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Tom Riddle Snr Character Analysis: Father of the Dark Lord

Tom Riddle Snr Character Analysis: Father of the Dark Lord

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Tom Riddle Snr was an affluent Muggle in the village of Little Hangleton. The local witch Merope Gaunt became infatuated with him and put him under a love spell. Together they had a baby, Tom Marvolo Riddle, who would go on to become Lord Voldemort. Tom Riddle Snr abandoned his son before he was born, and later the son would return to kill his father.

About Tom Riddle Snr

Blood StatusMuggle
Zodiac SignAries (speculative)

Tom Riddle Snr was the only son of wealthy Muggle couple Tom and Mary Riddle. Major landowners in the village of Little Hangleton, the family lived in a luxurious manor house. Tom was raised with an air of arrogance and self-entitlement. Tom Riddle and his family were disliked by most of the villagers.

His manor home was located close to the run-down shack occupied by the Gaunts, a wizarding family descendent from Salazar Slytherin that had fallen onto hard times due to arrogance, inbreeding, and squandered wealth. Tom would often ride past the house on his horse coming in and out of the village. As a young man, he was often accompanied by a lady-friend called Cecilia.

The daughter of the Gaunt family, Merope, would often watch Tom pass the house and became infatuated with him. For her, he probably represented the antithesis of her life of squalor where she was mentally and physically abused by her father Marvolo and her brother Morfin, who she was also forced to care for. He may have seemed like one of the few people who could save her from her miserable existence.

Morfin’s Attack on Tom Riddle

Merope’s brother Morfin noticed her interest in the handsome muggle. The Gaunts were a pure-blood wizarding family and believed in the superiority of wizards over muggles, so this angered the mentally unstable wizard. In retaliation, he hexed Tom Riddle with painful hives.

The Ministry of Magic detected the use of magic against a muggle and fixed Tom’s hives and also wiped his memory. The incident also resulted in a confrontation between the Ministry and the Gaunts that saw both Morfin and Marvolo sent to the prison of Azkaban, for three years and six months respectively. This gave Merope a taste of freedom.

Tom Riddle and a Love Spell

Freed from the oppression of her father and brother, Merope decided to pursue her infatuation with Tom Riddle. Albus Dumbledore suspected that she used a Love Potion of the Imperius Curse to force him to return her feelings. Dumbledore considered a Love Potion more likely as it would have appealed to Merope’s romantic sensibilities.

As a result, despite widespread shock and disapproval that the squire’s son would run off with the homely daughter of the local tramp, the two married. Merope soon fell pregnant.

Albus Dumbledore speculated that Merope chose to stop using whatever enchantment she had cast on Tom. She hoped that he had fallen in love with her, or that he would stay for the sake of the baby. But the witch was wrong. As soon as the enchantment was removed, he left Merope and their unborn child and returned to his parents’ home.

Within a few months of their runaway marriage, Tom Riddle reappeared at the manor house in Little Hangleton without his wife. The rumour flew around the neighbour­hood that he was talking of being ‘hoodwinked’ and ‘taken in’… He left her, never saw her again, and never troubled to discover what became of his son.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Tom Riddle did not reveal to anyone else that Merope was a witch since he assumed that no one would believe him and feared that they might even think him insane.

Merope was left impoverished and heartbroken in London. She ended up giving birth to her son Tom Marvolo Riddle in an orphanage in London and dying the same night. The boy, who would go on to become Lord Voldemort, grew up in the orphanage.

Death of Tom Riddle Snr

In 1963, sixteen-year-old Tom Marvolo Riddle was investigating his parents and discovered Morfin Gaunt, the only surviving Gaunt, living in the hovel in Little Hangleton. The similarity in appearance between Tom Marvolo Riddle and his muggle father was not lost of Morfin, and it became clear what had happened.

Tom Marvolo Riddle decided to revenge himself on his father for abandoning his mother. He took Morfin Gaunt’s wand and used it to cast the Killing Curse not only on his father, but also his grandparents. He then modified his uncle’s memory to make him believe that he had killed the family.

Morfin happily confessed to killing the hated muggles, and an examination of his wand confirmed his story. He was sent to Azkaban for the rest of his life, while Tom Marvolo Riddle continued his life. Meanwhile, local muggles suspected the Manor’s groundskeeper Frank Bryce of being responsible for the murders, though this never advanced beyond gossip.

Those who saw the corpse of Tom Riddle Snr said that he had a look of terror on his face.

Tom Riddle Snr and the Resurrection of Lord Voldemort

When Lord Voldemort lost his body, he needed to conduct a complicated spell to restore his physical form. He managed to do this with the help of Peter Pettigrew in 1995, in the cemetery at Little Hangleton where Tom Riddle Snr was buried.

They kidnapped Harry Potter as part of a plot linked to the Triwizard Tournament. They used Harry’s blood, as the enemy of the Dark Lord, Peter Pettigrew’s hand, as a willing sacrifice from his servant, and the bones of his father Tom Riddle Snr.

Tom Riddle Snr Personality Type & Traits

Tom Riddle Snr comes across as a bit of a snob. While his disdain for the Gaunt family is understandable, he was also largely disliked in the village, suggesting that he showed a similar attitude towards others in the area. He believed that his wealth and aristocratic blood made him better than other people.

While Tom Riddle Snr’s fear and anger at having been put under a love spell by Merope and used is very understandable, it is telling that he never went back to find out what might have happened to his child.

Tom Riddle Snr Zodiac Sign & Birthday

Tom Riddle Snr was born in 1905, but we do not know his birthdate. His personality suggests that his zodiac sign could be Aries. People born under this sign tend to be very confident and see the world in a competitive and hierarchical way. They also tend to be very focused on themselves and can find it difficult to empathize with the challenges of others.