Freya is an avid book reader who loves analyzing the plots, themes and characters of novels like the Harry Potter series.
James Sirius Potter. Why, yes, that's supposed to be a name. What a mouthful, huh? That's actually the name of the first-born child of Harry Potter*.
What is wrong with this moniker? What reason would you have to dislike or even hate it? Did Harry make a mistake in choosing this appellation for his son? How come it can be said that this doesn't make sense? Was it out of character (OOC) for Harry to give this name to his child?
*Harry Potter (HP) is a 7-book fantasy series about magic and wizards written by J.K. Rowling. Book 7, HP and the Deathly Hallows, is where we meet the children of HP and his wife Ginny Weasley.
Meaning of the name James Sirius Potter
Let's start by breaking the name up and examining it individually to see its significance and meaning:
- This is the name of Harry Potter's father
- This was derived from the Latin word Iacomus, which is a variant of the Greek Iákōbos, which came from the Hebrew Yaʻaqov or Jacob
- This means "supplanter", "undermines", "he grasps the heel"
- This is the name of Harry's godfather who was actually the best friend of James Potter
- This was derived from the Ancient Greek word Seirios, which means "glowing", "scorcher", "burning"
- This is the brightest star in the sky (also known as the Dog Star) and it can be found in the Canis Major constellation
Reason why Harry chose James Sirius as his son's name
From what we can see above, it's very easy to understand why Harry chose the 2 words for his first-born son. He wanted to name his kid after 2 important people in his life - his dad and his godfather.
It's clear that he loved them and cared about them, which makes perfect sense since we are talking about people that he's related to and that he has a connection with.
Therefore, it's perfectly normal for Harry to choose these names for his son. Their meanings aren't even all that important at this point since the only reason HP picked them was because of their significant to his life.
There's nothing strange or odd about Harry's actions since there are people who like to name their children after their parents or relatives or even friends.
This can be a way for them to be able to pay tribute to the memory of the person they're naming their kid for. This is just like how Harry himself carries his father's name with his full title being Harry James Potter.
So, what's the problem then?
The real issue lies in how the 2 words have been placed or combined together.
Separately, the names "James" and "Sirius" are perfectly fine as-is,, but, if you put them together and give it to one single person, then this is where we begin to have problems.
Those 2 names should never have been smashed or combined together.
Harry Potter has two sons so it would have been perfectly possible if one of them had been named James [insert middle name here that isn't Sirius] Potter and Sirius [insert middle name here that isn't James] Potter.
What in the world was HP thinking when he decided to call one of his sons James Sirius Potter? Do you think he hit his head on something or what? What he did seems rather out-of-character for him, right?
Why Harry should have separated the name James Sirius?
Harry Potter doesn't know James Potter
- James is HP's father
- HP never got to know his dad because James was killed when he was just a baby (Dark Lord Voldemort, the evil villain of the series, killed HP's parents)
This means that Harry Potter isn't close to his dad at all. He can't possibly be close to the guy because he never really had the chance to get to know him at all.
In fact, by the time he began to discover things about his father, he was already 11 years old. He doesn't even really remember the guy at all. All he knows about James Potter is what people, like his godfather and Professor Remus Lupin*, tell him.
*Werewolf, Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, a friend of HP's parents
Harry Potter knows Sirius Black
- Harry has actually met Sirius
- He's really close to his godfather - he writes letters to him, he turns to him for help and he was very upset when Black died
- He cared about the guy enough to want to risk his life for him - he even went to the Department of Mysteries in book 5, HP and the Order of the Phoenix, just because he believed that Voldemort had captured his godfather
How could Harry Potter do this to Sirius Black?
We can't deny that Harry cared about Sirius. This also explains why he named one of his kids after the guy. But why in the world would Harry Potter do it in this way? Why would he put his beloved godfather's name as a mere middle name for one of his sons?
Think about it - what are the chances of anyone calling Harry's son "Sirius"? The chances are pretty much slim to none since most, if not all, will stick to calling the kid "James".
Fact: Harry Potter cares about Sirius Black and vice versa
Consider Harry's full name. It's Harry James Potter but who calls him "James"? People usually call him Harry. The only time we even hear his middle name is when someone calls him by his full name.
This is the same with James Sirius Potter. It's only natural that people will call him James. Hardly anyone will call him Sirius so it's really like HP's godfather is forgotten and set aside in favor HP's father.
A really short Harry Potter quiz
For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.
- How many kids does Harry Potter have?
- What's the name of Harry Potter's wife?
- Ginny Weasley
- Hermione Granger
- What's the name of Harry Potter's daughter?
- Lily Ginevra Potter
- Lily Luna Potter
- What's the name of Harry Potter's eldest son?
- James Sirius Potter
- Sirius James Potter
- What's the name of Harry Potter's second son?
- Sirius Severus Potter
- Albus Severus Potter
- Ginny Weasley
- Lily Luna Potter
- James Sirius Potter
- Albus Severus Potter
Interpreting Your Score
If you got between 0 and 1 correct answer: Aww :( Sorry 'bout that. You can always try again if you want to.
If you got between 2 and 3 correct answers: You may have forgotten some stuff about the Harry Potter series. You might want to reread the books before taking the quiz again.
If you got 4 correct answers: Not bad. You can try again if you want to and maybe you can get a perfect score.
If you got 5 correct answers: Awesome job mate! There's no doubt about it. You're a Harry Potter fan.
Does this make sense to you?
If Harry Potter really cared about his godfather (and we know that he did, considering the facts mentioned above), then why would he do this to him? Isn't this an insult to Sirius Black's memory?
After all, he has 2 sons so he could have named one of them after his dad and the other after his godfather so why didn't he do that? What's wrong with doing that? Don't you think that this seems really OOC for HP?
Is Harry Potter closer to Sirius Black or James Potter?
If you had to choose, wouldn't it make sense to choose Sirius? Why? The simple reason for that is the fact that Harry actually knows the guy. He's met him and he's actually spent time with him.
Sure, James is his dad and there's no doubt that Harry will always love him in the way that children love their parents but the fact remains that HP never knew his father.
James died before Harry Potter could get the chance to get to know him and spend time with him. He hardly has memories of the guy because he was still a baby when the man died.
But it's different with Sirius Black because HP knew him. Black was like a dad to Harry until he died. So, wouldn't it have made perfect sense for HP to name his first-born or even just his second son after his dear beloved godfather?
How would you rate the name "James Sirius Potter"?
- 1 star - absolutely hate it; I'd rate it zero if I could
- 2 stars - hate it but I can tolerate it
- 3 stars - it's not that bad; I can live with it
- 4 stars - I actually like it
- 5 stars - absolutely love it; I'd rate it a million if I could
What do you think?
For me, I honestly found the name very disappointing for the reasons mentioned above.
It really seemed like Harry just tacked on his godfather's name as an afterthought, as an additional moniker for his son and it seems really quite insulting, to say the least. How can this be fair to Sirius?
After all that he did for Harry, after all that he suffered and had to go through, is this all that he can get in the end? This doesn't even make all that much sense because HP was supposed to care about his godfather. If he really cared, then why would he do something like this?
So, what about you? What do you think? What do you think about the name "James Sirius Potter"? Do you like it? Or do you think that Harry should have named one son James and the other Sirius? Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions by way of the comments section below.
- Sirius Black image is by Cor-Sa (CC:BY-SA) from deviantArt
- Harry Potter image is by MachoMachi (CC:BY-SA) from deviantArt
- Third image, with the text, was made using Quozio
- Rest of the images are enlarged versions of pics from Amazon.com; product links shown above
© 2015 Freya Yuki
Freya Yuki (author) on September 16, 2016:
@Anonymous - as mentioned in the above article, there's nothing wrong with Harry naming his son after his dad. The issue is with the fact that he used Sirius as the second name for his son. Sirius Black is his beloved godfather, so why would he do that?
James Sirius Potter will almost always go by his first name. He'll hardly ever be called by his second name. So it would have been better and preferable if Harry used Sirius as a first name for his other son. That way, he can honor both his father and godfather.
Yes, James did give up his life for his son and Harry knows that and he no doubt appreciates that, but it's also true that he never got the chance to know his dad. He was too young when James died, so most of the things he knows about the guy are from what he's heard from people like Sirius. On the other hand, Harry actually got to spend time with Sirius. He actually got to know Black before he died.
Anonymous on June 13, 2015:
this is ridiculous, JK.Rowling probably didn't think of that when choosing the names. James is harry's father, maybe he has never known him, but if you had actually read the books properly you'd find out that Harry talked to james in the first book and the last. on his way to the forest where Voldemort is hiding in the 7th book, his loved ones "come back to life" in a way, just for a moment. and then harry's father tells him that he will always be with him, and that he was been so brave. And then the most important reason: James was ready to give up his life for Harry, although it was his mother that actually did it, James says to Lily that she should take Harry and go, so that he can take care of Voldemort even though he knows that he will most certainly die.