Harry Potter (character)

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Harry Potter character
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Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Harry James Potter
Gender Male
Hair colour Black
Eye colour Emerald green, almond-shaped <ref>Harry's eyes are described as green in the novels, although actor Daniel Radcliffe, who plays him in the film adaptations, has blue eyes. The contacts he had been given to wear irritated his eyes and were not comfortable to wear.</ref>
House Gryffindor
Parentage Half-blood
Allegiance Order of the Phoenix & Dumbledore's Army
Actor Daniel Radcliffe

Harry James Potter (born 31 July 1980) is a fictional character and the protagonist of J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series.

According to the novels, Harry is the only child of James and Lily Potter. Harry inherited his mother's bright green eyes and his father's perpetually untidy jet-black hair. In his younger years, Harry is described as being small and skinny for his age. His most intriguing physical characteristic is a lightning bolt-shaped scar on his forehead, which he gained when his eventual nemesis, the Dark Wizard Lord Voldemort attempted to murder baby Harry with a killing curse. Voldemort also killed Harry's parents and destroyed their home on 31 October 1981.

Harry attends Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry with his best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. Harry is famous throughout the wizarding world for being the only known person to have survived the Killing Curse and subsequently causing Lord Voldemort's downfall.

In the film adaptations of the series, Harry has been portrayed by Daniel Radcliffe.

Contents

[edit] Biography

[edit] Prior to the Harry Potter novels

Harry is the only child of James and Lily Potter, having inherited his mother's green eyes and his father's untidy black hair. His birthday is 31 July, coinciding with Rowling's. Following the release of 'The Chamber of Secrets', in which Nearly Headless Nick was stated as having been dead since 1492 for five hundred years, the most popular version of the novel timeline listed his birth as being in the year 1980. This was confirmed by Rowling with the release of the Black Family Tree, which, amongst other dates, listed Draco Malfoy - who is Harry's age, and born on the 5th of June - as being born in 1980.

Harry Potter is very famous in the wizarding world for having survived a murderous attack when he was just one-year old by Lord Voldemort, one of the most powerful and feared wizards ever known and the primary antagonist in the series. Harry's parents were killed in this incident on 31 October 1981 in their home in Godric's Hollow, while protecting Harry from Voldemort. James died first, dueling Voldemort to protect Lily and Harry. Lily's dying act — sacrificing herself to save her son — placed Harry under ancient magic that protected him from Voldemort.

Subsequently, when Voldemort tried to kill Harry, the curse backfired, rebounding on him and leaving him bodiless while Harry survived unscathed, apart from the now-famous lightning bolt-shaped scar on his forehead. Voldemort did not die but lost his powers and his corporeal form, leading to his exile and decline in the wizarding world. Ever since, Harry has been heralded as a celebrity — often touted as "The Boy Who Lived" — the only person known to survive Avada Kedavra, the Killing Curse. (Voldemort also survived when the spell rebounded onto him, although its full power may have been diminished which is explored in the sixth book.) Many in the wizarding world credit Harry for Voldemort’s downfall.

Despite surviving Voldemort's attack, it isn't until the fifth book that Harry learns why Voldemort lost his powers. In the second book, Harry confirms this fact when he replies to a question asked of him by Tom Riddle:

I don't know why you lost your powers that night, but I know why you couldn't kill me . . .

After his parents' death, Harry was forced to live with his only remaining family–his mother's Muggle sister, Petunia Dursley, and her husband, Vernon, in the small town of Little Whinging, Surrey, England. The Dursleys live at Number Four, Privet Drive in a large, impeccably maintained house and seem moderately well off. However, throughout Harry's first eleven years, they neglect him in favour of their own son, Dudley, and attempting to remove all traces of Harry's magical self to make him 'normal', revealed nothing to him about his past and isolated him from the wizarding world.

Harry is categorised as a half-blood wizard, even though both his parents were magical. His mother Lily (Evans) Potter was Muggle-born, and according to Rowling, to those for whom blood purity matters, a Muggle-born is equivalent to a Muggle - and derogatively referred to as a "Mudblood". [1]

[edit] Family

Little is known about Harry's relations. His mother, Lily Evans, was born into a Muggle family, and after the death of his parents, Harry was sent to live with his maternal aunt, Petunia Dursley, and her family. Harry's father, James Potter, was born into a pure-blood wizarding family, to somewhat elderly (by wizarding standards) parents, apparently their only child. It's likely Harry is distantly related to other pure-blood families through his father, as Sirius Black once told him that all the old pure-blood families are related through intermarriage. (See the Black family tree) James and Lily left Harry a large inheritance of wizard money, which he uses for his Hogwarts supplies.

Harry may also be related to his godfather, Sirius Black. James and Sirius may have been first cousins once-removed - not surprising, given the size of the Black family. A Charlus Potter was married to Dorea Black, granddaughter of Phineas Nigellus Black. Some fans speculate that Dorea and Charlus may have been James' parents - however, this seems to contradict Rowling's statements that James' parents were "old in wizarding terms" when they died, because she has also said that wizards have "a much longer life-expectancy than Muggles" (Griselda Marchbanks is known to be over 160) - Dorea died at only 57. However, Charlus and Dorea were born into the same generation as Sirius' grandparents, so it is possible they might be James' parents. Regardless, since no living Potter relatives or any unrelated wizards named Potter have yet appeared in the series, it is possible that Charlus Potter was somehow related to Harry.

For more, see Relatives of Harry Potter.

[edit] Life and adventures while at Hogwarts

[edit] Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

In Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, eleven-year-old Harry learns he is a wizard when Rubeus Hagrid, the gamekeeper at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and aide to Headmaster Albus Dumbledore, hand-delivers his invitation to attend the school. Previous letters were intercepted by his non-magical aunt and uncle, the Dursleys, who want nothing to do with magic. Hagrid tells Harry about his magical background and his fame in the wizarding community, although Harry soon comes to dislike his celebrity status that causes many people to fawn over him or be resentful.

Harry soon begins his studies at Hogwarts and is sorted into Gryffindor House. He becomes friends with Ron Weasley, and eventually Hermione Granger. Draco Malfoy, who was sorted into Slytherin, becomes Harry's archnemesis. Sharing his dormitory are Ron, Neville Longbottom, Seamus Finnigan and Dean Thomas. Harry's first year is marked by many events, such as being chosen as the new seeker for the Gryffindor Quidditch team due to his natural flying abilities. He is the youngest player in a century.

But during this happy time, ominous signs appear. Lord Voldemort has secretly emerged from hiding, returning to the wizarding world to seek the Philosopher's Stone in his quest to regain a physical body and immortality. Using Hogwarts Defence against the Dark Arts Professor Quirrell as a host body, Voldemort searches for the stone at the school. Voldemort is thwarted by Harry, with help from Ron and Hermione, and — unable to defeat Harry and seize the Stone — the Dark Lord flees Quirrell's body, leaving him to die. After completing his first year at Hogwarts, Harry returns to the Dursleys knowing for the first time that there are people who care about him, and he now has a place to call “home.”

There is a difference in how the film version treats Harry's climactic struggle with Quirrell/Voldemort for the Stone. In the book, Quirrell is blistered and burned as a result of the magical protection provided by Lily Potter when he assaults Harry while attempting to seize the Stone from him; Harry manages to retain the Stone and is saved by Dumbledore, resulting in Voldemort escaping and leaving Quirrell to die. In the film version, Quirrell's body turns to ash and disintegrates (resulting in death) as a direct result of the struggle with Harry; Voldemort flees Quirrell's remains, injuring Harry in the process. Although Harry's actions were clearly in self-defence and justified in both versions, and whilst the effects were caused by the protection charm from Lily Potter (rather than any direct desire to kill on Harry's part), the death of Quirrell in the film is directly caused by Harry, rather than by Voldemort (as it is in the book).

[edit] Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

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The diary of Tom Riddle becomes a focal point during Harry's harrowing second year.

In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry faces more challenges. Some are merely annoying (such as Gilderoy Lockhart's attempt to exploit his fame and Colin Creevey's hero worshipping), while more serious incidents include ostracism by most of the school after Harry is revealed to be a parselmouth and suspicion that he is the Heir of Slytherin. The Heir is believed responsible for the rampant attacks on Muggle-borns throughout the school. Harry’s toughest challenge, however, is a deadly Basilisk that is released by the soul shard (see Horcrux) of Tom Riddle, the younger "memory" of Voldemort hidden within his diary. Riddle releases the serpent from the aforementioned chamber while controlling Ginny Weasley, by means of the diary Horcrux.

Harry proves his mettle in the book's climax by rescuing Ginny from the Chamber, killing the Basilisk with the sword of Godric Gryffindor, and defeating Riddle by stabbing the diary with one of the Basilisk's venonmous fangs, destroying both the diary and the Soul Fragment within.

[edit] Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

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Harry uses his remaining strength to summon a Patronus Charm in order to hold off an army of Dementors.

In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry undergoes many changes — the constant danger and horrific events have taken a heavy emotional toll. Harry also enters puberty, as do Ron and Hermione, and all suffer mood-swings. When Harry and Ron start 'noticing' girls, Cho Chang, a pretty Ravenclaw student, particulalry catches Harry's attention and becomes his first crush.

Harry becomes the target of Sirius Black, a murderous wizard who escaped from Azkaban (Britain's wizarding prison). Hunting Black are strange hooded creatures called Dementors, the guards of Azkaban. It was Black who divulged James and Lily Potter's secret whereabouts to Voldemort and murdered their friend, Peter Pettigrew. More disturbing — he was James' best friend and Harry's godfather. Harry vows to find and kill Black, but he eventually discovers that Sirius never betrayed his parents — it was Lord Voldemort's servant, Peter Pettigrew, who faked his own death, implicating Black. At the end, Sirius offers Harry what he most wants: a home away from the Dursleys. Harry quickly accepts, only to lose this opportunity when Pettigrew escapes and Sirius remains wrongly accused, forcing him back into hiding from the authorities.

[edit] Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Hogwarts hosts an inter-school competition called, the Tri-Wizard Tournament. Two other wizarding schools, Beaxbatons and Durmstrang Institute are also participating. After one champion from each school is selected, Harry is mysteriously chosen as the fourth competitor, even though he is underage and never entered his name into the Goblet of Fire. Despite this, Harry is deemed magically bound to compete.

In the Triwizard tournament, the champions face three dangerous challenges on their way to the Triwizard Cup. Although most Hogwarts students, including Ron Weasley, believe Harry cheated to enter, tournament champion Cedric Diggory of Hufflepuff befriends Harry after receiving a tip from him about the first challenge. Harry also experiences romantic feelings for the first time and copes with complicated personal relationships. Even more daunting, a dismayed Harry learns he is required to attend the annual Yule Ball and must find a date.

At the start of the third challenge, Cedric and Harry are tied. Because they help each other complete the third event, they agree to reach for the Cup simultaneously, unaware it is actually a portkey. It transports them to a graveyard where Lord Voldemort awaits.

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Harry struggles to maintain hold of his wand during the Priori Incantatem

On Voldemort's order, his servant, Peter Pettigrew, kills Cedric using the Avada Kedavra curse. Harry is bound to a tombstone and forced to witness a ritual (which uses a drop of Harry's blood) that restores Lord Voldemort's shrunken body to a near-human form.

Voldemort summons his Death Eaters and berates them for not faithfully searching for him while he was in exile. Voldemort then engages Harry in a wizard's duel. But unbeknownst to Voldemort, his wand and Harry's are "brothers": each core contains a tail feather from Dumbledore's phoenix, Fawkes. Because brother wands work improperly against one another, their streams interlock and produce a Priori Incantatem effect. But Harry is more powerful than Voldemort realises. He forces the stream backwards into Voldemort's wand, causing the spirit "echoes" of its victims to spill out, including James and Lily Potter and Cedric Diggory. The combined echoes shield Harry from Voldemort and the Death Eaters long enough for him to escape through the portkey with Cedric's body.

Back at Hogwarts, Harry discovers that Voldemort's servant, Barty Crouch Jr., has been impersonating Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, "Mad-Eye" Moody, by using polyjuice potion. It was Crouch who entered Harry's name in the Goblet of Fire and ensured he reached the Triwizard Cup. Harry, Dumbledore, Snape, and McGonagall hear Barty's forced confession with Veritaserum, although a Dementor sucks out his soul before he can repeat it to Ministry of Magic Cornelius Fudge. A little later, Harry recounts his experience in the graveyard to Dumbledore and his godfather, Sirius Black. Lord Voldemort begins his return to power.

[edit] Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix begins with Harry at the Dursleys'for the summer. He is desperate for news of the wizarding world, knowing that Voldemort is now back (which the Ministry of Magic refuses to believe). One night, he is attacked by dementors. Harry uses a Patronus Charm to save himself and his loathsome muggle cousin, Dudley, although underage wizards are forbidden to use magic outside school. The Advance Guard of the Order of the Phoenix (an organisation formed to resist Voldemort) quickly rescue Harry from his aunt and uncle's house.

Harry is taken to Number 12, Grimmauld Place, a dilapidated house in London owned by his godfather Sirius Black that now serves as the Order's headquarters. He learns the Order is preparing for Voldemort's return, but Harry is denied any additional information. Ron and Hermione (also at Grimmauld Place) tell Harry that Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge has been using the wizarding media in a smear campaign against him and Dumbledore; The Daily Prophet has been publishing libelous articles, most of which portray Dumbledore and Harry as liars for 'claiming' Lord Voldemort has returned.

Even though an underage Harry used magic in self-defence, the Minister for Magic and his associates want to convict him for illegally practicing it. Their true motive, however, is to prevent Harry from publicly discussing Voldemort's return. But Harry is found innocent, based on testimony from Arabella Figg and Professor Dumbledore. However, Fudge, enraged that Harry was cleared, places Dolores Umbridge at Hogwarts.

Umbridge, who is instantly despised by teachers and students, serves multiple purposes in the story: a Ministry spy, the new Defence Against the Dark Arts professor, and as the first (and only) High Inquisitor. In Defence Against the Dark Arts classes, she only teaches politically correct theory and refuses students any practical hands-on experience. As High Inquisitor, Umbridge is empowered to arbitrarily change educational laws and school rules, limiting what students and faculty are allowed to do. She tries to force Harry to renounce claims about Voldemort by using questionable and pain-inflicting tactics, but Harry refuses to recant, steadfastly believing the wizarding world must know the truth. Urged by Hermione, Harry secretly starts a 'study group' (sarcastically called 'Dumbledore's Army' in mockery of the Ministry's paranoia) to teach students Defence Against the Dark Arts.

Throughout the year, Harry is haunted by disturbing visions, one of which leads to the rescue of Arthur Weasley after he is attacked by Nagini, Voldemort's snake. While visiting Mr Weasley at St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries, Harry inadvertently learns his visions are glimpses into Voldemort's mind and fears he is being possessed by the Dark Lord.

When Voldemort learns abouts the mental connection between him and Harry, he implants a false vision into Harry's mind that Sirius is being tortured at the Ministry of Magic. Receiving the vision during an (OWLs) examination, Harry and DA members Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Ginny Weasley, Neville Longbottom, and Luna Lovegood, fly to the Ministry offices in London on the school's Thestrals - winged, reptilian horses. There they are ambushed by Voldemort's Death Eaters, who are attempting to steal a glass sphere containing the prophecy involving Harry and Voldemort. Only those whom the prophecy concerns can touch the sphere, but Voldemort cannot risk exposure; instead he lures Harry there to retrieve it. Unaware, Harry grabs the prophecy and, realising it is a trap, attempts to escape with his friends. The students battle the Death Eaters, with both sides suffering injuries. In an act of cruelty, Bellatrix Lestrange tortures Neville, just as she did his parents some years before. During the fight, the fragile sphere is smashed, destroying the prophecy. Just in time, Order members rush into the Department of Mysteries and fend off the Death Eaters. Tragically, Sirius is killed by a bolt from his cousin Bellatrix's wand; his floating body disappears into a mysterious veiled archway. Enraged, Harry chases Bellatrix into the lobby, vowing to kill her, unsuccessfully trying to use an unforgivable curse. Voldemort suddenly appears and attempts to fatally curse Harry, but Dumbledore arrives, and confronting Voldemort, the two fiercely duel. Grabbing Bellatrix, Voldemort Disapparates, but not before being seen by the Minister and Ministry employees.

The Ministry of Magic publicly acknowledges Voldemort has returned. Back at Hogwarts, Dumbledore tells Harry the prophecy is why Voldemort attempted to murder him when he was a baby. Dumbledore reveals the prophecy verbatum, he being the one to whom it was originally told. Still stunned by Sirius' death, Harry cares little about the prophecy, and for now, is unaffected by his foretold destiny – that he must either kill Voldemort, or be killed by him. When Luna professes her belief in a wizard afterlife, a grieving Harry is comforted and gradually begins to let go of his lost godfather. Although Harry often isolates himself, by the end of the school year, he finds himself heartened by his supportive friends.

[edit] Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the wizarding population has come to call Harry "the Chosen One" — the Daily Prophet having leaked that there is a prophecy in the Ministry that predicts Harry will kill Voldemort. However, these claims remain unconfirmed — Dumbledore and Harry decide, for now, only Harry's closest friends should know the prophecy's details. Harry confides the prophecy's contents to Ron and Hermione but refuses to divulge anything to the newly elected Minister for Magic, Rufus Scrimgeour.

When Harry, Ron and Hermione observe Draco Malfoy acting suspiciously in Diagon Alley, Harry suspects he may have joined the Death Eaters. Ron and Hermione consider this absurd, however, and the subject strains Harry's relationship with them — particularly Hermione.

Back at Hogwarts, Harry is horrified to learn Snape is the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. The Potions position has been taken by Dumbledore's old colleague, Horace Slughorn. Slughorn wants to make Harry, along with other high-standing students, his protégés. To gain Harry's favour, he attempts make him a member of his 'Slug Club' and lends him an old potions textbook once belonging to a student identified only as, "The Half-Blood Prince." The book's copious handwritten notes help Harry excel in Potions class. Meanwhile, Harry finds a new love interest in Ron's sister, Ginny.

Dumbledore begins giving Harry private lessons which are actually trips into memories collected from various individuals and stored in a Pensieve. Through these memories, they trace Voldemort's past, from when his mother met his father to Voldemort's first meeting with Dumbledore at a London orphanage, and further on. One memory, Professor Slughorn's, has been tamperered with. Dumbledore tasks Harry with persuading Slughorn to reveal its full contents. Using a dose of Felix Felicis, a good luck potion, Harry successfully retrieves the crucial missing portions from Slughorn. Collectively, the memories reveal not only Voldemort's personality, but also how to kill him. They also learn Voldemort sectioned his soul into seven parts, hiding six pieces in objects called Horcruxes. The seventh piece remains within him. With his soul divided, Voldemort cannot be killed; even if his body is destroyed, parts of his soul remain earthbound. The memories suggest what magical objects may guard Voldemort's sectioned soul.

At Christmas, Harry overhears an argument between Professor Snape and Draco Malfoy in which Snape admits to having made an Unbreakable Vow to help Draco complete a task for their "master." Hermione still refuses to believe Draco is a Death Eater, and Professor Dumbledore says he is unperturbed by the conversation; both reactions frustrate Harry. Eventually, he comes to realise he will not try to destroy Voldemort because the prophecy foretells it (which Dumbledore has stated to be self-fulfilling), but because he makes a conscious decision to do so. His desire to be free of Voldemort is a key change in Harry’s thinking.

Sometime later, Harry accompanies Dumbledore to retrieve a Horcrux hidden in a cave. Inside is a small island surrounded by an Inferi-infested lake. Before Dumbledore can remove the Horcrux, a locket, Harry is forced to feed him a potion which causes extreme anguish and weakness. When Dumbledore and Harry return to the school, events have been set into motion by Draco Malfoy who helped the Death Eaters enter the school through a secret access. This leads to a confrontation between Severus Snape and Dumbledore. Harry, wearing his Invisibility Cloak, is immobilised by Dumbledore. Unable to move, Harry watches in silent horror as Snape kills Dumbledore, sending his mentor's body flying over the edge of the Astronomy Tower. Released from the paralysis, Harry chases Snape, who identifies himself as the Half-Blood Prince. He deflects every curse Harry hurls at him, and before escaping with Draco, Snape strangely taunts him, "Blocked again, and again, and again until you learn to keep your mouth shut and your mind closed, Potter!" Harry recovers the locket from Dumbledore's body. A note inside reveals it is a fake Horcrux; the real one has been stolen by one R.A.B.. An embittered Harry realises that Dumbledore's death had been for nothing.

After Dumbledore's funeral, Harry decides to leave Hogwarts, swearing to destroy Voldemort's four remaining Horcruxes. Two have already been destroyed — one (Riddle's diary) by Harry and another (a ring) by Dumbledore — and the mysterious R.A.B. may have destroyed a third (the locket), possibly leaving three other Horcruxes. Harry also desires revenge, now hating Snape as much as he does Voldemort. To protect Ginny from Voldemort, he ends their relationship. Ron and Hermione vow to accompany Harry on his search for the Horcruxes.

The reaffirmation of Ron and Hermione's loyalty to Harry follows a year when the trio's deep bonds were strongly tested. This gesture, along with Harry’s approaching 17th birthday (the age of adulthood in the wizarding world), and the possible closure of Hogwarts symbolises the ending vestiges of any remaining childhood innocence in the characters. They are nearly adults and ready to face Voldemort together.

[edit] Harry Potter: Year Seven

[edit] Appearance, character and relationships

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Harry Potter's appearance in Goblet of Fire

With his untidy hair, Harry is frequently told that he resembles his father James, but that he has his mother's eyes. In the early years, Harry is described as being thin and shorter than normal for his age. In the sixth book, however, Harry is described as being tall. Harry is characterised by his round spectacles.

The lightning-bolt scar on his forehead is a remnant of Voldemort's murder attempt when he was an infant. The scar serves him later at Hogwarts, burning painfully as an indicator of Voldemort's presence, or whenever the Dark Lord is feeling particularly murderous or exultant. According to Rowling, by attacking Harry, Voldemort gave him, "tools (that) no other wizard possessed – the scar and the ability it conferred, a magical window into Voldemort's mind." [2]

Being raised in the Dursleys household with little love for him or any sort of magic, Harry’s primary desire is to be among those who care for him, and for loved ones to be safe from harm. He gradually realises this is impossible while Voldemort is alive. Curious about the magic world, he often takes on adventures that put himself at risk; but he usually tries to convince his friends not to endanger themselves by accompanying him. Nevertheless, his most loyal friends refuse to let him face any challenge alone.

Harry is easily angered when those he cares for are insulted or threatened. He has little tolerance for anyone he perceives to be on "the other side" — whether these be Death Eaters, people disbelieving his testimony to Dumbledore at the end of GOF, or some Slytherins. Like his friend Ron, Harry is not always a diligent student, often relying on Hermione for help. Harry has also developed a cutting, sardonic sense of humor, with a tendency to turn other's insults against them.

Some of Harry's faults can be attributed to the many calamities in his life. Besides being raised by a family with little love for him, Harry personally witnessed three murders and was forced to relive his earliest terrifying memory - the murder of his parents as they faced Voldemort. He was present when fellow student Cedric Diggory was killed by Peter Pettigrew, saw his godfather Sirius Black sent to his death by a Death Eater at the Ministry of Magic, and witnessed his greatest protector and mentor, Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore be killed at the hands of Severus Snape. Thus far, Harry has confronted Voldemort five times, counting Voldemort's initial attempt on his life as an infant and was tortured by him with the Cruciatus Curse.

For most of his early life, Harry has contended with his cruel and insensitive guardians, the Dursleys, who take every opportunity to denigrate Harry, his parents, and the magical world. In his fifth year, he even endures most of the wizarding world turning against him, believing him to be an attention-seeking liar and fraud; he thus becomes isolated in school and is taunted by students. Following various adventures and experiences, Harry is subsequently subjected to vicious slander and gossip from various wizarding tabloids. Harry also copes with the usual teenage difficulties in relationships. For example, even though he easily forms close friendships with Hermione and Ron, he has great difficulty asking out Cho Chang, a pretty Ravenclaw. Sometimes Harry gets impatient and even angry with Ron and Hermione, especially when they argue with each other. However, friendship strengthens over the years, with Rowling saying that Harry has effectively adopted Ron and Hermione as a surrogate family[3]. During their sixth year, when Ron and Hermione have a serious argument, Harry is determined to remain friends with both, which (despite him still seeing Ron as his best friend) indicates that Ron and Hermione are now more equal in his life; in a similar situation in their third year, Harry chose to remain friends with Ron at the expense of his friendship with Hermione.

Harry develops many close relationships with adults, particularly with Rubeus Hagrid and Albus Dumbledore. The Weasley family become a surrogate family who allow Harry to periodically stay with them. Mrs. Weasley in particular becomes something of a mother figure; she thinks of him as a son, and to some extent treats him even more kindly than she does her own children. Similarly, the Weasley boys generally treat Harry as another brother, and Mr Weasley shows a paternal fondness for Harry. When Harry learns of the close relationship between Sirius Black and his parents, Harry looks to him as yet another father figure. Harry also strongly favours former Defence Against the Dark Arts professor Remus Lupin, one of the Marauders, and another of his father's close friends.

Harry is loyal to his friends and expects loyalty in return, although this trait often prevents Harry from being objective. He tends to follow his instincts, feeling strongly about whom he can and cannot (or will not) trust. For example, from their first meeting, Harry is reluctant to show any trust for Severus Snape, the Potions Master, despite Dumbledore's open and firm confidence in him.

[edit] Romantic relationships

Harry's platonic relationship with his closest female friend, Hermione Granger, is occasionally misinterpreted by some characters. Viktor Krum, who is romantically interested in Hermione, grows jealous in Goblet of Fire because she often talks about Harry; Rita Skeeter, an unethical tabloid journalist, uses the nonexistent "love triangle" between Harry, Hermione and Viktor as juicy story material for the Witch Weekly. When Cho Chang becomes Harry's actual girlfriend (of a kind) in Order of the Phoenix, she also misunderstands their friendship, failing to recognise that Skeeter's articles were pure fabrication. Harry and Hermione have only ever been platonic friends, and no romantic feelings exist. In an interview given to fansites The Leaky Cauldron and MuggleNet, Rowling revealed Harry sees Ron and Hermione as his adopted siblings, like a brother and sister.

Harry's relationship with Cho has roots as early as Prisoner of Azkaban, where he notices how pretty she is and becomes nervous in her presence. A year later, his interest becomes a crush, and he gathers courage to ask her to the Yule Ball, only to learn she is going with Cedric Diggory. Cho and Cedric are tragically torn apart by his death at the end of Goblet of Fire. The following year, Harry becomes the new focus of Cho's attention - still struggling with Cedric's death she turns to him for support. He manages an on-and-off relationship with her throughout the year, even getting his first kiss with her, but ultimately, the relationship cannot endure. The disparate teens are not looking for or experiencing the same things; a still grieving Cho sees Harry as a substitute for Cedric, unable to accept that he is gone. Harry expects a simpler relationship that would relieve his stress rather than amplify it.

Cho's misplaced jealousy of Hermione (who was actually advising Harry and was concerned he was insensitive with Cho) also adds to this dissonance and reaches a breaking point when Cho defends Marietta Edgecombe who betrayed Dumbledore's Army, an action Harry finds unforgivable. After a heated argument over Marietta, Cho's eyes sparkle with tears. When Harry warns he won't tolerate her crying anymore, an insulted Cho stomps off angrily, after which they drift apart.

By the end of Order of the Phoenix, Harry has no emotions left for Cho, and she now belongs in his "other universe" that he left behind with Sirius' death. Comments Rowling, "They were never going to be happy, it was better that it ended early!" [4]

Harry's failed relationship with Cho is a contrast to his eventual one with Ginny Weasley, Ron's younger sister, who Rowling says is Harry's "ideal girl" and "total equal". Ginny's (painfully obvious) unrequited crush on Harry, introduced in Chamber of Secrets and continuing into Prisoner of Azkaban and Goblet of Fire, apparently fades in Order of the Phoenix with Hermione off-handedly informing Harry that Ginny "gave up" on him. She indeed appears to have done just that; her shyness around Harry disappears, and he finally interacts with the girl that, according to Ron, "never shuts up normally". Harry was generally kind with Ginny and her crush on him, but he simply didn't reciprocate her feelings. During his fifth year, Ginny often put the moody and temperamental Harry in his place and is perhaps the most successful dealing with his dark moods. When a disillusioned Harry realises his father was indeed as arrogant as Snape always said, he turns to Ginny to talk about it, trusting she will be non-judgmental. Both having been "tainted" by close encounters with Voldemort and struggling to overcome it is a binding thread between them, as is their similar sense of humour.

In Half-Blood Prince, it is Harry who develops unrequited feelings for an apparently uninterested Ginny, which he struggles with throughout the year, including jealousy of her boyfriend, Dean Thomas (although he never openly shows it). Ron vocally disapproves of Ginny's relationship with Dean, which Harry interprets as him objecting to her having any boyfriend, leaving him worried he will have to choose between a relationship with Ginny and his friendship with Ron. Harry's pessimism is unfounded, however: Ginny and Dean break up, and when Harry is swept up in the high of Gryffindor's Quidditch Cup victory, he spontaneously kisses her in front of the entire Common Room. Ron, who has mixed feelings about a romantic relationship between his best friend and his sister, ultimately expresses his approval. Harry's relationship with Ginny over the next few weeks is described as making him "happier than he could remember being for a very long time". In Order of the Phoenix, Ron expresses surprise at Ginny's going out with another boy, remembering that she had had an interest in Harry, at which point Hermione revealed that Ginny had 'given up' on Harry. That Ron was unopposed to the idea seems to have been missed by Harry during his sixth year.

By the end of Half-Blood Prince, however, Harry ends the relationship to ensure Ginny's safety, fearing Voldemort will target her. Although Ginny accepts this, she confesses that she never truly gave up on him. Harry is pleased that she overcame her crush and learned to be herself around him. This allowed Harry to get to know the real Ginny Weasley and see her for what Rowling has described as Harry's "ideal woman."

[edit] Strengths

Generally, in spite of his late start, he has become an exceptionally powerful wizard for his age: with combat skills unrivalled by any in his age group, due largely to Voldemort "marking him as his equal", and the ability to love, as mentioned above.

[edit] Interpersonal

Perhaps one of Harry's greatest strengths (and likely the one that will help him survive Voldemort) is his ability to love others despite the continuous suffering and grief in his life. This is most clearly seen in his substantial leadership skills and potential, sufficient to teach his teenage classmates to hold their own and survive against a cadre of Death Eaters (when he teaches Dumbledore's Army, and later during the Battle of the Ministry), which was a likely reason for his promotion to captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team. His ability to inspire loyalty means that he has always been surrounded by friends whose skills complement his own, and who are willing to defend him to the point of death. (Compare this with Voldemort's circle of Death Eaters, who serve him out of fear.)

[edit] Character traits

At various times through the series, Harry has shown the ability to remain level-headed, retain his composure, and perform advanced feats of wizardry during moments of extreme crisis. Is clever-minded and quick-witted; very strong intuition; can make great 'mental' leaps while under enormous stress; generally has a sense of humor and a positive outlook on life despite the burdens placed on him. He has been shown to be fiercely determined and self-reliant, almost to a fault, although beginning with the fourth book this has been viewed by some people as a tendency to "play the hero".[HP4]

[edit] Academic and athletic

Generally, he gets admirable marks in most classes (especially Defence Against the Dark Arts) from fair and/or competent teachers (Professor Lupin was technically fair in marking Harry's grade and tests). In the OWL's, without the pressure of dealing with classroom teachers, Harry peformed well, as evidenced by his results. He can also use certain spells successfully after watching others perform them just once. For example, in Book Two he successfully performs the Expelliarmus spell without any practice, having watched Snape perform it several months earlier, and in Book 6 he successfully performs the 'Episkey' healing spell on his first try after having Tonks perform it on him some time ago, and masters several of the Half-Blood Prince's spells without any lessons at all. Also, in the second movie he masters the 'Aranya Exumai' spell on his first try afterwatching Tom Riddle perform it in a memory (although this is not at all canonical). Harry was even able to perform the Cruciatus Curse on Bellatrix, even though it only had a fraction of its actual power.

Athletically, despite having never been on a broomstick before attending Hogwarts, Harry has made use of talent passed down by father James and rigorous training imposed by first Oliver Wood and then Angelina Johnson as team Captains to become a successful Quidditch player as noted many times throughout the books by various people. Harry is the Gryffindor Seeker through years 1-5 and is the Quidditch Captain in Book 6. Superlative reflexes, born of his Quidditch training, allow him to dodge curses.

[edit] Magical

Harry's surprisingly great talents as a wizard has allowed him to develop a strong number of useful abilities.

  • Is a Parselmouth: Harry is able to communicate with snakes, an art associated with both Dark wizards and Salazar Slytherin: this is considered a hallmark of Dark Wizards and descendants of Salazar Slytherin, although Albus Dumbledore himself has noted that the gift is merely a useful tool rather than an 'evil' power. He gained this ability from Voldemort himself who, according to Dumbledore, unwillingly transferred some of his powers to Harry when he tried to kill him.
  • One of a small percentage of the magical population capable of successfully (and repeatedly) casting a corporeal Patronus Charm to banish Dementors from his presence. Harry learned this at an earlier age than any other wizard or witch. Many others see this as impressive, and it earns him a bonus point in his OWL test for Defence Against the Dark Arts.
  • Due to great practice in dueling, Harry has developed wizard dueling skills unmatched by any student in the school.
  • Harry is an excellent broomsman. This skill is not hereditary, but it is 'coincidental' that his father was an exceptional Quidditch player as well. Harry can outfly anyone in the school, even impressing professional Quidditch players Victor Krum and Ludo Bagman.

[edit] Weaknesses

[edit] Weaknesses in Character

Harry generally has trouble dealing with emotions and can be subject to near-extreme mood swings. He has trouble opening himself up to others, attempts to solve everything by himself and veers between self-doubt and over-confidence; has moments of low self-esteem due to poor treatment by the Dursleys, but these are very few and do not last long. He can undervalue his friends - usually prefers to "do it alone" in dangerous situations; has a heroic nature that causes him to rush into situations without first assessing the dangers and makes him predictable to his enemies, and can be very sensitive about being disbelieved in difficult-to-believe situations.

At the other end of the spectrum, Harry can be easily angered when derogatory comments are directed to his parents or friends. In his anger and his shame, he can sometimes do impressive damage to an enemy without consciously meaning to do so. He often refuses to accept advice or criticism either from someone whom he has decided he doesn't like (such as Severus Snape), or those with whom he disagrees (his friends and Professor Dumbledore in book 6). As he gets older (and experiences more terrible events), his anger and hatred grow colder and harder, and he increasingly gives way to dark feelings. More than once he has attempted to torture a Death Eater with the Cruciatus Curse; in any case, his combat skills are unrivaled among his peers. Harry has clearly been scarred by the horrific events in his life which manifests itself in his anger. This may be partially due to typical teenage hormones, in addition to Voldemort's projecting thoughts/feelings from his own mind into Harry's as Dumbledore revealed (in Half-Blood Prince) that Voldemort had stopped doing this before the book's events began, making Harry less ill-tempered in the sixth book than he is in book five.

[edit] Other weaknesses

While Harry (initially) lacks intellectual curiosity, rarely taking the initiative to learn new spells and powers that he is capable of performing unless he needs to, he shows curiosity in almost everything else. More than one time has Harry caused himself trouble for wandering the school corridors after lights out.

Harry is extremely visually impaired; he perpetually wears glasses, which cost him an important faculty in his development.

He is a mediocre student (for his potential); until his OWLS., he gets barely higher than average standardised test scores, though he does get high marks in Defence Against the Dark Arts.

[edit] Magical

Harry's decision to leave Hogwarts before completing his final year will leave him with a number of skills that he has yet to master:

  • Difficulty with consciously performing non-verbal magic. However, this may have been due to a mental block and a hatred for his unfair and cruel teacher (Snape). Yet he is able to perform a small amount of non-verbal magic when he practices on his own, especially Levicorpus.
  • Similarly, difficulty with wandless magic. However, after he drops his wand at one point, he achieves a successful wandless Lumos.
  • Snape attempted to teach Harry Occlumency through the use of Legilimency. Although Harry learned some of the basics of the two arts, he had an overall poor success rate. Rowling says that this is because Harry has been "too damaged" in some ways, and his emotions are always too close to the surface to be suppressed.
  • Harry cannot non-verbally block or parry strong spells (although he is masterful in using the Shield Charm, Protego, aloud). Several of Harry's enemies, including Snape and Voldemort, are able to. Snape suggests that blocking is connected to Occlumency and non-verbal magic (see above); this might, however, be construed as Snape using Legilimency to anticipate what spells Harry intends to use.
  • Harry has shown no aptitude for developing new original magic of his own. In contrast Voldemort, Snape, James Potter, and Fred and George Weasley had all developed new charms, potions, etc. at his age. Given Harry's lack of exposure to the Magical world and the Dursleys' attempts to suppress his magical heritage when in their home, this isn't entirely his fault. It also does not mean he is incapable of it; he simply has not done so yet.
  • While Dumbledore uses his sensitivity to magic to explore a magical cave, Harry appears to be insensitive to the presence of magic, although it is suggested that he might have perceived a small amount of it within the cave.
  • Harry shows weakness in some classes, including Potions, History of Magic, and Divination, which results in poor knowledge and lack of ability in these branches of magic. However, the corresponding instructors are half-responsible for this. In Potions class (and elsewhere), Professor Snape constantly antagonises and insults Harry. In History of Magic, Professor Binns is so boring that only Hermione can withstand his droning teaching manner, and even she lapses occasionally. In Divination class, Professor Trelawney is constantly predicting his doom, which only adds to Harry's discomfort and disgust in the class.

[edit] Notable possessions


[edit] See also

[edit] References

<references/>

[edit] External links

Preceded by:
Angelina Johnson
Gryffindor Quidditch Captain
August, 1996 -
Succeeded by:
Incumbent
Preceded by:
Charlie Weasley
Gryffindor Seeker
September, 1991 - November, 1995
Succeeded by:
Ginny Weasley
Preceded by:
Ginny Weasley
Gryffindor Seeker
June, 1996 - June, 1997 [citation needed]
Succeeded by:
Incumbent
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Harry Potter (character)

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