Riddle Family

The Riddle family was a family of Muggles who lived in the village of Little Hangleton. The only magical descendant of the family was the abandoned son of Tom Riddle Sr, Tom Marvolo Riddle who came to be known as Lord Voldemort.

The Definitive Glossary for Harry Potter

The Riddle family was originally a completely Muggle family who owned a lot of land in the village of Little Hangleton. However, after Merope Gaunt eloped with Tom Riddle Sr, the family became partly a magical one. Merope had a son who was named Tom Marvolo Riddle, although Tom Riddle Sr abandoned Merope and their son immediately when he realized that he had been tricked by Merope using a Love Potion.

The Riddle family consisted of Thomas Riddle, the eldest known Riddle in the Harry Potter universe, his wife Mrs. Riddle, and their son Tom Riddle Sr. He was believed to have a girlfriend named Cecelia, but it is possible that they didn’t reconvene after he was duped by Merope Gaunt into marrying her. Their son, Tom Marvolo Riddle, was one of the last surviving members of the Riddle family, with the possible exception of his daughter Delphi. Tom Marvolo Riddle was also the murderer of three of the Riddles, Thomas Riddle, Mrs. Riddle, and Tom Riddle Sr.

The Riddles

The Riddle family lived in the Riddle House which was a manor not far from the Gaunt shack in the village of Little Hangleton. Their surname Riddle had long been the family name since they lived in Little Hangleton. It is believed that Riddle was a Muggle surname and a given name for several families in Scotland. It may be a derivative of the French surname Ridel. While the Riddles had long been the landlords of most of Little Hangleton, they were despised by most villagers, at least the recent generation was. It is told that the patriarch of the family, Thomas Riddle was a snob and had a very high opinion of himself and his family. Even his wife, Mrs Riddle, was considered a very snobbish woman in the entire village. 

As for their son, Tom Riddle Sr, many believed that he was the worst of them all. This was illustrated when he and his girlfriend Cecilia passed through the Gaunt shack on horseback. He was heard speaking very poorly of the shack and his inhabitants which may have also been one of the reasons that Morfin attacked him with hives later.

Tom Riddle Sr. Marries Merope Gaunt

After Morfin Gaunt, the son of Marvolo Gaunt, found out that his sister Merope Gaunt fancied Tom Riddle Sr, he lost his cool and attacked Tom Riddle Sr with a spell that caused painful hives to erupt out of him. After this attack, the Ministry of Magic sent Bob Ogden, and later several officials to arrest Morfin. Morfin and Marvolo were both sentenced to three years and six months, respectively in Azkaban. This is when Merope Gaunt used a love potion on Tom Riddle Sr and convinced him to elope with her and marry her. After the two married, they had a son whom she named Tom Marvolo Riddle, after his father and her father. 

Tom Jr. Abandoned In A Muggle Orphanage

After she realized that she was pregnant with Tom’s son, Merope hoped that Tom Riddle Sr would eventually forgive her and accept them. However, when the effect of the potion was lifted, Tom Riddle Sr was enraged, and he abandoned them and left for his house. Merope could not cope with this separation, and her health deteriorated. 

She died not long after giving birth to her son, whom she named Tom Marvolo Riddle. He was brought to the Wool’s Orphanage in London by her before she breathed her last. She had sold the locket of Salazar Slytherin to Borgin and Burkes at a low price with the expectation of making enough money to take care of her son. This locket would later be bought by Hepzibah Smith, which, in turn, Tom Riddle Jr would steal from her after killing her.

Tom Jr. Discovers His Magical Heritage

Although Merope Gaunt was a witch, she hardly knew any magic and, therefore, couldn’t help her infant son in any way. After her death, Tom Marvolo Riddle was brought up in the Wool’s Orphanage and had no idea about his heritage or the existence of the wizarding world. However, he was very aware of his magical abilities and even used them to get things he wanted.

At the age of eleven, he was sent a letter from Hogwarts asking to join for the first year in September. The letter was sent through the transfiguration teacher at that time, Albus Dumbledore. Dumbledore told Tom that he was a wizard and that he was going to be taught magic at Hogwarts. 

After Tom joined Hogwarts, he started getting interested in dark magic and the dark arts. He also tried finding out about his magical heritage. He had imagined that since his mother had died, she must have been a Muggle and that his father must have been a wizard. However, when he figured out that his middle name was after his grandfather who was a successor of the Gaunts, and that his first name was after his Muggle father, he was enraged. He decided to visit the village of Little Hangleton to find out more about his parents and ancestry.

Tom Jr. Visits Little Hangleton

Tom Jr. visited Little Hangleton and went directly to the Gaunt Shack, where he found his uncle Morfin. By this time, his grandfather Marvolo and his mother Merope had died. Morfin told him all about how his mother and Tom Riddle Sr eloped, and he then abandoned her. Tom was furious. He found out about the Riddles and their manor and then stunned his uncle Morfin, took Morfin’s wand, and set away to the Manor. That night, he killed his father and his grandparents using the Killing Curse and later went back to Gaunt Shack and modified Morfin’s memory, thereby making him claim to commit the murder. 

In the beginning, when the bodies were found by the maid, nobody could explain the cause of the murders, and the team of doctors was unable to suggest anything either, as none of the Riddles showed any normal signs of causes of death. The frustrated police came up with nothing either, except that the bodies were found in the drawing room, and the elderly Mr. Riddle and his wife Mary Riddle had a look of terror on their faces. Most people blamed the Riddle gardener Frank Bryce, who was the only one in the vicinity of the murder spot at the time of the murder. However, he was let go for lack of evidence. In the wizarding world, Morfin claimed committing the murder, and he was sent to Azkaban for life, where he eventually died.

Tom Marvolo Riddle and the Later Life of the Riddles

The only surviving member of the Riddle family was Tom Riddle after he himself killed the other three surviving members of his family. In order to gain immortality, he decided to create Horcruxes, who came to be known as Lord Voldemort, replacing his father’s surname forever. People feared him immensely to the point that many just called him he-who-must-not-be-named or “you know who.” Lord Voldemort would eventually revisit the Riddle Manor as that is where his ‘rebirth’ would occur. More specifically, Lord Voldemort would be brought back to his physical form in the Riddle family grave, the final resting place of Thomas Riddle. This is also the first place that Harry Potter encounters Lord Voldemort after the latter’s disappearance.

It would be revealed much later that Lord Voldemort would have a child from his union with Bellatrix Lestrange. This child would be named Delphi, and she would try to bring back Lord Voldemort using a Time Turner, eventually failing to do so. Therefore, she would go down in history as the last member of the Riddle family.

Lord Voldemort – The Evil That Was Created, Not Born

Tom Marvolo Riddle is obviously the most important member of the Riddle Family in the context of the Harry Potter series as he is the prime antagonist of the story. However, despite being portrayed for most of the series as a representation of pure evil, the history of his family and the circumstances of his early childhood claim otherwise.

He was an orphan at birth and lived in a Muggle orphanage until he was recruited by Albus Dumbledore to attend Hogwarts. However, when he learned about his mother and how his father had abandoned him and her, he was enraged and decided to kill his father. However, it is also true that his mother, Merope manipulated his father into marrying her and getting her pregnant, which is why from the perspective of the reader, it may seem inhumane, but it doesn’t seem very unreasonable that he abandoned her. This ambiguity sets young Tom on a path of pure evil as he was destined to be evil all along, including the fact that his ancestor Salazar Slytherin also had a similar trajectory in ideology.

However, it still doesn’t make Tom evil by birth. Tom was always redeemable. It is Lord Voldemort that was born evil and was created by Tom, and once the two merged, they became pure evil.


Who were Voldemort’s parents?

Lord Voldemort was named Tom Marvolo Riddle at birth. His mother was Merope Gaunt who was the daughter of Marvolo Gaunt and they were the ancestors of Salazar Slytherin and Cadmus Peverell. Voldemort’s father was a Muggle named Tom Riddle Sr and he was the son of Thomas Riddle and Mary Riddle. They lived in a manor in the village of Little Hangleton.

What happened to the Riddle family?

The Riddle family was killed by Tom Marvolo Riddle, the estranged member of the family who later went on to rename himself as Lord Voldemort. Tom Riddle Sr. had abandoned his wife, Merope Riddle, and his newborn son Tom Marvolo Riddle after he realized that Merope had tricked him into marrying her using a love potion. This enraged Tom Marvolo Riddle when he heard about it from his uncle Morfin, and he therefore, killed the Riddle family as an act of vengeance.

How is Tom Riddle the Heir of Slytherin if his dad is a Muggle?

Tom Riddle is the Heir of Slytherin because his mother, Merope Gaunt, was a descendant of Salazar Slytherin. Despite Tom Riddle’s father Tom Riddle Sr being a Muggle, Tom was the Heir of Slytherin because of his mother Merope’s ancestry.

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