Voldemort’s mother. A member of the ancient but now impoverished Gaunt family, Merope is physically and emotionally abused by her father, Marvolo, and brother, Morfin. When they are sent to Azkaban, she’s able to freely exercise her powers for the first time, using her abilities to cast a spell on a wealthy Muggle, Tom Riddle, Sr., with whom she is in love. Under the force of her enchantment the two get married and she becomes pregnant, but when she releases him from the spell, he immediately abandons her. Merope gives birth to her son, Tom Riddle Jr., at an orphanage and dies, apparently of despair and heartbreak.
Merope Gaunt Character Timeline in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
The timeline below shows where the character Merope Gaunt appears in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter Ten: The House of Gaunt
...as theirs. He brandishes an ugly black ring, which represents his family lineage, and drags Merope over to show off her necklace, which once belonged to Salazar Slytherin. As Slytherin’s last... (full context)
...out the date of Morfin’s hearing, a loud carriage filled with laughing people passes by. Merope looks out the window in keen interest. Everyone inside can hear a young woman complaining... (full context)
Moreover, Dumbledore reveals that the Muggle attacked by Morfin is Tom Riddle Sr., Merope’s secret love and Voldemort’s father. Harry can’t believe that two such mismatched people got married,... (full context)
...his release. While it’s hard to tell exactly what happened between To Riddle Sr. and Merope, Dumbledore explains that some months after his elopement, Tom returned to the village claiming to... (full context)
Chapter Thirteen: The Secret Riddle
...that he will perform a thorough investigation into the incident. He turns the subject to Merope Gaunt, saying that after her husband’s abandonment she was left alone in London with her... (full context)
...Hogwarts. Although she’s initially distrustful, the overlooked matron Mrs. Cole opens up about Tom’s history. Merope gave birth in the orphanage and died an hour later; Tom has been strange for... (full context)
Chapter Seventeen: A Sluggish Memory
...visitor that he looks like his father, who has returned to the village after leaving Merope. He calls his sister a “slut,” saying she “dishonored” the family. At this, Morfin’s memory... (full context)