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Why The Black Family Tree In Harry Potter Is More Impressive Than You Think

It's common knowledge in "Harry Potter" that descendants of pure-blood Slytherin families, such as Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton), rarely intermingle with half-bloods, Muggle-borns, and "blood traitors" like the Weasleys. But Sirius Black (Gary Oldman), Harry Potter's (Daniel Radcliffe) godfather, is quite the exception.

Much of Sirius' upbringing is revealed in "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," which sees the anti-Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) movement headquartered at 12 Grimmauld Place, Sirius' childhood home. The place is dark, dingy, and chock-full of evil objects, including the real locket Horcrux. His fiercely pure-blood mother still haunts the place thanks to a screaming portrait that can't be magically removed.

Sirius confides in Harry that, because he didn't share the Blacks' values — something that became especially evident when he was Sorted into Gryffindor rather than Slytherin at Hogwarts — he was disowned. His mother made her feelings clear by blasting Sirius' picture off a massive family tree tapestry, which stretches across an entire room. Several other "traitors" were blasted away, including Sirius' cousin Andromeda Tonks, who married Muggle-born Ted Tonks. Much to Harry's surprise, there are a few familiar faces on the tapestry, the most shocking being those of the Malfoys and Death Eater Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter).

It's clear that the tapestry is intricately detailed, but even die-hard "Harry Potter" fans may not know just how involved its creation was.

J.K. Rowling provided six generations of Blacks in half an hour

When it came time to create the set for 12 Grimmauld Place in 2007's "Order of the Phoenix," it was a given that the elaborate family tree would be featured. However, "Harry Potter" graphic designers Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima weren't exactly sure how to go about this massive feat.

Thanks to J.K. Rowling's details in the book, they had a sense of its appearance. Rowling describes the tapestry as "immensely old" with embroidered golden thread that "still glinted brightly enough" to show the many faces of the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black. But they needed more information about who should appear on the tapestry beyond Andromeda Tonks, Bellatrix Lestrange, Lucius, Narcissa, and Draco Malfoy, and Regulus Black, especially since the pure-blood family dates back centuries.

"It says 'there is a family tree.' But our job as graphic designers is to present the whole thing, and we didn't know who was related to who," Mina said in an interview with Insider. So she and Lima sought the help of Rowling, who happily obliged.

In an interview with CinemaBlend, film producer David Heyman elaborated on just how helpful Rowling was. "We emailed her and half an hour later, an e-mail came back going back six generations," he said. "We were hunting names, connecting birthdays, death days. Who was married to whom. It was a job. So, it was just sort of incredible–the depth of knowledge of this one. ... It's incredibly well thought through. It's not random. And all of the connective connective [sic] tissue ... is well considered."