Hogwarts Legacy reintroduces players to the ancient and noble house of Black
Players getting ahold of Hogwarts Legacy for the first time will likely already have noticed another familiar name among the faculty, that being its present headmaster, Professor Phineas Nigellus Black. Given the notable recurring presence of Sirius Black in the Harry Potter books and films, this begs an obvious question: Is there a direct connection between the two, and if so, what is it?
The Blacks are credited consistently throughout the final three Harry Potter books (Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince, and Deathly Hallows) as being among the oldest and most powerful wizarding families in England. However, it would seem that the Black family isn’t very good at record-keeping, as the books and surrounding material currently available to us muggles only date back to the middle of the 19th century. That said, one of the oldest listed family members is clearly listed to be the aforementioned Professor Phineas Black. Book readers might recall Phineas Black as being one of the talking portraits that decorated the headmaster’s office during Albus Dumbledore’s tenure. Phineas’ portrait would make a greater, albeit reluctant, appearance in Deathly Hallows as a viable goldmine of information for Harry and his friends.
Following the list of descendants, one can observe a direct line from Phineas Black to his ultimate last living descendent, Sirius Black. (While other members of the Black family would go on to outlive Sirius, such as Narcissa or Bellatrix, their marriages into other wizarding families resulted in them changing their surname.) Sirius can even be observed to confirm the connection, during a discussion with Harry, as they both look at Sirius’ family tree:
“There’s Phineas Nigellus . . . my great-great-grandfather, see? Least popular headmaster Hogwarts ever had.”
-Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
What can players expect from Professor Phineas Black?
Actor Simon Pegg, who voices Phineas in Hogwarts Legacy, recently said of the character:
“He is a sort-of pompous, disinterested… He’s not a good teacher or headmaster in any way. I think he would’ve taken on the role of headmaster because of the gig, you know? It’s a prestigious position. I don’t think he has any interest in children’s education or being in any way a role model. It’s not really his concern. What he wants is the kudos of being the headmaster of the greatest wizarding school in the world.”
With Hogwarts Legacy now out in players’ hands, you won’t have to wait long to find yourself face-to-face with the superfluous and irascible Professor Phineas Nigellus Black. Whether he proves to be more of a help, or a hindrance, will likely depend on the player’s choices.