What Is Harry Potter?
In the simplest terms, it’s a franchise. In more elaborate terms, it’s like a tidal wave of literary influence that has defined a generation or two, and has spawned everything from:
- Movies (all eight of the original series plus a few more)
- Memes (Dobby is free, anyone?)
- Plays (A Very Potter Musical and The Cursed Child)
- Spinoffs (parodies and fanfictions)
- Internet quizzes (Are you a Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, or Slytherin)
- And much more
No one ever knew that the story about a little boy with glasses and a scar would turn out to be so popular – the books were initially rejected for publishing and didn’t really take off until the release of the second book Chamber of Secrets. But from that point onwards, the books became an unstoppable literary phenomenon until the series ended.
But the franchise itself is far from over, and it looks like JK Rowling still has a lot to offer fans in terms of material. As of the moment, the franchise has steered away from the British story setting of Hogwarts and into the international wizarding world, courtesy of the film series Fantastic Beasts.
So What’s The Deal With Harry’s Scar?
Before we talk about Harry’s scar, it’s important to understand the relationship between him and the original villain in his timeline, Lord Voldemort.
Warning! Spoilers ahead.
Voldemort was an all-powerful dark wizard that waged terror on the wizards of Great Britain. In time, he discovers a prophecy about a boy that will someday be born to defeat him. Voldemort then starts to look further into this prediction but discovers that he only has a fragment of the prophecy, not the entire thing.
To make matters even more complicated, when Voldemort looked further into the prophecy, he found out that there were actually two baby boys that it could be referring to: Neville Longbottom and Harry Potter. Voldemort went after the latter, not realising that once he tried to kill Harry Potter with Avada Kedavra he would be destroyed in the process.
Harry survived with nothing more than a lightning scar on his forehead, and Voldemort was seemingly vanquished…
Does The Scar Do Anything?
Not on its own. The lightning scar on Harry’s forehead was more or less just something that he had during his early childhood when he wasn’t aware of his magical ancestry. But after the events of Philosopher's Stone, his scar starts to twinge and hurt.
Harry discovers in Prisoner Of Azkaban the story behind his parents’ murder, which leads to Voldemort’s resurrection in Goblet Of Fire – where the scar acts as an alarm of sorts, signalling when Voldemort or his influence was near Harry.
More than that, the scar represents the connection between Harry and Voldemort: particularly in how the two of them are destined to destroy each other eventually. A large part of the latter books (especially Order of the Phoenix) deals with how Harry struggles to prevent Voldermort’s influence on his life and mental psyche, and his scar was always a good indicator of when this presence was particularly powerful.
Eventually, good triumphs over evil and Harry finally destroys Voldemort as prophesied. The scar doesn’t disappear with his defeat, but it doesn’t twinge or hurt anymore, giving Harry (and the readers everywhere) the assurance that Voldemort is gone for good.
There are plenty of cool visual motifs in the Harry Potter series (for those who side with Voldemort for some reason, the Dark Mark sigil is extremely popular) but the iconic glasses and scar is definitely one of the most memorable designs in the series.
Fan’s are obsessed with Harry’s scar and will even go as far as to get a lightning bolt tattoo to show their love for the series!