How Old Is Harry Potter? (Books and Movies)

As most fans know, each book follows one school year making young wizards age one year in each book. The movies are a bit different.

Because of the time it took to shoot all the scenes and post-production of special effects, some movies were released with a bigger gap, making actors older than the book characters.

Harry Potter’s Birthday

How Old Is Harry Potter?

Harry Potter was born July 31st, 1980. 

Many fans consider this date meaningful, apart from the obvious, because this is exactly nine months after Halloween, which is likely the date Harry was conceived.

Exactly one year after that, Halloween of 1981, Harry’s parents were killed, and Harry himself defeated Voldemort for the first time.

How Old was Harry Potter When He Went to Hogwarts?

Harry Potter was 11 years old when he went to Hogwarts. 

The Quill of Acceptance in Hogwarts chooses newborn wizards and witches, who receive a letter before their 11th birthday stating their acceptance into the school.

Like Hermione, some young witches and wizards have to wait almost a whole year to attend Hogwarts. Hogwarts Train leaves September 1st. Everyone whose birthday happens to be after that date has to wait until next September rolls around.

How Old is Harry Potter in Each Book?

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

In book number one, we first got a glimpse of young Harry Potter when he was only one year and three months old. Then we quickly jump almost ten years ahead, and we meet Harry again, just before he had his 11th birthday.  

When Harry sat on the train to Hogwarts, he was an eleven-year-old boy. Through the book, we follow the whole school year, which lasts almost ten full months. When we see Harry off for the summer, he was one month short of being 12.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

The second book started just over one month after the end of the first one, on Harry’s 12th birthday. A very sad event with no presents, no letters, and having to pretend that he doesn’t exist. 

When he went to Hogwarts again, in a flying car this time, Harry was twelve years old and ready to face his second year at school. After the great ordeal with the poisonous King of Serpents, Harry went back to Privet Drive, being 12 years and 11 months old.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Another birthday, but this time not forgotten. Birthday presents arrived just after one o’clock on July 31st. Harry was officially 13 years old for a whole hour. 

The whole school year passed on trying to solve mysteries, and in the end, after saving two innocent lives of Sirius Black and Buckbeak, Harry went back to his aunt and uncle for the summer holidays. We saw him off one month before his 14th birthday.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

In book number four, we met Harry on August 16th, just two days before the Quidditch World Cup of 1994. By then, Harry was 14 years old, and this time, he received enough birthday presents and cakes to survive Dursleys’ “rabbit food” diet.

During Harry’s fourth year at Hogwarts, the events were thrilling, if not downright dangerous, with the worst culmination possible – the return of Lord Voldemort. When Harry met reborn Voldemort on June 24th, he was almost one month short of being 15 years old

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Book number five started on August 2nd, just a few days after Harry became 15 years old

Almost thrown out of school but defended by Albus Dumbledore, Harry proceeded with his fifth year at Hogwarts fighting the Ministry and running an underground fighting club, Dumbledore’s Army.

As we thought the events couldn’t get any more difficult for Harry, he was just one and a half months short of his 16th birthday when he lost his beloved godfather, Sirius Black.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Dumbledore picked Harry up July 13th, so two weeks before Harry’s 16th birthday. He dropped him at the Burrow (meeting Slughorn en route), where Harry celebrated his sweet sixteen. 

The sixth year at Hogwarts finished awfully for Harry, with Dumbledore’s death, exactly one month before Harry reached adulthood.

Harry Potter and the Deadly Hollows

In the last book of the series, we met Harry on July 27th, just four days before his 17th birthday

After reaching adulthood and losing the Trace from Ministry, Harry took off on a wild goose chase across the country. After several near-death encounters with Death Eaters, snatchers, and a poisonous snake, Harry defeated Voldemort on May 2nd, three months before his 18th birthday.

The last time we met Harry in the books was 19 years after the Battle of Hogwarts when Harry saw his children of to school. Harry was 37 years old.

How Old is Harry Potter in Each Movie?

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

The first movie was released in 2001. In the books, Harry was 11 years old when he went to Hogwarts for the first time, but in reality, the actor playing Harry, Daniel Radcliffe, was already 12 years old

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

The second installment of the Harry Potter saga was released in 2002, so one year after the first one. The Harry Potter actor was 13 years old, portraying a 12-year-old wizard.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

The third movie of the young wizard’s adventures was released in 2004. Daniel Radcliffe, the actor who plays Harry Potter, was 15 years old, while his character was only 13.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Movie number four was released in 2005, and by then, Harry Potter from the screen was 16 years old, while his book counterpart was 14.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

The fifth film was out in cinemas in 2007. Daniel Radcliffe was 18 years old compared to his 15 years old book Harry Potter character.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Another two years passed between the fifth and sixth movie, and by the release date in 2009, the Harry Potter actor was 20 years old, while the book Harry Potter was still only 16. 

Harry Potter and the Deadly Hollows part 1 and part 2

The last book was turned into a two-part movie released year after year. Part number 1 was released in 2010 and part 2 in 2011. At that time, Daniel Radcliffe was 21 and 22 accordingly, while his book counterpart was 17 years old.


Each of the Harry Potter books covers part of the summer holidays and one school year. Starting at 11, Harry ages one year between books, and by the end of the Second Wizarding War, he is almost 18 years old.

On the other hand, movies are a little bit different. They also cover one year of Harry’s life, but the actor playing the role of Harry Potter was already one year older than Harry in the first book.

The frequency of releasing the movies also made a difference. Some of the films were released with a two-year gap, making Harry Potter in the last movie five years older than Harry in the book.