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Pure-Blood Culture

Discussion in 'Fanfic Discussion' started by Skeletaure, Sep 7, 2021.

  1. Skeletaure

    Skeletaure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    It is a common trope in fanfiction that there exists a magical aristocracy (whether formally recognised or not) who constitute an exclusive social network distinguished by certain customs, traditions and habits. This is often referred to as "pure-blood culture".

    Putting aside how this idea stands up to canon, for the sake of discussion let's embrace it as a fanon trope and see what we can do with it to make it good. Because for me, the biggest problem with "pure-blood culture" in fanfic is that there's very little actual culture to it.

    So: what customs, habits, traditions etc. can you think of which would make up an interesting "pure-blood culture"?

    One aspect I can imagine being a part of this would be various social customs relating to wands. For example:

    - "Never touch another person's wand."
    - "Never point your wand at another person."
    - "Never let your wand get dirty."
    - "Never ask after a person's wand wood."
     
  2. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    Need a special 'leisure' activity for them to participate in that acts as an exclusive club. Something like hunting, polo, sailboats, etc. Muggle hunting is the obvious one but it should be entirely possible come up with something less dark.

    Dumbledore was into ten-pin bowling. Given the headless hunt existed I think there'd be a form of bowling where you roll a Ghost head instead of a ball. Bonus points if it's the ghost head of a past enemy and/or ancestor and/or they're considered partners for competitions.

    There you go. Ten-pin bowling using the heads of headless ghosts as an exclusive leisure activity for purebloods. Could tie it into the Headless Hunt existing as it's own group if they're all involved in this.

    Funeral customs are another area that's ripe for cultural tradition. Pick something that most British muggles wouldn't think of to do or might find strange/odd so that the Purebloods have a reason to turn up their nose at their lack of interest and the muggleborn have a reason not to want to fully engage with it.

    There's loads of real life funeral customs to gain inspiration from, but I'd personally steer clear of any of the more disturbing ones (by US/UK modern standards) because that's going to make a different point.

    There's a people somewhere (Caviteno, apparently, just looked it up) who bury their loved ones in hollowed out tree trunks. Maybe wizards like to bury their loved ones inside of hollowed out trees made of the deceased’s wand wood. Analogy for the wizard being the 'core' of this 'wand' as they head to the great beyond.

    You could tie that into the social custom of never asking anyone about their wand wood. If the identity of one's wand wood is also tied into funeral rites I think that will help emphasize the point. Also might tie into what happens if your wand breaks and you have to get a new one - what if it's a different wood? Cue existential stress for purebloods, b/c funeral rites.

    Maybe doing the above is somehow expensive enough to be something that only the aristocrats typically engage in. Or otherwise involves a ritual that isn't shared outside of the pureblood families. Whatever works to make it ‘their’ custom specifically.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2021
  3. Download

    Download Auror ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I personally like the idea of magical society expressing support for high levels of individuality, uniqueness and non-conformity, as a sort of magical counter-culture to historical muggle conformity to things like the church and muggle social structure. Even when the SoS didn't exist, magical society would not have been a fraction as rigid and most members would be highly educated allowing them to move in an out of social and class roles easily.

    So, to invert the boring conservative values many fanfic authors seem to slap on the purebloods, you could give the purebloods an unusually progressive culture in certain areas but not others (pick what could make sense), sort of like magical society/purebloods adopting values that deliberately are the opposite of muggle ones. You could then make some of the anti-muggle and muggleborn sentiment stem from the idea that they come in and be offended at a gay wizard or at magical contraceptives and sex before marriage, and then cause a ruckas, hence the desire to keep "those sorts" out.

    Of course, the idea of an eleven-year-old coming into the magical world and kicking up a fuss instead of being blinded by magic is a bit silly, but prejudices don't have to be logical; they just have to be convinced that muggles are backwards savages out to make the magical world into Dark Ages Europe.

    At the same time, you could come up with various historical reasons why other things aren't progressive, such as house elves rights. It could be something like as the muggles moved to reduce and then ban slavery, the purebloods went the other way, treating elves worse.

    Edit: I'm having second thoughts about if this is what you mean by culture.
     
  4. Golden Shadow

    Golden Shadow Third Year

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    I suppose magic would be a bigger part of everyday life, the normal as it were, and that would bleed into customs.
    Some examples of this could be,

    -Using magic for certain mundane activities, like switching on clothes that normally take a long time to get into. As an extension of that, pureblood wardrobes could include mannequins already wearing long/hard to wear clothes perfectly and them switching it on and being dressed in under a minute.

    -To add on to the point above, down a pepper-up potion, a scourgify charm and the switched clothes trick, and suddenly you're in fancy dress and active 5 mins. out of bed. As a result of this, purebloods might wear fancy dress (whatever the wizarding equivalent for bowties and suits is) for more things and more often, while also keeping mannequins and pepper-ups on standby, maintained by house elves.

    -Bones can be regrown and blood can be found regardless of blood group. Whether or not wizards are hardier than muggles, purebloods brought up in that environment would probably be far less afraid of injuries or falls, as a result getting into situations like that with less hesitation.

    -Vaguely similar, if messes can be vanished, utensils fixed and clothes insta-cleaned, making a mess or being clumsy would probably be far less of a hassle or something to be afraid of. People might be far less afraid of jumping into puddles and the like or walking through rain, since clothes can be dried.

    -Magic could be comparable to the internet, where everyone is grateful it exists and makes use of it, but not everyone becomes a software engineer or web designer. Explains why people don't all rush to the library 24/7 in a world where knowledge is literally power.

    -To add to that, if purebloods have access to family libraries, it might be comparable to not bothering being good at maths because you can always use a calculator. As long as you know how to cast spells, you can just consult books to have whatever spell you need to use at your fingertips. And as long as you've figured out things like silent casting, the good offensive spells can be useful anyway right out of a book, regardless of how much study you may or may not have put in during school.

    -Finally, dueling was phased out in real life because too many people were dyeing. In a world where there is a higher limit to damage you can take and with some constraints, dueling would probably be a big thing. It's a measure of raw skill, helps to keep the new and old generation up to the mark, and settles ego and honor conflicts without bloodshed. The skill thing would be particularly relevant because while we don't use swords anymore, combat is still magical.
     
  5. Golden Shadow

    Golden Shadow Third Year

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    -Oh and Sexism might be less of a thing, considering magical combat and most activities have to do more with skill, so strength doesn't really factor in as much. So women like Amelia Bones can head departments like Defense with gruff veterans like Moody under her with no resentment.
     
  6. Paradise

    Paradise Paraplegic Dice DLP Supporter

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    I for one would love a traditional hero story in the context of the wizarding world.

    Most modern hero stories focus on this idea of a warrior-king, wise and strong etc etc. Which is really just an evolution of the feudalistic knight hero. Who is idealized for his honor, prowess, honesty, and other classical virtues.

    Compare to the hunter heroes which are virtuous for their sole ability to bring food back to their people. Through whatever means necessary. Whether it be virtuous single combat or cunning and guile.

    The wizarding hero I feel like would be a blend of the Xianxia 'Might is Right' hero on account of the statue at the ministry. And a bit of the feudalistic knight by virtue of the separation point between wizards and muggles.

    Edit: in hindsight and spending a few more minutes thinking about it we are given a hero in the form of the Third Brother. Whose main virtues are his magical prowess and his cunning. Which is ultimately a marriage of the hunter hero and the xianxia hero.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2021
  7. jitenshasan

    jitenshasan Second Year

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    Given the people you see in power, the wizarding world is less sexist than the muggle one.
    But I read it as much more homophobic. We see zero gay people in canon who are either dating, officially married, eloping (like Andromeda with Ted Tonks), or even in a scandal, like Lady X dutifully married but having a mistress on the side. Like even the rebels aren't doing it...
    People who seem to be gay either stay celibate (Dumbeldore, Sirius, Alphard) or have a marriage that is probably unhappy/dysfuntionnal (Harry who spends more time looking at Sirius and young Tom's looks than Ginny, and only marries her to get into the Weasley clan).
    These people are obsessed with purity and bloodline, as in your children have to be biological. A young wizard wanting to marry his boyfriend and adopting? Never gonna happen, his parents are just going to disown him... or probably simply stuff him with amortentia to help him marry a suitable witch. There is a reason that this potion is a normal part of the Hogwarts curriculum. Just another mean to help wizards and witches do their duty to the family and cure weird youthful fancies.
     
  8. Paradise

    Paradise Paraplegic Dice DLP Supporter

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    Harry is very clearly not canonical gay. Bad take.

    Speaking so broadly and critically of an entire group of people makes you sound like an idiot. Bad take.

    Dumbledore is canonical gay, congratulations we can now assume safely that you've read JKRs Twitter if nothing else. We also know that his first real love interest betrayed him and maybe killed his sister, so I can't imagine that is conducive to a healthy relationship. But God forbid a gay man decides to not be in a relationship at 120.

    Sirius and Alphard are at best confirmed bachelors. With Alphard being slightly more dubious, seeing as how he never had screen time, you are just using fanon interpretations back up your argument. Bad take.
     
  9. Download

    Download Auror ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I can't tell if you're trolling or not. Sirius gay? Harry gay? If you want to write fanfic like that, that's fine, but to try and claim that is canon is laughable. Trying to claim Harry only married Ginny to be in the Weasley family is straight up BS.
     
  10. jitenshasan

    jitenshasan Second Year

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    Where in canon is it shown that wizards supports homosexuality then?

    Because again we don't have mentioned any gay people in a relationship (accepted or otherwise).
    And we don't hear of any adoption either (which wizards would do if it was a thing since they are already not numerous, and there are muggleborns out there that could be integrated in families easily).
     
  11. Paradise

    Paradise Paraplegic Dice DLP Supporter

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    Yeah funnily enough a children's book from the 90s didn't really delve deep on gender and sexuality politics
     
  12. Skeletaure

    Skeletaure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    In the UK in 2017, there were 242,842 marriages. Of these, 6,932 were same-sex marriages - 3%.

    That's in a population of 65.84 million. If you say wizarding Britain has a population of 24,000, and that couples marry at the same rate as Muggle Britain, then there would be 86 marriages a year. 3% of that is ~2.5.

    So if wizarding Britain in the 1990s had the same level of acceptance of gay couples as Muggle Britain in 2017, then you would expect to see 2-3 gay couples marry each year as against 83-84 straight couples.

    Or to put it another way, for every gay couple you see, you would expect to see over 40 straight couples. And if you encountered fewer than 40 couples, chances are that all of them would be straight.

    I'm fairly confident we see fewer than 40 couples in canon. So... Harry never seeing any gay couple is completely inconclusive as to wizarding Britain's acceptance of gay couples, because even if gay marriage was legal and accepted, statistically you still wouldn't expect Harry to see any within the events depicted in the books.
     
  13. jitenshasan

    jitenshasan Second Year

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    Not saying that I won't ever change my mind... but I notice that nobody tells me why they think that, culturally, wizards have no problem with homosexuality. No hints, anything?
     
  14. Goten Askil

    Goten Askil Groundskeeper

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    Maybe because nobody is telling you they think that? Like, that's about the only part of your original post that wasn't debunked, because canon has really nothing about homosexuality acceptance one way or another so it can go both ways.

    Only things that were disproved were your weird assumptions on canon.
     
  15. aAlouda

    aAlouda Professor

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    Rowling has actually been asked about Wizarding opinions regarding Homosexuality not long after she revealed Dumbledore's sexuality. Her answer is that it's simply something that differs among wizards like in the muggle world.

    From an Interview on 17 December 2007
     
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