Above, Andrew Scott plays Jim Moriarty, the “Napoleon of crime” and Sherlock Holmes’ arch-rival, in the BBC series Sherlock (Hartswood Films/BBC). Below, Christian Coulson plays Tom Riddle, who later became the villainous Voldemort, in the film adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. (Warner Brothers Pictures)

Minor Inconveniences: A moment you weren’t likely waiting for

By Olivia Favreau

By Olivia Favreau

I’ve always wanted to do a study in something absolutely no one has ever needed, wanted to know about or even been interested in. So no, I am not joking: this is an article on who would win in a battle between James Moriarty and Voldemort. Consider this a pre-warning if you don’t want to waste your time on fictional debating!

Okay so, if you didn’t know, James Moriarty is the honorary and equally (if not more) sociopathic villain of the Sherlock Holmes book series by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Voldemort, or Tom Riddle as he was known before he, you know, split his soul into eight pieces, is the smooth-headed, no-nose villain from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. Don’t laugh at my description, he still has magic and a very large snake going for him.

Alright so, let’s address the first problem. Yes, Moriarty is what’s called a muggle in the wizarding world, meaning someone of the non-magic folk. So already he’s at a disadvantage there, because Voldemort is known to be one of the most powerful wizards to ever exist and is very liberal with the killing curse.

However, I thought to even out the playing field a little bit, I’ve decided to compare them without the use of magic. That way, Moriarty has a bit of a fairer chance and Voldemort can’t just end the battle in 10 seconds with a quick “Avada Kedavra!” Alright so, we have one Tom Riddle, sans magic, and one Moriarty. Let’s move on to goals and ambitions.

Voldemort’s character, both in the books and movies, is obsessed with the idea of purity, especially in blood. He looks down on wizards who come from muggle families and believes that pure-blooded wizarding families are inherently superior, despite having a muggle for a father. So he’s got a lot of anger. Because of that goal, that arguably gives him more motivation to hate Moriarty (as a muggle himself, just a very psycho one) and might just give him the upper hand because he’s despises James so much.

Now, Moriarty is more difficult to pin down than someone just obsessed with blood purity. The guy is a self-appointed psychopath. In some adaptations of Sherlock Holmes, Moriarty is someone who is such a genius that the world around him bores him to the point of insanity. To entertain himself, he turns to crime to make some sort of mark and entertain himself. So in that aspect, he is categorically less motivated than Voldemort because he doesn’t really have an end game. He sort of, just… messes around in his little crime spiderweb, and because of that he might have less fire in him to win a fight with Tom Riddle.

The last point I’ll bring to the table is the idea of physical strength. Moriarty isn’t necessarily a strong guy. He never gets his hands dirty, prefers to send a buff henchman rather than get buff himself to carry out a heist. However, Voldemort doesn’t seem to be too athletically inclined either. I mean, come on, the guy has depended on magic to fight his battles his entire life. There’s really no way he could gain muscle mass from flicking a wand around. So in my opinion, it’s sort of like watching two little weaklings stripped of magic or henchman sort of just… cat-fighting. I think it’d be hilarious. And sort of a tie. Unless you disagree? I would be delighted to receive a three-page essay arguing whichever side you think would reign victorious. Please include citations in MLA format!

This was a weird one. Thanks for reading.

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