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Slytherin family

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The locket
Slytherin Family
Family heritage
Blood status

Pure-blood

Notable family members

Salazar Slytherin

Status

Extinct

Relationships
Related families
Affiliation
House(s)

Slytherin

Loyalty

The Slytherin family was a pure-blood family with several notable members, particularly Salazar Slytherin, one of the four original founders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, who lived over one-thousand years ago and is the earliest known member of Slytherin house[1]. Not much is known about this family, but it is possible that they, like their relations, the Gaunts, and several other pure-blood families, had a tendency of marrying their cousins to keep their blood pure and to retain the traits of their ancestors (most notably, the ability to speak Parseltongue[2]). Many Dark wizards and witches came from this family, including Salazar Slytherin himself, and Lord Voldemort, whose death on 2 May, 1998 marked the end of the line[3].

History

Early history

The Slytherin family was a prominent one in the wizarding world, as demonstrated by their famous ancestor, although over time their gene pool became unstable due to a habit of inbreeding. They slowly squandered their wealth, which was completely non-existent by the time their last descendants, the House of Gaunt, came to be[2].

Recent history

By the early twentieth century, when the family was extinct in the male line, Marvolo Gaunt, one of the last direct descendants, had only two children, Merope and her brother Morfin. While Morfin regularly used magic to terrorize Muggles and spoke almost exclusively in Parseltongue, his sister exhibited no dark qualities and was in fact so traumatized by emotional abuse inflicted upon her by her father and brother, that she was barely able to use magic and often presumed to be a squib.

Merope later ended the pure-blood line of her family by marrying a Muggle from a nearby town, Little Hangleton, and having a half-blood son, Tom Riddle, who later became the infamous Dark Wizard, Lord Voldemort[2]. The female line of the Slytherin family continued for several years, ending with the death of Riddle, who neither produced any children or had any known siblings or cousins[3].

Slytherin family tree

    Cadmus Peverell                 Salazar Slytherin
              |                              |
              |                              |
              --------------------------------
                              | 
                              |
                       Corvinus Gaunt
                              |
                              |
                        Marvolo Gaunt
                              |
                    ---------------------
                    |                   |
               Morfin Gaunt      Merope Gaunt  +  Tom Riddle Sr.
                                               |
                                        Tom Marvolo Riddle
                                         (Lord Voldemort)

Members

Salazar Slytherin

Sada2

Salazar Slytherin

Professor Salazar Slytherin was a great wizard of Medieval times. He was a Parselmouth (a wizard with the rare ability to speak with snakes), and skilled at Legilimency. He was one of the four founders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As he didn't trust Muggle-born students, he expressed his opinion against accepting them at Hogwarts. However, when the other founders didn't agree, Slytherin left the school and did not return. It is unknown when he died. Salazar Slytherin's portrait still remains at Hogwarts.

Tom Riddle

Many faces of Riddle crop

Tom Riddle

Tom Marvolo Riddle (31 December 1926 - 2 May 1998), later known as Lord Voldemort, was the most powerful Dark Wizard in the history of the wizarding world. He was born to Tom Riddle Sr., a wealthy Muggle who abandoned his wife and unborn child, and Merope Gaunt, a pure-blood witch descended from Salazar Slytherin who died shortly after childbirth. Riddle died by the conclusion of the Battle of Hogwarts at age 71, which led to the Slytherin family, as well as the Riddle family and Gaunt family, to become extinct.

Other families

Toujours Pur

The related House of Black.

"The pure-blood families are all interrelated. If you're only going to let your sons and daughters marry pure-bloods your choice is very limited; there are hardly any of us left."
Sirius Black[src]

The Slytherin family, like many of the pure-blood families, had some relation to many other families in the wizarding world. The Peverells, Gaunts, Blacks, Malfoys, Potters, Weasleys, Prewetts, and other families are all linked to one another through bloodlines and intermarriage.

The only known direct descendants from Salazar Slytherin were the Gaunts, who for the most part shared their ancestor's beliefs in the purity of wizard blood. They also spoke in Parseltongue between themselves. Tom Marvolo Riddle was the last descendant of the Gaunt family and spoke Parseltongue as well.

The Gaunt family was also descended from the Peverells, although it is unknown if one of the two infamous bloodlines preceded the other or if they simply merged at some prior point.

Heirlooms

The family held onto Salazar Slytherin's Locket for many generations, and in later years Marvolo Gaunt was in possession of a signet ring passed on from his Peverell ancestors. However, the locket left the family when Merope sold it to Borgin and Burkes in order to support herself while she was pregnant. It later came into the possession of Hepzibah Smith, whom a teenage Tom Marvolo Riddle killed and stole the locket from. Riddle eventually turned both artefacts into horcruxes; the locket was stolen from its hiding place by Regulus Black and later destroyed by Ron Weasley, while the ring was destroyed by Albus Dumbledore with Godric Gryffindor's Sword. The ring also contained the Resurrection Stone.

Etymology

Slytherin may refer to the words "sly" as well as "slithering", which is the form of locomotion of snakes, possibly referring to their rare ability to talk to snakes called parseltongue.

Appearances

Notes and references

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