Some content in this article is derived from information featured in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and, as such, spoilers will be present.
- Minerva McGonagall: "Is that where — ?"
- Albus Dumbledore: "Yes. He'll have that scar forever."
- — Talk of Harry's lightning-bolt scar[src]
Harry Potter has obtained a number of scars over his lifetime, as well as a few injuries that may have resulted in scarring. The one he is most well known for, and the first he received, is on his forehead and is shaped like a lightning bolt (or possibly in the shape of the wand movement required for the killing curse); it is the result of a Killing Curse striking him when he was an infant and played a role in his conflict with, and eventual defeat of, Lord Voldemort.
- "Yes. That ain't no ordinary cut on your forehead, Harry. A mark like that only comes from being touched by a curse, and an evil curse at that."
- —Brief description of the scar on Harry's forehead[src]
A scar on Harry Potter's forehead in the shape of a lightning bolt is the result of a failed murder attempt by Lord Voldemort on 31 October, 1981, when he struck 15-month-old Harry with the Killing Curse. Harry is the only known person to survive the curse because his mother's loving sacrifice protected him. Unbeknownst to Voldemort, the incident also inadvertently made Harry into a Horcrux, as a piece of the Dark Lord's soul embedded itself in Harry.
Realising the connection
- "I guessed, 15 years ago, when I saw the scar on your forehead, what it might mean. I guessed that it might be the sign of a connection forged between you and Voldemort."
- —Albus Dumbledore regarding Harry's lightning-bolt scar[src]
In the years to come, Harry's scar hurt whenever Voldemort was close, or whenever he was in danger from the Dark Lord or his followers, the Death Eaters, such as when one set off the Dark Mark near him in 1994. When Harry was forced to confront the newly returned Voldemort in the graveyard in Little Hangleton in 1995, his scar burned terribly.
At this point, it became clear to Albus Dumbledore and to Harry that the scar was part of a link between his mind and that of Voldemort. It would hurt Harry whenever Voldemort was experiencing strong negative emotions, and sometimes Harry was able to see into Voldemort's thoughts directly. It was through this connection that Harry saw Nagini attack Arthur Weasley in 1995.
This incident was what high-lighted the need for Harry to learn to block the connection that existed, as this vision was more intense then previous ones. To try to prevent Voldemort from invading Harry's mind, Dumbledore had him take Occlumency lessons with Severus Snape, though they were ultimately unsuccessful. They were unsuccessful because Snape and Harry could not put their animosity towards each other aside and preform the necessary steps required in teaching and learning this art.
In June of 1996, Voldemort used the link to send Harry a false vision of his godfather being tortured with the Cruciatus Curse in order to lure him to the Department of Mysteries. Once within the department he and his friends were attacked and a battle ensued. Voldemort briefly possessed Harry at the end of this battle, but when Harry focused on feelings of grief for his beloved, murdered godfather, Voldemort experienced great pain and pulled out from his mind. Dumbledore theorised that Voldemort would never attempt to enter Harry's mind again.
- "The scar had not pained Harry for nineteen years. All was well."
- —The connection with Voldemort was destroyed[src]
Although Harry never mastered Occlumency, he did eventually learn to exert moderate control over the connection between himself and Voldemort. While searching for the Horcruxes with Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, he felt his scar burn many times, on the occasions when Voldemort was angry, and was able to glimpse his thoughts and perceptions at those times. For example, when Harry questioned Mr Ollivander about the existence of the Elder Wand, he had seen a vision from the past in which Ollivander was telling Voldemort that Gregorovitch had the Elder Wand. He also saw Voldemort ordering Draco Malfoy to torture Thorfinn Rowle through Voldemort's eyes. When Harry focused on feelings associated with love, such as his anguish over Hermione being tortured by Bellatrix Lestrange or his grief over Dobby's death, he was able to block out his link to Voldemort.
After Harry learned that he was a Horcrux, he willingly went to what he believed would be his death. Voldemort's Killing Curse, however, only destroyed the piece of his own soul that was inside of Harry, thus eliminating their link. Harry survived, and went to defeat Voldemort once and for all. Since the pain from his scar was caused by the portion of Voldemort's soul within him trying to escape, Harry did not feel any more pain from the scar once Voldemort had eliminated that portion of soul, until the year 2020, when Voldemort's daughter, Delphini, was plotting his revival via the use of time travel.
Scars on Harry's hand
- Ron Weasley: "Bloody hell, Harry. The woman's torturing you... If the parents knew about this..."
- Harry Potter: "I haven't got any of those, have I, Ron?"
- Hermione Granger: "But, Harry, you've got to report this."
- — Conversation regarding the scars on Harry's hand[src]
Dolores Umbridge, a Ministry employee, became Defence Against the Dark Arts professor and High Inquisitor of Hogwarts in Harry's fifth year. She pushed the Ministry's position that Lord Voldemort had not returned, and that Harry and Dumbledore were liars or nutters for saying otherwise. Harry argued with her about this on numerous occasions, resulting in her assigning him detentions. She made him write lines with a Blood Quill, which used his own blood as ink.
As a result, Harry was left with scar on his right hand reading "I must not tell lies" that are white when he clenches his hand, usually when he is filled with hate upon hearing about Umbridge. The scars tingle whenever Harry hears or touches Umbridge's name, or any reference to her.
Other possible scars
There are some injuries which Harry received that may have left scars.
Nagini's bite scar
- "The snake bit you too, but I've cleaned the wound and put some Dittany on it..."
- —Harry now has a snake bite scar on his forearm[src]
When Nagini attacked Harry when he and Hermione ventured to Godric's Hollow on 24 December, 1997, the snake bit him on the forearm. After Disapparating, Hermione put some Dittany on the wound. By the time Harry woke up, the bite was "half-healed". It is unknown if this left a scar, because although Dittany generally repairs damage to the skin, Nagini was a venomous snake, which may have exacerbated the injury. When she bit Arthur Weasley in 1995, the healers at St Mungo's had a difficult time keeping the wound closed because her poison dissolved his stitches and was immune to common magical forms of healing. Nagini may not have given Harry as severe a bite because Voldemort ordered her to hold him, not to kill him. Harry's own nature as a Horcrux may also have been a factor.
- "The famous lightning scar has company: Potter is sporting a nasty cut over his right cheekbone. Requests for information as to its provenance merely produced the usual response from the Ministry of Magic: ‘We do not comment on the top secret work of the Auror department, as we have told you no less than 514 times, Ms. Skeeter.’"
In the gossip section of the 2014 Quidditch World Cup on Pottermore, Rita Skeeter reported spotting a new scar upon Harry's right cheekbone, the origins of which are currently unknown.
Behind the scenes
- According to J. K. Rowling during a web chat, the lightning scar no longer burns or hurts after Voldemort's defeat.
- J. K. Rowling stated that the pain from Harry's scar on his forehead is caused by the piece of Voldemort's soul trying to leave his body through the wound it entered to rejoin its master's soul.
- J. K. Rowling during a web chat stated that she could not sport her hero with a doughnut-shaped scar and so she gave Harry the lightning bolt scar on his head because she felt it was cool.
- In the films, Harry's scar is off-centre on his forehead. This was done at J. K. Rowling's insistence, because many fans believe that the scar is in the middle of his forehead, since this is where illustrations in the American books depict it; however the British books depict it off-centre, but the scar's location is never mentioned in the books' text. It is, however, hinted to be on the right side of his forehead (in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix it says Harry received pain above his right eye). It was also mentioned that it was in a location easily covered by his hair.
- The scar on Harry's forehead prompted Draco Malfoy to come up with and use the mocking nickname of "Scarhead" for Harry, which he first uttered during the Quidditch match of Gryffindor versus Slytherin in 1992, but used multiple times since.
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the scars on Harry's left hand read "I must not tell lies". Also, he has scars on his right hand saying "I will not break rules" (done after Umbridge found the Dumbledore's Army).
- Prince William, Duke of Cambridge revealed that he has a scar similar to Harry Potter's on his forehead. He calls it his "Harry Potter scar" because it glows sometimes, and some people notice it, while at other times they do not notice it at all.
- Before Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released, J. K. Rowling stated that the last word of the book would be "scar." She changed her mind in the end, and the last word is "well", although Harry's scar is mentioned in the penultimate sentence of the book.
- The cut that Pettigrew gave Harry in the Little Hangleton Graveyard is similar to the Dark Mark in its location and length.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (video game)
- Harry Potter: A Pop-Up Book
- LEGO Harry Potter: Building the Magical World
- LEGO Harry Potter: Characters of the Magical World
- Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- LEGO Harry Potter
- Harry Potter: The Character Vault
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (play)
Notes and references
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 2 (The Scar)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Act One, Scene 9
- ↑ Web chat with J.K. Rowling
- ↑ J.K. Rowling PotterCast Interview
- ↑ Webchat with J.K. Rowling
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- ↑ Who gave Prince William his 'Harry Potter scar'? Royal reveals friend hit him with golf club