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Things You Didn't Know About The First Wizarding War

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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.

    Intense detail?
  • 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.

    Intense detail?
  • 3

    Aurors Used The Same Tactics As Death Eaters In The Name Of Justice

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

    At the height of the war, there was little to separate the Death Eaters from the Aurors. Bartemius Crouch, Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, took to cruel tactics in the name of justice. To this end, Crouch legalized the use of the Unforgivable Curses, meaning Aurors possessed the authority to kill, torture, and control anyone they perceived as a threat.

    This move carried the side effect of making Aurors just as terrifying as Death Eaters, as the public didn't have the favor of the law anymore. Moreover, those that the Aurors incorrectly used the Unforgivable Curses on had no choice but to suffer without anything to defend themselves with.

    Intense detail?
  • 4

    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.

    Intense detail?