Still 'Give me light,' he shrieked; and dipped
His thirsty face, and drank a sea
Athirst with thirst it could not slake
The Convent Threshold, Christina Rossetti
Tom Riddle always wanted to be the best. He discovered very early on when he and everyone else behaved, he got ignored, lost to the mess of 'good children' but, if he was the good child in a mess of misbehaving infants, he got praised.
He was the best at causing trouble at the orphanage, he was also the best at not getting caught and punished. The adults liked him as he often helped and could be trusted to mind the younger children. The other orphans listened to him, he was a natural leader. So what if the obedience was a twisted mix of fear and respect. He was the best. Proof that being an orphan didn't mean you had nothing. He was the light in the darkness that was a house for abandoned children.
When he went to Hogwarts, he was able to research his family tree. He was top of his year in all his classes, the Slytherins adored him. He was the first snake to make Head Boy in centuries.
But it wasn't enough. In order to continue his education, he'd been forced to stop the basilisk. His basilisk. He was heir of the most powerful founder. He deserved better.
Leaving Hogwarts and the orphanage had been difficult, however he'd easily found a place to stay and employment. His first rejection (excluding that of his worthless parents) was by Dumbledore. That muggle lover had tried to dim Tom's light so many times. He was going to regret saying no to Tom Riddle.
But now. Now he had followers who obeyed his words, he had his blood values and hatred of muggles. He had followers willing to kill.
Tom was going to shine brightest; he would be a beacon of hope to all the lost wizards and witches. He would show them that magic made them superior. The ministry knew this; they had a statue proving this knowledge. Tom was going to rule the country. He wasn't going to fear muggles. Muggles caused pain and evil. His muggle father had hurt his weakling mother. His muggle father had caused him to be an orphan.
He wasn't going to share his name any longer. Not with a disgusting muggle. He was unique. He was the light.
He was Lord Voldermort.