J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series is one of the most popular and lucrative franchises in modern history. The story of Harry Potter, a young wizard whose parents are killed by the evil Lord Voldemort, but he himself survived the encounter, and his adventures have inspired generations of children and have spanned a multi-media franchise consisting of additional books, several high-grossing films and a series of video games for different platform. Despite Rowling changing some details over the years, the Harry Potter canon is one of the better-established fictional universes with a lot of details generally known and unchanged. Still, people ask questions and we are here to answer them for you. Today, we are going to talk about Harry Potter and his assumed (im)mortality.
Harry Potter is not immortal. That assumption is being made because he was “resurrected” after being “killed” by Voldemort. The truth is that he cannot be killed by Voldemort, but eventually, Harry will one day die.
There you have it. The answer to the question if Harry is immortal. But, there is more to it. In the rest of this article, we will walk you through every single detail of Harry Potter’s “death”, resurrection and why he isn’t immortal. Or maybe he is immortal?
Who Is Harry Potter?
Harry James Potter is the titular protagonist of the Harry Potter franchise created by J.K. Rowling. He is a young wizard, born on July 31, 1980, as the only son of James and Lily Potter. He is a Half-Blood, as his maternal family is of Muggle heritage. When he was a boy, a prophecy named him as the only person able to take down and kill Lord Voldemort during the First Wizarding War.
After finding that out, Lord Voldemort went to Godric’s Hollow with the intent to kill Harry while he was still a child. He killed his parents, but the protection his mother gave Harry spared the child’s life, as Voldemort’s Killing Cure backfired and seemingly killed him, leaving the child with a thunder-shaped scar on his forehead.
The books follow Harry’s education in Hogwarts and his growth, as he prepares for the final confrontation with the now-resurrected Lord Voldemort, who was never actually dead thanks to the Horcruxes he created.
After finishing his education, Harry Potter married Ginny Weasley, the younger sister of his best friend, Ron Weasley. In continuity, he currently works the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement with the Ministry of Magic, after previously having headed the Auror Office; he is also a guest lecturer of Defence Against the Dark Arts in Hogwarts.
The franchise became one of the most popular and lucrative ones in history and is today considered to be a cornerstone of modern pop-culture.
The Death of Harry Potter
This specific article is going to deal with the issue of Harry Potter’s death and (im)mortality, so there might be some spoilers ahead. To make things clear now – as of this moment, Harry Potter is (in continuity) alive and is heading the Department of Magical Law Enforcement with the Ministry of Magic. So, no – he did not die. But the issue is not that simple and we are going to see how and why.
1. The Tragedy in Godric’s Hollow
According to a prophecy recited by Professor Sibyl Trelawney (who taught Divination at Hogwarts), Harry Potter was named as the person who would stop Lord Voldemort. The prophecy was made in 1980 and in 1981, Lord Voldemort, the leader of the Death Eaters during the First Wizarding War, went to Godric’s Hollow to murder Harry Potter, after having found out about the prophecy.
Despite being protected by his parents, James and Lily Potter, Harry soon met Lord Voldemort, as he killed his parents with ease and approached the child.
Voldemort intended to kill Harry, but his Killing Curse backfired and he was not successful. Lord Voldemort seemingly died in this incident, while Harry was left with his famous thunder-shaped scar. The rest is history – Lord Voldemort never actually died, but disappeared for a while, while was sent off to his Muggle relatives until his enrolment in Hogwarts.
2. The “Death” of Harry Potter
The scene where Harry Potter actually “dies” happened in the seventh book, Deathly Hallows, during the Battle of Hogwarts. After a lot of fighting and several losses, Harry decided to accept Voldemort’s previous offer to give himself up to save the lives of his friends and colleagues. He went on to the Forbidden Forest, where Voldemort was waiting for him with his Death Eaters.
As they faced each other, Harry Potter gave himself up without a fight, an act Voldemort punished by casting the Killing Curse at Harry.
Harry Potter fell to the ground and awoke in a place called the Limbo. There, he met his old mentor, Albus Dumbledore, who apologized for his behavior and explained his actions. Dumbledore’s spirit further explained to Harry that he wasn’t actually dead, but could choose to stay there or return to the real world.
Dumbledore explained that due to the fact that Voldemort used Harry’s blood to resurrect (a scene shown back in The Goblet of Fire), the two were intrinsically bound, which protected Harry from being killed by Voldemort. Also, after the incident in Godric’s Hollow, Harry unwillingly and unknowingly became a Horcrux, since he had a part of Voldemort’s soul inside him; Harry met that crippled piece in the Limbo.
After reconciling with his former mentor, Harry decided to go back. He woke up in the Forbidden Forest, but feigned death. Voldemort sent Narcissa Malfoy to confirm Harry was dead, which she did, although the was aware he had been alive (Narcissa decided to betray Voldemort to save her son, Draco, from his clutches).
After torturing Harry’s “corpse” with the Cruciatus Curse, Voldemort ordered Rubeus Hagrid to bring the “corpse” back to Hogwarts and clam his ultimate victory.
3. The Final Battle
To Voldemort’s and – well – everyone’s surprise, Harry Potter suddenly wakes up in front of the castle and once again faces his archenemy. This was their last confrontation and the fulfillment of the prophecy uttered by Trelawney in 1980. In a heated duel, Harry Potter managed to defeat and ultimately kill Lord Voldemort for the last time, thereby ending the Second Wizarding War.
So, there you have it. This is a short chronology of events that explains everything you need to know about the “death” of Harry Potter. As you can see, he survived all clashes with Voldemort and is today alive and well, running a department in the Ministry of Magic.
The (Im)mortality of Harry Potter
Although it might seem that Harry Potter cannot be killed and even the prophecy might suggest that if Voldemort died, Harry would become immortal, there is really no evidence to substantiate that. The Internet is full of different interpretations of the famous prophecy and you’ll certainly come across some good explanations on why Harry is immortal.
Still, neither the books, nor Rowling herself have said anything to support this thesis. Certainly, Harry and Voldemort had to be killed one by the other, but it was never clearly said that the one who survives would gain immortality.
So, as we can deduce, Harry Potter is not immortal and he can and will die somewhere in the distant future (wizards are notoriously known for their high life expectancy) and until we get some hard evidence to the contrary, we cannot state otherwise. It is fun to speculate, but that’s just it – it cannot go beyond speculations.
And that’s it for today. We hope you had fun reading this and that we helped solve this dilemma for you. See you next time and don’t forget to follow us!