Happy Birthday Lily Potter

Jan 30, 2016

Posted by: Catherine

Character Birthdays, News, Pottermore

Today we would like to honor the birthday of Harry Potter’s mother, Lily. Lily (Evans) Potter was known to be the brightest student in her class at Hogwarts; even more she was kind, loving, and remembered as such.

Though Lily does not often appear directly within the Harry Potter books, and we hear little from her character, she was perhaps one of the most important characters of the entire series. Her lessons of Love, which became the greatest source of magic, protection, and redemptions throughout the series,  are invaluable. Love is our greatest weapon.

It was Lily Potter and her love of friendship with Severus Snape that redeemed Snape’s character and transformed a bully into a hero. It was Lily’s example of the power of love’s self-sacrafice that lead Harry to commit one of the, if not the, greatest heroic act(s): dying for the ones he loved.

Lily’s sacrificial love for her son protected him from the threatening hand of Voldemort. Harry’s sacrafice for his friends and family, no longer wishing them to suffer, also saved them from the perils of death at the hands of the Dark Lord. Because of Lily’s love, Voldemort could not touch or harm anyone. Love and redemption were the ultimate undoing of Tom Marvolo Riddle.

In honor of Lily’s birthday, Pottermore has written an article on the importance of flowers within the Harry Potter series. Within the article, they confirm a theory that fans have been circulating about the internet for years: Snape’s first words to Harry were indeed a riddle of his regret and love for Lily. Pottermore reports:


Asphodel and wormwood
If his first words to Harry are anything to go by, the language of flowers suggests that Snape deeply regrets Lily Potter’s death.

‘What would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?’ The answer can be found in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince when Professor Slughorn asks the class to brew the Draught of Living Death. Interestingly, this is after Harry found Snape’s copy of Advanced Potion-Making and followed his instructions to prepare the perfect draught.

Asphodel is a type of lily and means ‘remembered beyond the tomb’ or ‘my regrets follow you to the grave’ while wormwood is often associated with regret or bitterness.


To read more of the Victorian language of flowers used throughout the Harry Potter series, visit Pottermore, here. Join us in honoring and wishing the character of Lily Potter a very happy birthday!

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.