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Tom Riddle Sr.

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{{Muggle individual infobox |image=Tom Riddle Sr. grave |species=Human |gender=Male |eyes=Dark[1] |hair=Jet blackCite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag. |died=Summer, 1943 (aged 38)Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag.

  • Marvolo Gaunt (father-in-law) †Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag.

Whatever the reason, Riddle abandoned his wife, and she was left impoverished, broken-hearted, and alone in London. Soon after, she gave birth to a son she named Tom Marvolo Riddle, after the baby's father and Merope's own father, Marvolo Gaunt. Merope died shortly after giving birth and the child was left in the care of a Muggle orphanage.[2]


Marvolo Gaunt&#039;s Ring

Marvolo Gaunt's Ring, the Horcrux Tom Marvolo made from Tom's death.

In 1943,[3] sixteen-year-old Tom Marvolo Riddle, who would later take on the alias Lord Voldemort, ventured to Little Hangleton to investigate his heritage. He learned the details of his parents' union from his uncle Morfin Gaunt and sought revenge on whom he saw as the man who abandoned him before his birth. Tom Marvolo Riddle murdered his father and paternal grandparents with the Killing Curse and framed Morfin for the crime.[4] His corpse was described as having a "look of terror upon his face. "[5]


Voldemort rebirth

Tom's son, Tom Marvolo Riddle, during his rebirth.

"You stand, Harry Potter, upon the remains of my late father. A Muggle and a fool.. very like your dear mother. But they both had their uses, did they not? Your mother died to defend you as a child... and I killed my father, and see how useful he has proved himself in death..."
Lord Voldemort[src]

Tom Riddle, Sr. was buried in Little Hangleton graveyard along with his parents, and their deaths were not at all mourned by the townspeople due to their being very unpopular. Tom's murder was used by his son to transform Marvolo Gaunt's Ring into his second Horcrux.[6] Voldemort seemed to see this murder as retribution for the miserable existence his father had condemned him to in his abandonment, as well as his own triumph over his "filthy Muggle" heritage.[7] Voldemort made use of his father's murder again in 1995, when Peter Pettigrew used a bone from Tom Riddle, Sr.'s grave to make the potion that resurrected him.[8]

Physical appearance


His son, who was noted to look very much like him

Tom Riddle, Sr. was a very handsome man jet black-haired, dark-eyed, and pale.[1] His son, Tom Marvolo Riddle, was noted to be the spitting image of him in his early years, and with his son being tall for his age suggests that the elder Tom is also tall.[2]

Personality and traits

Cecilia: "My God, what an eyesore! Couldn't your father have that hovel cleared away, Tom?"
Tom Riddle Sr.: "It's not ours. Everything on the other side of the valley belongs to us, but that cottage belongs to an old tramp called Gaunt, and his children. The son's quite mad, you should hear some of the stories they tell in the village... Don't look at it, Cecilia, darling."
— Tom and Cecilia passing by the Gaunt shack[src]

The son of wealthy parents, Tom Riddle Sr. was something of a snob and rather callous.[1] When he and Cecilia were riding by the Gaunt shack on one occasion, Bob Ogden ran out, having been terrorized by the Gaunts, and stumbled into Riddle's horse. Both he and Cecilia "roared with laughter" at this.[1] Very handsome and wealthy, Riddle boasted to his companion about how much property his family owned. Tom also abandoned his pregnant wife and apparently made no attempts to find out what happened to his child, despite being made aware of Merope's pregnancy before abandoning her.[1]

Tom was described to be ruder and more snobbish than his parents, who were both very mean as it was. This made Tom immensely unpopular in Little Hangleton, and the villagers were not sorry for his demise.[5]

It appears that his son had inherited many of Tom's prejudiced and bigoted ways. However, his son's form of prejudice was on a much more massive scale and was directed at Muggle-borns, Muggles and blood traitors.



Tom's relationship with his parents was most likely a good one, since all three of them shared the few types of things the Riddle family was described as: Muggles, wealthy, rude and snobbish. Also, when Tom abandoned Merope in London and returning home, they were most likely happy to see their son come back from "having been taken in" by Merope.

Merope Gaunt

Tom originally looked down and made fun of Merope and her family because of their poverty, their strange shabby appearances, and their exceptional disabilities. Merope then used a love potion on Tom, making them go on a runaway marriage. Merope eventually became pregnant with Tom's child. However, as Albus Dumbledore had theorized, Merope, who was deeply, truly in love with her husband, could not bear to continue enslaving him by magical means and made the choice to stop giving him the potion, convincing herself that he might have truly fallen in love with her of his own accord, or even if he had not, he would stay with her for their child's sake. When Tom awoke from his enslavement, he revolted in what Merope did to him and immediately left his wife and unborn son, claiming to the townspeople of Little Hangleton he had been "hoodwinked" and "taken in."[1] Merope was left heartbroken and lost her will to live as a result, and later died giving birth to his son, naming him after her lost love, wishing that he would look like his father.[2]

Tom Marvolo Riddle /Lord Voldemort

" [...] my dirty, Muggle father [...]'"
—Tom Marvolo Riddle on his father[src]
Tom Riddle 16 years old

Tom Marvolo Riddle, his son.

During Tom Marvolo Riddle's time at Hogwarts, he originally believed his father was a wizard. He later found out that it was his mother, not father, that had magical abilities.[4] He grew to harbour a passionate and ultimately deadly hatred for his father, blaming him for abandoning him and his mother. His hatred eventually evolved and spiralled completely out of control, leading him to forsake the entire race of Muggles.[7]

He later tracked down his father during the summer of his sixth year and killed him and his family, placing the blame on his uncle Morfin.[4] He later used this death to make Marvolo Gaunt's ring a Horcrux.[6] One of his bones was also used to help his son revive Voldemort's body.[8]


" [...] don't look at it Cecilia, darling."
—Tom and Cecilia on a stroll[src]

Cecilia was a Muggle that may have been Tom's lover before he married Merope Gaunt.[1]

Marvolo and Morfin Gaunt

" [...] dirt-veined muggle [...]'"
—Marvolo Gaunt describing Tom[src]

It is unknown if Tom Riddle, Sr. had met Marvolo Gaunt and Morfin Gaunt in person, but if he had (since he was telling his girlfriend, Cecilia about them), then it is perfectly known that Riddle considered them tramps and they considered him a piece of filth because he was a Muggle and despised him even more when Merope Gaunt (Marvolo's daughter and Morfin's sister) married him. Morfin once attacked Tom by hexing him for attracting Merope's attention.

Behind the scenes


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - Chapter 10 (The House of Gaunt)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - Chapter 13 (The Secret Riddle)
  3. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named GFf
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - Chapter 17 (A Very Sluggish Memory)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Chapter 1 (The Riddle House)
  6. 6.0 6.1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - Chapter 23 (Horcruxes)
  7. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named CS17
  8. 8.0 8.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Chapter 32 (Flesh, Blood, and Bone)
  9. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Chapter 35 (The Flaw in the Plan)

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