Harry Potter’s Infamous Lightning Bolt Scar, Explained.

Harry Potter’s Infamous Lightning Bolt Scar, Explained.

Not many fandoms can be recognized by a tiny crooked line. But the wizarding world of Harry Potter will always be known immediately by that one little squiggle. The Harry Potter lightning bolt is an unmistakable sign for fans everywhere. 

The lightning scar on the right side of Harry’s forehead has always meant instant recognition for him in the magic world. We learned this early on when Harry Potter and Ron Weasley met for the first time on the Hogwarts Express. 

In an early conversation, Ron asks Harry if he really has the scar, and Harry pulls back his hair to show him. In the wizarding world, Harry’s scar gives people hope. It means that Harry Potter is the boy who lived, the one who defeated Voldemort. But that’s not all it does. 

How did Harry Potter get his scar?

When Harry Potter was just one year old, his parents were killed by the dark wizard Voldemort, who murdered them so that he could reach their child with nobody standing in his way.

Avada Kedavra, the unforgivable killing curse that was used to murder Harry’s parents, was also used in Voldemort's attempt to kill baby Harry, but it backfired and Harry survived. The boy who lived was left with a wound on his forehead that would become the infamous lightning bolt scar, and the dark lord was reduced to almost nothing and forced to disappear.   

Incendio Harry Potter got his Scar


What is Avada Kedavra?

In the wizarding world, there are three unforgivable curses. These are the Cruciatus Curse, the Imperius Curse, and the Killing Curse. Used only by practitioners of dark magic or in times of war, these curses are illegal in the wizarding world and have been for hundreds of years. 

The Cruciatus Curse, Crucio, causes unimaginable pain to the person it is cast upon. The Imperius Curse, Imperio, places the victim under complete control of the spell-caster. The Killing Curse, Avada Kedavra, ends the life of the victim instantaneously. Voldemort and his followers used these curses to cause pain, suffering, and death to those who would oppose them. If you are a fan of Voldemort (why?), or you just want to add to your collection, you can buy his very evil wand here.

Why did this Voldemort fellow want to kill an innocent baby, anyway?

That is a great question! Voldemort wasted most of his life trying to figure out ways to stay alive forever. He was so afraid of death that he used magic to separate his soul into pieces, making it impossible for him to die unless those pieces of his soul were destroyed first.

But then Voldemort was told about a prophecy indicating that this baby wizard, Harry Potter, would be the one to end the life of the dark lord. So he hopped onto his broom and flew off to the Potter family home in Godric's Hollow, full of murderous intent.

So why is it a lightning bolt scar?

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you probably know already. Harry Potter’s scar is in the shape of a lightning bolt because when Voldemort tried to kill Harry Potter, he cast Avada Kedavra by saying the incantation and performing the hand motion.

Incendio Harry Potter Wand

You can try it yourself with these incredible fire-shooting wands from Incendio Wand Shop. Just don’t point at anyone when you’re doing it! It’s unforgivable and illegal, remember?

The wand movement follows a kind of indented line, a little like a lightning bolt. Harry survived the attempt but made an imprint on him nonetheless, leaving his forehead forever scarred with the shape of the jagged lightning bolt hand motion.

His friends seem to think it’s a pretty cool scar, and it sure seems that way until you realize how he got the mark and the sinister story behind it. You can go to Harry Potter Wiki here to see a picture of the wand movement if you like so that it makes sense to you.

Ok, but does the scar DO anything?

Well, actually, yes! Harry’s scar, along with making Harry Potter one of the most famous people in the wizarding community besides Gilderoy Lockhart, is almost a direct line to Voldemort's thoughts. 

This revelation came in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, when one night Harry awoke with an unbearable pain in his forehead. He had had a dream that was not really a dream, that Arthur Weasley was in mortal danger, having been attacked by Voldemort’s giant snake, Nagini. Thankfully, because of this vision, Harry was able to sound the alarm and save Arthur’s life.

Why didn’t somebody do something about the scar, then?

After this dreadful event, Dumbledore suspected that Harry’s scar linked Harry to the dark lord in some way, and he ordered Professor Snape to teach Harry a skill called Occlumency to help him close his mind against Voldemort.

Snape was a highly skilled wizard and an important character in the series, playing the dangerous part of a double agent, which ultimately lost him his life. Snape fans can buy his wand here.

Harry was not a very good Occlumens, though, and when Voldemort learned of the connection that he and Harry shared, he used it against Harry and lured him into a trap, which in turn was the reason that another beloved character died. 

So Harry Potter’s scar is a bad thing then?

Harry’s lightning bolt scar is a complicated little mark. It is never good to have a scar that connects with a magical psychopath, especially one who has a bunch of evil followers who also know a spell or two. Harry was able to use his scar against Voldemort to help his friends fight against evil.

Along with saving Arthur Weasley, Harry was able to catch a glimpse of a lot of Voldemort’s dastardly plans and evildoings, as well as sense whenever Voldemort was close or when he was extremely angry.

Is there anything else good about the Harry Potter scar?

Another helpful feature of the scar is that it helped Harry to speak Parseltongue, which came in handy when there was a giant basilisk roaming the halls of Hogwarts and trying to murder the students. 

Parseltongue was a skill that people associated with Voldemort, so Harry at first 

tried to keep his knowledge of it a secret. People initially suspected that Harry might be using his power to control snakes with the language, but he soon put an end to that rumor when he used the sword of Gryffindor to end the basilisk’s life. 

Incendio Harry potter Feature Scar

If I may make a nerd comparison, fantasy fans? Harry’s lightning scar shares similarities with Frodo’s short sword, Sting, in The Lord of the Rings books and movies. Sting is an elven dagger that glows blue to warn whenever orcs are near. Harry’s scar burns whenever Voldemort is close by or intensely emotional. Although, unfortunately, Harry cannot use his lightning bolt as a weapon, the scar and Sting are both dependable alarm systems.

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