Just about everyone knows the name Harry Potter, the famous young wizard.
After all, the Harry Potter franchise – which has spanned books, films, video games, and much more – is one of the most popular and profitable entertainment franchises of all time.
The original books alone have sold over 500 million copies worldwide, meaning that millions upon millions of people have read these thrilling adventures.
However, fans of the Harry Potter series will often want to know every detail about the wizarding world that they can, both big and small.
Whether it’s types of potions, background characters, or the rules of Quidditch (the favorite sport of wizards), fans obsess over knowing everything there is to know about the Harry Potter universe.
One of the most commonly asked questions, though, is about the main character’s age. How old is Harry Potter?
Well, the short answer is that Harry Potter was born on July 31st 1980.
In the first book of the series, Harry was 11 years old when he first went off to the wizarding school of Hogwarts. It also means that in the summer of 2022, Harry Potter has his 42nd birthday.
However, there’s lots more to learn about how old Harry Potter is, such as his age in each of the seven books. In our handy guide below, we’ve got all the answers for you – so read on!
Who Is Harry Potter?
Harry James Potter is the lead character of the Harry Potter franchise, which began as a series of books by J. K. Rowling.
There are seven books in the Harry Potter series, and they cover Harry’s first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to his last, spanning seven years in all.
In the first book, Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone (known as “The Philosopher’s Stone” everywhere but America), we find Harry as an orphan living with his cruel uncle, aunt, and nephew.
However, he is approached on his eleventh birthday by a half-giant, half-human named Hagrid, who tells Harry that he is a wizard.
It isn’t long before Harry finds out that there is a secret wizarding world, kept well apart from the normal human world of “Muggles” (non-magical people).
Harry is sent to learn about magic at the wizarding school, Hogwarts, and befriends two students on the train there.
These students are Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, who become his best friends and stick with him throughout the rest of the books.
Each book tackles a different story, but there is the overarching threat of Lord Voldemort in all of them – a threat which comes closer and closer as the series continues.
Voldemort is the “Dark Wizard”, and murdered Harry’s parents when he was just a baby. He also tried to murder Harry, but it didn’t work, and Harry got a lighting-shaped scar on his forehead as a result.
This is why Harry Potter has a reputation as “the boy who lived” in the wizarding world, and it’s why defeating Voldemort once and for all largely rests on his shoulders.
How Old Is Harry Potter?
Harry Potter was born on July 31st 1980. In the first book, Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone, he is eleven when he is told that he is a wizard and needs to go to Hogwarts to learn magic.
This means that the first Harry Potter adventure takes place in 1991, around and after July.
Harry’s age in the books is the same as his character’s age in each movie and video game.
Interestingly, the first Harry Potter book was actually published in 1997, which means that the story “took place” 6 years before people were reading it.
Funnily enough, July 31st is actually the same birthday as the author and creator of Harry Potter, J. K. Rowling. However, she was born in 1965 instead.
When it comes to the second book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, Harry is in his second year of school at Hogwarts.
This means that he is twelve in this story, just one year older than in the first.
For the third book, Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, Harry is thirteen. Naturally, he finds himself in his third year of school at Hogwarts, with new adventures and threats awaiting.
In Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire, the fourth story in the series, Harry is fourteen years old. He is in his fourth year of school.
For the first story, Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix, Harry is fifteen years old.
Interestingly, while each previous book had been published yearly, this one was released three years after the fourth.
When they were published yearly, it was like the character was growing up in real time – but that changed with this extended gap.
Finally, in the last Harry Potter story, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, Harry is seventeen years old.
The book has an epilogue where an adult Harry sends his children off to Hogwarts. In the epilogue, set 19 years later in 2017, Harry Potter is 37 years old.
How Old Are Harry Potter’s Friends?
Ron Weasley was also born in 1980, but on 1st March. This means that he is the same age, in overall years, as Harry in each story.
Harry’s other best friend, Hermione Granger, was born on 19th September 1979.
This makes her the oldest of the trio, meaning that Hermione was a year older than Harry and Ron in each story, but still just young enough to be included in the same year of school as them.
Avid Harry Potter fans will know that Harry was born on 31st July 1980, but they may not have known how old he was in each Harry Potter story.
Use our guide to reveal all! As the spell goes, “Revelio!”