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Peverell Brothers Character Analysis: The Deathly Hallows

Peverell Brothers Character Analysis: The Deathly Hallows

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The Peverell Brothers, Antioch, Cadmus, and Ignotus, were allegedly the three brother wizards who encountered Death and received the Deathly Hallows. They probably lived in the 13th century and their family home was in Godric’s Hollow.

They came from a pure-blood wizarding family. But the Peverell name was among the first to become extinct in the male line. This means that their name died out, but they still have descendants within the wizarding community. These descendants inherited the Deathly Hallows.

The Tale of the Three Brothers

According to the Tale of the Three Brothers, as told by Beedle the Bard, the three brothers encountered Death on a lonely road. Death had expected to take their souls due to a perilous crossing, but they managed to avoid this with their magic.

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.

Tales of Beedle the Bard

The oldest brother, Antioch, requested a wand that could not be beaten, and he received the Elder Wand. Cadmus, the middle brother, pined for a girl that he had lost to death and received the Resurrection Stone. The youngest brother, Ignotus, requested a way to part from this place and not have Death continuously on his heels. Death removed his own cloak of invisibility and gave it to Ignotus.

Antioch Peverell

Antioch Peverell, the oldest of the brothers, was described as a combative man, which is why the idea of an unbeatable wand appealed to him.

Impressed by his new wand, Antioch immediately engaged in a duel and won. Of course, he also bragged about the power of his wand. The night after the duel, someone, coveting the wand, slit his throat in his sleep and took it for themselves.

This began a blood history associated with the Elder Wand. The wand would eventually come into the hands of the wandmaker Gregorovitch. Gellert Grindelwald then stole the wand from him, and Albus Dumbledore took the wand from Grindelwald in their famous duel.

While the wand was buried with Albus Dumbledore and later retrieved from his grave by Lord Voldemort, the loyalty of the wand had already transferred to Draco Malfoy when he disarmed Dumbledore on the Hogwarts Astronomy Tower. Harry Potter would later disarm Draco at Malfoy Manor and win the loyalty of the wand. He took the wand from Voldemort following his defeat, but rather than use the Elder Wand, he used it to fix his own wand.

Cadmus Peverell

Cadmus Peverell is described as an arrogant man who wanted to humiliate death with the ability to bring others back from the dead. But his desire was also clearly related to his own circumstances.

In his early life, Cadmus fell in love and got engaged to a young woman, but she died before the two could marry. He used the Resurrection Stone that he received from Death to bring her back to life. But he soon realized that she was not truly revived. She was sad and cold and it felt like a veil still separated them.

Cadmus was driven with sadness and longing. He eventually released his love and killed himself to be with her on the other side.

Before he died Cadmus had a child. It is unclear if this was with his lover before she died or with someone else. Through this child, he was an ancestor of the Gaunt family. The Resurrection Stone was set into a ring and passed down through the Gaunt family, though knowledge of what it was capable of was lost.

Tom Riddle eventually took the ring from his uncle Morfin Gaunt and turned it into one of his Horcruxes.

Ignotus Peverell

Ignotus was born on 12 July 1214, the youngest of the three brothers. He was also described as the humblest and wisest. He requested from Death the power to leave the meeting without being followed by Death, and received the invisibility cloak.

This left Ignotus to pursue his normal life. He married at some point and had a son. This son had a daughter named Iolanthe, who went on to marry Hardwin Potter. Thus, Ignotus Peverell was an ancestor of the Potters, which explains how the invisibility cloak was first in the possession of James Potter, and later Harry.

Ignotus lived to the age of seventy-six when he seems to have realized that his time had come. On 19 May 1292, in his birthplace at Godric’s Hollow, he removed the invisibility cloak and greeted Death warmly.

It was only when he had attained a great age that the youngest brother finally took off the Cloak of Invisibility and gave it to his son. And then he greeted Death as an old friend, and went with him gladly, and, equals, they departed this life.

Tales of Beedle the Bard

Peverell Brothers Theories

While the legend says that the brothers received the Deathly Hallows from Death, Albus Dumbledore suspected that the three brothers were powerful wizards who managed to create the magical objects. The symbol of the Deathly Hallows lends some credence to this. The brothers clearly created the symbols to represent their triumph.

While the triumph may have been over Death, this seems unlikely, as Ignotus Peverell did not interpret his encounter with Death in this way. Therefore, it would have been strange for him to choose to place this symbol on his gravestone. However, if the symbol represented the hard work of the brothers in discovering new and powerful magic, this may have been something that Ignotus was proud of.

Symbols of the Deathly Hallows

The symbol of the Deathly Hallows, which represents the three Hallows overlaid on each other, must have been created by the brothers themselves as it appears on Ignotus Peverell’s gravestone. It appears to be original rather than a later addition.

The symbol came to be used by those who actively sought the Deathly Hallows, so the brothers must have shared the secret of the Hallows with at least some other wizards before their deaths. The meaning of the symbol does not, however, seem to be widely known.

Hermione Granger had never come across it before receiving an old copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard from Albus Dumbledore. The only other people that Harry Potter encountered who knew about the Hallows were Xenophilius Lovegood and Garrick Ollivander.

Gellert Grindelwald was an active seeker of the Hallows and adopted the symbol for himself. For this reason, in some parts of Europe, the symbol became associated with Grindelwald rather than the Hallows.

This is why Viktor Krum reacted badly when he saw Xenophilius Lovegood using the symbol at Bill and Fleur’s wedding. Grindelwald had carved the symbol onto a wall in Dumrstrang where Krum attended school. Grindelwald was also responsible for the death of Krum’s grandfather.

Peverell Family Tree

While Antioch Peverell does not seem to have had any children, Cadmus Peverell is an ancestor of the Gaunt family, and Ignotus Peverell is an ancestor of the Potters. Ignotus’ granddaughter Iolanthe married Hardwin Potter. Since Tom Riddle, who would go on to become Lord Voldemort, is a member of the Gaunt family through his mother Merope, Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort are distant relatives.