- "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 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.|
|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 instability and violence caused by their traditional tendency for inbreeding in their obsessive adherence to blood purity. Many members of the House of Gaunt were descended from important pure-blood families including the Slytherins and the Peverells, the traits of which like the ability to speak Parseltongue they were able to retain over the centuries.|
|In the early 17th century, Gormlaith Gaunt was obsessed with blood purity to the point of murdering her sister Rionach and brother-in-law William Sayre for their fraternisation with Muggle neighbours, something she saw as a dangerous path to intermarriage for their daughter Isolt. She raised her niece in seclusion by forbidding her of attending Hogwarts due to the "dangerous egalitarianism" it had for Muggle-borns. When Isolt fled from her aunt to the New World aboard the Mayflower in 1620, Gormlaith tracked her down and attempted to kill her and her Muggle husband James Steward, and take their daughters with her.|
|By the early 20th century, 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 tendancy 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.|
|In the 17th century, Brutus Malfoy campaigned for purity in his newspaper Warlock at War, which promoted wizarding purity. He hated Muggles and blood traitors and seemingly became famous with pure-blood elitist communities. After Muggles persecuted wizards, he began to grow a pure-blood supremacist ideology. His clan would carry on his pure-blood elitism for the many generations to come.|
|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.|
|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: "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