Pure-Blooded: A Look at the Sacred Twenty-Eight

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Who are the Sacred Twenty-Eight, and what’s so special about being pure-blooded? We take a deep dive into the mania that swept U.K. wizard society.

Being a pure-blooded wizard or witch doesn’t actually confer any special powers, or bestow a family with some dignitary award, but don’t tell that to certain wizard families. During the mid-to-late 20th century, a fever known as “pure-blood mania” swept across a segment of wizarding society. It was driven partly by the publication of a simple treatsie known as The Pure-Blood Directory.

Though the tract was anonymously published, many believe that it was penned by that cantankerous nut, Cantankerus Nott. Published around 1932 or 1933, it claimed to list out the twenty-eight wizarding families that were at that time still “pure,” or not tainted with Muggle blood by intermarriage.

This was not strictly correct. Some of the families listed had half-bloods in their family trees at the time of publication. Other families that had not married outside the wizarding world but were known to espouse pro-Muggle views, like the Potters, were ostentatiously not included. Several families who were left off struggled to stick to wizard-only marriages, hoping to attain entry in the directory (the Crabbes and the Goyles both did this). Meanwhile, many of the families who made the list took pride in it, and did everything they could to make sure they continued with the pure-blood marriage tradition.

Those named in The Pure-Blooded Directory can be broken up into three categories: the eight minor families, the ten middling families and the ten major families.

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