Why didn’t Harry have visions about Voldemort before the Goblet of Fire?

Movie fans, who have not read the Harry Potter books, are often robbed of plot points and exciting details. The fourth movie and the book do start the same. Voldemort is back at his Riddle estate, he kills the groundkeeper, and then Harry is suddenly awakened at the moment of the kill.

However, while the movie leaves this for speculation, Harry did indeed dream that. The exception is that he tries to remember it, in the book.

Harry first dreamt of Voldemort at the beginning of the fourth book.

Harry did feel Voldemort looking at him from the back of professor Quirinus Quirrell’s head in the first book. This is the first time after that occurrence that he felt it again. This is Harry’s first dream or rather a vision of Voldemort.

Harry truly saw what the audience saw, the old Riddle estate, the muggle caretaker Frank Bryce listening in on Wormtail and Voldemort, and then Voldemort killing him. However, Harry wasn’t aware at this point that it was a vision. It didn’t even occur to him.

To those who read the books, here’s a little reminder of that part in the second chapter. To those who maybe haven’t, here’s a little taste of the brilliance of J. K. Rowling’s writing. It is a scene that happens immediately after the dream when Voldemort kills the caretaker with the Avadakedavra curse and Harry is snapped out of sleep.

An excerpt from the book when Harry wakes up

“Harry lay flat on his back, breathing hard as though he had been running. He had awoken from a vivid dream with his hands pressed over his face. The old scar on his forehead, which was shaped like a bolt of lightning, was burning beneath his fingers as though someone had just pressed a white-hot wire to his skin.

He sat up, one hand still on his scar, the other hand reaching out in the darkness for his glasses, which were on the bedside table. He put them on, and his bedroom came into clearer focus, lit by a faint, misty orange light that was filtering through the curtains from the streetlamp outside the window.”

Taken from the book Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, by JK. Rowling

What movies do not show is that, at this moment, Harry did try to remember what he dreamt about. And, he managed to remember a snake, a man called Peter with the nickname Wormtail. But he remembered Lord Voldemort’s voice quite clearly, he had no doubts about that.

He even closed his eyes, trying to remember more details, but failed. All he knew was that Voldemort and Wormtail had just killed someone and were plotting to kill him. But he still thought that it was his mind playing tricks on him.

Harry did not suspect that it was a vision. However, because his scar hurt abnormally, he did think about writing about it to Dumbledore. He eventually gave up because he couldn’t put his dreams, feelings, and suspicions into words.

Why didn’t Harry have visions of Voldemort before the Goblet of Fire?

If we know J. K. Rowling at all, we know she plans for things ahead and keeps key plot points a secret very well. It is reasonable to believe that she had planned for Harry’s scar to manifest in the ways it does, starting with the fourth book.

However, why not before? The scar did hurt once before, in the first book when professor Quirrel is faced away from Harry, which means that Voldemort (who was inhabiting the back of his head) was facing Harry.

But Voldemort was only in spirit form then and he was very close to Harry, facing him. That is why Harry felt the scar hurt. He couldn’t have visions still because Voldemort’s powers and very existence were barely tangible.

At the beginning of the Goblet of Fire, Voldemort is not a spirit anymore. He has a body. True, he is in the form of a grotesque fetus, but he has a physical manifestation in this world, i.e. in Harry’s world. It is logical to assume that this affects everything else, even his connection to Harry.

Why are Harry and Voldemort connected?

Voldemort and Harry are primarily connected by the prophecy, first uttered by Professor Trelawney. It is because of that prophecy that Voldemort sought to kill Harry while he was still a baby. It prophesized Voldemort’s destruction.

However, when Voldemort unintentionally made Harry his final Horcrux, he bestowed upon him the means and the tools to destroy him. To create a Horcrux, one must sever a part of one’s soul and store it into that given object or person. It is similar to Voldemort and Nagini, except he intended for him and Nagini to have that bond. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire book is much richer with these kinds of details, compared to the movie, which is why we recommend reading it if you haven’t already!