Wizards refered to him as "He Who Must Not Be Named" long before the Taboo charm was placed on the word "Voldemort" in the Deathly Hallows.

According to Wikipedia

"Throughout the series, Rowling establishes that Voldemort is so feared in the wizarding world that it is considered dangerous even to speak his name. Most characters in the novels refer to him as "You-Know-Who" or "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named" rather than say his name aloud. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, a Taboo is placed upon the name, such that Voldemort or his followers may trace anyone who utters it. By this means, his followers eventually find and capture Harry, Ron, and Hermione."

Was there a Taboo trace charm associated with the name Tom Riddle?


3 Answers 3


I don't think it's answered in canon, but I would be surprised if Tom Riddle had been part of the taboo. Voldemort had shown many times that he does not want his Tom Riddle heritage to be known about. Putting his real name at the same level as "Voldemort" would effectively be acknowledging his history that he spent a long time concealing.

  • 1
    Yes. And he even calls it a filthy name in Chamber of Secrets doesn't he? Very few know it I think. Otoh one could question if he'd want to be known as part of the Gaunt family but I think that the fact he was known also to be an heir of Slytherin was more than enough for him and probably even better. I have this vague memory that he viewed the Gaunt shack as a sign of how weak they had become even though of course he's from that very same family.
    – Pryftan
    Commented Apr 12, 2018 at 17:47

In addition to what dlanod said, there weren't any people alive by the time of Deathly Hallows who were likely to use the name "Tom Riddle" in the first place - Dumbledore was dead. So why waste magical energy on useless extra effort?

  • 1
    Well, Harry was at least somewhat likely to use the name somewhere, sometime, but Voldemort did not know he knew it.
    – trysis
    Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 0:05
  • 1
    @trysis He might have guessed it though. But as the other answer says he hated the common name 'Tom' and he hated the fact he was named after a Muggle who not only abandoned his mother but also himself. There is a reason after all the Riddle family was killed by Voldemort himself (well okay there were many reasons but that was one of the excuses if not the excuse).
    – Pryftan
    Commented Apr 12, 2018 at 17:49

It almost certainly wasn’t.

The Dark Lord shed the name of Tom Riddle as soon as it was possible for him to do so, and even when he was young, it was the name of Lord Voldemort that he expected wizards to fear.


Then he waved the wand once, and the letters of his name re-arranged themselves:


‘You see?’ he whispered. ‘It was a name I was already using at Hogwarts, to my most intimate friends only, of course. You think I was going to use my filthy Muggle father’s name for ever? I, in whose veins runs the blood of Salazar Slytherin himself, through my mother’s side? I, keep the name of a foul, common Muggle, who abandoned me even before I was born, just because he found out his wife was a witch? No, Harry. I fashioned myself a new name, a name I knew wizards everywhere would one day fear to speak, when I had become the greatest sorcerer in the world!”
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 17 (The Heir of Slytherin)

As soon as he could, he shed his old name and later re-emerged into the wizarding world as Lord Voldemort.

“There he showed his contempt for anything that tied him to other people, anything that made him ordinary. Even then, he wished to be different, separate, notorious. He shed his name, as you know, within a few short years of that conversation and created the mask of “Lord Voldemort” behind which he has been hidden for so long.”
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 13 (The Secret Riddle)

Once Tom Riddle disappeared, nothing further was heard of him by majority of the wizarding world who didn’t know his new name.

“But before they were sure beyond doubt that the cup and the locket were both gone, the assistant who had worked at Borgin and Burkes, the young man who had visited Hepzibah so regularly and charmed her so well, had resigned his post and vanished. His superiors had no idea where he had gone; they were as surprised as anyone at his disappearance. And that was the last that was seen or heard of Tom Riddle for a very long time.”
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 20 (Lord Voldemort’s Request)

After shedding his old name, the Dark Lord wouldn’t have considered the name “Tom Riddle” worthy of inclusion of the Taboo. He left that name and identity behind him long before then.

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