How Did James Potter Die?

James Potter was Harry Potter’s father. He belonged to the Order of the Phoenix during the First Wizarding War, and he was best friends with Remus Lupin and Sirius Black since their first days at Hogwarts.

But after hearing the Prophecy, Voldemort chose Harry as his equal, and that brought a death sentence on James Potter and his wife, Lily.

How did James Potter Die?

How Did James Potter Die?

Voldemort killed James Potter using the infamous killing curse, Avada Kedavra. 

James and Lily Potter were hiding from Voldemort under the Fidelius Charm. They wanted Sirius Black to be their Secret Keeper, but Black convinced them to use Peter Pettigrew instead. Pettigrew betrayed Potter’s, and Voldemort found their house in Godric’s Hollow.

Along a new and darker street he moved, and now his destination was in sight at last, the Fidelius Charm broken, though they did not know it yet…

When James figured that Voldemort had come for them, he rushed to stop him, even though he didn’t have his wand with him. Voldemort killed him instantly with the killing curse.

“Avada Kedavra!”
The green light filled the cramped hallway, it lit the pram pushed against the wall, it made the banisters glare like lightning rods, and James Potter fell like a marionette whose strings were cut…

Why did James Potter Die?

James Potter died because he was trying to protect his wife, Lily, and infant son, Harry, from the dark wizard, Voldemort.

Voldemort tried to recruit James Potter three times before he came looking for Harry, but James refused each time.

After the last refusal, he took his family and went into hiding, but Voldemort used one of James’ supposed friends to gain intel and found Potter’s in Godric’s Hollow. Peter Pettigrew was, in fact, a spy to Voldemort.

Once James realized that Voldemort had found them, he came forward to shield his wife and son, trying to stop Voldemort. James was panicked and didn’t even pick up his wand from the sofa, he must have realized he didn’t stand a chance against Voldemort, but he tried nonetheless.

He was over the treshhold as James came sprinting into the hall. It was easy, too easy, he had not even picked up his wand…
“Lily, take Harry and go! It’s him! Go! Run! I’ll hold him off!”

Voldemort didn’t try to recruit James Potter anymore. He only saw him as an obstacle to Harry. This time he wanted to kill the boy and anyone who tried to stop him.

When Did James Potter Die?

James Potter died on 31 October 1981

If we want to go about it the hard way, we can deduce the date from the information in the books. Harry was one year old when Voldemort killed his parents. It would mean that the year was 1981 since Harry was born in 1980.

In chapter seventeen, in the Deathly Hallows, we read that it was Halloween when Voldemort was walking down the street towards Potter’s home.

There were children on the street dressed up, Halloween decorations in shop’s windows, and one of the children commented on Voldemort’s attire, stating it was a nice costume. That would make it 31 October.

Even without figuring it out, in Deathly Hallows, we can read the sign in front of the ruins of Harry’s childhood house that states the date of Potter’s death, and there is also the tombstone at the graveyard.

What Age Did James Potter Die?

James Potter died when he was only 21 years old. The tombstone in the graveyard in Godric’s Hollow states his date of birth.

James Potter 
Born 27 March 1960
Died 31 October 1981

What a lot of fans noticed, in the movies, older actors portray Harry’s parents. Even though James Potter died when he was still very young, the filmmakers wanted to show that James and Lily were adults, hence the idea to present them as older than they really were.

Final Thoughts

James Potter was a brave man, good friend, and even though he was bullying Snape during their years at Hogwarts, he grew up to be an honorable person. James Potter loved his wife and his young son, and he gave his life to protect them.

Even though during his school years he was a bully and had a rather big ego, he calmed down, and we believe that if death didn’t claim him, he would have been an amazing, loving, and caring father.