. And by this time, Snape knows that Peter betrayed the Potters, leading to the death of the woman he loved, Lily. However, this is the extent of our knowledge: what Peter did to piss off Voldemort that much (assuming he knew or cared about Snape's grudge), and what Snape did to Peter is unanswered.

    Bartemius Crouch Junior (Spoilers for Book 4) 
"Hello, father."

Portrayed by: David Tennant

The son of Barty Crouch Sr., a famous Ministry official who was a Knight Templar "hero" in the first war against Voldemort. Apparently as an act of youthful rebellion against his inattentive father, Barty Jr. joined the Death Eaters and came to see Voldemort as a Parental Substitute. Along with Bellatrix Lestrange, he participated in the attack on the Longbottoms and was subsequently sent to Azkaban by his father. Later, however, his father smuggled him out of prison as a last favor to his dying wife, but imprisoned him in their home.

He remained there for years until the Quidditch World Cup, where he broke free, casting the Dark Mark. He rejoined Voldemort and, during Harry's fourth year, impersonated Mad-Eye Moody. He rigged the Triwizard Tournament in Voldemort's favor, making the Goblet of Fire accept Harry as a champion, giving Harry tips to win, and making the Triwizard Cup into a Portkey that would take Harry to Voldemort. When his father was becoming suspicious, Bartemius Crouch Junior killed Bartemius Crouch Senior. "Barty Jr" worked perfectly as a mole until after Harry returned from the graveyard, upon which he dragged Harry off for interrogation. He was followed and defeated by Dumbledore, who made him reveal himself and confess his involvement. He was subsequently subjected to the Dementor's Kiss before he could be put on trial.

In The Film of the Book, he was portrayed simply as a Psycho Supporter with his Freudian Excuse eliminated. The filmic Crouch, Jr. has a signature tongue flick, which was improvised by his actor.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: He receives the Dementor's Kiss after revealing much of his past and plans. He may have become a psycho, but after reading about his horrible life, it's hard to not feel sorry for him. All he ever wanted was a father that loved him.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment / Disproportionate Retribution: Visits this upon Draco while disguised as Moody. Six words: "Draco Malfoy, the Amazing Bouncing Ferret." What was Draco doing? Attempting to hex Harry when his back was turned. Though, it could be just because he's a Malfoy.
  • Dissonant Serenity: After his disguise is outed and under Veritaserum, he explains the entire backstory in an even tone, proudly exuding in his triumph and noting that Voldemort's back thanks to him.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: No doubt due to his own visit to Azkaban, the subsequent Hell under his father's Imperius Curse, and why he was there in the first place (torturing the Longbottoms for information that could revive his Not Quite Dead master), Barty has an intense loathing for Death Eaters who escaped Azkaban and didn't bother to look for or revive Voldemort, thereby betraying their Lord.
    • This loathing of the Death Eaters who escaped Azkaban is almost hypocritical — we see at the trial that while his fellow Death Eaters are accepting their sentences, fully expecting Voldemort to break them out of there, he was sobbing and insisting that he was innocent and that they'd gotten the wrong person. Of course, it's always possible that he would have gone back to looking for Voldemort if they had set him free, since that's what his father had to physically and magically restrain him from doing.
    • He also hates when people attack someone when their back is turned, turning Malfoy into a ferret when he tries to do it to Harry. Whether this was a ploy to get to Harry or genuine is debatable but the potential of ruining his guise indicates that it was real.
      • On the other hand, he was disguised as Mad-Eye Moody at the time and was reportedly damn-near perfect at impersonating him. It could be an affect of Moody's just as well, given his Properly Paranoid outlook.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: "Decent people are so easy to manipulate, Potter". Crouch also believed that the care Winky showed for him was nothing more than pity, and was perfectly happy to abuse that trust at the Quidditch World Cup.
  • Evil Genius: He is very intelligent, and it is he who played a major part in Voldemort's return. For context: if there's any truth to his father's ramblings, Barty Jr. earned twelve Outstanding OWLs; Hermione, the gold standard for intelligence and "brightest witch of her age," earned ten. (In a case of writers cannot do math, JK Rowling originally wrote Hermione as receiving eleven, later editions corrected this to ten.)
    • Arguably the horrifying result of what can be accomplished by a competent Death Eater. Voldemort indeed admires Barty's loyalty and smarts and prizes him above all his Death Eaters. Fridge Brilliance when you realize that he had to get A Fate Worse Than Death because the later books would have been harder for the heroes had he remained functional.
  • Evil Gloating: Oh, does he get his fair share of it. Once you know that Mad-Eye Moody is, for most of the book/movie, actually Barty Jr. a lot of what he says winds up being this. Showing off the Unforgivable Curses in class? An example of how well he can use them. Causing a scene after the champions' names come out of the Goblet of Fire and presenting a plausible, if slightly outlandish sounding, scenario for how Harry's name could've gotten in, which just happened to be exactly what he did? Basically the equivalent of a Bond Villain monologue. His legitimate moment of explaining his masterstroke to Harry, right before getting bitten in the ass by karma and revealed? Seriously, only Voldemort loves the Evil Gloating more than Barty Jr. does.
  • Evil Mentor: Strangely subverted. While in his Moody disguise, he teaches his students about the highest-grade dark curses in ways that were almost certainly completely illegal. However, his lessons are useful and instructive and Harry even learns to fight off the powerful Imperius curse completely thanks to him. Despite being thoroughly evil, Crouch ends up being one of the most competent and helpful teachers Harry ever runs into and his lessons have no negative or morally ambiguously results. It can be argued that this was a result of him either playing the role of Moody FAR too well or simply not caring about whether the kids were properly trained or not.
    • Most likely the latter; no matter how good Harry and his friends were at magic, Voldemort was going to kill them anyway. The fact that Harry managed to survive was due more to a Spanner in the Works than his own magical strength. And Dumbledore might have seen through the disguise if Crouch Jr. had done anything suspect (i.e. not teach Harry as much defense against curses as Moody would have) before Voldemort's resurrection; better for the plan to Go Horribly Right and make Harry stronger than to let the plan fall apart completely.
  • Evil Teacher: He is this when disguised as Moody.
  • Fate Worse than Death: The Dementor's Kiss.
  • Foil: Like Voldemort, he had a very unloving father. Unlike Voldemort, however, he actually tried everything to gain his father's approval and only became evil because all he was trying to do was to find a Parental Substitute after failing.
  • For the Evulz: In the film. Not so much in the novel.
  • Framing the Guilty Party: It appears that Crouch, Jr. was tried in a Kangaroo Court, but was actually guilty anyway. This is a Red Herring designed to trick the reader into thinking he was innocent.
  • Had to Come to Prison to Be a Crook: While it's never stated outright, it's a plausible interpretation of his development between the flashback to his trial and his appearance in the modern day. In the flashback, he is terrified of the prospect of going to Azkaban, and is the only one of his band of Death Eaters to renounce Voldemort and plead innocence by appealing to his family relation to Crouch sr., implying perhaps that his involvement in the Longbottoms' torture was somewhat half-hearted. After suffering Azkaban, and years of his father's abusive, mind-controlled custody, he is a bona fide Voldemort fanatic with an open grudge against his father.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Seriously, this man was more efficient than all the other Death Eaters put together. Not only did he manage to impersonate Mad-Eye Moody perfectly, but even managed to fool Dumbledore who was his oldest friend, for over a year!
    • In fact, if we look at at his evil plan then everything he was personally responsible went off without a hitch! The only reason it ultimately failed was because Voldermort demanded that he be the one to kill Harry personally and didn't kill him straight away like Barty had assumed!
  • I Have No Son: His father disowns him at his trial.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: Mentions the graveyard, tipping Harry off. (This occurs only in the film.)
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch:
    • Turning Malfoy into a ferret.
    • Killing Barty Sr.
  • Knight Templar: Ironic, considering how his despised father was one. Nevertheless, Barty Jr. fits this as well since he seemed to truly believe in the righteousness of the Death Eater cause with zealotry perhaps equaled only by Bellatrix Lestrange. In contrast, Death Eaters such as Lucius Malfoy and Peter Pettigrew serve Voldemort almost entirely out of self-interest.
  • Master Actor: He managed to pose as Mad-Eye Moody for months without anyone picking up on it.
  • Pet the Dog: Gets a moment with Neville. After shaking him to his core by demonstrating the Cruciatus Curse — the one used to drive the Longbottoms insane — in class, he calls Neville up to his office and gives him a book on herbology (Neville's favorite subject and only strong suit). In fairness, part of this ties into Barty's Evil Plan: the book he gives Neville contains information which would have served Harry well in the Second Task, which Barty planted to make sure Harry stayed alive until Voldemort needed him.
  • Psycho Supporter: In both the book and the movie, but in the movie, it was made more obvious.
  • Sanity Slippage: In the film, when he starts to lose his cool (and when the Polyjuice potion starts to wear off), he gets an ominous twitch and his tongue-flicking habit returns. In one scene, this starts to happen in the presence of his father, who is noticeably alarmed at recognising the mannerism on a Hogwarts teacher.
    • More so in the novel, as the dementors and the Imperius curse pretty much destroyed his mind and drove him to insanity.
  • Self-Made Orphan: At the end of the same book, we learn that he murdered his father. Then transfigured his body into a bone and buried it. He makes much of how both he and Voldemort had very disappointing fathers and the pleasure of killing those fathers. He also seems to regard Voldemort as a father substitute.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: In the film, rather than getting his soul sucked out, he is sent back to Azkaban.
  • Tragic Villain: So very, very tragic. He was neglected throughout his childhood and has tried to please his father throughout his life. His father never showed any concern or love towards him and that's what eventually led him towards insanity and joining Voldemort. All he ever wanted was to find a father that he could find love from.
  • Treacherous Advisor: He plays this role with Harry throughout the Triwizard Tournament, going from giving him subtle but effective hints to flat out rigging things in his favour. As a small subversion, he has every intention of helping him win. The problem is that him winning isn’t a good thing.
  • Walking Spoiler
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: His mother and Winky loved him, but that was apparently not enough to make up for his failure to get his father's approval, which he in turn sought from his replacement father figure, Voldemort. Rowling addressed this indirectly in an interview, noting that "That's where evil seems to flourish, in places where people didn't get good fathering."
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In the films, he was sent back to Azkaban, but is not seen or mentioned again when the other Death Eaters break out.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: A rare villain-to-villain case. He is NOT happy with the Death Eaters that escaped Azkaban and never bothered to look for Voldemort.

    Antonin Dolohov 
Portrayed by: Arben Bajraktaraj

One of the most powerful Death Eaters, Dolohov was imprisoned in Azkaban after the First Wizarding War. He was broken out in 1996 by Voldemort alongside nine other Death Eaters. He would rejoin his masters cause, participating in many of the battles of the Second Wizarding War and killing Lupin during the Battle of Hogwarts, where he meets his end at the hands of Filius Flitwick.
  • Badass: Seems to be at a similar level to Bellatrix in terms of magic. He defeated Mad-Eye Moody, one of the most powerful members of the order, in a duel.
  • Hero Killer: All in all, he seems to have the second highest kill count next to Bellatrix among the Death Eaters, and he is treated with extreme seriousness, even among Death Eaters.
  • Multiethnic Name: Antonín (accent on the 'i') is Czech, but -ov surnames are only really found in Bulgaria and Russia.
  • Older Than They Look: Has been working for Voldemort since long before the First Wizarding War began, making him at least in his sixties by the end of the series. He is never described as old, though, and his hair still has its color. In the films, he is much younger, however.
  • Torture Technician: According to Karkaroff, he was this during the first war.

    Regulus Arcturus Black 
"I know I will be dead long before you read this but I want you to know that it was I who discovered your secret."

Sirius Black's younger brother. Unlike Sirius, Regulus fully approved of his family's fascination with the Dark Arts and pure-blood supremacy, and went as far as to join the Death Eaters. However, he quickly discovered that Evil Is Not a Toy and tried to back out, ultimately resulting in his death. Before his death, he discovered the secret of Voldemort's Horcruxes and stole Slytherin's Locket, meaning to destroy it, but was killed by the Inferi guarding the cave in the process.
  • Animal Theme Naming: Like Sirius is named for the dog star, Regulus is named for the brightest star in the constellation Leo. The brothers get along like cats and dogs. It's also an Ironic Name/Meaningful Name as the Slytherin is the lion.
  • The Atoner: He joined the Death Eaters but realized how evil they truly were and so decided to stay and find some way of taking them or the Dark Lord down. His actions, which led to his death, led to the removal of one of the Horcruxes.
  • Badass Boast: His dying letter.
  • Determinator: He falls under this when one takes Fridge Brilliance into consideration. In the Half-Blood Prince, Harry was forced to force Dumbledore to drink the potion that protected the locket and Dumbledore was begging Harry to stop. When you realize what that potion did, you can't help to be amazed at Regulus Black. True, Dumbledore must have seen many more things at the age of more than 100 years than Regulus in his 20s, but Regulus was still a Death Eater and he lived with his family, which wasn't exactly the best one. Dumbledore could only drink three mouthfuls of that potion before Harry had to help him do it. As you hear Kreacher tell his tale, you realize that at no moment he says something about helping Regulus drink the potion, which means Regulus was able to drink it all on his own.
  • The Dutiful Son: Looked upon as such by his parents.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: We never find out for sure how Regulus felt about being a Death Eater (in short, exactly how evil he was); we only hear stories secondhand from people who weren't involved in his death. However, it seems to be that when he learned that Voldemort had made a Horcrux, this was over the line in his opinion. Word of God states that, like Draco, he was fascinated but was creeped out by the reality of the cause.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Learned like Draco that there are some things one shouldn't mess with.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Because of seeing just how "evil" Voldemort was, he couldn't stand it and decided to fight from the inside.
  • Genre Savvy: The way he stole Slytherin's locket was pretty clever. He was having doubts about being a Death Eater, and suspected that Voldemort was using Horcuxes. So when Voldemort asked for a house-elf, Regulus volunteered Kreacher. He knew that Voldemort would overlook house-elf magic, so he told Kreacher to come back after Voldemort was done with him. Voldemort tested all the Horcrux's defenses on Kreacher, including the torturous potion, and left him to die. But because Voldemort's spell to prevent apparation from working didn't work on house-elves, Kreacher could simply apparate back to Regulus and guide him through all the defenses in the cave.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: We do find out in Book 7 but Sirius never learns the truth about his brother, nor does Voldemort discover the taunting message he left.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: His intentions were noble and his actions very brave when he stole the locket Horcrux. Unfortunately, it did no good and ultimately only served to make The Chosen One's quest much more difficult several years later.
  • Nice to the Waiter: Regulus was nice to Kreacher the house elf, earning Kreacher's loyalty and admiration. Interestingly, his brother Sirius, who is on the side of good from the start, treats Kreacher like crap, which lead to Sirius' downfall. Hermione explains that House Elves, with the exception of Dobby, only show loyalty to those who are nice to them, even if those people are otherwise evil and cruel.
  • Not So Different: In some ways, to his brother Sirius. They may have held different views on what a good wizard was, but both men were loyal to their ideals, strong of moral character, devoted to their friends and loved ones. And more than willing to suffer if it means they can be safe.
  • Posthumous Character: He died before even chapter 1 of the first book.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Despite causing trouble for Harry later, Regulus died in his progress of taking down Voldemort, sacrificing himself so Kreacher could look for some means of destroying the locket.
  • Shaggy Dog Story / Shoot the Shaggy Dog: His life is a mix of this and The Greatest Story Never Told until Book 7. After finding Voldemort's Horcrux, he ordered Kreacher to destroy it, instead of giving it to his brother, a member of the Order of the Phoenix at the time of his death, or to Dumbledore. This leads to a bizarre, prolonged and needless Fetch Quest years after his death, after his brother died without knowing of his Face-Heel Turn.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: He and Sirius.
  • Spanner in the Works: To both Voldemort and Dumbledore, discovering and compromising the latter's Horcrux while Dumbledore risks death and madness all for nothing.
  • Too Clever by Half: Seems to have been more studious than Sirius, but Sirius dismissed him as a "little idiot". Both sides are valid, in that while he, before Dumbledore and alone of Death Eaters, figures out Voldemort's use of a Horcrux, he also doesn't do anything practical aside from delivering a Badass Boast letter, becoming a Death Seeker and giving the actual job of destroying it to someone who had no idea how to do it.

    Yaxley 
Portrayed by: Peter Mullan

One of the inner-circle Death Eaters. He helps orchestrate Voldemort's coup by placing an Imperius Curse on Pius Thicknesse and becomes a central figure in Voldemort's new regime, acting as the head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.
  • Bad Boss: Is this to the Ministry officials, if his attitude torwards Reg Cattermole is anything to go by.
  • Badass Baritone / Basso Profundo: As played by Peter Mullen in Yaxley's few speaking parts.
  • The Don: Peter Mullan's portrayal gives off this impression. Naturally, it's made him a hit with the fans.
  • Face of a Thug: Described as 'brutal-faced' in the books.
  • Ominous Walk: In Deathly Hallows: Part I.
  • Secret Police: He turns the Department of Magical Law Enforcement into the wizarding SS.

    Amycus and Alecto Carrow 
""Nah, they make [Umbridge] look tame. The other teachers are all supposed to refer us to the Carrows if we do anything wrong. They don't, though, if they can avoid it. You can tell they all hate them as much as we do. […] I got this one for asking [Alecto] how much Muggle blood she and her brother have got."
Neville Longbottom on the Carrows

Portrayed by: Ralph Ineson and Suzie Toase

A brother-and-sister team of obnoxious, lopsided-looking Death Eaters, Amycus and Alecto are present at the Astronomy Tower when Snape kills Dumbledore, and following Voldemort's coup, become Defense Against the Dark Arts (Amycus) and Muggle Studies (Alecto) professors at Hogwarts. They were last seen being tied up by Professor McGonagall in the Ravenclaw Common Room.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: All book descriptions point to Alecto being very unattractive; however, Suzie Toase is quite an attractive woman.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: In the film, McGonagall shows just how powerful she really is when a spell of hers, after being deflected by Snape, knocks the Carrows unconscious just from being too close to it.
    • Snape probably helped. At the very least, the aim was intentional.
  • Evil Teacher: They are Death Eaters, after all.
  • Fantastic Racism: Hardly out of order for a Death Eater, but as Muggle Studies teacher, Alecto literally makes a career out of this.
  • Ironic Name: There is nothing amicable about Amycus.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: They are fond of practicing the Cruciatus Curse on students for the most minor of offenses (or out of boredom), so when Harry tortures Amycus with it for insulting McGonagall, she only mildly expresses her disapproval.
  • Offstage Villainy: Neville says they "make Umbridge look tame," but in terms of what we actually see, she's worse by far.
  • Sadist Teacher: According to Neville, they are even worse than Umbridge in this regard.
  • Torture Technician: Deliberately placed at Hogwarts in Deathly Hallows to scare and beat the next generation into line with Voldemort's way of thinking. Other Death Eaters torture too, but these are the ones who do it for a living.

    Fenrir Greyback 
"He doesn't have the stomach, like his father. Let me finish him in my own way."

Portrayed by: Dave Legeno

Fenrir Greyback is a massive, dangerous werewolf. He has been around for many years, and is the werewolf who bit and converted Remus Lupin. He is one of the few who not only accepts, but embraces his lycanthropy, and tries to bite and convert people on any occasion. He participates in the Battle of Hogwarts, where he is knocked out by Hermione and Professor Trelawney while trying to bite Lavender Brown.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: There's his memorable line towards the end of Half-Blood Prince, in which he openly admits to coming to the castle without being invited, just because he wants to kill and eat children. He does this while still in human form.
  • Disney Villain Death: In the film, he apparently succeeds in killing Lavender, and Hermione blows him out a window into the abyss in turn.
  • The Dreaded: We first hear his name when Draco Malfoy name-drops him to sound impressive. When Malfoy realizes he's actually let Fenrir into Hogwarts, he's horrified.
  • Foil: To Lupin. Lupin is fearful of harming those around him, and is constantly seeking ways to hide or repress his inner wolf. Greyback gleefully embraces the monster within, even when not in that form, and is known for sticking close to his targets so that he can get to them at point-blank range when the full moon hits. It helps that Greyback is the guy that caused Lupin's trouble in the first place.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: He's rumored to eat some of his victims—or rather, it is heavily implied that he actually does. And not just in Werewolf-form! He has shown signs of this several times, in his un-transformed state; such as when he has stated that he loves the taste of children, was actually thinking of eating the Trio when they got captured by Snatchers (and, again, during his un-transformed state), and when he (un-transformed) tried to eat Lavender Brown during the Battle of Hogwarts. Given the fact that he is a Death Eater and has lost any trace of humanity, it probably shouldn't come as a surprise that he has developed cannibalistic tendencies, when not transformed... In short, Greyback's savagery is what differentiates him from most other werewolves: while most of them bite and infect unintentionally only during their transformed state, Greyback actually goes as far as to eat and kill purposely whether in his HUMAN or werewolf form.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Treats Hermione this way.
  • Meaningful Name: Fenrir was a gargantuan wolf in Norse Mythology who ended up eating Odin during Ragnarok. Perhaps unintentionally, Greyback (or Grábakr) is also the name of a monster from Norse Mythology; one of the minor serpents gnawing at the roots of Yggdrasil alongside Níðhöggr.
  • Psycho for Hire: He is not actually a Death Eater, as Voldemort would never officially let a werewolf into their ranks. However, he does accompany them on several of their missions, and serves as their liaison with the Snatchers. In other words, he is like a mercenary.
  • Savage Wolves: A werewolf that kills for its own sake and is especially gleeful about attacking children.
  • Token Minority: Voldemort hates "half-breeds," and it is quite clear that Greyback was never made a high-ranking Death Eater, nor was he ever given a Dark Mark because the former does not truly care for him or werewolves. In spite of that, Voldemort still kept Greyback on his side because the latter proved useful insofar that the werewolf is prejudiced against Muggle-borns and can use his savagery to carry out Voldemort's plans, as well as to just simply increase the enemies' numbers (basically, Voldemort cares more about quantity than quality)—but that's it. If Voldemort had won the Second Wizarding War, it is highly likely that he would toss Greyback aside after he has no more use for him.
  • Would Hurt a Child: He prefers attacking children, because he likes the idea of converting them "while they're young." In Half-Blood Prince, he attacks a five-year-old boy whose mother refused to cooperate with the Death Eaters, and the poor boy later died.

    Scabior 
"Well, don't just hang in there, snatch 'em!"

Portrayed by: Nick Moran

Scabior is a member of the Snatchers, a loose group of mercenaries hired by Voldemort to hunt down those who violate his reign of terror. His particular band of Snatchers captures Harry, Ron and Hermione. After consulting with Fenrir Greyback, Scabior takes the Trio to the house of Malfoy. He wants to keep the Sword of Gryffindor for himself, so when Bellatrix Lestrange tries to take it from him, he resists, and she knocks him out.

Scabior's role was expanded in The Film of the Book, where he has become the leader of the Snatchers, and takes a perverse interest in Hermione. His sarcasm has been downplayed in favor of his creepy qualities, and his confrontation with Bellatrix is extended. Also, he is seen near the beginning as one of the people dragging captives into the Ministry of Magic. His plaid pants have become a minor meme in the fandom.
  • Deadpan Snarker: [to Harry] "What happened to you, ugly?" [to Greyback] "No, not you."
  • Death by Adaptation: Though we never do learn precisely what happened to him in the book.
  • Disney Villain Death: In the film, he plummets to his death after Neville blows up the bridge he and the other Snatchers are attempting to cross to enter Hogwarts.
  • Funetik Aksent: He has a written Cockney accent in the book.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: In the film, he takes this role from Fenrir Greyback.

    Walden Macnair 
Portrayed by: Peter Best

Buckbeak's would-be executioner in Prisoner of Azkaban. Later revealed to be a Death Eater.
  • All There in the Manual: Peter Best is credited as "The Executioner" in the third film and "Death Eater" in the fifth film (he's the one holding Luna). Based on the books, it can be assumed that both characters are Macnair.
  • Ax-Crazy: According to Hagrid:
    "Macnair, remember him? Bloke they sent ter kill Buckbeak? Maniac, he is. Likes killin' as much as Golgomath; no wonder they were gettin' on so well."
    • Bonus points for his first appearance (Book 3), where he's actually wielding an ax.
  • Blood Knight: Seems to get a savage pleasure from killing.
  • Brainwashed: Like Lucius, he pulled this defense to avoid Azkaban.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: A minor one. He later turns up as a Death Eater, but he doesn't have any further importance and is basically just a Mook.
    • Though he did play an important role in bringing the remaining giants back to Lord Voldemort's side.
  • Laser-Guided Karma / Who's Laughing Now?: The last time we see him, Hagrid (AKA the one whose pet he tried to kill) is throwing him against a wall.
  • Stab The Salad: Takes out his anger at Buckbeak's escape on the fence/a pumpkin, which the Trio assume is him killing Buckbeak when they first hear it.

    Augustus Rookwood 

An Unspeakable at the Department of Mysteries, Rookwood served as a spy for Voldemort within the Ministry of Magic, using his numerous connections to gain information. He was imprisoned in Azkaban after the First Wizarding War thanks to information provided by Igor Karkaroff, but was broken out in 1996 alongside nine other Death Eaters.
  • Affably Evil: Is implied to have been this by Ludo Bagman. It is further implied by everyone's shock when Igor Karkaroff exposes him as a Death Eater.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Said in the books to be severely pockmarked.
  • The Stoic: When Harry sees pictures of the escaped Death Eaters, he notes that Rookwood looks bored compared to his snarling or grinning comrades.

     Thorfinn Rowle 

Played by: Rod Hunt

A large and cruel Death Eater. He was first seen during the Battle of the Astronomy Tower. He later encounters the Trio in a Muggle cafe in London where he and Dolohov attempt to capture them, but fail.
  • Ax-Crazy: During the battle, he fired Killing Curses all over the place without caring who got hit. This lead to the death of another Death Eater, Gibbon.
  • Dumb Muscle: Averted; he actually seems to be relatively clever and usually did well in duels without having to resort to physical attacks.
  • You Have Failed Me: Voldemort forced Draco to torture him and Dolohov for failing to capture Harry.

     Rodolphus Lestrange 

The husband of Bellatrix Lestrange, and brother of Rabastan Lestrange. Was imprisoned for the torture of Neville Longbottom's parents, but was later broken out when Lord Voldemort returned. Also participated in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries.
  • Out of Focus: Though he was never really IN focus to begin with, his appearances seem to get smaller as the books go on. In his fourth appearance, he is actually shown and given a short description. In his second appearance, he actually takes part in the major battle (though he is never brought to attention during the battle). By the last book, he is only barely mentioned as being defeated by Nymphadora Tonks at the beginning and is never even mentioned again.
  • Shallow Love Interest: Compared to his wife, who is a fairly major character, Rodolphus is never even given a single line and mainly exists to show that Bellatrix made a "respectable pure-blood marriage."
  • The Stoic: Is described as looking blank during his trial, unlike his wife who looked confident, or his brother and Barty Crouch, Jr., who looked scared.
  • Torture Technician: Was imprisoned for torturing Frank and Alice Longbottom into insanity.
  • Undying Loyalty: Though not as much as his wife, Rodolphus is considered by Voldemort to be one of his most loyal servants. He didn't seem too worried about being imprisoned, likely sharing his wife's belief that the Dark Lord would someday return.

Harry Potter Order Of The Phoenix MembersCharacters/Harry PotterHarry Potter Muggles
Harry Potter Order Of The Phoenix MembersLiterature/Harry PotterHarry Potter Muggles

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