Lily Potter is a fictional character from the beloved Harry Potter series. As the mother of the protagonist Harry Potter, she is an important figure in the story, though she died when Harry was just an infant. While many details about Lily’s life and personality are revealed through the books and movies, one question that some fans have is – what color were Lily Potter’s eyes?
Lily Potter in the Books
In the Harry Potter novels written by J.K. Rowling, Lily Potter’s physical appearance is rarely described in detail. However, her eyes are mentioned on a few significant occasions.
When Harry looks into the Mirror of Erised in book 1, he sees his family standing behind him, including:
A woman standing right behind his reflection, smiling at him and waving. He reached out a hand and felt the air behind him. If she was really there, he’d touch her, their reflections were so close together, but he felt only air – she and the others existed only in the mirror.
This woman is his mother Lily. The passage goes on to describe her eyes:
She was a very pretty woman. She had dark red hair and her eyes – her eyes are just like mine, Harry thought, edging a little closer to the glass. Bright green – exactly the same shape.
This quote reveals that in the books, Lily Potter has bright green eyes, just like her son Harry.
Lily’s Eyes in the Movies
In the Harry Potter films, Lily Potter was portrayed by actress Geraldine Somerville. The movies do not spend much time on the color of Lily’s eyes.
However, Harry’s green eyes are emphasized repeatedly throughout the films. Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Harry, has blue eyes in real life. He had to wear colored contacts to make Harry’s eyes green on screen.
Since Harry is supposed to have inherited his distinctive green eyes from Lily, it’s likely that the filmmakers intended for Lily to also have green eyes. However, this isn’t explicitly confirmed on-screen.
Why Are Lily’s Green Eyes Significant?
So in both the books and films, Lily Potter is described or implied to have bright green eyes. But why does this seemingly small detail matter?
Throughout the Harry Potter series, the similarities between Harry’s and Lily’s eyes are mentioned repeatedly. Harry being reminded of his mother when he looks in the mirror emphasizes the deep connection he feels to her, despite Lily dying when Harry was only a baby.
Harry’s green eyes also link him to his mother’s formidable magical talents. Lily was a gifted witch who excelled at Potions and Charms while at Hogwarts. Harry inheriting her magical skill, as well as her eye color, highlights that he has followed in her footsteps.
Finally, Harry’s green eyes stand out as one of his most recognizable physical traits. When others who knew Lily, like Harry’s teachers, look into his face, his eyes remind them of the selfless woman who sacrificed herself for her son. The eyes create an instant bond between Harry and those who loved Lily.
So Lily Potter’s green eyes, passed down to her son Harry, represent the deep connection between parent and child. They also symbolize Lily’s magical gifts living on through Harry, as well as the way he reminds others of his courageous mother.
Other Clues About Lily’s Appearance
While J.K. Rowling did not provide too many specific physical details about Lily Potter in the books, there are a few other tidbits readers can gather about her appearance.
- She had long, dark red hair. In the books, her hair color is described as auburn and dark red.
- Her patronus took the form of a doe. This matches James Potter’s patronus, which was a stag. The pairing of the two patronuses represents their love for each other.
- She was described as being exceptionally pretty. Multiple characters comment on Lily’s good looks, including Slughorn and Sirius.
So although concrete details are sparse, the books give the impression that Lily Potter was a lovely woman with thick, fiery red hair and bright green almond-shaped eyes like her son.
How the Films Depicted Lily
The Harry Potter films provided a clearer visualization of Lily Potter’s appearance, since she was portrayed by actress Geraldine Somerville:
- She had long, wavy dark red hair.
- She had fair skin and delicate features.
- Her eyes appear blue on screen, though that may have just been the actress’s natural eye color rather than an intentional appearance choice.
- She dressed in simple blouses and sweaters, giving her an approachable and down-to-earth look.
Geraldine Somerville was 36 years old when she was cast as 20-year-old Lily. But she convincingly portrayed a younger Lily through her hair, makeup, and costume design.
How Fan Art Depicts Lily Potter
In the absence of detailed canon descriptions of Lily Potter, fans have come up with their own interpretations of her appearance through fan art.
There are some common themes in how fan artists represent Lily:
- She is usually shown with long, flowing red hair, often down to her waist.
- Her eyes are overwhelmingly depicted as green, staying true to the books.
- She is drawn as a very beautiful woman, but in an approachable way.
- Her outfits vary widely, from Hogwarts robes to trendy fashions to simple dresses.
- She sometimes is shown holding or surrounded by lilies, representing her floral name.
While fan art interpretations vary, they tend to visualize Lily as a lovely young woman with the brilliant green eyes described by Rowling in the text.
Key Facts About Lily Potter’s Appearance
To summarize the key details known about Lily Potter’s physical description:
|Eyes||Bright green, almond-shaped (like Harry’s)|
|Hair||Long and wavy, dark red in color|
|Height||No details provided|
|Style of dress||Simple blouses and dresses. Muggle clothing.|
The Significance of Lily’s Appearance
Though J.K. Rowling did not provide a highly detailed description of Lily Potter’s physical characteristics, the glimpses into her appearance carry deeper meaning.
The most significant detail is her green eyes, which not only represent her magical talents and connect her to her son, but also symbolize life and renewal. Like lilies themselves, which are tied to rebirth and motherhood, Lily’s eyes reflect her loving heart and willingness to sacrifice everything for her child.
Additionally, Lily’s simple style of dress highlights her modest, down-to-earth character. She is beautiful in an understated and natural way. Her physical appearance reflects the kindness and courage she displays in her actions.
Overall, the few physical attributes described reveal the depths of Lily Potter’s inner beauty and strength. Her selfless love for her son lives on through the distinctive green eyes she gifted to Harry.
Lily Potter’s eye color is a memorable and meaningful detail about the beloved character. The bright green eyes, referenced repeatedly in the Harry Potter books, symbolize Lily’s strong magical talents, her close relationship with her son, and the love that led her to sacrifice herself to save Harry. While the books offer only a few clues about Lily’s appearance, her vivid green almond-shaped eyes leave a lasting impression on readers and say much about who she was as a person. Ultimately, it is not superficial physical details that define Lily Potter, but rather her immense love and courage, qualities that have touched the lives of so many fans.