There is more to why people refer to Voldemort as “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named” in Harry Potter than people think.
Lord Voldemort went through many different names in the Wizarding World universe. His birth name was Tom Riddle, but for a long time, both during his reign and after his defeat, people referred to him as “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named” or “You-Know-Who” instead. Since Voldemort was one of the most dangerous villains to exist within the Harry Potter franchise, it’s easy to assume that people didn’t say his real name simply out of fear.
And fear was definitely part of the reason, but Voldemort’s name actually had a magical element to it that made people scared to say it. It turns out, if you dared to speak his name, trouble would surely follow.
Who Is Voldemort In Harry Potter – And How Did He Become Evil?
For those who aren’t familiar with the character, Lord Voldemort was the main villain of the Harry Potter book and film series. He and his loyal followers, the Death Eaters, used dark magic in an attempt to enslave both the Muggle (non-magic) World and the Wizarding World. His frequent acts of terrorism against others garnered him the reputation as the most feared wizard ever. The only person who stood in the way of that was Harry Potter, a young wizard who stopped Voldemort during his original rise to power prior to the series and then had to find ways to defeat him once he rose again near the end of the series.
Voldemort’s extensive history is twisted and tragic, but his evil mostly stemmed from his obsession with becoming both immortal and all-powerful, as well as his hatred over the fact that he was a half-blood (born from both Wizard and Muggle parents).
Voldemort’s Name Curse, Explained
During the events of the book series, it was revealed that Voldemort placed a powerful spell called “the Taboo” on his name. This spell made it so that when a specific word (in this case, Voldemort’s own name) was uttered, the person who cast the spell would immediately know the location of the other person who said it, even going as far as to weaken any protective enchantments that may have concealed the speaker. A spell like this was used by the Death Eaters to track down several people of interest that could come into conflict with Voldemort’s rule.
The final book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is where Voldemort used the Taboo spell, which saw several characters either accidentally or intentionally uttering Voldemort’s name and getting immediately attacked for it. In fact, both Harry and Hermione Granger accidentally activated the spell, and both of their mistakes led to encounters with several Death Eaters. So, while speaking of Voldemort was not recommended, it was deeper than just his evil reputation.