Harry & Neville's Heartbreaking Wardrobe Symbolism

Potterheads of the internet have just realized that Harry and Neville's clothing during the Battle of Hogwarts displays some heartbreaking symbolism. Honestly, the folks in the Warner Bros. wardrobe department should be ashamed at all the feelings we're having right now. As it turns out, Harry and Neville's battle wardrobes are quite similar to the outfits James Potter and Frank Longbottom are seen wearing in the Order of the Phoenix group photo from 1981.

Harry Potter fans are always happy to find similarities between Harry and Neville, given that the two boys were both indicated in Professor Trelawney's prophecy of Voldemort's undoing. Voldemort chose to go after Harry, but a band of Death Eaters were dispatched to take care of the Longbottoms as well. The Dark Lord's decision to attack James and Lily's son was, ultimately, what made Harry the fulfillment of Trelawney's prophecy.

That hasn't stopped Potterheads from wondering whether Neville might have been the chosen one all along, however. One theory suggests that Augusta Longbottom may have put a curse on her grandson, not only to prevent him from remembering what happened to his parents, but also to stifle his magical abilities. In spite of the myriad adversities he faces, it's Neville who kills Nagini, the final horcrux, at the Battle of Hogwarts, making Voldemort's death possible.

Yeah, like that.

You may have been too awed by Neville's bravery to have noticed his sweater. Here's a closer look:

Taken during the summer before Voldemort killed the Potters and Bellatrix tortured the Longbottoms, the Order of the Phoenix photo shows the Potters and Longbottoms standing with a large group of friends and allies, including the Prewett brothers and Alastor Moody. They have short hair, and Frank has an awkward way about him, which Neville almost certainly inherited.

Evidently, Neville also inherited his father's fashion sense. Both Frank and his son have an affinity for patterned sweaters, even in the middle of summer. Just compare the image above with this one:

And Harry, who we always knew had James' hair and facial features, emulated his father as well. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows , he dons a leather coat, layered over a shirt and jacket, in much the same style as his father.

And you can bet that, if Harry's second jacket had had a collar, he would have popped it, just like dear old dad.

The resemblance is pretty uncanny, but what does all of this mean? Surely, Harry and Neville's outfits at the Battle of Hogwarts don't carry too much heavy symbolism, right?

Wrong. Harry and Neville were only candidates for Trelawney's prophecy because their parents had survived three encounters with Voldemort. The Potters died when the Dark Lord visited them a fourth time, while the Longbottoms were driven insane by Bellatrix's Cruciatus Curse.

By the time the Battle of Hogwarts rolls around, Harry has faced Voldemort and lived to tell the tale more than any other wizard. He has also joined the revived Order of the Phoenix. Meanwhile, Neville hasn't actually met the Dark Lord, nor has he taken his parents' place in the Order, but he has devoted his entire seventh year at Hogwarts to leading Dumbledore's Army. Both boys are actively involved in defeating Voldemort, in much the same way that their parents were.

And so, when Harry and Neville go toe-to-toe with Voldemort and his army of Death Eaters, they have already assumed their fathers' roles in the fight against evil. Only by refusing to back down or switch sides, and by defeating the Dark Lord once and for all, do the two boys successfully avenge their parents. Dressing like their fathers is the visual representation of this, reminding us that things have come full circle, and that the fight is finally over.

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Images: Warner Bros (3)