Even though Harry Potter is unquestionably the star of J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World franchise, fans sadly don't know much about the Potter family. The Boy Who Lived lost his loving parents when he was only a baby, and was raised without knowledge of his family history. We got glimpses of Harry and Ginny's future children in the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows epilogue and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, but many fans debate whether or not those additional materials should be considered cannon and often simply pretend they didn't exist.
It seems hard to believe that the Potters remain such a mystery considering Harry Potter is a household name across the world, but Rowling's novels and films gave us more insight into the Weasley, Black and Malfoy family trees than Harry's.
There is definitely more to the Potters than some people realize, and even the biggest Potterheads get some major details about them wrong and ignore some startling truths about Harry and his family.
20 THE POTTERS WERE HISTORICALLY A PUREBLOOD FAMILY
Before James conceived Harry with Muggle-born Lily Evans, the Potters were a historically pureblood family. The Potter surname could have been included in the "Sacred Twenty-Eight" list of pureblood wizarding families, but since Potter is a relatively common Muggle surname, they were excluded out of fear that they had sprung from "tainted blood."
Unlike many pureblood families, the Potters didn't actually dislike Muggles. When militant members of the Wizengamot expressed desire to declare war on Muggles in the early 1600s, Ralston Potter instead supported the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy to keep the two worlds separate.
19 LILY AND JAMES WERE BARELY ADULTS WHEN VOLDEMORT ENDED THEIR LIVES
In the Harry Potter films, the actors who portrayed James and Lily Potter for most of the series appeared to be in their mid-to-late 30s. That's drastically different from Rowling's novels, where they perished when they were only 21 years old.
The couple married and had Harry mere years after graduating from Hogwarts, which makes their untimely demise at Voldemort's hands all the more tragic.
18 ALBUS SEVERUS BROUGHT VOLDEMORT BACK TO LIFE
Everyone in the Wizarding World knows Harry Potter's name, because he defeated the Dark Lord twice. He nearly sacrificed his own life to vanquish Voldemort in the Battle of Hogwarts, so it's pretty shocking that Albus Severus Potter got exceptionally close to undoing his father's legacy in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
Albus Severus played with time travel a few too many times, and in one of the alternate realities he accidentally created, Harry was unable to take down He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named so Voldemort went on to rule the world.
17 LILY WAS MORE LIKE HERMIONE THAN HARRY
Harry was told several times throughout Rowling's series that he had his mother's eyes and looked just like his father, but when it came to the Boy Who Lived's personality, he wasn't actually all that similar to his parents.
In fact, Hermione was far more like Lily Potter, as they were both Muggle-born young women who took their studies very seriously, refused to tolerate the mistreatment of others, and didn't initially appreciate the childish sense of humor of their future partners.
16 HARRY NAMED ALL OF HIS CHILDREN AFTER FRIENDS AND FAMILY
Twilight fans love to criticize Bella and Edward for naming their child "Renesmee Carlie" after their mothers Renee and Esme and fathers Charlie and Carlisle. For some reason, Harry Potter fans didn't give Harry and Ginny the same grief for basically doing the same thing with their offspring.
All of the couple's kids are named after close friends or fallen family members. There's Albus Severus, honoring Harry's former headmaster and Potions professor, Lily Luna, named after his mother and Hogwarts classmate, and James Sirius, honoring Harry's father and godfather.
15 JAMES POTTER WAS A TOTAL BULLY
Whenever Harry saw his parents in old pictures or in the Mirror of Erised, they seemed like happy, sweet people. Everyone else's stories about Lily and James similarly depicted them as wonderful individuals. That's why it was such a shock when Severus Snape revealed that James was actually a huge bully.
James used to constantly taunt Severus when they were both students at Hogwarts, and used magic to torment him. He eventually stopped for Lily's sake, but had James not met and matured for his soulmate, he may have gone through life a total jerk.
14 JAMES SIRIUS POTTER WAS JUST LIKE HIS NAMESAKES
Harry and Ginny named their firstborn son James Sirius Potter, after Harry's father and his godfather and mentor Sirius Black. While Harry never quite inherited his father's sense of humor or picked up Sirius' charm and charisma, James Sirius grew up to be just like both of his namesakes.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child depicted James Sirius as popular and witty, and Harry stated that life seemed to be effortless for him.
13 IT WASN'T LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT FOR HARRY'S PARENTS
It may seem hard to believe since James and Lily are always smiling, holding each other and dancing together in old pictures and memories, but the couple didn't actually get along when they first met.
Lily disliked how immature James could be, and resented him for constantly picking on her friend Severus Snape. It wasn't until James promised to stop bullying people and act more mature and kind-hearted that she finally gave him a chance.
12 JAMES' ARROGANCE PLAYED A MAJOR ROLE IN THE DURSLEY'S MISTREATMENT OF HIS SON
The Dursleys were exceptionally cruel to Harry Potter for most of his childhood. They forced him to live in a cupboard, and treated him more like a servant than a member of their family. Believe it or not, their mistreatment of the Boy Who Lived might have actually been James Potter's fault.
James instantly made an enemy of Vernon Dursley when they first met for bragging about his fortune in solid gold and failing to be impressed by Vernon's expensive new car. After that encounter, Vernon refused to talk to his brother-in-law and resented all wizards.
11 THE POTTERS WEREN'T EXACTLY HARD WORKERS AFTER GRADUATING HOGWARTS
Most of the adults in the Wizarding World take on difficult magical jobs to make ends meet. Lily and James Potter never had to really worry about finding work after graduating, however, because they were able to simply live off of James' family fortune.
While the couple both took their studies at Hogwarts seriously enough to be named Gryffindor House's Head Boy and Girl, they didn't use their good grades or education to do anything other than be very brief parents to their baby, Harry.
10 JAMES TRIED TRAINING HARRY TO PLAY QUIDDITCH WHEN HE WAS JUST A BABY
When Harry joined the Gryffindor Quidditch team in his first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he became the youngest Seeker in century. It shouldn't have been any big surprise that he was destined to set this record, however, because James Potter started training his son to fly on a broom when Harry was just a baby.
Sirius Black gifted his godson with a toy broom, and James had Harry zooming around the house on it before he could even walk.
9 LILY AND JAMES FOOLISHLY TRUSTED THE WRONG MARAUDER
There's no denying that after Voldemort himself, Peter Pettigrew is the individual most responsible for Lily and James Potter's tragic and early demise. Peter was one of James' closest friends at Hogwarts, so James made him the Secret Keeper entrusted with the couple's secret location when they went into hiding to avoid the Dark Lord.
It really didn't make any sense that the Potters put their lives into Wormtail's hands. He was clearly very weak-minded and easily corrupted by Voldemort. They'd have been better off trusting the other Marauders.
8 PETUNIA DURSLEY ACTUALLY ARRANGED LILY AND JAMES' FUNERAL
Petunia Dursley is often made out to be a very heartless, jealous woman. She resented Lily for having magical powers, and when Dumbledore denied her plea to attend Hogwarts alongside her sister, Petunia grew incredibly cold towards her. She then treated Lily's son cruelly for years, even though he did nothing wrong.
Petunia did do one nice thing for the Potters, though, besides taking in Harry. Since James didn't have any living relatives, she arranged his and Lily's funeral.
7 HARRY IS SUPPOSED TO SHARE HIS MOTHER'S EYES
When Voldemort slayed Severus Snape to try to become the true master of the Elder Wand, Snape used his last breaths to beg Harry Potter to look into his eyes. This didn't make any sense in the film series, but it was totally logical and emotional in Rowling's novel.
Harry's eyes are supposed to be identical to his mother's, and Severus was in love with Lily. In locking eyes with Harry, it was like getting to spend his final moments staring at his childhood crush.
6 HARRY'S YOUNGEST SON WAS A SLYTHERIN
Harry Potter's name is practically synonymous with Gryffindor House, and while almost all of the Potters throughout history were Gryffindors during their time at Hogwarts, that tradition changed when Albus Severus got Sorted.
Albus went into the Sorting Ceremony worried that he'd be named a Slytherin, and that's exactly what happened. Harry told his son he was still proud of him, though, since Severus Snape was a Slytherin and Snape was one of the bravest men he knew.
5 THE INVISIBILITY CLOAK HAS BEEN PASSED DOWN THE POTTER FAMILY TREE FOR GENERATIONS
When Harry inadvertently became the owner of all three Deathly Hallows without even really trying to assemble them, fans considered this ridiculous coincidence to be weak writing. It wasn't any big coincidence that he possessed the Invisibility Cloak, however, because that Hallow was in his family for generations.
When Hardwin Potter married Iolanthe Peverell, granddaughter of Ignotus Peverell and the eldest in a generation without any male Peverell heirs, the Potters took ownership of the Cloak and passed it down to each new generation until it ended up in Harry's hands.
4 HARRY WASN'T THE FIRST "HARRY POTTER" IN HIS FAMILY
The Boy Who Lived may seem like he's one of a kind, but he isn't actually the first "Harry Potter" on his family tree. Henry Potter, who served in the Wizengamot from 1913 to 1921, went by "Harry" to his friends.
Henry didn't achieve nearly the same level of fame as the Harry Potter we all know and love, but he still played an important role in wizarding history. He publicly condemned the Minister for Magic at the time, Archer Evermonde, for forbidding the magical community from helping Muggles during the first World War.
3 THE RIVALRY BETWEEN THE POTTERS AND THE MALFOYS EVENTUALLY DISAPPEARS
Harry Potter's greatest rival was of course Lord Voldemort, but Draco Malfoy definitely deserves to be recognized as one of Harry's most frustrating adversaries. Harry and Draco butt heads throughout their time at Hogwarts, and it seemed like they'd never get over their hatred for each other.
It wasn't until Albus Severus attended Hogwarts that the rift between the Potter and Malfoy families started to disappear. In Cursed Child, Albus became best friends with Draco's son Scorpius, and their bond forced Harry and Draco to get over their shaky history.
2 ALBUS SEVERUS RESENTED HIS FATHER'S LEGACY
While the idea of being related to one of the most famous wizards in the world may seem cool, Albus Severus didn't love all the pressure that came with being the son of the legendary Harry Potter. He resented his father's legacy, because he seemed to be Harry's polar opposite.
Albus was a Slytherin, his best friend was a Malfoy, and he wasn't particularly good at magic. In an attempt to be more like his heroic father, he tried altering history to save Cedric Diggory. He wasn't successful, and his efforts spawned disastrous alternate realities.
1 QUIDDITCH TALENT ISN'T EXACTLY IN THE POTTER BLOOD
With James Potter being a star Chaser for the Gryffindor Quidditch team during his time at Hogwarts and Harry being the youngest Seeker in a century and exceptionally talented at the position, it seems like Quidditch talent is in the Potter blood. In Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, however, fans learned that that's not the case.
During Albus Severus' first flying lesson, he failed to demonstrate any of his father or grandfather's flying skills. His peers then nicknamed him the "Slytherin Squib."