This is a spoiler-free review
Excitement in the Wizarding World fandom has been caused by the release of a fan film called Voldemort: Origins of the Heir. The unofficial film is available to watch for free, so I decided to take an hour and watch this re-telling of the history of Voldemort.
Synopsis from the website: “What made Tom Riddle become Voldemort? What happened in those years, and what really went down at Hogwarts when he came back? There are some clues in the books which have not been transposed at all in the movies, but a lot goes unspoken. This is the story we want to tell: the rise of the Dark Lord before Harry Potter and his first demise.”
My synopsis: We follow Grisha McLaggen, the heir of Godric Gryffindor as she is interrogated for breaking into a Soviet Magical facility looking for Tom Riddle’s Diary. Through a series of flashbacks, we learn about the other heirs of Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw as they were all peers in their time at Hogwarts. We follow Riddle, as he begins his quest for Horcruxes and the demise of wizarding kind, and Grisha is trying to stop him with the help of the other heirs. But can she get the diary before it’s too late?
I’m just going to come out and say it: I didn’t love it, not even a little bit. Although it was interesting and certainly had quite the plot twist, there were a few things that left me unsettled and annoyed while watching it.
I do want to start off with what I enjoyed. It is a beautifully shot film, with some gorgeous landscapes and costumes. And having the story be the heirs of all of the Hogwarts houses being of a similar age group is interesting, although is completely against canon when the story later develops. The actor for Voldemort is easily the best one, as he has that mysterious, dark, plagued with the inability to love character that is essentially Voldemort.
However, the voiceovers make this film so hard to watch. The film is made by an Italian film company, so English voiceovers were needed. But they are poorly synced, so if you actually watch people’s mouths move nothing is lined up in the slightest. It was driving me nuts, to the point where I had to stop watching and just listen to get the story.
Another reason I wasn’t very happy with the film is how it breaks canon. Other fan films I have watched have accepted what is canon and built off of that to create amazing stories for things Rowling hasn’t touched on herself. This film took a part of the story we know quite a bit about from the books, and twisted it and changed it to fit into their heir plot line. In the end, I was really unsatisfied that they had to twist and change the canon in order to tell their story. They basically re-wrote Voldemort’s story, and I would rather have the canon be respected and left as is.
Overall, I was glad I watched it, and they had some interesting ideas, but I will probably not watch this ever again. It is definitely not my favorite fan film for the Potter universe.
Did you watch Voldemort: Origins of the Heir? Let me know what you though with a comment.
Haven’t watched it? Here it is.