Mudblood is a highly derogatory term for a Muggle-born wizard or witch; that is, individuals with no wizarding relatives. There does not appear to be any difference in the magical power of Muggle-borns compared to those who are pure-blood or half-blood, but those prejudiced against Muggle-borns consider them to be of "lower breeding" or worth, and undeserving of magic. The term implies that the individual has "dirty blood" and is considered extremely offensive. There are apparently other, less commonly used terms with a similar meaning, such as "creature of dirt" It is a really offending term, for people can't help being Muggle-born.
Use by prejudiced witches and wizards
Many older wizarding families place great emphasis on blood purity and reject association with Muggles and Muggle-borns, both of whom they consider greatly inferior to themselves . The notion is foremost in the minds of Dark Wizards, Death Eaters, and other followers of Lord Voldemort. It is possible that some well-meaning pureblood families espouse this prejudice as well, but to a less virulent degree. Notably, some pure-bloods, such as members of the Weasley family, reject these prejudices and are labelled "blood traitors" or "Mudblood-lovers" as a result.
The term "Mudblood" is generally not used in polite society, as it is considered highly offensive and vulgar, on par with the racial epithets often heard in the Muggle world. When Draco Malfoy called Hermione Granger a Mudblood in 1992, he was nearly attacked by several members of the Gryffindor Quidditch team and was nearly cursed by Ronald Weasley. However, when Voldemort was in control of the Ministry of Magic in 1997, the term became more prevalent, appearing even in the Daily Prophet and Ministry propaganda. This was in line with Death Eater ideology being disseminated to the general public, which claimed that Muggle-borns were not "real" wizards and witches.
Use by Muggle-borns
There are some Muggle-borns who refuse to allow the term to be degrading to them. For example, Lily Evans told her former friend Severus Snape that if he was going to refer to other Muggle-borns as "Mudbloods", then he had to use the term for her as well, and Hermione Granger declared that she was proud to be a "Mudblood" in 1998.
Examples of the term's use
|Person Who Used the Term||Referring to||Notes|
|Draco Malfoy||Hermione Granger||Malfoy called Hermione a "Mudblood" in 1992; this was the first time Harry Potter ever heard the term. Malfoy also called her a Mudblood, and used the term more generally, on many other occasions.|
|Ron Weasley||Term itself||Explaining its meaning to Harry Potter and Hermione Granger in 1992.|
|Tom Marvolo Riddle||Muggle-borns in general||In the Chamber of Secrets in 1993.|
|Severus Snape||Lily Evans||Snape lashed out after Lily came to his assistance when he was being bullied by James Potter and Sirius Black in 1975. It resulted in the loss of his friendship with Lily, and would forever be his worst memory. Afterwards, Snape disliked even hearing the word "Mudblood".|
|Lily Evans||Herself and Muggle-borns in general||After Snape tried to apologise for calling Lily a Mudblood, she retorted: "But you call everyone of my birth Mudblood, Severus. Why should I be any different?”|
|Kreacher||Hermione Granger||In 1995 and 1997 at 12 Grimmauld Place.|
|Portrait of Walburga Black||Muggle-borns in general||Screamed on multiple occasions at the members of the Order of the Phoenix.|
|Marvolo Gaunt||Muggle-borns in general; Bob Ogden||When Ogden, a Ministry official, came to the family home to arrest Marvolo's son, Morfin Gaunt.|
|Draco Malfoy||Hermione Granger; the term itself||After cornering Albus Dumbledore in the Astronomy Tower, Draco explained that he got the idea for poisoning mead after he heard Hermione Granger, whom he referred to as "the Mudblood Granger" talking about Filch not recognising potions. When Dumbledore told Draco not to use the word in his presence, Draco questioned if Dumbledore cared about him using "Mudblood" when he was about to kill Dumbledore.|
|Voldemort||Muggle-borns in general; Lily Evans||Mentioned the term several times throughout the Second Wizarding War and referred to Lily Evans this way when taunting Harry Potter about death and during their final duel in 1998.|
|Bellatrix Lestrange||Ted Tonks; Hermione Granger||Bellatrix told Voldemort in Malfoy Manor in 1997 that she and Narcissa have never seen their sister Andromeda since she married "the Mudblood". She also used the term multiple times when torturing Hermione for information in 1998|
|Harry Potter||The term itself||Harry angrily forbade Kreacher from using the word after the house-elf referred to Hermione Granger as "the Mudblood".|
|Pamphlet maker witch||Muggle-borns in general||This individual, an employee of the Muggle-Born Registration Commission wondered aloud if Dolores Umbridge was going to be interrogating "Mudbloods" all day.|
|Mudbloods and the Dangers They Pose to a Peaceful Pure-Blood Society||Muggle-borns in general||This pamphlet was printed by the Ministry of Magic when it was under Voldemort's control in 1997. It was written by Dolores Umbridge.|
|Pius Thicknesse||Muggle-borns in general||While under the Imperius Curse, the puppet Minister for Magic commented that he believed “the blood traitors are as bad as the Mudbloods” to Harry Potter disguised as Albert Runcorn.|
|Yaxley||Mary Cattermole||Mentioned in reference to Mrs. Cattermole's biased trial at the hands of the Muggle-Born Registration Commission.|
|Portrait of Phineas Nigellus Black||Hermione Granger||The portrait referred to Hermione this way while speaking to Severus Snape, who snapped at him not to use that word.|
|Daily Prophet||Hermione Granger||While the newspaper was under Voldemort's control, it described Hermione as "the Mudblood who is known to be traveling with Harry Potter".|
|Fenrir Greyback||Muggle-borns in general||While Greyback was working as a leader of a gang of Snatchers, he used the term multiple times.|
|Hermione Granger||Herself||Hermione referred to herself as a Mudblood while arguing with Griphook in 1998; when Ron Weasley said not to call herself that, she rejoined, "Mudblood, and proud of it!"|
|Vincent Crabbe||Hermione Granger||Crabbe referred to Hermione as "that Mudblood" just before attempting to use the Killing Curse on her in the Room of Requirement during the Battle of Hogwarts.|
Behind the scenes
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, after Draco Malfoy calls Hermione Granger a "filthy little Mudblood", it is shown that Hermione is already familiar with the term, which is odd, considering that it would be unlikely for her to hear it anywhere, and she and Rubeus Hagrid explain it to Harry Potter. Though it is possible that she could have learned about the word while doing research. In the novel, Hermione had never heard the word before, and Ron Weasley explains it to her and Harry.
- In the first part of the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Bellatrix Lestrange tortures Hermione Granger by carving the word "mudblood" on her arm. No such event ever happens in the novels.
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game) (Nintendo DS version only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (video game)
- J. K. Rowling Official Site (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: The Creature Vault
Notes and references
- ↑ Order of the Phoenix, Ch. 6
- ↑ In the F.A.Q. section of her website, J. K. Rowling stated that "As far as somebody like Lucius Malfoy is concerned, for instance, a Muggle-born is as 'bad' as a Muggle."
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Chamber of Secrets"
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince