Harry Potter, The Boy Who Lived: A Character Analysis

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Hello dear readers, I hope you are doing well. Today I am going to give you a new post idea that I am excited for.

I wanted to do a character analysis on some of the more famous characters in literature. This won’t be anything that goes into the nitty gritty details, but it will have some depth to it, so I hope you enjoy!

The first will be about someone I would argue is in the top 10 most well-known book characters of all time.

These are opinions are my own, and I understand some may disagree with them. If you do, let’s talk about it!

From the beginning, Harry is a loyal lapdog to Dumbledore. He sees that Dumbledore is often right, and knows more about what is going on, so Harry decides to put his absolute trust in Dumbledore. Even when being loyal to Dumbledore gets him into trouble, Harry follows him without question.

Harry creates an order of underage wizards, calling them Dumbledore’s Army, to fight against the rising threat of Voldemort. Of all the magical items, beings, and creatures in his world, he names his army after the man he looks up to the most.

When Dumbledore ultimately dies, Harry is determined to follow in his footsteps, and fulfilling his destiny of defeating Voldemort.

This loyalty to Dumbledore is supplemented with his loyalty to his friends, Ron and Hermione. He befriends them in his first year of Hogwarts, and only grows closer to them as the years go on. Though he is loyal to them, and trusts them completely, he sees them more of an equal than a mentor.

It is because of these three relationships that Harry grows into a curious, determined, brave wizard, one fitting the Gryffindor name…

But what does being a Gryffindor ultimately mean? It’s one simple word. Brave.

The only real requirement to be considered a Gryffindor is bravery, but that’s a vague ideal. Bravery can mean many things. Cedric Diggory was brave, but ultimately he wasn’t Gryffindor. All those who joined the DA? Yeah, some were Gryffindor, but some weren’t. They were all brave because they knew they could get into trouble.

We know that Harry should have been a Slytherin, but he told the hat he wanted to be anything but. The next natural choice? The house he almost perfectly fits into.

Harry isn’t particularly smart, he’s not overly skilled at anything but flying a broom, and I would argue he is slightly better than average in a fight.

Then what makes him a good main character? Despite all his flaws, he is brave. He is always the first out of the gate, whether it’s chasing down the Dark Lord, going to his death in the Forbidden Forest, or running through Platform 9 3/4 after just discovering magic.

His bravery is the one thing that holds him above the rest, and his loyalty to his friends, to Dumbledore, and to his destiny are accounts to that.


If you tear away all of the Boy Who Lived prophecy talk about Harry, and look at who he is as a wizard, he is extremely ordinary. He pales in comparison to the famous witches and wizards we hear of. Dumbledore, Voldemort, Snape, McGonnagal. They’re all amazing at what they do, but Harry isn’t. Harry wouldn’t be special in any sense of the word if it wasn’t for his destiny.

I would even argue it is because his destiny, that he is who he is. He grew up not knowing anything about his true self, but when he finally discovers it, he lets it shape him. He lets it fill his every fiber and turn him into the true Gryffindor.

We lose sight of how unremarkable Harry really is when he arrives at Hogwarts.

When he is with the Dursleys, he is treated like trash, but he is definitely far from special. There’s nothing about him that stands out other than he is abused and mistreated. When he gets to Hogwarts, the tides change and suddenly he is like a hero out of legend.

The Boy Who Lived is whispered around the halls, and suddenly he’s the hero of a world he never knew existed. It takes some time, but not much until Harry experiences confidence in himself.

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With his newfound fame and confidence, Harry could become the next Lockhart, boasting about his accomplishment.

Instead he doesn’t. He doesn’t particularly like his fame. He treats those that could be seen as less than him, as equals. He detests Malfoy’s use of the word Mudblood, he treats a house elf with kindness and respect, he doesn’t detest Filch as a squib.


But with this internal sense of respect, Harry also has an internal sense of what is right and wrong, often to the point of putting himself and loved ones in danger.

He doesn’t let others tell him what to do, he decides for himself. If it means breaking the rules for the greater good? Then so be it.

Harry decides what is right and what is wrong, and often answers the evil with violence. We rarely see him think before acting. Whenever Harry needs to think to solve a problem, he has Ron, Hermione, or any one of his Hogwarts friends and allies to help him.

Instead of coming up with a plan to defeat his enemies, Harry is often lucky, or gets help from someone. It is rare that he thinks a problem through before acting.


But that is part of what makes Harry the hero that he is. He isn’t special in a lot of ways, but he is loyal and he is trusting. He has allies that he can rely on and that rely on him. Friends, classmates, mentors, family. He has people beside him almost every step of the way to lift him up when he needs the help.

Sirius, the Weasleys, Hermione, Ron, Lupin. These and many more help Harry, whether it is through connections in the past, or a connection to Harry.

Harry’s true power isn’t being the most powerful wizard. His true power is uniting people, and relying on each other to vanquish the darkness. He never had a true family, but the love of his parents, and the family he makes through his time at Hogwarts is what helps him defeat Voldemort.


With his reliance on others, comes weakness. Harry isn’t perfect, he is human. He gets angry. He gets stressed. He falls in love. He feels the wait of Umbridge’s reign of Hogwarts.

It is the weakness that makes him relatable. It makes him someone who can be understood, someone that readers can see themselves as.

Harry loses many friends and family members along the way. Family he never knew, family he came to love over time, and family he only realized he had when it was too late.

These losses make Harry a stronger person. They hurt him, but at the same time they mold him, shape him into who he is. The losses show him that life is painful, that it isn’t all magical as he sometimes forgets.

Harry could give up at any point in his many years at Hogwarts. Each year he struggles with friends, school, and is constantly fighting for his life. He rarely has a moment of rest, but that was Voldemort’s mistake. Each struggle, each battle, each hardship gives Harry the strength he needs to endure, and an ally that will support him till the end.


A lot can be taken away from studying Harry’s character, whether good or bad. Some say he is too headstrong, acting without thinking, and other potentially harmful behaviour.

Others see Harry as a good example, one who follows through with his actions, is a loyal friend and will do what he believes is good.

Everyone will have their own opinions, and they are welcome to.

Personally I am not a fan of the Harry Potter series as a whole, but I do realize that it is something that a lot of people love.

It has lessons that can be learned, it has characters that can be aspired to, it has ideals that can be upheld.

What do you think of Harry. Was he someone you looked up to, or was he a brash fool. I don’t think there is one correct answer to this, so let’s talk about it in the comments or on social media.
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