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I saw this question:

Which pure-blood supremacists were actually half-bloods?

and I was gonna be a smart-alec and answer 'all of them' as there are no actual pure-bloods anymore. However I couldn't find anything to canonically back this up, so I can't be sure. There's the quote from Hagrid in The Chamber of Secrets (film):

Why, there isn’t a wizard alive today that’s not half-blood or less.

Which may be what made me think this. I thought I'd read an author quote backing it up but perhaps I imagined it. Am I mistaken?

Is there any canon (book / JK Rowling / Pottermore sources preferred) confirmation that there are no contemporary, actual pure-blood wizards?

Edit: there’s some confusion so let me clear it. When I say pure blood I mean it literally. No muggle ancestors. 'Pureblood' is defined in Pottermore thus:

The term ‘pure-blood’ refers to a family or individual without Muggle (non-magic) blood. (https://www.pottermore.com/writing-by-jk-rowling/pure-blood)

  • Is there a definition of "pure-blood"somewhere in the books? – QuestionAuthority Sep 4 '18 at 5:53
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    Unless the Adam/Eve of the HP world were wizards, the first one would have had to be Muggle-born. Ergo, "pure" is completely arbitrary and there is no way to answer this question without some sort of definition from JKR. – amflare Sep 4 '18 at 15:58
  • @QuestionAuthority Pottermore definition added, this is a level of canon stated as acceptable in the original question. – Conrad Bennish Jr Sep 4 '18 at 22:20
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Pure-blood wizards would have at least some Muggle ancestry.

In a letter to Lucius Malfoy, explaining why he refused to ban “The Fountain of Fair Fortune”, Dumbledore says that all wizards have some Muggle ancestry.

“So-called pure-blood families maintain their alleged purity by disowning, banishing, or lying about Muggles or Muggle-borns on their family trees. They then attempt to foist their hypocrisy upon the rest of us by asking us to ban works dealing with the truths they deny. There is not a witch or wizard in existence whose blood has not mingled with that of Muggles, and I should therefore consider it both illogical and immoral to remove works dealing with the subject from our students’ store of knowledge.”
- The Tales of Beedle the Bard

Dumbledore, though his intent with his letter was likely at least in part to annoy Lucius, would likely have based his statements in some amount of truth. Some wizards’ blood is of course still purer comparatively than that of other families - for example, the Black family can trace their pure-wizard ancestry through the generations at least to Phineas Nigellus Black.

In addition, a J.K. Rowling writing on Pottermore says there was intermarrying for centuries before the Statute of Secrecy was implemented, so wizards would all have Muggle ancestry. Soon after it was implemented, though, some wizards were already describing themselves as pure-bloods.

As Muggle/wizard marriage had been common for centuries, those now self-describing as pure-bloods were unlikely to have any higher proportion of wizarding ancestors than those who did not. To call oneself a pure-blood was more accurately a declaration of political or social intent (‘I will not marry a Muggle and I consider Muggle/wizard marriage reprehensible’) than a statement of biological fact.
- Pure-Blood (Pottermore)

It’s likely their blood would get ‘purer’ as they continued to only marry other wizards, but they’d already have Muggle ancestry from before the Statute, even if there’s none from after.

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    Thankyou! The quote of Dumbledore from The Tales of Beedle the Bard is EXACTLY what I was thinking of. I think I'd take that as definitive over any of the comments of other characters especially the so-called 'pure-bloods' themselves. – Conrad Bennish Jr Sep 4 '18 at 2:34
  • @ConradBennishJr Awesome! :) I’m glad I could help, and found the quote you had in mind! :) – Bellatrix Sep 4 '18 at 2:38
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    But note the quotes are not from the main books. As the other answer, that was for some reason downvoted, says, many people were referred to as pure-bloods, even Dumbledore used the word in reference to the Weasleys, contradicting Dumbledore's quote here. So what exactly is the definition of pure-blood? – QuestionAuthority Sep 4 '18 at 6:02
  • The question wasn’t about the definition. It was about book-level or author-level quotes claiming there is no contemporary blood purity. If you’d like to discuss the definition feel free to post a question about it :) – Conrad Bennish Jr Sep 4 '18 at 21:58
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    @QuestionAuthority I invite you to read the question properly which asked for book/ JK Rowling/ Pottermore sources. Last I checked, Tales of Beedle the Bard is a book. Written by JK Rowling. As for a definition it's been added. – Conrad Bennish Jr Sep 4 '18 at 22:21
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If you insist on a highly strict definition of 'pure-blood', then, as already said, they basically do not exist anymore. But I think a case could be argued that the Marvolo family (while it survived [and obviously excluding Tom Marvolo Riddle]), through inbreeding, had maintained itself as the closest thing to pure-blood possible.

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    If a case can be made, can you make it by editing your answer? – TheLethalCarrot Sep 4 '18 at 15:55
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    Thanks! This is the sort of thing I was after, and it's well argued, but your question could be made even better with a source backing it up. Bellatrix's above is a great example – Conrad Bennish Jr Sep 4 '18 at 22:31
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There is plenty of confirmation in the books that there are pure-bloods in the present day

First of all, the quote from Hagrid saying that there are no pure-bloods does not appear in the actual book.

Second of all, there are a few quotes about pure-bloods that show that they do in fact exist in the present day.

In Chamber of Secrets Ron says that Neville is a pure-blood:

“I mean, the rest of us know it doesn’t make any difference at all. Look at Neville Longbottom — he’s pure-blood and he can hardly stand a cauldron the right way up.”

Also in Chamber of Secrets, Ron says that most wizards are half-bloods because they would have died out without marrying muggles. This, by implication, means that some wizards are actually pure-bloods:

“It’s a disgusting thing to call someone,” said Ron, wiping his sweaty brow with a shaking hand. “Dirty blood, see. Common blood. It’s ridiculous. Most wizards these days are half-blood anyway. If we hadn’t married Muggles we’d’ve died out.”

In Chamber of Secrets other Gryffindor boys state that Nevillle is a pure-blood:

Neville Longbottom bought a large, evil-smelling green onion, a pointed purple crystal, and a rotting newt tail before the other Gryffindor boys pointed out that he was in no danger; he was a pureblood, and therefore unlikely to be attacked.

In Chamber of Secrets, Dumbledore states that the Weasleys are pure-bloods:

“And imagine,” Dumbledore went on, “what might have happened then. ... The Weasleys are one of our most prominent pure-blood families. Imagine the effect on Arthur Weasley and his Muggle Protection Act, if his own daughter was discovered attacking and killing Muggle-borns. ... Very fortunate the diary was discovered, and Riddle’s memories wiped from it. Who knows what the consequences might have been otherwise. ...”

In Order of the Phoenix Sirius states that various wizards/families are pure-bloods:

“Andromeda’s sisters are still here because they made lovely, respectable pure-blood marriages, but Andromeda married a Muggle-born, Ted Tonks, so — ”

Sirius mimed blasting the tapestry with a wand and laughed sourly. Harry, however, did not laugh; he was too busy staring at the names to the right of Andromeda’s burn mark. A double line of gold embroidery linked Narcissa Black with Lucius Malfoy, and a single vertical gold line from their names led to the name Draco.

“You’re related to the Malfoys!”

“The pure-blood families are all interrelated,” said Sirius. “If you’re only going to let your sons and daughters marry purebloods your choice is very limited, there are hardly any of us left. Molly and I are cousins by marriage and Arthur’s something like my second cousin once removed. But there’s no point looking for them on here — if ever a family was a bunch of blood traitors it’s the Weasleys.”

In Order of the Phoenix Dumbledore refers to Neville as a pure-blood:

“He chose the boy he thought most likely to be a danger to him,” said Dumbledore. “And notice this, Harry. He chose, not the pureblood (which, according to his creed, is the only kind of wizard worth being or knowing), but the half-blood, like himself.

In Half-Blood Prince Dumbledore confirms that there are pure-bloods by mentioning the possibility that Sirius's house is enchanted so that it can only be owned by a pure-blood:

While his will makes it perfectly plain that he wants you to have the house, it is nevertheless possible that some spell or enchantment has been set upon the place to ensure that it cannot be owned by anyone other than a pureblood.”

In Half-Blood Prince Slughorn tells Harry that he thought that Lilly was a pure-blood because she was so good. Obviously, then, he granted the possible existence of pure-bloods:

“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.”

In Half-Blood Prince Harry remembers that his father was a pure-blood:

Even as he said it, Harry remembered that his father had been pure-blood, but he pushed the thought out of his mind; he would worry about that later. ...

In Half-Blood Prince Hermione says that not all the Death Eaters can be pure-bloods. This implies that it is certainly possible for some of them to be pure-bloods:

“The Death Eaters can’t all be pure-blood, there aren’t enough pure-blood wizards left,” said Hermione stubbornly. “I expect most of them are half-bloods pretending to be pure. It’s only Muggle-borns they hate, they’d be quite happy to let you and Ron join up.”

In Half-Blood Prince Kreacher states that Malfoy is a pure-blood:

“Master wants me to follow the youngest of the Malfoys?” croaked Kreacher. “Master wants me to spy upon the pure-blood great-nephew of my old mistress?”

In Deathly Hallows Umbridge states that she is related to many pure-blood families:

“What?” snapped Umbridge, glancing down. “Oh yes — an old family heirloom,” she said, patting the locket lying on her large bosom. “The S stands for Selwyn. ... I am related to the Selwyns. ... Indeed, there are few pure-blood families to whom I am not related. ... A pity,” she continued in a louder voice, flicking through Mrs. Cattermole’s questionnaire, “that the same cannot be said for you. ‘Parents’ professions: greengrocers.’ ”

In Deathly Hallows Ted Tonks says that his wife Andromeda (Black) is a pure-blood:

“Knew they were coming for me,” replied mellow- voiced Ted, and Harry suddenly knew who he was: Tonks’s father. “Heard Death Eaters were in the area last week and decided I’d better run for it. Refused to register as a Muggle-born on principle, see, so I knew it was a matter of time, knew I’d have to leave in the end. My wife should be okay, she’s pure-blood. And then I met Dean here, what, a few days ago, son?”

In Deathly Hallows Hermione again implies that while many of the pure-blood families have died out, there are still some left:

“No,” she replied, looking relieved at the change of subject. “I looked him up after I saw the mark on his grave; if he’d been anyone famous or done anything important, I’m sure he’d be in one of our books. The only place I’ve managed to find the name ‘Peverell’ is Nature’s Nobility: A Wizarding Genealogy. I borrowed it from Kreacher,” she explained as Ron raised his eyebrows. “It lists the pure-blood families that are now extinct in the male line. Apparently the Peverells were one of the earliest families to vanish.”

“ ‘Extinct in the male line’?” repeated Ron.

“It means the name’s died out,” said Hermione, “centuries ago, in the case of the Peverells. They could still have descendants, though, they’d just be called something different.”


One could, of course, argue that everyone above is either wrong or lying (as Umbridge was), but that doesn't seem so likely. What's more likely is that somehow certain families did actually manage to never allow any muggles to marry in, or if indeed muggles did infiltrate every family then the term pure-blood is probably used to mean "very pure" but not "perfectly pure" (or pure from a certain point and on).

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    Thanks for the answer! But I'd discount basically all of those character statements as being pretty unreliable. I was after an indication of actual 'purity' of blood, rather than just what families claim of their own bloodline. Claiming my grandma was a hippogriff doesn't make it so, after all! Also I'm aware Hagrid's quote doesn't appear in the book, hence I clarified it as 'film' for the quote :) – Conrad Bennish Jr Sep 4 '18 at 2:38
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    I'm not saying they're lying, I'm saying that your final point is correct: "the term pure-blood is probably used to mean "very pure" but not "perfectly pure"." – Conrad Bennish Jr Sep 4 '18 at 2:48
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    @ConradBennishJr Words mean whatever people want them to mean, and therefore the meaning can change over time as people use them differently. – Alex Sep 4 '18 at 3:00
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    @ConradBennishJr "3" was arbitrarily assigned by people to refer to a concept. If people instead decided to use "3" to refer to the concept of 2 then "3" would then mean 2, and 1+1 would in fact be 3. – Alex Sep 4 '18 at 3:16
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    @ConradBennishJr "But I'd discount basically all of those character statements as being pretty unreliable." Three of these statements are from Dumbledore – QuestionAuthority Sep 5 '18 at 5:23
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the facts of biology and mathematics are that every person has two parents, which means each of his ancestors also has two parents. Thus he should have:

2 Parents.

4 grandparents.

8 great grandparents.

16 great great grandparents.

32 great great great grandparents.

64 great great great great grandparents.

128 great great great great great grandparents.

and so on.

Ten generations back there would be 1,024 great great great great great great great great grandparents.

Twenty generations back there would be 1,048,576 ancestors in the 20th generation.

Thirty generations back there would be over 1,000,000,000 ancestors in the 30th generation.

Of course the actually number of ancestors would be fewer because of many, many marriages between people who were cousins of some type, 4th cousins, 15th cousins, 21st cousins 5 times removed, 35th cousins, etc.

If you assume that the average length of a long series of Wizard generations would be between 20 and 40 years, then:

The tenth generation of a wizard's ancestors would be born about 200 to 400 years before him.

The twentieth generation of a wizard's ancestors would be born about 400 to 800 years before him.

The thirtieth generation of a wizard's ancestors would be born about 600 to 1,200 years before him.

So when did wizard society begin? How many centuries or millennia ago was that?

Who can keep track of all those ancestors?

In medieval and early modern times, European nobility usually tried to keep themselves a closed caste, separate from lowly commoners. Many noble institutions, such as the knightly orders, had rules requiring a certain minimum of noble blood.

Thus nobles compiled ancestor charts showing their 2 parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great grand parents, and so on back as many generations as a particular institution required for its members, and beside or above each ancestral name would be a picture of their coat of arms. The coat of arms would show the noble status of the ancestor - although many lowly commoners did and do have coats of arms.

Experts in European royal genealogy certainly have a hard time remembering all the ancestors in all the generations that the historical or legendary ancestry of various royal families go back to.

And they also know how many times a king or nobleman's wife had no recorded ancestry, so they can not tell whether she was royal, noble, or a lowly commoner.

For example, there is Agatha (before 1030-after 1070), the wife of Anglo-Saxon prince Edward the Exile (1016-1057), and mother of his children including Edgar the Aetheling (c.1051-c.1126), rightful heir of Anglo-Saxon England, and his sister St. Margaret (c.1035-1093), wife of King Malcolm III of Scotland (1031-1093) and ancestress of countless thousands of modern European nobles and monarchs. There are about a dozen different theories about which nobles, kings, or emperors Agatha might have been descended from, and I guess there isn't any actual proof that she was of noble and not common ancestry.

And they do know of a few commoners who became ancestors of European royalty and nobility, so they know that even though European royalty is sort of a separate caste, it is not 100 percent pure and separate from lesser mortals.

For example, Fulbert of Falaise was a tanner or possibly undertaker, whose daughter Herleva (c. 1003-c.1050) had an affair with Duke Robert I of Normandy (1000-1035) and became the mother of his son William (c. 1028-1087) before marrying Herluin de Conteville. William became Duke of Normandy and invaded and conquered England.

Bretislav I (1002/1005-1055) was Duke of Bohemia from 1035. He was the son of Duke Oldrich (c. 975-1034) and the beautiful but low born Bozena (died after 1052), daughter of Kresina.

And countless thousands of modern European nobles and royalty today can trace their ancestry to the commoners Herleva and Bozena.

What I imagine is that sometime in the past many of the higher and more prestigious wizard families decided that being pure blood was a desirable. And they got together and decided on some requirement for qualifying as pure blood. maybe it was all 8 great grandparents being wizards, or all 16 great great grandparents, or all 32 great great great grandparents, or some other rule, but some rule was made.

So a bunch of wizard families that had a high enough proportion of Wizard ancestry declared that they were pure-bloods, even though they may have known about distant Muggle ancestors beyond the limits of their definition of pure-bloods. And the self proclaimed pure-blood families intermarried between themselves (except for a few "black sheep" in every family) for centuries to come.

So in wizard society people talk about pure-blood families that met or exceeded the minimum standards for being defined as pure-blood centuries ago, and have intermarried only with other pure-bloods since then. Thus there are some families that are pure-blood according to the usual wizard definition.

But if some wizard wanted to annoy a pure-blood wizard, or was thinking scientifically, he could accurately say that there were no pure-blood wizards, since it is mathematically impossible for any wizard not to have some Muggle ancestors who lived centuries or millennia earlier, and it is also pretty much impossible for any wizard to know about every single one of their ancestors thirty generations back - well, maybe there are spells for that, but that would a vast amount of information to record and to search for Muggle ancestors.

  • Which families are they that met or exceeded the minimum standards? – Z. Cochrane Sep 4 '18 at 16:07
  • @Zabeus - Presumably the families that met and agreed to set the minimum standards, knowing that they could pass those minimum standards. Someone who wanted to be counted as pure-blood but knew he had one Muggle great great grandfather would vote to set the standard at all 8 great great grandparents being wizards, for example. – M. A. Golding Sep 4 '18 at 16:50
  • Pottermore definition added to question, this is a level of canon stated as acceptable in the original question. – Conrad Bennish Jr Sep 4 '18 at 22:28

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