I was recently (re)watching Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and I'm confused about something that Voldemort says near the end of the movie.

Near the end of the movie, when Voldemort confronts Harry, they have a brief conversation. At one point Voldemort says,

Your parents would be proud.
Especially your filthy Muggle mother.

Lily Potter clearly was a witch, then why did Voldemort call her a Muggle?
I haven't read the book, so I'm not sure if this is present in the book.

  • I think Voldemort said this because Harry's mother's parents were Muggles.
    – user36538
    Commented Jun 9, 2016 at 2:14

3 Answers 3


The book doesn't have that line exactly. The first relevant line is in Chapter 33:

“You stand, Harry Potter, upon the remains of my late father,” [Voldemort] hissed softly. “A Muggle and a fool . . . very like your dear mother. But they both had their uses, did they not? Your mother died to defend you as a child... and I killed my father, and see how useful he has proved himself, in death...”

Voldemort's father was actually a Muggle, not even a mudblood like Hermonie or Lily. He's clearly calling Lily a fool.

And in the following Chapter 34:

“I said, bow,” Voldemort said, raising his wand — and Harry felt his spine curve as though a huge, invisible hand were bending him ruthlessly forward, and the Death Eaters laughed harder than ever.
“Very good,” said Voldemort softly, and as he raised his wand the pressure bearing down upon Harry lifted too. “And now you face me, like a man, straight-backed and proud, the way your father died..."

The movie boils down the two chapters, merging the dialogue. Providing a confusing line without further context.

Interestingly enough, the script has him calling her a mongrel, a.k.a. mudblood:

VOLDEMORT: Atta boy Harry, your parents would be proud. Especially your filthy mongrel mother. I'm going to kill you Harry Potter, I'm going to destroy you. After tonight no one will ever again question my powers. After tonight if they speak of you they'll speak only of how you begged for death, and I being a merciful lord obliged. Get up.

The line was likely changed due to the real world insulting phrase. Biracial people, especially kids (the target audience) get slurred as mongrel or mutt all the time in real life. Changing the phrase would fit with the intent.

That or it is an error that slipped by production. Both the books and movies are well known for continuity issues.

  • 17
    Only the last paragraph here actually answers the question. The answer is that Voldemort is equating Muggle-born wizards with Muggles due to his prejudices. All the stuff about how the line is different in other versions of the story just confuses the issue. Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 13:08
  • 8
    I don't think Hermione or Lily would appreciate the term "mudblood" in paragraph 2 of your answer... ;-)
    – tonysdg
    Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 15:56

Muggle-born is the term given to a witch or wizard who is born to two non-magical parents. -harrypotter.wikia.com

And his mother was Muggle-born but calling her Muggle implies that he thinks Muggle-born are no better than Muggles. Even when he is also half blood. I think lots of pure bloods think in similar way.

  • The book never clearly said when muggle descendants become regular wizzards. Let's say two muggle-born wizards have a kid. Is it still muggle-born?
    – Sulthan
    Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 12:29
  • If she weren't pure-blood (in his opinion anyway), why would Voldemort bother to allow her to live?
    – OrangeDog
    Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 16:10
  • Sulthan, I think that's answered by SylvainL, to my question here scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/69329/…
    – NiceOrc
    Commented Jun 10, 2016 at 0:48

Voldemort had his issues as we all know. He believed that the wizards should be "Pure-blood" and that's why he killed his father, though he wasn't a wizard. He just couldn't accept that he wasn't "Pure-blood" so in his mind, by killing him he portrayed himself as "Pure-blood".

Lily was a Muggle born witch just like Hermione. And because of Voldi's issues with Muggle-borns he believed that it was an insult to point it to Harry, that he is not Pure-blood (not that Voldemort was, but his mind was twisted, anyways).

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