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Is Snape Harry’s Real Father in Harry Potter?

Is Snape Harry’s Real Father in Harry Potter?

The Harry Potter series, beloved by millions, is famed for its rich tapestry of characters, plot twists, and deep-seated mysteries. One such mystery that has intrigued and divided fans over the years is the question: “Is Severus Snape Harry Potter’s real father?”

While on the surface it may seem an outlandish theory, certain elements in the narrative have sparked this intriguing line of speculation.

A pivotal point comes when Harry names his second son Albus Severus, honoring the two wizards who had major impacts on his life – Albus Dumbledore and Severus Snape. This choice underscores the deep respect Harry developed for Snape.

Furthermore, Snape’s unwavering commitment to safeguard Harry, in spite of their apparent animosity, is seen by some as suggesting a deeper connection. Snape’s actions, his Patronus mirroring that of Harry’s mother, and his profound declaration of ‘Always’ regarding his love for Lily Potter, have fuelled this speculation.

Is Snape Harry’s Real Father?

Snape is not Harry’s real father. This is stated in the books and films. Harry’s father is James Potter, who also looks like Harry. Snape loved Harry’s mother, Lily and this is why he protected Harry throughout his life, even though he often treated Harry poorly.

Quotes From the Books That Show James Is Harry’s Father


“You look so like your father,” said Lupin, with a faint smile. “Just as I remember…”

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

This shows that Lupin, a close friend of James, recognizes Harry’s physical resemblance to James.


In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry sees his reflection in the Mirror of Erised along with his parents, and the book mentions,

“He had a thin face, knobbly knees, black hair, and bright-green eyes. He wore round glasses held together with a lot of Scotch tape because of all the times Dudley had punched him on the nose. The only thing Harry liked about his own appearance was a very thin scar on his forehead that was shaped like a bolt of lightning. He had had it as long as he could remember, and the first question he could ever remember asking his Aunt Petunia was how he had gotten it.”

The description of Harry is a clear mirror image of how James Potter was described, indicating the hereditary resemblance between father and son.


In Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix, Harry has a conversation with Sirius Black, who says,

“You’re less like your father than I thought, The risk would’ve been what made it fun for James.”

This implies that Harry’s father, James, was known for taking risks and enjoyed adventures, a trait that is not typically associated with Snape’s character.

The Bond Between Harry Potter and Severus Snape

Snape Protecting the Students

The relationship between Harry Potter and Severus Snape is one of the most complex and layered in the entire series. It’s a tangle of deep resentment, mutual misunderstanding, begrudging respect, and underlying care, all interwoven through the shared history of their relationships with Lily Potter, Harry’s mother.

From the outset, Snape’s harsh treatment of Harry at Hogwarts is evident. The Potions Master harbors a longstanding grudge against Harry’s father, James, which initially seems to be the source of his animosity towards Harry. Snape is continually caustic, singling Harry out in his classes and taking points away from Gryffindor for the most trivial reasons.

Yet, underneath this bitterness, Snape serves as an unacknowledged guardian to Harry. He rescues him from Quirrell’s jinx on his broom during his first Quidditch match, tries to teach him Occlumency to guard his mind against Voldemort, and often steps in to save Harry in moments of grave danger. Snape’s role is complex, caught in the delicate balance of serving Dumbledore, misleading Voldemort, and protecting Harry.

The turning point comes in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” where Snape’s true allegiance and the depth of his character are revealed in the Pensieve. Snape’s love for Lily Potter, Harry’s mother, is unveiled, explaining his unwavering dedication to Harry’s protection, a promise he made to Dumbledore and kept until his last breath.

Snape’s sacrificial love comes to a climax in the Battle of Hogwarts. He passes on his memories to Harry, revealing the truth and, in his last moments, shows a raw, human side to Harry. He asks to look into Harry’s eyes, which are identical to Lily’s – the woman he loved all his life. In the end, Snape dies protecting Harry, his final act serving to ensure Voldemort’s downfall and Harry’s survival.

Read more: Is Snape Good or Bad?

Why Does Snape and Lily Have the Same Patronus?

Snape Patronus Doe with Dumbledore
Snape casting Doe Patronus with Dumbledore

The Patronus, a defensive charm that produces a silver animal guardian, is known to be a reflection of a person’s deepest nature or, sometimes, to signify love for another person. In the Harry Potter series, Severus Snape’s Patronus is a doe, which is the same as Lily Potter’s.

The reason for this is rooted in Snape’s unrequited and enduring love for Lily. Their friendship started when they were children, and despite their paths diverging with Lily marrying James Potter and Snape joining Voldemort’s Death Eaters, Snape’s feelings for Lily never wavered.

When Lily’s life was threatened, Snape pleaded with both Dumbledore and Voldemort to spare her. After her death, he agreed to protect Harry, Lily’s son, in her memory. His Patronus changed to a doe, mirroring Lily’s, as a manifestation of his love and loss. This was a secret he guarded closely, with very few characters in the series learning about it.

In “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” Dumbledore, upon seeing Snape’s doe Patronus, remarks, “After all this time?” to which Snape simply replies, “Always.” This reveals the depth and persistence of his feelings for Lily.

Learn more about Snape having the same Patronus as Lily and the meaning of “Always”.

Why Did Harry Name Is Son Albus Severus?

Lily Potter and Severus Snape
Lily Potter and Severus Snape

Harry Potter’s decision to name his second son Albus Severus was a tribute to two men who had a significant impact on his life: Albus Dumbledore and Severus Snape. The choice to include Snape’s name, in particular, was a symbol of Harry’s deep respect and recognition for Snape’s courage, selflessness, and the crucial role he played in the defeat of Voldemort.

It wasn’t until Snape’s final moments and the posthumous viewing of his memories that Harry came to understand the depth of Snape’s loyalty to Dumbledore and his enduring love for Lily Potter, Harry’s mother.

Harry, now understanding the immense sacrifices Snape made, chose to honor him by naming his son Albus Severus. In “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” Harry tells his son, “you were named for two headmasters of Hogwarts. One of them was a Slytherin and he was probably the bravest man I ever knew.”

This statement signifies Harry’s profound respect for Snape and the recognition of his bravery, indicating that the labels of “Gryffindor” and “Slytherin,” do not solely define a person’s character or their capacity for courage and selflessness.

Read more: Why Does Snape Hate Harry and James Potter?