Blood Status

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In the Harry Potter canon, blood status is the percentage of magical ancestry a person has. The following terminology is used in the novels:

  • Pure-blood - a witch or wizard without any identifiable non-magic (Muggle) ancestors
  • Half-blood - a witch or wizard with at least one magic and one Muggle ancestor
  • Muggle-born - a witch or wizard born to Muggle parents
    • Mudblood - an insulting and disdainful term for a Muggle-born used by blood purists
  • Squib - a person with no magical capabilities born to magical parents

Blood prejudice is a major theme of the Harry Potter series and thus garners a lot of attention in meta and fanfiction.

Symbolic Interpretations

Blood status has generally been interpreted as an allegory for race. J.K. Rowling has described deliberate parallels between "pure-blood" extremists and Nazis.
If you think [the blood status terminology in Harry Potter] is far-fetched, look at some of the real charts the Nazis used to show what constituted 'Aryan' or 'Jewish' blood. I saw one in the Holocaust Museum in Washington when I had already devised the 'pure-blood', 'half-blood' and 'Muggle-born' definitions, and was chilled to see that the Nazis used precisely the same warped logic as the Death Eaters. A single Jewish grandparent 'polluted' the blood, according to their propaganda.[1]
Additionally, Lord Voldemort is a half-blood with a Muggle father, just as Adolf Hitler's father is thought to be Jewish,[2] and the Dark Wizard Grindelwald is said to have been defeated in 1945, suggesting a connection to World War II.

Some fans have drawn other parallels. Fan writer and essayist Barb describes Squibs, people without magical abilities born to magical parents, as "metaphorical gays," and likens the Kwikspell course to conversion therapy programs.[3]

See Also

References

  1. J.K. Rowling. J.K.Rowling Official Site, Section: F.A.Q. Why are some people in the wizarding world (e.g., Harry) called 'half-blood' even though both their parents were magical?. (Accessed 05 July 2011.)
  2. Lizo Mzimba. Transcript of interview with J.K. Rowling, BBC Newsround via Accio Quote!. Fall 2000. (Accessed 05 July 2011.)
  3. Barb Purdom (psychic_serpent). Queerness in the HP Books. 20 August 2003. (Accessed 05 July 2011.)