Pureblood, Half-Blood, or "Mudblood"?
"But they were our kind, weren't they?"
-- Draco Malfoy inquiring about
Harry Potter's parents
Yes, Harry is
learned in PS4 that
were Muggles. At least, that's the implication of
Aunt Petunia's remarks that they
were proud having a witch in the family.
Voldemort, too, is
CS13 that his
father was a Muggle (his
mother was a witch).
The intense focus on whether or not a certain character does
or does not have magical parentage (or on the degree of magical parentage)
seems contrary to the novels' argument that what you do matters more than
to whom you were born. That is, we learn time and time again that choices
are more important than any innate qualities we may or may not have. As
Dumbledore once said,
"It is our choices, Harry, that show us what we truly are,
far more than our abilities
If I may be so bold as to suggest it, the question that should be asked is not
"is this character
but "what's the significance of asking such a question in the first
place?" That is, why does Rowling have certain characters care about
magical parentage, when other characters do not care in the least? What
assumptions lie behind this concern over
I've never fully understood why this seems to be a source of so much
confusion -- though I have noticed that there are some HP fandom sites that
misrepresent this information, so perhaps that's why.
As Philip Nel has pointed out, canon indicates very strongly that
Harry is considered a
whatever standard the wizarding world uses. I
would not be repeating this except for the fact that some people seem to
be confused, so I think we should bring out the relevant canon quotes:
CS17, The Heir of Slytherin
[Tom Riddle to
"There are strange likenesses between us, after all. Even you must have
noticed. Both half-bloods[...]"
Of course it is certainly possible that
Riddle may not be totally reliable, what
with the future Lord Voldemort being
the bastion of truth that he is. (After all, cold-blooded murder is one thing,
but a fib or over-generalization? No, that's certainly where the
Dark Lord draws the line.) There is
a certain logic to this, because we do have precedent in the Potter universe
for statements that are false going unchecked in canon. For example, JKR
confirmed in BN that
when Riddle said
Hagrid was raising
werewolf cubs under the bed, this
was a lie -- pure slander.
But we also have:
GF24, Rita Skeeter's Scoop
"I'd love yeh ter win, I really would. It'd show 'em all...
yeh don' have teh be
ter do it."
So unless Hagrid is also either lying or
somehow misunderstands the criteria for
'blood status' (both of
which seem highly unlikely), then we know
Harry is not considered a
because both of his parents were wizards.
And this then gives additional credence to
Tom Riddle's statement in
Since there is no conflicting evidence and one piece of consistent (though
not strictly corroboratory) evidence, I recommend we take
Riddle's statement at face value and
assume Harry is a
We can then assume that the criteria for
status is not based on immediate parentage, but overall genealogy (as seems
logical). Exactly what standard the wizarding world
uses (one-drop, four/eight generations, etc.) is unknown and perhaps not
J. K. Rowling's Comments:
See blood status page.