- "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 pure-blood prejudice [src]
Pure-blood supremacy was the belief that wizards and witches whose family has not married any muggles or Muggle-borns are inherently superior to wizards and witches who have. Proponents of this ideology typically regard Muggle-born wizards as impure, unworthy of possessing magical ability, and often actively discriminate against them.
Attitude and beliefs
Pure-blood supremacists consider themselves to be the elite of the wizarding world, akin to royalty. They look down upon Muggles, Muggle-borns, half-bloods, half-breeds, and consider the Muggle world to be inferior to their own. Pure-bloods, and even half-bloods, who do not share this view are considered traitors to their own kind, hence the term "blood traitor." They are considered disgraces by pure-blood supremacists such as the Malfoys.
Elitist pure-bloods believe that it is a sign of weak magic to enjoy non-magical company and seem to believe that some of the supposed dirtiness of Muggles and Muggle-borns will rub off on those who associate with them, thus they consider blood traitors to be "filthy" as well.
Some extremists consider blood traitors to be nearly as bad as the Muggle-borns they are prejudiced against. Bellatrix Lestrange, for example, claimed that "blood traitor is next to Mudblood in [her] book," and her family often disowned and blasted off the family tree any members who could be considered blood traitors. Blood traitors might also be shunned by their families and acquaintances: for example, Bellatrix and her younger sister Narcissa Malfoy stopped seeing their sister Andromeda after she married a Muggle-born wizard, Ted Tonks.
Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters targeted blood traitors during the First and Second Wizarding Wars because they opposed their goals. When they were temporarily in control of the Ministry of Magic in late 1997 and early 1998, they kept blood traitors such as Arthur Weasley under surveillance. However, even most Death Eaters were reluctant to kill pure-bloods, even "traitorous" ones, if it could be avoided. The same situation existed at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry while Voldemort was in power.
Degrees of prejudice
|House of Black||The Blacks were an immensely ancient pure-blood family noted for a streak of emotional instability and recklessness caused by their traditional tendency of interrelating in their strict adherence to blood purity. Many members of the House of Black were disowned for marrying Muggles or Muggle-borns, or for refusing to uphold the family's prejudiced views. Even being a Squib is considered to be impure as well and would be disowned.|
|Phineas Nigellus Black was Headmaster of Hogwarts from some point in the late 19th century to 1925. Though not the friendliest of fellows, he came to loathe his profession due to his lack of patience with his students, all of whom he found tedious and self-absorbed. These qualities, including his discouraging positive interactions with Muggle-born students, made him the least popular headmaster the school ever had, going as far as disowning his second oldest son Phineas Jr for supporting Muggle rights.|
|Araminta Meliflua Black was an activist for Muggle-hunting, she attempted to force passage of a bill at the Ministry that would have legalised it as a sport. A relative of Walburga Black.|
|House of Gaunt||The Gaunts were a very ancient pure-blood family noted for a vein of mental and physiological instability, as well violence, caused by their traditional tendency for inbreeding heavily in their adherence to blood purity. Many members of the House of Gaunt were descended from important pure-blood families, including the Slytherins and Peverells, the traits of which, like the ability to speak Parseltongue, they were able to retain over the centuries.|
|Gormlaith Gaunt was a Dark Witch who resided on Coomcallee from 1603 to 1645, jinxing any Muggles who wandered near her home. Since murdering her sister Rionach and brother-in-law William Sayre for fraternising with their Muggle neighbours, she raised their daughter Isolt in seclusion, and forbade her of attending Hogwarts due to its pro-Muggle leanings. However, Isolt fled to the New World aboard the Mayflower in 1620, and went on to found Ilvermorny with her Muggle husband James Steward and adopted sons Chadwick and Webster Boot. Tracking her down, Gormlaith attempted to kill the couple and take their daughters with her, but was killed by a poisoned arrow from the Pukwudgie William in the duel that followed.|
|Corvinus Gaunt was a juvenile plumber who had a hand in helping install an elaborate plumbing system within Hogwarts, which placed the secrecy of the Chamber of Secrets at risk. Having inherited the right to know where the Chamber's entrance was (a trapdoor with magical tunnels at the site of a girl's bathroom) and how to open it, he concealed the trapdoor behind plumbing fixtures and a sink.|
|Marvolo Gaunt was obsessed with being pure-blood and certain of his superiority over those of "lesser" blood status, despite living in poverty: according to Harry Potter, Marvolo considered that his blood purity made him practically royal, and disowned his daughter, Merope, for her little magical ability and her blood treachery.|
|Malfoy family||The Malfoys were an extremely ancient pure-blood family noted for a command of political influence and respect that flourished with their traditional tendency for courtship with richness and power around them. They are known for their disdain of Muggles and Muggle-borns. While they strongly believe in the concept of blood purity, they did not take it to the interbreeding extremes of the Blacks, Gaunts, and Lestranges, and many a half-blood appears on their family tree.|
|Nicholas Malfoy was widely believed to have dispatched many Muggle tenants in the late 1340s, under the guise of the Black Death. However, this was never proven, but it was likely because he escaped censure by the Wizard's Council, and therefore was never punished.|
|Brutus Malfoy was editor of the anti-Muggle periodical Warlock at War, which ran during the 1670s. With the persecution of wizards in Muggle supremacy having reached its height, he campaigned to compare blood traitors to Squibs, stating in 1675 that "nothing is a surer sign of weak magic than a weakness for [Muggle] company".|
|Septimus Malfoy was Advisor to the Minister for Magic from 1789 to 1798.|
|Lestrange family||The Lestranges were an ancient pure-blood wizarding family, and one of the Sacred Twenty-Eight. Many Lestranges practise the Dark Arts and believe in the notion of pure-blood supremacy, disdaining Muggles and Muggle-borns. They also have many Death Eater family members.|
|Greengrass family||The Greengrasses are known to have espoused the philosophy of Pure-blood supremacy.|
|Following the horrors of the Second Wizarding War Astoria Greengrass abandoned the beliefs of blood supremacy in favour of a more tolerant world view. She even refused to raise her son to believe that "Muggles [are] scum", even though that created tension with her parents-in-law, Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy.|
|Durmstrang Institute||Durmstrang did not allow Muggle Borns to attend, though, unlike most other examples of "Pure-Blood Elitism" listed here, they did not seem to have a violent, murderous, or destructive attitude towards muggle-borns and muggles either (and indeed, some individual students such as Viktor Krum were more tolerant and accepting of Muggle-Borns).|
|Death Eaters||Possibly the largest Muggle haters and blood purity fanatics of their time. Led by Voldemort, who thought that magical blood was pure and special. Under their regime, Muggle-borns were stripped of their wands, reduced to beggars. If unable to prove relations to any wizard, they were subjected to the Dementor's Kiss and Muggles were killed indiscriminately. Ironically, however, Voldemort himself is half-blood, his mother being a pure-blood witch and his father a Muggle.|
|Dolores Umbridge||Umbridge hated Muggles, Muggle-borns, as well as half-breeds. She was head of the Muggle-Born Registration Commission during Voldemort's control of the Ministry and actively persecuted "Mudbloods," stripping them of their wands. After Voldemort's defeat, she was arrested and sentenced to Azkaban for her crimes against Muggle-borns.|
|Salazar Slytherin||Slytherin did not accept Muggle-borns in his house and subsequently ended his friendship with Godric Gryffindor. He left a Basilisk in a hidden chamber beneath Hogwarts so that it could one day purge the school of Muggle-borns.|
|Elizabeth Burke||Elizabeth Burke seemed to have hated Muggle-borns, as her portrait at Hogwarts Castle encouraged Slytherins to be "nasty to Mudbloods."|
- "Your mother was Muggle-born, of course. Couldn't believe it when I found out. Thought she must have been pure-blood, she was so good."
- —Horace Slughorn showing bias[src]
Some wizards, while believing in the inherent superiority of pure-bloods, do not actively discriminate against Muggle-borns and are even accepting of them in some cases.
|Horace Slughorn||Although Slughorn thought that pure-bloods were normally more magically skilled, he is aware that half-bloods and Muggle-borns have much to offer, and nonetheless had many talented Muggle-borns in his Slug Club, including Lily Evans and Hermione Granger. He even wanted Lily Evans to be in his house of Slytherin.|
|Cornelius Fudge||Fudge showed great favouritism toward influential pure-bloods such as the Malfoys. However, until 1995, he relied heavily on the counsel of Albus Dumbledore, a supporter of Muggle rights, as well as was very polite to Harry Potter, a half-blood. He also had a cordial, if somewhat patronising, relationship with the Muggle Prime Minister and was highly distraught at the gruesome murder of twelve Muggles earlier in his days at the Ministry. However, Fudge allowed the passage of anti-half-breed legislation.|
|Severus Snape||During his time at Hogwarts, Severus fell in with a group of future Death Eaters in his desire for power and acceptance. Despite his childhood claim that blood status didn't matter, he began to use the term "Mudblood" to describe Muggle-borns. However, an accidental use of the word to Lily Evans ended their friendship. Upset that he paid an expensive price for such a remark, Snape atoned for his error by demanding there be no talk or activism for pure-blood bias in areas where he had authority, first in his classrooms and later over dominion of Hogwarts.|
- It is unknown if Muriel could be considered biassed, as she once condescendingly referred to Hermione Granger as "the Muggle-born" at her nephew's wedding. However, as Ron pointed out, she was rude to everyone. She also made snide remarks about Fleur Delacour, not because she was a quarter breed, but because she was French. However, whether Muriel was aware of Fleur being a quarter-veela is not revealed.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (In Latin)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film) (In Latin)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Possibly)
Notes and references
- ↑ Wizard of the Month archive on J.K. Rowling's Official Site
- ↑ The Tales of Beedle the Bard
- ↑ The various terms for blood traitors, such as Dunglicker, Scumsucker and Mudwallower, all make associations with uncleanliness. Marvolo Gaunt also called his daughter a "filthy little blood traitor" for admiring a Muggle and Blaise Zabini once declared that he would never so much as touch a "filthy blood traitor" like Ginny Weasley, despite finding her physically attractive.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 29 (The Lost Diadem) - Neville Longbottom says of the Carrows: "They don’t want to spill too much pure blood, so they’ll torture us a bit if we’re mouthy but they won’t actually kill us.” Given this statement, as well as the fact that the Weasleys were only in direct danger after Ron Weasley's help of Harry Potter was revealed to the Death Eaters, it seems that they were hesitant to kill blood traitors unless they were very rebellious.
- ↑ Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Pure-Blood" at Pottermore
- ↑ Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Pure-Blood" at Pottermore
- ↑ Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry" at Pottermore
- ↑ Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Pure-Blood" at Pottermore
- ↑ Writing by J.K. Rowling: "The Malfoy Family" at Pottermore
- ↑ Bloomsbury Live Chat with J.K. Rowling