Is there any information on when V's generation Slytherins began their activities as Death Eaters and when Riddle started to be feared as Voldemort to the point where even pronouncing his name was feared? Pretty much, when did the 'Dark times' begin?

Looking for valid sources outside the book, since books only cover the basics on the matter to form our understanding of it, but never going into details.

EDIT: While I did accept the answer, any other answers will be welcome for discussion and rep points.

  • 3
    that edit is unnecessary. acceptance doesn't imply no need for further answers.
    – user64742
    Jul 4, 2017 at 6:01

1 Answer 1


Voldemort was already gathering Death Eaters and was known as Voldemort by the time he was in his 6th year, as we see in The Chamber of Secrets.

"Voldemort,” said Riddle softly, “is my past, present, and future, Harry Potter…”
He pulled Harry’s wand from his pocket and began to trace it through the air, writing three shimmering words:
Then he waved the wand once, and the letters of his name rearranged themselves:
“You see?” he whispered. “It was a name I was already using at Hogwarts, to my most intimate friends only, of course."

And in The Half Blood Prince:

Tom Riddle merely smiled as the others laughed again. Harry noticed that he was by no means the eldest of the group of boys, but that they all seemed to look at him as their leader.

We also see that his followers are openly the 'Death Eaters' and that he has started to do evil things by the time he applies for the Defense Against the Dark Arts position, as we see in Dumbledore's memories:

Dumbledore raised his eyebrows. "And what will become of those whom you command? What will happen to those who call themselves - or so rumor has it - the Death Eaters?"
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, chapter 20

The name being feared probably happened gradually, as his reign of terror got worse. The more evil things he did, the more people feared him = more people feared his name. But it probably wasn't all at once; it happened gradually.

  • So, Voldy pretty much started as a leader of the racket team, whose actions deepened in severity as time passed? Jul 3, 2017 at 19:06
  • 2
    That's how I interpret it, yes. Also, sorry - pressed submit too early!
    – Mithical
    Jul 3, 2017 at 19:08
  • NP. I am a big fan of origins, so I thought I could get any additional details from legit sources outside the book. Books only barely cover the basics to form our interpretation on the matter like we just discussed. I will wait a bit longer; if no other answers or details come up, I will accept your answer. Jul 3, 2017 at 19:12
  • 2
    The other reason people feared the name was Voldemort put a trace on the name which would tel Voldemort the location of the person using it.
    – Wesley
    Jul 3, 2017 at 21:40
  • 3
    @Wesley - that was only in the Second Wizarding War. This is asking about his rise to power before the first.
    – Mithical
    Jul 3, 2017 at 21:42

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