3 New Details J.K. Rowling Just Revealed About the Potter Family

Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

In honor of the 20th anniversary of the June 26 publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in the UK, we dove into some magical lore. J.K. Rowling recently shared a few more tidbits of history about everyone’s favorite boy wizard on Pottermore, this time about the history of the Potter family. Here are three things we learned.

1. WHERE THE POTTER FORTUNE CAME FROM

One of Harry’s ancestors was responsible for potions that might sound familiar to Harry Potter fans. According to Rowling, the Potters descend from a 12th-century wizard named Linfred of Stinchcombe, an eccentric healer who cured his Muggle neighbors’ bouts of pox while experimenting with more complex magical medicine in secret. “Historians credit Linfred as the originator of a number of remedies that evolved into potions still used to this day, including Skele-gro and Pepperup Potion,” Rowling writes. Without his ancestor’s skills, Harry’s arm would have never regrown its bones in Chamber of Secrets.

Later, another of Harry’s relatives used his potions skills to lucrative ends. Harry’s grandfather, Fleamont Potter, created Sleekeazy’s Hair Potion, quadrupling the family fortune.

2. HOW THE INVISIBILITY CLOAK ENDED UP IN THE FAMILY

Harry’s invisibility cloak is perhaps his most valuable inheritance, allowing him to take part in a lot of mischief throughout his time at Hogwarts. The cloak originally came from Ignotus Peverell, one of the three brothers who received the Deathly Hallows. Harry is distantly related to Peverell, whose granddaughter married Hardwin, the son of the potion-inventing Linfred. Iolanthe Peverell inherited the cloak from her grandfather (though only because of the absence of male heirs). She maintained the family tradition of keeping the cloak a secret and from then on, it was given to the eldest child of each generation.

3. WHAT HARRY’S GRANDPARENTS WERE LIKE

According to Rowling, Harry’s paternal grandfather was a good sport about his unusual name. “Fleamont was so called because it was the dying wish of Henry’s mother that he perpetuate her maiden name, which would otherwise die out,” she writes. “He bore the burden remarkably well; indeed, he always attributed his dexterity at dueling to the number of times he had to fight people at Hogwarts after they had made fun of his name.” After years of trying to have children, he and his wife, Euphemia, finally had James. They were struck down by dragon pox before Harry was born.

Why the Crypts of Winterfell Might Be Most Dangerous Place to Be in Game of Thrones

Helen Sloan, HBO
Helen Sloan, HBO

The Crypts of Winterfell have been the center of attention in the first two episodes of Game of Thrones's final season, and it seems like the location is only going to play a bigger part in what's to come. In the upcoming battle against the army of the dead, anyone who can't or shouldn't fight, such as Gilly, her son, and even Tyrion Lannister, has been instructed to retreat to the crypts.

But considering this battle is supposed to be the biggest in the show's history, some fans aren't convinced that the crypts are as well protected as the series' characters seem to think—especially since so people have repeatedly made mention of how safe they are. (Foreshadowing much?) Besides being very close to the site of the battle happening right up above, the location leaves those hidden very vulnerable, as there seems to be only one way in and out of the maze-like corridors.

Many fans have speculated that the battle will be the perfect opportunity to resurrect a few fallen Starks, which could be who we saw Arya Stark running from in the season 8 preview. Beyond that, however, TIME argues that the Night King might be heading straight to Winterfell for one person in particular buried in the crypt.

Before the events of Thrones, there was a war between the White Walkers and humans that drove the undead north, while Stark ancestor Bran the Builder built the wall to keep them there. The publication speculates that cold came to Winterfell and the castle was constructed to contain a being called "the Great Other," who is the Lord of Light's opposite—the god of darkness, cold, and death. Some believe he was buried in or beneath the crypt, and that the oft-mentioned "there must always be a Stark in Winterfell" imperative was part of the magic needed to keep the Great Other in its place. Unleashing the Great Other would certainly be a game-changer in the highly anticipated battle.

Whatever is truly down there, we can likely expect many more creepy scenes from the crypt (if Arya's running scene is any indicator). And we're betting those seeking shelter below Winterfell won't be nearly as safe as everyone hopes.

Game of Thrones Opening Credits Might Confirm Fan Theory About Daenerys

Helen Sloan, HBO
Helen Sloan, HBO

When the highly anticipated final season of Game of Thrones premiered earlier this month, fans were pleasantly surprised at the new opening credits, which showed a more detailed map of Winterfell and King’s Landing. But fans know the series doesn't do anything without purpose and potentially hidden meaning, so surely there are lingering clues in the credits for us to interpret ... right?

According to Inverse, there could be a clue in the gold band of the astrolabe that spins around the Game of Thrones banner. The band now depicts moments from the past seven seasons of the show, with one of the images potentially foreshadowing something about Daenerys Targaryen. A fan theory floating around over the years has argued that Dany is really Azor Ahai, and the new season’s opening credits might just confirm that.

Azor Ahai, a.k.a. the Prince That Was Promised, was the leader in a battle long before the events of Thrones between the White Walkers, the first humans, and the Children of the Forest. Fast-forward to the present, and the White Walkers are once again the biggest threat to humans, so many fans have been hoping the prophecy that Azor Ahai will be reincarnated will ring true. Fans have placed their bets on Jon Snow becoming this long-awaited prince, considering that Melisandre hinted at it when she brought him back from the dead, and because it’s been revealed he’s the true heir to the Iron Throne.

In High Valyrian, the word prince could mean any gender, however. The prophecy says that Azor Ahai will “born amidst salt and smoke under a bleeding star.” Inverse points out the red comet pictured on the astrolabe in the season 8 opening credits is likely the same red comet Daenerys sees in season 2. The Dothraki call this the “bleeding star.” Inverse continues:

“In a way, Daenerys really was born ‘under a bleeding star.’ When she stepped into the flames at the end of season 1, she emerged a new person, the Mother of Dragons. The astrolabe seems to confirm this, too, showing Dany as a fourth dragon, which suggests she was spiritually reborn when her dragons hatched.”

Daenerys actually being Azor Ahai would mean two things are probable: She’ll be the one to defeat the Night King, and she might have to kill Jon—neither of which are entirely unbelievable. While we know the Mother of Dragons will be essential to the remaining episodes of Game of Thrones, we’ll have to wait and see exactly how.

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