Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
The House of Gaunt
This week's assignment is to explain the significance of chapter 10 titled "The House of Gaunt". It took me some time to find my copy of the book as it had fallen under my bed. It makes one wonder how it got there in the first place. Anyway, onto the importance of chapter 10 and the House of Gaunt.
Dumbledore has decided that Harry should know more about Lord Voldemort's pass and why he tried to kill a 1yr old Harry. In order to do this, they needed to go thru old memories with the use of the pensieve. This time they will be traveling down Bob Ogden's memory lane. Bob Ogden was a member of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Upon entering the pensieve, they find Bob Ogden on a country lane looking at a wooden sign for Great Hangleton and Little Hangleton. They follow Ogden thru Little Hangleton to a half-hidden house that had looked uninhabited if it weren't for an open window and a thin trickle of smoke coming from it.
One thing that is noticed upon walking up to the house is that there is a dead snake nailed to the front door. Also Ogden is unable to understand Morfin when he answers the door. He was speaking Parseltongue which Harry was able to understand. The Gaunts were able to speak Parseltongue as they are direct descendants of Salazar Slytherin. Salazar Slytherin was able to speak to snakes and it interesting to note that the snake is also the symbol of Slytherin house.
It can be stated that Morvolo Gaunt is very proud of his heritage by the fact that he showed off his ring with the Peverell coat of arms and the locket that once belonged to Salazar Slytherin himself. He becomes very angry when he finds that his daughter has been hankering for a Muggle and calls her a disgusting little Squib and a filthy little blood traitor. Morfin had admitted to jinxing the muggle in question with hives. Shortly after this is when Ogden flees the cottage running for his life.
So why is this chapter important? We do find out a few key things about Voldemort's history.
- Morvolo Gaunt was Voldemort's grandfather.
- Merope Gaunt was Voldemort's mother.
- The muggle that Morfin had attacked was Tom Riddle , Voldemort's father.
- Merope may have used a love potion on Tom Sr. to make him leave his muggle companion and marry her instead. But their marriage did not last long as he left her while she was still pregnant with their son Tom Morvolo Riddle aka Lord Voldemort.
This is also the first time we see two of the Horcruxes together - the Peverell ring and the Slytherin locket. Although at the time, we did not know about the Horcruxes.