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Tom Riddle's Gravestone[2] was the final resting place of Thomas, his wife Mary, and their son Tom Riddle Snr. The grave was located in the Little Hangleton graveyard near the centre of the graveyard and had a clear view of the Riddle House in the distance.



Riddle family Tombstone

In the summer of 1943, the members of the Riddle family were murdered by sixteen year old Tom Riddle, the son of Tom Riddle Snr and Merope Gaunt. After the discovery of the crime by the Riddles' maid and investigation by the police, the Riddles were buried in the local graveyard in a family plot marked by a grand marble headstone. No one paid their respect afterwards as the Riddles had been despised by all in the village.[3]

Harry Potter in Little Hangleton Graveyard

Harry before the Riddle family grave

In May 1994, the grave would serve an important role in Tom Riddle's, now known as Lord Voldemort, plan to return to his true body and strength. Along with his servant Peter Pettigrew, the pair obtained one of the necessary ingredients required for his regeneration potion, the bone of his father. Later, during the Third Task of the Triwizard Tournament, Harry Potter was transported to the Little Hangleton graveyard by means of the Triwizard Cup, transformed to a Portkey, along with Cedric Diggory. After ordering for Cedric to be killed, Wormtail secured Harry to the headstone with rope and gagged him. Wormtail proceeded with the dark ritual and combined Voldemort's remedial body and the three important ingredients to the rebirth potion, one of which required him to desecrate the grave by extracting a bone fragment from Tom Senior's remains. Moments later, the Dark Lord regained his true body and powers once again.[1]

Harry remained tied to the headstone as Voldemort reacquainted himself with his body and used Pettigrew's Dark Mark to summon his Death Eaters. As he struggled against his bonds, Harry witnessed Voldemort address his followers and voice his disappointment with them and how he spent the past thirteen years in exile. After taunting and inflicting him with the Cruciatus Curse the Dark Lord ordered Wormtail to untie Harry so he could duel the young wizard.[4]

During the course of the duel, the wands of Harry and Voldemort became connected through the effect of Priori Incantatem. As a result, the echos of Harry's parents and those Voldemort had killed where able to provide Harry with cover while he retrieved the Portkey and return himself and Cedric's body back to Hogwarts.[5]

Physical description[]


The Riddle family grave

The Riddle grave was marked by a towering marble headstone.[1] The names of Thomas Riddle, Mary Riddle and Tom Riddle Snr were written on the front in descending order and had the dates of their birth and death. The Riddle family name was displayed on the headstone's side. A large striking statue of the winged Angel of Death stood beside the headstone holding a raised scythe in its right hand.[6]

Behind the scenes[]

  • The novel does not state that Tom Riddle Snr was buried along with his parents as the name of Tom Riddle was the only one Harry saw and says he was tied to "the headstone of Voldemort's father," but it is possible they where all buried next to each other in the same plot.
  • In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the Grave is marked with a large stone statue of the Angel of Death, a tall skeletal figure wearing robes and wielding a scythe. This is not mentioned in the novel.
    • In the film, Harry is magically restrained by the scythe of this statue instead of being tied to the headstone with ropes as in the novel.
  • In the opening scenes of the film, Nagini is seen slithering over the grave. Also, the grave is later briefly seen, covered in snow and crows, when Harry dreams of Voldemort and the Riddle House after the Yule Ball.
  • The filmmakers erroneously believed that the Tom Riddle whose name appears on the grave marker was Voldemort, not his father, and as a result the grave marker in the film was mistakenly inscribed "Tom Marvolo Riddle". The dates of birth and death for Tom and his parents were also incorrectly inscribed; the birthdate for Tom was listed as 1915 as opposed to 1905, and the date of death for Thomas and Mary Riddle was listed as 1913, two years before their son is listed to have been born, and a full thirteen years before the birth of their grandson and killer. A publicity photo from the graveyard scene was released with these errors clearly visible, and numerous fans wrote to the filmmakers to inform them of the mistake. The names and dates on the grave were digitally corrected in post-production.
  • The grave, complete with the incorrect names and dates, is currently on display at The Making of Harry Potter.[7]


Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 32 (Flesh, Blood and Bone)
  2. The Making of Harry Potter (see this image)
  3. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 1 (The Riddle House)
  4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 33 (The Death Eaters)
  5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 34 (Priori Incantatem)
  6. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film) - Chapter 27 (Kill the Spare)
  7. See this image