Take the 2-minute tour ×
Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

This question already has an answer here:

Being born to James and Lily, how can Harry be called a half-blood?

It is said that admission in Hogwarts is given to children of Muggles when they show magical talents as a child, and Lily was no exception to this. This makes Lily a witch, so why is Harry half-blooded?

share|improve this question

marked as duplicate by phantom42, Ward, Eureka, DVK, Richard Feb 7 at 17:48

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

That this distinction is unimportant and pretty arbitrary is a fairly central theme of the books; blood means nothing. –  BoBTFish Feb 7 at 11:43
add comment

3 Answers 3

up vote 14 down vote accepted

Pureblood status was irrelevant to the majority of witches and wizards. To those who it did matter to something as inconsequential as having a Muggle-born mother would be more than enough to "taint" you, likely for multiple generations. The "best" you could hope for, if you actually cared, is to be Half-blood.

Of course, in practice the application of these "rules" is inconsistent at best. Families like the Malfoys were more than willing to serve Lord Voldemort, whose father was a Muggle (not even a Muggle-born wizard). I'm sure Ministry officials like Dolores Umbridge - during the period when Voldemort controlled the Ministry of Magic - would have been more than willing to trade "Pureblood" status for valuable information (I can't remember if there's any hard evidence for this in the books, though).

Blood status in the Harry Potter books has huge parallels with the Nazis treatment of the Jews. There's a famous quote from a high-ranking Nazi (I believe it was Hermann Goering) that goes "I decide who is a Jew."

The same applies here, I think: Harry is a Half-blood because the people blood status matters to said so.

share|improve this answer
Did any of Voldemort's followers know he wasn't pure blood? I recall he went to great length to ensure that information was not widely known... –  Adam Davis Feb 7 at 16:39
I posted a question for it, rather than discuss it in comments: Did any of Voldemort's dedicated followers know he wasn't pure-blood? –  Adam Davis Feb 7 at 16:46
add comment

I was always under the impression that "Pure Blood" properly refered to those wizarding families such as the Blacks and Malfoys that only intermarry and dont have any muggle blood. Lily was not of these families and therefore is not pure blood.

This is only my impression and interpretation however and there may be some canon references I have forgotten about that disprove this

share|improve this answer
add comment

Lily was Muggleborn, or more commonly referred to as mudblood by the Pureblood lines. James, however, was Pureblood. When Lily and James had a child, Harry, he became half-blood. The only way to achieve Pureblood status is to have your entire line of ancestry be Pureblooded. Your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and so on, all had to have Pureblood status. The Malfoys, Blacks, and Weasleys were some of the only Pureblood families left in the wizarding world. With the Weasleys being Blood-traitors (not joining Voldemort in his renegade), only the Blacks and Malfoys would marry one another, to remain Purebloods.

share|improve this answer
Pureblood families were dying out, but those were not the only three. harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Pure-blood_families –  thumbtackthief Feb 7 at 15:31
Which I think is correctly represented by the statement "SOME OF" the only pureblood families left. –  JohnP Feb 7 at 17:05
@JohnP - But is contradicted by "only the Blacks and Malfoys would marry one another". There were other options, they just didn't come up much. –  Bobson Feb 7 at 17:47
add comment

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.