She stated that her idea for "this scrawny, black-haired, bespectacled boy who didn't know he was a wizard became more and more real to me". She explained in a interview with The Guardian: Hogwarts has to be a boarding school—half the important stuff happens at night! Then there's the security. Having a child of my own reinforces my belief that children above all want security, and that's what Hogwarts offers Harry.
However, she maintained that Harry was not directly based on any real-life person: He attempted to kill Harry too, but was unsuccessful and only left a lightning bolt shaped scar on Harry's forehead. Voldemort's body was destroyed, but his soul was not. Harry later learns that the reason why he survived was because his mother sacrificed herself for him, and her love was something that Voldemort could not destroy.
According to Rowling, fleshing out this back story was a matter of reverse planning: When he was one year old, the most evil wizard for hundreds and hundreds of years attempted to kill him. He killed Harry's parents, and then he tried to kill Harry—he tried to curse him Harry has to find out, before we find out. And for some mysterious reason, the curse didn't work on Harry. So he's left with this lightning-bolt shaped scar on his forehead, and the curse rebounded upon the evil wizard who has been in hiding ever since".
On his eleventh birthday in , Harry learns he is a wizard when Rubeus Hagrid arrives to tell him that he is to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. There he learns about the wizarding world, his parents, and his connection to the Dark Lord. When he is sorted into Gryffindor House, he becomes fast friends with classmates Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger , and foils Voldemort's attempt to steal the Philosopher's Stone.
He also forms a rivalry with characters Draco Malfoy , a classmate from an elitist wizarding family, and the cold, condescending Potions master, Severus Snape , Draco's mentor and the head of Slytherin House. In a interview, Rowling stated that Draco is based on several prototypical schoolyard bullies she encountered  and Snape on a sadistic teacher of hers who abused his power. When Muggle-born students are suddenly being Petrified, many suspect that Harry may be behind the attacks, further alienating him from his peers.
Furthermore, Harry begins to doubt his worthiness for House of Gryffindor, particularly considering he discovers he shares Lord Voldemort's ability to communicate with snakes via Parseltongue.
In the climax, Ginny disappears. To rescue her, Harry battles Riddle and the monster he controls that is hidden in the Chamber of Secrets. In doing so, Dumbledore later restores Harry's self-esteem by explaining that that feat is clear proof of his worthiness of his present house. Harry learns that his parents were betrayed to Voldemort by their friend Peter Pettigrew , who framed Harry's godfather Sirius Black for the crimes, condemning him to Azkaban, the wizard prison.
When Pettigrew escapes, an innocent Sirius becomes a hunted fugitive once again. Harry learns how to create a Patronus, which takes the form of a stag, the same as his late father's. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire In the previous books, Harry is written as a child, but Rowling states that in the fourth novel, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire , "Harry's horizons are literally and metaphorically widening as he grows older. Tension mounts, however, when Harry is mysteriously chosen by the Goblet of Fire to compete in the dangerous Triwizard Tournament, even though another Hogwarts champion, Cedric Diggory , has already been selected.
Voldemort uses the Tournament for an elaborate scheme to lure Harry into a deadly trap. During the Tournament's final challenge, Harry and Cedric are transported to a graveyard, using a portkey, where Cedric is killed by Peter Pettigrew, and Voldemort, aided by Pettigrew, uses Harry's blood in a gruesome ritual to resurrect his body. When Harry duels Voldemort, their wands' magical streams connect, forcing the spirit echoes of Voldemort's victims, including Cedric and James and Lily Potter, to be expelled from his wand.
The spirits briefly protect Harry as he escapes to Hogwarts with Cedric's body. For Rowling, this scene is important because it shows Harry's bravery, and by retrieving Cedric's corpse, he demonstrates selflessness and compassion. Says Rowling, "He wants to save Cedric's parents additional pain. Rowling also mentioned that book four rounds off an era in Harry's life, and the remaining three books are another,  "He's no longer protected.
He's been very protected until now. But he's very young to have that experience. Most of us don't get that until a bit later in life. He's only just coming up to 15 and that's it now. Harry is made to look like an attention-seeking liar, and Dumbledore a trouble-maker. Because the paranoid Ministry suspects that Dumbledore is building a wizard army to overthrow them, Umbridge refuses to teach students real defensive magic.
She gradually gains more power, eventually ousting Dumbledore and seizing control of the school. As a result, Harry's increasingly angry and erratic behaviour nearly estranges him from Ron and Hermione. Rowling says she put Harry through extreme emotional stress to show his emotional vulnerability and humanity—a contrast to his nemesis, Voldemort.
And he didn't want to lose anything else. Their plan is thwarted, however, when a Dumbledore's Army member, Marietta Edgecombe, betrays them and informs Umbridge about the D. Harry suffers another emotional blow, when his beloved godfather, Sirius, is killed during a duel with Sirius' cousin, the Death Eater Bellatrix Lestrange , at the Department of Mysteries, but Harry ultimately defeats Voldemort's plan to steal an important prophecy.
Now his thoughts concern Ginny, and a vital plot point in the last chapter includes Harry ending their budding romance to protect her from Voldemort. Harry suddenly excels in Potions, using an old textbook once belonging to a talented student known only as "The Half-Blood Prince.
Through private meetings with Dumbledore, Harry learns about Voldemort's orphaned youth, his rise to power, and how he splintered his soul into Horcruxes to achieve immortality. Two Horcruxes have been destroyed—the diary and a ring; and Harry and Dumbledore locate another, although it is a fake. As Snape escapes, he proclaims that he is the Half-Blood Prince being the son of a muggle father and the pure-blood Eileen Prince. It now falls upon Harry to find and destroy Voldemort's remaining Horcruxes and to avenge Dumbledore's death.
In a interview, Rowling stated that [after the events in the sixth book] Harry has, "taken the view that they are now at war. He does become more battle-hardened. He's now ready to go out fighting. And he's after revenge [against Voldemort and Snape]. Voldemort has coerced a frightened Malfoy into attempting to kill Dumbledore. During a duel in Moaning Myrtle 's bathroom, Harry uses the Half-Blood Prince's spell, Sectumsempra, on Malfoy, who suffers near-fatal injuries as a result.
Harry is horrified by what he has done and also comes to feel sympathy for Draco, after learning he was forced to do Voldemort's bidding under the threat of his and his parents' deaths. The three pit themselves against Voldemort's newly formed totalitarian police state , an action that tests Harry's courage and moral character.
Voldemort's seizure of the Ministry of Magic leads to discriminatory and genocidal policies against Muggle-borns, fuelled by propaganda and fear. Rowling, telling scenes are when Harry uses Cruciatus Curse and Imperius Curse, unforgivable curses for torture and mind-control, on Voldemort's servants, and also when he casts Sectumsempra on Draco Malfoy during the bathroom fight in the sixth book.
Each time shows a "flawed and mortal" side to Harry. However, she explains, "He is also in an extreme situation and attempting to defend somebody very good against a violent and murderous opponent. Each Horcrux Harry must defeat cannot be destroyed easily. They must be destroyed with basilisk venom, Godric Gryffindor's sword, or some other destructive substance. Ron destroys Slytherin's locket with the sword, Hermione destroys Hufflepuff's cup with a basilisk fang, and Crabbe destroys Ravenclaw's diadem with Fiendfyre cursed flame.
Neville kills the snake Nagini with the sword, and Voldemort destroys the final accidental Horcrux: Harry comes to recognise that his own single-mindedness makes him predictable to his enemies and often clouds his perceptions. When Voldemort kills Snape later in the story, Harry discovers that Snape was not the traitorous murderer he believed him to be, but a tragic antihero who was loyal to Dumbledore. In Chapter 33 'The Prince's Tale' Snape's memories reveal that he loved Harry's mother Lily, but their friendship ended over his association with future Death Eaters and his "blood purity" beliefs.
When Voldemort murdered the Potters, a grieving Snape vowed to protect Lily's child, although he loathed young Harry for being James Potter's son. The memories also reveal that Snape did not murder Dumbledore, but carried out Dumbledore's prearranged plan.
Dumbledore, dying from a slow-spreading curse, wanted to protect Snape's position within the Death Eaters and to spare Draco from completing Voldemort's task of murdering him.
To defeat Harry, Voldemort steals the most powerful wand ever created, the Elder Wand , from Dumbledore's tomb and twice casts the Killing Curse on Harry with it.
The first attempt merely stuns Harry into a deathlike state; the murder attempt fails because Voldemort used Harry's blood in his resurrection during book four.
The protection that his mother gave Harry with her sacrifice tethers Harry to life, as long as his blood and her sacrifice run in the veins of Voldemort.
In the chapter "King's Cross," Dumbledore's spirit talks to Harry whilst in this deathlike state. Dumbledore informs Harry that when Voldemort disembodied himself during his failed attempt to kill Harry as a baby, Harry became an unintentional Horcrux; Harry could not kill Voldemort while the Dark Lord's soul shard remained within Harry's body. The piece of Voldemort's soul within Harry was destroyed through Voldemort's first killing curse with the Elder Wand because Harry willingly faced death, which cast a sacrificial protection on the defenders of Hogwarts.
In the book's climax, Voldemort's second Killing Curse hurled at Harry also fails and rebounds upon Voldemort, finally killing him. The spell fails because Harry, not Voldemort, had become the Elder Wand's true master and the wand could not harm its own master. Harry has each of the Hallows the Invisibility Cloak, the Resurrection Stone, and the Elder Wand at some point in the story but never unites them.
Rowling said the difference between Harry and Voldemort is that Harry willingly accepts mortality, making him stronger than his nemesis. James Sirius Potter , who has already been at Hogwarts for at least one year, Albus Severus Potter , who is starting his first year there, and Lily Luna Potter , who is two years away from her first year at the school.
According to Rowling, after Voldemort's defeat, Harry joins the "reshuffled" Auror Department under Kingsley Shacklebolt 's mentoring, and ends up eventually rising to become Head of said department in Radcliffe was asked to audition for the role of Harry in by producer David Heyman , while in attendance at a play titled Stones in His Pockets in London. Because of this, Radcliffe talked to a bereavement counsellor to help him prepare for the role.
He is further described as "small and skinny for his age" with "a thin face" and "knobbly knees", and he wears round eyeglasses. In the first book, his scar is described as "the only thing Harry liked about his own appearance". When asked about the meaning behind Harry's lightning bolt scar, Rowling said, "I wanted him to be physically marked by what he has been through. It was an outward expression of what he has been through inside It is almost like being the chosen one or the cursed one, in a sense.
Having "very limited access to truly caring adults", Rowling said, Harry "is forced to make his own decisions from an early age on. According to Rowling, one of Harry's pivotal scenes came in the fourth book when he protects his dead schoolmate Cedric Diggory's body from Voldemort, because it shows he is brave and selfless.
He's competitive, and he's a fighter.