In Goblet of Fire, when Harry dreams about Voldemort, it's always in the third-person. For the first dream, when Frank Bryce is being murdered, the text makes it clear that Harry is not dreaming from Voldemort's perspective.

He closed his eyes tightly and tried to remember what Voldemort had looked like, but it was impossible...All Harry knew was that at the moment when Voldemort's chair had swung around, and he, Harry, had seen what was sitting in it, he had felt a spasm of horror, which had awoken him...or had that been the pain in his scar? (GoF, "The Scar")

Later he has a second dream. Again, Harry sees the dream in third-person perspective, from behind Voldemort's chair:

"Harry - did you see Voldemort?"

"No," said Harry. "Just the back of his chair. But - there wouldn't have been anything to see, would there? I mean, he hasn't got a body, has he? But...but then how could he have held the wand?" Harry said slowly. (GoF, "The Pensieve")

However, every other time in the series, Harry dreams of Voldemort from Voldemort's perspective, or the perspective of whoever he's possessing. The only other time he sees Voldemort is when he looks in a mirror.

So what gives? Are Harry's Goblet of Fire dreams different than his other dreams in some important way?

  • 6
    It's like in X-Wing game. Harry pressed a mental F3 to see the external camera view instead of cockpit view. Sep 26, 2014 at 13:19
  • 1
    I'm personally a proponent of the "Fallout 3 over-the-shoulder" theory. Sep 26, 2014 at 13:26
  • 2
    I don't know about you, but I've had plenty of dreams in third-person. Dreams, after all, dont' always make sense or follow narrative laws.
    – Zibbobz
    Sep 26, 2014 at 13:30
  • it's more probably like Lakitu in Super Mario 64
    – user13267
    Sep 26, 2014 at 13:58
  • @Zibbobz, I think the issue is that (according to OP, it's been a while since I've read them personally) all through the series, Harry's dreams are in first person (Voldy), EXCEPT in GOF :-)
    – Mac Cooper
    Sep 26, 2014 at 14:47

4 Answers 4


No canon answer, but I think it’s probably because Voldemort didn’t have a proper body.

We don’t see any dreams from Voldemort’s point of view until Order of the Phoenix.1 He also doesn’t have a body until this time. I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

Dumbledore later explains that the connection between Harry and Voldemort strengthened after Voldemort regained his body:

“And this ability of yours — to detect Voldemort’s presence, even when he is disguised, and to know what he is feeling when his emotions are roused — has become more and more pronounced since Voldemort returned to his own body and his full powers.

Order of the Phoenix, chapter 37 (The Lost Prophecy)

Although Voldemort has a temporary home in the baby-like form, it’s not really a proper body. I’m guessing that something strange was happening with the connection between them, and Harry was getting this third-person perspective. But I don’t know why it would misbehave like this.

It’s a lousy theory, but it’s the best I can think of.

1 I don’t recall any specific visions like this, connected to Voldemort, prior to Goblet of Fire: presumably because Voldemort was too weak.


I don't quiet remember any dreams from the books from Voldemorts perspective (please anyone who remembers any correct me). Those you mention, as well as another one I can come up with right now -(when he dreams about the Attack on Arthur Weasley in the Ministry, in "order of the Phoenix)- are actually from the point of view of Nagini, Voldemorts snake!

A little addition from the comment below: The dreams that seem to be from Voldemorts perspective may be explained by Voldemort possessing Nagini at the same time Harry was "dreaming himself into" Naginis mind. Again, I'd need to fully reread the book(s), but the link does indeed seem to work via the snake. Harry reacting to Voldemorts emotional state may also work through that bridge.

not sure if this still should be spoiler-marked, but the Harry/Nagini link almost certainly works due to the fact that both are Horcruxes.

  • 5
    yes hes in the point of view of the snake, but i believe they said voldemort was currently possessing the snake.
    – Himarm
    Sep 26, 2014 at 13:15
  • Yes. Which would make both Harry, dreaming, and Vordemort, possessing, a guest to Naginis mind. Poor thing must be totally confused! But this is a good note, I will add it above, because it may make the possible reason for the confusion clearer :)
    – Layna
    Sep 26, 2014 at 13:20

I think we have a few things going on here

First we have precedent for 3rd person visions. Up till now, we have had 0 first person visions/dreams.

  1. Harry witnessing Tom Riddle memory from a 3rd person perspective.

This was Hogwarts as Riddle had known it, meaning that this unknown wizard was Headmaster, not Dumbledore, and he, Harry, was little more than a phantom, completely invisible to the people of fifty years ago.

  1. Later in this same book(GoF), Harry again see's 3 of Dumbledore's memories, also in 3rd person.

Once before, Harry had found himself a place where nobody could see or hear him. That time, he had fallen through a page in an enchanted diary, right into somebody else’s memory ... and unless he was very much mistaken, something of the sort had happened again ...

Second we have Voldemort in some form of incomplete, transitional body. This may affect why Harry is seeing this as an out of body/3rd person perspective, as Voldemort himself is not fully tied to this body.

Wormtail was able to follow the instructions I gave him, which would return me to a rudimentary, weak body of my own, a body I would be able to inhabit while awaiting the essential ingredients for true rebirth

Finally we have to consider that JKR may have not even thought up the concept of a first person view during a possession, or during Harry's sharing of Voldemort's vision via soul/horrcrux(lite).Since she did not have a complete guide as to how all of her books would pan out, just knew were she wanted them to end up. This is notable especially in book 4, as she rewrote a major portion of the book, and dropped a whole character completely out of the story.

  • The other third-person experiences aren't dreams or visions, though: they're memories, and we know that the third-person all-inclusive quality to them is a direct effect of them being stored and viewed within a Pensieve (which the diary has somehow emulated). In the GoF dreams, on the other hand, Harry is—for the first time—sharing Voldemort’s mind while dreaming, and so he should be seeing what Voldemort sees like he does all the other times. I fear we’ll have to accept that the last bit in your answer is probably the only possible explanation. Apr 13, 2016 at 0:13
  • @JanusBahsJacquet the 3rd option is what i believe, but people hate hearing "she made a mistake". But i do believe that the real error, is on her choice of making memories 3rd person, as other then by magic(yes i know magic ) all memories are in first person anyway, the same as viewing something live via possesion!
    – Himarm
    Apr 13, 2016 at 0:38
  • 1
    The second dream is especially inexplicable, since Harry seems to (at least at the beginning) see things from the perspective of a post owl that, presumably, has no particular connection to Voldemort’s mind at all… Apr 13, 2016 at 1:11

Harry doesn't see anything in the third person while dreaming in the Goblet of Fire. His perspective is from the Snake each time or via Voldemort's own mind. When he dreams at the very beginning, he's dreaming from Nagini's perspective. Later he sees extracted memories, but these apparently are always shown in a third person, something to do with the magic involved.

The reason he can see through Nagini unconsciously is less likely that Voldemort is specifically in control at the time, but more likely because Voldemort put a part of his soul into Nagini, which would mean Harry is just as connected to Nagini as he is to Voldemort. I think Dumbledore was making an assumption at the time in the 5th book when he explained that Harry saw things from that perspective because Voldemort did. At the time, Dumbledore wasn't sure Nagini was a horcrux or not.

  • His dream is not from Nagini’s perspective, no—that's the entire point of the question. Or rather, there is nothing to say that he does. We only have the first chapter of the book to go by, and that specifically has Nagini slither past on the floor and into another room, out of sight. The dream should have been from either Voldemort’s or Nagini’s perspective, but it doesn’t appear to be. Plus if he were equally attuned to both, it's odd that only the attack-Arthur dream is from her perspective—ever other dream/vision (except this GoF one) is from Voldemort’s. Apr 13, 2016 at 0:18
  • A better counter-example: the second dream is explicitly stated to start from the perspective of a flying eagle owl—who is most certainly neither a Horcrux nor Voldemort himself. Apr 13, 2016 at 1:13

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