In the Harry Potter books, is there ever a point that is not from the perspective of Harry? There are a few times you are inside Voldemort's mind, but that is really just a an extension of Harry's mind.

Is there ever a point where you are in the perspective or the mind of someone other than Harry (as in hearing their thoughts)?


4 Answers 4


Sure there is. And I know you don't think Voldemort counts, but there is one instance where it is written from Voldemort's point of view. In Deathly Hallows there is this:

But surely if the boy had destroyed any of his Horcruxes, he, Lord Voldemort, would have known, would have felt it? He, the greatest wizard of them all, he, the most powerful, he, the killer of Dumbledore and of how many other worthless, nameless men: how could Lord Voldemort not have known, if he, himself, most important and precious, had been attacked, mutilated?

True, he had not felt it when the diary had been destroyed, but he had thought that was because he had no body to feel, being less than ghost ... no, surely, the rest were safe ... the other Horcruxes must be intact ... But he must know, he must be sure ... He paced the room, kicking aside the goblin’s corpse as he passed, and the pictures blurred and burned in his boiling brain: the lake, the shack, and Hogwarts ....

Deathly Hallows - pages 442-445 - British Hardcover

This scene is actually fairly long and I didn't feel like I should type in the entire text, but it's in the chapter The Final Hiding Place.

In Half-Blood Prince the book opens with the Muggle Prime Minister having a conversation with Cornelius Fudge and his thoughts are revealed.

‘Ah ... Prime Minister,’ said Cornelius Fudge, striding forwards with his hand outstretched. ‘Good to see you again.’

The Prime Minister could not honestly return this compliment, so said nothing at all. He was not remotely pleased to see Fudge, whose occasional appearances, apart from being downright alarming in themselves, generally meant that he was about to hear some very bad news. Furthermore, Fudge was looking distinctly careworn. He was thinner, balder and greyer, and his face had a crumpled look. The Prime Minister had seen that kind of look in politicians before, and it never boded well.

‘How can I help you?’ he said, shaking Fudge’s hand very briefly and gesturing towards the hardest of the chairs in front of the desk.

‘Difficult to know where to begin,’ muttered Fudge, pulling up the chair, sitting down and placing his green bowler upon his knees. ‘What a week, what a week ...’

‘Had a bad one too, have you?’ asked the Prime Minister stiffly, hoping to convey by this that he had quite enough on his plate already without any extra helpings from Fudge.

Half-Blood Prince - pages 9-10 - British Hardcover

In Philosopher's Stone, portions of the first chapter are from Vernon Dursley's point of view.

As well, there are portions in the books that are from an omniscient narrator's point of view. For example, the introductory portions of the books.

Every time there is a Pensieve scene, we see events from another's point of view.

When Harry was possessed by Nagini, he felt Nagini's anger and instinct to kill which, while basic emotions, still convey opinion and instinct.

ETA: 04.30.12 - I found this in PS:

Hermione had sunk to the floor in fright; Ron pulled out his own wand – not knowing what he was going to do he heard himself cry the first spell that came into his head: ‘Wingardium Leviosa!’

Philosopher's Stone - page 130 - UK Hardcover - chapter 10, Hallowe'en

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    The one I immediately thought of was Snape visiting Narcissa and Bellatrix for the Unbreakable Vow, but I can't remember with we get a POV of any of them for it.
    – dlanod
    Apr 1, 2012 at 9:05
  • @dlanod -- I reviewed that chapter and it's not written from any one character's POV. I thought it might be an example too. :) Apr 1, 2012 at 9:35
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    There's also Voldemort's flashback of him on his way to kill James and Lily on that halloween evening. Apr 1, 2012 at 18:41

I… thought there would be more than this. I’ve been through all the books, and picked out all the chapters which aren’t told from Harry’s perspective. Surprisingly few.

(Minor spoilers throughout.)

Philosopher’s Stone

  • C 1: The Boy Who Lived. This focuses on the Dursleys, the strange events occurring around the country at Voldemort’s downfall, and (at the end of the chapter) how Harry comes to arrive on their doorstep.

  • C 17: Nicholas Flamel. During Harry’s first Quidditch match, there’s a brief scene while he’s flying and the narrator focuses on the fight in the stands.

Goblet of Fire

  • C 1: The Riddle House. We learn about the mysterious murders in the house, meet the caretaker and prime suspect Frank Bryce, who then has a nasty encounter with Voldemort and friend.

Half-Blood Prince

  • C 1: The Other Minister. Cornelius Fudge brings his Muggle counterpart up to speed on the ongoing war in the magical world, introduces Rufus Scrimgeour as the new Minister for Magic, and explains the impact on the Muggle world.

  • C 2: Spinner’s End. Snape visits Narcissa and Bellatrix, and makes the Unbreakable Vow to assist and protect Draco.

There are other parts of the books where characters are giving extended monologues, usually explaining events that happened to them elsewhere without Harry. Usually Harry is present for these retellings, although only interjecting or reacting briefly. I wasn’t sure if you wanted those included as well. (This includes the Tale of the Three Brothers, which has lots of interruptions from Harry.)

  • I would add things like Prince's tale and various other Pensieve visions - especially Dumbledore's lessons in HBP - that Harry observes but the narrator isn't really focused on Harry. Apr 28, 2014 at 20:54
  • Sorcerer's/*Philosopher's Stone*: The first chapter describes Verrnon Dursley's day and Dumbledore's leaving Harry with the Dursleys.
  • Goblet of Fire: The first chapter describes the events in the Muggle world pursuant to Voldemort murdering his family, and Frank Bryce's final evening, being murdered by Voldemort.
  • Half-Blood Prince: The first chapter describes the old and new Ministers of Magic's meeting with the Prime Minister, and the second chapter shows Narcissa and Bellatrix's interaction with Snape.
  • Deathly Hallows: The first chapter describes Voldemort's meeting with his inner circle.

I would argue that the several scenes throughout the book where Harry experiences events through the eyes of Voldemort and Nagini do not count for this question, because they are telling what Harry experienced.

  • 1
    I thought about the chapter with Narcissa, Bellatrix, and Snape too, but I read it pretty carefully (at least I think I did) and it's not from any of those three's POV. It shows their interactions, but not from any one POV. So I believe that makes it third-person omniscient (but of course correct me if I am wrong). :) Apr 1, 2012 at 18:58

A few pages in chapter 11 of Philosopher's Stone is described from the point of view of the spectators of the Quidditch match, Ron in particular.

  • Hmm, this is just from an omniscient narrator's point of view, isn't it? Apr 10, 2012 at 17:19
  • old old old, but @HendrikVogt, there is, AFAIK, no other part in the series that is totally omniscient. When we see the spectators, Harry is up in the air, is not seeing or hearing them. Excusing opening chapters (Vernon/Dumbledore, Frank, Prime Minister, Voldemort) all other parts of the series are in Harry's mind and we see his thoughts alone. If he doesn't see something, nor do we. In this scene, however, Harry is detached and we are not in his mind or looking through his eyes. Instead we see Ron and co. where Harry has nothing to do with it.
    – Mac Cooper
    Mar 23, 2014 at 12:29

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