Harry Potter might be unique as the Boy Who Lived, the Chosen One, and the only known survivor of the Avada Kedavra curse … but it turns out, there’s one surprising area where he’s not unique at all. J.K. Rowling has revealed that Harry Potter was not the first Harry Potter.
In a Pottermore post on Friday about the Potter family, Rowling revealed that Harry had an ancestor in the early 1900s named Henry, who went by Harry. And just like the Boy Who Lived, the first Harry Potter stood up and fought on behalf of those who were less powerful.
“Henry Potter (Harry to his intimates) … served on the Wizengamot from 1913 - 1921,” Rowling writes. “Henry caused a minor stir when he publicly condemned then Minister for Magic, Archer Evermonde, who had forbidden the magical community to help Muggles waging the First World War.”
The common assumption in the Harry Potter series was that Harry favored his father James in looks and his mother Lily in fighting for those less fortunate. But it looks like bravery and justice are strong on James’s side, too.
Of course, at various times in the Potter series, Harry has not been the only Harry Potter. At the beginning of Deathly Hallows, for instance, half of the Order of the Phoenix memorably took Polyjuice Potion in order to resemble Harry, thereby distracting Death Eaters from targeting the real Harry.
Still, this is big news for a wizard to learn on his 20th anniversary. Because come Monday, June 26th, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone turns 20.