James Potter is generally seen as a heroic person by everyone in the Harry Potter series. After all, he was a member of the Order of the Phoenix and devoted most of his adult life to fighting Voldemort until his life was cut short. But, while he might have a lot of heroic qualities, he’s also a character that has some flaws.
He was known for being rather arrogant and full of himself and for thinking he could get away with a lot of rule-breaking but, on the other hand, he also risked his life many times to do the right thing. Here are the six most heroic things James Potter did as well as the four most cowardly.
10 HEROIC: BECOMING AN ANIMAGUS TO HELP LUPIN
If there’s one thing about James that is consistent in his characterization, it’s that he’s really devoted to his friends. This is one of the things that makes him the most like a Gryffindor. He’s loyal and willing to do a lot to help his friends.
So, when he found out that Lupin was a werewolf, it’s no wonder that he and Sirius decided to become animagi in order to make things easier for Lupin. While breaking the law might not be the best thing, his commitment to his friend is admirable.
9 COWARDLY: BEING A BULLY TO SNAPE FROM THE START
The relationship between James and Snape is definitely a fraught one. There are instances where both of them are in the wrong. While Snape got into the Dark Arts, and judging him for doing so is understandable, he wasn’t always like that.
James was mean to Snape from the start, even though Snape was obviously a child who came from a rough background. This bullying isn’t all right, and James' attitude that he was better than other people isn't admirable.
8 HEROIC: BEING EXTREMELY LOYAL TO HIS FRIENDS
This overall trait is one of James’ most heroic and redeeming qualities. He clearly was extremely devoted to his three best friends: Sirius, Lupin, and Pettigrew. He definitely took loyalty to his friends seriously, and he also trusted them deeply.
He wouldn’t even hear of the fact that one of his friends might have been betraying him to Voldemort. While this might have not gone well for him, his ability to believe in his friends no matter what is heroic.
7 COWARDLY: CONTINUALLY TRYING TO GET LILY TO GO OUT WITH HIM
While a lot of discussion has been had about the fact that Snape was rather creepy about his love for Lily, James often flies under the radar. In many ways, he was also a bit obsessive of her, and he kept trying to date her all throughout their time at Hogwarts even after she continually rejected him.
Obviously her feelings changed with time, but the way he kept trying to ask her out even when she kept saying no isn’t really cute. He should have been more respectful of her wishes and how she felt.
6 HEROIC: SAVING SNAPE FROM ENCOUNTERING LUPIN IN HIS WEREWOLF FORM
While James had a bit of an arrogant side and while he wasn’t nice to Snape, he did save his life once. Sirius was definitely more hot headed than James, and he played a prank that could have easily lead to Snape’s death.
James put his own life at risk to save Snape from Lupin in his werewolf form. This shows that even when he didn’t like someone he was willing to put his life on the line to do the right thing.
5 COWARDLY: HIS GENERAL ARROGANCE
James Potter came from a rather affluent background. He was an only child to parents who were really happy when he finally came along, so he was rather spoiled. This fact combined with the fact that he was conventionally attractive, intelligent, and good at sports made him rather full of himself.
While this might not be the most grievous sin in the world, being arrogant and thinking you’re the best isn’t necessarily a good or admirable trait to have.
4 HEROIC: DEFYING VOLDEMORT THREE TIMES ALONG WITH LILY
There are many heroic things that James did, and many of these have to do with how he fought against Voldemort. Both he and Lily defied Voldemort three times, meaning they went up against him multiple times and survived before he finally found them.
Their bravery in standing up against him definitely put them on Voldemort’s radar even before the prophecy.
3 COWARDLY: BREAKING SO MANY RULES AND NOT SEEING ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT
There are some cases where breaking rules or laws is understandable when it means doing the right thing. However, James had a rather constant disregard for rules during his time at Hogwarts.
It’s clear that he thought he was above the rules, and he didn’t really feel much remorse for breaking rules and even putting other people in general. The fact that the Marauders' allowed Lupin in his werewolf form to roam around freely is quite unforgivable.
2 HEROIC: BEING A MEMBER OF THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX
The members of the Order of the Phoenix in Harry Potter were all people that were willing to give everything they could, even their lives, to fight against Voldemort and defeat him. This takes a lot of bravery.
The Order of the Phoenix contained the most committed people in the fight against Voldemort. So, the fact that James spent most of his short, adult life as a part of this organization is very brave of him.
1 HEROIC: TRYING TO SACRIFICE HIMSELF TO SAVE HIS FAMILY
James also seemed to be quite committed to his family, and he was willing to die to save them. Given that he is someone who is quite loyal to the people he cares about, this isn’t surprising.
He tried to get Lily to take Harry and run from Voldemort, and he died trying to protect them. This shows just how brave he was.