In the later movies, when Harry sees Voldemort, his scar hurts.

But why, in Chamber of Secrets, did his scar not hurt when he saw Tom Riddle, which later in the film is revealed to be Lord Voldemort's alter ego?

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    going to hazard a guess because it wasn't the real voldemort but a part of his soul imbued into the diary. Furthermore this having been done before Harry was born and receiving the scar would suggest there is no link between the two. Sep 7 '16 at 11:07
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    True, it's strange. The piece stuck in Harry is apparently active and gives Harry abilities like speaking parseltongue. Acc to JKR it also reacts 'whenever V is particularly active, this piece of soul seeking to rejoin the master soul', i get it that master is being the operative word here, but still. Diary Tom also has a big chunk of the same soul, is very much active and emotional too. Harry should be a horcrux detector, but that'd probably make his quest too easy and the HP saga would be much shorter than seven books.
    – user68762
    Sep 7 '16 at 15:56
  • Horcruxes triggering scar pain would have helped a lot in Horcrux search too.
    – Arcane
    Sep 8 '16 at 8:48
  • @Neeshka - It's interesting that the film makers basically made him a Horcrux detector later on to successfully condense some of the story - though he never was able to feel one nearby in the books. They had to use their brains!
    – ThruGog
    Sep 10 '16 at 7:16

Harry's scar only ever hurts him in the presence of a real, "living" Voldemort that is feeling strong negative emotions.

In Philosopher's Stone, Voldemort is attached to Quirrell's head and is drinking unicorn blood to survive, so it's genuinely Voldemort. This is why Harry's scar hurts him from time to time, because he's passing by Quirrell in the corridors and Voldemort is particularly pissed at not being able to get the stone.

In Chamber of Secrets, it's only a projection from a horcrux, a memory, so it's not really Voldemort yet. The life force of Ginny is slowly poured into it, and that is one of the ways a horcrux can be used to revive him. If Voldemort had successfully revived as Harry walked in, I expect his scar would have been in a considerable amount of pain.

In Prisoner of Azkaban... oh. Never mind.

From the end of Goblet onwards, Voldemort is alive once more and can even touch Harry, so in his presence Harry is in quite a bit of pain. But he's never in pain whilst in the presence of a horcrux, even when being directly affected by the locket, he feels no pain. Because when you think about it, if Harry were in pain simply by being in the presence of a horcrux, he'd be in constant agony.

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    No, he wouldn't be in constant agony, because Harry isn't a horcrux ;) scifi.stackexchange.com/a/11546/23384
    – tobiasvl
    May 22 '17 at 13:46
  • More on that, Harry's scar hurt because a fragment of Voldemort soul lied there; Tom Riddle's projection was generated via a Horcrux which does not share any connection with other Horcruxes or parts of its creator's soul. Only the original part of it -the one that was inside Voldemort's body until the very end- could share connections with other fragments. That's why Harry's scar hurt when the real Voldemort was near; he felt the same feelings Voldemort was feeling because of this exact connection. Other Horcruxes are completely isolated. May 22 '17 at 14:40
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    Maybe Harry isn't a Horcrux, but "Harry is a vessel for a portion of Voldemort's soul that detached when Voldemort killed Lily and unintentionally became latched onto Harry despite the spell to create a horcrux not being cast" doesn't have quite the same ring to it. Like Dumbledore, I'm using the word for convenience. May 22 '17 at 15:10

Harry felt pain near the Dark Lord’s main soul, not the Horcruxes.

There were two reasons that Harry’s scar hurt - (after he’d regained a body) when the Dark Lord felt any strong emotions, and when the Dark Lord was physically near him. It hurt when the Dark Lord felt a strong emotion because they were mentally linked because of the piece of soul. Harry’s scar also hurt when he was physically near the Dark Lord because the piece of soul in him wanted to rejoin the soul it split off from and recognized that it was supposed to be a part of.

JKR: Well, of course the pain he feels whenever Voldemort’s particularly active is this piece of soul seeking to rejoin the master soul. When his scar is hurting him so much, that’s not scar tissue hurting him. That’s this piece of soul really wanting to get back out the way it entered. It really wants to- it entered this boy’s body through a wound, and it wants to rejoin the master. So when Voldemort’s near him, when he’s particularly active, this connection, (JN: Oh, my gosh!) it was always there. That’s what I always imagined this pain was. Yes, so there you go.
- PotterCast (Dec 23, 2007)

He doesn’t feel pain near any of the Horcruxes though. He interacted with Tom Riddle while he was still in the diary without feeling any pain, he encountered the locket and the diadem without even realizing they were Horcruxes at first. He wore the locket, and although it did have negative effects on him, it didn’t cause pain in his scar.

“Curiously, it had not taken heat from his body, but lay so cold against his skin it might just have emerged from icy water. From time to time, Harry thought, or perhaps imagined, that he could feel the tiny heartbeat ticking irregularly alongside his own.”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 14 (The Thief)

He was also close to Nagini disguised as Bathilda Bagshot, and didn’t feel any pain in his scar because of her - he didn’t notice anything was amiss until she contacted the Dark Lord, and only then his scar started to hurt due to the Dark Lord’s extreme happiness at having located Harry.

‘Lumos,’ said Harry, and his wand ignited. He gave a start: Bathilda had moved close to him in those few seconds of darkness, and he had not heard her approach.”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 17 (Bathilda’s Secret)

This is likely because the piece of soul in Harry recognized only the main part of the Dark Lord’s soul as the master soul it wants to rejoin - it therefore only hurt around that piece.

  • Somehow I think his scar also tends to react around some Death Eaters or DE-related stuff. From the first book: "It happened very suddenly. The hook-nosed teacher looked past Quirrell's turban straight into Harry's eyes - and a sharp, hot pain shot across the scar on Harry's forehead." (first encounter with Snape) Agreed, Snape's no ordinary Death Eater, but he's not Voldemort either. There might be a couple of other examples like this here and there, but I can't really think of one right now.
    – Jenayah
    May 12 '18 at 1:20
  • @Jenayah That’s because the Dark Lord is possessing Quirrell at the time.
    – Obsidia
    May 12 '18 at 1:21
  • no, it's Snape looking at Harry which made him react. EDIT: I see your point (being in presence of Voldemort), but as it is written it's heavily implied that the pain originated from Snape's stare. EDIT2: didn't Harry encounter Quirrell in Diagon Alley anyway? I don't remember his scar hurting then.
    – Jenayah
    May 12 '18 at 1:22
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    @Jenayah That’s what it’s supposed to seem like at the time, but it’s not actually because of Snape - it’s because the Dark Lord is there possessing Quirrell. Snape glares at Harry a lot throughout the series, and it doesn’t make Harry’s scar hurt even when Snape is furious with him. It is implied that it’s because of Snape at first, but that’s a red herring to hide the real culprit so it’s a surprise when it’s revealed.
    – Obsidia
    May 12 '18 at 1:25
  • 1
    Let us continue this discussion in chat.
    – Jenayah
    May 12 '18 at 1:30

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