I wanted to know that through this question of mine. However, my perception of the quote was wrong there.

Anyways, are there any canon sources which can explain/infer how good was the Dark Lord in the art of Divination?

It is said to be a very difficult art to get right, as explained by Dumbledore to Harry at the end of Book - 3, and how he was impressed by Prof, Trelawney's overall second correct prediction in her career.

Related: How good was Voldemort at reading minds?

  • 2
    Divination, as shown in the books, seems to be a gift rather than a skill (the centaurs are a little better at the method but are still vague at best). You're either a Seer or you aren't, and there's zero in canon to suggest Tom was ever a Seer.
    – DavidS
    Commented Feb 8, 2016 at 12:54
  • @DavidS Yeah, but as it is being taught at the school, I guess people can improve their skills and master it too :)
    – Dawny33
    Commented Feb 8, 2016 at 13:50
  • @Dawny33 Everything points to that not being the case. You're either a Seer - in which case you make prophecies without knowing you've done so - or you're not. Divination, as both a subject at Hogwarts and a "skill" in the larger Wizarding world, seems to be absolutely bogus. Commented Feb 8, 2016 at 16:00
  • Also worth considering that Divination was an optional subject from third year onwards, so there's no indication that Voldemort ever studied it at all. Commented Feb 8, 2016 at 16:18
  • 1
    Does anyone else take issue with a class where students are literally destined to fail? It's like "Being allergic to peanuts 101" with the final test being that you have to go into shock from eating peanuts.
    – user40790
    Commented Feb 8, 2016 at 18:05

3 Answers 3


True seers are very rare, and Cassandra Trelawney (great-great-grandmother of Sybill Trelawney) was one such canonnly known. Only those with gifted powers (or the so called inner-eye) can truly predict the future. So we can easily infer that non-gifted persons (particularly whose roots doesn't trace back to a gifted one) won't have the power of accurate future predictions.

And as far as we know, none of Voldemort's ancestor belonged to the seer family (because they were Slytherins and they considered them much above everyone to ever marry a common witch/wizard).

Hence even if there could not be a canon proof, we can logically deduce that Voldemort didn't have any divination skills. Still you may want to take a similar question I asked which could be more close to reality :

Could there been some “Seer” Blood in Harry Potter?


Considering the fact that he relied so heavily on occlumency - he seems to have embraced another branch of that similar side of magic.

  • 1
    But that technically, doesn't rule out the possibility of his mastery in Divination, right? :)
    – Dawny33
    Commented Feb 9, 2016 at 5:05
  • True. But I think it means he was less likely to focus on it. Voldemort was blind like that - he tried to master certain arts, and completely ignored others. Doesn't Dumbledore say that when talking about love and other ancient magics? Commented Feb 9, 2016 at 14:45

Divination is vague but can be learned as one can learn to interpret art with varying degrees of success. Having prophecies, exact tellings of the future later recorded at the Ministry is something that only happens to Seers which as far as we are aware is in-born and cannot be learned.

We can safely assume Voldemort was not a Seer, whether or not he knew Divination is up to guessing but I would say it's highly unlikely.

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