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He Has His Mother's Eyes

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He Has His Mother's Eyes Empty He Has His Mother's Eyes

Post  Lady Arabella Sun May 29, 2011 8:48 pm

The following is an archive of material originally posted on the Harry Potter Lexicon Forum, hosted by World Crossing, which ceased operations on April 15, 2011

Last edited by Lady Arabella on Mon May 30, 2011 12:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
Lady Arabella
Lady Arabella

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Post  Lady Arabella Sun May 29, 2011 8:49 pm

Theory: He Has His Mother's Eyes

EdMo - Jul 17, 2007 2:54 am Reply
Edited by Kip Carter Sep 26, 2007 4:06 am

This is a theory that I wrote for a contest on another forum. I wanted to share it to see what kind of discussion I would get. Good or Bad, I just want to see what other people think.


He Has His Mother’s Eyes

“You have your mother’s eyes.” Mr. Ollivander, (SS page 82)

Throughout the Harry Potter series, any character that meets Harry whom also knew his parents always comments on how Harry has his mother’s eyes. At first, it just seemed as if it were a distinguishing characteristic that Harry had inherited from his mother; one of the few things Harry had that once belonged to her. However, as the series progressed, more and more emphasis seemed to have been placed on the fact that Harry had his mother’s eyes. Then, J.K. Rowling herself said in an interview that one of the items that will be addressed in Deathly Hallows is the significance of Harry having his mother’s eyes. The constant mention of this trait, and the fact that the J.K.R. took the time in an interview to mention it, indicates that this is not an insignificant trait injected by the author as bit of character development.

J.K.R. also said that something significant would be revealed about Lily in Deathly Hallows. After dwelling on this for a while, I eventually came upon the contention that Lily was a Seer, and that she could have passed on this ability (either biologically or magically) to Harry.

Continued on next post...

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EdMo - Jul 17, 2007 2:56 am (#1 of 60) Reply
Edited Jul 17, 2007 3:58 am

Harry’s Dreams:

Aside from the many references to Harry having his mother’s eyes, another thing that has been littered all through the Harry Potter books are Harry’s propensity to have prophetic dreams. Harry just never recognized them as prophetic because he didn't understand what they were. Professor Trelawney could have helped him understand and even develop this ability, but Harry never told her about his dreams due to her tendency to read student’s homework out loud in class. As a result, Harry always made up dreams in order to hide his real ones.

It is important to remember that not all of Harry’s dreams can be interpreted as prophetic. Many of them are red herrings or inserted, as a way of illustrating Harry’s feelings, desires, and/or anxieties. Also, many of his dreams contain images from his memories (i.e. his dream of a flying motorcycle which was how Hagrid first brought him to Pivet drive as a baby). Then there were the dreams in Order of the Phoenix, which were later revealed to be deliberate images sent to Harry by Voldemort after he discovered his mental link with the boy.

# NOTE: All quotes were referenced from the American hard cover 1st Editions of the books, so page numbers may vary depending on which books you are reading.

1. The first dream that could be interpreted as prophetic in any way happened to Harry during his first night at Hogwarts his first year.

“He was wearing Professor Quirrell’s turban, which kept talking to him, telling him to transfer to Slytherin at once, because it was his destiny. Harry told the turban he didn’t want to be a Slytherin; it got heavier and heavier; he tried to pull it off, but it tightened painfully…” (SS page 130)

Although this dream could be his subconscious sensing Voldemort’s presence, it is still somewhat fascinating how Harry’s subconscious was able to deduce Quirrell’s association with Voldemort this early in the book. It is also interesting that in his dream Harry struggles to take off the turban. Especially since it is later revealed that Quirrell was wearing the turban to hide Voldemort’s face on the back of his head. (although, for all we know, Quirrell has always worn a turban which would explain why no one was overly suspicious of his choice in headwear.)

2. When Uncle Vernon locked Harry in his room in Chamber of Secrets, Harry dreamt that he was on display in a zoo with a sign saying “Underage Wizard” (Obviously an allusion to the zoo scene from SS). In his dream, Dobby refused to help him escape saying that

“Harry Potter is safe there, sir!” (CoS page 23)

Aside from Dobby’s warning earlier in the book to not to return to Hogwarts, this dream can also reference the special magic that protected Harry while at the Dursleys, which he did not find out about until Dumbledore told him in Half-Blood Prince.

3. After wining the Quidditch match against Ravenclaw in his third year, Harry had another somewhat prophetic dream.

“He was walking through the forest, his Firebolt over his shoulder, following something silvery-white.” (PoA page 265)

Although he never got a clear look at what he was following, Harry could clearly make out the sound of hoof beats in his dream.

“Harry broke into a run, and ahead, he heard hooves gathering speed. Now he was running flat out, and ahead he could hear galloping.” (PoA page 265)

The object that he was following was his Patronus in its full-bodied stag form. However, at this point in the book, Harry does not know that his Patronus can assume this shape or that the stag was his father’s Animagus form.

4. The night before the Quidditch match with Slytherin, Harry had a dream that he over slept, and that Oliver Wood was yelling at him.

“Where were you? We had to use Neville instead!” (PoA page 302)

This dream did not seem very significant until Order of the Phoenix, when we find out from Dumbledore that Trelawney’s prophecy could also have referred to Neville. (OotP page 842)

5. That same night, after the dreaming about Neville, Harry has another dream that the Slytherin team was riding dragons, and that Harry had forgotten his broom.

“Malfoy and the rest of the Slytherin team arrived for the match riding dragons. He (Harry) was flying at breakneck speed, trying to avoid a spurt of flames from Malfoy’s steed’s mouth, when he realized he had forgotten his firebolt.” (PoA pages 302-303)

This excerpt obviously foreshadows the first task in Goblet of Fire.

6. During Harry’s first night in Grimmauld Place, he had yet another obscure dream:

“many-legged creatures were cantering softly up and down outside the bedroom door, and Hagrid, the Care of Magical Creatures teacher, was saying, “Beauties, aren’t they, Harry? We’ll be studyin’ weapons this term…” And Harry saw that the creatures had cannons for heads.” (OotP page 101)

Cantering is an action done by hoofed animals like horses. This no doubt refers to Thestrals and Centaurs both of which play major roles later in the book.

7. The night before catching the Hogwarts Express in his fifth year, Harry dreamt,

“His parents wove in and out of his dreams, never speaking; Mrs. Weasley sobbed over Kreature’s dead body watched by Ron and Hermione, who were wearing crowns…” (OotP page 179)

Kreature’s dead body could be interpreted as Sirius who dies during the battle at the Dept. of Mysteries later in the book. The fact that Ron and Hermione were wearing crowns has been interpreted by many as to representing them being named as prefects in the previous chapter. However, the crown on Ron’s head is interesting considering that “Weasley is our King” was featured so prominently at Hogwarts that year.

Continued in next post...

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EdMo - Jul 17, 2007 2:59 am (#2 of 60) Reply

Harry’s prediction:

Probably one of the most astounding signs of Harry’s potential prophetic abilities occurred in Goblet of Fire when he and Ron sat in the common room making up their Divination homework.

“Okay…on Monday, I will be in danger – er - of burns.”

“Yeah you will be,” said Ron darkly, “We’re seeing the skrewts again on Monday. Okay, Tuesday, I’ll … erm…”

“Lose a treasured possession,” said Harry, who was flicking through Unfogging the Future for ideas.”

“Good one,” said Ron copying it down. “Because of… erm… Mercury. Why don’t you get stabbed in the back by someone you thought was a friend?”

“Yeah… cool…” said Harry, scribbling it down, “because… Venus is in the twelfth house.”

“And on Wednesday, I think I’ll come off worst in a fight.” (OotP pages 221-222)

This entire exchange literally lays out (in order) everything that will happen to Harry throughout the rest of the book:

Danger of burns: First task against Dragons

Loss of a treasured possession: Second task

Stabbed in the back (betrayal): Third task where Crouch Jr., Polyjuiced as Moody, places the Portkey cup in the maze for Harry to find.

Come off worst in a fight: Showdown with Voldemort in the graveyard. Take special note of the wording. The fact that Harry survived his encounter with Voldemort is in it’s self a victory. However, Harry “came off worst” in the way that Voldemort has succeeded in acquiring a new body, Voldemort can now touch Harry, and (we later learn in OotP) thanks to a smear campaign by the Ministry of Magic in the coming months, a majority of the wizarding world does not believe Harry’s claims of Voldemort’s return.

Although these are probably purely coincidental, here are a few other things that make this excerpt interesting.

1. Harry suggests that Ron loose a treasured possession on a Tuesday. Carrying on the contention that everything in this exchange foreshadows events that will happen to Harry, it is interesting that the second task was on Wednesday Feb. 24, which means that Ron and Hermione were taken on a Tuesday.

2. Harry wrote that someone whom he thought was a friend would betray him because “Venus is in the Twelfth Moon.” Although this interpretation of the “Twelfth Moon” was written in reference to relationships, it is easy to see how it could relate to Barty Crouch Jr. masquerading as Mad-Eye Moody.

“In some cases it signifies that the native will be prone to secret liaisons and affairs that the public would not approve of. Often there is a relationship that can be destructive and bring the native down if the sordid details come to light.” ©️ 2000 Curtis Manwaring (http://www.astrology-x-files.com/houses/venus-12.html)

However, there is still one prediction that Harry made during this exchange with Ron that has yet to come true.

“Harry laid down his quill too, having finished predicting his own death by decapitation.” (OotP page 223)

Everything else foreshadowed in that scene came true. As to whether or not this final prediction will come into play in the end of the series is yet to be seen. Still, after reading this excerpt in Goblet of Fire, I would not be surprised if Harry and/or Voldemort were to meet their end by decapitation.

Continued in next post...

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EdMo - Jul 17, 2007 2:59 am (#3 of 60) Reply

Lily’s Connection:

Now, how do Harry’s dreams, which may or may not be prophetic, lead to the conclusion that Lily was a Seer? The main piece of evidence comes from Dumbledore’s account of his job interview with Sibyll Trelawney. (OotP page 840) During his recollection of the interview, Dumbledore mentioned that Sibyll’s great-great grandmother was famous seer Cassandra Trelawney, which establishes that divination could be a hereditary magical trait.

If Harry were a Seer then someone somewhere on his family tree could be a seer as well. Just because the ability skipped generations in Trelawney’s family doesn’t mean that it would in Harry’s case. Also, there is still the possibility that there are other members of Trelawney’s family with the ability to be Seers, but they either do not recognize this ability, or they have just never been mentioned in any of the books.

Based on genetics alone, Lily could very well have been a Seer. If this is the case, then it could be deduced that the constant comment of Harry having his mother’s eyes is metaphorical as well as literal. This however is the magical world of Harry Potter, so genetics is not enough.

At the end of Chamber of Secrets, Dumbledore explains to Harry that he acquired his ability to speak Parseltongue as a side effect of what happened the night his parents were murdered. Harry could speak Parseltongue because Voldemort (Who was a parselmouth) transferred some of his own powers into Harry the night he gave him his scar. (CoS page 333)

Then, in Half-Blood Prince, Dumbledore further explained what Voldemort did.

“Voldemort made a grave error, and acted on Professor Trelawney's words! … Voldemort himself created his worst enemy, just as tyrants everywhere do … he heard the prophecy and leapt into action, with the result that he not only handpicked the man most likely to finish him, he handed him uniquely deadly weapons!” … By attempting to kill you, Voldemort himself singled out the remarkable person who sits here in front of me, and gave him the tools for the job! It is Voldemort's fault that you were able to see into his thoughts, his ambitions, that you even understand the snakelike language in which he gives orders.” (HBP page 510)

If Voldemort could accidentally give Harry the ability to speak Parseltongue, and imbue him with the magical protection of his mother’s love, then it is entirely possible that Lily (if she truly was a Seer) could pass her Seer abilities to Baby Harry as well.


We have examined numerous instances of possible prophecies; both through dreams and by using what Ron dubbed “the old Divination stand-by.” We have also examined how Lily ties into this theory and explored other avenues of thought concerning Dumbledore’s many elusive statements about Voldemort. Many things surrounding Harry and his parents still remain a mystery, and the contention set forth here is purely speculation on my part. Although there is no incontrovertible proof that Lily was in fact a Seer, I hope that the many canon references I offered up made a good argument, and that I was able to convince you the reader to think that this theory is worthy of consideration. However, with the final book of the series, Deathly Hallows, soon to be released, let us hope that soon we can leave the realm of wide speculation and delve into the finite realm of fact.

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Madame Pomfrey - Jul 17, 2007 7:04 am (#4 of 60) Reply

Great essay, Edward! Welcome to the forum!

Harry laid down his quill too, having finished predicting his own death by decapitation. (OotP page 223)

This really gives me chills because I am a firm believer in Harry's scar being a horcrux. However, I'm going to take it as Harry later realizing the scar as such and thinking he will have to die to rid himself of it, which hopefully, will not be the case at all. Harry Lives!

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freshwater - Jul 17, 2007 11:50 am (#5 of 60) Reply

Fascinating theory and very well explained! Thanks for sharing it! I've noticed Harry's odd little dreams while reading, and have wondered if they had any significance, but then I tended to lose track of them while following larger plot twists and clues. It will be fun to re-read the entire series --after finishing DH-- to note these kinds of foreshadowings or hints.

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Esther Rose - Jul 17, 2007 12:19 pm (#6 of 60) Reply
Edited Jul 17, 2007 1:22 pm

Petunia could also be a seer. Just a thought.

(edited to add) Yes, she does Journeymom.

JKR also said that there was more to Petunia than meets the eye. lol

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journeymom - Jul 17, 2007 12:21 pm (#7 of 60) Reply

Didn't Tonks ask Harry if he has Seers in his family, in OotP?

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EdMo - Jul 17, 2007 1:32 pm (#8 of 60) Reply

Hmmm... The second part of my theory on Harry's dreams is missing. Oh well, you guys get the point. I've read a few things about Petunia, and am interested to see what's up with her. There is still the whole thing about her knowing about Dementors.

One thing that I didn't include in my theory was that I was thinking that Harry's prediction of decapitation could mean that he was going to have to remove his scar. I have been a long time believer that Harry is really a squib, and that the only reason that he can do magic is because Voldemort gave him some of his power the night he murdered his parents. Harry draws his power from Voldemort through his scar. Hence, if Harry kills Voldemort, he destroys the source of his power, thus rendering himself powerless. In essence cutting off the source of his power, which metaphorically could be like decapitation.

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Hagsquid - Jul 17, 2007 3:07 pm (#9 of 60) Reply

You might have got the impression that there is a little bit more to Aunt Petunia than meets the eye, and you will find out what it is.

Man, JKR has her brilliant moments. Very Happy Excellent catch!

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zelmia - Jul 17, 2007 4:41 pm (#10 of 60) Reply
Edited Jul 17, 2007 5:42 pm

A very well-presented Theory, Edward.

...the beheading is “an emancipation of the ‘cogitatio’ [cognition] which is situated in the head” (§ 730), which is in modern terms obviously the conscious development of the thinking function. Like this the decapitation becomes “significant symbolically as the separation of the ‘understanding’ from the ‘great suffering and grief’” (§ 730). Therefore, it seems that conscious suffering is substituted by thinking, a procedure which is “a freeing of the soul from the ‘trammels of nature’” (§ 730)! This “sublimation” of the suffering into thinking is then, after the depth psychologist, the “unio mentalis ‘in the overcoming of the body’” - The Archetype of the Holy Wedding in Alchemy and in the Unconscious of Modern Man (Part 11), Remo F. Roth

Through this symbolic decapitation, Harry signifies his own readiness to cut away, to separate, the emotional and physical suffering he has experienced at the hands of Voldemort. He is now able to intellectualize the work he must do to succeed along the path. In short, he is ready to grow up.

And I sure hope so we will find out more about Aunt Petunia. That little teaser we got in the opening chapters of OP has been nibbling at us for two books now.

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Solitaire - Jul 17, 2007 6:05 pm (#11 of 60) Reply

If Harry is a Squib, why would his name have been on the Hogwarts rolls since he was born--and not just since Voldemort attacked him? I thought only magical children were registered. Just wondering ...


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HR]zelmia - Jul 17, 2007 8:42 pm (#12 of 60) Reply

I was going to say the same thing, Soli. I think it's safe to assume that Harry is not a squib.

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EdMo - Jul 18, 2007 2:52 am (#13 of 60) Reply

Well, Neville was thought to be a squib before he went bouncing out the door, or whatever it was. He like Neville could have been on the list just because his parents were both magical. Unless there is some sort test that they do to babies when they are born, it might be assumed that children born to magical parents will be magical themselves, and as such automatically added to the list. *shrugs* It's just a theory after all.

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zelmia - Jul 18, 2007 11:37 am (#14 of 60) Reply
Edited Jul 18, 2007 12:39 pm

Edward, my apologies. One has the erroneous tendency to assume that all things Potter are common knowledge here on this forum - particularly when there are so many people like yourself, who have insightful and thought-provoking ideas. Sorry about that, mate!

JKR told us in one of her many invaluable and illuminating interviews that there is indeed such a list. It is kept by a Magic Quill that puts down the names of all the "magical" children at birth (hence Hagrid's remark in Book 1 about Harry's name being "down ever since he was born!"). Each year Prof. McGonagall checks the list and sends those children a Hogwarts invitation.
JKR also clarified that there isn't any "level" of magical ability required to attend Hogwarts. You are either magical or you aren't. But people wouldn't know about the List or the Hogwarts invitation until the children reach their 11th birthdays; so that would explain the anxiety about Neville.

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Luna Logic - Jul 18, 2007 12:04 pm (#15 of 60) Reply
Edited by Jul 18, 2007 1:07 pm

Edward Morita : I eventually came upon the contention that Lily was a Seer, and that she could have passed on this ability (either biologically or magically) to Harry.

I think that part of your theory makes great sense, and could explain and link together a lot of things.

I agree in particular with your interpretation of dreams and predictions. I had try to do those links with some events in the future of Harry, but I missed the "canter" part in the dream of chapter 6 in OotP: because, in the French translation, the creatures are scampering... like small animals, and not cantering, like animals with hooves. Thus I couldn't associate that dream with the Centaurs!
Now, I can't wait for Book 7 to "see" what will be said of Lily's eye(s)!

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EdMo - Jul 18, 2007 12:39 pm (#16 of 60) Reply

JKR told us in one of her many invaluable and illuminating interviews that there is indeed such a list. It is kept by a Magic Quill that puts down the names of all the "magical" children at birth (hence Hagrid's remark in Book 1 about Harry's name being "down ever since he was born!"). Each year Prof. McGonagall checks the list and sends those children a Hogwarts invitation.

Wow, that is really cool. I had figured that they just knew that children from magical parents were most likely magical themselves, but I always wondered how they found the muggleborns like Hermione. I don't suppose that that interview is posted somewhere on this site? If so, a link would be very much appreciated.

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zelmia - Jul 18, 2007 1:20 pm (#17 of 60) Reply

In Hogwarts there's a magical quill which detects the birth of a magical child, and writes his or her name down in a large parchment book. Every year Professor McGonagall checks the book, and sends owls to the people who are turning 11. - Online chat transcript, Scholastic.com, 3 February 2000

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Pinky - Jul 18, 2007 1:28 pm (#18 of 60) Reply
Edited Jul 18, 2007 2:29 pm

Edward, if you go to the Harry Potter Lexicon (the main site, not the forum), you will see a toolbar near the top titled "The Floo Network." The link "Quotes" will take you to a website full of Rowling's interviews.

Great theory, by the way. I loved it, and it makes a lot of sense. The correlation between Harry's predictions (burn, losing something, etc.) and the Triwizard tasks gave me chills - how had I missed that? I'm firmly ignoring the "death by decapitation" however.

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EdMo - Jul 18, 2007 1:30 pm (#19 of 60) Reply

Many thanks

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freshwater - Jul 18, 2007 11:17 pm (#20 of 60) Reply

So...if Harry experiences a "decapitation" via the removal of his scar...will he be allowed to participate in The Headless Hunt? :-)

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EdMo - Jul 19, 2007 2:47 am (#21 of 60) Reply

Good question... I would guess probably not. If they wouldn't let Nearly Headless Nick to join for being nearly headless, then I don't think that they would let Harry join just for losing his scar.

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Veritaserum - Jul 19, 2007 7:16 am (#22 of 60) Reply

Maybe Harry and Nick can create the “Nearly Headless” Hunt.

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Steve Newton - Jul 19, 2007 7:26 am (#23 of 60) Reply

This is a great topic. I only with that it had been posted a couple of weeks earlier so that I could give it some serious thought. My failing not the poster's.

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Joanne Reid - Jul 19, 2007 11:31 am (#24 of 60) Reply


I was struck by the notion that Harry's predictions were often metaphorical rather than literal. This led me to the idea that Harry could indeed be decapitated by the loss of his scar rather than his entire head.


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Madame Pomfrey - Jul 19, 2007 4:07 pm (#25 of 60) Reply

Joanne,I must say, I prefer your line of thinking.

Lady Arabella
Lady Arabella

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He Has His Mother's Eyes Empty Posts 26 to 50

Post  Lady Arabella Sun May 29, 2011 8:52 pm

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Die Zimtzicke - Jul 20, 2007 6:07 am (#26 of 60) Reply

I don't think Lily was a seer, and I don't think Harry is. I have said that before, but I want an explanation for the eyes! And not just that they were so striking everyone noticed them and it set her apart, as Harry is set apart. That would be cheesy.

Not long now, though.

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Ginerva Potter - Jul 20, 2007 7:31 am (#27 of 60) Reply

Die - I don't think Lily and Harry are seers either. I think what is important about Harry having Lily's eyes is that Harry like Lily is able to "see" through people and know their intentions. For example, as early as PS/SS Harry was able to see that Draco wasn't a good person. Harry summed up Slughorn and Scrimgeour very quickly, too. These are the only ones I can think of right now, but Harry is very good at following his instincts and is very perceptive about people. I think it is in this way that he "sees" like Lily and that's why his eyes are important. JM2K and we will find out very soon!!! SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Sorry, I got a little excited.


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Ms Amanda - Jul 20, 2007 7:54 am (#28 of 60) Reply

I'm thinking that it is the way they see people, too. I think that Harry needing glasses, in other words his vision being blurry, will be important too. If he has Lily's eyes, but they don't quite work properly, then that may be significant.

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******** (The following comments were posted after the publication of The Deathly Hallows)

freshwater - Aug 17, 2007 5:40 pm (#29 of 60) Reply

Well, now we know why it was important for Harry to have him mother's eyes, and it certainly took me by surprise! I still have immense appreciation for this theory which remains well thought-out and clearly presented, as well as very appealing.

“Nearly Headless” Hunt....**snort**grin** Thank you! That belly laugh felt really good!

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Luna Logic - Aug 18, 2007 1:26 am (#30 of 60) Reply
Edited by Aug 18, 2007 2:26 am

Me too, while reading DH, I was waiting for the revelation of Lily and Harry as Seers!
But, finally, I was satisfied with the poetic "Look at me..."

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EdMo - Aug 31, 2007 1:49 am (#31 of 60) Reply
Edited by Kip Carter Aug 31, 2007 1:33 pm

Yeah, that "Look at me" line kind of threw me. I was not expecting it to be something like that, but the more I thought about it, I realized that to Snape at least, Harry having his mother's eyes was a huge thing. It didn't hit me until like half an hour after reading it. I was like; Darn, that's some deep stuff.

I edited two words to stay within our standards. I don't feel that I changed the poster's intent. - Kip

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Luna Logic - Aug 31, 2007 10:55 am (#32 of 60) Reply

Edward Morita, your theory "He Has His Mother's Eyes" was a very good theory, well linked with Harry's dreams and predictions, and I really enjoyed believing in it!

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Hoot Owl - Aug 31, 2007 12:51 pm (#33 of 60) Reply

Anyone else notice, Ginny also has ' her mother's eyes?' At least the exact same brown shade.

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maria cloos - Sep 4, 2007 10:34 am (#34 of 60) Reply

I can't even read the line "Look...at...me." without having to put the book down for a few moments to collect myself...it's so simple, but very profound.

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Madam Pince - Sep 5, 2007 5:59 pm (#35 of 60) Reply

I totally missed that, Hoot Owl -- good catch! So they both each have their mother's eyes! Neat.

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Die Zimtzicke - Oct 3, 2007 1:24 pm (#36 of 60) Reply

So all of the hoopla about Harry's eyes was just so Snape could look into Lily's eyes as he died. That's neat, but I'm still kind of let down.

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PeskyPixie - Oct 3, 2007 1:43 pm (#37 of 60) Reply

JKR said having his mother's eyes is important pre-HBP, right? If so, Harry also uses his eyes to get the real horcrux memory from Slughorn.

As for the Snape connection, Snape manages to ignore the fact that he looks into his departed beloved's eyes each time he performs Legilimency on Harry ... the compartmentalizing different parts of his life thing, I suppose.

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wynnleaf - Oct 3, 2007 3:19 pm (#38 of 60) Reply

I'm still not sure why it was important. I mean, Snape would have still loved Lily without Harry having her eyes. Snape agreed to protect Harry, after Lily's death, without having seen his eyes. Sure DD mentioned that to Snape, but it didn't look like the deciding factor by any means -- as in "Oh, her baby has her eyes. I guess I'll have to protect him." No it just seemed like Snape would protect Harry because he was Lily's, not because of his eyes.

Snape looks into Harry's eyes lots of times, all the while being angry or suspicious, or just plain mean to Harry, so I don't see how looking at Harry/Lily's eyes made any difference to how Snape felt about Harry.

At the very end of Snape's life, he gave all the memories to Harry first, and then looked into his eyes. But while that might have an added poignancy to the scene, I don't see that it mattered as far as how anything turned out.

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Mrs. Sirius - Oct 3, 2007 10:13 pm (#39 of 60) Reply
Edited Oct 3, 2007 11:14 pm

Having Lily's eyes, to me, is a constant torture to Snape. Every single time he looked in Harry's eyes, he saw Lily, the life that could have been.

Every single time, he has to ignore that and stick to the plan. Hating Harry and being mean is a survival skill. Focus on James his nemesis and he doesn't have to venture into what is initial allegiance to Voldemort caused him to do. This way he could safely continue to stick to the plan and not get emotionally involved, not think "oh, what might have been" (including this could have been my child).

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Die Zimtzicke - Oct 4, 2007 7:32 am (#40 of 60) Reply

I can't find any evidence personally that looking into Harry's eyes was a constant torture to Snape, but I guess I can see why other people might speculate along those lines.

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PeskyPixie - Oct 4, 2007 7:42 am (#41 of 60) Reply

It must have been torture to see his enemy's face with his one love's eyes looking out of it. Snape is a being who feels things very deeply, as we've witnessed in 'The Prince's Tale'.

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wynnleaf - Oct 4, 2007 9:33 am (#42 of 60) Reply
Edited Oct 4, 2007 10:34 am

While we might think that surely it would affect Snape to see Lily's eyes in Harry's face, we don't actually see any particular evidence of it during the books except for Snape's last words. Even then, it's practically impossible to figure out what Snape means by telling Harry to look at him.

Does he want to see "Lily's" eyes once more? Is he trying, but failing to see her eyes in Harry's? Is he acknowledging that he finally sees aspects of Lily in Harry? Does he just want to emphasize his own sincerity to Harry in giving him the memories? There's just so many reasons why Snape would want to look into Harry's eyes, that it's impossible to know why he wanted to at that point.

In the series, there are numerous times when Snape stares into Harry's eyes, but after OOTP, readers tended to assume that his object was to see if Harry was lying, or perhaps to use a little deeper legilimency. Certainly there was never any hint at those moments that it pained Snape in any way to look into Harry's eyes.

Thing is, JKR built up the importance of Harry having Lily's eyes over the whole series. I'm assuming that she felt there was a big reason why the readers needed to have it emphasized so that we wouldn't forget it -- so that when the moment came, something would really make sense to us. But then the only thing that happened was Snape wanting to look into Harry's eyes as he died and we could never tell what that really meant to Snape.

Last, if you really picture Harry's eyes, well, eyes behind round black glasses are bound to look rather different than they did in Lily's face.

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NFla Barbara - Oct 4, 2007 12:34 pm (#43 of 60) Reply

Does he want to see "Lily's" eyes once more? Is he trying, but failing to see her eyes in Harry's? Is he acknowledging that he finally sees aspects of Lily in Harry? Does he just want to emphasize his own sincerity to Harry in giving him the memories?

All of the above. Mostly, I think Snape has never really looked at Harry without seeing James, and wants to see someone who reminds him of Lily once more. I agree with Die that it hasn't been difficult for Snape to look at Harry's eyes until now, but that is because Snape is so fixated on seeing Harry as the embodiment of James Potter.

The other layer, for me, is that he has just given Harry some of his most private memories, so in a way he is asking Harry to really look at him, the whole person, for the first time.

“When the flask was full to the brim, and Snape looked as though there was no blood left in him, his grip on Harry's robe slackened. "Look...at...me..." he whispered.”

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PeskyPixie - Oct 4, 2007 12:38 pm (#44 of 60) Reply
Edited Oct 4, 2007 1:40 pm

The other layer, for me, is that he has just given Harry some of his most private memories, so in a way he is asking Harry to really look at him, the whole person, for the first time.

When the flask was full to the brim, and Snape looked as though there was no blood left in him, his grip on Harry's robe slackened. "Look...at...me..." he whispered -NFla Barbara

I'm getting all teary again. Oh, honestly, I'm just a regular Cho Chang when it comes to Snape!

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Die Zimtzicke - Oct 4, 2007 2:28 pm (#45 of 60) Reply

Yes, that is what I meant! I don't see any evidence of Snape looking into Harry's eyes at any time during the books previously, and possibly seeing Lily and feeling anguished. If he had, I might have bought into the whole Snape/Lily thing more than I did. This is probably one of those things we'll never know and each have to interpret in our own way.

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EdMo - Oct 4, 2007 9:22 pm (#46 of 60) Reply

I think that one of the reasons Snape had such animosity towards Harry is not only because he had Lily's eyes, but that he also had James's face. That in combination with the eyes served as a constant reminder of his loss of Lily. Imagine looking at the eyes of someone you loved on the face of someone you hated.

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PeskyPixie - Oct 5, 2007 7:34 am (#47 of 60) Reply
Edited Oct 5, 2007 8:34 am

That's what I meant by my post (#41), Edward.

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zelmia - Oct 6, 2007 11:12 am (#48 of 60) Reply
Edited Oct 6, 2007 12:12 pm

In retrospect, I think Harry having Lily's eyes was just a simple sort of literary leitmotif that alluded to Lily's sacrifice for him, and so everything that came after.

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Allison R - Oct 6, 2007 12:38 pm (#49 of 60) Reply

Zelmia, indeed-- as Harry grew as a person and his character developed and his understanding of the world and how it worked matured, he eventually came to mirror his mother's understanding of love and the power it has to change the world, as well as the innate goodness of people and the power of their choices.

I guess you could say that Harry came to view the world (quite literally) through his mother's eyes.

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Luna Logic - Oct 7, 2007 1:49 am (#50 of 60) Reply
Edited by megfox* Oct 7, 2007 8:42 am

Alison R : you could say that Harry came to view the world (quite literally) through his mother's eyes.

I like your interpretation of Harry's journey's, Alison: towards his mother and a sweeter view of the world. Then the epilogue fits well.

I edited your formatting for you so it would look the way you intended it to look... You misplaced a >. (megfox)

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Phoenix - Oct 9, 2007 9:56 pm (#51 of 60) Reply

‘It happened very suddenly. The hook-nosed teacher looked past Quirrell's turban straight into Harry's eyes -- and a sharp, hot pain shot across the scar on Harry's forehead.

“Ouch!” Harry clapped a hand to his head.

“What is it?” asked Percy.


The pain had gone as quickly as it had come. Harder to shake off was the feeling Harry had gotten from the teacher's look -- a feeling that he didn't like Harry at all.’

PS/SS Chapter 7.

then in DH, Chapter 33,

‘ “Her son lives. He has her eyes, precisely her eyes. You remember the shape and color of Lily Evans's eyes, I am sure?”

“DON'T!” bellowed Snape. "Gone...dead..." ‘

First of all, I think it's interesting that the first time Harry sees Snape, Snape looks into his eyes - and the last time Harry sees Snape, he does the same (symbolically an ourobouros).

The first time, Harry had the feeling Snape did not like him. I think I agree that seeing Lily's eyes in a 'James-like' body was difficult for Snape (putting it mildly). But at the same time, clearly Snape noticed Harry's eyes from the getgo, so it must have affected him.

If I could point out, there are various stages of grief - one of them being anger. Couple that with seeing Lily's eyes in James' body.... And we know Snape never got past his grief. Also, psychologically, often times people channel their pain into anger. I was thinking this would account for Snape's irrational hatred of Harry. Snape only loved once, and lost that love. Harry was an ongoing reminder. ...Well, just some thoughts.

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PeskyPixie - Oct 10, 2007 9:32 am (#52 of 60) Reply

I agree with you, Phoenix, although I'm far too lazy to expound on my "seeing his one true love's eyes in his enemy's face must've been torture"-type posts . Keep going. I'm quite enjoying your analysis of Snape's personality and the effect grief has on it.

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Celestina Warbeck - Oct 24, 2007 9:25 pm (#53 of 60) Reply

I think the significance of Lily's eyes was that this was a physical real reminder to Snape that Harry was in fact Lily's son. This probably stopped him from crossing the line of his hatred many a times, especially since Harry did look like his father. At his dying moment however I thought, Snape was not looking at Harry. He just wanted to look into the eyes of his only love.

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Orion - Oct 25, 2007 4:20 am (#54 of 60) Reply

They should have given Radcliffe green contact lenses. Maybe I wouldn't have been so disappointed about him then. I not-so-quietly (more verbosely) hated him through the first films until he grew on me. Like a wart.

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PeskyPixie - Oct 25, 2007 6:13 am (#55 of 60) Reply

I've heard Radcliffe is unable to wear contact lenses as his eyes are sensitive to them.

You mean his eyes aren't green? What colour are they?

I still think a Harriet Potter (i.e. Lily's mini-me) would bring out a side of Snape we've never seen as Lily's eyes alone produce a tear-jerker of a death scene!

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Orion - Oct 25, 2007 9:55 am (#56 of 60) Reply

You're joking! They are blue! Innocent baby-blue. He looks like the human equivalent of a pygmy puff!

Snape would have been in trouble...

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Joanna Lupin - Oct 29, 2007 6:05 am (#57 of 60) Reply

What's the problem? They could make film Lily's eyes baby-blue, too! LOL

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Orion - Oct 29, 2007 6:39 am (#58 of 60) Reply

They didn't give Radcliffe contact lenses because his eyes didn't agree with them. That would have been an excellent excuse not to take him, IMO. I was terribly disappointed with him, he didn't look half like I had imagined. I had the images of the German Carlsen edition in mind. They show a vaguely slavic looking boy with slanted eyes and a narrow, pointed face, who has a hunted and defeated look and fits the backstory of Harry really well. You can see that he spent years of his life in a cupboard under the stairs!

But Radcliffe looked like a pampered, well-fed suburban kid with nice parents. He was so round-faced that he would have been a perfect Neville. And the green eyes are important! They set him apart visually. Like DD's brilliant blue ones. They are also quite glamourous. They had auditions. Didn't they find any child which was better adapted to the looks of the role? Radcliffe wasn't even such a talented actor, so there is no conceivable reason at all why they took him except that his parents have something to do with the movies anyway.

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wynnleaf - Oct 29, 2007 8:17 am (#59 of 60) Reply

As I understand it, Radcliffe had played Oliver in a film of Oliver Twist and the director thought his performance in that was an indicator that he could do Harry well. I do agree he's not a very good actor and not my picture of Harry. But I think this is getting off topic.

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EdMo - Nov 2, 2007 10:44 pm (#60 of 60) Reply

Oh come on, you mean with the multi-million dollar budget that they are working with, they can't CG his eyes green? They did it with Mystique and Nightcrawler in the X-Men movies.

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