YAY TOMIONE QUESTIONS. *hugs*
All right, so here’s the deal. If you think there is a large difference between Tom Riddle and Voldemort, I’m afraid I don’t agree with you. In fact, I feel like the principal problem with some Tomione fics I’ve read (and not finished) is that they write him as someone entirely other than Voldy. (i have fucked up the characterization quite a few times myself. it’s delicate.) Honestly, the difference between Tom and Volders is nuance - his change over time is quite subtle. They’re both relatively unhinged - the difference is in the execution. (har har death puns)
Tom the Younger doesn’t have intimidation on his side, so he can’t get away with ordering everyone around and having supremacy like he wants. Voldemort does have that luxury. And whereas Tom’s followers are few and very devoted, Voldemort’s followers are many, and need to be terrified into utmost loyalty.
Voldemort, of course, has been twisted beyond belief by the mangling of his soul, and I think that’s the difference. Whereas Tom Riddle is human, Voldemort is more than human. He has divorced himself from every possible definition of humanity and is basically now this all-powerful harbinger of doom. He now has the freedom to do everything Tom Riddle couldn’t do for fear of retribution: kill indiscriminately; bully rather than manipulate; be openly evil cavorting around with his evil friends like ha ha ha I am evil and there ain’t shit you can do.
They are, both of them, cowards. They are both terrified of death.
But Voldemort, during the latter part of canon especially, has gotten lazy. His ability to order others around and always get them to obey has, in my opinion, dulled the razor-sharp edge of wit that is Tom Riddle. Which is why I feel like Riddle is actually more terrifying than Voldemort. He’s more unpredictable, more volatile.
That said, young Tom has only just started going down the path toward his eventual 7-Horcrux goal. He doesn’t have much of a taste for blood quite yet - revenge on his father and grandparents, and the panicked murder of a girl who overheard him opening the Chamber, yes, but that’s it. I think at this point he’s fascinated by death, and even fascinated by his own terror of it, rather than fully accustomed to wielding it as a weapon.
And he’s undergoing adolescence, which is a time of maturation regardless of who you are and what mental state you have. He’s still in his formative years, still being influenced by what’s going on around him and what he’s learning. Which is why I feel like he could still, in hypothesis, be coaxed back from the edge at this point, if you’re writing Redemptive Tomione. He’s still a dangerous human being in a million different ways, so it would take an immense effort, obviously, effort from someone quite extraordinary.
Thankfully, Hermione is an extraordinary girl. ;)
don’t get me wrong, this isn’t hate I would just like someone to explain the reasoning behind the ship because I just don’t get it.
I’ve done my best to explain how it can be well-written here, which is semi-relevant. The real “why” behind it is mostly in the last paragraph, but here’s an elaboration for you:
I do get where you’re coming from. The ship seems inclined to sink if only because Hermione isn’t attracted to power or pretty much anything Riddle stands for. Thus, for the ship to work, Riddle needs to have more than a simple “GRR I’M EVIL AND ALL-POWERFUL!” dimension. Thus, character-building and transformation is paramount in any romance involving young!Tom.
But look at Hermione’s no-nonsense practical personality and Muggle-born status. The foundation of Hermione is the crux of the issue, because purely by existing she has the natural ability to turn everything Tom knows on its head. She is the perfect contradiction for him: on the good side, she’s loyal to those she cares about, perseverant, has a small tendency toward the vindictive (“Oppugno!” and SNEAK across Marietta Edgecombe’s face), pragmatic, logical - and most of all, she’s utterly brilliant. All signs of a worthy ally. On the other side of things, she’s Muggle-born and lacks sufficient ambition. She’s driven by a sense of justice.
One of the things I love about Hermione is that she could never be a follower. She lacks anything Tom would want in a follower - blind loyalty, for instance. She would have to be an equal and opposing force - or, if the author can swing it, an ally. Equal power dynamics, to me, are just hot. No way around it. (Uh, plus, HE’s hot. I mean, all Edward Cullen had going for him was beauty, and Tom’s got that plus a personality! I don’t understand why the whole world isn’t shipping Tomione. :P)
So you’ve got this girl who defies everything Tom believes about Muggle-borns. A girl who’ll fight to the last to stop every one of his evil plans. And since she’s the brightest of her age, Tomione shippers tend to believe that she’s got what it takes to topple not just the man’s actions, but the man himself. To sway not just his plans, but his entire worldview.
:) Hope that answers your question.
So, having been a Tomione writer for some time, I feel semi-qualified to make this post. I’ve put significant amounts of thought into the cognition behind Tomione, anyway.
I know it’s easy to write Tomione off as a terrible crackship, but I believe it actually has a good amount of potential validity. The key is in how it’s handled.