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What if Voldemort drank a love potion? Would it have an effect on him?

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    I am not the down-voter, but someone must have thought that two sentences didn't really constitute much research effort. – FiringSquadWitness Sep 11 '15 at 5:16
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    @Au101 I've seen many times when people thought questions were opinion based, or even closed questions, that were re-opened had really good answers. Sometimes there's interviews, other canon sources, etc. that someone might have access to that the rest of us do not. I see it all the time. I think it's an interesting question which is why I posted an answer. But I can also see how somebody might think there's not enough oomph there. For example the OP could have maybe brought up a few points of his/her own in the question that we figured out relatively quickly. – JMFB Sep 11 '15 at 5:28
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    Since Voldemort shows some signs of being narcissistic, probably fall in love with himself. – Willem Van Onsem Sep 11 '15 at 11:27
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    I think there's some fanfiction about this. – jwodder Sep 11 '15 at 12:48
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    He would probably kill the people he thought responsible for giving it to him. – LarsTech Sep 11 '15 at 15:30
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An interesting question that can really only be answered with speculation.

I'm gonna say not much for two reasons.

First, Voldemort's soul is by now most grievously damaged. As Dumbledore explains to Harry:

'...Lord Voldemort had seemed to grow less human with the passing years, and the transformation he had undergone seemed to me to be only explicable if his soul was mutilated beyond the realms of what we might call usual evil ...'

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - p.469 - Bloomsbury - Chapter 23, Horcruxes

It seems hard to imagine him feeling anything so human as infatuation.

Indeed, this goes beyond his experiments with Horcruxes and Dark Magic - it is his very nature, as Dumbledore recounts to Harry after showing him the memory of the orphanage:

'...And as you saw, they were not the random experiments typical of young wizards: he was already using magic against other people, to frighten, to punish, to control. The little stories of the strangled rabbit and the young boy and girl he lured into a cave were most suggestive ... I can make them hurt if I want to ...'

...

'...In fact, his ability to speak to serpents did not make me nearly as uneasy as his obvious instincts for cruelty, secrecy and domination.'

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - p.259 - Bloomsbury - Chapter 13, The Secret Riddle

Note also that, when he kills Snape, he feels nothing at the death of even a great servant:

'I regret it,' said Voldemort coldly.

He turned away; there was no sadness in him, no remorse.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - p.527 - Bloomsbury - Chapter 32, The Elder Wand

Most importantly of all, I feel, he operates alone. Always.

'...You will hear many of his Death Eaters claiming that they are in his confidence, that they alone are close to him, even understand him. They are deluded. Lord Voldemort has never had a friend, nor do I believe that he has ever wanted one.'

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - p.260 - Bloomsbury - Chapter 13, The Secret Riddle

He does not love, he does not trust, he does not value others.

However, set against this is the nature of love potions themselves, as Slughorn explains:

'Amortentia doesn't really create love, of course. It is impossible to manufacture or imitate love. No, this will simply cause a powerful infatuation or obsession.'

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - p.177 - Bloomsbury - Chapter 9, The Half-Blood Prince

As I hinted at above, then, love potions do not create love, they create infatuation. I doubt Tom Riddle is capable of that, but he is certainly capable of obsession. Perhaps, then, the love potion bypasses the soul and one's character and nature, and goes straight to the head. Might not its magic work just the same on even one so mutilated as Tom Marvolo Riddle?

Well, the second reason I have for saying 'not much' is that we know Voldemort to be capable of self-control. He is certainly, at least, capable of Occlumency, for he employs it against Harry (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 4, Horace Slughorn). He is capable of restraint:

[B]eneath the robe he fingered the handle of his wand ... one simple movement and the child would never reach his mother ... but unnecessary, quite unnecessary ...

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - p.280 - Bloomsbury - Chapter 17, Bathilda's Secret

He shows himself, in my analysis of him anyway, to be strong-minded. In his years as less than a ghost, hidden in the forests of Albania, he was very strong-willed. He was always going to come back, Dumbledore knew it. He pursued immortality relentlessly, going to the most extreme lengths. I have always considered the character of Voldemort to have a powerful mind. I judge him capable of overcoming a love potion and I judge his mind to be not readily diverted or captured by tricks and potions.

On the other hand, he is not immune to loss of control. Recall how he reacts to the news that Hufflepuff's Cup had been stolen:

The scream of rage, of denial, left him as if it were a stranger's: he was crazed, frenzied, it could not be true, it was impossible, nobody had ever known: how was it possible that the boy could have discovered his secret?

The Elder Wand slashed through the air and green light erupted through the room, the kneeling goblin rolled over, dead, the watching wizards scattered before him, terrified: Bellatrix and Lucius Malfoy threw others behind them in their race for the door, and again and again his wand fell, and those who were left were slain, all of them, for bringing him this news, for hearing about the golden cup -

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - p.443 - Bloomsbury - Chapter 27, The Final Hiding Place

In fact, perhaps most importantly of all, he is not even immune to human feeling. Before he kills Harry, he is discomforted by the baby's crying:

He did not like it crying, he had never been able to stomach the small ones' whining in the orphanage -

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - p.282 - Bloomsbury - Chapter 17, Bathilda's Secret

Perhaps, then, there are means by which a love potion could work on him, particularly if it was out of date.

I myself, however, cannot conceive of Lord Voldemort feeling "a powerful infatuation or obsession" with anything other than himself, "most important and precious."

  • 3
    But even the Grinch's heart grew to three sizes too big. Surely Voldemort isn't a lost cause. – Xantec Sep 11 '15 at 3:38
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    Voldemort as a character has a history of obsession - obsession with immortality, obsession with the Dark Arts, obsession with his own heritage and legacy, obsession with Mudbloods and those unworthy. I think that a Love Potion would be able to make him obsessed with a person. – Dr R Dizzle Sep 11 '15 at 8:22
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    +1 For reference to Love Potions not actually causing love. – DavidS Sep 11 '15 at 8:25
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    It seems reasonable that there might be something akin to a drug interaction between love potions and horcrux magic. – David Z Sep 11 '15 at 19:10
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    You know you’re an arsehole of the grandest kind when not killing a random passing child for no good reason counts as ‘restraint’. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Sep 12 '15 at 10:17
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I agree that this is an interesting question. I also agree that it is part speculation, but we can draw some conclusions from evidence in the books/movies. I'm going to try and break it down as best I can.

The first thing that needs to be considered is whether or not it would have any affect on him at all purely from the standpoint of whether or not it is powerful enough magically. What I mean by this is that arguably the most powerful wizard to ever live would have resistance to magic due to his skill as a magician.

For example if a first year student cast stupefy at Voldemort would it render him unconscious? It's not like it's a bullet coming out of a gun. Each magical item, potion, or spell is only so powerful. I'm not sure that simply giving any potion to somebody as powerful as Voldemort would have the same effect as giving it to a muggle or a magician who is less powerful.

If we get past the power of Voldemort and just say yes that a love potion or potions in general would affect everyone the same and there's no resistance naturally to them the more powerful you get, then the answer is it absolutely would work on Voldemort.

Merope, Voldemort's mother did the exact very thing you're asking in your question. Merope gave a love potion to Voldemort's father Tom Riddle Sr. Tom Riddle married Merope, who was impregnated by Tom Riddle Sr. and then just before giving birth to Voldemort released Tom Riddle Sr. from the love potion. (Source)

Tom Riddle Sr. immediately left her, never to return, and never checked back to see what had become of his child or ex-wife.

Albus Dumbledore: "Can you not think of any measure Merope could have taken to make Tom Riddle forget his Muggle companion, and fall in love with her instead?"

Harry Potter: "The Imperius Curse? Or a love potion?"

Albus Dumbledore: "Very good. Personally, I am inclined to think that she used a love potion. I am sure it would have seemed more romantic to her, and I do not think it would have been very difficult, some hot day, when Riddle was riding alone, to persuade him to take a drink of water."

So you see not only did Tom Riddle Sr. get married to Merope but he left a wife he already had. There is nothing real about a love potion. It's not dependent on a person's feelings, it's a completely falsified feeling generated by the potion. Tom Riddle Sr. didn't like Merope. He immediately fell for her, then as soon as she released him, he took off as quickly as he could. If he had any feelings for her at all he would have at least tried to help with the child. But it appears he almost loathed her for what she had done to him.

Dumbledore: "Tom Riddle left her while she was still pregnant... I believe that Merope, who was deeply in love with her husband, could not bear to continue enslaving him by magical means. I believe that she made the choice to stop giving him the potion. Perhaps, besotted as she was, she had convinced herself that he would by now have fallen in love with her in return. Perhaps she thought he would stay for the baby's sake. If so, she was wrong on both counts. He left her, never saw her again, and never troubled to discover what became of his son."

His own personal feelings, the depth of his character, his emotional stability, etc. were completely irrelevant in regards to the effects of the potion. The potion took over all of this for him and created a false sense of love.

So if you believe that Voldemort can be subjected to potion's of this nature and that they are powerful enough to subdue him then his personality, range of emotions shown, or emotional stability have nothing to do with whether the potion would work or not, it would work just like on any other person.

So the only thing in my opinion left to answer is whether or not you believe these sorts of potions would work on Voldemort. There is precedent that it would.

Snape: "Three drops of this and even You-Know-Who himself would spill out his darkest secrets. The use of it on a student is — regrettably — forbidden."

Snape is referring to Veritaserum (truth serum), and although it is not the same potion, we do have Snape who is a potions master, one of the most powerful wizards of his time, and someone who knew Voldemort maybe better than anyone stating that Voldemort is susceptible to potions.

It's up to you to decide if a love potion is as strong as Veritaserum and I would have to say that the evidence points to it working on him.

One other example of potions in general having an effect on Voldemort:

"Wormtail was able to follow the instructions I gave him, which would return me to a rudimentary, weak body of my own, a body I would be able to inhabit while awaiting the essential ingredients for true rebirth... a spell or two of my own invention... a little help from my dear Nagini," Voldemort's red eyes fell upon the continually circling snake, "a potion concocted from unicorn blood, and the snake venom Nagini provided... I was soon returned to an almost human form, and strong enough to travel."

enter image description here

Voldemort in Love...(sorry couldn't resist)

Now getting Voldemort to gulp some down without knowing what it is...is another matter all together.

  • Hmmm, Snape's Veritaserum quote was a movie quote ... and I think my thesis is that it may be beyond him to feel any of these things, even when falsified, I'm not sure the emotions can exist in Voldemort. Or perhaps they can, but could they ever overpower his worse nature. Like the Doctor Who quote "you can't hypnotise someone to death - the survival instinct's too strong". I'm not sure you can drug Voldemort to love ... But I really liked your opening paragraphs, so you can definitely have my +1 anyway – Au101 Sep 11 '15 at 4:38
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    @Au101 I edited it so that it says books/movies. It's a hard question to answer so I grabbed whatever I could to try and draw a parallel. Thanks for the props. I thought that quote was in the books but maybe it was just in the movies, I've seen the movies so many times that I get them mixed up sometimes. Voldemort is one of my favorite characters in any genre or series. I actually view him differently than most people I know. I really feel bad for him, his upbringing, the way he was brought into the world. It makes him a tragic figure for me, and I feel sorry for him just like Harry does... – JMFB Sep 11 '15 at 4:47
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    In the books he says "a Truth Potion so powerful that three drops would have you spilling your innermost secrets for this entire class to hear"; but no, don't get me wrong, yours is a fine answer, I didn't comment out of a sense of "my answer's better than yours!" but because I agree that it's an interesting to question to discuss :) – Au101 Sep 11 '15 at 4:57
  • @Au101 wow do you have all the books in a word file? How'd you look that up so quickly? I like the movie version of this line better anyway, there's something great about the way Snape talks throughout the movie. When he says "The use of it on a student issss <long dramatic pause> re-grett-ably <another long dramatic pause> forbidden." is priceless. :) – JMFB Sep 11 '15 at 5:03
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    I don't think Tom Riddle Sr. was already married when Meriope gave him the love potion. Dumbledore called her his "Muggle companion" not "wife", and there was no indication that he had to arrange a divorce before being able to marry Meriope. – Harry Johnston Sep 11 '15 at 20:30
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Au101 pointed out the critical fact:

'Amortentia doesn't really create love, of course. It is impossible to manufacture or imitate love. No, this will simply cause a powerful infatuation or obsession.'

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - p.177 - Bloomsbury - Chapter 9, The Half-Blood Prince

Voldemort can't feel love, but he can certainly become obsessed. Consider, for example, his single-minded pursuit of the Elder Wand, once he became aware of it. For that matter, his feelings towards Harry amount to an obsession, albeit a negative one.

Voldemort's response would likely not be one a normal person would easily recognize as "love". He might imprison the target, to ensure she cannot leave. He might not allow her to interact with anyone other than him. (Sadly, such behaviour is not without real-world precedent.) He might kill anyone she has ever had any affection for, or that has ever had any affection for her, so that he is the only living person she can care about.

I doubt that he would express physical affection for her in any normal way, but he might well torture her --- just to show his devotion, you understand. I'm sorry to say that this is also not without real-world precedent.

That's assuming, of course, that anyone managed to dose him in the first place. He seems paranoid enough to be very careful about what he eats and drinks, and he might well be powerful enough to sense the presence of a potion, regardless of how well it was hidden. He would undoubtedly kill anyone he caught attempting it.

Either way, it probably wouldn't be a good idea.

  • Basically, Voldemort + Amortentia = Fritzl. :-/ – Janus Bahs Jacquet Sep 12 '15 at 10:22

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