After seeing these two questions, it got me wondering about the the question I am asking.

Was Harry related to Salazar Slytherin?

Were the Peverell brothers and Salazar Slytherin related?

In the canon timeline is it stated or implied that the Peverell Brothers lived before or after the Four Founders of Hogwarts?


3 Answers 3


The Four Founders

It is never stated precisely when the Four Founders lived and Hogwarts was founded; in fact, it is stated outright that the exact date of its foundation is unknown. All we really know is that it was at least a millennium before the events that happen in the books. In Chamber of Secrets, professor Binns briefly touches on the subject when telling Harry’s class about the Chamber of Secrets itself:

‘You all know, of course, that Hogwarts was founded over a thousand years ago – the precise date is uncertain – by the four greatest witches and wizards of the age.’

In Goblet of Fire, the Sorting Hat (who was, after all, there at the time and must be considered the most reliable witness there is, even if it is a hat) confirms this, in equally vague terms, in its traditional pre-sorting song:

      ‘A thousand years or more ago,
      When I was newly sewn,
      There lived four wizards of renown,
      Whose names are still well known…’

The phrasing “a thousand years or more ago” implies (vaguely) that Hogwarts was founded not that much more than a thousand years ago. It’s unlikely to have been 1,500 years ago, for example. So our best guess is probably that Hogwarts was founded some time during the tenth century, and that the Four Founders were thus born in the late ninth or early tenth century.


The Peverell brothers

There seems to be some canon inconsistency on when the Peverells lived.

As Escoce notes, Harry Potter Film Wizardry claims that Ignotus Peverell was born in 1214; this is unfortunately directly contradicted by J.K. Rowling herself on Pottermore in the article on the Potter family:

The wizarding family of Potters descends from the twelfth-century wizard Linfred of Stinchcombe, a locally well-beloved and eccentric man, whose nickname, ‘the Potterer’, became corrupted in time to ‘Potter’. […]

Linfred’s eldest son, Hardwin, married a beautiful young witch by the name of Iolanthe Peverell, who came from the village of Godric’s Hollow. She was the granddaughter of Ignotus Peverell.

There are no specific years here, but we can deduce the following, using some generic statistics:

  • Linfred lived in the 12th century; let’s say for simplicity from 1115 till 1195.
  • Hardwin was his eldest son, so he was presumably also born in the 12th century; let’s say around 1140, when Linfred was 25.
  • Hardwin’s wife, Iolanthe, was beautiful and young when he married her, so unless he was an extremely old man when they married (and the article mentions no such thing), she was most likely born some time in the 12th century as well; let’s say between 1140 and 1160.
  • Iolanthe was the granddaughter of Ignotus Peverell, which means that Ignotus was born two generations before her. Let’s be consistent and make each generation about 25 years (probably a bit much in those days, but unlikely to be seriously off); that would put Ignotus’ birth at some time between 1090 and 1110.

Granted, this does not change the main gist of Escoce’s answer:

The Peverell brothers were born after Hogwarts was founded and thus came after the Four Founders.

(– or at least Ignotus was, and there’s not likely to be 150 years between them, after all, so it’s probably fair to assume that they all were.)

But it is nonetheless interesting and relevant that Rowling appears to have (probably accidentally) gainsaid something that already existed in the extended canon, but was not her own writing. Given that the Pottermore article is written by Rowling herself, while Harry Potter Film Wizardry is written by people who worked on making the movies, as well as the fact that the Pottermore article is the newer of the two, I would place the Pottermore article higher on the canon scale. Like Slytherincess, I generally don’t consider the movies canon unless corroborated by something from Rowling herself, and this naturally extends to behind-the-scenes content like Harry Potter Film Wizardry.

  • 5
    Wow, something from the movies contradicts something from canon! Who would have guessed?
    – ibid
    Commented Feb 25, 2016 at 0:58
  • @ibid Not even really that—an actual book (so presumably edited and, one would have thought, also approved by Rowling) contradicting something from canon. Or rather, canon contradicting it. We mustn’t forget that when HPFW came out, Rowling hadn’t yet written the piece on the Potter family, so HPFW didn’t really contradict anything—Rowling did. The perks of being God, eh? Commented Feb 25, 2016 at 1:41
  • Is there the slightest indication that JKR would have spend more time correcting a movie tie-in book, then she would the actual movies?
    – ibid
    Commented Feb 25, 2016 at 1:45
  • @ibid None at all, and it’s such a small detail that there’s hardly any reason for her to have even thought twice about it. Still interesting that she ends up herself writing something that contradicts it a few years down the line. If she’d just made Linfred late-13th century instead, it would have fit… Commented Feb 25, 2016 at 1:47
  • 1
    @MatthewRead You think “our best guess is that probably…” is conclusive? That's pretty weak ground for a downvote. It was meant to be the exact opposite of conclusive—it's highly tentative. It doesn't change anything in the answer, though. Regardless of whether it's 1,001 years or 1,999 years ago, the answer remains the same, that the Four Founders came first. Commented Mar 1, 2016 at 14:47

Hogwarts came first.

Hogwarts was founded before 992 AD. Source: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Ignotus Peverell was born 1214. Source: Harry Potter Film Wizardry

It is, however, unknown whether the Peverell brothers attended Hogwarts or not.

  • 1
    I've sourced your material. You should probably add a picture or something. Also: The Gaunt family was descended from both Salazar Slytherin and the Peverells.
    – user40790
    Commented Feb 18, 2016 at 16:26
  • 3
    @Axelrod i believe it mentioned somewhere that the brothers did not attend Hogwarts, or I am sure their character traits would have been related to their houses.... and then there would have been four brothers and four hallows...... eye rolls
    – Skooba
    Commented Feb 18, 2016 at 16:44
  • 15
    @Skooba "And Hurbertus Peverell, the Hufflepuff, who asked for complete anonymity, lives on to this day".
    – user40790
    Commented Feb 18, 2016 at 16:55
  • @Axelrod This would make an awesome fanfic plotline.
    – Pwassonne
    Commented Feb 20, 2016 at 8:49
  • @ibid It was mentioned that Hogwarts is >1000 years old, and it takes place in 1991/2.
    – user40790
    Commented Feb 22, 2016 at 15:59

A Pottermore article, The Origins of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry states:

Hogwarts was founded by two wizards and two witches. At some point in the tenth century, four of the greatest witches and wizards that ever lived founded Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

And we know Ignotus Peverell's granddaughter married Hardwin Potter, but no dates are given. However, in The Potter Family, it gives a vague date when mentioning Hardwin's father:

The wizarding family of Potters descends from the twelfth-century wizard Linfred of Stinchcombe, a locally well-beloved and eccentric man, whose nickname, ‘the Potterer’, became corrupted in time to ‘Potter’.

As it says "12th century" we can assume that as Hogwarts was 10th century, the Peverell brothers came after Hogwarts.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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