Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Voldemort vs. The Evil Overlord List

May years ago, a brilliant man by the name of "Peter" put together an Evil Overlord List, which I've mirrored on my site in one form or another for years. The point of the list is to provide a "Best Practices" document so Evil Overlords can avoid all the pitfalls that destroyed the villains before them.

Lord Voldemort of Harry Potter fame naturally qualifies as an Evil Overlord, so I thought I'd take a look at how Lord Voldemort is doing in terms of the Evil Overlord list.

Please note, there are Spoilers in the text below. I wrote the fist version of this when My wife and I had read a little over half the seventh book. Now that we've finished it, I've been updating it as things occurred to me.

Feel free to leave whatever comments you want, as anyone reading this post has already been warned of impending spoilers.

I'll only mention the Evil Overlord items that are relevant to the Harry Potter story, but I'll stick to the numbering in the original.

1. My Legions of Terror will have helmets with clear plexiglass visors, not face-concealing ones.

This isn't a critical issue for Voldemort, as Pollyjuice Potion is a far more effective disguise than stealing a Death eater cloak. On the down side, it gives the Death Eaters a false sense of anonymity, when a simple gust of wind can blow the hood back.

4. Shooting is not too good for my enemies.

Lord Voldemort has, since the end of "Goblet of Fire" insisted that only HE may kill Harry Potter, and that he needs to be captured alive. Even before this was a formal order he made it clear to the few underlings who knew of his whereabouts that he was the only one allowed to kill Potter. This is, of course, an idiotic and self destructive notion which I'll come back to later. I comment on it here, because Voldemort has made it clear that killing Harry Potter is a treat reserved for Voldemort himself, thus making Harry Potter too good for death at the hand of a mere underling.

5. The artifact which is the source of my power will not be kept on the Mountain of Despair beyond the River of Fire guarded by the Dragons of Eternity. It will be in my safe-deposit box. The same applies to the object which is my one weakness.

Ahh, the Horcruxes. The Diary was casually handed to Lusious Malfoy who got it destroyed in an attempt to attack the Weasleys. Another, the Locket, was hidden in a deep dark cavern guarded by various spells and magically controlled undead. Then there's the fact that he seems to have made a SNAKE another Horcrux.

Which Horcrux looks like it'll be the safest, and thus the hardest to get at?

The one that's been hidden in a vault in the Wizard bank. Even then, it would be PERFECTLY safe if Voldemort had put it in an obscure vault under an assumed name, as opposed to handing it to Bellatrix, his most loyal, yet excitable and unstable servant. Her panic caused Harry to learn a Horcrux was stored in her vault.

Even then, if Voldemort and company had not been abusing the Goblins, Harry wouldn't have a disgruntled and tortured Goblin as an ally in trying to break in and steal the Horcrux.

As Jundland points out in the comments below:

Even in spite of entrusting it to the Lestranges, and mistreating the Goblins, the Horcrux might still have been safe if it were not for the fact that it violates Rule Five by being guarded by a Dragon. It should be noted that it was the dragon itself that allowed Harry and Hermione to escape the vault with the Horcrux.

This is an excellent point that I had not noticed before. It's probably safe to assume that a Dragon would not have been used to guard the vault had the Horcrux been placed in an obscure vault under an assumed name. Voldemort pretty much ignored rule 5 all around. Had he taken more sensible care of his Horcruxes he would have remained virtually immortal.

6. I will not gloat over my enemies' predicament before killing them.
Voldemort not only gloated over Harry at the end of "Goblet of Fire" he waited until his followers had been gathered to kill him as part of a spectacle. The SMART thing to do would have been to Kill the unarmed and still bound Harry the moment he had a new body, and showed off the corpse to his Death Eaters when they showed up.

7. When I've captured my adversary and he says, "Look, before you kill me, will you at least tell me what this is all about?" I'll say, "No." and shoot him. No, on second thought I'll shoot him then say "No."

WHAT possessed Voldemort to spend time Monologuing to Harry after he'd already used his blood to create a new body?

10. I will not interrogate my enemies in the inner sanctum -- a small hotel well outside my borders will work just as well.

Using the Malfoy house as a base of operations, AFTER the Malfoys had already failed him numerous times (More on that later) and using their cellar to interrogate, torture and hold prisoners proved unwise, in part because it meant all his prisoners were in one place, and thus rescued in one fell swoop.

11. I will be secure in my superiority. Therefore, I will feel no need to prove it by leaving clues in the form of riddles or leaving my weaker enemies alive to show they pose no threat.

What's up with locking enemies away in the Wizard Prison instead of just killing them? Voldemort himself greatly reinforced his ranks with a mass breakout from Azkaban. Why didn't it ever occur to him that his enemies could potentially do the same? Azkaban is NOT a secure location for prisoners, in part because the loyalty of the Dementors turns on a dime.

He clearly saw Lovegood as enough of a threat to hold her at the Malfoy's instead of the Wizard prison, why didn't he kill her? She may be a bit nutty, but she's already confronted Death Eaters, has proven herself more than a match for some of them and is intensely loyal to Harry Potter. She's part of the inner circle that would probably die to save or aid him.

On the same note, Ginny and Neville were not just permitted to live, but allowed to return to Hogwarts!

Voldemort put a lot of faith in reducing Potter's support in the Wizard world at large, but by and large left his most loyal allies alone and well placed as long as possible.

As for the "Clues" portion of the rule, WHY did Voldemort make his Horcruxes out of significant objects hidden in personally meaningful locations? If he'd chosen random, yet durable objects in random yet safe locations no one would have a chance at tracking any of them down.

What if he'd made the Whomping Willow a Horcrux?

How about a statue in a park that had no connection to him?

What about a museum owned painting by an artist to which Voldemort has no known connection or particular feelings?

Better yet, most colleges have a large block of granite that it's traditional for the students to cover with Graffiti. Pick a random yet stable school on the Western US with such a tradition and make THAT a Horcrux.

If there'd been no pattern or connection, the Horcruxes would have been impossible to track down.

12. One of my advisors will be an average five-year-old child. Any flaws in my plan that he is able to spot will be corrected before implementation.

Such an adviser would no doubt have noticed many of the flaws discussed here. A five year old would, for example, know better than to go gallivanting around the world seeking a mythical super-wand while leaving orders that nothing save Harry Potter's capture was severe enough to warrant contacting him. Voldemort has a lot of dangerous enemies who could destabilize and collapse his regime, and he ignores them at great peril.

16. I will never utter the sentence "But before I kill you, there's just one thing I want to know."

Why bother learning the secret of Harry's "I can't touch him without searing pain" power if you can just have an underling run him through with a sword? To Voldemort's credit, he did just up and "Kill" Harry when he met him in the Forbidden Forest, but he never would have been in that situation if he'd kept his ego in check.

17. When I employ people as advisors, I will occasionally listen to their advice.

This is probably Vodemort's biggest weakness. Not only does he have no advisers, but his followers are tortured if they contradict his ideas or recommend alternatives. This "My way or torture" management technique is self defeating. There are numerous examples throughout the book where critical flaws are noticed by followers yet never really addressed because doing so would incur the wrath of Voldemort.

18. I will not have a son. Although his laughably under-planned attempt to usurp power would easily fail, it would provide a fatal distraction at a crucial point in time.

19. I will not have a daughter. She would be as beautiful as she was evil, but one look at the hero's rugged countenance and she'd betray her own father.

Voldemort has gotten these two points right, I'll grant him that.

20. Despite its proven stress-relieving effect, I will not indulge in maniacal laughter. When so occupied, it's too easy to miss unexpected developments that a more attentive individual could adjust to accordingly.

In Voldemort's case, it also means Harry gets to SEE what has Voldemort so giddy. Tipping off your most dangerous enemy is generally a bad idea.

21. I will hire a talented fashion designer to create original uniforms for my Legions of Terror, as opposed to some cheap knock-offs that make them look like Nazi stormtroopers, Roman footsoldiers, or savage Mongol hordes. All were eventually defeated and I want my troops to have a more positive mind-set.

Black Cloaks and Hoods are the Death Eater uniform. Sorry Voldemort, but do you REMEMBER what happened to the Nazgul? The Druids are extinct too, and every Satanic cult destroyed when their sacred artifact was compromised used the same depressing, unoriginal uniform. Yes, dressing like Death is intimidating and all that, but those hoods really limit visibility.

22. No matter how tempted I am with the prospect of unlimited power, I will not consume any energy field bigger than my head.

Or split my soul into seven fragments, when there's all sorts of dire warnings about how unstable you'll be if you just split it in half.

He ventured "Further than any Wizard has gone" in his quest for immortality, and in the process ended up binding his soul to that of the child prophesied to destroy him. Let's take stock of what Voldemort accomplished by making so many Horcruxes, and by creating a new body for himself.

He accidentally made Potter a Horcrux. This meant Potter had TWO souls, and as a result was able to use this to survive the "Killing Curse" at the end of Book Seven.

By planing a piece of his soul in Potter, he gave Potter the ability to talk to snakes. If Potter had lacked this ability, Voldemort would have returned to power in Book 2, as Potter's ability to speak to snakes was crucial to his defeat of Voldemort.

He connected his mind to Potter's to the point where Potter could occasionally see through Vodemort's eyes. While this worked to Voldemort's advantage during "Order of the Phoenix" it allowed Harry to keep tabs on Voldemort throughout Book 7.

23. I will keep a special cache of low-tech weapons and train my troops in their use. That way -- even if the heroes manage to neutralize my power generator and/or render the standard-issue energy weapons useless -- my troops will not be overrun by a handful of savages armed with spears and rocks.

ALL the characters are guilty of this one. Does ANYONE have a backup plan for what to do if they lose their wand? Bellatrix thought to keep a silver dagger handy, but that seems to be about it. The book would have been very different if Harry had gotten hold of a six shooter and 40 rounds of ammo. Imagine for a moment The climatic battle at Hogwarts with the small twist of Fred in one of the towers with a sniper rifle, a scope and some relevant training.

24. I will maintain a realistic assessment of my strengths and weaknesses. Even though this takes some of the fun out of the job, at least I will never utter the line "No, this cannot be! I AM INVINCIBLE!!!" (After that, death is usually instantaneous.)

This gets back to the little "Duel" Voldemort set up with Potter at the end of "Goblet of Fire." He broke a LOT of the Evil Overlord rules that night. He overestimated his power, underestimated Potter and ended up humiliated in front of his followers.

Then there's his refusal to take other forms of magic seriously. This lead to his defeat when he tried to kill the infant Harry. He further compounded this error when he invited Harry to sacrifice himself to save the rest of the combatants at Hogwarts. Despite spending over a decade without a body because of the magical consequences of such a sacrifice, he allowed himself to be rendered incapable of killing any of the Hogwarts combatants Harry "died" to protect.

His arrogance also lead him to conclude that no one could POSSIBLY find the Room of Requirement, even though there were already generations of hidden junk in the room long before Voldemort hid the Diadem there. Ron commented on this absurd bit of ego while searching for the Diadem.

A realistic, low ego assessment of his capabilities would have allowed him to avoid most of these defeating situations.

27. I will never build only one of anything important. All important systems will have redundant control panels and power supplies. For the same reason I will always carry at least two fully loaded weapons at all times.

Two Words: Spare Wand

Two More Words: Hip Holster

Put it together, and you have a spare wand in a hip holster, preferably under your pants so it's unlikely to be found in the shoddy searches done by villains in the Potter Universe.

At least he thought to make backup Horcruxes, even if he did a terrible job hiding them.

29. I will dress in bright and cheery colors, and so throw my enemies into confusion.

Lovegood does this, and is constantly underestimated by her enemies as a result. The idea has value.

30. All bumbling conjurers, clumsy squires, no-talent bards, and cowardly thieves in the land will be preemptively put to death. My foes will surely give up and abandon their quest if they have no source of comic relief.

Gee, who fits this description? Oh yes, Nevill and Lovegood, two people who ended up being badasses by the end of book 6. Nevill ends up leading the resistance at Hogwarts in Book 7 and is the one who destroys the last Horcrux.

Don't forget the Weasley twins. While far from no-talent, they ARE Comic relief, and their joke products have proven to be essential adventuring gear.

32. I will not fly into a rage and kill a messenger who brings me bad news just to illustrate how evil I really am. Good messengers are hard to come by.

Voldemort just pisses all over this one. He tortures and kills his own minions all the time. The behavior does NOT encourage loyalty. I suspect this is one reason Draco Malfoy turns against the Dark Lord in the end.

33. I won't require high-ranking female members of my organization to wear a stainless-steel bustier. Morale is better with a more casual dress-code. Similarly, outfits made entirely from black leather will be reserved for formal occasions.

I'll grant Voldemrt this one as well. While the uniforms are just a cloak and a hood, everyone wears one.

34. I will not turn into a snake. It never helps.

Most of Voldemort's shenanigans with his pet snake and Horcrux Nagini fall into this category. While a useful intimidation tool, Nagini has failed to kill Mr. Weasley and Harry Potter. While the Godrick's Hollow attack did cost Harry his Wand, that was sheer luck. The damage was done by Granger's misfired spell, not the snake.

35. I will not grow a goatee. In the old days they made you look diabolic. Now they just make you look like a disaffected member of Generation X.

I'll admit, the "white Corpse with no nose and red snake eyes" look is rather sinister and intimidating. He got this one right too.

36. I will not imprison members of the same party in the same cell block, let alone the same cell. If they are important prisoners, I will keep the only key to the cell door on my person instead of handing out copies to every bottom-rung guard in the prison.

Again, we come back to the use of the Malfoy's Cellar as a make shift prison cell. All it took was one House Elf to free all the prisoners.

38. If an enemy I have just killed has a younger sibling or offspring anywhere, I will find them and have them killed immediately, instead of waiting for them to grow up harboring feelings of vengeance towards me in my old age.

In all fairness to Voldemort and company, they were TRYING to do this when Harry inexplicably survived. However, they're cracking down on Muggel born wizards, but leaving their kids free if they were the result of marrying a pure or half blood. This is not a good long term strategy as it's breeding a generation of rebels who will oppose them if they remain in power long enough.

39. If I absolutely must ride into battle, I will certainly not ride at the forefront of my Legions of Terror, nor will I seek out my opposite number among his army.

This gets us back to Voldemort's silly "Only I can kill Harry Potter" rule. At least he had the sense to hang back and hide in the Shrieking Sack for the first few rounds of the siege on Hogwarts.

40. I will be neither chivalrous nor sporting. If I have an unstoppable superweapon, I will use it as early and as often as possible instead of keeping it in reserve.

Again, we get to one of the few points where Voldemort gets it right. That Killing Curse gets a LOT of use in battle.

41. Once my power is secure, I will destroy all those pesky time-travel devices.

Not needed, as the Time Turners are already destroyed.

42. When I capture the hero, I will make sure I also get his dog, monkey, ferret, or whatever sickeningly cute little animal capable of untying ropes and filching keys happens to follow him around.

How many House elves does Harry have? Two? One loyal out of duty the other just plain loyal. Harry would have been doomed without their aid.

44. I will only employ bounty hunters who work for money. Those who work for the pleasure of the hunt tend to do dumb things like even the odds to give the other guy a sporting chance.

Greyback dances on the edge of this territory, but by and large Voldemort gets this one right too.

45. I will make sure I have a clear understanding of who is responsible for what in my organization. For example, if my general screws up I will not draw my weapon, point it at him, say "And here is the price for failure," then suddenly turn and kill some random underling.

Voldemort tends to use a "Spray and Pray" strategy with punishment. Everyone gets tortured, even if the fault really lies with only on or two people.

46. If an advisor says to me "My liege, he is but one man. What can one man possibly do?", I will reply "This." and kill the advisor.

Voldemort doesn't really ALLOW advice, so this really doesn't come up.

47. If I learn that a callow youth has begun a quest to destroy me, I will slay him while he is still a callow youth instead of waiting for him to mature.

Again, Voldemort TRIED to do this with Harry, which is where this all started in the first place. He got this one right. He FAILED, but he tried and keeps trying.

48. I will treat any beast which I control through magic or technology with respect and kindness. Thus if the control is ever broken, it will not immediately come after me for revenge.

The poor treatment of the House Elves and the Goblins has come back to bite wizards on both sides.

49. If I learn the whereabouts of the one artifact which can destroy me, I will not send all my troops out to seize it. Instead I will send them out to seize something else and quietly put a Want-Ad in the local paper.

That artifact is Harry Potter, and we've already seen how poorly he managed that enterprise.

55. The deformed mutants and odd-ball psychotics will have their place in my Legions of Terror. However before I send them out on important covert missions that require tact and subtlety, I will first see if there is anyone else equally qualified who would attract less attention

Again, we get one of the rare instances of Voldemort getting it right. He's handling the Giants, Dementors, Werewolves and many others rather well, even if he treats them as definitively second and third class minions.

56. My Legions of Terror will be trained in basic marksmanship. Any who cannot learn to hit a man-sized target at 10 meters will be used for target practice.

It's amazing how many battles make you wonder if the Death Eaters were trained to shoot by Imperial Storm Troopers or James Bond enemies. The same can be said of the heroes. Nevill seems to be the only consistently good shot, and even then, this skill only surfaces at the end of Book 7 when he's lobbing psychotic plants that capture and strangle anyone they touch.

57. Before employing any captured artifacts or machinery, I will carefully read the owner's manual.

Stealing the Elder Wand from a grave instead of taking it in battle comes back to bite Voldemort in the rear. He "took" the wand without even a superficial understanding of wand lore. As a result, he ends up using a wand against Harry Potter that sees HARRY as its master, and is thus not willing to kill him. If Voldemort had thought to invest in a Glock, he could have pulled THAT out and killed Harry, but that would constitute using Muggle weapons, something Voldemort would never do.

70. When my guards split up to search for intruders, they will always travel in groups of at least two. They will be trained so that if one of them disappears mysteriously while on patrol, the other will immediately initiate an alert and call for backup, instead of quizzically peering around a corner.

"Hey we heard a loud noise from the Cellar where we tossed all our prisoners, including the biggest threat our Dark Lord faces. Let's send the weakest, most pathetic wizard in the group to investigate by himself, and then assume everything is fine based on a verbal assurance, which is easily faked or impersonated."


73. I will not agree to let the heroes go free if they win a rigged contest, even though my advisors assure me it is impossible for them to win.

I count the Duel in "Goblet of Fire" in this category. Harry wasn't supposed to survive, but did.

75. I will instruct my Legions of Terror to attack the hero en masse, instead of standing around waiting while members break off and attack one or two at a time

Again, Voldemort gets this one right, but hampers his troops with that silly "Take Harry alive" rule.

78. I will not tell my Legions of Terror "And he must be taken alive!" The command will be "And try to take him alive if it is reasonably practical."

I've already harped on this several times. Voldemort needs Harry dead, and it does NOT have to be Voldemort who does it, prophesy or not.

80. If my weakest troops fail to eliminate a hero, I will send out my best troops instead of wasting time with progressively stronger ones as he gets closer and closer to my fortress.

The Malfoys:
  • Got the Basilisk killed.
  • Got the Diary Horcrux destroyed
  • Lost their House Elf to Potter, which gave him significant aid.
  • Failed on NUMEROUS occasions to kill Potter.
  • Needed Snape's help to kill Dumbledore, due entirely to a lack of the proper blood lust.
  • Let Ollivander, Lovegood, Ron, Granger, Potter and others escape.
  • Didn't detect the fake Griffendor Sword.
  • Let Harry know where one of the Horcruxes was hidden by throwing a hissy fit over the sword.
  • Failed to retrieve, or even HEAR the prophesy
WHY did Voldemort not reassign them to mucking out Kestral stalls?

About the Prophesy: If Voldemort had allowed his minions some leeway in carrying out his orders, it would have been child's play for Malfoy to, in the basement of the Ministry of Magic, smash the prophesy while Harry still held it, listen to it, and then given Voldemort a "silver strand" of memory so he could hear it for himself.

88. If a group of henchmen fail miserably at a task, I will not berate them for incompetence then send the same group out to try the task again.

Again, the Malfoys are smug, arrogant and FAIL at every turn. Their best efforts amounted to Draco being a prat to Harry at School. I'm sure the Dark Lord was REALLY impressed with the "Potter Stinks" buttons.

100. Finally, to keep my subjects permanently locked in a mindless trance, I will provide each of them with free unlimited Internet access.

Voldemort's anti-Muggle stance makes this idea IMPOSSIBLE. I doubt Voldemort even knows the Internet exists. A whole slew of options are thus lost to him.


Anonymous said...

An addendum to Number Five. Even in spite of entrusting it to the Lestranges, and mistreating the Goblins, the Horcrux might still have been safe if it were not for the fact that it violates Rule Five by being guarded by a Dragon. It should be noted that it was the dragon itself that allowed Harry and Hermione to escape the vault with the Horcrux.

-Jundland Banshee

Anonymous said...

The reason Voldemort wanted to kill Harry himself was because he misinterpreted the part of the prohecy Snape had told him about to mean that he HAD to kill Harry. He was also unaware that trying to kill Harry would give Harry any powers at all let alone make him into a horcrux. This is because Voldemort only recognised the power of sacrifice AFTER trying to kill Harry. However this is no excuse for when he "killed" Harry during the Battle of Hogwarts.

Anonymous said...

During number 23 you said: Imagine for a moment The climatic battle at Hogwarts with the small twist of Fred in one of the towers with a sniper rifle, a scope and some relevant training.
There is a flaw in this plan. Due to the intense amount of magic used at Hogwarts most Muggle items don't work. If a camera can't work, I doubt a gun would.
Colin's camera had been enchanted to work at Hogwarts.

Matthew Miller said...

RE: Kevin White

Muggle electronics don't work, this is a plot point in "Goblet of Fire" but Colin's camera is not enchanted. An older student offers to show Colin how to develop the photos so the people in the photos are moving, but the camera itself is perfectly normal. This shows us that it's not Wizard cameras that are magical, but the developing process.

Even if my memory of Goblet of Fire is wrong, and the camera was indeed enchanted, this shows that there is an avenue for making a sniper rifle work within the Hogwarts grounds. Remember that the enchantments preventing Apparition were temporarily lifted for the classes in the great hall, showing that the barriers are not immutable.

Given that various barriers could be temporarily lifted, and muggle items could be enchanted to work within Hogwarts, then there's no reason why the headmaster couldn't have enchanted a few rifles to work within the grounds, perhaps even using a flesh memory charm to ensure that only approved people could use them. This means Dumbledore could have prepared a stockpile of weapons and trained trusted teachers in their use.

I suddenly have an image of Hagrid on the top tower with an RPG, taking out a horde of advancing Death Eaters or giants early in the battle.

On the topic of Hagrid, he had a Crossbow. Since he destroys two or three during the books fidgeting with the damn things, he probably keeps a few extra in reserve or purchases them regularly. Why wasn't he in a second story window firing bolts into the attackers? His natural resistance to things like stun spells would have made him an excellent sniper, assuming he's a halfway decent shot. He'd be firing from cover into a group that needed to keep moving, while they would have had to hit his head and arm from a distance, and even then, most spells would have been relatively useless against him.

Add a decent shield charm and you have a bunch of panicky death eaters being picked off one by one (or in groups if Hagrid has an RPG) desperately firing the killing curse at a distant target that could easily move from one window to the next between shots.

Neville and Professor Sprout seem to be the only people in the entire battle to have realized the value of ballistics, and even then they were using deadly plants that were thrown by hand.

Anonymous said...

I think you're right, it's propably only electronic things that don't work. I think the reason Hagrid didn't ues his crossbow is because a simple sheild charm (protego) would be able to stop it. I guess that explains guns too as only a very strong charm or curse can get through(like the killing curse) and the Death Eaters would probably use protego after seeng their "friends" covered in Snargaluff pods, although as it is such a simle precautionary tactic it should have been commonly used by both sides to reduce losses (think Fred).

Anonymous said...

Actually a gun would work since it's mechanical in nature. A Camera often has electronic parts, the gun has none of these. I think a gun would work just fine if "watches" that everyone from Molly to Flint seem to have can work.

Anonymous said...

Protection spells wouldn't work. Almost all wizards, i.e., with the exception of Dumbledore(who died) and perhaps Voldemort, have to say the spells aloud. Bullets are way faster than any spell, so a group of gunmen would be devestating.

Jachra said...

I think it's worth noting, at least, that many things had lanterns hung on them (i.e. Harry pointing out that the Horcruxes could be 'anything' and Dumbledore indicating that he HOPES that Voldemort is an idiot.)

Anonymous said...

In regards to #44, I'd say he got it right by colary. Greyback does hunt for the thrill of it, but he is in now way sporting or fair. He enjoys atacking by surprise, and takes pleasure in the victory itself, not matter how it was acheived.

Anonymous said...

As Kevin White said, there's a flaw.

This happens in the UK, which is in Europe.
You can't just buy a gun here, which means that Fred (or Hagrid) would have some hardcore underground contacts.
And now I'm not even considering getting the sniper (or even an RPG)
into the school.

Anonymous said...

Just in response to another comment.

Its not a case of ALL Muggle things not working in Hogwarts just certain things. After all...Witches and Wizards use cameras, and the wireless etc. Its a case of things more powered by computer chips etc

GDwarf said...

Plus, it seems unlikely that Wizards would have no protection against guns.

Now, the third book works against that view, I must admit, giving the general impression that wizards don't know what guns are, but simply looking at the world: A significant portion of the the wizarding population grew up knowing nothing about magic.

This means that every generation you'd have wizards who knew full-well how far "muggle" technology had gotten and how much of a threat something like a gun would be.

Yet none of them ever see them as a viable option.

One assumes, then, that guns and bullets are just as easy to defend against as magic spells. Perhaps protection charms extent to physical harm, too (makes sense, or all wizards would also be armed with swords or similar, as noted) and that disarming spells work against all weapons (pretty clear from the books).

Alternatively: The heroes are unwilling to use the killing curse, which seems to be functionally identical to a gun, so it seems unlikely that they'd go out of their way to acquire firearms; and the villains, of course, wouldn't touch "Muggle tech" for all the money in the world.

Or perhaps a combination of all of the above.

Regardless, it's not necessarily stupidity on anyone's part; save, perhaps Rowling's for not giving an official answer (but that would make the doorstopper size of the last few even worse...)

Unknown said...

Nice, but make sure you add in 94:

"If a reputable prophecy dictates that I will be defeated or killed by a certain person or event, I will not waste time trying to eliminate him or prevent it. I will enjoy my power for all it's worth, as long as I can, and meanwhile devote reasonable energy to a search for new prophecy that will get me out of the first one."

ALL of Voldemort's problem with Harry could've been solved had he done this.

Unknown said...

Oops, that one wasn't on the original overlord list. Here's the link to an expanded one: http://www.sff.net/paradise/overlord.html

Anonymous said...

For number 40, you forgot to mention the sporting chance Voldemort gave Harry in the graveyard.

Anonymous said...

55. The ... odd-ball psychotics will have their place in my Legions of Terror. However before I send them out on important covert missions that require tact and subtlety, I will first see if there is anyone else equally qualified who would attract less attention

>>Again, we get one of the rare instances of Voldemort getting it right.

I think he got this one wrong in OotP he is still in hiding but he sends his DE's to ambush the kids. Instead of a stunner in the back they proceed to loudly anounce themselfs and have a running battle through minstry building. Not too stealthy for an organisation that "doesn't exist".

The same battle would also go against #44 where instead os just killing people Bella spends all her time trying to rile up her oponents with baby speak so they will be more of a changlege. Even when Harry hits her with a curse she offers advice on how to cast it better.

Unknown said...

You forgot #13. Instead of asking Narcissa to check to see if Harry was dead, he should have cast incindio and made sure.

#13 All slain enemies will be cremated, or at least have several rounds of ammunition emptied into them, not left for dead at the bottom of the cliff. The announcement of their deaths, as well as any accompanying celebration, will be deferred until after the aforementioned disposal.

RoboMonkey said...

You really need to mention Harry's owl, Hedwig, in the response to rule #42.

"When I capture the hero, I will make sure I also get his dog, monkey, ferret, or whatever sickeningly cute little animal capable of untying ropes and filching keys happens to follow him around."

RoboMonkey said...

Anonymous said: "This happens in the UK, which is in Europe. You can't just buy a gun here, which means that Fred (or Hagrid) would have some hardcore underground contacts. And now I'm not even considering getting the sniper (or even an RPG) into the school."

They don't need underground contacts. They don't need to be able to legally buy firearms. They're WIZARDS. All they have to do is look toward the nearest army base and shout "accio bazooka!"

John said: "Plus, it seems unlikely that Wizards would have no protection against guns."

Why would they? They don't have protection from bladed weapons, which ARE used against them; nor are they protected from projectiles like the crystal balls that Professor Trelawney drops on them.

Jonn Wood said...

Did you miss the repeated instances where it's pointed out Voldemort's biggest flaw is pride? Remember the start of Deathly Hallows? Instead of trying to figure out why his wand didn't work, he just goes looking for a more powerful wand. It doesn't even occur to him to check on the Horcruxes until the climax, because he figures no one knows about them. On the hero side, Harry nearly gets sunk several times by his desire to help people, most notably in the climax of Goblet.

Also, how the frick are a couple of kids going to figure out how to operate a sniper rifle? How would they even have known they needed one?

>On the same note, Ginny and Neville were not just permitted to live, but allowed to return to Hogwarts!

Harry had broken up with Ginny, so Voldie figured he didn't care about her, and Neville was pure-blooded.

>What if he'd made the Whomping Willow a Horcrux?

The one that wasn't installed until long after he left Hogwarts? Also, again, pride.

>Black Cloaks and Hoods are the Death Eater uniform.

Except for the color and masks, they're also the standard wizard uniform.

#22 is just nitpicking.

#23: training from who, exactly? They can't exactly spirit a firearms instructor from an SAS base and compel him to train them, assuming guns would even work in Hogwarts. He'd be fighting it the whole way.

#26: If he had a realistic assessment of his abilities, he wouldn't have tried to become an evil overlord in the first place.

#27: One word: Accio.

#36: The same house elf could've also freed them if they'd been in separate cells.

#39: And then Harry walked into their camp. The last battle was originally supposed to be a victory march before Harry popped up.

#42: Nonhuman. As far as he's concerned, they don't matter.

#49: The rule implies the artifact is something inconspicuous, which Harry...isn't.

#56: Spells are obviously hard to aim, especially in battle.

Arthur said...

Also, how the frick are a couple of kids going to figure out how to operate a sniper rifle? How would they even have known they needed one?Harry grew up in the Muggle world, watching Muggle TV and attending a Muggle school where Muggle history was taught. He should know a thing or two about guns and other military weapons. The same goes for Hermione and any of the other Muggle-born Wizards (not all of whom were kids; there were Muggle-born adult wizards too!)

Harry had broken up with Ginny, so Voldie figured he didn't care about her, and Neville was pure-blooded.Ginny was also pure-blooded.

They can't exactly spirit a firearms instructor from an SAS base and compel him to train them, assuming guns would even work in Hogwarts. He'd be fighting it the whole way.Gee, too bad they don't have a wizard like Arthur Weasley who's made of hobby of enchanting Muggle artifacts. If he could enchant a car to drive (and fly!) by itself (which even worked on the grounds of Hogwarts), there's no reason why he couldn't enchant a gun to aim and fire itself. A gun is a far simpler device than a car.

#42: Nonhuman. As far as he's concerned, they don't matter.Not true. Voldemort worked to turn the giants and the dementors over to his side; he was clearly able to contemplate the abilities and potential of nonhuman species.

Anonymous said...

Muggle items definitely don't work at Hogwarts. Rowling has specifically said that Colin's camera was a slip-up. And even though guns are mechanical, they can enchant Muggle MAPS to not work with Hogwarts. If they can manage that, I'm sure they can manage guns.

Arthur said...

Muggle items definitely don't work at Hogwarts. Rowling has specifically said that Colin's camera was a slip-up.And Arthur Weasley's car? That was an enchanted Muggle item which functioned at Hogwarts.

Anonymous said...

"Neville was pure-blooded"

And the son of two Aurors tortured into insanity by Death Eaters. And a combatant against Death Eaters himself previously. Leaving him alive was beyond stupid.

The House of C.R.P said...

The inconspicuous Horcrux idea is made impractical by the nature of the Horcruxes. We have seen that said Horcruxes have effects on people who make contact with them. Putting them in populated areas is a bad idea, as there is too high a chance of phenomena related to the object attracting attention.

That does not excuse Voldemort from not doing things like, putting the locket at the bottom of the Zombie lake (Yeah, have fun trying to pry that locket away while fending off a legion of the aquatic undead) or bury the Didem in Antartica or Mount Everest.

Matthew Miller said...

"We have seen that said Horcruxes have effects on people who make contact with them."

This is a good point. While one could counter that Umbridge didn't seem to suffer any ill effects from the locket, one must keep in mind she was quite evil and amoral in her own right. Her day job consisted of fostering racism, suspicion and hatred against and actively persecuting the muggle born.

Anonymous said...

The whole 'Muggle Items' fight is obsolete for the soul fact that Muggle items range so vastly in the same way magical items range. Unless magic-folk decided to do enough research to both impair all threatening Muggle items (Electronic, Mechanical, AND Chemical), as well as keep up with updates, there isn't a spell that can fix every Muggle-induced issue.

Thus, the entire magical community underestimates the porbability of Muggle items defeating them, based on inherited magical ego.

Also, trying to base everything Rowling says as Universe-Cannon is ridiculous. I love her books, but obviously the woman has some organizational issues, with time, math, physics, and general contradictions. Sure the books were too vast to go over so nit-pickingly, but somethings she messed up, like headcount for Hogwarts students, or whatever the heck was up with the magical car vs. magical camera thing, prove she's not as reliable as she could be.

In the end, this arguement can go on forever because it's based on reality made by an inconsistent person, deemed "cannon" based on our world vs. HP's world. Since it's fiction. it all doesn't really work out.

I personally choose to stick with real world logic for HP-land. At least that makes the most sense, ignoring the whole magical bit.

Anonymous said...

First a question. Do horcruxes need to be special objects? Because if not Voldy could have used carrier bags and then the whole world have been stuffed!! You'd never be able to find and destroy every carrier bag,or track down one individual one. Then again I'm sure it wouldn't have been so entertaining.

Anonymous said...

Another one Voldemort got right:

89: After I captures the hero's superweapon, I will not immediately disband my legions and relax my guard because I believe whoever holds the weapon is unstoppable. After all, the hero held the weapon and I took it from him.

After he got the Elder Wand, he still kept his armies

Anonymous said...

88. If a group of henchmen fail miserably at a task, I will not berate them for incompetence then send the same group out to try the task again.
I would argue that this also applies to tools, not simply henchmen. Voldemort unsuccessfully uses the killing curse on Harry four times! I mean, seriously! Just stab him or something! There are a million ways to kill someone with and without magic!

Unknown said...

You could add the 85th rule.


I will not use any plan in which the final step is horribly complicated, e.g. "Align the 12 Stones of Power on the sacred altar then activate the medallion at the moment of total eclipse." Instead it will be more along the lines of "Push the button."


This REALLY applies to Voldemort's plan to remove Harry from Hogwarts by Portkey. Realistically, Crouch Jr. could have just done it at any time, but Voldemort's ego demanded he add a certain grandeur to it, by having his enemy partake in a prestigious tournament. He was gonna feed Harry to Nagini, so there's literally no way that people wouldn't have noticed if Harry Potter disappeared, as some fan theories state he was trying to cover up Harry's death with the tournament to make it look like he died during it.