I know that he was related to

Ignotus Peverell

From CoS we know he was a "spiritual" heir of Gryffindor (aka True Gryffindor) - but so was Neville from DH events.

And he was born in Godric's Hollow.

But is there any information to confirm or deny whether Harry Potter was literally descended from Godric Gryffindor?

10 Answers 10


No, Harry is not descended from Godric Gryffindor, but rather is descended from the Peverell brothers of The Tale of the Three Brothers and owners of the original hallows on his father's side. Hence Harry owning a perfectly pristine invisibility cloak. Ironically, it was Voldemort's family who ended up with the Resurrection Stone, which had the Peverell coat of arms etched into it. JKR has stated emphatically that Harry and Godric Gryffindor are not in any way related.

In an interview with The Leaky Cauldron on July 16, 2005 JKR said:

MA: What about Harry's family — his grandparents — were they killed?

JKR: No. This takes us into more mundane territory. As a writer, it was more interesting, plot-wise, if Harry was completely alone. So I rather ruthlessly disposed of his entire family apart from Aunt Petunia. I mean, James and Lily are massively important to the plot, of course, but the grandparents? No. And, because I do like my backstory: Petunia and Lily's parents, normal Muggle death. James's parents were elderly, were getting on a little when he was born, which explains the only child, very pampered, had-him-late-in-life-so-he's-an-extra-treasure, as often happens, I think. They were old in wizarding terms, and they died. They succumbed to a wizarding illness. That's as far as it goes. There's nothing serious or sinister about those deaths. I just needed them out of the way so I killed them.

MA: That sort of shuts down Heir of Gryffindor [theories], as well.

JKR: [Pause.] Yeah. Well - yeah.

MA: Another one bites the dust.

The Snitchseeker

Harry is very distantly related to Voldemort through the Peverell line, according to J.K. Rowling.

  • 4
    Why does it "shut down Heir of Gryffindor theories", actually? I cannot understand. Like, Anne Gryffindor->Anne Potter.
    – n611x007
    Commented Jun 16, 2012 at 19:16
  • 2
    It's just an example I made up. I cannot see why does this information on Harry's grandparents shut down the heir of Gryffindor theories. I thought it's about that we didn't know much about the Evans family and that "cleared" we now only have the Potters, who has a different last name. I've made up an example where the last name could be changed while the relation remains. But this exampole is not too important, I just don't understand the connection unfortunately. :) Or is it about the word "heir"?
    – n611x007
    Commented Jun 17, 2012 at 9:15
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    It could be about the word "heir", but how I read this passage is J.K. Rowling is telling us that James Potter's parents were irrelevant to the story, so she offed them. Further, their deaths had no impact or relevance to the HP series at all; they were incidental characters who never saw time in canon. The interviewer, Melissa Anelli (MA), extrapolates this to mean the Potters were not descendants of Godric Gryffindor and JKR confirms this. Harry is descended from the Peverell brothers though, and is also distantly related to Voldemort (very distantly related!) HTH. :) Commented Jun 17, 2012 at 13:02
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    Thanks. Well, I still cannot see why Melissa Anelli concluded this. It would be that the grandparents are not important, so they cannot serve as a link to Gryffindor. But that's not actually the case, as they are not important but they still could have been connected to Gryffindor in the same way they are connected to Peverell. I just cannot see the logic. Except that Harry should be a descendant on a male line... but so for the Peverell heritage.
    – n611x007
    Commented Jun 18, 2012 at 16:56
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    @Slytherincess in your answer you wrote: "JKR has stated emphatically that Harry and Voldemort are not in any way related." Yet in you comments you conclude that Harry is distantly related to Voldemort. I don't think that possession of the stone is enough to determine inheritance from the Peverells.
    – TGnat
    Commented Jul 25, 2012 at 12:37

Actually, when asked if Harry was in any way related to Godric Gryffindor, J.K.Rowling said "maybe". I suppose you just have to guess. I honestly think he is, since he was the only one that could destroy Voldemort aka Tom Riddle, and Riddle was the heir of Slytherin after all. It would definitely make sense: Godric and Salazar hated each other, and only their heirs could put and end to the rivalry, by killing each other. Riddle's family always were Slytherins (and they descended from him), while the Potters have always been Gryffindors. I think that the answer is very clear, but like I said... We just have to guess!

  • 4
    Can you source this?
    – AncientSwordRage
    Commented Jul 28, 2013 at 8:21

Voldemort and Harry are so distantly related it's like they aren't but it does say in the Half Blood Prince when Harry views the Gaunt's memories. It said that they were descended from the Peverells. So this shows the link... And for all we know one of Godric Gryffindor's granddaughters could have married into Harry's family line.


Probably not. There isn't any canon proof, but there was interview with JK Rowling about this:

Interviewer: So, could Harry, at all, be related to Godric Gryffindor?

Rowling: Um...Well we just have to guess won't we?

I assume that no, he wasn't related to Godric Gryffindor, unless, by some miraculous coincidence and Heir of Gryffindor was married into the Peverell lines.

Harry was related to Slytherin, though, by his father, distantly, Voldemort, and subsequently Slytherin. Maybe Slytherin's Heirs might've been married into the Gryffindor families?


I believe some people are confusing some stuff. So I'll try to make a few points clear.

  1. In an interview in '04 (JK Rowling's World Book Day Chat), when asked if Harry is related to Gryffindor, JKR had answered «Maybe he is». BUT in a more recent interview, for The Leaky Cauldron, in '05, she stated that the theories that Harry might be the Heir of Gryffindor were off base.

  2. If we consider that the latest data are the most accurate, we have to accept that Harry is not descended from the founder of his house.

  3. Therefore, Harry is NOT related to Godric Gryffindor (nor, as far as we know, to Helga Hufflepuff or Rowena Ravenclaw, both of their last descendants being long deceased).

  4. He IS, however, related to Salazar Slytherin, via his pure-blood father's ancestor, Ignotus Peverell. Therefore, he is also a very, very distant cousin of Voldemort, due to the latter being a descendant of Ignotus' brother, Cadmus.

  5. I know some will argue that Harry might not need to be related to Gryffindor to be his Heir. I have 2 arguments against that: a) in the only other known case, the two people involved - Slytherin and Riddle Jr - are blood-related; and b) if blood relation is not a must, then Neville could also be the Heir (he, too, is a true Gryffindor). Anyway, the matter of Harry's ancestry would remain unsettled.

(Quick fact: for all we know, Neville could be related to Gryffindor - we know little of his ancestry. Then he would actually be the Heir of Gryffindor.)

Well, that's it. I hope I've helped.


Hi may i share something i found while reading some articles about this issue.

I am also trying to find out the connectioms between the peverells, the slytherins and the gryffindors. After a long search i stumbled upon the family tree of the peverells. It's a long and extensive lineage intertwined with other known pure blood families (Blacks, McMillans, Prewetts and Malfoys to boot). I also saw a short family tree of the Slytherin family. The notions that Harry and Tom/Voldemort are distant relatibes is indeed clear since both are descendants of the Peverells. However, the line was cut off and was continued when the Gaunts emerged. Back tracking to the Tale of the Three Brothers, remember that Cadmus Peverell asled for the Resurrection Stone from Death to bring a loved one back to life. And since the "gift" he got didn't really did what he wanted, he committed suicide. At first I thought that ends the line in his side of the family, but then again, what if Camdus had a child to that woman before she died? That may have continued his line. Then a few generations after, Salazar Slytherin emerged and may have wedded one girl from the line. Based on the Slytherin family tree I got, Slytherin is not descended from the Peverells, rather he was married to one. Years passed then the Gaunts energed in the tree, and we all know what happened next.

As for Ignotus' line, it also has the same vague anscestry as Cadmus' since after him no one was mentioned for quite a long time, until the Potters appeared. Isearched and read a lot of HP Articles, even interviews of JKR herself and some other sites that she is connected to, but no such connections is seen between Godric Gryffindor and the Potters/Peverells. One things is certain, Ignotus had a son whom he passed on the Invisibility Cloak. The transfer from father to son maybe is seen there but there is a possibility that somewhere on the line the male side died, but a daughter was born. So, a mother to daughter passing of the Cloak was made until it is passed on again to a male descendant, and that is James Potter. I also tried to search for connections between the Evans and Gryffindor, but one article said that the Evans has a no significant role in the story.

This is just my understanding of how the relations between the characters are seen. No articles ever stated that Harry is indeed a descendant of Godric, we never knkw. We can only guess.

  • 2
    Can you please link the trees you discussing? They may be legitimately canon, or fan reconstructions based on canon, or some fan making stuff up. Hard to say without knowing where you got the info. Commented Jun 29, 2015 at 15:52

For being an heir of Godric Gryffindor, Harry must belong to the male line of the chain where as he can be still related to Peverall family by being related to the female line of the chain.. So contradicting Rachel's view, according to me,a grandson of Godric Gryffindor could have married to a female of Peverell family and their son might have continued the link which came to Harry Potter.

  • "Harry must belong to the male line of the chain" - why so? He was Gryffindor's spiritual heir, not biological (ala slytherin) - witness Neville joining the club. Commented Apr 3, 2013 at 16:40

I think Harry is a descendant. For a full account of my reasons, visit this link: https://scifi.stackexchange.com/a/192112/103225


Personally I thought it was named Godric's Hollow because it was referencing the deathly hallows, as in Godrics "Hallow". I thought maybe Godric Gryffindor had the cloak at one time, meaning Harry is descended from him.


Harry Potter could be a descendent of both you know.... I mean he encompus principles of both the two founders of HSWW. You cannot deny that though he was brave, a trace of cunning-ness can also be seen in him....especially when he faced many challenges....he never turned down help from Hagrid at the Triwizard task 1 on the other hand....he was with no doubt a great duellor, probably even greator than Albus Dumbledore, Severus Snape and Minerva McGonagall.

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