Friday, July 15, 2011

Is James really Harry's father?

Honestly, I haven't looked too much around to see if anyone else has written about this, but the latest Harry Potter movie seems to indicate that Lily might not have been as faithful as everyone thought. Granted, it's been a while since I read the last book and this parenthood mystery has mostly been sparked by the film, but JK would not have allowed anything to go ahead that she wasn't comfortable with.

The evidence?

It's mostly seen at the end of the film in two scenes; first of all during the Pensieve scenes with Snape’s memories. This is the part where Snape’s love for Lily is revealed, but with one notable part: Dumbledore asks about Snape’s feelings towards Harry, and basically asks if his feelings towards the young man have changed. In response, Snape reveals his Patronus: a doe, just like Lily’s. Dumbledore asks “After all this time?”, and Snape replies “Always”.
When I saw this, Snape being Harry’s real father was the first thought to cross my mind, but I quickly rejected it because the movie still wasn’t over.
When the Voldemort section of Harry has died and taken Harry with it, Harry encounters the dead Dumbledore. Harry asks Dumbledore if it’s curious that Snape’s Patronus is the same as Lilys; Dumbledore says that the more he thinks about it, the less curious it is.

That’s not much to go on, I know, but the fact that Snape and Lily are so bonded that their Patronus is the same, and that Dumbledore knows the truth about it sparks a lot of thought.

This is all from the movie, but in the books James and Harry are said to have thin faces and untidy black hair sticking up at the back. Snape is also supposed to be thin and have a thin face, a hooked nose, and long black hair. It is also said that Harry looks a lot like James except his eyes, which are Lily’s, and his nose which is bigger. And everyone keeps saying that Harry looks a lot like his father! Hmm.

So: Snape had a love for Lily but he hated that she married James. Snape showed a lot of courage and turned against all of his friends and Voldemort to secure Lily and Harry’s protection. Snape did everything in his power to protect Harry. Snape only started being really mean to Harry when he started acting like James. Snape and Harry look a lot alike (both thin, both scraggly black hair, both big-ish nose).

It’s my thought and the thought of everyone I know who has seen the film, that there is more than meets the eye here. Perhaps we will find a true answer when Pottermore opens?

What do you think? Is Snape the real father of Harry or does he just want to be? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Kathy 

Themes: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part two, Harry Potter, Snape, Dumbledore, James, Lily, family, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, James Potter, Lily Potter, Voldemort, parents, family, Is Snape Harry's father?, Harry Potter

37 comments:

  1. I don't think he is his father. I think Dumbledore knew that Harry isn't the brightest bulb in the pack so he had to think about it a bit more, but we have already known about the love. Also then Harry wouldn't have been the chosen one because his parents would have been snape and lily and they didn't match the criteria for him being the chosen one. Granted Neville's weren't fully taken away so the prophecy can be interpreted differently, I just don't believe it. Interesting though. I can't wait for POTTERMORE!!!! =)

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  2. True about the prophecy, Anonymous, but it could also be said that Snape was taken away from him because Snape could never be the father that Harry truely needed? Hmm...

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  3. I noticed one thing in the film that didn't seem to be in the books.

    The ghost of James Potter has red hair and beard.

    Lilly also had red hair.

    Ergo, if Harry is their child then he should have red hair as well.

    So, either Rowling intends for the books and movies to have different canon, or someone was being awfully sloppy.

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    1. The director of those final films made subtle changes such as actually putting some romance in between Neville and Luna which was for the fans, and yes it was kind of obvious in the final film that their was a hint that Snape was his real father but that is film only, not book. In the book it's obvious it's James as the father, in the films it's not as clear due to J.K. Rowling and the director/screenwriter perhaps disagreeing on the minor details like that because ultimately it doesn't matter to the bigger story.

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  4. @Peregrin: or she was making a point heehee? But yes, I did notice Lily's red hair, although James' was a darker red.

    The casting with James was always a bit off for my liking, because Harry is supposed to look a lot like him but the actors don't look very alike. But I guess it's hard to make it look as it should in a book.

    Also, did anyone else notice that Ginny and Lily look awefully similar? I know it's common for men to marry women who resemble their mothers, but that's mostly the body type and personality, but this was just plain creepy IMO.

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  5. Hello, long time reader first time caller. I'm not sure that Snape is the father. I seem to remember vaguely in the book version when Harry was watching Snapes memories in the pensive... I'm pretty sure when Snape approached Dumbledore, still a death-eater, and asked that he help protect Lilly, that Snape expressed no desire to save James or the baby. I think he had actually tried to convince Voldemort to take James and Harry but leave Lilly.

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  6. Interesting point Anonymous, that does make it seem that Sev was a lot more interested in protecting Lily than Harry.

    It has been a while since I read book 7, and I will be the first to admit that I didn't get this impression until I saw the movie, so I think a re-read of the series is in order. I did a rewatch of the movies so now I will reread the books (except maybe 5) and see if it's just the movie that made me crazy.

    Thanks for your comment, and keep them coming if you have something to say =)

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  7. @rosey.angel I just want to start this argument with... I'm a fan of Harry/Hermione.

    If we're going to make the argument that Ginny merely looks like Lily as a girl, then we should take into consideration Lily's other attributes. She was muggle born and declared "the brightest witch of her time". She was assumed prefect of Gryffindor, since she later became Head Girl (a title that would probably be given to Hermione if she had been at Hogwarts her seventh year).

    So, like you said... it would be creepy that Harry would marry Ginny because she looks like Lily and we like to think that men marry women based from the qualities the resemble their mothers.

    Just a thought.

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  8. No, that is true Ana; even though Ginny looks like Lily Harry never really knew his mother so he must see something in Ginny that he likes.

    Where do you weigh in on the Snape v James as Harry's father debate?

    Kathy

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  9. I'm going to go with no. I say this because on page 676 (of the American Scholastic version) it jumps from Lily and Snape having an argument over him calling her a mudblood to Snape begging Dumbledore to keep the Potter's safe. And I'm 99.999999% sure JK would have put something in between there, even just a little something, to give us doubt.

    And by little something it would've just been a one liner such as "I just wanted you to know." or "You're the only one I can trust with this secret."

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    1. Clearly when he wanted to keep the potters safe he meant it literally and wanted their safe after they died.

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  10. @Ana, personally, I thought that the scene with Dumbledore when Snape reveals his Patronus was the little something to give it away. But that's just me (and a bunch of my friends and other people online lol).

    Thanks for your comments!

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  11. There were things that got my attention earlier that I dismissed like in one of the movies harry wanted to go into potions as his specialty. When I heard that I thought ‘how odd isn’t that what professor Snape’s specialty is?’ This potions thing came out of nowhere. One thing that had never got my attention though but I immediately thought of after seeing the movie was the first book (I did read the first three) when the sorting hat was deciding which house to place Harry, either Slytherin or Gryffindor (unclear but it seemed to want Slytherin). Harry’s mother was a Gryffindor as was James Potter but Severus Snape was a Slytherin. Where would this Slytherin come from? I think the intention was to hint at and leave an enigma surrounding it as you will. To have a mystery that was never fully answered and at the end you don’t know. Not like a subtlety everyone can agree that it exist but something where at the end of the day everyone can concur that you don’t know. It very well could and there’s evidence to support both men being the father. And that goes back to the sorting hat where it’s the concept is first introduced and it is also unclear. As we will never know what the hat would have chosen if harry had not had a prejudice we will never know who fathered our protagonist.

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    1. Slitherin came from the horcruxe inside of him. Tom Riddle was a Slytherin thus portraying that part.

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    2. Slitherin came from the horcruxe inside of him. Tom Riddle was a Slytherin thus portraying that part.

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  12. To the post about Gryffindor and Slytherin sorting hat, that kind of makes sense but when I think about it, it's probably because Harry had a part of Voldemort within him.

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    1. That makes perfect sense.

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  13. Following Peregrin's observation, the only possible genotype for Harry's dark hair is Rr. RR or Rr are the genotypes for dark hair. The red hair from his mom is the genotype of rr. The parents' possible genotypes lead to two Punnet Squares that say if Harry's dad was portrayed as red by the producer, not likely a mistake, only Lily sleeping with Snape would lead to Harry's phenotype of dark brown hair. Only . . . the other guys in her life had dark hair too . . . MAMA MIA.

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  14. Good thoughts everyone, especially about Harry's knack or potions and the genotypes. Harry fans are very smart!
    I always thought that the sorting hat thing was about Voldemort, but now I'm not so sure...

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    1. I thought harry did poorly in potions. Only having snape's half blood prince copy made him excel. Didn't he only complete in year 5 at newt status and not obtain his owl since his career goal was an auror? Only when Minerva mentioned slughorn accepted newt students did he continue in potions. I believe he only desired potions to meet criteria for auror profession.

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  15. LOL. JKR said that James is DEFINITELY Harry's father.
    And,if by any,non existing canon but only fan based chance,turned out to be that Snape was his dad,that would only show Snape as the most horrible sadistic human being in HP universe,because he treated his own child the way he did,he bullied him,mocked him and he never cared about him ("For HIM! Expecto Patronum!") and wanted him dead ("You disgust me. You do not care, then, about the deaths of her husband and child? They can die, as long as you have what you want?"). Not to mention the fact Harry looks like a spitting image of James.
    This is a ridiculous theory,based on the movies in which they changed so many things and didn't even managed to make Harry's and Lily's eyes (the most important thing!) tbe the same colour.

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    1. Amen. Though I did have a soft spot for severus I too agree all his ambitious and drive was all for lily alone.

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  16. Severus being Harrys father could have been an idea JKR hat considered and decided against for the books. Then thought it wise to throw those hints in the movie just incase of a sequel. studios often insist on that for a chance to make more money. However it is still up to the author to write the sequel or sell the rights. it is possible she agreed just to please the studio executives. So, in my opinion, and that is all it is. I think as the original books suggest, James is Harry's father.

    just another fan

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  17. Wow, it's been so long since I've posted this and people still keep commenting! This is great everyone! It seems that this is an unpopular theory and many of you are convinced James is Harry's father which is very clear in the books from what I've read.
    So everyone, is it possible for the series to have two sets of cannon; the book and the movie? And to have the book be sure about Harry's lineage yet the movie hint otherwise?

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  18. Actually dan had an allergic reaction to the green contacts so his eyes had to be blue

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  19. My take is maybe lily truly loved snape. As with other movies, like the notebook, a huge fight separates ppl. And sometimes they never get over they're lost love. So this could be one of those things where she and snape were soul mates but tragic consiquesnces pulled them apart. Notice in the end when harry was talking with them holding the stone he barely talked to his father, and he asked his mom to stay close to his she responded with snapes same word "always"... very sad though... I cried...

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  20. I don´t know. I think that from the view of the book we can´t found it exactly, but I´ve ever wished Snape to be Harry´s father. The death of Snape was so sad and I was soooo upset of that :( ;((

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  21. Did it ever occur to any of you that Snape never wanted Dumbledore to know either? Or anyone? If he knew the truth that Harry was his son then he had to keep that 100% secret from everyone, especially Dumbledore.

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  22. Long time between comments. I just re-watched all the movies this past week, and I also read the books some time ago. There are vast differences between both, obviously. In the books, there's no doubt about Jame's being Harry's father. However, the movies do, in my opinion, drop hints to the fact Snape might be. It's presented far to ambiguously to draw any conclusions for sure, and that, I'm certain, was the plan. One of the many ways the movies built upon and in some ways improved the story: adding that extra mystery.

    But at the very least, on the subject of Lily's and Snape's Patronuses taking the same form -- I like to think that is because the happy memory they both used to evoke it was the same one. That memory of the two of them laying beneath that tree as children, when they first bonded, making the leaves fly and giggling together. Even if their love (or his love) was never consummated, it's kind of beautiful to think that she held that memory with him as one of her happiest, as he did, thus making their charms take the same shape through that memory link. That's my theory, anyway.

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  23. Just watched the final, cried my heart out and have to say I do think Snape might have been Harry's old man. Why would Harry call his son after Dumbledore and Snape and not his father and when Harry saw the ghosts of his parent's he barely acknowledged his 'dad' and the whole Slytherin and again the whole Snape revealing his Patronus: a doe, just like Lily’s. Dumbledore asks “After all this time?”, and Snape replies “Always”... and if he wanted to keep Harry safe he had to be mean to him. Sniff. Snape story line was so sad. Great movie!

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    1. His other son is called James after his father. All Snape does is because of Lily. I don't believe he ever loved Harry but he fell like he has to protect him just because Lily meant so much to him.

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    2. His other son is called James after his father. All Snape does is because of Lily. I don't believe he ever loved Harry but he fell like he has to protect him just because Lily meant so much to him.

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  24. Snape only protected harry for lily. He was not his father. I believe all points that lead to that idea though interesting and I wish he was are merely coincidental... He only did all he did for harry for lily or at dumbledore's request

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  25. Never occurred to me before today that Snape could be Harry's dad!

    The sorting hat thing could be because of Voldemort or also that Harry was a powerful wizard and power can go two ways good or bad.

    The die thing is sweet but could just be a connection from two close childhood friends who had a lot in common.

    The thing that got me wondering is the nose thing! I don't remember it from the books!

    I'd like it if Snape was Harry's dad but I think it was James. Would explain why James always hated Snape though!

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  26. How about when Harry says stay close to me and his mother replies Always. Just as Snape did.

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  27. Snape being Harry's dad wouldn't make him the worst character, it would make him the most tortured. Snape doesn't want Voldemort to be able to view him memories and see the love for Harry. The 'Always' that both Lily and Snape confess was very telling and very sweet.
    Though, I don't believe Snape is the father, I believe he grew to love Harry, and his love runs deep. He was a tragically beautiful character. And I love and miss Alan Rickman for his captivating portrayal.

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  28. Snape and Lily did not wear glasses. Harry and James did. Might be too simple, but some things are. The other thing that sticks out for me is that the circle before Harry meets up with Voldemort James is there and Snape is not. I would think that if Snape were Harry's father, it would have been him there and not James. Now, this presumes the ghosts control who is their and not images in Harry's head from his heart.

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