James Potter Was Actually a Good Person

As a hardcore Harry Potter fan, I naturally fell down the Marauders rabbit hole. Very quickly, James Potter (aka Prongs) became one of my favorite characters in Harry Potter. He was such a good friend, and he loved his wife and son so much that he died trying to protect them.  However, not all Harry Potter fans think the same as I do. They believe that James is one of the worst people in Harry Potter. This group of fans also thinks that Snape deserved much better, and that James picked on him just because he felt like it. In this article, I will explain why James Potter is superior to Severus Snape.

The main thing that so many people get wrong about James is that he bullied Snape for no reason. This, however, is completely wrong. Snape was actually the one who started everything. Something that a lot of people don’t know is that Remus Lupin, another one of the Marauders, has dyslexia. No one had ever tried to teach him how to read properly, so he had a lot of trouble in his first year at Hogwarts. Because of this, Snape bullied Remus. So, James being the good friend he was, stuck up for Remus…and may or may not have started a never-ending rivalry with Snape. I’m not saying that it was okay for James to bully Snape — bullying is never justified. However, James would’ve never started picking on Snape if Snape hadn’t started picking on Remus first. 

More evidence of James Potter being a good friend was revealed to us in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. In chapter six, The Order of the Phoenix’s new headquarters is at 12 Grimmauld Place (Sirius Black’s childhood house). Sirius shows Harry the family tree of “The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black.” When Harry sees that Sirius’ spot on the family tree had been burnt off, he gets confused as to why that had happened. Sirius explains that he had been mistreated all his life so when he was 16, he ran away. 

“‘Where did you go?’ asks Harry, staring at him. “‘Your dad’s place,’ said Sirius. ‘Your grandparents were really good about it; they sort of adopted me as a second son’” (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, page 111). 

James and his parents cared so much about Sirius that they took him into their home with barely any warning. This goes to show what kind of people the Potters were and what their values were. 

Back to the topic of Severus Snape, another thing that people get wrong is that Snape was the only one who truly loved Lily just because the two of them had the same Patronus. Despite popular opinions, Snape didn’t actually love Lily. At least not in the same way that James did. The only reason why Snape’s Patronus was also a doe was that he was so obsessed with Lily. The reason why James’ Patronus was a stag was that he was Lily’s soulmate and Lily was his soulmate. Another way James proved his love for Lily was again in Order of the Phoenix. In chapter 28, Harry goes into Snape’s ‘worst memory.’ This memory is of James and Sirius bullying Snape until Lily intervenes. Then, Snape says something to Lily that somehow doesn’t make it into the movies. 

“‘LEAVE HIM ALONE!’ Lily shouted. She had her own wand out now. James and Sirius eyed it warily. ‘Ah, Evans, don’t make me hex you,’ said James earnestly. ‘Take the curse off him, then!’ James sighed deeply, then turned to Snape and muttered the countercurse. ‘There you go,’ he said as Snape struggled to his feet again, ‘you’re lucky Evans was here, Snivellus-’ ‘I don’t need help from filthy little Mudbloods like her!’ Lily blinked. ‘Fine’ she said coolly. ‘I won’t bother in future. And I’d wash your pants if I were you, Snivellus.’ ‘Apologize to Evans!’ James roared at Snape, his wand pointed threateningly at him” (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, page 648). 

Out of context, this quote probably doesn’t make any sense. So, let’s put it in some context. When this situation happens, it is towards the end of the Marauders’ fifth year at Hogwarts, which means that Voldemort is becoming more and more powerful and gaining more followers. Voldemort and his followers believed that pureblood wizards were better than everyone else. In fact, for a while Voldemort made it his job to kill as many muggleborns and half-bloods as possible. If you’ve read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, you know that calling someone a muggleborn a mudblood is a huge insult. It’s basically a wizard form of a swear. Now, the Potters were a very rich pureblood family, and Snape’s family were half-bloods and not as wealthy as the Potters. Theoretically (because most pureblood families thought they were superior), James would’ve been the one calling Lily a mudblood, but no. Snape (a middle-class half-blood), called Lily a mudblood; and James (an upper-class, rich, popular pureblood), stuck up for Lily and got mad at Snape. That’s a very obvious sign that James was a good person.

Another way to tell that James was a really good friend was the fact that he and all the marauders became animagi. A little context for that; for ten years, Remus had been a werewolf and for five of those years, every full moon Remus was locked in the shrieking shack to make sure he didn’t hurt anyone. But one day, three of his best friends just decided to turn into illegal animagi to spend more time with him (also random side note, the shrieking shack didn’t get its name until Remus was locked in it for the first time in his first year at Hogwarts. Students were calling it the most haunted building in Britain, because they would hear screams coming from it once a month. But the sad thing is, it wasn’t haunted; it was just Remus transforming.) The best part is, now Remus could get out of the shack and run around with his friends in animal form which meant that he wouldn’t be locked in the shack getting so many scars. The fact that after James LITERALLY BECAME ABLE TO TRANSFORM INTO AN ANIMAL TO SPEND MORE TIME WITH HIS FRIEND AND PEOPLE STILL HATE HIM MAKES MY BRAIN HURT. 

Another sign of James being amazing is when he died for his wife and son. Picture this: Halloween 1981, James is sitting on the couch playing with baby Harry when Lily comes into the living room to put Harry to bed. James picks up Harry, hands him to Lily and yawns. As Lily begins walking upstairs with Harry, James hears something outside. When James figures out that it’s Voldemort, he runs into the hallway to warn Lily. “Lily, take Harry and go! It’s him! Go! Run! I’ll hold him off!” (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, pages 343-344). However, James was just thinking on the spot. There was no possible way he could hold off Voldemort, because he’d left his wand on the couch when he ran into the hallway. The fact that James didn’t even think about picking up his wand before warning Lily is enough to make people see what a good person he really was. The only thing he could think about was making sure his wife and son were safe before protecting himself (and the most dangerous wizard OF ALL TIME was BREAKING INTO HIS HOUSE!!). 

Hopefully, if you’re one of the people who thinks that Snape is better than James, this article changed your mind. I mean, one day we’re all going to have to face it: James is just superior to Snape.

by Keira Hyatt ’26, Staff Writer