SparkNotes Blog

Here’s What Would Happen If Voldemort Had Been the Villain In Classic Lit Novels

This post was originally published in January 2016

Remember Voldemort? That guy who got his butt kicked by a baby and was ultimately killed by his own deflected curse? Yeah. He kind of sucks, doesn’t he? But c’mon—everyone has bad days. We think it’s only fair to give old Voldy another shot at being the most villainous villain to ever villain, which is why we’re inserting him into other novels. You know, just to see how it pans out.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Their eyes instantly met, and the cheeks of each were overspread with the deepest blush. He absolutely started, and for a moment seemed immoveable from surprise; but shortly thereafter, Elizabeth realized wasn’t surprise. Darcy had been Stunned. The Death Eaters had gotten to him. Scrimgeour was dead. They were coming.

1984 by George Orwell

O’Brien nodded his head with slow approval. “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past. Voldemort is my past, present, and future, Winston.”

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

At this point in the story, I feel obliged to interrupt and give you one last warning. As I said at the very beginning, the book you are holding in your hands does not have a happy ending. It may appear now that Wormtail will go to jail and that Harry Potter will live happily ever after with Sirius Black but it is not so. If you like, you may shut the book this instant and not read the unhappy ending that is to follow. You may spend the rest of your life believing that Harry triumphed over Voldemort and lived the rest of his life in the house at Grimmauld Place, but that is not how the story goes.

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Eye was rimmed with fire, but was itself glazed, yellow as a cat’s, watchful and intent, and the black slit of its pupil opened on a pit, a window into nothing. There was also a nose, or at least a place where a nose should be. It looked a bit like a snake, but if a snake were about to sneeze. It’s kind of hard to describe, actually.


Thus said Voldemort, the menace underwater:
“Beowulf—come to die…”
“First,” said Beowulf, “let us settle one matter more.
Why pilfer the arm of Grendel, o foul one?
What significance does it bear for you?”
“What?” said Voldemort. “Whose arm? I thought
This was the Hand of Glory. You know—
The candle thing. Gives light only the holder.
Draco Malfoy had one, I thought it was cool.
This isn’t it?”
“No,” said Beowulf.
“Oh,” said Voldemort. “Whoops.”

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had no way of knowing that it wasn’t the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us—it was a glittering green skull. The Dark Mark. Daisy was gone; the Death Eaters had killed again. Everyone thought it was George Wilson who had killed Gatsby, but I knew the truth. It wasn’t George Wilson. It was a crack like a whip in the still night air, it was a high voice that seemed to come from the darkness itself, it was a flash of green light and then—

Avada Kedavra, old sport.”

Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare

Four Houses, all alike in dignity
In fair Hogwarts, where we lay our scene
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny
Where Muggle blood makes pureblood hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of the stag and doe
A star-cross’d wizard must forfeit life;
Whose misadventur’d piteous overthrow
Doth with his death bury the Dark Lord’s strife.
The protective shield of a mother’s love
And the continuance of the Dark Lord’s rage,
Which, but the Chosen One’s end, naught could remove,
Is now the seven books’ traffic of our stage—
The which, if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend. *

* I want to apologize for the lack of iambic pentameter/any semblance of an attempt to stylize it like so. After giving it the old college try for all of five minutes, I was able to conclude that Shakespeare was an utter maniac who wasn’t spending all his time a) binge-watching Making a Murderer on Netflix, or b) trying to shoehorn the word “Hogwarts” into his sonnets.

Which was his loss, really.

Our AP Lit professors would be SO impressed (and/or horrified) right now.