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Merope Gaunt: Character Analysis



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  #61  
Old February 16th, 2007, 7:53 pm
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Re: Merope Gaunt: Character Analysis

1. Merope was called a squib by her father Marvolo. Do you think that she might have been a real squib or did her father just called her this name as a form of mental abuse?
I think that there is evidence to pont out that she is a squib, but I don't think that she actually was one. If she was a squib then when she took Riddle off the potion she wouldn't have had to tell him she's a whitch because technically she would'nt have been.

2. Falling in love with Tom Riddle Sr proved to be a decisive event in Merope’s life. Via a love potion she manages to "trick" Riddle Sr into marrying her. Later when she is pregnant, she stops feeding him love potion. What could be the reason for stopping with the potion?
As much as I'd like to think that she became noble and decided that she wanted to find out if she truly loved him I can't honestly see her character doing that. It could have been a mistake that she forgot to give him the love potion or something as simple as that

3. Riddle Sr abandons Merope and she moves to London. Being poor forces her to sell Slytherin's Locket for 10 galleons. She needs the money, but why doesn’t she use magic to provide for food?
4. After arriving on the doorstep of the Muggle orphanage Merope dies shortly after giving birth to Tom Riddle Jr. Why does she make the choice to die instead of using her magical abilities to save herself and be a mother to her baby?
I think that after her husband abbandoned her she decided to give up on her magic roots, being depressed about what they caused. This is why she didn't get herself basic provisions or keep her life through magic. Either that or she wasn't educated enough, I don't believe it ever said she went to Hogwarts...

5. Merope herself was raised in a family that hated 'Mud bloods' and believed in the supremacy of 'Pure bloods'. If she had survived giving birth to her son, would she have raised him in a different way then she has been raised herself?
I think that because she was opressed by her father who believed in that supremacy she wouldn't have raised him in the same way. Not to mention her son would have been a half-blood so she would be really lowering his self esteem.

6. Could Merope have prevented Voldemort from becoming the most feared wizard alive, if she had lived and loved him?
In my opinion, because Voldemort was concieved under a love potion, he was born evil. It is almost fortunate that Merope died and didn't have to witness that.


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  #62  
Old February 16th, 2007, 10:09 pm
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Re: Merope Gaunt: Character Analysis

Wow!

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Originally Posted by shmcminn View Post
... If she was a squib then when she took Riddle off the potion she wouldn't have had to tell him she's a whitch because technically she would'nt have been.


AND

...In my opinion, because Voldemort was concieved under a love potion, he was born evil.

I can't help but be impressed by the logic of this! I think this is a great post.

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  #63  
Old February 17th, 2007, 7:21 am
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Re: Merope Gaunt: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by TENSHI View Post
Like HesHPfan said we have it black on white that Merope used Love Potion to attrack Riddle
I am sorry Tenshi, we do have it on Black and White, but that is mere speculation on Dumbledore's part...

The House of Guants, HBP 'Can you not think of any measure Merope could have taken to make Tom Riddle forget his Muggle companion, and fall in love with her instead?'
' The Imperius Curse?' Harry suggested. 'Or a love potion?'
'Very good. Personally I am inclined to think that she used a love potion.....'


I know that Dumbledore's speculations turn out to be true, but that doesn't mean that we can rule out irmaprince's theory outright.

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but even the most loved child can't always be saved by a loving mother.
Bartemius Crouch Jr.

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but I doubt that Voldemort would have turned out to become a normal wizard if she had lived.
I agree, I am not suggesting that it would have prevented him from trying to gain, power, but I think that it would certainly have reduced some of his passions that were given fire by the fact that his own mother didn't bother to save herself for him, we know that he had huge hatred burning inside him just because of that. If Merope would have lived, atleast this would have been lessened.

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Originally Posted by shmcminn View Post
If she was a squib then when she took Riddle off the potion she wouldn't have had to tell him she's a whitch because technically she would'nt have been.
Like I have pointed out in my post that her giving love potion to Tom Riddle Sr. was just speculation on Dumbledore's part. Personally I think that the fact Tom Riddle Jr. became the heir of Slytherin and his magical prowess prove that Merope couldn't possibly have been squib. Moreover this part from Dumbledore also makes it clear that she couldn't possibly have been a squib...

The House of Guants, HBP 'I think you are forgetting,' said Dumbledore, 'that Merope was a witch. I do not believe that her magical powers appeared to their best advantages when she was being terrorized by her father. Once Marvolo and Morfin were safely in Azkaban.....she was able to give full rein to her abilities and to plot...


The bold makes it clear that she was a witch.

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In my opinion, because Voldemort was concieved under a love potion, he was born evil
Um...how does taking birth under the action of a love potion make him evil?


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Old February 17th, 2007, 2:34 pm
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Re: Merope Gaunt: Character Analysis

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I agree, I am not suggesting that it would have prevented him from trying to gain, power, but I think that it would certainly have reduced some of his passions that were given fire by the fact that his own mother didn't bother to save herself for him, we know that he had huge hatred burning inside him just because of that. If Merope would have lived, at least this would have been lessened.
Well maybe she could, all depends on what kind of mother she would have been. Her own childhood was without love. You would imagine that she didn't want this for her son. But maybe she was so damaged by her father and brother's behavior that she wouldn't have been able to give her son love and the hatred would have still have been there. Tom could still be full of hate then.


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Like I have pointed out in my post that her giving love potion to Tom Riddle Sr. was just speculation on Dumbledore's part. Personally I think that the fact Tom Riddle Jr. became the heir of Slytherin and his magical prowess prove that Merope couldn't possibly have been squib. Moreover this part from Dumbledore also makes it clear that she couldn't possibly have been a squib...

The House of Guants, HBP 'I think you are forgetting,' said Dumbledore, 'that Merope was a witch. I do not believe that her magical powers appeared to their best advantages when she was being terrorized by her father. Once Marvolo and Morfin were safely in Azkaban.....she was able to give full rein to her abilities and to plot...


The bold makes it clear that she was a witch.
Well Dumbledore believes she is a witch and that her magical powers didn't come to full bloom among her family. That means that we have only his opinion and we have almost no other evidence to support his theory. However I agree that it's very unlikely that she would be a squib though. For the reason, that if she indeed used a love potion, which Dumbledore imagined, then she wouldn't have been able to make that as a Squib.


Quote:
Originally Posted by shmcminn
In my opinion, because Voldemort was concieved under a love potion, he was born evil. It is almost fortunate that Merope died and didn't have to witness that.
A love potion wouldn't have influenced Voldemort's evil genes (if such a thing even exists, which I don't know, but it sounds good) but the genes from his Gaunt ancestry certainly would have something to do with him becoming evil.


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Old February 17th, 2007, 2:48 pm
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Re: Merope Gaunt: Character Analysis

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Well maybe she could, all depends on what kind of mother she would have been. Her own childhood was without love. You would imagine that she didn't want this for her son. But maybe she was so damaged by her father and brother's behavior that she wouldn't have been able to give her son love and the hatred would have still have been there. Tom could still be full of hate then.
Very true, I think you have a point there, but being a mother I think some emotions would have existed and this would have had some effect if not a major one.

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but the genes from his Gaunt ancestry certainly would have something to do with him becoming evil.
Exactly, Slytherins were never on the good side, they always had some evil in them...and I think it worked like the poison works in the food chain, it slowly goes on increasing in concentration and finally it becomes huge...I think something like that happened with Voldemort.


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Old February 17th, 2007, 2:59 pm
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Re: Merope Gaunt: Character Analysis

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Exactly, Slytherins were never on the good side, they always had some evil in them...and I think it worked like the poison works in the food chain, it slowly goes on increasing in concentration and finally it becomes huge...I think something like that happened with Voldemort.
...but doesn't that undermine the entire "choice as to what you become" theme that underpins the series? No one is automatically good or evil in Rowling's world. Just because you're a Slytherin doesn't mean that you're either a pureblood fanatic or a power-mad psychopath. Slughorn is a great example of a Slytherin who's at the very least benign, if not actively on the good side. Simiarly, just because you're in Gryffindor doesn't mean you're some brave, loyal defender of the oppressed (Pettigrew, anyone?). Everyone has good and evil in them, and everyone has full control over which side controls their actions.

I think it's far more likely that Tom Riddle Jr. made the choices that he did because of the fact he's Tom Riddle Jr., rather than because he's inherited some "evil gene" from his ancestors. Just in the same way Harry made the choices he did because he's Harry, not because he's predetermined (preinclined, perhaps) to act in a certain way.


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Old February 17th, 2007, 4:16 pm
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Re: Merope Gaunt: Character Analysis

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Slughorn is a great example of a Slytherin who's at the very least benign, if not actively on the good side.
But unlike Tom Riddle Jr... Horace Slughorn is not the descendant of Salazar Slytherin. What I am trying to say is that he had the genes of Salazar Slytherin who was never very good, seeing that she had made the Chamber of Secrets and kept a basilisk there in order to kill the Muggle borns...a good person won't do that......therefore it is not an anomaly to say that Voldemort has those evil genes in him.


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Old February 17th, 2007, 6:53 pm
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Re: Merope Gaunt: Character Analysis

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But unlike Tom Riddle Jr... Horace Slughorn is not the descendant of Salazar Slytherin. What I am trying to say is that he had the genes of Salazar Slytherin who was never very good, seeing that she had made the Chamber of Secrets and kept a basilisk there in order to kill the Muggle borns...a good person won't do that......therefore it is not an anomaly to say that Voldemort has those evil genes in him.
Since we know that Salazar Slytherin was Godric Gryffindor's best friend, there must have been something good about him. I think that Slytherin gets a bit of a bad rap because people don't often consider how the average muggle viewed witches and wizards when Slytherin was alive. Because of the murders of suspected witches and wizards that were happening at the time, Slytherin may have seen muggleborns as a threat to the safety of Hogwarts which would make his reasons for only admitting those from magical backgrounds extremely understandable.


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Old February 17th, 2007, 7:03 pm
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Re: Merope Gaunt: Character Analysis

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Um...how does taking birth under the action of a love potion make him evil?

Well...perhaps there are truths and truths. As a literary truth - the evil Lord Voldemort being conceived under the effects of magical co-ercion (ie: his conception was not a voluntary loving act on everyone's part) well...it sets the tone dunnit? In literary truth you could say it all began with a lie. ETA: also Tom Riddle Snrs choices were made for him and that's not a good thing in the Harry Potter universe.



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Old February 17th, 2007, 7:22 pm
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Re: Merope Gaunt: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by Nessy View Post
Wow! I can't help but be impressed by the logic of this! I think this is a great post.

cheers
Nessy
Thanks

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Originally Posted by HesHPfan View Post
Well Dumbledore believes she is a witch and that her magical powers didn't come to full bloom among her family. That means that we have only his opinion and we have almost no other evidence to support his theory. However I agree that it's very unlikely that she would be a squib though. For the reason, that if she indeed used a love potion, which Dumbledore imagined, then she wouldn't have been able to make that as a Squib.
She could have very well brewed a potion if she was a squib. A quote from Filch's Quikspell letter:

Quote:
Kwikspell is an all-new, fail-safe, quick-result, easy-learn course. Hundreds of witches and wizards have benefited from the Kwikspell method!


Madam Z. Nettles of Topsham writes:
"I had no memory for incantations and my potions were a family joke! Now, after a Kwikspell course, I am the center of attention at parties and friends beg for the recipe of my Scintillation Solution!..."
And as you pointed out, Dumbledore's theory is the only word we have to go by and while he's right most of time, he is human and makes mistakes.

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Originally Posted by HesHPfan View Post
A love potion wouldn't have influenced Voldemort's evil genes (if such a thing even exists, which I don't know, but it sounds good) but the genes from his Gaunt ancestry certainly would have something to do with him becoming evil.
I'm not saying that I know for sure that it would have altered his genes but don't you think it is a plausible explination? We don't know any side effects of wizarding "drugs", for lack of a better word. If it were a strong enough love potion then it could very easily cause some sort of birth defect.


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Old February 17th, 2007, 8:09 pm
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Re: Merope Gaunt: Character Analysis

Amortentia or another love potion may lead to a bad egg, so to say. I like the comments that in a literary sense, it makes sense that a son concieved under false pretenses leads to a bad apple.
In the muggle world many, many drugs are known to affect the developing fetus; and it's quite common to see drugs being prescribed with the warning that they should not be taken by women who are pregnant or may become pregnant. I'm curious as to how JK would bring this concept over to potions in the wizarding world.
Back to Merope: I think she was a witch; she did attempt spells in front of Ogden in the memory Harry saw. She just wasn't confident, so she couldn't really display her talent. Harry's description of her as the most defeated person he'd ever seen is one of the many examples accumulated through HBP where Harry is becoming very, very perceptive in his evaluations of others.


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Old February 17th, 2007, 8:18 pm
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Re: Merope Gaunt: Character Analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by shmcminn
I'm not saying that I know for sure that it would have altered his genes but don't you think it is a plausible explination? We don't know any side effects of wizarding "drugs", for lack of a better word. If it were a strong enough love potion then it could very easily cause some sort of birth defect.
I see where you're coming from, definitely. I like the idea that a child conceived under false pretences such as a love potion could possibly be "different". Although I do wonder if Dumbledore may have brought that up if it were true...
Quote:
Originally Posted by mysterious
But unlike Tom Riddle Jr... Horace Slughorn is not the descendant of Salazar Slytherin. What I am trying to say is that he had the genes of Salazar Slytherin who was never very good, seeing that she had made the Chamber of Secrets and kept a basilisk there in order to kill the Muggle borns...a good person won't do that......therefore it is not an anomaly to say that Voldemort has those evil genes in him.
I absolutely agree.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chparadise
Back to Merope: I think she was a witch; she did attempt spells in front of Ogden in the memory Harry saw. She just wasn't confident, so she couldn't really display her talent.
Assuming of course she wasn't so miserable that all the power she had had been squashed out of her by her father and brother.


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  #73  
Old February 17th, 2007, 9:14 pm
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Re: Merope Gaunt: Character Analysis

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She could have very well brewed a potion if she was a squib. A quote from Filch's Quikspell letter
Well if she was a squib, in theory she could have followed a course at Quickspell. However I doubt she would have done it. Because those courses undoubtedly cost a lot of money, something the Gaunts didn't seem to have and Merope was never let out of her family's sight. But in theory it could have happened.

Quote:
I'm not saying that I know for sure that it would have altered his genes but don't you think it is a plausible explination? We don't know any side effects of wizarding "drugs", for lack of a better word. If it were a strong enough love potion then it could very easily cause some sort of birth defect.
If the woman was the one who had used the love potion, yes then there could have been some possible side effects. But I think not, when the man has used the potion. But maybe we shouldn't take these technicalities any further in this thread.


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  #74  
Old February 17th, 2007, 9:47 pm
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Re: Merope Gaunt: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by HesHPfan View Post
Well if she was a squib, in theory she could have followed a course at Quickspell. However I doubt she would have done it. Because those courses undoubtedly cost a lot of money, something the Gaunts didn't seem to have and Merope was never let out of her family's sight. But in theory it could have happened.
I'm not saying she had taken that specific course, just that it is possible for a squib to brew a potion.

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If the woman was the one who had used the love potion, yes then there could have been some possible side effects. But I think not, when the man has used the potion. But maybe we shouldn't take these technicalities any further in this thread.
Of course, no technicalities involoved, a child's 46 chromosomes that make up their genes are taken 23 from the mother and 23 from the father. So if the love potion alters the genes then it is very possible that the father's 23 chromosomes could contain the mutation gene.


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Old February 17th, 2007, 9:53 pm
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Re: Merope Gaunt: Character Analysis

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I'm not saying she had taken that specific course, just that it is possible for a squib to brew a potion.
Yes Squib might be able to brew simple potion which don't involve anything magical. But if Merope had been a Squib, I doubt she would be able to brew a love potion that strong.


Quote:
Of course, no technicalities involoved, a child's 46 chromosomes that make up their genes are taken 23 from the mother and 23 from the father. S if the love potion alters the genes then it is very possible that the father's 23 chromosomes could contain the mutation gene.
I don't know anything about this, so I guess you are right.


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  #76  
Old February 17th, 2007, 9:56 pm
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Re: Merope Gaunt: Character Analysis

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Yes Squib might be able to brew simple potion which don't involve anything magical. But if Merope had been a Squib, I doubt she would be able to brew a love potion that strong.
It really depends on how much magic brewing potions takes. I mean, is it ever specified if there's more to it than just putting in ingedients in the right order and stirring them in a particular fashion? If that's all it requires I'm sure Merope could do it.

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I don't know anything about this, so I guess you are right.
This is just from one of the few times I decided to pay attention in biology


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Old February 18th, 2007, 5:00 am
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Re: Merope Gaunt: Character Analysis

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Since we know that Salazar Slytherin was Godric Gryffindor's best friend, there must have been something good about him. I think that Slytherin gets a bit of a bad rap because people don't often consider how the average muggle viewed witches and wizards when Slytherin was alive. Because of the murders of suspected witches and wizards that were happening at the time, Slytherin may have seen muggleborns as a threat to the safety of Hogwarts which would make his reasons for only admitting those from magical backgrounds extremely understandable.
Being friend with Godric Gryffindor isn't a proof of being innocent or not being evil. The fact that he was ready to kill potential witches and wizards is enough of a proof that makes me believe that he was evil. Moreover he was a Parselmouth, that too signifys that he has some evil in him....I know that just being a parselmouth doesn't prove that he is evil but then if it is a general trend then he must have it in him, moreover Harry is an exception.



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Well...perhaps there are truths and truths. As a literary truth - the evil Lord Voldemort being conceived under the effects of magical co-ercion (ie: his conception was not a voluntary loving act on everyone's part) well...it sets the tone dunnit? In literary truth you could say it all began with a lie.
Sounds interesting....maybe even convincing.


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  #78  
Old February 18th, 2007, 12:52 pm
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Re: Merope Gaunt: Character Analysis

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I see where you're coming from, definitely. I like the idea that a child conceived under false pretences such as a love potion could possibly be "different". Although I do wonder if Dumbledore may have brought that up if it were true...
I can see where you're all coming from, and the genetic mutation angle is evry interesting, but I don't like the idea of Voldemort being born evil for two reasons -

(1) it eliminates the idea of moral choice, which has been central to the series

(2) I know it is wise to be wary of drawing too many conclusions from biographical parallels, but I think it unlikely that an author who has campaigned tirelessly for the rights of single parents would choose to portray children conceived without love as being innately evil.

For me, the damaging thing that TR Snr and Merope did to Voldemort was to fail to love him, not fail to love (or feed love potions to) each other.



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Old February 20th, 2007, 2:57 am
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Re: Merope Gaunt: Character Analysis

I would like to kindly ask that everyone refrain from speculating on JKR's personal life decisions, especially where her children are concerned.

Thank you


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Old February 20th, 2007, 10:00 am
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Re: Merope Gaunt: Character Analysis

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I would like to kindly ask that everyone refrain from speculating on JKR's personal life decisions, especially where her children are concerned.

Thank you
I didn't think I was speculating - I thought I was alluding to widely known biographical fact. Nonetheless, I have amended my post in the light of your comments, and I hope that what I have written is more acceptable.


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