The Gaunt Family

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The House of Gaunt was a pure-blood family descended from Cadmus Peverell and Salazar Slytherin. They had a tendency of marrying their cousins to keep their blood pure and to retain the traits of their ancestor, most notably the ability to speak Parseltongue. They lived just outside Little Hangleton.


[edit] Ancient history

The House of Gaunt was once a prominent, wealthy family in the wizarding world, and originated from many powerfully magical wizards and witches.

[edit] Ancestry

Up until the 20th century, every single member of the Gaunt family was pure-blood. This meant that their ancestry was very magical, and they were:

[edit] Family beliefs

As stated above, the Gaunts inherited their ancestor's ability to speak Parseltongue. Like other pure-blood families of the time, they were supreme advocates of blood purity and were often inbred in order to maintain said "purity." However, by the twentieth century, mentally unstable members of the family had squandered the family's fortune and cost it much of its prestige among elite pure-blood circles.

[edit] Gaunt family in the 20th century

By the early twentieth century, the Gaunts had been reduced to poverty, possessing only a few old heirlooms and living in a small, run-down shack. Additionally, generations of inbreeding had made them violent and unstable. Marvolo Gaunt was abusive toward his daughter Merope, whose emotional trauma made it difficult for her to use magic, making others believe she was a Squib. Her brother Morfin spoke in Parseltongue more than English and frequently terrorised Muggles, eventually leading to his imprisonment in Azkaban.

Merope's only child was the notorious Dark Wizard, Lord Voldemort.[2]

Upon the death of Morfin Gaunt, heir to the House of Gaunt, the male line of the Gaunt family ended. The female line continued for several decades, ending with the death of Tom Marvolo Riddle. Neither of the two produced any children or had any other known siblings or cousins.

[edit] Gaunt family tree

                              Peverell family
        |                             |                            |
 Ignotus Peverell              Cadmus Peverell             Antioch Peverell              Salazar Slytherin  
        |                             |                                                          |
(many generations)           (many generations)                                          (many generations)  
        |                             |                                                          |
  Potter family                       ------------------------------------------------------------
                                    Marvolo Gaunt       Thomas Riddle  +  Mary Riddle
                                          |                    |               |
                               ---------------------           -----------------
                               |                   |                   |
                           Morfin Gaunt       Merope Gaunt  +  Tom Riddle Sr.
                                                   |                |
                                                   Tom Marvolo Riddle

[edit] Heirlooms

Marvolo Gaunt was in possession of a signet ring passed on from his Peverell ancestors. This ring was eventually turned into a Horcrux by Voldemort and destroyed by Albus Dumbledore with Godric Gryffindor's Sword. It also contained the Resurrection Stone, one of the legendary Deathly Hallows.

The Gaunts also held onto Salazar Slytherin's Locket for many generations. However, Merope later sold it to Borgin and Burkes in order to support herself while she was pregnant. It later came into the possession of Hepzibah Smith, who a teenage Tom Marvolo Riddle killed and stole the locket from (or in Riddle's opinion, retrieving what was rightfully his). He also turned this heirloom of his mother's family into a Horcrux.[2] Much later, it was stolen from its hiding place by Regulus Black, and later destroyed by Ron Weasley.[3]

[edit] Etymology

The word gaunt is defined as "haggard, drawn and emaciated" and "bleak, desolate."[4] John of Gaunt was a fourteenth-century English noble whose heir deposed a king and usurped the throne, possibly alluding to the Gaunts' descendant Voldemort attempts to overthrow wizarding Britain's government and rule it himself.

[edit] Behind the scenes

[edit] Notes and references

  1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  2. 2.0 2.1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  4. Wikitionary Definition: Gaunt

fr:Famille Gaunt ru:Мраксы