It's Harry Potter's birthday! By the timeline set in the books, J.K. Rowling's beloved boy wizard would be 34 years of age today. And to celebrate the occasion, we've come up with a list of challenges the character has overcome over the course of his documented life.

In compiling this list, it became clear almost immediately that we were compiling a list of some of the worst things this character has had to endure. And what is that for a birthday celebration? But in the end, what we saw out of each of these challenges was the construction of a hero's character, which started when he was just a baby and continued to evolve over the course of his youth. These are some of the challenges Harry Potter faced and overcame over the course of his life.

James and Lily
His parents' deaths.
Harry had about a year of a "normal" life before his parents were brutally murdered by Voldemort. The two people who loved him most were taken from him far too soon. But that love left an impression on Harry, protecting him from Voldemort and offering him the strength he needed when the end was near.

Voldemort tried to kill him when he was a baby - Moments after losing both of his parents, Harry was nearly murdered in his crib. Scarred and no doubt terrified, Harry was buried in the rubble of his family's home. But he survived, and it wouldn't be the last time he faced off against Voldemort and lived.

The Dursleys - Harry grew up feeling unloved and unwanted by his aunt and uncle, and bullied by his cousin Dudley. As a bonus, he lived off his cousin's leftovers for ten years, and had a closet for a bedroom. Somehow, he didn't let this abuse or neglect turn him into a bad person. In fact, Harry's compassion is one of his most admirable traits.

Being new to magic - Ok, in fairness, this puts Harry at the same level as any muggle-born who came into Hogwarts new to the magic scene. But being "the boy who lived," expectations for Harry's abilities were set much higher. So there was a fair amount of pressure on him to perform from the start. And yet he rose to the occasion time and again, thanks in large part to Hermione's diligence and support.

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