Is Harry the heir of Godric Gryffindor? Or descendant of other Houses?

It has been suggested Harry is the last Heir of Godric Gryffindor. What is this based on?

• When Harry was getting his first wand it shot out red and gold sparks the colours of Gryffindor. (jsattary)

• In the Chamber of Secrets Harry pulled Godric Gryffindor's sword from the sorting hat and later Dumbledore tells him that only a "true Gryffindor" could have done this. (jsattary)

• Harry has a natural affinity with Fawks the Phoenix. Fawks is scarlet with a gold tail - again the colours of Gryffindor. (jsattary)

• Fawkes the Phoenix's coloring/plumage does not have to do with Gryffindor: The traditional plumage fore phoenixes in myths are scarlet and gold.

• Fawks the Phoenix increases the courage of the pure of heart. Fawks has helped Harry's courage in the Chamber of Secrets and when fighting Voldemort after touching the Triwizard's cup. This shows that Harry is pure of heart and has much courage and this is what Godric Gryffindor favoured in his hand picked students. (jsattary)

• Before Harry's parents died they lived in "Godric's Hollow" Godric being Gryffindor's first name. (jsattary)

• Harry birthday is on the 31st July which falls under the sign of Leo the Lion, Gryffindor's mascot. (jsattary)

• His birthstone is a ruby - which is scarlet, a Gryffindor colour. (Caroline )

• Another intriguing thought is that if Harry was the heir of Gryffindor then this would be a good reason for Voldemort to want to kill James and Harry and not Lily because in fact although Lily is Harry mother she is actually not a blood relative of the Potter family. This explains why Harry has no family whatsoever on his father's side, because they have all been killed by Voldemort. Remember we know nothing about James' history. There is an old legend that states that only the heir of Gryffindor (Harry) can kill the heir of Slytherin (Voldemort). Voldemort's main objective in life is to achieve immortality so he must kill Harry to do this. Harry being the heir would explain why Dumbledore is so kind to Harry, because Dumbledore wants Voldemort dead and Harry has the best chance of achieving this. (jsattary)

If you read the books carefully, it's all there from the very beginning. And when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. If Tom Riddle/Voldemort is the Heir of Slytherin, then Harry Potter MUST be the Heir of Gryffindor.

But perhaps you need further convincing. It can't be as simple as that, you say. So I offer you these three proofs:


The name of the town where Lily and James Potter lived and died, and where Harry was born, is named "Godric's Hollow." You see the connection? "Godric" as in "Godric Gryffindor," one of the four founders of Hogwarts. It CAN'T be a coincidence.

It makes sense, of course. James and Lily Potter would want to live in a town with a magical history, possibly even a town founded by a wizard who might have been one of James Potter's ancestors. Perhaps James and Lily specifically returned to Godric's Hollow hoping that they would be safe from Voldemort in their ancestral home.


In "Chamber of Secrets," after Harry pulls the sword of Godric Gryffindor from the Sorting Hat to kill the basilisk, Dumbledore tells him, "Only a true Gryffindor could have pulled that sword from the hat."

We assume, in reading this, that Dumbledore means that Harry was able to pull the Gryffindor sword from the hat because he was a true member of Gryffindor House. But what if Dumbledore means--QUITE LITERALLY--that Harry Potter is a true Gryffindor, a descendent of Godric Gryffindor? What if Dumbledore means that only someone of
Godric Gryffindor's lineage could have pulled the sword from the hat?


In "Sorcerer's Stone," Voldemort indicates to Harry that, when he attacked the Potter family, he wanted to kill James and Harry--but did NOT wish to kill Lily Potter.

In the Mirror of Erised's chamber, Voldemort tells Harry, "I killed your father first. He put up a courageous fight. But your mother needn't have died--she was trying to protect you."

Why would Voldemort, who kills wizards without a thought, come after James and Harry Potter, but not Lily? Well, here we have to do a bit of speculation.

We all know that Voldemort has a specific reason, as yet unrevealed, for wanting Harry Potter dead. When he is recovering in the hospital wing in "Sorcerer's Stone," Harry asks Dumbledore, "Voldemort said he only killed my mother because she tried to stop him from killing me. But why would he want to kill me in the first place?"

Dumbledore answers, "Alas, the first thing you ask me, I cannot tell you. Not today. Not now. You will know one day. Put it from your mind for now, Harry. When you are older--I know you hate to hear this--when you are ready, you will know."

In "Goblet of Fire," Voldemort tells his followers, "You all know my goal--to conquer death." Perhaps there was something in the Potter family that made Voldemort think that Harry Potter would someday be a threat to him.

Imagine, if you will, that Voldemort discovered an ancient prophecy stating that an Heir of Gryffindor would someday rise up to destroy the Heir of Slytherin. Imagine further that when Harry Potter was born, something told Voldemort that this baby boy was the true
Gryffindor heir. (Maybe a star appeared in the east over Godric's Hollow.)

So Voldemort goes after the Potter family. He kills James first--so a new Gryffindor heir cannot be sired--and then goes after baby Harry. He has no reason to kill Lily Potter--BECAUSE SHE IS MUGGLE-BORN AND NOT OF THE GRYFFINDOR LINE, AND THEREFORE NO THREAT TO HIM. But he kills her when she refuseS to give up her son. We know the rest. Lily's sacrifice insulates Harry against the Dark Lord's magic, and Voldemort loses his powers and his body.

So what does this mean for our hero, the Young Prince, Harry Potter, in future books in this series? Again, let's speculate a bit here:

Assuming that Harry IS the Heir of Gryffindor, he's going to discover that fact at some point. And that will probably lead him into an investigation of his own family history. This investigation will probably lead him to discover some ancient magic or artifacts, left
behind by Godric Gryffindor to help his heir. We know that Salazar Slytherin left behind the Chamber of Secrets, with the basilisk inside, to help the Heir of Slytherin continue his campaign to drive "Mudbloods" from the school. This assumes that Salazar Slytherin KNEW--a thousand years before the fact--that there would BE a future Heir of Slytherin to carry on his work. Therefore, it's reasonable to assume that Godric Gryffindor could also predict the future, and left behind magic and artifacts at Hogwarts to help HIS eventual heir.

One artifact which Harry has already found is the Sword of Gryffindor. Perhaps Godric Gryffindor foresaw that his heir would eventually discover the basilisk that Salazar Slytherin had hidden in the Chamber of Secrets, and left the sword inside the Sorting Hat for his heir to find when he needed it. (What the heck would a sorcerer like Godric
Gryffindor need with a SWORD anyway? Wouldn't a wizard that powerful do most of his fighting with his magic wand?)

Another possible "artifact" that Harry has already discovered is Fawkes the Phoenix. Phoenixes are basically immortal, continually dying in flames and rising from their own ashes. It's possible that Fawkes is thousands of years old, and may have once been the pet bird of Godric Gryffindor. (I won't get into the question here of which came first, the phoenix or the egg. I don't like writing long drawn-out tiresome debates over trivial subjects.)

In "Chamber of Secrets," it is Fawkes who brings Harry the Sorting Hat with the sword of Godric Gryffindor inside it. But how did Fawkes himself know that the sword was inside the hat, or that Harry Potter could pull the Gryffindor sword from the hat? It's possible that Godric Gryffindor told Fawkes about the sword in the hat, and instructed the bird to deliver it to his eventual heir.

As we discovered in "Goblet of Fire," Harry's wand will not work properly against Voldemort's wand, since both wands contain a feather from Fawkes the phoenix. So it's reasonable to assume that, in future books, Harry will be searching for new ways to take down the Dark Lord. Now, what if Harry should come across an ancient text describing the final battle between Salazar Slytherin and Harry's ancestor, Godric Gryffindor. And what if Harry discovered that Godric Gryffindor defeated Salazar Slytherin using something called, oh, say, the Green Flame Torch (the reputed title for Book Six). Perhaps this will lead Harry into a search to rediscover the long-lost ancient magic of the Green Flame Torch, a torch which will enable Harry to finally destroy Lord Voldemort.

• Now, here's the kicker! What if Harry Potter is a true Heir of Gryffindor, BUT NOT THE SOLE SURVIVING HEIR OF THE GRYFFINDOR LINE?!

It's possible that Voldemort knew, from an ancient prophecy, that a descendent of Gryffindor would be his downfall, but that he didn't know it would be Harry Potter. In "Sorcerer's Stone," Hagrid tells Harry that Voldemort killed some of the best wizards of the day--"the McKinnons, the Bones, the Prewitts." What if Voldemort, in addition
to consolidating his powers, was killing off these wizard families because they were related to Godric Gryffindor?

If Voldemort was only halfway down his list of Gryffindor descendents when he came to eliminate the Potter family, he might have left alive some Gryffindor descendents that he never got the chance to kill. Maybe Harry and James Potter were not the last of the Gryffindor family line. If so, maybe Harry will discover that he is distantly-related to some of the surviving wizard families. He could discover that some of his classmates at Hogwarts are actually his distant cousins. Perhaps Harry will find that he is distantly-related to the Weasleys, or even the Longbottoms. Or a new First Year student could come to Hogwarts, and Harry could discover that this young wizard is a distant relation.

Whatever happens, lets hope we don't have Dumbledore telling Harry, "I'm sorry to have kept this secret from you for so long, but Hermione Granger is your long-lost sister."

One final thought on this matter: If I'm right, and Harry is the true heir of Godric Gryffindor, does this mean that Harry is really "the son of Godric?" (R.S. Lindsay)

Or could Harry be an heir of Hogwarts? A descendant of all 4 of the main founders.

• Maybe that's why Voldemort's was so intent on killing Harry. And possibly Dumbledore
may also be a heir of Hogwarts, and that's why Voldemort was afraid of him, and not wanting another Dumbledore he went out to destroy the baby Harry, believing the child had no defense against him. That could be why Dumbledore has actually helped Harry through many of his adventures. He gives him only little nudges here and there, it could be seen as trying to get Harry to become the better wizard.

James Potter could be considered as bloodline from the Gryffindor origine and Lilly from Slytherin side. Counter argument could be made that Lilly is muggle born and couldn't be a suspected Slytherin heir. Well from different books and things on witches and magic, and even in the Harry Potter books, Magic doesn't follow rules. Sometime magic can skip generations. Sometimes wizard and witches are born into what seem to be Muggle families. And the sometimes children of wizard and witches have children of no ability of magic (Squib). (COS) And there is also the fact that witches and wizards live for so long....How many different families do they accumulate in one lifetime? Like in Voldemort's case how many witches and wizards lost their spouses once the fact was out about what they truly are. And how many wizard and witches lost their spouses to death or divorce (if they do that, which they probaby do.) Okay now back to the point what if Lilly is a descendant of one of Slytherin's children who was a squib who married a muggle? (Erich)

• Another thing to wonder about is the reason why Harry can speak Parseltongue, was it simply passed on him by his encounter with Voldemort or is there more to it?

• So it's obvious thus far in the books that, to put it simply, cats are good and snakes are evil. Consider even the fact that Gryffindors are lions (cats) and Slytherins are snakes. But here's an interesting biological theory...

Scientists have noticed that cats seem to imitate snakes as a defence mechanism. Cats hiss and spit when they are afraid and angry because most animals have an instinctive fear of snakes, so the intent is to make predators think the cat is in fact a venomous snake. Also, a tabby cat curled up and twitching its tail greatly resembles a snake in the same position. The idea here is to make predators think, again, that the cat is a venomous snake and not attack it.

Now consider the fact that Harry can make snake sounds and looks like Tom Riddle, last descendant of Slytherin. Harry bears the same resemblances to Voldemort that cats bear to snakes. So maybe Harry isn't related to Voldemort as part of some huge conspiracy theory. Maybe he's just imitating a snake, the way a true cat (or Gryffindor lion) should.. (Laura)

• Part of the reason that people believe that Harry is Godric Gryffindor's heir is the belief that Fawkes was once the pet of Godric Gryffindor and Fawkes' feather is contained in Harry's wand. If this is true then why would the wand destined for Voldemort, the last heir of Salazaar Slytherin, contain a feather from the pet of Godric Gryffindor?

• Slytherin=slyther...snakes slither.... ravenclaw...well...raven.... gryffindor's is a lion. Hufflepuff is the one I have ni idea about. but for Gryffindor. We all know about J.K.R's usage of french in names and such. Well, Gryffindor, in french, means griffin of gold. Griffins are mixes of eagles and lions. Perhaps, the actual animal ISN'T a lion, but actually a griffin [maybe a mutt: a griffin and lion being it's parents.. 3/4 a lion..with wings], but you can't tell that because the animals are still drawings...this is oviously a speculation.

• The history in time
Assuming year 1 happens in 1997, the various characters are born in year:
1850 - Dumbledore
1920 - McGonagall
1930 - Tom Riddle
1960 - Snape, James Potter, Lupin, Pettigrew, Black, Lilly Evans
1982 - Percy
1984 - Fred & George
1986 - Harry Potter, Ron, Hermione…
1987 - Ginny

• Harry is descendant (heir?) of Godric Gryffindor
This is a common theory that holds: He happens to have been sorted in gryffindor, although the Sorting Hat wanted to put him in Slytherin. This is because Harry chose to be gryffindor, but this is also an indication that Harry has a very strong gryffindor value: Voldemort, being the heir of slytherin has transmitted parts of his power to Harry. This inheritance must be powerful since he gets it from the HEIR of slytherin and not just any slytherin, and we know Voldermort is very powerful. But still, the Gryffindor inheritance is stronger.
So clue 1: The gryffindor heritance is VERY strong
Second, as everybody knows, the Potters also lived in Godric Hollow, which seems to indicate a possible Gryffindor family line. James Potter was gryffindor too, he has been Head Boy, he was very close to Dumbledore (gryffindor as well).
Clue 2: In the family history, gryffindor appears a lot.
Third: Harry was able to get Fawkes and pull the sword of Godric Gryffindor out of the Hat. Dumbledore says that "only a true Gryffindor would be able to do that". And here we have Fawkes! Fawkes is scarlet and gold, (colours of Gryffindor) and can live forever (he is reborn from his ashes). This leads me to think that fawkes once belonged to Godric Gryffindor, and is passed along in the family line. Immediate objection: He presently belongs to Dumbledore?? I think he used to belong to James Potter, but like his other precious belonging (the invisibility cloak), James left it to Dumbledore to pass it over to Harry in due time. Another hint in this direction: Joan Rowling said in an interview that "Harry might have another pet in the future."
Clue 3: Harry has the markings of a TRUE gryffindor
Clue 3.5 (accept it or not): Harry will inherit a personal pet from Godric Gryffindor
That all toghether makes it likely that Harry is a descendant of Godric Gryffindor.

• The power in the Family Line
From the biography (!) of Voldermort, we can infer that some powers are possible to transmit to the offspring. Indeed, it appears that Slytherin had a very rare gift (very rare means it's not very likely you get it by chance), being parseltongue. Since it is rare, and voldermort is descendant of slytherin, it is possible (or sure, speak about probabilities..) that Voldermort inherited this gift through his family line. This means that powers can be transmitted to children. The next step is to wonder what particular power the Gryffindor family line can have, and which nice gift Harry has, even if he hasn't found out yet!
This means, Harry probably has a rare particular gift he hasn't found out about yet.

• The transmission of powers between wizards
From the bio of Voldemort again, and comparing it to the bio of Harry, it seems possible that when a wizard kills another one he gets the power(s) of his victim. Why would that be? Well, we know (from Dumbledore) that Voldemort transferred SOME of his powers into Harry the night he tried to kill him. I think it is possible the transferred occurred because Harry merely killed Voldemort. We know that the socrifice of his mother protected him from the Avada Kedavra curse, and thanks to that protection, the curse rebonded on Voldemort. Voldemort was then as good as dead, and only escaped death thanks to the many protection he built himself against it. And then, being nearly killed by Harry, his powers were transferred into Harry. (kind of "Highlander")
When a wizard kills another wizard, the killer gets the power of his victim.

• James Potter found a way to delay his death
When Voldermort went to Godric Hollow to attack the Potters, James stayed in his way while shouting at Lilly to run for it while he was retaining Voldemort. Then, Harry "heard a rumbling sound from a neighbouring room", and Voldemort came to kill him. Lilly plaiding for Harry'slife, Voldermort killed her first before he attempted to kill Harry. After having put an end to Lilly he tried to kill Harry and failed, being nearly killed himself. (Besides, that's how it's shown in movie 1)
On the other hand, when approached by dementors, Harry never hears his father fighting Voldemort, as it should be if he was killed after Lilly. Indeed, it's very unlikely that Voldermort killed Lilly in the same room as Harry was, went to another room to kill James first and then came back to finish off Harry.
So, Voldemort put the Avada kedavra curse on the Potters in this order: 1 James, 2 Lilly, 3 Harry.

• But then, when Voldemort and Harry face one another in book 4, James comes out of the wand before Lilly. This means, James died after Lilly.
And another nice hint, when Dumbledore returns the invisibility cloak to Harry, he says in his note "your father left this in my possession before he died". Here we have two possibilities, either James gave t to Dumbledore long before hand, but I doubt it, because you can make use of an invisibility cloak when you need to hide from somebody; or He somehow managed before his death to make clear to Dumbledore that he(James) wanted him (Dumbledore) to take care of Harry. At the same time, he would have informed Dumbledore about his invisibility cloak, and Fawkes.
James didn't die at the moment when Voldemort put the Avada Kedavra curse on him.

• The mysterious Gryffindor power is related to death/life
The thing is, there is no counter-curse to the Avada Kedavra curse, as Moody kindly told us in book 4. So James must have a special availability to be able to delay his death a little such as to fix his "testimony". Why wouldn't it be related to the Gryffindor power?
If we agree James is descendant of Gryffindor and has the Gryffindor power (as well as Voldermort has the slytherin power, being a parseltongue), he might have an uncommon power, which helps him delay, or at least fight his own death.
The Gryffindor gift is to delay/fight death.

• Why does this hold toghether?
Voldermort wants to kill James and Harry Potter to conquer their share of the Gryffindor Power. If this power is indeed intended to put a stopper to death, than it fits along with his wish to get to immortality. By the very act of killing the Potters, he gains their power and makes another step toward immortality. This would be a reason why he didn't have to kill Lilly: she is not a Gryffindor descendant, so she doesn't have the Gryffindor Gift, and Voldemort doesn't gain anything in killing her.

• No, James came after... in just the right order... ...Lily even said something like "Hold on, he's coming"... referring to James of course..... however, there was NOTHING that came out of the want to indicate a Voldemort/Baby Harry struggle years ago..... neither came out, nor did any indication (as did happen with the silver hand)....

• it says that the sorting hat belonged to godric griffinder, as did fawkes the phoenix. so what if harry is meant to be in slytherin, but was put in griffindor because the sorting hat (aka godric griffindor) wanted him on 'their side'? this would explain harry speaking parseltounge, and the resembelance to Riddle.
When harry pulls the sword out of the sorting hat, dumbledore says that only a 'true griffindor' could have done that. well what if the whole thing was set up to get harry into thinking that voldermort is bad?

And what if harry wasn't truly meant to be in griffindor? The sorting hat was godric griffindors, and people say that fawkes may of been aswell. what if godric enchanted the sorting hat, so when slytherins heir came along, it would put them in griffindor, meaning that they would have a very great wizard 'on their side'.
also, dumbledore is always explaining everything to harry. maybe this is because he's afraid that if he didn't, harry would work out the truth- that he was heir of slytherin.
this would also exlain the similarity to tom riddle, and harrys ability to speak parseltounge.
Maybe, in the future, harry is going to find out the truth, and will feel betrayed, but in the end will decide to stay with griffindors side. this will make their side stronger, as slythering heir will be fighting against their own house.(Ali Hewson)

• See more in speculations about Harry, after book 5


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