There are actually two Harry Potters, J.K. Rowling reveals

Since she wrapped up her bestselling series in 2007, author J.K. Rowling has been spending her time expanding the Harry Potter mythos, including the backstories and family histories of certain characters.

In her most recent update, posted on Pottermore, Rowling revealed that the titular Harry Potter wasn't the first of his name. This isn't about magic or the prophecy that could've put either Harry or Neville Longbottom in the position of the Boy Who Lived. Rather, it's about his ancestors.

One of the most striking anecdotes involves Harry's namesake — his great-grandfather Henry "Harry" Potter. Henry is most well known in wizarding history for speaking out against the Minister of Magic for refusing to aid Muggles during World War I.

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Harry Potter holds strong 20 years later
Harry Potter fan Victoria Maclean poses amongst her collection of merchandise at her home in Neath, Britain, February 9, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall 
The ashes of Harry Potter fan Victoria Maclean's mother are stored amongst a collection of merchandise at her home in Neath, Britain, February 9, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall 
A supporter in a werewolf costume watches teams take part in the Harry Potter inspired, Quidditch British Cup in Rugeley, Britain, March 12, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall 
Cosplay fans (L-R) George Massingham, Abbey Forbes and Karolina Goralik travel by tube dressed in Harry Potter themed costumes, after a visit to one the literary franchise's movie filming locations at Leadenhall Market in London, Britain, March 10, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall 
Harry Potter fan Maria York poses in her Professor McGonagall costume at her home in Grays, Britain, March 7, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall 
Tour Guide Greta Clarke walks with Harry Potter fans in London, Britain, April 13, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall 
A Harry Potter fan poses for a photograph during a visit to Platform Nine and Three-Quarters at Kings Cross station in London, Britain, March 21, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall 
Harry Potter fans Tracey Nicole-Lewis and her son Brenden, shop dressed as characters from the literary franchise in Cardiff, Britain, April 12, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall 
Professional Harry Potter impersonator Luke Williams (C) enjoys a drink at a pub in London, Britain, May 1, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall 
Harry Potter tour guide Greta Clarke poses for a portrait at her home in London, Britain, May 5, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall 

This is one of the reasons why the Potter family is looked down upon by members of the "Sacred Twenty-Eight," or the ruling, pureblood wizarding families, which include the Malfoys.

Besides the elder Potter, we also learn about where certain parts of Harry's family history come from, including things that were hinted at in books such as "The Deathly Hollows."

Rowling traces back the Potter surname to the 12th century, with wizard Linfred of Stinchcombe, who was called "the Potterer" by the muggles in his village. He was known for providing remedies for his neighbors, who didn't realize they were being cured by magic, and experimenting with weird plants. His legacy is the source of the Potter family fortune, which we see introduced in "The Sorcerer's Stone."

Linfred's oldest son, Hardwin, married the granddaughter of Ignotus Peverell — known to many as the third brother from the "The Tale of the Three Brothers" and the keeper of the invisibility cloak.

The parallels between the two Harry Potters are subtle, but staggering. The Harry we love is half-Muggle and spends a lot of the series helping to defend Muggles against Voldemort and the Death Eaters, who are mostly comprised of racist, pureblooded wizards. The Potter legacy of rebellion stretches back quite far.

You can read the full history here.

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