Discussion time. How did Voldemort's consumption of unicorn blood curse him? Was it the reason for his increasingly inhumane appearance? Or was it an actual half-life, a countdown timer to the point of his doom? Did it merely weaken his soul? Did consuming the blood ultimately lead to his downfall at Harry Potter's hand? What are the effects of the curse from drinking unicorn blood?
One thing we can all agree on, this must be old magic. Voldemort has never put much stock in old magic, but it is a powerful thing.
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Well, I'm not sure if Voldemort suffered any effects from the unicorn's blood since technically, it was Quirrell who consumed it, and Voldemort says so himself:
Unicorn blood has strengthened me, these past weeks... you saw faithful Quirrell drinking it for me in the forest
Thats possible, but he did drink it again in book 4 as a mixture of Nagini's venom to give his half-body strength.
Yet it is noted in book 1 that Quirrel started to look thinner and more pale. May have been stress, but perhaps the curse of drinking unicorn blood. Here we enter the realm of speculation.
Umm...he MADE a body out of unicorn blood, its like literally a part of him. Id say that ship has sailed.
The speculation used to run wild in my head regarding this until Book 6. I think since Voldemort's soul was already split and damaged so much, the effects didn't really matter. He already lived a half, cursed life due to the Horcruxes.
Thinking again on this subject, I think it may just refer to the fact that one loses ones humanity after drinking the blood, similar to the loss of humanity from splitting ones soul when creating Horcruxes. The "curse" isn't so much an actual curse, but a diminishing of the soul; thus leading to what the Rowling refers to as a "half life, a cursed life."
Yeah, i vote on the losing humanity part. Maybe as a sacrifice for prolonging your life, you become numb to things like joy and love. Although i suppose you dont HAVE to kill the damn animal to get its blood, which might be the reason for the curse part in the first place. I believe unicorn blood is one of the things that can confer immortality, thats why voldemort likes it so much.
But what if this weakening of humanity manifested in a weaking of the bonds that unite a soul? Even a soul as divided as Voldemort's. That might help explain why Voldemort never 'felt' the loss of any of his horcruxes. If unicorn weakens the union of the soul, then it only makes sense he would not have been aware of the losses he felt he surely must be aware of.
I think the horcruxes were the reason for his snakelike, inhuman appearance. There's this memory in HBP when Voldemort returns to Hogwarts to ask Dumbledore for the DADA position:
Harry let out a hastily stifled gasp. Voldemort had entered the room. His features were not those Harry had seen emerge from the great stone cauldron almost two years ago: They were not as snakelike, the eyes were not yet scarlet, the face not yet mask like, and yet he was no longer handsome Tom Riddle. It was as though his features had been burned and blurred; they were waxy and oddly distorted, and the whites of his eyes had a permanently bloody look, though the pupils were not yet the slits that Harry knew they would become.
This is a couple chapters before Harry gets the horcrux memory from Slughorn, so we don't know about them yet, but I think here it's implied that he's looking less human because of all the damage he's done by creating the horcruxes. He was already looking less like a human and more like a snake before the unicorn blood thing.
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I'm not sure that drinking the unicorn blood would do any more harm to Voldemort than the creation of his horcruxes already did. To me splitting your soul and therefore perhaps becoming 'less human' is cursed enough. Also as someone else pointed out I think maybe Quirrell would bear the brunt of the effects, since he drank the blood.