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Things You Didn't Know About The First Wizarding War

July 22, 2021 8.9k votes 1.2k voters 300.3k views15 items

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The core Harry Potter series begins after Voldemort's fall from power and leads into the Second Wizarding War. However, there's a lot of information available over the original conflict through a combination of behind-the-scenes reveals from J.K. Rowling and Easter eggs spread throughout the saga. The First Wizarding War is arguably an even scarier read than the second, as a number of startling events took place that fans will find hard to digest.

Read on to find a collection of facts about the original war that you probably didn't know.

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  • 1

    Minerva McGonagall's Brother Was Slain By Death Eaters To Provoke Fear In The Public

    Photo: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince / Warner Bros. Pictures

    Minerva McGonagall isn't an only child - she had two brothers. One of them, Robert McGonagall Jr., was slain by Death Eaters during the First Wizarding War. Interestingly, Robert's demise had nothing to do with him being of importance, as he was eliminated simply because the Death Eaters wanted to provoke fear into the public.

    Robert joins the long list of innocent Half-Blood, Muggle-Borns, and Muggles who were slain for this reason.

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  • 2

    The War Lasted For 11 Years

    Photo: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 / Warner Bros. Pictures

    Voldemort returned from his disappearance in 1967, following which he spent the next three years growing his supporters and working from the shadows. It was in 1970 that Voldemort fully rose in power, as he not only made his bid for supremacy public but also started appearing in person. This is considered the beginning of the First Wizarding War since Voldemort dropped all pretense and targeted the Ministry of Magic.

    The war continued until October 31, 1981, by which point it had been 11 years of turmoil for the Wizarding World. Of course, this was the day that Voldemort made his ill-fated attempted to slay Harry, resulting in his own banishment.

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  • 3

    Peter Pettigrew Retrieved Voldemort's Wand From The Wreckage Of The Potters' House

    Photo: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 / Warner Bros. Pictures

    The First Wizarding War wasn't officially over when Voldemort failed to eliminate Harry, as no one knew what happened until later. While it's believed that Sirius Black and Rubeus Hagrid were the first to arrive at the scene of the wreckage, the truth is that it was Peter Pettigrew.

    Having provided Voldemort with the location of James and Lily, Pettigrew followed soon after to find Voldemort gone and realized what had happened. Following this, Pettigrew retrieved Voldemort's wand and fled, keeping this wand hidden for the next decade until Voldemort's return.

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  • 4

    Minister Millicent Bagnold Allowed Breaches Of Magical Law During Celebrations Over Voldemort's Defeat

    Photo: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire / Warner Bros. Pictures

    When Voldemort was vanquished by Harry to mark the end of the First Wizarding War, Minister for Magic Millicent Bagnold did nothing to stop wizards from breaching the Statute of Secrecy. The wizarding community was seen publically celebrating Voldemort's disappearance, to the point where Muggles took notice.

    When Millicent Bagnold was charged with allowing these breaches of magical law to take place, the minister acquitted herself and famously proclaimed, "I assert our inalienable right to party."

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