Why Did Voldemort Want The Prophecy? (7 Reasons Why)

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Freya Crawford

Freya Crawford is a self-confessed geek. She loves gaming, watching classic movies, and her guilty pleasure is trashy reality TV. She also enjoys collecting old NES and Gameboy games.

In the fourth Harry Potter book, Order of the Phoenix, Voldemort is desperate to get the prophecy. It’s a little confusing – didn’t he already have the words in his grip?

Why did Voldemort want the prophecy? Is there an error on the part of the writer, or did you miss something while you read the book? Why did the wizard want these words?

Why Did Voldemort Want The Prophecy?

1. He Wanted To Know

Voldemort wanted to know what lay ahead for him. He felt he did not have the bigger picture, and for the result necessary, he needed to hear the entire prophecy for his confidence.

We all know that feeling. When we want something and only have some information, we want the rest. Voldemort wanted to know in case there was something that would help him.

Voldemort is an intimidating character. At this midway point in the series, he needs to ensure everything is going his way. If it’s not, he could lose everything he worked for up to this point.

2. He Was Desperate

Voldemort was growing desperate at this point in the Harry Potter series. Harry Potter might still be oblivious, but the dark lord was not. He knew something was going off-kilter.

The evil wizard tried to kill Harry about six times in the previous books. These attempts failed, which was astonishing for someone as powerful as Voldemort. Why was he doing poorly?

If you feel confident in an outcome and find yourself failing, you would be desperate, too. Voldemort had to win. The rest of the prophecy would tell him what to do and make life easier.

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3. He Had To Win

Voldemort had to win. He had put everything into coming out triumphant, including pieces of his life. He had to know the prophecy because there was no choice but victory.

We all have that desire to win. In the fourth book, the theme of winning is the main point. Harry has to partake in the Triwizard Tournament, and Voldemort is part of that theme.

The best way to win is to have all the information you can about a situation. Voldemort felt he was missing a portion of the puzzle and had to know the prophecy to fix that gap.

4. He Was Scared

He Was Scared

The closer you get to failure, the scarier it becomes. Voldemort knew he had put everything into his triumph. His failures thus far made him fear a loss in the future against Harry Potter.

Fear makes you do crazy things. The dark lord wanted to find the prophecy to fill his heart and mind with confidence in his plan. He was on top – he had no desire to tumble to the bottom.

When you are all in, you are all in. Voldemort had scattered his life across the world. Fear of failure and losing all he had worked for drove him towards finding the full prophecy.

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5. He Didn’t Hear It All

The main reason Voldemort wanted the prophecy was that he didn’t hear all of it. Severus Snape, his informant, was interrupted while listening to it and only told half.

The dark lord knew he was missing a chunk of the prophecy critical to his future. He had not been able to kill Harry Potter and did not understand why this failure was happening.

If you miss a piece of gossip that could change your world, you want to hear the rest of it. Voldemort was antsy, certain there was something he did not know critical to his life.

Voldemort is a classic villain in that he will do anything to get what he wants. With missing information, that success isn’t as possible as he thought.

6. He Was Confused

As mentioned, Voldemort had attempted to kill Harry Potter several times before this moment. He was confused – why couldn’t he kill this baby? What was so special about him and his life?

In the first portion of the prophecy, Voldemort learned that a child would grow to kill him. He took this as a reason to kill Harry and assumed the boy’s death was the only way to success.

After his failures, he was confused. He needed to learn the rest of the prophecy to ensure he was doing the right thing. Maybe the second half was everything he missed in his journey.

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7. He Wants The Advantage

Voldemort is the villain of the Harry Potter series. He wants to kill Harry Potter and secure his place as an immortal in the wizarding world. Like most villains, he wants the advantage.

It’s unusual for a villain to miss a critical piece of information. With this lack of knowledge, the dark lord didn’t feel he was on top. He felt lower than Harry in his knowledge of the prophecy.

Voldemort had already failed to kill Harry Potter several times. He was done being at the bottom and prepared to do anything to get back in charge. The prophecy would provide that.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on why Hagrid is not allowed to do magic, why Snape hates Harry, and why Sirius Black went to Azkaban.


With seven books on the market, it’s easy to forget critical details in the Harry Potter series. Voldemort wanted the prophecy because he didn’t hear it all, was afraid and had to win.

This knowledge is helpful as you work your way through the Harry Potter books. Voldemort thought he knew everything, but there were critical details he didn’t have to live forever.


  • Freya Crawford

    Freya Crawford is a self-confessed geek. She loves gaming, watching classic movies, and her guilty pleasure is trashy reality TV. She also enjoys collecting old NES and Gameboy games.

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