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Riddle family

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"Nobody wasted their breath pretending to feel very sad about the Riddles, for they had been most unpopular."
—Description of the town of Little Hangleton's reaction to Thomas, Mary, and Tom Riddle Sr.'s murders.[src]

Riddle was the surname of a wealthy Muggle family that lived in a mansion overlooking Little Hangleton, of which they owned a great deal. They lived fairly close to the wizarding House of Gaunt.

Family History

The Riddle family was a very old Muggle family. Their members were snobbish, arrogant, and unpopular, all hated by the villagers of Little Hangleton, which is why nobody mourned their deaths, but were more interested in who murdered them and how. Thomas Riddle, his wife Mary, and their son Tom Riddle Sr. were killed in 1943 by Tom Marvolo Riddle, Tom's son by pure-blood witch Merope Gaunt, whom he had married while influenced by magic (which was theorized to be either a love potion or the Imperius Curse) and later abandoned. Tom Marvolo Riddle killed his father for abandoning his mother, and killed his paternal grandparents for good measure so as to obliterate his Muggle roots. The murderer framed his maternal uncle Morfin Gaunt for the crimes, and he was sent to the wizarding prison of Azkaban, where he died. The Muggle townspeople, however, suspected that the Riddles' gardener, Frank Bryce, had killed them, and therefore he was banished from the society of Little Hangleton.[1]

Tom Marvolo Riddle soon abandoned the name of his "filthy Muggle father", instead using an anagram to declare himself Lord Voldemort.[2] With the death of Lord Voldemort, the Riddle family, as well as the Slytherin family and Gaunt family, became extinct.


Riddle family tree

Cadmus Peverell
(fl. 1214)
Salazar Slytherin
(fl. 993)
House of
Gormlaith Gaunt
(d. c. 1634)
Rionach Gaunt
(d. 1608)
William Sayre
(d. 1608)
Corvinus Gaunt
(fl. 1700s)
Thomas Riddle
Mary Riddle
Marvolo Gaunt
(d. late 1920s)
Tom Riddle
Merope Gaunt
Morfin Gaunt
(fl.1925 - fl.1943)
Tom Marvolo Riddle


A riddle is a statement or question with a double or veiled meaning, and they were very common to Old English literature and poetry. This may also be in reference due to the fact that the Riddle family died in inexplicable circumstances for the Muggles living in Little Hangelton. Riddle games also appear frequently in folklore and mythology as a matter of life and death, such as in the tale of Oedipus and the Sphinx and in the opera Turandot. The term "world riddle" was also used by philosophers such as Friedrich Nietzsche to encompass the idea of the meaning of life. This could all allude to the mysterious and hidden origins of Lord Voldemort, who disliked and hid his Muggle ancestry, and who was obsessed with life and death.

Notes and references

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