Harry might look very much like his father James, but a lot of his personality seems to come from his mother. From his eyes to his morals, we look at all the different ways Harry takes after Lily.
Harry may have had his dad’s dark messy hair and overall appearance, but his bright green eyes were very much Lily’s. It felt like everyone who saw them couldn’t help but make that comparison. When Harry went to buy his first wand Ollivander brought it up.Finally, when Snape lay dying, he asked Harry to look at him, so he could gaze into Lily’s eyes once again before he passed away. Though Harry sadly had to grow up without his parents, whenever he looked in the mirror, he could see a small part of each of them.
One thing that Harry and his mother had in common is that they both grew up without knowledge of the wizarding world. As children, they would have gone through life thinking that strange things seemed to happen to them, and they were able to do stuff that others couldn’t – yet they would have no idea what it all meant. It wasn’t until Snape told Lily who she was, and Hagrid told Harry, that they discovered their true place in the world. You could also say that this time without magic gave them the advantage of being able to move easily between both wizarding and Muggle worlds - unlike some of their pure-blood loved ones such as James and Ron.
However, we also have to acknowledge the stark differences in their childhood experiences. While Lily grew up in a loving home with both her parents, Harry was an orphan left with the horrible Dursleys. Lily was loved and cherished by a family that ended up being incredibly proud that she was a witch, while Harry spent his formative years with people who treated him terribly and tried to squash the magic out of him.
We hate to say it, but Harry’s dad could be described as a bit of a bully. He tormented Snape and had a mean streak. Thankfully this was something that Harry didn’t inherit from his father. Instead, he had a kinder nature like his mother. The pair of them did not tolerate nasty or belittling behaviour. When Harry accidentally witnessed Snape’s memories and saw James being truly awful to him, he was actually ashamed of his dad. He didn’t find it funny or laugh along with him. Instead, he had the same reaction as Lily, who was furious. Who can forget how she berated James when she found him hanging the young Severus upside down by his leg?
Similarly, during his school days, Harry wasn’t willing to associate with those he saw as bullies. After meeting Draco Malfoy and hearing his awful comments about Hagrid and the Weasley family, he firmly declined Malfoy’s offer of friendship. He also comforted those who were subject to Malfoy’s cruelty. He memorably told Neville that he was worth twelve of Malfoy after a nasty incident when Draco has cast a Leg-Locker Curse on him. It’s safe to say that both Harry and Lily had their hearts in the right place and were motivated by kindness.
Harry Potter certainly had a sassy side and could be rather quick-witted when he wanted to. From the unforgettable time he told Snape 'There’s no need to call me ‘Sir’, Professor', to when he tried to pass off 'Roonil Wazlib' as his nickname – he had plenty of hilarious moments. Now you might think that this was a trait inherited from his very confident father, but his mother was known for having a playful side. In Half-Blood Prince, it was Professor Slughorn that revealed this particular character trait to Harry…
‘Lily Evans. One of the brightest I ever taught. Vivacious, you know. Charming girl. I used to tell her she ought to have been in my house. Very cheeky answers I used to get back, too.’
Like Harry, Lily seemed to have a knack for answering back, so we’re pretty confident that at least some of his humour was thanks to her.
If it wasn’t for Lily’s sacrifice, Harry probably wouldn’t have survived that awful night in Godric’s Hollow. When Lily threw herself between Harry and Voldemort and refused to stand aside, she invoked a powerful and ancient magic which protected Harry. In fact, what makes this even more incredible is that she needn’t have died that night. Voldemort (thanks to pleas from Snape) was willing to spare her life – yet Lily didn’t care about saving herself she just wanted Harry to live.
That willingness to put those she loved before herself was something her son inherited. One thing that Harry truly hated was seeing anyone he cared about being in danger – which was why he also chose to make the ultimate sacrifice during the Battle of Hogwarts. After witnessing Snape’s memories, he walked into the Forbidden Forest alone to allow Voldemort to kill him. He knew that if he did the lives of his friends and those who fought with him would be spared. While we know that Harry was in fact a Horcrux and he survived Voldemort’s Killing Curse a second time, he truly believed he was about to die. In that moment, he was as strong and as brave as his mother had been when he was a baby and proved that he was her son through and through.