Do witches, warlocks, and magic wielders get to keep their souls? If your name is Voldemort, then probably, yes, but only by cutting it into pieces and sacrificing the lives of others to do it.
One of the things that makes a fantasy world a bit more real is that there are always some sort of consequences involved in having power. Usually, the more power, the more you have to lose. So let’s talk about one of the ultimate prices of being an “all-powerful” warlock, wizard, genie, whatever. Can you keep your soul or your humanity? And have access to the greatest powers of the world?
Voldemort Literally Cut His Soul Into Pieces For More Power
If that’s not the literal definition of selling your soul for gold, I don’t know what else is. Although, I guess you could argue that magic can’t be worth much more than gold, especially given what Voldemort was using it for. The amount of power that he sacrificed his humanity for, was unlike any power that most any other witch or wizard could have gained in a lifetime.
I guess the true irony in that is that he didn’t even end up living for more than one lifetime. Due to his own incompetence and thirst for more power, he became his own downfall by getting on other people’s nerves. When you go out of your way to continually hurt people, they tend to take that the wrong way. They are going to find some way to get rid of you even if many of them have to sacrifice themselves to get it done.
Many did fall taking down the Dark Lord, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, in order to free both the wizarding world and the world of magic-ignorant Muggles from this dark reign. Though we obviously have no idea of just how many people Voldemort murdered with his own hands, and how many more were murdered under his orders and by the hands of his disciples, the Death Eaters, we lovers of the Harry Potter universe know that Tom Riddle always had a penchant for darkness and started killing people at a young age.
Rumpelstiltskin aka Mr. Gold In Once Upon A Time Repeatedly Sacrificed People He "Loved" For More Power
Lord… Rumpelstiltskin. The mess to end all messes. Rumpelstiltskin really did pull off what Voldemort was trying to do. And that’s pretty funny to me. Although we don’t have an exact timeline on just how long Rumpelstiltskin lived, we do know it was a long fucking time.
Of course, phrase, “all magic comes at a price,” is one of his catch phrases, as Rumplestilskin liked to tell people every time somebody came to him for magical assistance that often ended with their lives being worsened by his brand of “help”.
Because the price was always steep. Including the cost of the second son Rumpelstiltskin was sure he would never going to have, which is the price that the fairy tale of Rumpelstiltskin was built on: the baby snatcher who spun straw into gold.
Once Upon A Time does an excellent weaving of its own putting this intricate story together. In it, we know Rumpelstiltskin sacrifices his first son, metaphorically, because he is unable to part with his magical abilities as The Dark One and live a normal life in a world without magic. He spends the rest of his multiple lives trying and failing to make up for this one mistake before losing his son for a second time. Very tragic.
Obviously, anyone who actually has seen Once Upon a Time, knows that Rumple always finds a way to do something he has absolutely no business doing and justifying it as being for the greater good. And doing so, he repeatedly alienates people who have tried to help him, pushes away his loved ones, and darkens his already black soul.
I would even argue that Rumpelstiltskin is probably a worse person than Voldemort, especially because he had several lifetimes to get it together and held onto repeatedly being an asshole during most of that time. At least Voldemort was killed before he could do nearly the amount of damage Rumplestilskin had done within the thousand or so years that he lived. Perhaps that is a small comfort.
"Dark Swan" Emma Swann Begins Destroying Her Relationships to Save People She Loves
Emma Swan of Once Upon A Time who became “Dark Swan” when life just decided that she needed some more trials and tribulations. Because, apparently, no, it is not enough that she was forcibly abandoned by her parents and raised in America’s horrible foster care system as an orphan, never adopted, and treated like disposable trash most of her childhood instead of being raised as royalty in an enchanted forest fighting dragons and going on grand adventures and never having to work.
No, unlike the others mentioned in this unfortunate post, Emma Swan tried to be good during her time as the holder of the darkest of magic. Unfortunately, her lover’s life was in danger and after losing two other people that she cared deeply for, she wasn’t particularly willing to to lose him too. Who could really blame her? Killian Jones is one of the best-looking pirates to have graced many a big screen.
Now, this is not to say that Rumpelstiltskin never did anything that was good with his powers while he was The Dark One, I’m just saying that the majority of the time his intentions were not pure and were absolutely selfish. He also spent that time hurting people who had done nothing to him, who were often portrayed as generally good people in need of help.
And yet… she had to do bad things in order to accomplish that goal, blackening her soul in the process and giving into the darkness.