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DH1 The Malfoy Family

The ancient and highly prejudiced pure-blood Malfoy family

"The term 'pure-blood' refers to a family or individual without Muggle (non-magic) blood. The concept is generally associated with Salazar Slytherin, one of the four founders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, whose aversion to teaching anybody of Muggle parentage eventually led to a breach with his three fellow founders, and his resignation from the school."
—Where the term 'pure-blood' originated from[src]

Pure-blood is the term for wizards and witches who claim to have no Muggle or Muggle-borns in their family tree; however, when traced back far enough, nearly every family tree had some non-magical ancestors.[1][2][3]

By 1995, the number of pure-blood families were declining. Most pure-blood families were related by then in an effort, by some, to retain their status by marrying only other pure-blood families, but it had led to inbreeding. While some families, such as the Malfoys, had allowed for marrying half-bloods, others such as the Gaunts, Lestranges, and Blacks, required their family to only marry pure-blood individuals, or those with no Muggle or Muggle-born parents or grandparents.[2][1] This refusal of marrying Muggles or Muggle-borns had lead to difficulty in propagating their families.[1]

Overview

"The pure-blood families are all interrelated. If you’re only going to let your sons and daughters marry pure-bloods your choice is very limited; there are hardly any of us left."
Sirius Black's overview of blood purity[src]

Pure-blood individuals are people who have no Muggles or Muggle-borns as parents or grandparents.[4] Traditionalist pure-bloods like to keep the generations "pure" by breeding with other pure-bloods and are generally the ones who use the term 'Mudblood', a term considered derogatory by the wizarding world. Mudblood means Muggle-born, suggesting they have dirty blood and thus have no right to be a witch/wizard. Pure-bloods who do not share these prejudices are considered "blood traitors" by the ones that do.

In the 1930s a wizard, commonly believed to be Cantankerus Nott, published a Pure-Blood Directory featuring twenty-eight families he believed to be pure-blooded, though many objected to this designation.[5]

Maintaining "purity"

"So-called pure-blood families maintain their alleged purity by disowning, banishing, or lying about Muggles or Muggle-borns on their family trees. Then they attempt to foist their hypocrisy upon the rest of us by asking us to ban works dealing with the truths they deny. There is not a witch or wizard in existence whose blood has not mingled with that of Muggles [...] "
Albus Dumbledore in a response to Lucius Malfoy[src]
Blackfamilytreeootp5

Black Family Tapestry

Some pure-blood families can trace their pure-blood status through many generations of magical ancestors and deny ever having any Muggles within the family, such as the House of Black, the motto of which is "Toujours pur", meaning "Always (or Still) Pure".[6][7] However, the truth is that if they ever did exist in the past, true pure-blood wizards and witches do not exist today. They merely erase Squibs, Muggle-borns, and Muggles from their family trees.[1]

Half-bloods who consider blood purity very important also hide their Muggle ancestry, clinging to the magical heritage they do have.[8] Many Death Eaters are believed to have done this, and their leader himself took on the name Lord Voldemort out of a desire to not keep the name of his "filthy Muggle father".[9] It is likely that Voldemort told his followers he was a pure-blood, or that most of the Death Eaters knew better than to question Riddle's blood status, given the reaction of Bellatrix Lestrange to Harry's "accusation" that he was in fact a half-blood.[10]

Many pure-blood families, such as the Blacks and Gaunts, practise marrying cousins in order to maintain their pure-blood status, and disown any members who marry someone who is not a pure-blood.[7] This practise has been known to cause problems as families become inbred; for example, the Gaunts showed signs of violent tendencies, mental instability, and being enfeebled.[11][2] The number of pure-bloods is diminishing over time because of inbreeding.[1]

Most wizards and witches consider a person to be pure-blood if his or her parents and grandparents were not Muggles or Muggle-born.[4]

Attitude

"I really don't think they should let the other sort in, do you? They’re just not the same, they've never been brought up to know our ways. Some of them have never even heard of Hogwarts until they get the letter, imagine. I think they should keep it in the old wizarding families."
Draco Malfoy's prejudice concerning Muggle-borns[src]
SalazarSlytherin

Salazar Slytherin, an infamous pure-blood supremacist

Some pure-bloods regard themselves as superior to those witches and wizards who are born to Muggles and half-bloods. They believe that Muggles are little more than animals and that Muggle-borns, whom they derisively call 'Mudbloods' are second-class citizens who are inferior and unworthy of being allowed to practise magic. Many also discriminate against: half-breeds, werewolves, and magical creatures.

Salazar Slytherin believed that only pure-bloods should be allowed to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and educated in magic; this was the cause of his conflict with the other Founders and his leaving the school. However, he left behind the Chamber of Secrets in the hope that one day his heir would open the Chamber and release the basilisk within to target Muggle-born students. Tom Marvolo Riddle was this heir, and the basilisk petrified several Muggle-born students in 1943 and the 1992–1993 school year and managed to kill one student, Myrtle Warren, in 1943.[9]

Weasleys

Members of the pure-blood Weasley family: for sympathising with Muggles and being friendly with Muggle-borns, this pure-blood family is labelled as 'blood traitors'

Tom Riddle, later known as Lord Voldemort, continued his persecution of those who were not pure-bloods (ironically being a half-blood himself) with his followers, the Death Eaters. They strived to place pure-bloods in control of the wizarding world and to rid it of Muggle-borns. When Voldemort succeeded in taking over the Ministry of Magic during the height of the Second Wizarding War, his followers created the Muggle-Born Registration Commission in order to weed Muggle-borns out of the population, and send them to Azkaban for allegedly stealing magic. Pure-bloods were also blatantly favoured within the Ministry and, to a lesser extent, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, although half-blood was sufficient to avoid prosecution.[12]

However, there are pure-bloods who do not have these beliefs, and instead treat all magical people and Muggles as equals. These pure-blood folk are often labelled "blood traitors" by the more fanatical pure-bloods.[9]

Known pure-blood families

Pure-blood family Current status Known pure-blood members
Abbott[5] Pure-blood in the 1930s[5]
Extant at least in female line[13]
Black[5]
Toujours Pur
Extant only in female line Alexia Walkin Black[7], Alphard Black[14], Andromeda Tonks née Black[15], Arcturus Black I[7], Arcturus Black II[7], Arcturus Black III[7], Bellatrix Lestrange née Black[7], Belvina Burke née Black[7], Callidora Longbottom née Black[7], Cassiopeia Black[7], Cedrella Weasley née Black[16], Charis Crouch née Black[7], Cygnus Black I[7], Cygnus Black II[7], Cygnus Black III[7], Dorea Potter née Black[7], Druella Black née Rosier[7], Eduardus Limette Black[17], Ella Black née Max[7], Elladora Black[7], Hesper Black née Gamp[7], Hesper Black[7],Iola Hitchens née Black[18], Irma Black née Crabbe[7], Lucretia Prewett née Black[7], Lycoris Black[7], Lysandra Black née Yaxley[7], Marius Black[19], Misapinoa Blishwick née Black[7], Narcissa Malfoy née Black[7], Orion Black[6], Phineas Nigellus Black[7], Phineas Black[20], Pollux Black[7], Phoebe Black[7], Regulus Black I[7], Regulus Black [7], Sirius Black I[7], Sirius Black II[7], Sirius Black III[21], Ursula Black née Flint[7], Violetta Black née Bulstrode[7], Walburga Black[7]
Avery[5] Unknown, possibly extinct
Blishwick (likely)[22] Jimbo Blishwick[7], Misapinoa Blishswick née Black[7]
Brown (possibly)[23] Lavender Brown[24]
Bulstrode[5] Extant, but likely no longer pure-blood[25] Violetta Black née Bulstrode[7]
Burke[5] Unknown, possibly extant in female line Belvina Burke née Black[7], Caractacus Burke, Elizabeth Burke, Herbert Burke[7]
Carrow[5] Alecto Carrow, Amycus Carrow, Flora Carrow, Hestia Carrow
Crabbe[7] Possibly extinct in male line,[26] Extant in female line[27] Irma Black née Crabbe[7], Vincent Crabbe[28]
Crouch[5] Extinct[29] Bartemius Crouch Snr, Bartemius Crouch Jnr, Caspar Crouch[7], Caspar Crouch's son[6], Caspar Crouch's daughters[6], Charis Crouch née Black[7]
Fawley[5] Hector Fawley
Flint[5] Extant Marcus Flint, Ursula Black née Flint[7]
Gamp[7] Unknown Hesper Black née Gamp[7], Ulick Gamp
Gaunt[5] Extant only in female line but no longer pure-blood[30] Corvinus Gaunt[31], Gormlaith Gaunt[32], Marvolo Gaunt[31], Merope Riddle née Gaunt[31], Morfin Gaunt[31], Rionach Sayre née Gaunt[32]
Goyle Unknown, possibly extinct Gregory Goyle, Mr Goyle
Greengrass Astoria Malfoy née Greengrass, Daphne Greengrass
Lestrange
LestrangeCoatOfArms
Bellatrix Lestrange née Black, Faolus Lestrange, Lestrange, Leta Lestrange, Rabastan Lestrange, Radolphus Lestrange, Rodolphus Lestrange
Longbottom Extant, but no longer all pure-blood Algie Longbottom, Alice Longbottom, Augusta Longbottom, Callidora Longbottom née Black, Enid Longbottom, Frank Longbottom, Harfang Longbottom, Harfang Longbottom's son, Harfang Longbottom's daughter, Neville Longbottom, Neville Longbottom's grandfather[33]
MacDougal Extant Isobel MacDougal, Morag MacDougal
Macmillan

Ernie Macmillan, Melania Black née Macmillan

Malfoy
Malfoy family crest2
Abraxas Malfoy, Armand Malfoy, Astoria Malfoy née Greengrass, Brutus Malfoy, Draco Malfoy, Lucius Malfoy I, Lucius Malloy II, Narcissa Malfoy née Black, Nicholas Malfoy, Septimus Malfoy, Scorpius Malfoy
Max Unknown Ella Black née Max
Moody Most likely extinct Alastor Moody
Nott Extant Theodore Nott[34][35]
Ollivander Extant, but no longer pure-blood Gervaise Ollivander, Gerbold Ollivander, Geraint Ollivander
Parkinson Most likely extant Pansy Parkinson, Perseus Parkinson
Peverell[36] Extant only in female line Antioch Peverell, Cadmus Peverell, Ignotus Peverell, Ignotus Peverell's son, Iolanthe Potter née Peverell
Potter Extant, but no longer pure-blood[4][37] Charlus Potter, Dorea Potter née Black, Charlus and Dorea Potter's son, James Potter I, Ginevra Potter née Weasley
Prewett Extant only in female line Fabian Prewett, Gideon Prewett, Ignatius Prewett, Lucretia Prewett née Black, Molly Weasley née Prewett, Mr Prewett, Mrs Prewett
Prince Most likely extinct[38] Eileen Snape née Prince
Rosier Extant (at least in female line) Druella Black née Rosier, Evan Rosier, Rosier
Rowle Unknown, possibly extinct Damocles Rowle, Euphemia Rowle, Thorfinn Rowle
Sayre Possibly extant but no longer pure-blood Rionach Sayre née Gaunt, Isolt Sayre, William Sayre
Selwyn Unknown Selwyn, Dolores Umbridge (claimed[39])
Shacklebolt Extant Kingsley Shacklebolt
Shafiq Extant in the early 1930s
Slughorn Extant Horace Slughorn
Slytherin Extant only in female line[40] Salazar Slytherin
Travers Unknown Travers
Tripe Magenta Black née Tripe
Urquart Elphinstone Urquart
Weasley Extant, but no longer all pure-blood Arthur Weasley, Arthur Weasley's brothers, Bilius,[41] Cedrella Weasley née Black, Charles Weasley, Fred Weasley I, George Weasley, Ginerva Potter née Weasley, Molly Weasley née Prewett, Percy Weasley, Ronald Weasley, Septimus Weasley, William Weasley
Yaxley Extant (at least in female line)[42] Corban Yaxley, Lysandra Black née Yaxley

Possible pure-bloods

Due to their affiliation to Slytherin and Lord Voldemort many wizards and witches may be considered pure-bloods. Others have openly express their prejudice toward Half-bloods and Muggle-borns, which is another reason to believe they are pure-blood supremacist. Some even become Death Eaters.

Possible pure-blood family Current status Known pure-blood members
Bletchley Unknown, most likely extant Bletchley, Kevin Bletchley, Miles Bletchley[43]
Dumbledore Possibly extant but no longer pure-blood Percival Dumbledore
Fudge Extant Cornelius Fudge, Rufus Fudge
Gibbon Unknown, most likely extinct Gibbon
Gryffindor Unknown; May be under different surname Godric Gryffindor
Higgs Most likely extant Bertie Higgs, Terence Higgs
Lowe Unknown, possibly extinct Sinistra Lowe
Macnair Unknown Walden Macnair
Montague Most likely extant Graham Montague, Mr and Mrs Montague
Mulciber Unknown Mulciber Snr, Mulciber Jr[44]
Orpington Most likely extant Evangeline Orpington, Nerys Orpington
Pyrites Unknown Pyrites,[45] Argo Pyrites
Perks Unknown, most likely extant Sally-Anne Perks
Runcorn Probably extant Albert Runcorn,[46] Runcorn
Wilkes Possibly extinct Wilkes
Zabini Extant Blaise Zabini[47]

Behind the scenes

  • On J. K. Rowling's draft list of students in Harry Potter's class, the following students were mentioned as pure-bloods[48]:
  • Coincidentally, Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley are all the three types of wizards; Harry being a half-blood, Hermione being Muggle-born, and Ron being a pure-blood.
  • Many characters mention throughout the series that blood purity doesn't matter, often using Hermione Granger and Neville Longbottom as examples. Despite Neville's pure-blood heritage, he is not an extremely talented wizard, and isn't very skilled until later in life; however, Hermione is a supremely gifted witch despite her Muggle-born status, and performed very well right from the beginning.
  • The Harry Potter Glossary at Scholastic's official website lists the term "Trueblood" as "Someone born to pure magical parents." This term, however, is not known to have appeared in any official Harry Potter media. The nuance with "pureblood" may be that while the child of a half-blood and a pureblood counts as a pureblood, a trueblood can only be the child of two purebloods. That is however unconfirmed.
  • The concept of pure-blood is also similar to the real-life situation of nearly all European royal families being related, especially the British and (now extinct) German monarchies. Royals were only allowed to marry another member of the aristocracy, so most of the families were interrelated through marriage.

Author's comments

On the subject of blood purity, J. K. Rowling has said the following:

The expressions 'pure-blood', 'half-blood', and 'Muggle-born' have been coined by people to whom these distinctions matter, and express their originators’ prejudice. As far as somebody like Lucius Malfoy is concerned, for instance, a Muggle-born is as ‘bad’ as a Muggle. Therefore Harry would be considered only ‘half’ wizard, because of his maternal grandparents. If you think this is far-fetched, look at some of the real charts the Nazis used to show what constituted 'Aryan' or 'Jewish' blood...the Nazis used precisely the same warped logic as the Death Eaters. A single Jewish grandparent 'polluted' the blood, according to their propaganda.[4]

This statement indicates that all of a wizard or witch's grandparents must have magical heritage — i.e. that he or she cannot have a single Muggle or Muggle-born grandparent — in order for him or her to be considered pure-blood. The detailed and lengthy family trees maintained by pure-blood families such as the House of Black maintained a record of all the pure-bloods born and married into the family (as well documenting those who were blasted off to maintain the family's sense of purity).[10]

Appearances

See also

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 F.A.Q. Section: "Are all the pure-blood families going to die out?" at J. K. Rowling's Official Site - "Don't forget that, as Sirius revealed in 'Order of the Phoenix', none of these families is really 'pure' – in other words, they merely cross Muggles and Squibs off the family tree and pretend that they didn't exist. But yes, the number of families claiming to be pure is diminishing. By refusing to marry Muggles or Muggle-borns, they are finding it increasingly difficult to perpetuate themselves."
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Writing by J.K. Rowling: "The Malfoy Family" at Pottermore - "From the imposition of the Statute of Secrecy onwards, no Malfoy has married a Muggle or Muggle-born. The family has, however, eschewed the somewhat dangerous practise of inter-marrying within such a small pool of pure-bloods that they become enfeebled or unstable, unlike a small minority of fanatic families such as the Gaunts and Lestranges, and many a half-blood appears on the Malfoy family tree."
  3. The Tales of Beedle the Bard - "Albus Dumbledore on “The Fountain of Fair Fortune”" - "So-called pure-blood families maintain their alleged purity by disowning, banishing or lying about Muggles or Muggle-borns on their family trees. They then attempt to foist their hypocrisy upon the rest of us by asking us to ban works dealing with the truths they deny. There is not a witch or wizard in existence whose blood has not mingled with that of Muggles, and I should there-fore consider it both illogical and immoral to remove works dealing with the subject from our students’ store of knowledge."
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 FAQ at J. K. Rowling's Official Site - "The expressions 'pure-blood', 'half-blood' and 'Muggle-born' have been coined by people to whom these distinctions matter, and express their originators' prejudices. As far as somebody like Lucius Malfoy is concerned, for instance, a Muggle-born is as 'bad' as a Muggle. Therefore Harry would be considered only 'half' wizard, because of his mother's grandparents. If you think this is far-fetched, look at some of the real charts the Nazis used to show what constituted 'Aryan' or 'Jewish' blood. I saw one in the Holocaust Museum in Washington when I had already devised the 'pure-blood', 'half-blood' and 'Muggle-born' definitions, and was chilled to see that the Nazis used precisely the same warped logic as the Death Eaters. A single Jewish grandparent 'polluted' the blood, according to their propaganda."
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Pure-Blood" at Pottermore
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Black Family Tree by J. K. Rowling
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 7.14 7.15 7.16 7.17 7.18 7.19 7.20 7.21 7.22 7.23 7.24 7.25 7.26 7.27 7.28 7.29 7.30 7.31 7.32 7.33 7.34 7.35 7.36 7.37 7.38 7.39 7.40 7.41 7.42 7.43 7.44 7.45 7.46 7.47 House of Black (see this image)
  8. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 12 (Silver and Opals) - "“The Death Eaters can’t all be pure-blood, there aren’t enough pure-blood wizards left,” said Hermione stubbornly. “I expect most of them are half-bloods pretending to be pure. It’s only Muggle-borns they hate, they’d be quite happy to let you and Ron join up.”"
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  10. 10.0 10.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 35 (Beyond the Veil) - "“Shut your mouth!” Bellatrix shrieked. “You dare speak his name with your unworthy lips, you dare besmirch it with your half-blood’s tongue, you dare —” “Did you know he’s a half-blood too?” said Harry recklessly."
  11. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 10 (Luna Lovegood)
  12. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  13. Hannah Abbott
  14. Black Family Tree by J. K. Rowling - Alphard was disowned for giving gold to runaway nephew Sirius
  15. Black Family Tree by J. K. Rowling - Andromeda Black was disowned for marrying Muggle-born Ted Tonks
  16. Black Family Tree by J. K. Rowling - Cedrella Black was disowned for marrying blood traitor Septimus Weasley
  17. File:Black family tapestry complete.jpg - Disowned for an unknown reason
  18. Black Family Tree by J. K. Rowling - Iola Black was disowned for marrying Muggle Bob Hitchens
  19. Black Family Tree by J. K. Rowling - Marius was disowned for being a Squib
  20. Black Family Tree by J. K. Rowling - Phineas was disowned for supporting Muggle Rights
  21. Black Family Tree by J. K. Rowling - Sirius Black was disowned for running away from home
  22. Allowed to marry into the fanatical pure-blood Black family, without their spouse being disowned, so the family is likely pure-blood.
  23. Lavender Brown was a pure-blood making it possible that the Brown family was as well
  24. Harry Potter and Me (see this image)
  25. Millicent Bulstrode is a half-blood witch, indicating that the Bulstrodes married Muggles and/or Muggle-borns.
  26. Vincent Crabbe died in 1998; it is unknown if he had any siblings or if they had issue.
  27. Through Irma's descendants.
  28. Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Draco Malfoy" at Pottermore - "In childhood, Draco associated mainly with the pure-blood children of his father’s ex-Death Eater cronies, and therefore arrived at Hogwarts with a small gang of friends already made, including Theodore Nott and Vincent Crabbe."
  29. Barty Crouch Jr is the last member of the Crouch family, and, as he was given the Dementor's Kiss in 1995, is highly unlikely to ever have children.
  30. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (play)
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 31.3 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 10 (The House of Gaunt) - "Generations of purebloods, wizards all — more than you can say, I don’t doubt!”"
  32. 32.0 32.1 Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry" at Pottermore
  33. It is unknown if the "Grandad" Neville once mentioned was his paternal or maternal grandfather.
  34. "Malfoy & Nott" at Extra Stuff at J. K. Rowling's Official Site
  35. Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Draco Malfoy" at Pottermore - "In childhood, Draco associated mainly with the pure-blood children of his father’s ex-Death Eater cronies, and therefore arrived at Hogwarts with a small gang of friends already made, including Theodore Nott and Vincent Crabbe."
  36. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 22 (The Deathly Hallows) - "The only place I’ve managed to find the name ‘Peverell’ is Nature’s Nobility: A Wizarding Genealogy. I borrowed it from Kreacher,” she explained as Ron raised his eyebrows. “It lists the pure-blood families that are now extinct in the male line. Apparently the Peverells were one of the earliest families to vanish.”"
  37. Harry Potter's children are half-bloods as their grandmother Lily was Muggle-born
  38. The only known member of the Prince family was Eileen Prince, who had only one child, Severus Snape. Snape died in 1998 without having any children.
  39. Ch. 13 of Deathly Hallows confirms that the Selwyns are a pure-blood family, though it is unclear if Umbridge was being truthful about her own relation to them or her own blood status, as she was trying to "bolster her own pure-blood credentials". See Talk:Selwyn family for more information.
  40. Slytherin’s only known descendants died with the Gaunts and Tom Riddle.
  41. Bilius is a relative of the Weasleys, though it is unknown if he is arelation of Arthur of Molly.
  42. Through Lysandra's descendants.
  43. Slytherin affiliation
  44. Loyal to Voldemort and Slytherin
  45. Loyal to Voldemort
  46. Loyal to Voldemort's regime, Muggle-born intimidator
  47. prejudiced toward half-blood and muggle-borns and affiliated to Draco Malfoy
  48. Harry Potter and Me