Peverell was the surname of a medieval pure-blood wizarding family. Hermione reported in early 1998 that, according to Nature's Nobility: A Wizarding Genealogy, the Peverell name was among the first to "become extinct in the male line," meaning that the name had died out among wizarding families, but not the members of the family itself.
- "And Death spoke to them. He was angry that he had been cheated out of three new victims, for travellers usually drowned in the river. But Death was cunning. He pretended to congratulate the three brothers upon their magic, and said that each had earned a prize for having been clever enough to evade him."
- —Excerpt from The Tale of the Three Brothers[src]
The Peverell brothers, Antioch, Cadmus, and Ignotus, are believed by some to be the subjects of the wizarding legend, "The Tale of the Three Brothers." Each possessed one of the Deathly Hallows; Antioch: the Elder Wand, Cadmus: the Resurrection Stone, and Ignotus: the Cloak of Invisibility.
According to legend, Antioch's throat was slit in his sleep the night after winning his first duel with the Elder Wand. He had boasted of its power, and someone coveted the wand enough to kill him for it. It is unknown if Antioch was really murdered, though given the Elder Wand's violent history, it seems likely, or if he had any descendants.
The legend also says that Cadmus committed suicide after using the Resurrection Stone to bring back his beloved, having found the experience completely unfulfilling. Not only was Cadmus's beloved an echo of herself in life, she found the world of the living uncomfortable and wished to return to the afterlife. However, given that the Gaunts appear to be descended from Cadmus, as they possessed the Stone, it would seem Cadmus lived long enough to, at the very least, sire children, and it is likely that his beloved, who had died an untimely death, may have died in childbirth.
The legend eventually says that Ignotus lived a long and fulfilling life and, having decided to elude Death no longer, passed the Cloak of Invisibility on to his own son. He joined Death and welcomed him as a brother. His lineage is the easiest of the brothers' to trace, as the cloak would continue to be handed down from parent to child through the generations, finally coming into Harry's possession.
Dumbledore believed it far more likely the three Peverells were the creators of the Hallows and the legend to be merely a story partially inspired by their nature, which would account for how Cadmus sired a child despite the legend implying he committed suicide soon after obtaining the stone, and for how Ignotus sired a child to inherit his possessions with the legend implying he hid from Death for the rest of his life soon after obtaining the cloak.
- "Marvolo Gaunt was an ignorant old git who lived like a pig, all he cared about was his ancestry. If that ring had been passed down through the centuries, he might not have known what it really was. There were no books in that house, and trust me, he wasn't the type to read fairy tales to his kids. He'd had loved to think that scratches on the stone were a coat of arms, because as far as he was concerened, having pure blood made you practically royal."
- —Gaunt's ignorance of the Hallows[src]
The Peverells had numerous descendants through female lines, but by the twentieth century only two such families could be identified through their heirlooms. The first is the Gaunts. Marvolo Gaunt claimed Peverell blood through the female line, and had a ring with what he claims was the Peverell coat of arms, which actually was the sign of the Deathly Hallows. This ring was set with the Resurrection Stone, and later became one of Voldemort's Horcruxes.
The second is the Potters. Iolanthe Peverell was the granddaughter of Ignotus Peverell. Described as "beautiful," she lived in Godric's Hollow, and inherited the Cloak of Invisibility from her grandfather due to the lack of any male heirs in her generation. Upon her marriage to Hardwin Potter, she explained that, in the tradition of the Peverell family, possession of the cloak was kept secret. Hardwin honoured her family's tradition, and from then on the cloak was passed to the eldest child of each new generation of Potters.
During the Horcrux hunt, Harry Potter, Ronald Weasley, and Hermione Granger began to encounter a mysterious sign, rather like a triangular eye. Harry first saw the symbol worn by Xenophilius Lovegood at the wedding of Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour the previous summer, but it later was seen in The Tales of Beedle the Bard that Dumbledore left Hermione in his will. In addition, Hermione located and showed to Harry the grave of Ignotus at the graveyard in Godric's Hollow on Christmas Eve, 1997. The symbol engraved on the headstone was the sign of the Hallows as well.
After Ron rejoined the trio, they visited Xenophilius at his home and questioned him about the symbol, which he said was the emblem of the Deathly Hallows. Harry soon remembered he had heard Marvolo Gaunt mention the name "Peverell" to describe the coat of arms on his ring (also the sign of the Hallows) during Bob Ogden's memory he saw in the Pensieve during his private lessons with Dumbledore.
|Antioch Peverell||The brothers that inspired The Tale of the Three Brothers and thus the original masters of the Deathly Hallows. Antioch was said to have possessed the Elder Wand, Cadmus the Resurrection Stone, and Ignotus the Cloak of Invisibility.|
|Cadmus Peverell's fiancée(possibly)||The to-be wife of Cadmus who died of unknown causes.|
|Ignotus Peverell's son||The son of Ignotus and the father of Iolanthe.|
|Iolanthe Potter (née Peverell)||A pure-blood witch and the granddaughter of Ignotus Peverell. She lived in Godric's Hollow, and inherited the Cloak of Invisibility from her father due to the lack of any male heirs in her generation.|
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (First mentioned)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (First appearance) (Appears in flashback(s))
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (video game) (Appears in flashback(s))
- The Tales of Beedle the Bard
- Pottermore (Mentioned only)
- Wizarding World (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
Notes and references
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 22 (The Deathly Hallows)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 21 (The Tale of the Three Brothers)
- Writing by J.K. Rowling: "The Potter Family" at Wizarding World
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 10 (The House of Gaunt)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 34 (The Forest Again)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 17 (A Sluggish Memory)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 8 (The Wedding)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 7 (The Will of Albus Dumbledore)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 16 (Godric's Hollow)