Characters / Harry Potter – Harry James Potter

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Harry James Potter
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/harry_potter.jpg
"I don't go looking for trouble. Trouble usually finds me."
Portrayed by: Daniel Radcliffe (films), Jamie Parker (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, first runs on West End and Broadway)
Voiced in Latin-American Spanish by: Arturo Castañeda (Philosopher's Stone), Claudio Velázquez (Chamber of Secrets), Víctor Ugarte (Prisoner of Azkaban-Deathly Hallows: Part Two)
Voiced in European Spanish by: Axel Amigo
Voiced in Japanese by: Kensho Ono

"Gee, I wonder what it'd be like to have a difficult life."

AKA the Boy Who Lived. AKA The Chosen One.

At the age of one, Harry's parents are killed by Lord Voldemort, who then attempts to kill him with the Killing Curse. Due to The Power of Love from his mother's self-sacrifice, however, he survives and rebounds the curse upon Voldemort, getting a lightning bolt-shaped scar as a souvenir. The series' resident Eccentric Mentor, Dumbledore, then arranges to have his Muggle aunt and uncle take him in... or else. For ten long years, they grudgingly comply, forcing Harry to live in the cupboard under the stairs and being both cruel and neglectful of him. Harry's bullying cousin, Dudley, doesn't make things any easier.

Then, shortly before his eleventh birthday, everything changes. Letters (from "no one") begin arriving in Harry's "home", growing by the number each day. Harry's aunt and uncle, acting suspiciously, refuse to allow him to read even one, and after several days, leave the house and go to a tiny house in a cliff in the middle of a storm. Unfortunately (for the Dursleys), the ones who sent the letters are not deterred by such means, and Harry is eventually told of his past, and the wizarding world.

Thus, Harry's adventures at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry begin, starting off as lighthearted, and growing darker in nature each year, as he makes friends, learns of his destiny, and matures.

Nineteen years after he defeats Voldemort for good, he's married to Ginny Weasley and is the father of three children: James Sirius, Albus Severus, and Lily Luna Potter.
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    A-E 
  • The Ace: Harry’s considered, by his peers, to be the best in Defense Against the Dark Arts, and a naturally gifted Quidditch player. However, in other areas of magic he tends to be anywhere from poor to a bit above average.
  • Achey Scars:
    • The lightning-shaped scar created by Voldemort starts aching whenever Harry is close to him, and in the later books, whenever Voldemort is feeling a particularly strong emotion.
    • The "I must not tell lies" scars on his hand that he received from detentions with a Sadist Teacher in his fifth year tingle when he thinks of her.
  • Action Dad: Becomes the Head Auror and father of three by the year 2017.
  • Adaptational Badass: In the book version of Philosopher's Stone (Sorcerer's Stone in America), Harry is barely able to keep Quirrell away from the stone before Dumbledore arrives and Quirrell is killed by Voldemort leaving his body. In the film, Harry kills Quirrell without any help and is only rendered unconscious by Voldemort going through him to escape.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Harry has green eyes in the book, but they are blue in the movies. He is also a brunet instead of black-haired. Initially Harry WAS supposed to have green eyes, but Daniel Radcliffe had an allergic reaction to the coloured contacts he was given. Averted in the video game adaptations of the first three books where his eyes are green.
  • All-Loving Hero: Harry's greatest power is capacity for love, compassion, empathy and general decency. In spite of being raised by a family that treated him with anything but affection, Harry did not come out full or resentment or hatred against his adopted parents, or Muggles or the world at large (unlike Voldemort, Snape and even the young Dumbledore, who were unable to get past their Freudian Excuse). He is willing to go out of his way to help even those he is not entirely friendly with or actively dislikes and in the end, he was even willing to offer Voldemort one last warning to save himself, because even after everything Voldemort did to him, he still wasn't consumed by hatred to make his enemy suffer a Fate Worse Than Death.
  • All of the Other Reindeer:
    • Public opinion of Harry in the Wizarding world oscillates between hero worship to complete rejection at the drop of a hat. But Harry is not particularly saintly in his isolation.
    • Harry was an outcast in the muggle world too because of the Dursleys' rumors about his behavior and because Dudley and his gang bullied anyone who befriended him.
  • Allergic to Evil: His lightning-bolt scar burns whenever Voldemort is close to him or feeling strong negative emotions, and in book 4, Voldemort just touching him causes him horrible pain.
  • Always Someone Better: Unintentionally this to Ron. As he points out repeatedly to Ron and Hermione, most of the adventures he goes on is stuff that he barely scrapes by, he considers his fame both harmful and unmerited and that the crazy stuff he goes through ends up being perceived as far cooler than it actually was.
  • Amazon Chaser: He really started falling for Ginny when he noticed her feisty attitude and Quidditch skills.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Harry shows symptoms of PTSD during book five but it isn't diagnosed as such because There Are No Therapists.
  • Amicable Exes: A scene in the eighth movie indicates he and Cho have become this.
  • Animal Motifs: Stag (his Patronus).
  • Anti-Hero: At first and for most of the series, he is unambiguously good and heroic, even if he is more than a bit snarky Anti-Hero who isn't above lying, eavesdropping, and generally being an occasional "trouble-maker" in school, even during the earlier installments. Then Harry got Darker and Edgier along with the series, doing things that become much more questionable as time goes on, even when they're being used to reach goals that are unquestionably heroic, and became a Pragmatic Hero.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: According to Word of God, he later went on to become the youngest head of the Auror Office in history. It isn't hard to see why… Let's see: saved the Philosopher's Stone, defeated Slytherin's Basilysk, learned how to make a Patronus when only 13, escaped Voldemort seven times, survived the Second Wizarding War, while more experienced wizards (like Sirius Black, Mad-Eye Moody, Remus Lupin, Severus Snape, Nymphadora Tonks and Albus Dumbledore) didn't, defeated more Death Eaters than one can count... Yeah, he definitely qualifies.
  • Babies Ever After: Harry has three children (two boys and one girl) with Ginny by their adulthood.
  • Badass in Charge: Harry becomes the youngest Head Auror in wizarding history.
  • Badass on Paper: Harry views himself as one of these. The event that made him famous happened when he was a baby and when in Order of the Phoenix he gets asked to teach a defense against the dark arts club, he argues that all his other achievements have been either through luck or from getting a lot of help. He begins to grow out of this in the seventh book, as he is now the one taking the fight to Voldemort, and his previous experiences fighting against the Dark Arts help him realize what has to be done.
  • Badass Teacher: Harry has shown tremendous skill in teaching others. Having mastered many spells at a young age, Harry successfully passed them onto others even when he was still a student himself, giving proper instructions and corrections on how to perform many fields of magic, ranging from the relatively simplistic Disarming Charm to the highly advanced Patronus Charm. Harry's effectiveness as a teacher led many, some even older than him, to choose him over a Ministry-installed professional, and he even returned to Hogwarts to give occasional lectures.
  • Bad Dreams: Often, especially after his first encounter with Voldemort in the first year and Cedric's death.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: Harry can do magical skills that most of the wizarding society find to be tied with evil.
    • He speaks Parseltongue, the language of snakes. Most people think Parseltongue is an evil power, because several evil wizards (Voldemort being the most recent and bigger example, Salazar Slytherin the most famous) not only spoke it, but used it for nefarious purposes. Harry becomes ostracized for having this power, and only uses it for good, most notably to rescue his future Love Interest Ginny Weasley.
      • Harry loses this power after defeating Voldemort.
    • Harry s also capable of using the "Unforgivable Curses": Imperius, Cruciatus, and Avada Kedavra, spells considered pure evil and worthy of life imprisonment. However, he has only used the first two either to complete his mission of finding the Horcruxes or in the defense of another person. And for obvious reasons, he never uses Avada Kedavra.
  • Because Destiny Says So: Zigzagged. Harry's destiny has been predicted by a self-fulfilling prophecy, but according to Dumbledore, it's only self-fulfilling because Voldemort insists on fulfilling it and Harry himself has no intention of turning away from it.
    Harry Potter: It all comes to the same thing, doesn't it? I've got to try and kill him, or—
    Dumbledore: Of course you've got to! But not because of the prophecy! Because you, yourself, will never rest until you've tried! We both know it!
  • Belated Backstory: Regarding all his connections with Voldemort, which Dumbledore carefully avoids revealing all at once for tactical reasons. Dumbledore intended Harry to submit himself to a Heroic Sacrifice because he was accidentally a host to a piece of Voldemort's soul, and he wanted to make sure that it happened in such a time and in such a manner, that Harry had a small chance to survive it, but in order for that to work, neither Harry nor anyone else can know about it.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Whatever you do, do NOT insult his parents.
    • Diss one of his favorite teachers to his face, and you'll be in for a world of hurt. Just ask Amycus Carrow.
    • Bad parenting in general. Having grown up without his parents (and with abusive foster 'parents' to boot), he realizes the value of loving parental care, and views as an obligation for anyone who can give it to do so. It's also implied that seeing the account of what happened to Tom Riddle hammered this home for Harry even further.
    • Harry also doesn't like to be left out of things, or feel that people are deliberately lying or hiding things from him. Part of this is because the Dursleys lied to him about his parents all his childhood, an experience that undoubtedly has fed into his paranoia, leading him to go into ALL-CAPS RAGE in Book 5, towards Ron, Hermione, the Order as a whole, and finally Dumbledore himself.
  • Beta Couple: He and Ginny get together faster and don't argue as much as Ron and Hermione. The only reason they even broke up was because, between Dumbledore's death and the upcoming mission to hunt down Voldemort's Horcruxes with Ron and Hermione, Harry had no idea if he was going to live past the war. It was all but stated that if they both survived, they would get back together.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Harry is NOT a pleasant person when he's pissed.
  • Big Good: He becomes this in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Even though he does not exactly lead anyone, he continues to inspire hope and is a rallying point for the students of Hogwarts, Dumbledore's Army, and the Order of the Phoenix. In the practical sense, however, Moody and, after he dies, Kingsley, seem to be Dumbledore's designated successors.
  • Big Man on Campus: At times due to his Quidditch talents. In Half-Blood Prince he becomes Gryffindor Quidditch Captain and everyone knows he was telling the truth.
  • Birds of a Feather: With Ginny — both being fierce, Quidditch-loving Leos, with a darker sense of humor. They also are considered extremely good-looking individuals and attract a number of people of the opposite sex.
  • A Birthday, Not a Break: Most of Harry's birthdays aren't nice. Particularly his twelfth (in which he ends up locked in his room as punishment for something he didn't do) and his seventeenth (because Rufus Scrimegour interrupts his birthday party with Dumbledore's will, which sours it.). Many of his early birthdays are implied to be less than satisfactory; as his relatives do not bother to get him real gifts.
  • Blind Without 'Em: Though he seldom drops his glasses. In the film of Prisoner of Azkaban, there's a few moments of blurriness coinciding with Harry getting his glasses knocked off when the Whomping Willow sends him flying.
  • Book Dumb:
    • He gets by mostly by practice and reliance on Hermione, aside from a few isolated moments like doing his homework. He never seems to read any books for pleasure or information, and continues to rely on Hermione and Ron for Info Dump well into his sixth year despite having been part of wizard culture for sometime now.
    • This becomes a plot-point in Book 4, Crouch!Moody in his speech to Harry at the end, when explaining how he manipulated Harry into winning the tournament, noted that he often felt handicapped by Harry's stupidity. He noted that the solution to get past the merfolk in the Second Task was a in a book he gave to Neville and all Harry had to do was ask Neville, since he knew perfectly well that Harry wouldn't read any books or gather knowledge on his own.
    • As an Auror, Harry ignores paperwork so he can gather information in the field and do work from there.
  • Boring, but Practical: The Disarming Charm, Expelliarmus, which becomes Harry's signature move. It does Exactly What It Says on the Tin, causing the target to drop whatever he or she may be wielding. It is fairly dull, basic and unimpressive compared to most other spells, but given that wizards are basically helpless without a wand, it's an instant win if executed correctly. This does come back to bite him in the ass during the beginning of Deathly Hallows, in which the Order distributes several of its members, disguised as Harry, across several teams so that the Death Eaters will have a harder time finding and killing the real thing. When Harry disarms an Imperiused Stan Shunpike, his use of the spell tips off the other Death Eaters, and quickly alerts Voldemort to his location.
  • A Boy and His X: A Boy And His Owl. This makes her death even harder on Harry.
  • Break the Cutie: At the age of one, his parents die and he gets attacked and scarred permanently and then gets shipped off to his abusive aunt and uncle's and discovers at age 11 that his guardians had lied to him all his life. He goes to Hogwarts he discovers that the world of magic isn't so much an escape but another place where he is constantly in danger of death and other losses, and more or less faces the fact that he's powerless and a pawn to more powerful interests.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: He's struggled with his Potions and Transfigurations classes, but his O.W.L. scores demonstrated that he's actually rather good at them. There are subjects that he is legitimately bad at, but his lack of skill in Divination and History of Magic don't affect him in the story. In-universe, Harry has been described as bright, but not exceptionally so, being a Jack-of-All-Stats. However, he's certainly as talented a wizard his parents were described to have been when it comes to Defense against the Dark Arts.
    • Harry is considered to be the best duelist among the students by the time he's in his fifth year. He still gets owned by more experienced wizards, however, and gets handed down a Curb-Stomp Battle from Snape. He is also the best in the year (possibly the entire school) at Defense Against the Dark Arts.
    • It's also made clear one reason he's so bad at Potions is because Snape is his teacher. During his O.W.L. Harry's narration notes that the class is much easier without the pressure of Snape waiting to find something to punish him for. Also worth noting, when Snape finally stops being his Potions teacher, Harry immediately becomes far better at the subject, even outperforming Hermione. Technically this is due to the textbook he used in his sixth year having annotations, effectively making it a cheat sheet. However it's worth considering that this book was annotated by Snape himself. Therefore, he was still being taught by Snape, it just seems that Harry does infinitely better when Snape isn't breathing down his neck.
    • He also has a natural affinity for flying. He's able to ace riding a broomstick on his first time, despite the teacher having to leave before she could tell him all of the basics. He then manages to upgrade to the considerably faster Nimbus 2000 and Firebolt without any trouble. He even does well when it comes to taming and riding flying animals, such as Hippogriffs and Thestrals, despite Care of Magical Creatures not being one of his stronger subjects.
  • Broken Ace: Most people in the wizarding world perceive him as The Ace while his relatives perceive him as worthless. Harry develops major insecurities as a result.
  • Broken Hero: He's nice to people despite being emotionally abused by his aunt, uncle, and cousin.
  • Broken Pedestal: He undergoes this at some point or the other with each of his adult role models. Sirius, his father, Dumbledore...
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: With Ginny. This starts in Order of the Phoenix when Harry is brooding and moody over the aftermath of Cedric's death, almost no one believing him about Voldemort's return, and being terrified over the possibility of Voldemort being able to possess him. Ginny manages to give him some comfort by having him actually talk about his fears, which help him, somewhat. This continues in the next book, when Ginny offers him a comforting shoulder after Professor Dumbledore's death.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday:
    • Ginny getting possessed by Lord Voldemort was this for Harry, more or less in hindsight. It was not for Ginny. This leads to a What the Hell, Hero? moment when Ginny calls him out for it.
    • This also undermines some of the tension between him, Ron and Hermione. He can't appreciate that being an orphan and being raised by the Dursleys like an indentured servant and later finding out that he's independently wealthy as a result of his inheritances, makes it easier for him to become a free range wizard than it is for people with family who are worried about them.
    • Harry has a much easier time than either Ron or Hermione adapting to the hunger and deprivation that the group endures in book 7, because such things were just a fact of life for him while he was being raised by the Dursleys.
  • Butt-Monkey: He goes through a lot of crap over seven books.
  • Cain and Abel: The Abel to Dudley's Cain, even though they're cousins, not brothers.
  • The Cassandra: Harry, with his claims that Voldemort has returned, is made a pariah by the wizarding government throughout Order of the Phoenix.
  • Characterization Marches On: In the first book he's described as a good student by several professors, and is almost as enthusiastic about doing his homework as Hermione. This wanes over the second book, culminating when he simply copies Ron's third-year elective choices without reading what they are. For the rest of the series, Harry is shown to be an indifferent student who relies on Hermione for homework and Ron for knowledge on the Wizarding World despite living in it. While he's shown to excel at subjects he's interested in (Defense Against the Dark Arts), it can be a little jarring going back to the first book and seeing Harry voluntarily pick up a textbook. (And not one that's filled with doodles from the Half-Blood Prince.) Possibly justified, as he grows more used to magic and as his life grows more and more dangerous, possibly making him lose interest in his schoolwork.
  • Chick Magnet: Ginny, Cho, Gabrielle, Romilda Vane, and Moaning Myrtle. Hermione Lampshades it in Half-Blood Prince by telling him that he's 'never been more fanciable.'
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Harry eventually marries Ginny Weasley whom he became friends with in his second year of Hogwarts.
  • The Chosen One: Harry is given this nickname by the press by the beginning of HBP, due to his connection to the prophecy. Like such people as Scrimgeour and Snape, he's less than amused.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: AKA "his saving people thing." This is eventually exploited — with tragic results — by Voldemort.
    Hermione: This isn't a criticism, Harry! But you do... sort of... I mean — don't you think you've got a bit of a — a — saving-people thing?
  • Cinderella Circumstances: Harry at the Dursleys' household, before he gets his acceptance letter from Hogwarts. However, his uncle never does stop treating him like crap.
  • Closet Sublet: He provides the current page image for a reason.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Played with, since his home situation is not really "convenient."
  • Cool-Kid-and-Loser Friendship: At Hogwarts, Harry is the Cool friend to a bunch of students who, with the exception of Ginny, are not quite popular on their own. This includes Ron, Hermione, Luna and Neville. The only time Harry feels upset about this is in Book 5, where he had a crush on Cho Chang who was the most popular girl in school, but then in Book 6, he gets over it and dismisses Luna's complaints about people expecting Harry to be around people cooler than them.
  • Cool Loser: Harry's famous, a pretty nice guy, and is regarded as a hero. Yet in Chamber of Secrets he's ostracized because he can talk to snakes, in Goblet of Fire he's ostracized for entering the Triwizard contest ("Harry is a cheating cheater!"), and in the next book he's looked down on because he's the only one who notices there's a frickin' war going on. In the sixth book, he does become popular again and mostly enjoys it, but finds it annoying when someone like Romilda hits on him.
  • Cool Teacher:
    • He secretly teaches Defense Against the Dark Arts during his fifth year.
    • And Word of Rowling states that he occasionally gave lectures about Defense Against The Dark Arts, after the end of the series.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Harry didn't act on it, of course, but he secretly wanted to pummel Dean whenever he kissed, held, spent time with Ginny.
  • Crime of Self-Defense: In Order of the Phoenix, he risks breaking The Masquerade by using magic to protect his cousin and himself against Dementors, and is put on trial for this. In this case, the government in question is waging a propaganda war against Harry, and is twisting the law in order to punish him as much as possible and make him look like a delinquent. When the defense proves Harry was in a situation where the options were breaking The Masquerade or having his soul ripped out of his body, the Ministry spun the story to make it sound like he got Off on a Technicality. And then it turns out that one of their particularly nasty members is secretly responsible for the attack in the first place, precisely to provoke him into using magic so they could prosecute him for it.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Parents murdered at one, a decade of abuse from his relatives, a bullying cousin, and a psychopathic murderer out to kill him.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Masters spells that have been associated with dark magic.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Harry James Potter is himself an unintentional example, since his parents named him while (obviously) they were alive. Harry was presumably named after his great-grandfather Henry "Harry" Potter. He plays it straight as an arrow with his own kids, though. Between the three of them, Harry honors no less than five dead people. And Luna. Although, with the name "Luna", he could very well also be honoring Lupin.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Generally at the Dursley’s expense or his own.
    '''Listening to the news! Again?”
    '''Well, it changes every day, you see," said Harry.
    • Also shown in other occasions, such as this exchange in Half Blood Prince:
    Harry: Yes.
    Snape: Yes, sir.
    Harry: There's no need to call me "sir", professor.
    • He's definitely snarkier in the books, with the above lines of dialogue being two great examples. That said, he does get some great lines in the films, like this one from Chamber of Secrets.
    After nearly being run over by the Hogwarts Express and hanging out of the Ford Anglia: "I think we found the train!"
  • Death Seeker: Subtly implied to be one after Voldemort's return.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: He grew up hearing nothing but bad things and lies about his parents from the Dursleys only to learn from Hagrid that both of them were heroes in the wizarding world. This ends up feeding his curiosity about his family, and he associates a lot of special significance to objects or events concerning his parents, and wholeheartedly comes to believe that he would have had a happy childhood had it not been for Voldemort, which the small flashbacks and glimpses into his early life (Lily's letter in Book 7, and Voldemort seeing James playing with Little Harry before attacking Godric's Hollow) confirms.
    • When he first receives the Invisibility Cloak from Dumbledore on behalf of James, Harry, rather than sharing it with Ron, sought to use it to tour and explore Hogwarts on his own because of the special connection to his father's relic. On that same night he discovers the Mirror of Erised which is the first real glimpse Harry ever received of his parents, since he didn't grow up with photographs. At the end of Book 1, Hagrid provided him an album of photographs that he made by calling everyone who had seen and known his parents and it becomes one of Harry's prize possessions. Of course eventually, thanks to Pensieve Flashback he comes to see his Parents as People, that his father had his flaws and virtues, and that it took a while for his mother to return James' affections and befriend Sirius and other marauders.
    • This is also an underlying tension between him and Ron. Ron is constantly filled with angst about his Middle Child Syndrome and his baggage with his father and mother, while Harry for his part loves being part of the Weasleys extended family while at the same time, thanks to his parents inheritance, does not have to worry about money and supplies. From Ron's perspective, Harry is getting the best of both worlds, while Harry chides Ron for his jealousy of his "fame".
  • Denied Food as Punishment: He was often on the receiving end of this from the Dursleys. Surprisingly, in Deathly Hallows it's noted that since he often went through periods of near starvation, Harry is able to go for longer without eating than Ron and Hermione.
  • Deus Angst Machina: To cut short 7 books worth of angsting, fate seems to have no other reason for his existence other than finding any and every available opportunity to abuse and torture him physically, mentally and emotionally.
  • Deuteragonist: Harry qualifies as this in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child; while the main plot follows his son's exploits, Harry's relationship with him is just as important to the plot of the play.
  • Disney Death: At the end of Book 7.
  • Disney Villain Death: Not to Harry, but both of his broomsticks. His Nimbus 2000 in book 3, which falls right into the Whomping Willow. His Firebolt in book 7 during the ambush.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Doubly, with respect to both others and himself. Harry's temperament and propensity for recklessness are among his chief faults, yet as he notes in Deathly Hallows, he tends to get calmer the more everyone else freaks out. Half a lifetime of dodging death by a hair seem to have effectively rewired his panic response, so much that past a certain threshold, his brash temper reverses and he ends up being shockingly clear-headed.
  • Don't Fear the Reaper: The biggest difference between him and Voldemort besides their understanding (or lack of) of love is the fact that Harry does not fear death. What made Harry the "Master of Death" was not that he gathered all three of the Deathly Hallows — rather, through his experiences in which he gathered all three unknowingly, he came to realize that death is nothing to fear and that there are far worse things in this world than dying. Compare that to Voldemort, who cannot comprehend a Fate Worse Than Death and futilely searches to escape the inevitable.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Harry is turned on by Hogwarts students and the wizarding world in general at the drop of a hat, despite Harry having saved both several times.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: He goes through a lot of physical and emotional pain across the books, but by the end of the series, he's in a loving marriage with three kids, and has a happy life.
  • Eureka Moment: While Hermione does the grunt work research, Harry is generally the one who ends up putting the clues together at the end. Unlike other examples of this trope, he doesn't normally get any particular source of inspiration, but rather simply gets focused enough to solve the given problem when things get really bad.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Discovers this in the sixth book when he casts the spell Sectumsempra on Malfoy without knowing what it does beforehand. He's horrified to discover that it vivisects the target.
  • Experienced Protagonist: By the final book, Harry has grown into his magical prowess to become one of the most powerful and skilled wizards in history.
  • Eye Motifs: Harry has his mother's Green Eyes. This probably reflects his "deepest nature" being more like his mother than his father, or at least that's what Dumbledore wants Snape to believe. He told Harry in Books 1-4, that he was very much like his father.

    F-K 
  • Family Eye Resemblance: Harry is often told he has his mother's eyes, so often that he can finish the phrase himself.
  • Famous Ancestor: Averted. Pottermore reveals information about his ancestry that confirms that Harry is the first prominent Potter in wizarding history. His ancestors did work in creating well-known healing remedies which made the family fortune, while Ralston Potter and Henry "Harry" Potter played a part in advocating pro-Muggle legislation but nothing amounting to more than a footnote. Indeed, despite being directly descended from Ignotus Peverell (through his grand-daughter Iolantha who married Linchfred of Stinchcombe), the Potters weren't considered among the top 28 Pureblood family.note 
  • Fatal Flaw: Harry's "saving people thing" gets him into trouble. He's willing to do anything in order to save the people he cares about, and he has a martyr complex that keeps him from asking for help or back-up at times when it would really be a smart idea. He does this to keep the people around him safe but it tends to really work against him. Voldemort uses this to manipulate him into doing things that lead to Sirius's death. This also makes it very easy for Harry's enemies to lead him into traps.
  • Fighting Fingerprint: Expelliarmus! See Boring, but Practical.
  • Fighting the Lancer: With Ron in Deathly Hallows over the stress and lack of progress of finding the Horcruxes, and to make matter worse, Ron is wearing the Horcrux locket, which is negatively affecting his mood. After Ron's statement of Harry not having a family because his parents are, their fight turns physical before Harry tells him to leave if he wants. And Ron does.
  • First Love: To Ginny, as she has always held a torch for him since she was a child, and while she did have other boyfriends, her feelings for Harry didn't go away.
  • Forgets to Eat: On occasion, due to stress or anxiety. It is likely also the effect of being malnourished by his relatives and isn't hungry as a result, or hasn't built the habit of eating consistently.
  • Friendless Background: Due to Dudley and his gang's bullying, his baggy hand-me-downs, and his taped glasses, Harry was an outcast in Muggle Primary School.
  • Friends Are Chosen, Family Aren't: Harry is good at making friends with all sorts of people, but the Dursleys treat him like dirt.
  • Gallows Humor: A lot of his snark.
  • Generation Xerox: Physically, and as repeated very often, Harry is almost identical to his father James with the exception of his emerald Green Eyes, which are identical to those of his mother. He also has a lot in common in terms of Undying Loyalty to his friends and willingness to break rules to do what's right and a total opposition to the Dark Arts. However, personality-wise, James and Harry are very much not the same at least as far as fifteen-year-old James goes. Dumbledore suggests to Severus Snape, that his inner nature is like his more compassionate mother while in Book Three he reminded Harry that his decision to spare Dirty Coward Peter Pettigrew is something his father would have approved. So it's an even mix in the end. In terms of his family, Harry shares a common name with his great-grandfather Henry "Harry" Potter. His Humble Hero nature is also shared by other ancestors, who also stood up for Muggle Rights. But he otherwise lacks the genius in potions, ironically enough, that allowed his family to invent Skele-Gro, Pepper-Up Potions and Sleekeazy (which Harry uses without knowing that his family invented it).
  • Glory Seeker: Inverted. Many people who have no idea what kind of life Harry lived before coming to Hogwarts (or even some of the stuff that came after) tend to think he is one of these. Some (like Snape) think he is a bullying troublemaker like his father; some (such as the Ministry, the Daily Prophet and a number of citizens) think that he just wants glory and is an attention seeker. Some of his classmates even thought he was the heir of Slytherin, once. The truth is largely the opposite, as living with the Dursleys and a lot of the stuff he dealt with in the Wizarding World actually made him very humble and quiet (until he continued to grow in self-confidence and ability). Susan Bones lampshades it when her involuntary fame makes her like him — and she wonders how he stands it, it's horrible.
  • Good Is Not Soft: For as much as is made of his Chronic Hero Syndrome, Harry draws the line at unnecessary murder, but pretty much anything else is fair game if he thinks it’s deserved. From deliberately horrifying Slughorn with vivid tales of his mother’s assassination to extract information to torturing a Death Eater as punishment, and even leaving to die someone who had just tried to kill him.
    Hermione Granger: Oh, that was horrible. And he might kill them all.
    Harry Potter: I'm not that fussed, to be honest.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars:
    • Harry's famous 'lightning bolt' shaped achey scar. It's easily covered up by his fringe.
    • A magical quill in the fifth book gives Harry another scar, this one on the back of his hand, the words "I must not tell lies" in his own handwriting, from writing those words, over and over again, in his own blood during detention.
    • In Deathly Hallows, he acquires two new scars in the same scene: a round one in his chest where Hermione had to cut out the locket-Horcrux that had stuck to his skin, and two snake-bite marks on his arm.
  • Green-Eyed Epiphany: Harry spends the summer of his sixth year getting close to Ginny in what he believes is a wholly platonic way, feels slight tingles of annoyance at the notion of her going off with her boyfriend which he pays no mind to, offhandedly asks her on a Not a Date to Hogsmeade without even realizing he's doing it and even misses that she has the same aroma as the love potion that's supposed to smell like things he likes. Then he catches her making out with her boyfriend and it finally dawns on him that his violent desire to eviscerate the guy might have deeper implications. He tries to convince himself that she's just like a sister to him and that his territoriality was entirely brotherly, but ditches the idea after imagining himself as the one kissing her and realizing that image doesn't bother him at all.
  • Green Eyes: A constant mention that Harry has Lily's eyes.
  • Guilt Complex: Born partly out of his Chronic Hero Syndrome, Martyr Without a Cause, and Heroic Self-Deprecation. Harry carries a huge amount of guilt and blames himself for almost every death related to him. He blames himself for Cedric's death because he requested they grab the portkey together despite the fact that neither of them could have known it was such. He blames himself for Sirius's death because he thinks he should have known better than to fall into Voldemort's trap. He blames himself for not letting Sirius kill Pettigrew, thereby aiding Voldemort's return, as well as Voldemort's return to life because his blood was taken by force. He pretty much blames himself for every death Voldemort causes because he thinks Voldemort just wants him, despite the fact that he prevented countless deaths. That's one massive Guilt Complex. Some of it is justified, most notably in Sirius's death, which could have been prevented altogether if he'd set aside his grudge of Snape and his resentment towards Dumbledore and just learned Occulumency. Or not believed a known liar who hates both him and Sirius (and had to maintain his cover). Or listened to Hermione. Or simply used the Mirror that Sirius gave him to communicate to him privately.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: In book five, Harry often (and easily) loses his temper with his friends due to his trauma at witnessing Cedric Diggory's death and Voldemort's return, rage at being kept out of the loop all summer, by the Order and by Dumbledore, and being snubbed for prefect. His friends are visibly scared to talk to him half the time, fearing his explosive temper. He calms down by book six after his impetuousness gets Sirius killed.
  • Happily Married: The Cursed Child show that he and Ginny are in a stable marriage with healthy communication and her keeping most of his rashness in check.
  • Has a Type: His two main love interests (Cho Chang and Ginny Weasley) are extroverted, and light-hearted, popular girls who are talented Quidditch players, something that Harry doesn't fail to notice. The main reason Harry broke up with Cho is because she was too grieved and confused with Cedric's death, and Harry, burdened with his own baggage, wasn't looking forward to being somebody else's shoulder to cry on. One of the reasons he favored Ginny was that she was able to remain light and free of issues despite facing trauma as in Book 2.
  • Hate at First Sight:
    • Disliked Malfoy's insensitivity and arrogance during their first meeting, which was cemented when they met again later and Malfoy snubs Ron.
    • Also, when Harry first sees Umbridge as their new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor:
    "Her voice was high-pitched, breathy, and little-girlish and again, Harry felt a powerful rush of dislike that he could not explain to himself; all he knew was that he loathed everything about her, from her stupid voice to her fluffy pink cardigan."
  • The Heart: The strongest moral center in the story.
  • Heartwarming Orphan: Harry starts out as an orphan living in a closet under the stairs and ends up not only making Hermione's, Ron's and Hagrid's lives a little brighter, but also saving the world from You-Know-Who.
  • The Hero: The story revolves his maturation into a powerful wizard and dealing with the Big Bad trying to kill him.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Subverted for the bulk of the series. He asks Pavarti Patil (black hair) to the Yule Ball, and later briefly dates Cho Chang (also black hair). Once he joins the Slug Club, he brings (as a friend) Luna Lovegood (blond) as his +1 to a party. He ends up with Ginny Weasley in the end.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: He does this near the end of the seventh book; however, this results in Harry's resurrection and Voldemort's final Karmic Death.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Occasionally delves into this.
    Hermione: ...I'm not talking about test results, Harry. Look what you've done!
    Harry: How d'you mean?
    Ron: (sarcastically) Uh... first year- you saved the Stone from You-Know-Who-
    Harry: But that was luck, that wasn't skill-
    Ron: Second year- you killed the basilisk and destroyed Riddle- Third year, you fought off about a hundred dementors at once.... last year, you fought off You-Know-Who again-
    Harry: ...But I didn't get through any of that because I was brilliant at Defense Against the Dark Arts... I just blundered through it all, I didn't have a clue what I was doing-
    • This is a bit ironic, as Harry also falls under the Dude Where's My Reward? trope in the same book.
      • That one is more due to the fact that, after having seen Cedric Diggory's death and Voldemort's resurrection, he isn't told anything about Voldemort, which he feels is important because Voldemort is trying to kill him personally. And he is proven correct later in the book, by Dumbledore nonetheless, when he says that he has just realized that, by not telling Harry what he should have known earlier believing he was protecting him, he only made things worse.
    • Harry's playing down of his own competence is probably justified, as he is already well aware that he's the centre of a 14 year old reputation built on a deed he didn't actually perform himself. The last thing he wants the other students to believe is that he can pull an unbeatable solution out of his arse every time or teach them to do the same, because he knows it could get them killed. And sure enough, Colin Creevey, one of his biggest fans, dies in the last book, and it hits Harry "like a punch in the gut". Then again, Colin knew the score: he'd had to go out of his way to evade McGonagall and sneak back to fight. What Harry couldn't comprehend was just how determined the whole school was to make a stand; if McGonagall hadn't ordered them out, everyone would have stayed to fight.
  • Heroic Willpower: One of the few known wizards who can shake off the Imperius Curse (which gives him a CMOA near the end of book 4).
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Multiple times throughout the series, most notably in the fifth book, where the Ministry of Magic does everything they possibly can to make him look bad.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Ron — They have been best friends (with Hermione) since their first years and are more like brothers.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Harry does a stupid, stupid thing and tries out a spell on another human being despite the only thing he knew about the spell was that it was marked "For enemies". Harry learns a lesson in responsible spellcasting and how dangerous casting unknown spells can be. He pays for this in the book, and is darn lucky a person was nearby who could set it right.
  • Hot-Blooded: Sometimes, especially in the 3rd and 5th books.
  • Humble Hero: Although he dislikes being kept out of things or treated as incompetent, Harry never thinks of himself as anyone impressive and answers to mentions of his achievements by fixating on the fact that he always cut it extremely close. He ridicules the suggestion that he might have things to teach other students and insists that a lot of his feats sound much more impressive than they really were.
    Ron Weasley: That makes me sound a lot cooler than I was.
    Harry Potter: Stuff like that always sounds cooler than it really was. I've been trying to tell you that for years.
    • Taken to Heroic Self-Deprecation levels at times, particularly during the first couple of years, as well as during the aforementioned teacher nomination. Sometimes played for laughs as in book six, where he's genuinely baffled by the fact that girls now consider him attractive.
    Mad-Eye Moody: Play to your strengths.
    Harry Potter: I haven’t got any.
  • Hurting Hero: Harry, who at seventeen years old has bested the Dark Lord at least eight times. And survives, unlike most of the people he loves.
    Hermione: Now that Malfoy's a prefect, he could make life really difficult for you.
    Harry: Really? Gee, I wonder what it would be like to have a difficult life!
  • Hypocrite: Has his moments, particularly when he tried to tell Ginny she was too young to go with him to rescue Sirius, only for her to point out that she's three years older than he was when he started going on these adventures.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • A minor example with major consequences: Harry forgetting Snape's membership in the Order. (He calls himself on it too.)
    • Harry also forgets about the two-way mirror Sirius gave him after Christmas. He doesn't know exactly what it is, but he does know it's a communication device. This could be because he was determined not to use it before even finding out what it was, thinking that he didn't want to be the one to lure Sirius out of hiding (and look how well that works out for him!).
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: The Boy Who Lived, The Chosen One, a Psychic Link into the insane mind of a monster, Weirdness Magnet… Well, with all this heaped on him, guess you can't blame him. It's more like "I Just Want To Be A Normal Wizard"; he was miserable living among Muggles.
  • I Love You Because I Can't Control You: Harry becomes romantically interested in Ginny after she backs off, makes her crush on him less obvious, and interacts with him in a platonic and friendly manner. In this case, it's less that Harry enjoys the challenge of pursuing her, and more that he finds it unnerving and smothering when girls try to get him to love them.
  • I'm Not a Hero, I'm...: Harry verbalized this trope a few times throughout the series.
  • Indy Ploy: While having variable results with premeditated action, Harry is tremendously good at quickly thinking up ways to get out of tight spots or solving problems when pressed for time. Generally speaking, you light a fire under his ass and the kid's IQ jumps fifty points. One example of this would be escaping Gringotts by way of dragon.
  • Ineffectual Loner: Harry often tries to discourage his friends from helping him. This in spite of the fact that he's often quite helpless without them. When, in Deathly Hallows, he wishes that Ron and Hermione were with him, it's a sign that he has started to accept that he needs help from his friends.
  • Informed Ability: He's supposed to be the best at his year with Defense of Dark Arts and considered a prodigy by adults (and by Dumbledore). In actual fact, he loses the only real duel in the series he has with a competent wizard, Severus Snape, in Book 6 in a hilariously one-sided match, enjoys the advantage ball of Voldemort telling his mooks to spare him so that only he can defeat him, and moreover wins against Voldemort by Applied Phlebotinum and Loophole Abuse of Suddenly Significant Rule involving wandlore (Priori Incantatem and Elder Wand hijinks). He fails to learn an advanced magic like Occlumency only for Dumbledore to decide that he can get by with The Power of Love instead. Even his good turn in Book 4 in the Triwizard Tournament is ruined by the fact that the entire event is rigged so that he could win and enter Voldemort's clutches.
  • Inspector Javert: Subverted. Everyone thinks Harry is doing this to Draco, but his suspicions turn out to be right. He plays it straight with Snape, as we learn in the next book.
  • Instant Expert: It's mentioned that Harry is a very competent wizard when he applies himself, being capable of quickly learning new spells that most adults struggle with. This trait gets balanced however, due to him being utterly lazy... His skill with Flying is particularly noteworthy, since he demonstrates it right off the bat and without any training whatsoever. We later learn in the seventh book that he was capable of flying toy brooms with expert precision as early as one; he was one when Lily wrote to say that Harry loved his birthday present.
  • I Thought Everyone Could Do That: Parseltongue sounds completely indistinguishable from regular languages to those with the innate talent to speak it, so the only way Harry can tell if he or someone else is speaking it is by having a non-speaker point it out. Until an episode in his second year, he didn't even recall the talent, much less realize that it was extraordinary.
  • It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: Considering being the Chosen One entails being the focus of Voldemort's not-inconsiderable ire, it very much does.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: How he breaks up with Ginny Weasley.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Wants Ginny to live a happy life and marry someone else if he doesn't survive his search for the Horcruxes.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Like Ron, Harry is Book Dumb albeit slightly better in most subjects, earning Es (the second-best grade one could get) in most subjects, including his least-favorite one of Potions, while besting Hermione in Defense Against the Dark Arts. He's a brilliant seeker but he ends Hogwarts with an overall weaker record than both Ron and Ginnynote .Of course compared to his parents, his father who became an Animagus at age 15 and co-invented the Marauder's Map, as well as his mother who was a Potions genius, Harry (and the trio in general) comes off as a weak student.
  • Jerkass Ball: Catches this hard in Book 5. The trauma of witnessing Cedric Diggory's death and Voldemort's return gave Harry a severe case of PTSD and depression, causing him to snap at his friends.
  • Kid Hero: Technically, by the final book, Harry is an adult by wizard estimation. But he’s been running circles around Voldemort since he was prepubescent.
  • The Kirk: Not as impulsive as Ron and not a stickler for rules like Hermione.
  • Kirk Summation: Gives one to Voldemort in the final book.

    L-R 
  • The Lancer: For Dumbledore in Book 6.
  • Laser-Guided Tykebomb: Raised to be this, unintentionally so by Dumbledore.
  • The Leader: Of Dumbledore's Army and the Golden Trio.
  • Like a Son to Me: To Sirius, Molly Weasley and Albus Dumbledore.
    • Molly Weasley considers Harry one of her many sons. Somewhat deconstructed as she is very overprotective of him and acts as though she's the only parental figure he has. Lupin flat out tells her that she's not the only one who cares about him this way. Also slightly deconstructed in that she treats him better than her own children, particularly Ron, which puts a minor strain on their friendship culminating in The Deathly Hallows. Harry often feels awkward receiving better praise and presents from her than the other Weasley brothers (especially when they're right next to him), and listening to her scold and chide the others for reckless stunts that she instantly forgives him for.
    Sirius: [Harry]'s not your son!
    Molly: He's as good as!
    • Sirius is Harry's godfather and while circumstances, tragedy and bad luck prevent him from ever really playing that role, he cares enough about his godson that, as soon as he left Azkaban, he made a beeline to Privet Drive to glimpse Harry, unintentionally spooking him until the Knight's Bus arrived, and even as he spent a year trying to infiltrate Hogwarts and find Peter, Sirius went out of his way to see Harry play at Quidditch and risked his secrecy by buying him a Firebolt.
    • Albus Dumbledore never quite says this outright but he more or less sees Harry as his son, going leniently on him, being very patient, compassionate and forgiving of his antics and outright admitting to Harry in Book 5 that their relationship had always been more than just Headmaster and Pupil. Dumbledore even takes the role of Harry's father by passing the Cloak of Invisibility to him, an Ancestral Weapon that had been passed from parent to child by all of Harry's ancestors.
  • Like Brother and Sister: How Harry explains his relationship with Hermione to Ron.
  • Like Parent, Like Child: A lot of characters tend to make this comparison, especially the people who knew Harry's father as a young man, both his teachers and his former schoolmates. Dumbledore and Remus note that James had a similar Honor Before Reason approach to combating the Dark Arts, in refusing to suspect his friends of treachery and a practitioner of Thou Shalt Not Kill even to the most undeserving. However, Harry gradually realizes that he and his father were different. His father was raised as an only child of privilege in a wizard household and that he ultimately has more in common with his Muggleborn mother, especially her compassionate nature.
  • Locked Out of the Loop:
    • Chronically, to the point of being a bit of an Idiot Ball issue for Harry's guardians and Dumbledore in particular. Their repeated attempts to keep Harry from finding out about dangers looming over him so as to not make him worry failed spectacularly every single time, with particularly disastrous results in Order of the Phoenix. After that fiasco, they finally realize that this was foolish and let Harry and the rest of his friends in on what's going on.
    • Ironically, Harry has to do this with everyone else in the Order and all his other friends sans Ron and Hermione come Deathly Hallows. Ostensibly it's to keep them safe, mainly because if Voldemort found out too early that they were hunting his horcruxes, they were all screwed.
  • Lovable Jock: Harry has been the Seeker for Gryffindor's Quidditch team since his first year. And since that time, he has remained an adorkable Nice Guy.
  • Magnetic Hero: While Harry is a solid duelist, his true strength is his ability to inspire loyalty from those around him. Snape ironically uses this trope to Harry's ability as a wizard, but it is what ultimately leads to Harry's defeat of Voldemort.
  • Martial Pacifist: He's an excellent magical warrior, but refuses to kill so strongly that he specializes in the nonharmful Disarming spell.
  • Martyr Without a Cause: At times, he recklessly risks his life to protect others even though he doesn't have to. This greatly exasperates his friends, and it gets worse when Voldemort quickly figures that out.
  • The Marvelous Deer: Harry's Patronus is a stag.
  • Mentor's New Hope: Young Harry is wisely watched over by Dumbledore, who also kept a close watch over Tom Riddle before he became Lord Voldemort.
  • Messiah Creep: Although there are messianic overtones right from the first chapter of the first book.
  • Messianic Archetype: Let's see his credentials — The Chosen One, All-Loving Hero, would save the ones who once ostracized him, and willingly sacrifices himself in order for the Horcrux within him to be destroyed so that Voldemort could be vanquished, but comes back to life.
  • Messy Hair: Inherited from his father, Harry's perpetually messy bush of jet black hair is his third most mentioned feature, after his scar and green eyes. It's almost supernaturally averse to staying down.
    Molly Weasley: [at her wits' end trying to groom him] Doesn't it ever lie flat?
    Harry Potter: *silently shakes his head*
    • Depicted very inconsistently in the films, where besides being brown, it shifts from straight and neat to accurately bushy to short and tidy as the movies go. Overall, his hair spends most of the run looking anything besides bushy and messy.
    • The first four movies have Harry with messy hair, but the later films just give Harry a close crop.
    • Implied to be magically influenced, as Petunia gave him a horrible at-home haircut to get rid of the mess, and the next morning his hair had regrown and re-mussed itself.
  • Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: At Privet Drive. Harry's relatives viciously spread lies about how he's a delinquent that steals from little kids and attends St. Brutus' Secure Center for Incurably Criminal Boys, when in truth Harry hates bullies and attends Hogwarts.
  • Mixed Ancestry: Half-blood. Note that with Ron as a pureblood and Hermione as a Muggle-Born, he stands between the two of them. His family, the Potters, were never an especially prominent one in wizarding history, until Harry came along. But in any case, Harry is a direct descendant of Linfred of Stinchcombe and Iolantha Peverell (Ignotus Peverell's grand-daughter who bestowed all the eldest Potters with the Cloak of Invisibility), which otherwise makes his family quite prestigious.
  • Moe Couplet:
    • Harry and Luna. Luna is a Cloudcuckoolander who hardly seems troubled by anything and helps her father run the magical equivalent of a tabloid magazine, whereas Harry becomes more traumatized as increasing numbers of his friends and loved ones die. Some of them right in front of him. Yet, Luna understands what losing a loved one feels like, enabling her to empathise with his grief over Sirius — and Harry knows what being picked on feels like, so he naturally wants to help her out when people hide Luna's things and mock her behind her back. They serve as two sides of the same coin, and some fans prefer them as a couple to Harry/Ginny.
    • Hermione is a magical genius, except when it comes to dealing with actual dark wizards, which is Harry's specialty (his life is basically a long series of fighting dark wizards). When it comes to personality, Harry is selfless to an annoying degree even when personal friends are not involved, while Hermione focuses on immediate gain and loss to her close friends (especially when it comes to grades!). While these traits alone would get kind of annoying, together they play off each other quite well. What they both lack is the ability to focus on caring for themselves, which is where Ron comes in — he's the rock they both lean on.
  • Mundane Fantastic: Inverted. Harry had never experienced life in a magical household before staying with the Weasleys, and he falls in love with The Burrow. Ron had been surrounded by magic for his entire life, and he doesn't think much of it.
    Ron: It's not much, but it's home.
    Harry: I think it's brilliant!
  • Naïve Newcomer: Being raised by Muggles, Harry spends the first few months of the first book adjusting to the strange new world he finds himself in, and still has his moments after that.
  • Nephewism: Harry is nominally the nephew of the couple he lives with. In practice, he's more the unpaid overworked abused servant with nowhere else to go than a family member. Dumbledore arranged for him to live there so he wouldn't learn about the whole "Boy Who Lived" thing until he could have some perspective - and because he needed Harry to live with a family member as part of a magical protection, and Petunia was the only candidate and because Harry was a Living Horcrux and he was afraid about what could happen should that particular fact leak out far too soon.
  • Nice Guy: He may have angst and a witty tongue, but he has the biggest heart and moral code in literature.
  • Non-Idle Rich: Most definitely. Beyond the fact that he doesn't have to ever worry about money, his parents' Undisclosed Funds don't really impact his personality at all; he spends the last few books aiming to get a job in magical law enforcement. This is a point of difference between him and Ron, the fact that Harry doesn't really have to worry about money while for Ron, it's a central fact he had to internalize all his life.
  • Not Afraid to Die: Harry and Voldemort are remarkably similar in many ways, but if their is one difference between them, it's this. Harry has never feared death, while Voldemort regards it as the worst thing that could ever happen to him.
  • Not So Different: In Chamber of Secrets, Harry notices disturbing similarities between himself and Voldemort. At the climax of Deathly Hallows, he sees parallels not only between himself and Voldemort, but also Snape, going so far as to think of them as "lost boys" whose only real home is Hogwarts.
  • One True Love: Ginny Weasley. Their brief time together in Half-Blood Prince was the happiest Harry had ever been in his entire life, and the only reason he even broke up with her was to ensure she wouldn't be put in even more danger by being his girlfriend. Even then, she remains a constant source of comfort throughout the Deathly Hallows. When Ron runs out on him and Hermione, Harry stares longingly at her dot on the Marauder's Map, thankful that she's as safe as she can be in these dark times. And finally, when Harry goes to sacrifice himself to Voldemort in order to destroy the horcrux within him, his last thoughts are of not of Ron or Hermione, or even his parents — they're of her, proving once and for all that she was the most important person in his life.
  • Only Sane Man: Harry becomes for the majority of Half Blood Prince when Ron and Hermione are both dating whoever they can to make the other jealous, Harry has no qualms about telling them that they're both idiots.
  • Part-Time Hero: Harry frequently neglects preparation for his battle with Voldemort in favor of sports and dating. Snape calls him on this during their battle at the end of the book. To be fair, it never should've been his job in the first place — if it weren't for the prophecy, Harry would've been left out of the war for the most part, and would've been happy with that.
  • Phrase Catcher: "Professor Snape, Harry."
  • Pinball Protagonist: Harry. Due to a combination of grief and being Locked Out of the Loop, Harry rarely does anything active in Order of the Phoenix unless Dumbledore orders him to do it (Occlumency) or Hermione convinces him that it's a good idea (Dumbledore's Army, the interview).
  • Playing Possum: Harry does an outstanding job of convincing Voldemort that he's dead, then sneaks his way into the final battle.
  • The Power of Love: The reason he survived the Killing Curse as a kid is because his mother's Heroic Sacrifice invoked this on him. Plus, Dumbledore claims that Harry's greatest strength is his ability to love, even though Harry wants to know What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?. As seen during Deathly Hallows, The Power of Love is an awesome power, given that it protects everyone in the castle after Harry sacrifices himself, only it doesn't really manifest as power in any Functional Magic sense. Rather, it's a metaphor for his ability to make friends, inspire loyalty to them which is returned and his ability to be a man of honour who would extend helping hands to his enemies (the Malfoys) and his friends.
  • The Profiler: In Half-Blood Prince, Dumbledore passes his knowledge and analysis of Tom Riddle's life and character to Harry in preparation of the Horcrux hunt. Harry, having lived a life similar to Tom's, uses that information to deduce the locations of two of them almost entirely on his own. In some ways, Harry understood Voldemort more than even Dumbledore did.
  • Protagonist Title: All of the books/movies are titled "Harry Potter and the X" or "Harry Potter and the X of X".
  • Rage Against the Mentor: Harry is displeased when Dumbledore up and dies (most inconsiderate), leaving him a seemingly impossible quest with 10% completion and some unbelievably vague clues about the Deathly Hallows; and he has to find out secondhand about Dumbledore's torrid past, including how Albus was BFFs with Wizard Hitler (well, the first one, anyways).
    • A much more direct version occurs at the end of Order of the Phoenix, when Dumbledore finally spills the beans about almost everything. Harry's rebuttal leaves many of Dumbledore's office decorations in pieces around the room.
  • Rated M for Manly: Despite being a Hollywood Nerd and Cool Loser in appearance and awkwardness in talking to girls, Harry's favourite activities include hanging out with Ron, flying and playing Quidditch and later partying and drinking with friends and company.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives Voldemort one in the last book about one minute before their final battle at the end.
  • Red Baron: Harry is known as "The Boy Who Lived" because he is the only person in the wizarding world to have survived the dreaded Killing Curse. Twice. At the end, he lives once again after his Disney Death.

    S-Y 
  • Save Our Students: Gets persuaded/strong-armed into the role by Ron and Hermione in Order of the Phoenix. To his own surprise, he achieves very good results.
  • The Scapegoat: In a bid to keep the public from learning of the return of Voldemort in Order of the Phoenix, the Ministry leads a media campaign against Harry, smearing his name in the dirt.
  • Scars Are Forever: While magic can cure most injuries, Harry's lighting-bolt scar is caused by Dark Magic and can't be removed. The scars from his Writing Lines for Umbridge also persist, but whether they can't be fully healed, or Harry has chosen to keep them, isn't fully explained.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: As soon as he becomes Head Auror, he can use this as an excuse to ignore protocol and help people on ground zero.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: His basic approach to life.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: It's obvious that he suffers from PTSD that gets worse by the time of the fifth book, with nightmares and all. It's also pretty bad throughout the last book.
    • That's not hyperbole. At different times from book 5 onward, Harry displays all six of the diagnostic criteria for chronic post traumatic stress disorder as defined by DSM-IV.
  • Shipper on Deck: Harry ships Ron/Hermione, although he would possibly ship it a bit more if they hadn't chosen the middle of a battle to get together...
  • Shonen Hair: In the books, his hairstyle is described as having a kind of magical permanence; it's constantly unruly and messy, immune to hairbrushes, combs, and gel, and whenever it's cut short, it's back to the exact same style it was before a day later. In an anime, that last detail would be considered a parody of every single Shonen hero.
  • Signature Move: The Disarming Charm, not always for the same reason. In Chamber of Secrets he uses it against Lockhart because it's the only combat spell he knows at the time. In Prisoner of Azkaban he uses it against Snape for the same reason. In Goblet of Fire he uses it against Voldemort because Voldemort's use of the word "duel" made Harry think of the Dueling Club, where he learned it. In Order of the Phoenix he teaches it to Dumbledore's Army as the first spell because of his experience with it. In Deathly Hallows he uses it again on Imperiused Stan Shunpike because other spells would have knocked him off a high-flying broom and Harry doesn't want to kill victims under the Imperius Curse. Later in Deathly Hallows he uses it against Voldemort as an acknowledgement that it is his signature move.
  • Sins of Our Fathers:
    • Much of the hostility that Snape (and Vernon per Word of God) hold for Harry is a result of problems they had with James.
    • In And the Cursed Child Harry himself displays this trope, going to great lengths to keep his son, Albus from being friends with Scorpius Malfoy (son of Draco Malfoy, whom Harry has never been on good terms with). Luckily he wises up by the end.
  • Smart People Wear Glasses: Harry wears a round pair of glasses and is quite smart, in maturity and in academics if he applied himself more.
  • Socially-Awkward Hero: He's quite shy in the beginning of Philosopher's Stone, and remains unable talk to girls romantically for most of the series. Also, any attention he receives as a result of his celebrity makes him uncomfortable and embarrassed; he therefore confides mainly to his two best friends. And while Harry is well-liked by his peers (when they're not turning on him due to false suspicions), only a few really know him.
  • Soul Fragment: When Voldemort tried to kill the one-year old Harry and failed, he accidentally made him into a Horcrux, forging a connection between their minds.
  • Soul Jar: One of the biggest shocks (for some) in book seven was learning that Harry was a Horcrux for Voldemort.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: People who knew his parents constantly remind him that he looks a lot like his father, but he has his mother's Green Eyes.
  • Sweet Tooth: A given since his favorite food is a dessert.
  • Talking to Themself: Even without mental disorders, Harry occasionally holds amusingly even-split arguments with himself, such as in his fifth year where his jealousy over Ron's prefect badge argued against his natural humility, or his sixth year where his crush on Ginny argued against his guilt about her being Ron's sister. He refers to it as the little voice in his head, which usually plays the part of his conscience.
    Harry Potter: She's Ron's sister.
    Also Harry: But she's ditched Dean!
    Harry Potter: She's still Ron's sister.
    Also Harry: I'm his best mate!
    Harry Potter: That'll make it worse.
    Also Harry: If I talked to him first—
    Harry Potter: He'd hit you.
    Also Harry: What if I don't care?
    Harry Potter: He's your best mate!
    • At other points, Harry's inner voice is quite nasty, which could possibly be an effect of the Voldemort's fragment of soul inside of him, or just a result of his insecurities.
  • Taught by Experience: Harry's combat skills were developed exclusively on the fly, owing largely to the spastic and uneven quality of the Defence Against the Dark Arts classes coupled with necessity. As a result, he has a somewhat limited arsenal of spells but excellent split-second reactions and is largely immune to pressure choking.
  • Technical Pacifist: He'll hex, disarm, or stun any opponent he faces, but don't expect him to kill anyone—except Voldemort, and even that was more Voldy causing his own undoing.
  • Tiny Schoolboy: He's implied to be this in the novels, being the nice guy and adorkable type. In Goblet of Fire, he is asked out to the Yule Ball by a taller girl who he declines. She could've been trying to invoke the typical friendship between the huge girl and the tiny boy, and doesn't care that he's popular now. ''Order of the Phoenix says that he had a look of a kid that "had grown in a very short space of time".
    • Harry embodies this much more in the films because Daniel Radcliffe is 5'5.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: He eventually realizes that he must let himself be killed because he is holding on to Voldemort's life.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Defied in Prisoner Of Azkaban.
    Mr. Weasley: Harry, promise me that whatever you do, you will not go looking for him.
    Harry: Mr. Weasley, why would I go looking for someone who wanted to kill me?
  • Took a Level in Badass: A rather gradual case throughout the course of the series. In the first book, Harry is never shown using a single spell, his only magical contribution being his natural talent for flying. In the second book, he uses a few basic spells against Draco in a Wizard duel, but nothing particularly special. Things begin to change in the third, where he spends several months learning the Patronus charm and becoming quite proficient with it, despite being a very difficult spell to master. However while impressive, it is rather situational, only really being useful when facing a Dementor. The bigger shift comes in the fourth book when Hermione and Ron help him learn several hexes and jinxes to prepare him for the final challenge in the Triwizard Tournament. Those same spells are honed into real skills in the fifth book where he teaches them to Dumbledore's Army. The sixth book gives him a few extra bonus spells courtesy of the Half Blood Prince and by the time the seventh book comes around, it's finally time to put all of that learning to the test.
  • Took a Level in Cynic: Harry has horrible stuff happen to him every year, but in his first few years at Hogwarts, he still bounces back and has a tendency to believe that everything can turn out alright and trust the teachers for help. As the series goes on though, people he's close to actually start to die, things aren't nicely fixed by the end of each book, and the adults he previously trusted are either corrupt or well-meaning but unable to do much. Of note is how the later books, particularly the last one, show his crumbling trust in Dumbledore. A younger Harry sees Dumbledore as an impressive authority figure who can solve any problem. When he gets older, Harry is forced to accept that not only is Dumbledore not always in control and always know what's going on, but had a history that was about as far from noble and heroic as one could get.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Harry seems to be very fond of treacle. Hell, he's so fond of the stuff that its aroma is one of the three things he smells when he sniffs a love potion.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Harry gained items that once belong to departed loved ones.
    • In his first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he received the Cloak of Invisibility as an anonymous Christmas gift. He later learned the gift came from Albus Dumbledore, who obtained it in turn from Harry's father, James Potter. It was later revealed to be a family heirloom as well as one of the three Deathly Hallows. From this Harry realises he is a direct descendant of Ignotus Peverell, one of the three brothers who created the Deathly Hallows. Ignotus' grand-daughter married Linchfred, the founder of the Potter family, and brought the cloak into the family. It is yet to be decided whether he would give the cloak to his oldest son, James Sirius, his youngest son, Albus Severus, or his daughter Lily Luna. According to Potter family tradition, it went to the eldest, but Harry's not been one for tradition.
    • In his third year, Fred and George gave the Marauder's Map to Harry while he was trying to sneak into Hogsmeade. It was confiscated by Remus Lupin, but later returned when Lupin quit his job. Harry kept it with him for a long period of time, keeping it in the Mokeskin wallet he had gotten from Hagrid, until it was finally stolen from his desk by his son, James.
    • In Deathly Hallows, when Harry leaves the Dursleys' house for good and discards most of his possessions, he keeps with him the fake Horcrux that Dumbledore had all but died helping him retrieve from the cave. This is also an example of the hero not keeping the keepsake; instead, Harry gives it to Kreacher, an act that results in the house-elf that had loathed Harry and his friends becoming one of his most loyal allies.
    • In Cursed Child, it's revealed that the only thing of Lily's that Harry has is the blanket in which Hagrid wrapped him up when he brought him to Privet Drive. Harry tells his son Albus that he brings out the blanket every Halloween's Eve to remember his mother's sacrifice. Turns out to be a Plot Device All Along when the blanket becomes the means through which Albus communicates with Harry when he is trapped back in time in 1981 on the eve of Voldemort's attempted murder of baby Harry.
  • The Unchosen One: Dumbledore helps Harry become this in Half-Blood Prince.
  • Undisclosed Funds: The books never make clear exactly how rich Harry is, but between his parents' money and becoming sole heir to the Black family fortune at the age of 16, it's implied to be somewhere between extremely and obscenely. Reinforced when he gives away the entire 1000-galleon Triwizard earnings to the Weasleys without a second thought, serving in effect as an angel investor to a new startup at the age of 15. He is perhaps the richest independently wealthy student at Hogwarts.
    • Pottermore finally discloses that his family made a fortune from patents on healing potions such as Skele-Gro, Pepperup and Sleekeazy's Hair Potion (which considering the Messy Hair of James and Harry, is some kind of cosmic joke, not to mention Harry's weak affinity for Potions). Harry's grandfather, Fleamont Potter sold the family business for a big sum and retired comfortably, having more than enough to be independently wealthy and it was still sizable enough that James didn't have to work and could devote full-time to the Order, while also supporting Lily and Remus, still leaving Harry a reduced but sizable fortune.
    • With the addition of Sirius' inheritance, Harry is loaded as never before and moreover possesses, to wit: his own mansion (The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black), a House Elf (Kreacher) and the most expensive broom in the world (the Firebolt). And while he would never sell it, his Cloak of Invisibility would be worth several pureblood fortunes should its true nature ever be divulged.
  • The Unfavorite: In the Dursley household.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: He has the raw power to produce a solid, stable patronus at 13, and is able to access a fairly large reservoir of magical power (enough to face down Death Eaters and Voldemort when he's 17). However, he is continuously outclassed by Hermione, who is incredibly skilled, and any other wizard or witch who doesn't just rely on raw power for their magic.
    • Harry ends up inverting this, in a sense, as he's a supremely skilled duelist. Interestingly, dueling isn't even mentioned as one of his skills until the fifth book, at which point it becomes clear that we've watched him live the past four years on his wits and creative uses of magic. While Hermione is capable of far more advanced magic, Harry is very good at managing pitched battles and out-hexing wizards with access to powerful dark magic through good aim, honed reflexes, and an ability to take advantage of his environment. So yeah, "in a weird way". The movies also show Harry at being extremely good at pulling up combat spells quickly, so he definitely skilled at casting spells.
  • Unwitting Pawn: At several points he serves as this to Voldemort in Book 2, 4 and 5 especially. The final book gives him what is likely the Awful Truth, that he is one for Dumbledore himself, who knew all along that he would have to sacrifice himself to Voldemort and had prepared and trained him as a Stealth Mentor to do this at the right time. Of course, Dumbledore in the afterlife admitted he figured Harry would survive anyway and feels guilty about it. Word of God noted that Dumbledore was fairly Machiavellian in his relationship with Harry and that the latter is basically "his puppet."
  • Uptown Guy: Harry isn't obscenely upper class, but he's very well-off and at times, particularly his sixth year, is pretty popular. He ultimately marries Ginny Weasley, who is from a poor "blood traitor" family.
  • We All Die Someday: The key thing that separates him from Voldemort, aside from their views on The Power of Love; while Voldemort seeks immortality and simply cannot imagine a Fate Worse Than Death, Harry acknowledges and accepts his own mortality.
  • What Beautiful Eyes!: Along with his trademark lightning-bolt shaped scar, his Green Eyes (inherited from Lily) are his most frequently commented-on trait.
  • Who Are You?:
    • Harry's first reaction to Hagrid. The narration states that because Hagrid is so huge, Harry has to repress his astonishment and avoid asking "What Are You?" instead.
    • He has the same reaction, and initial desire to ask "what" rather than "who", to Dobby in the second book.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: An interesting variation; Harry's greatest fear is of Dementors, evil creatures that feed off emotions and force the victims into a deep despair. Professor Lupin takes this to mean that Harry's greatest fear is of fear itself.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Even at eleven, he knew that death was preferable to a cursed life.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Harry has no qualms over using aggressive spells on women.
  • You Are Better Than You Think: Occasionally. Harry believes he is unworthy of his fame. Partly justified, though, as it was really his mother that did most of the Boy-Who-Lived stuff, but Harry more than proves himself by facing off Voldemort each year. He also feels unworthy of his house in Chamber of Secrets, but he gets over it after Dumbledore shows him that he pulled out Godric Gryffindor's sword.
  • You Killed My Father: The reason why he wants to hunt down Voldemort is because he brutally murdered his parents.
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