This is really bugging me. I've searched and searched but I could not find anything from J.K. Rowling or others giving a respectable reason as to why Harry would be on an owl in his dream flying to Voldemort with the news that the disguised Barty Crouch, Jr. fixed Wormtail's blunder by killing his father Barty Crouch, Sr.

Here is the passage from Chapter 29: The Dream:

He was riding on the back of an eagle owl, soaring through the clear blue sky toward an old, ivy-covered house set high on a hillside. Lower and lower they flew, the wind blowing pleasantly in Harry's face, until they reached a dark and broken window in the upper story of the house and entered. Now they were flying along a gloomy passageway, to a room at the very end . . . through the door they went, into a dark room whose windows were boarded up....

Harry had left the owl's back... he was watching, now, as it fluttered across the room, into a chair with its back to him. . . . There were two dark shapes on the floor beside the chair . . . both of them were stirring. . . .   One was a huge snake . . . the other was a man ... a short, balding man, a man with watery eyes and a pointed nose ... he was wheezing and sobbing on the hearth rug. . . .

"You are in luck, Wormtail," said a cold, high-pitched voice from the depths of the chair in which the owl had landed. "You are very fortunate indeed. Your blunder has not ruined everything. He is dead."

"My Lord!" gasped the man on the floor. "My Lord, I am ... I am so pleased . . . and so sorry. ..."

Now, before you tell me it was a dream, please remember that it actually happened. And no, it wasn't the Malfoy's eagle owl! The Malfoys couldn't have lent Voldemort their owl.

  • I'm not really sure what you're asking. Are you wanting to know why Harry was seeing things from a third-person perspective?
    – Valorum
    Jan 27, 2015 at 9:33
  • 3
    This is an interesting question (if I understand it correctly). Usually when Harry has these experiences, he is Voldemort or Nagini. The connection with Voldemort explains both. So why would he be on the owl?
    – mikeazo
    Jan 27, 2015 at 12:52

3 Answers 3


The following is more analysis/opinion than fact, but still...

From hpcompanion.com, page on The Dream: chapter twenty-nine of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire:

Something You May Not Have Noticed

Eagle owls can’t be very common; after all, the Malfoys’ eagle owl stands out pretty obviously when it brings Malfoy packages from home. So it’s interesting that Harry’s dream (vision?) starts out with an eagle owl bringing news to Voldemort. It certainly wouldn’t be unexpected for the Malfoys to be sending a message to Voldemort (or loaning him their owl, for that matter), but there is also one other time that Harry has seen an eagle owl – and it was flying around Hogwarts just a few weeks ago, before Barty Crouch showed up. Whether this was the Malfoys’ owl or not doesn’t really matter so much as the coincidence of noticing an eagle owl around Voldemort, and another one around Hogwarts. Maybe Harry should have watched a little closer to see where that eagle owl at Hogwarts went.

From mwwnb-potterthoughts.blogspot.com, posted entitled "Eagle owls and subtlety in writing":

Let's talk about eagle owls for a moment.

I think we all know that the Malfoy family owns an eagle owl. We see it delivering packages of sweets to Draco early in the series and from time to time thereafter.

We also know that, in that pivotal vision that harry has in The Goblet of Fire of Voldemort, Wormtail and Nagini just before the third task, Harry arrives at the Riddle Manor House riding upon the back of an eagle owl.

But did you notice that J.K. mentions an eagle owl one other time, earlier in that same novel?

Having grown tired of Ron and Hermione's squabbling over the plight of house elves, Harry decides to go to the Owlery by himself to send a package of food to Sirius. After seeing Pigwidgeon and a couple of school owls off, he stands, looking out over the school grounds, the Durmstrang ship and the Forbidden Dorest, thinking.

Harry sees Hagrid busily digging a patch of ground outside his home and he also sees something else: an eagle owl that flies through the coil of smoke rising from Hagrid's house.

It's a beautifully written, calming scene, like a landscape painting that draws your eye into the world it depicts.

But it's also a clue. One I had not noticed in all of my previous readings of this novel.

The eagle owl is bringing messages back and forth between Barty Crouch Jr. at Hogwarts and Voldemort at the Riddle Manor House. It has to be. It's the Malfoy eagle and it's being used as part of the plot against Harry.

Harry's subconscious mind recognises it as a clue and inserts the eagle owl into his vision. Instead of a message, the owl brings Harry to Voldemort.

When I finally noticed it, I couldn't help but to be impressed, once again, with Rowling's skills as a writer and the very carefully thought and planning she put into every novel.

I've always been amazed at how subtly she inserted a bug into every scene of this book where Rita Skeeter (whom we later discover to be an animagus) eavesdrops on conversations; I never noticed this lovely and subtle clue which should have told me, at least given me a clue as to who was plotting against Harry at Hogwarts.

From wikibooks.org, Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter:

It is interesting that in the dream, an eagle owl carries the message to Voldemort. Only twice before have eagle owls been seen; one flew towards the school, looped the Owlery, and flew away while Harry was lying under a tree by the lake, and in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone we are told that Malfoy's eagle owl was always bringing him treats from home. Also, the house in the dream is described as being atop a hill, and the owl flies through a broken window. It is unclear if we are meant to draw a connection from these incidents, but the author may be dropping a subtle hint that the Malfoy family is tied to Voldemort, although there is no indication that they know Voldemort's whereabouts.
The eagle owl is a slight misdirection; while the only eagle owl we know of that belongs to a Wizarding family is the Malfoys', Lucius does not yet have any awareness of Voldemort's return. The only Death Eaters who know that Voldemort is still alive at this point in the story are Barty Crouch and Wormtail, though Professor Karkaroff and Professor Snape apparently have their suspicions. This remains true until after Voldemort summons his Death Eaters, in about another month in our story. In his present state, Voldemort is relatively weak, and he wants to avoid revealing his presence by alerting the Death Eaters.
The eagle owl is rare enough that it could be considered a connection, except that it is apparently intended to mislead.


This seems related, although slightly different from I question I once posed: Why are Harry's GoF dreams in the third-person?

Throughout Goblet of Fire, Harry's dreams of Voldemort are strikingly different from the ones later in the series. Harry sees them from a third-person view, the scene begins with someone else (Frank Bryce in his first dream, Crouch's owl in the second dream), and Harry can't feel Voldemort's thoughts or emotions. We never get an explanation for the shift, but the best explanation is that it has something to do with Voldemort lacking a full body and full powers.

As for why Harry is riding an owl in the dream... well, it is a dream. Throughout the series, Harry's dreams often shift from normal dreams to glimpses into Voldemort's mind. In his dream where Nagini attacks Mr. Weasley, for example, it originally begins as a silly dream about Cho and the Room of Requirement. It might be that as the glimpse into Voldemort's mind began, Harry was still half-dreaming and compensated so that he was riding the owl, not just seeing it.

I'm also not convinced that Harry is literally riding the owl in the dream. If he was simply viewing the dream from a vantage point slightly above the owl's back, a dreamer would assume he was "riding" the owl.


It might also be because voldy took harry's blood, to gain human form, so the connection sort of improved, also because the eagle owl could be a possible way of communication b/w voldy n crouch jr, so voldemort knew it was coming from Hogwarts that is why there was this association

  • Hi, welcome to SF&F. I'm afraid I really don't understand what you're saying here. Could you please be a bit more clear, use fewer abbreviations, write in sentences, etc. to spell out in simple terms what you're saying?
    – DavidW
    Sep 2, 2022 at 20:34
  • 2
    This scene happens before Voldemort uses Harry's blood to regain his body, so this can't possibly be the answer.
    – F1Krazy
    Sep 2, 2022 at 20:36

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