Forums: Index > The Wizengamot archive > Articles on Unidentified Individuals

I think that we need to set some guidelines on which unidentified individuals merit having their own articles. As I general rule, I think that there should be some information on the character available (e.g., their job, their relationship with another character, something they said or did), in order to give the article a solid foundation.

I don't think we should have articles on characters whose existence can only be inferred. For example, it's a given that Lucius Malfoy had a mother, but I don't think she warrants her own article, as she is never mentioned anywhere in the series, unlike Lucius' father Abraxas.

Also, although JKR has said she created forty students in Harry's year, I don't think we need to have articles like "Unidentified Slytherin girl," simply because it can be mathematically inferred that there was a fifth girl who shared a dorm with Pansy, Millicent, Daphne, and Tracey. We already have articles on all the students whose names appeared on the list in Harry Potter and Me, including ones whose Houses are unknown, like L. Moon, Sally-Anne Perks, and Malone. The missing Slytherin girl is surely to be found among these names and thus the "Unidentified Slytherin girl" article is kind of redundant. However, I think the two unidentified Gryffindor girls warrant their own article, because JKR has mentioned them on three occasions,[1][2][3] giving us a more solid foundation to build upon than speculation.

I also think we need to be more selective when it comes to creating articles on characters from the films. Simply appearing in a Harry Potter film doesn't seem a strong enough basis for a character having an article, because hundreds of extras have appeared in the films, and having articles on all of those characters would be excessive. Starstuff (Owl me!) 11:02, September 28, 2009 (UTC)

I agree that we should tighten our notability (for lack of a better word) guidelines for these characters. Just because a character can be inferred to exist (mother, father, grandparents, etc) unless they are mentioned within a canon work (eg: "X's mother came to collect him from school", or "Y's father was a banker") they should not have articles. Mention of such characters could be mentioned in relevant articles; in the case of Lucius Malfoy's mother, it would not be unreasonable to mention her in Abraxas Malfoy's article as he obviously had to have married her and they bore a child together, but nothing beyond that.
As for the Unidentified Slytherin Girls; well that's just baseless and borderline fanon. They are never mentioned in canon as far as I know, and should not have their own article. If there is a mention by JKR that they may be such individuals in her original planning, then the best place for such information may be the BTS section of the Slytherin article itself.
Film characters; named characters—as long as there is proof that they are named as such in script, DVD closed captioned, official statements or promotional releases—should get an article (I'm thinking here of Nigel, Bem, and several others). Characters with no names, but who are noticeable enough within the film (Muggle waitress in HBP, Leaky Cauldron maid in PoA, etc) should get articles, but background extras with no speaking lines and no actions other than background motion should not. Possible exceptions to this may be the unidentified Hogwarts teachers since there is a chance that they could be existing named members of staff, albeit unidentified at present. - Cavalier OneGryffindorcrest(Wizarding Wireless Network) 07:43, September 29, 2009 (UTC)
I also agree that only characters who have at least some mention should have their own articles. In the past month, almost a dozen articles about unnamed family members have been deleted (some multiple times):
  • Lucius Malfoy's mother
  • Helena Ravenclaw's father
  • Salazar Slytherin's wife
  • Merope Gaunt's mother
  • Susan Bones's mother
  • Crookshanks' mother
  • Crookshanks' father
  • Phoebe Black's husband
  • Peter Pettigrew's father
  • Hannah Abbott's father
  • Ignotus Peverell's wife
Can it be inferred that these characters existed? Of course. Any person born has 2 parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great-grandparents, 16 great-great-grandparents, and so on. But this doesn't mean they should each have their own article. Without any specific mention, anything that could be said about them would be purely conjectural. For example, how do we know Salazar Slytherin even married? Maybe he fathered a child out of wedlock.
As long as they've been at the very least mentioned once, that's different. Otherwise we'll have articles for Gilderoy Lockhart's parents, and Pomona Sprout's, Minerva McGonagall's, Madam Hooch's, Dolores Umbridge's Alastor Moody's, Kingsley Shacklebolt's, Xenophelius Lovegood's, Griphook's, Firenze's, etc. - Nick O'Demus 08:31, September 29, 2009 (UTC)
If a character refers to their parents collectively (e.g.: "my parents took me to the Quidditch World Cup"), this should warrant two separate articles — "So-and-so's mother" and "So-and-so's father" — rather than a collective "So-and-so's parents" article.
What about characters who are referred to indirectly or by implication? For example, Arabella Figg is referred to as "Mrs. Figg," which by extension means that there had to be a Mr. Figg, but is this enough to warrant giving Mr. Figg his own article? Also, we currently have an article on Hornby's wife, although she is only mentioned by implication (Myrtle tells Harry that she crashed Olive Hornby's brother's wedding). Starstuff (Owl me!) 11:58, September 29, 2009 (UTC)
On the parents issue, I think it could go either way. If it's an off handed mention, then why not group them into a parent article as both separate articles will have exactly the same information anyway? If there is further detail relating to one of the two that is unique, then a full article may be warranted.
Indirectly referred to individuals - a Mr Figg, Hornby's wife - I would tend to say should be referenced within the appropriate article. Mrs Figg's article would contain the information that she was married due to her formal title, but no separate article for Mr Figg since he made no appearance, and has not actually been mentioned beyond our own inference. Same goes with Horby's wife ... if Myrtle had mentioned her explicitly, then it would warrant an article under these guidelines. - Cavalier OneGryffindorcrest(Wizarding Wireless Network) 12:29, September 29, 2009 (UTC)
The point of having two separate articles when "parents" are referred to is that this allows the mother and father to be individually categorized by gender. Also, I find it awkward when character articles cover more than one person, and I try to avoid it whenever possible. There's no basis for splitting into multiple articles when the reference is too ambiguous to determine gender (e.g. "cousins" or "children") or number ("sisters"). Starstuff (Owl me!) 13:15, September 29, 2009 (UTC)