J.K. Rowling's Response to news that "VOLDEMORT VOTED TOP VILLAIN IN THE BIGBADREAD," bigbadread.com, September 4, 2006
'I am thrilled and honoured beyond words that Lord Voldemort has been voted best villain in the BigBadRead poll. I am not sure how he would react to knowing that he had won a Muggles' unpopularity poll. A mixture of pleasure that you recognised his power and menace, coupled with fury at your nerve at mentioning his real name, I think. His author, however, is absolutely delighted.'
I am sorry not to be there in person to join your celebration of literary evil, but Lord Voldemort requires my constant presence at the moment, as his Dark plans are unfolding in all their grisly glory. I hope those of you who voted for him in the Big Bad Read enjoy reading about him in book seven, where he finally gets the legroom for which he has been aching during all those years in exile.
I have always felt that cardboard baddies make weak heroes and that Harry deserved a really deluxe model, so I have done my best to make Lord Voldemort a real person, red eyed and snakelike though he might be. He, of course, is one of the reasons the Harry Potter books are often banned, but I remain of the firm belief that we need our imaginary villains, the better to brace ourselves for the ones we need to fight in reality.
Voldemort heads an extremely distinguished list, and I shall enjoy picturing him at the head of the table, while Sauron [#2], Lex Luther [#4] and Mrs. Coulter [#3, from His Dark Materials] glower at him, awaiting their chance to topple him. In the meantime, thank you again, on his behalf and mine, for the great honour.
Original page date 1 March 2007; last updated 1 March 2007.