The House of Gaunt
Notes by Steve Vander Ark and Michele L. Worley
Synopsis and links by John Kearns
U.S. hardcover edition: pages 194 - 216
U.K. hardcover edition: pages 184 - 204
Timeframe: Saturday, 7 September,
In which Harry attends his first lesson with Dumbledore, who explains
that they will be delving into Voldemort's past and takes Harry into
In Bob Ogden's memory they go to Marvolo Gaunt's house
to see about his son, Morfin, who has committed a crime; there they see
a mean, impoverished, racist Marvolo abusing his daughter Merope, who
is watching muggle Tom Riddle. Dumbledore explains that Merope later
used a love potion on Tom, and they became Voldemort's parents.
Chapter title - any possible reference to John of Gaunt, Henry IV's father?
The chapter title has at least two meanings - it introduces us to
the setting of the house of the Gaunt family, and to the members
of that family.
Interesting facts and notes about the text of this chapter:
she shuffled a pack of dirty-looking playing cards, reading them as she walked
From Trelawney's comments, at first these appear to be ordinary playing
cards rather than Tarot cards. Yes, people do sometimes use ordinary
playing cards for that sort of thing, but Trelawney's later references
to "The Lightning-Struck Tower" indicate that sometimes, at least, she
uses a Tarot deck instead.
A Tarot deck is somewhat similiar to a deck of ordinary playing cards, but divides into two groups of cards:
From the names of the cards used here (those of an ordinary
deck of playing cards, without the Major Arcana of the Tarot),
Trelawney is not playing with a full deck.
- the Minor Arcana
Correspond to the four suits of an ordinary deck but with different names
for the suits (e.g. pentacles instead of diamonds) and different images on
them (what, exactly, depends on which variety of Tarot deck you're using;
Waite-Ryder is the most common but by no means the only one).
- the Major Arcana
These are 22 special cards with extra significance, such as the Tower,
Death, the Hanged Man (yes, I know about the pub in
GF1), and so on.
Characters introduced in this chapter:
Characters returning in this chapter:
Characters mentioned in this chapter:
Settings and locations introduced or returning in this chapter:
Settings and locations mentioned in this chapter:
Exceptional character moments:
Spells and Potions:
Links and Resources:
"From here on in, Harry, I may be as woefully wrong as Humphrey Belcher,
who believed the time was ripe for a cheese cauldron."
The entire chapter takes place on Saturday of the first week of classes,
which for reasons described in HBP8
we know began on Sunday, 1 September. Therefore, it must be 7
September, though of course the memory Harry and Dumbledore
visit in the Pensieve takes place many decades earlier.