Did James and Lily Potter christen Harry "Harry" or "Henry"? I don't recall him ever being referred to as Henry in either the books or the movies, but (in the UK, at least) it would be odd for a boy to actually be named Harry, as it's normally the informal form for Henry. Has JK Rowling said anything about this?

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    Lot's of people are called just "Harry". My cousin is just called Harry. It can also be short for Harold. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Styles
    – Moogle
    Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 9:07
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    Well, I don't know if she ever made up a birth certificate, but I find it hard to imagine that Ms McGonagall of all people wouldn't have addressed him with his real name at one point if it was Henry, especially during the sorting ceremony
    – Raditz_35
    Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 9:09
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    It is not at all odd for boys to be called Harry in the UK. It was the third most common given name in 2015: bbc.com/news/uk-37254187 - admittedly after the book's publication.
    – Chenmunka
    Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 11:58
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    -1. Bad question because if it is never mentioned, why ever come up with the idea? Or since when is "Hermione" a standard British name? Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 13:53
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    His name is actually 'Hamy', but due to a misprint, we now know him as 'Harry'
    – Möoz
    Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 22:17

2 Answers 2


No, his real name is Harry James Potter, not Henry.

There's no evidence that his real name is Henry. Throughout the book he is always called Harry. And his official O.W.L results address him as Harry.

Harry James Potter has achieved

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Chapter 5

As this is an official document, it's almost certain that it would use his legal/official name (as evidenced by the inclusion of his middle name). So his name is just Harry, not Henry.

As pointed out by ratchet freak in the comments, this also happens during his trial in The Order of the Phoenix.

It was a square silver badge with Harry Potter, Disciplinary Hearing on it.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 7


“You are Harry James Potter, of number four, Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey?” Fudge said, glaring at Harry over the top of his parchment.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 8

A court of law would undoubtedly use his official name, rather than a nickname (again evidenced by the inclusion of his middle name).

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    Same thing happened in his trial at the start of book 5. Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 10:57
  • Also, the letters sent to him by Hogwarts in Philosophers Stone. Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 13:27
  • @GunnarSödergren I checked those, they're just address to Mr H Potter.
    – Moogle
    Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 14:31

Dumbledore’s last will clearly states it’s Harry

“The Last Will and Testament of Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore” … yes, here we are … “to Ronald Bilius Weasley, I leave my Deluminator, in the hope that he will remember me when he uses it.
“To Harry James Potter,”’ he read, and Harry’s insides contracted with a sudden excitement, ‘“I leave the Snitch he caught in his first Quidditch match at Hogwarts, as a reminder of the rewards of perseverance and skill.” Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 7 (The Will of Albus Dumbledore)

Note that Dumbledore leaves the Deluminator to Ronald Bilius Weasley and the snitch to Harry James Potter

Next up we have the hearing with a nice long list of full names, notice Harry is still only called Harry

“Disciplinary hearing of the twelfth of August,’ said Fudge in a ringing voice, and Percy began taking notes at once, ‘into offences committed under the Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery and the International Statute of Secrecy by Harry James Potter, resident at number four, Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey.’ ‘Interrogators: Cornelius Oswald Fudge, Minister for Magic; Amelia Susan Bones, Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement; Dolores Jane Umbridge, Senior Undersecretary to the Minister.”
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 8 (The Hearing)

Furthermore, the Family Tree on Pottermore supports that it's Harry

As you can see from the image below, Harry comes up as Harry.

While Harry's Great-Grandfather, one Henry Potter was:

Henry Potter (Harry to his intimates)
Potter Family - Pottermore

This seems to suggest that he was infact "christened" Harry.

Potter family tree with Harry labelled as Harry and his Great Grandfather, nicknames Harry, as Henry

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    Side note to back up your answer my middle name is "Harry" and is not short for Henry or Harold it is just plain Harry, after my Grandad who was named plain Harry whereas my uncle, his son, is named Henry.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 9:50
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    While I'm sure your conclusion is correct, that family tree doesn't really look like convincing evidence to me, given that it lists Ginny Weasley's first name as Ginny, not Ginevra. Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 15:34
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    @IlmariKaronen are my new details more convincing?
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 16:29
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    Excellent answer! :) Personally, I think your first two book quotes provide solid proof that his full name is Harry.
    – Obsidia
    Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 16:49
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    Doesn't look like a tree so much as a family… vine?
    – Kevin
    Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 21:44

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