We know that Tom Riddle was obsessed with immortality and was planning about it ever since he was a little boy. If he had the time to meticulously plan for those Horcruxes, why did he not go in search for the three things that could guarantee his immortality and provide him with the power he had always desired?
The Dark Lord likely didn’t know about the other two Hallows.
Dumbledore explains to Harry when they meet in King’s Cross that he doesn’t think the Dark Lord knew about the Hallows, because he turned the ring containing the Resurrection Stone into a Horcrux without ever having recognized what the Stone actually was.
“And Voldemort never knew about the Hallows?’
‘I do not think so, because he did not recognise the Resurrection Stone he turned into a Horcrux.”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 35 (King’s Cross)
The Dark Lord likely never knew about the Hallows, so therefore couldn’t choose to seek them.
Even if he did, he likely wouldn’t have been interested in them.
Dumbledore also says that had the Dark Lord known about the Hallows, it was unlikely he’d have any interest in the Cloak or the Stone, he’d still only want the Elder Wand.
“But even if he had known about them, Harry, I doubt that he would have been interested in any except the first. He would not think that he needed the Cloak, and, as for the stone, whom would he want to bring back from the dead? He fears the dead. He does not love.”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 35 (King’s Cross)
So, if he had known about the Hallows, he still likely wouldn’t go searching for all three of them, when the only one he wanted was the unbeatable Wand to use against Harry’s.
Well this sounds all good but as I said at the onset, I'm more curious about why Tom riddle didn't search for the hallows and not Voldemort. I mean he went and found a dreaded magic like Horcrux, I'm sure he knew about the deathly hallows and being the curious and apparently outstanding student he was, where was his curiosity? The purpose the cloak, the Wand and the stone could have served was larger than just hiding, reviving and protecting.– MugenNov 30, 2018 at 5:19
4Everything Bellatrix says about Voldemort applies to Tom Riddle as well. They are the same person, after all! And the Deathly Hallows weren't common knowledge, by any means, there's no reason to think Tom ever knew about them, particularly since he was raised by Muggles. (If Hermione had never heard about them, why would Tom have?) Nov 30, 2018 at 6:31
1@HarryJohnston The tale of the three brothers is a children's book, so most people raised in the wizarding world will know about it. While that doesn't apply to Riddle, he might have heard about them anyway. An unbeatable wand is useful anyway, not just against Harry. Nov 30, 2018 at 6:38
4@QuestionAuthority, everybody raised by wizards knows the tale, but not that it describes the Deathly Hallows, or that the possession of all three Hallows is said to make one the Master of Death. Riddle might conceivably have heard the story, but he would have had no reason to suspect that the Elder Wand might be real. Nov 30, 2018 at 7:56
Harry himself thinks about this in Chapter 22 when he realizes that Voldemort is after the Elder Wand:
Voldemort had been raised in a Muggle orphanage. Nobody could have told him The Tales of Beedle the Bard when he was a child, any more than Harry had heard them. Hardly any wizards believed in the Deathly Hallows. Was it likely that Voldemort knew about them?
Harry gazed into the darkness.... If Voldemort had known about the Deathly Hallows, surely he would have sought them, done anything to possess them: three objects that made the possessor master of Death? If he had known about the Deathly Hallows, he might not have needed Horcruxes in the first place. Didn’t the simple fact that he had taken a Hallow, and turned it into a Horcrux, demonstrate that he did not know this last great Wizarding secret?
Which meant that Voldemort sought the Elder Wand without realizing its full power, without understanding that it was one of three... for the wand was the Hallow that could not be hidden, whose existence was best known... The bloody trail of the Elder Wand is splattered across the pages of Wizarding history...
Essentially Harry assumes that Voldemort did not know about the Deathly Hallows for three reasons:
- Voldemort would likely never have heard of them, growing up as a Muggle.
- The fact that he didn't seek them indicates that he was unaware of them.
- The fact that he made a Hallow into a Horcrux indicates that he did not realize what it was.
Voldemort only knew about the Elder Wand because the Elder Wand had a history of it's own, independent from the Hallows. Voldemort knew of the Elder Wand qua Elder wand, not qua Deathly Hallow.
Now we can speculate as to whether Voldemort would have sought the Hallows if he had known about them. First, there's always the possibility that, like Hermione, he wouldn't believe that the legend was true. But what if he would believe that it was true?
Dumbledore, for one, seemed to think that Voldmeort wouldn't care for the Hallows. In Chapter 35 he tells Harry:
"But even if he had known about them, Harry, I doubt that he would have been interested in any except the first. He would not think that he needed the Cloak, and, as for the stone, whom would he want to bring back from the dead? He fears the dead. He does not love."
But is this a valid argument? Even if Voldemort would have no use for the other two Hallows, might he still not seek them in order to unite the three Hallows and become master of death?
In fact, Dumbledore himself admitted that when he and Grindelwald were seeking the Hallows they didn't really need the Invisibilty Cloak, but they sought it anyway in order to complete the set and become invincible (my emphasis):
"And the Cloak... somehow, we never discussed the Cloak much, Harry. Both of us could conceal ourselves well enough without the Cloak, the true magic of which, of course, is that it can be used to protect and shield others as well as its owner. I thought that, if we ever found it, it might be useful in hiding Ariana, but our interest in the Cloak was mainly that it completed the trio, for the legend said that the man who united all three objects would then be truly master of death, which we took to mean 'invincible.'
Thus, it is certainly possible that Voldemort would have felt the same way, and would have sought all the Hallows for the purpose of uniting them to conquer death, even though he had no use for two of them.
2+1, but I think it unlikely that Voldemort (assuming he had learnt of the Hallows in the days before Harry was born) would have gone to the trouble of seeking them out when he already had his Horcruxes to protect him. Even the Elder Wand might not have interested him, except perhaps as a potential weapon against Dumbledore. He had more important things to do; after all, Magical Britain wasn't going to conquer itself. :-) Nov 30, 2018 at 8:08
@HarryJohnston Considering that research would likely have revealed fairly quickly that Dumbledore was the owner of the Elder wand at the time (even if it wasn't public knowledge at the time), so Voldemort likely wouldn't have thought of it as a weapon so much as another reason to fear Dumbledore.– CubicNov 30, 2018 at 10:20
@HarryJohnston We know that Tom Riddle was obsessed with Immortality and was planning about it ever since he was a creepy little boy. If he had the time to meticulously plan for those Horcruxes, why did he not go in search for the three things that could guarantee his immortality and provide him with the power he had always desired? Just doesn't make any sense. Also, in the graveyard Voldemort implies that he sought multiple methods to conquer death.– AlexNov 30, 2018 at 12:33
@Cubic, I disagree. Neither Xenophilius nor Ollivander ever guessed that Dumbledore might have the Elder Wand, so it certainly wouldn't just be a matter of doing a little research. Even when he finally did decide to make seeking it a priority, he only found the critical clue by sheer luck. Nov 30, 2018 at 19:17
@Alex, that's certainly the OPs opinion, it just seems unlikely. After all, in those days Voldemort didn't even bother to try to steal the Philosopher's Stone, and he already knew who had that so it would have been a much more straightforward task than searching for the mysterious Hallows. Nov 30, 2018 at 19:33