J.K. Rowling reveals that the titular Boy Who Lived in the Harry Potter series was actually named after his great grandfather. While the Harry Potter book series ended in 2007 and the films concluded four years later in 2011 too, the Potter fan community has still found themselves on the receiving end of a steady stream of new content related to the Wizarding World. Whether it be the opening of Harry Potter theme parks, the release of the stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, or even just random tweets from Potter creator, J.K. Rowling, a fair amount of new information and history from the franchise’s unique magical world has been revealed over the past ten years since Rowling first finished the main book series.
So to say that Rowling hasn’t just left Potter fans hanging out to dry, in desperate want of new Wizarding World-related content, would be an understatement. And no outlets have proven to be quite as plentiful with new Potter-related information as Rowling’s own interactive website, Pottermore, which allows users to not only be sorted into their Hogwarts houses and find out what their Patronuses would be, but offers background excerpts from each of the seven books.
In her latest addition to the Pottermore website, Rowling offers some shocking new insight into the history of Harry’s actual family tree. Rowling reveals that the family is actually descended from a 12th-century eccentric wizard named Linfred of Stinchcombe, who was originally given the nickname “The Potterer,” which later became simply, Potter. But the biggest news came when Rowling revealed the name and history of Harry’s paternal grandfather, Henry Potter… or Harry Potter, as he was most commonly known amongst friends and loved ones. This means that Henry’s grandson, James Potter, later went on to name his only son after him, who would eventually become known as the most famous wizard in the world.
In addition to providing the eventual name for his great-grandson, Rowling reveals that Henry Potter was a great wizard in his own right. When serving on the Wizengamot from 1913 – 1921, Henry caused controversy in the magical community, when he publicly condemned Archer Evermonde, then Minister of Magic, for forbidding the magical community to help Muggles waging the First World War. And as it turns out, Henry’s outspoken support of the Muggles was a big contributing reason as to why the Potters were excluded from the Sacred Twenty-Eight, a list of the 28 British families in the Wizarding community who lacked any and all Muggle relations in their ancestry, or who were known as “truly pure blood” in the Thirties.
But Henry’s legacy in the Potter family lived on. His son, Fleamont, eventually went on to marry his wife, Euphemia, after becoming wildly successful in the potion industry, thanks to his creation of the Sleekeazy’s Hair Potion, which tripled the family gold. And after years of trying to have a child together, when it looked like all hope was lost, the duo eventually gave birth to Harry’s father, James. But while Fleamont and Euphemia lived long enough to witness James marry Lily Evans, a Muggle-born girl, they did not get to meet their grandson, Harry, when Dragon pox killed them both quickly, due to their “advanced age.” So, like with most things Rowling has revealed about the history of the Wizarding World, the backstory of the Potter family is both tragic and heartwarming at times, but nonetheless shines some exciting new light on the history of one of the Wizarding Community’s most famous and important families.
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