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Thread: Merope's mum -- dead or divorced?

  1. #1
    Ebil Lieutenant Ravenclaw
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    Merope's mum -- dead or divorced?

    I've been wondering this for a while, and since I'm writing a fic about it... Merope and Morfin have a horrible father, but what about their mum?

    She's either dead or divorced from him/separated. I'm kind of leaning towards the former, since I'm guessing the latter didn't happen much back in the days. But I could be wrong.

    So, questions:

    What kind of woman would Merope's mum be? (Pretty, nice, whatever? Bearing in mind that Merope isn't exactly described as pretty)

    Dumbledore mentioned something about the Gaunts marrying their cousins; in this case, do you think she was Marvolo's cousin? If so, would it be likely to be first, second, third, once removed, etc?

    If you think she left him, why did she marry him in the first place? (Assuming they're married, that is.)

    If you think she died, is there anything in canon which says when?

    Could she have died in childbirth?

    I am honestly unsure at the moment, and I don't know if canon contradicts any of what I'm asking, or if I have free reign, so help would be appreciated

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  2. #2
    TheCursedQuill
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    I'm not sure if this would be better suited for the Character Clinic, but I'm going to answer your questions anyway because the Gaunt family is something I'm very interested in also.

    What kind of woman would Merope's mum be? (Pretty, nice, whatever? Bearing in mind that Merope isn't exactly described as pretty)
    No. A big, N.O. She would probably look like the rest of the family, very deformed and, well, ugly. I picture her a little overweight, in comparison to her other-wise "disease thin" family. Coming from a family with very strong values about their heritage and lifestyle, she'd probably be like the "stay-at-home" mom and be very dirty from cleaning the house, and cooking over a boiling cauldron all day (the gaunt's don't seem to know what bathing is either which wouldn't help..). Personality wise, she was probably very strict. Merope was a very neglected child, and her actions would imply she's always been treated poorly with no love from anyone. This also would be something to connect to the fact that she didn't really know what love was, and created a love potion to give to Riddle Sr.

    Dumbledore mentioned something about the Gaunts marrying their cousins; in this case, do you think she was Marvolo's cousin? If so, would it be likely to be first, second, third, once removed, etc?
    I would say first cousins. Personally, I don't think the family would wait long enough for a second cousin to marry off. This is a very old family with very old views. They probably arranged their children's marriages (in fact, it seems like they DID arrange their child's marriages), and they probably did it at a young age (long ago, marrying at 12 was the norm. They would have probably pushed this age up, but I would say no where over 20). After centuries of trying to keep the blood pure, the members would slowly decrease in size, giving little to no room to even have a second cousin. The Gaunt's are the last in line to keep it running, so their numbers were very small to begin with when the two married.

    If you think she died, is there anything in canon which says when?
    Nothing in Canon mentions her mother. You do have free reign with what you want her to do, though I believe she would have died. Morfin and Marvolo both died at relatively young ages. This could be because of the state they were living in, or from being in Azkaban. You could also have her die by child birth, which is realistic considering her poor health and size. They certainly wouldn't have a Healer come help with the birth, and if something goes wrong, there's only so much magic that can help a person. Marvolo isn't really seen as a bright person in the books, so he probably didn't know much about how to birth a child.

    Having her leave doesn't seem like an option. If she left, Merope might have more courage to leave herself, but she was so frightened by her father, she couldn't even perform magic around him. She must have known magic if she could produce such a well made Love potion after he left. Her mother would also have the same values as Marvolo, coming from the same line of family, and wouldn't want to tarnish the Slytherin blood-line in any way possible. Leaving would mean she was leaving the Slytherin line, much like how if someone left the Black line they would be blasted off the tree.

    -Sarah

  3. #3
    laceymoibella
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    What kind of woman would Merope's mum be? (Pretty, nice, whatever? Bearing in mind that Merope isn't exactly described as pretty)
    I think Merope's mum was a woman who had lived a hard life and this would have been evident by her appearance. Both her manner of attire and her features would be a telling sign of this. She may have once been pretty when she was younger but after her years with Marvolo, I am certain her beauty would have been stripped from her. Along with any dignity she may have had. With almost certainty I can say that the harsh life she endured with Marvolo left her feeling alone and desolate. After all, we got an idea of what kind of man he was like and he was not a nice or compassionate one.

    Dumbledore mentioned something about the Gaunts marrying their cousins; in this case, do you think she was Marvolo's cousin? If so, would it be likely to be first, second, third, once removed, etc?
    It was not uncommon for first cousins to marry back in the time Merope's parents were young. Most often the boy was older than the girl. Sometimes by quite a few years. I believe that more often than not, the girl married around the age of 13, 16 being about the oldest.

    If you think she died, is there anything in canon which says when?
    I do think that she died. However, I do not recall reading that anywhere in the books and I do not have one near me at the moment. I would say it would not be too far off if you had her die. Possibly even during/after childbirth. or perhaps she contracted something that caused her demise. That is certainly a good possibility considering we know what the living conditions were like in the Gaunt household.

    Hope this was of some help to you. Good luck.

    ~Lacey

  4. #4
    Ascendio
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    Quote Originally Posted by babewithbrains View Post
    Could she have died in childbirth?
    I think it's very likely that she died in childbirth. As Sarah mentioned, she most likely wasn't very healthy, and they definitely wouldn't have gotten a Healer, the would most likely consider them untrustworthy. It might also lend another reason to why Marvolo treats Merope so badly, he probably would have considered it her fault that his wife died, and even though they were most likely related and had an arranged marriage which leads me to believe that they probably weren't very much in love, he must have been very angry to have the death of the one who cooks and cleans for him.

  5. #5
    Ebil Lieutenant Ravenclaw
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    Thank you, Sarah, Lacey and Annika.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah
    Nothing in Canon mentions her mother.
    Ooh, that's good. I was racking my brains trying to remember if she was ever mentioned, but I don't think she was at all. Yup, that's good to know.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah
    Having her leave doesn't seem like an option.
    Yes, I agree with this -- definitely, if her mum left, wouldn't Merope do so too? I suppose she could've left in the dead of the night, but she would have had to go into hiding or something, because I'm pretty sure Marvolo would have done something terrible to her if he found her.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lacey
    the girl married around the age of 13, 16 being about the oldest.
    Hmm, it wasn't that long ago, was it? The 1900s, if I'm not mistaken, so I could probably stretch that to 19 or 20.

    Quote Originally Posted by Annika
    he must have been very angry to have the death of the one who cooks and cleans for him.
    While I don't think I'll use the childbirth bit, I do definitely agree with that. Marvolo probably didn't know what love really was, but he would definitely be reliant on someone to cook/clean for him, which was canonically the reason for his death according to Dumbledore.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lacey
    perhaps she contracted something that caused her demise.
    That's what I want to happen, I think. If she lived for a while after Morfin's birth and then died from some kind of disease (logical considering their living conditions etc), it would be logical for Merope to become the person who has to do chores and stuff. Yes, thank you very much

    Oh, something else I was wondering: Do you think either of the Gaunt children -- or, indeed, Marvolo or his wife -- went to Hogwarts?

    Quote Originally Posted by HP Wiki
    Based on this, as well as the family's poverty, it is unlikely that Merope attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, though she did have a wand.
    How canonically accurate is this, given that the Weasleys were poor (they only had one Galleon in their vault in CoS, remember) and all the Weasley children along with Molly and Arthur went to Hogwarts?
    Last edited by babewithbrains; 09-02-2011 at 11:17 PM.

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  6. #6
    TheCursedQuill
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    Do you think either of the Gaunt children -- or, indeed, Marvolo or his wife -- went to Hogwarts?

    I don't think Merope or Morfin went to Hogwarts, but not because of their poverty but just because of their dad. I'm not sure if Morfin would even be allowed in Hogwarts due to his mental state. Besides Morfin though, Marvolo wouldn't want his kids around children who weren't all pure. He doesn't like Ogden when he comes to his house and continually asks what his blood line is, and accuses him of being a mudblood.

    -Sarah

  7. #7
    laceymoibella
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCursedQuill View Post
    Do you think either of the Gaunt children -- or, indeed, Marvolo or his wife -- went to Hogwarts?

    I don't think Merope or Morfin went to Hogwarts, but not because of their poverty but just because of their dad. I'm not sure if Morfin would even be allowed in Hogwarts due to his mental state. Besides Morfin though, Marvolo wouldn't want his kids around children who weren't all pure. He doesn't like Ogden when he comes to his house and continually asks what his blood line is, and accuses him of being a mudblood.

    -Sarah
    I agree with this.

    ~Lacey

  8. #8
    Ebil Lieutenant Ravenclaw
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    Okay, Sarah, you have a point. Since Merope is older than Morfin, do you think it would be possible for Marvolo to send her to Hogwarts while her mum is still alive (she contracts some sort of illness while Merope is at Hogwarts and dies) and then withdraw her from schooling?

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    It might be possible for Merope to have gone to school before her Mother died as she did seem to know some of the basic spells but she didn't be able to perform them very well (which could be down to the fact that Marvolo terrorised her). I think if you did have her going to school I wouldn't have her any higher that 2nd year.

    I definitely agree with Sarah that if they didn't go to Hogwarts it would be because of Marvolo's mental state not their poverty.

    I have another question:
    Why do you think Marvolo treated Merope so badly? Do you think it was because she reminded him of her mother or do you think there was another reason?
    Also do you think Marvolo actually loved her mother?

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    I think they would have gone to Hogwarts. They were proud the the Slytherin locket, yes? Wouldn't he want his children to be in Slytherin, in the house their ancestor founded?
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