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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 have a purely or approximately pure magical heritage. This means that there are no Muggles in their family trees, but this is rarely (if ever) true. If families are traced back all the way, for if wizards didn't mate with Muggles, their race would die out. The only way for a family to retain their pure-blood status is to marry other pure-bloods, all pure-blood families were related to one another by the 1990s. Because of inbreeding among pure-bloods and some marrying Muggles and Muggle-borns, the number of families claiming to be pure-blood is declining.[1] They are the least common blood type in the magical world.


"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-bloods are people who have no Muggles in their family. 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 named Cantankerus Nott published a Pure-Blood Directory featuring twenty-eight families he believed to be pure-blooded, though many objected to this designation.

Maintaining "purity"

"So-called pure-blood families mantain 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]

Black family tree 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". 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.[2] Many Death Eaters are believed to have done this, and their leader himself took on the name Lord Voldemort out of a desire not to keep the name of his "filthy Muggle father".[3] It is likely that Voldemort told his followers he was a pure-blood, given the reaction of Bellatrix Lestrange to Harry's "accusation" that he was in fact a half-blood.[4]

Many pure-blood families, such as the Blacks and Gaunts, practice marrying cousins in order to maintain their pure-blood status, and disown any members who marry someone who is not a pure-blood. This practice has been known to cause problems as families become inbred; for example, the Gaunts showed signs of violent tendencies, mental instability, and even diminished magical capability.[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 all four of his or her grandparents were wizards and witches.[citation needed] More extreme purists require that there be no known Muggle ancestry at all.


"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]

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 practice magic. Many also discriminate against: half-breeds, werewolves, and magical creatures. The term "Mudblood" makes it fair to call pure bloods "Bloodheads".


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"

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.[3]

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.[5]

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.[3]

 Known pure-bloods

Pure-blood family Current status Known pure-blood members
Abbott Extant at least in female line but no longer all pure-blood

Abbott, Giffard Abbott

Black Extant only in female line Alexia Walkin Black, Alphard Black, Andromeda Tonks née Black, Arcturus Black I, Arcturus Black II, Arcturus Black III, Bellatrix Lestrange née Black, Belvina Burke née Black, Callidora Longbottom née Black, Cassiopeia Black, Cedrella Weasley née Black, Charis Crouch née Black , Cygnus Black I, Cygnus Black II, Cygnus Black III, Dorea Potter née Black, Eduardus Limette Black, Elladora Black, Iola Hitchens née Black, Lucretia Prewett née Black, Lycoris Black, Marius Black, Misapinoa Blishwick née Black, Narcissa Malfoy née Black, Orion Black, Phineas Nigellus Black, Phineas Black, Pollux Black, Phoebe Black, Regulus Black I, Regulus Black II, Sirius Black I, Sirius Black II, Sirius Black III, Walburga Black
Avery Unknown Avery, Avery
Blishwick Unknown Jimbo Blishwick, Misapinoa Blishswick née Black
Brown Unknown Lavender Brown
Bulstrode Extant, but likely no longer pure-blood[6]

Violetta Black née Bulstrode

Burke Unknown Belvina Burke née Black, Caractacus Burke, Elizabeth Burke, Herbert Burke
Carrow Unknown Alecto Carrow, Amycus Carrow
Cornfoot Unknown, possibly extant Stephen Cornfoot
Crabbe Possibly extinct in male line,[7] Extant in female line[8] Irma Black née Crabbe, Vincent Crabbe, Mr. Crabbe
Crouch Extinct[9] Barty Crouch Sr., Barty Crouch Jr., Caspar Crouch, Caspar Crouch's son, Caspar Crouch's daughters, Charis Crouch née Black, Mrs. Crouch, Barty Sr.'s grandfather
Fawley Unknown
Flint Extant Ursula Black née Flint
Gamp Unknown Hesper Black née Gamp
Gaunt Extinct Marvolo Gaunt, Merope Gaunt, Morfin Gaunt
Goyle Extant Gregory Goyle, Mr. Goyle
Greengrass Extant Astoria Malfoy née Greengrass, Daphne Greengrass
Lestrange Possibly extinct[10] Bellatrix Lestrange née Black, Lestrange Sr., Rabastan Lestrange, Rodolphus Lestrange
Longbottom Extant but no longer all pure-blood Algie

[11], Alice Longbottom, Augusta Longbottom, Callidora Longbottom née Black, Enid[12], Frank Longbottom, Harfang Longbottom, Harfang Longbottom's son, Harfang Longbottom's daughter, Neville Longbottom, Neville Longbottom's grandfather[13]

MacDougal Extant Isobel MacDougal, Morag MacDougal
Macmillan Extant

Ernie Macmillan, Melania Black née Macmillan

Malfoy Extant Abraxas Malfoy, Astoria Malfoy née Greengrass, Brutus Malfoy, Draco Malfoy, Lucius Malfoy, Narcissa Malfoy née Black, Scorpius Malfoy



Ella Black née Max

Moody Most likely extinct Alastor Moody
Nott Extant Nott Sr., Mrs. Nott, Theodore Nott
Ollivander Extant, but no longer pure-blood Gervaise Ollivander, Gerbold Ollivander, Geraint Ollivander, Ollivander
Parkinson Most likely extant
Peverell Extant only in female line Antioch Peverell, Cadmus Peverell, Ignotus Peverell, Ignotus Peverell's son
Potter Extant, but no longer pure-blood[14] Charlus Potter, Dorea Potter née Black, Charlus and Dorea's son, James Potter I, Mr. Potter, Mrs. Potter
Prewett Extant only in female line Fabian Prewett, Gideon Prewett, Ignatius Prewett, Lucretia Prewett née Black, Molly Weasley née Prewett, Mr. Prewett, Mrs. Prewett, Muriel[15]
Prince Most likely extinct[16] Eileen Snape née Prince
Rosier Extant (at least in female line) Druella Black née Rosier, Evan Rosier, Rosier
Rowle Unknown, possibly extinct
Selwyn Unknown Selwyn, Dolores Umbridge (claimed[17])
Shacklebolt Extant Kingsley Shacklebolt
Shafiq Extant in the early 1930s
Slughorn Extant Horace Slughorn
Slytherin Extinct[18]

Salazar Slytherin

Travers Unknown
Tripe Unknown Magenta Black née Tripe
Urquart Unknown

Elphinstone Urquart

Weasley Extant, but no longer all pure-blood Arthur Weasley, Arthur's two brothers, Bilius[19], Cedrella Weasley née Black, Bill Weasley, Charlie Weasley, Fred and George Weasley, Ginny Weasley, Molly Weasley née Prewett, Percy Weasley, Ron Weasley, Septimus Weasley
Yaxley Extant (at least in female line)[20] 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.


Pansy Parkinson

Blaise zib

Blaise Zabini

Possible pure-blood family Current status Known pure-blood members
Bletchley Unknown, most likely extant Bletchley, Kevin Bletchley, Miles Bletchley[21]
Dumbledore Possibly extant but no longer pure-blood Percival Dumbledore
Fudge Extant Cornelius Fudge , Rufus Fudge
Gibbon Unknown, most likely extinct Gibbon

Godric Gryffindor

Unknown; May be under different surname
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 Sr., Mulciber Jr.[22]
Orpington Most likely extant Evangeline Orpington, Nerys Orpington
Pyrites Unknown Pyrites

[23], Argo Pyrites

Perks Unknown, most likely extant Sally-Anne Perks
Runcorn Probably extant Albert Runcorn

[24], Runcorn

Wilkes Possibly extinct Wilkes
Zabini Extant Blaise Zabini


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.[26]

This statement may indicate 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[4] suggest that more than two generations of magical heritage are required to be considered pure-blood. However, this may only be the standard applied by extremists.

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[27]:
  • 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 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.


See also

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 F.A.Q. Section: "Are all the pure-blood families going to die out?" at J.K. Rowling's Official Site
  2. 2.0 2.1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  4. 4.0 4.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  6. Millicent Bulstrode is a half-blood witch, indicating that the Bulstrodes married Muggles and/or Muggle-borns.
  7. Vincent Crabbe died in 1998; it is unknown if he had any siblings or if they had issue.
  8. Through Irma's descendants.
  9. 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.
  10. Rodolphus and Bellatrix Lestrange never had children; the latter died in 1998 and the former is either dead or imprisoned in Azkaban as of the same period, as is his brother, Rabastan Lestrange, who does not seem to have been married.
  11. Algie is a relative of the Longbottoms, though it is unknown if his surname is Longbottom.
  12. Enid is a relative of the Longbottoms, though it is unknown if her surname is Longbottom.
  13. It is unknown if the "Grandad" Neville once mentioned was his paternal or maternal grandfather.
  14. Harry Potter and his children are half-bloods.
  15. Muriel is an aunt of Molly Weasley née Prewett, though it is unknown if her surname is Prewett.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Slytherin’s only known descendants died with the Gaunts and Tom Riddle.
  19. Bilius is a relative of the Weasleys, though it is unknown if he is a relation of Arthur or Molly.
  20. Through Lysandra's descendants.
  21. Slytherin affiliation
  22. Loyal to Voldemort and Slytherin
  23. Loyal to Voldemort
  24. Loyal to Voldemort's regime, Muggle-born intimidator
  25. prejudiced toward half-blood and muggle-borns and affiliated to Draco Malfoy
  26. J. K. Rowling Official Site- previous version
  27. Harry Potter and Me

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