Now that the Harry Potter series is over, it may be instructive to go back and see, exactly, how and why Lord Voldemort…
SPOILER ALERT: The following contains serious, massive spoilers for the book and the movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and maybe the other books if you haven’t read those. You have been warned. Read no farther!
As I was saying, to see exactly how and why Lord Voldemort failed to follow the simple rules set forth in the epochal “Top 100 Things I’d Do If I Ever Became an Evil Overlord” list. The following is inspired by that list (and hopefully doesn’t infringe on it in any way, or at least I hope not). This is the Top Things I’d Do If I Were Lord Voldemort.
I will stop calling myself “Lord Voldemort.” I will pick a name that is equally evil, of course, but less obvious, like “Lord Simon Cowell” or “Lord Scott Boras.”
When I pick a new name, it will not be an anagram of my real name. My enemies have the same access to the Internet Anagram Server that I do.
I will stop calling my loyal minions the “Death Eaters.” Instead, I will call them “The Funky Bunch.”
The next time I have a chance to kill Harry Potter, I will not use the killing spell that has backfired on me four different times. I will shoot him with a gun.
If one of my Horcruxes is kept in the vault of Gringotts, I will take special care not to torture any goblin who may have access to said vault.
If I have only one Horcrux left, and it is in my pet snake, I will not take that pet snake into battle with me. I will entrust the snake to the care of my local zoo or herpetological association during the course of the battle.
I will not insist that I alone be able to kill Harry Potter myself. If one of my Funky Bunch has the chance to kill him, I will allow him to do so. Then I will kill that person and take credit for killing Harry Potter anyway. It’s not like anyone would ever be able to contradict me.
If I announce that Harry Potter should give himself up, and come into the Forbidden Forest alone, unarmed, and he does so, I will not immediately kill him. I will wonder why he did something so foolish, and ask him so.
If I come up with a great idea like giving one of my Funky Bunch a silver hand that strangles them the second they betray me, I will insist that all of my Funky Bunch get the same silver hand and not just one person.
If I do manage to kill Harry Potter, I will check to see that he is dead myself, and not let one of my Funky Bunch do it if I have threatened the child of that person in the last few days. Then I will shoot Harry Potter with my gun, just in case.
If I acquire a wand that is rumored to have unstoppable killing power, I will try it out on one of my Funky Bunch first before using it on Harry Potter.
If I am interrogating a prisoner with vital information, and one of my Funky Bunch signals me that they have captured Harry Potter, I will pay attention to the signal instead of continuing to interrogate the prisoner. I am the Dark Lord, and I ought to be able to multitask.
I will not let Severus Snape become headmaster of Hogwarts just because he asks me to. Double agents cannot be trusted. Instead, I will send him out to kill Harry Potter and let one of my Funky Bunch take the job.
I will not leave my diadem Horcrux lying around the Room of Requirement where anyone can find it. I will donate it to the British Museum, and chances are that they’ll just store it in a vault somewhere, which is fine by me.
I will not have all my Horcruxes be completely obvious magical heirlooms. At least one of them will be something that you would never think would be a Horcrux, like Nelson’s Column, or Tony Blair’s hairpiece.
You know, it’s a wonder that Voldemort got through seven books, when you think about it.