So on a lot of HP merchandise the exact details of Harry's scar are different. The scar is a lightning bolt in a 'N' shape and not the other way around, right?

And does anyone know is Rowling made Harry's scar shaped like the Nordic sowilo rune on purpose?


As you can see from Rowling's own illustrations for the annotated special edition of Philosopher's Stone and pen & ink sketches she did for the 1999 Children in Need show, the shape of the scar isn't presented consistently.

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Vertical (possibly).

Later, in the first-edition book illustrations (which were hand-chosen by Rowling (but not drawn by her)) the scar is depicted as more of a jagged lightning bolt.

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Later covers present his scar even more dramatically:

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As to why JKR chose a scar in that particular shape, she's been quite mysterious but she did at least confirm that it's a "lightning bolt" shape and not a runic shape:

Q. What is the meaning behind Harry's lightning bolt scar?

A. There are some things I can tell you about it, and some things I can't. I wanted him to be physically marked by what he has been through. It was an outward expression of what he has been through inside. I gave him a scar in a prominent place so other people would recognize him. It is almost like being the chosen one or the cursed one, in a sense. Someone tried to kill him; that's how he got it. I chose the lightning bolt because it was the most plausible shape for a distinctive scar. As you know, the scar has certain powers, and it gives Harry warnings. I can't say more than that, but there is more to say.

and that she largely chose it because it symbolizes power and intensity:

UKMCLive: Why did you pick a "lightning bolt" to be the symbol on Harry's forehead?

JKR Live: It had to be something that suggested the intensity of the pain that Voldemort was trying to inflict upon him but a simple and plausible shape for a scar.

  • The third image doesn't show Harry's scar. The line sticking out is just hair. Rowling usually leaves out the scar when drawing Harry, and the only other two times she has drawn it, the scar was horizontal.
    – ibid
    Dec 3 '17 at 7:00
  • @ibid - Hmm. It sure looks like a scar to me. He's generally drawn with two short fringe pieces, one slightly longer than the other, and the scar under.
    – Valorum
    Dec 3 '17 at 7:07
  • Looks like hair to me, and Rowling draws him with three fringes too. It's not like she usually draws the scar either way.
    – ibid
    Dec 3 '17 at 7:12
  • @ibid - So we can agree that she's wildly inconsistent then? :-)
    – Valorum
    Dec 3 '17 at 7:13
  • Definitely with regards to Harry's hair style. But we've never seen her draw the scar in a shape/position that would fit with that line, and it seems a lot more likely to me to be a hair, especially considering how Rowling almost always leaves the scar out.
    – ibid
    Dec 3 '17 at 7:17

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