Re: For fun -- revisiting Harry's dreams
- From: "Neener" <NINADSE@xxxxxxx>
- Date: 3 Aug 2005 16:01:39 -0700
Troels Forchhammer wrote:
> A shockingly long time ago -- back in May 2003, before the release of
> even OotP, I wrote the following about Harry's dreams.
> The outset was an analysis of the dream Harry has on his first night in
> Hogwarts, which I believed, and still believe, contains hints or clues
> to the rest of the series if we can just interpret them correctly.
> For obvious reasons this doesn't include the dreams in OotP or HBP
> other than what had been revealed of the cover blurp for the Scholastic
> version of OotP.
> There are some glaring mistakes, a few places where I was on to
> something, and a couple of places where I think the events of the last
> two books can throw new light -- in particular the passage in the dream
> from PS mentioned above where Quirrell's turban (which obviously
> symbolises Voldemort) grows heavier and tightens about Harry's head.
> End of OotP, anyone?
> " . . . To die - to sleep; -
> To sleep! perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
> For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
> When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, "
> - Shakespeare, "Hamlet" III, 1
> We have so far been privy to at least nine of Harry's dreams.
> Those occurred in all the books.
> My postulate is that those dreams are always significant and that
> extra attention should be paid to those dreams.
> The dreams are as follows:
> Book 1 ch. 2 'The Vanishing Glass' very early in the chapter.
> Harry has a good dream with a flying motorbike in it when
> Aunt Petunia wakes him.
> Book 1 ch. 7 'The Sorting Hat' last thing in the chapter.
> Harry has a dream figuring Quirrell's turban, Malfoy and
> Book 1 ch. 13 'Nicolas Flamel' first thing.
> Harry has nightmares about his parents' deaths.
> Book 2 ch. 2 'Dobby's Warning' last thing.
> Harry dreams that he is on display in the zoo.
> Book 3 ch. 10 'The Marauder's Map' - early.
> Harry dreams of rotted hands and petrified pleading.
> Book 3 ch. 13 'Gryffindor versus Ravenclaw' - late
> Harry dreams that he follows something silvery white.
> Book 3 ch. 15 'The Quidditch Final' - middle, the night before
> the match.
> Harry has two dreams - in one he comes too late, in the other
> he fights dragons.
> Book 4 ch. 1 'The Riddle House' - Harry dreams about the events
> in the chapter.
> Book 4 ch. 'The Dream' - late in the chapter.
> Harry has a dream in Divination where he rides an Eagle Owl
> to Voldemort's hide-out.
> The last two dreams are obviously clairvoyant - Harry is seeing
> events that are happening (presumably at the same moment)
> somewhere else. I hopefully do not need to analyse those two
> dreams in detail to prove their significance, but I mention them
> here to give a starting point.
> Now let us take a look at all the dreams in chronological
> "If ever I ate a good supper at night,
> I dreamed of the devil, and waked in a fright.
> - Christopher Anstey, 'The New Bath Guide'
> Book 1 ch. 2 'The Vanishing Glass.'
> Harry had a dream featuring a flying motorbike and he has a funny
> feeling that he has had the dream before. It is of course obvious
> where this dream comes from - the surprising thing is that Harry
> is able to remember this ride even if it is only in his dreams -
> he was 15 months old at the time and is now nearing his eleventh
> birthday. This dream serves to quickly assure us that Harry's
> connection with the wizarding world is not forgotten.
> Book 1 ch. 7 'The Sorting Hat.'
> It might here be a good idea to review the dream itself - it is
> found as the very last part of the chapter (though I will be
> citing it line by line).
> I guess this dream has affected many others as it did me: it
> bewildered me the first time I read it and then jerked me
> suddenly awake when I read it after knowing the whole plot.
> I do believe, however, that this dream can be interpreted on
> several levels: there's Harry's doubts, bewilderment,
> expectations and suspicions at this point; there's a prophetic
> content for the plot line of the book, but I also suspect that
> there's clues in the dream that refer to the further books.
> That the dream is very special is made abundantly clear to the
> reader - we're explicitly told that Harry doesn't remember the
> dream afterwards, and even though the books is primarily told
> from Harry's perspective we're still told the contents of this
> > "He was wearing Professor Quirrell's turban, which kept talking
> > to him"
> On the top level this is obviously a confusion with the Sorting
> Next it is an anticipation of what is hidden by that turban - as
> it is revealed in the last chapter of book 1.
> > "telling him he must transfer to Slytherin"
> Here the confusion with the Sorting Hat becomes obvious to all.
> It also presages the speaker who is hidden in the turban: who,
> after all, is the most famous Slytherin in modern times. It is
> worth mentioning also that Harry is, at the end of book 1,
> offered to side with Voldemort to save his own life.
> Here we also get the first indication that we have not seen the
> last of the Sorting Hat's insistence that Harry would have done
> well in Slytherin as a theme in the books - and indeed it is
> taken up in book 2.
> This leads me to believe that the turban acts as a dream metaphor
> of both the Sorting Hat and Voldemort.
> > "it got heavier and heavier; he tried to pull it off but it
> > tightened painfully"
> Now what is this?
> We get the theme of Quirrell's turban hurting Harry - once more a
> clue to what is hiding under that turban.
> We also see Harry having problems getting rid of it - and if we
> accept the turban as the dream's metaphor for Voldemort, then we
> here see him getting stronger and stronger the more Harry
> struggles with him. I think that the thing about the turban
> tightening painfully refers to the pains in Harry's scar -
> something that becomes significant again in book 4, but which we
> probably haven't seen the last of yet!
> This is also reminescent of a snake tightening around Harry's
> head - a boa constrictor, a house mascot - or something more
> sinister; both book 2 and book 4 features snakes on the
> antagonist side and they were commanded by the heir of Slytherin
> - the Slytherin who founded the house that sports a snake as it's
> > "and there was Malfoy, laughing at him as he struggled with it"
> Well, obviously we are here establishing Malfoy as a bad boy, or
> If you will accept my claim that the turban is the dream metaphor
> for Voldemort, then we have Malfoy laughing at the side line
> while Harry is struggling with Voldemort - this theme became
> prominent in book 2, and was brought out again in the last
> chapters of book 4, where we have Malfoy remaining seated while
> the school toasts Harry - and especially during the ride home on
> the Hogwarts Express when Malfoy comes to gloat and even himself
> refers to that very first day at Hogwarts! We still see Malfoy
> laughing whenever Harry is struggling in Voldemort's claws.
> > "then Malfoy turned into the hook-nosed teacher, Snape"
> Here the suspicions against Snape is again aired - but I think
> this is more than just a red herring. I am uncertain about the
> significance of Malfoy turning into Snape: are we actually being
> told that Draco will eventually act as Snape and turn against
> Voldemort (and his own father)? I don't think so, but it must be
> > "whose laugh became high and cold"
> The high and cold laugh is the voice of Voldemort - when he is
> first raised "Voldemort turned his scarlet eyes upon Harry,
> laughing a high, cold, mirthless laugh" (book 4 first paragraph of
> ch. 33 'The Death Eaters'). Here we see the first indication of a
> connection between Snape and Voldemort - something which is not
> confirmed until book 4.
> > "there was a burst of green light and Harry woke, sweating and
> > shaking."
> The burst of green light has already been established as Harry's
> earliest memory - the memory of the killing curse that did not
> kill him (or perhaps of the one that killed his mother - or
> both). We know now that this green light is always associated
> with the killing curse, Avada Kedavra, but while Harry's memory
> is of a beginning, we see that in this case the killing curse is
> an ending - after which Harry awakens, sweating and shaking.
> We have yet to see a book that ends with a killing curse - except
> of course that the Priori Incantatem effect was initiated by
> Voldemort casting that curse, but the light from the curse in
> that case was quickly turned golden.
> The memory of the killing curse is also the only thing I can find
> that can be connected to book 3, where Harry under the influence
> of the Dementors remember more of those last fearful moments of
> his parents' lives - the lives that ended in the green light.
> Sweat and shaking are also associated with Harry's
> Dementor-induces fits in book 3.
> I think that somewhere in this are also hidden clues to the last
> three books. There is something about the turban (Voldemort)
> getting heavier and heavier (Voldemort getting substance?) and
> Harry struggling to pull if off only to have it tighten painfully
> about his head, and there's Malfoy turning into Snape - and
> Snape's laughter (will the Potion master remain faithful to
> Dumbledore - I think so, but can we be sure?). Those are the
> pieces of the dream where I am not satisfied with my current
> ability to see through them, but there may also be clues hidden
> elsewhere in this dream - I am sure that every part carries
> several meanings and interpretations.
> It is, however and unfortunately, beyond the current reach of my
> reckoning to unravel the threads of fortune - the knot is too
> tight. I do hope that others may have the understanding to reckon
> this ... ?
> Book 1 ch. 13 'Nicolas Flamel.'
> Induced this time by his experiences with the Mirror of Erised,
> Harry starts having nightmares about his parents' deaths. They
> disappear 'in a flash of green light while a high voice cackled
> with laughter.'
> In this case we have a reinforcement of both the green light (the
> signature of Avada Kedavra), the high voice (which we know to be
> the voice of Voldemort) and his laughter - he was amused at
> killing James and Lily.
> Once more this dream replays memories and in this case it is
> actually memories that he is also able to recall when he is
> awake. I don't think we can derive any prophetic content from
> this dream, but we should be aware that the events that
> Hallowe'en in Godric's Hollow are being reinforced again and
> again (and while we know more now than we did after book 1, I
> believe that we are still kept woefully ignorant about the
> important bits; Rowling, pleeeeeaase!)
> If I may trust the flattering truth of sleep,
> My dreams presage some joyful news at Hand.
> - Shakespeare, 'Romeo and Juliet' V, 1
> Book 2 ch. 2 'Dobby's Warning.'
> When Ron, Fred and George arrive outside Harry's window to rescue
> him, Harry dreams that he is on show in a zoo.
> The individual elements of the dream are easy enough to identify
> - Harry has been to a zoo once in his life, the card now reads
> "Underage Wizard" instead of "boa constrictor" but Dudley still
> rattles the front (in this case bars like the ones that have been
> put on his window). Dobby the house-elf assures Harry that he is
> safe in the cage (I am sure that Harry feels the Muggle world as
> a cage - and he certainly wouldn't like to find the door out of
> the Muggle world locked for him, would he?).
> We also see Harry lying 'starving and weak, on a bed of straw.'
> Harry is, when he dreams that dream, starving and weak, but when
> did he (or anyone else in the books) ever lie down on straw? Is
> this prophetic? Will we at some point see Harry, captured and
> caged, lying on straw, suffering the taunts of his capturers?
> Should we rather put another kind of interpretation to it (I am
> hesitant to use interpretations that base themselves on religious
> writings, though the association of Slytherin with the snake
> seems obvious to me)? Or should we disregard this entirely? At
> the moment I'll just say that if we ever see Harry lying on straw
> again, I for one am going to pay /very/ close attention to that
> The last element of this dream that I will draw attention to is
> the people who are goggling at Harry. This is an emphasis of the
> thematic content of the dream as a whole: Harry on display. Book
> 2 is actually one of the two books where Harry has to learn to
> deal with fame - positive and negative. In book 2 we have the
> lessons in fame-handling from Gilderoy Lockhart (Order of Merlin,
> Third Class, Honourary Member of the Dark Force Defence League
> and five times winner of /Witch Weekly/'s Most-Charming-Smile
> Award) and we have the attention Harry recieves when the students
> at Hogwarts believe that Harry is the Heir of Slytherin. Harry
> certainly feels on display as he walks the corridors of Hogwarts
> in that period.
> All in all this dream tells us that negative attention is a theme
> in this book. Continuing from the general theme we see Dobby tied
> to this theme and we're reminded of the boa constrictor from book
> 1 - the caged snake that was set free when Harry spoke
> "Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the
> number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his
> number is Six hundred threescore and six."
> - Revelation III, 18
> Book 3 ch. 10 'The Marauder's Map.'
> Once again Harry starts having nightmares. This time the reason
> isn't some immaterial images in a mirror, but some of the most
> horrifying denizens of the magical community - the Demontors and
> the memories they induce.
> Having realised that he is hearing the voices of his mother and
> her tormentor, Harry sinks down into dreams of rotted hands and
> petrified pleading.
> Once more the incidents that second Hallowe'en of young Harry's
> life comes into focus, but once again we are only allowed a
> frustratingly small, but tantalizing, fraction of the picture.
> But Harry still dreams about it - it is still important. We also
> see the hand of the Dementor again - we of course know that the
> Dementors are a major plot element in book 3 (and honestly - who
> hadn't figured that out at this point, even before this dream?),
> but they also reappear in the end of book 4 as potential allies
> of Lord Voldemort and an overeager servant of the Minister for
> Also: there is something about hands in these books - and
> especially in book 3 ...
> Book 3 ch. 13 'Gryffindor versus Ravenclaw'
> The night after the match, Harry dreams again - too much
> celebrating the victory, you say? Well, perhaps.
> Anyway, he has "a very strange dream" (this phrase had my
> ClueCatcher go haywire).
> > "He was walking through a forest,"
> Not much to go by there - normally any forest in the Potter books
> is the Forbidden Forest, but we can't be sure. Anyway - we might
> see this as predicting that something important will happen in a
> forest, making this a clue for the book 3 story-line.
> > "his Firebolt over his shoulder,"
> What the <strong emphasis!> is Harry doing with his Firebolt over
> his shoulder - in a forest?
> I know that Harry customarily ends up flying when he is in the
> Forbidden Forest (spying on Snape and Quirrell in book 1, the car
> in book 2 and Buckbeak later in book 3), but I can't really see
> where the broom fits in here. I guess we'll have to come back to
> > "following something silvery white."
> This one is easy when you know what to look for, but I'll admit I
> got it completely wrong the first time around ;-)
> > "It was winding its way through the trees ahead, and he could
> > only catch glimpses of it between the leaves."
> Mysterious - what is it that Harry can only catch glimpses of. It
> reminds us of the way Harry has been getting glimpses of his past
> when under the depressing influence of the Dementors. Are we
> being told that the elusive silvery white creature is another
> glimpse of Harry's past?
> > "Anxious to catch up with it, he sped up, but as he moved
> > faster, so did his quarry. "
> He /is/ anxious, isn't he?
> > "Harry broke into a run and ahead, he heard hooves gathering
> > speed."
> He is really anxious. Did she just say hooves? Hoves as on
> horses, deer, cattle etc.?
> > Now he was running flat out, and ahead he could hear
> > galloping. "
> He is really, really anxious to catch up. Hey - did I hear those
> hooves galloping? This is where I took a wrong turn the first
> time I read this. Silvery white, forest, hooves and galloping?
> That spelled UNICORN to me in lettering so high I couldn't see it
> spelled it s-t-a-g = "Unicorn" ;-)
> > "Then he turned a corner into a clearing and - "
> At this point the dream is interrupted by Ron's screaming - Ron
> had woken to find Sirius Black standing over him with a knife.
> Whatever Harry was about to see in that clearing it was extremely
> In hindsight it is of course obvious that Harry is pursueing his
> Patronus - the stag that he didn't quite see during the Quidditch
> game. The setting is also interesting - a forest. When Harry
> finally gets a good look at his Patronus, it is in the Forbidden
> Forest - and while Buckbeak is with Hermione at the time, Harry
> has been taking this other means of flying around in the Forest.
> I'll admit that I am not entirely comfortable with the idea that
> the Firebolt should represent Buckbeak. For some reason the
> Firebolt seems out of place in this dream (everything else is so
> very neat), but is it a cleverly designed clue or a red herring?
> I know that /I/ will be on the lookout for instances where we see
> Harry in a forest with his broomstick - if it happens, I predict
> that the following scenes are going to be /very/ important.
> Harry's anxiety to catch a glimpse of the Patronus is of course
> also interesting. On the surface it seems like more reinforcement
> - like the interruption of the dream, but there may be more to it
> than that. Once more, be on the lookout for any situations that
> are similar to what we see in the dream.
> Harry ends up running flat out - I hope he took care because if
> you move fast enough you end up going back in time according to
> the general theory of relativity ...
> Book 3 ch. 15 'The Quidditch Final'
> The night before this all-important Quidditch match Harry had two
> dreams that are quite interesting.
> > "First he dreamed that he had overslept, and that Wood was
> > yelling, 'Where were you? We had to use Neville instead!' "
> I wonder when Neville is going to fill in for Harry because Harry
> doesn't make it. Neville is by many considered to be a very
> powerful wizard, who is just lacking control due to the side
> effects of a Memory Charm, so perhaps we shouldn't really feel
> alarmed by the prospect of Neville having to fill in for Harry.
> > "Then he dreamed that Malfoy and the rest of the Slytherin
> > team arrived for the match riding dragons. He was flying at
> > breakneck speed, trying to avoid a spurt of flames from
> > Malfoy's steed's mouth, when he realised he had forgotten
> > his Firebolt. He fell through the air and woke with a start. "
> We all know when Harry had to evade a dragon on his Firebolt -
> and he would have fallen short of the mark had he not had his
> Firebolt then - we really are being told the solution to the
> first task of the Triwizard Tournament here. Why, though, is
> Malfoy being presented as the opponent here? Is this merely
> because of the upcoming match, which is of course the top level
> of this dream.
> "Man is but an ass, if he go about to expound this dream"
> - Shakespeare, /A Midsummer-Night's Dream/ IV, 1
> Book 4 ch. 1 'The Riddle House'
> Harry dreams about the events in the chapter. As with the dream
> later in book 4, this one is clearly clairvoyant - Harry is
> dreaming events as they happen. In this case Harry's
> consciousness seems to piggy-back on Frank Bryce. It is difficult
> to say where exactly the dream starts - the chapter starts with a
> general background on Little Hangleton, the Riddle House and the
> Riddle deaths, which hardly can belong to Harry's dream, but that
> is less important as there is no authorial device within the
> sub-created reality (like e.g. the device Tolkien used for his
> Middle-earth stories where he poses as a translator instead of as
> the author).
> Book 4 ch. 'The Dream' - late in the chapter.
> During a Divination lesson Harry has a dream where he rides an
> Eagle Owl to Voldemort's hide-out and overhears a conversation
> between Voldemort and Wormtail. Once more we're dealing with a
> clairvoyant dream which shows Harry the present instead of the
> past or the future.
> While the two dreams in book 4 aren't prophetic in nature, but
> rather clairvoyant, they are the clearest examples of Harry's
> dreams being more than merely the well-known hallucinations of
> sleep - it is clear that Harry is capable of 'seeing' while he is
> "Deep into that darkness peering,
> long I stood there, wondering, fearing,
> Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever
> dared to dream before."
> - Edgar Allan Poe, /The Raven/
> Finally it have also been revealed that Harry will dream
> significant dreams in book 5. The Scholastic blurp for book 5 has
> the following:
> > "But at night it's even worse, because then he dreams of a
> > single door in a silent corridor. And this door is somehow
> > more terrifying than every other nightmare combined. "
> This is of course not much to go by - a single terrifying door in
> a silent corridor. Had there been more doors this might have been
> a traditional dream metaphor for a choice, but this is not the
> case here. The door might be physical; a real door that opens up
> to a real place that frightens Harry, but it may of course also
> be metaphorical. In this case the door may symbolise a transition
> for Harry; the traditional interpretation would be related to his
> adolescence, but it may also symbolise some other kind of
> transition: for instance Harry's reluctance to embrace Dark Magic
> to battle Dark Magic. The final interpretation I am going to
> advance here, is the idea of this closed door being in Harry's
> memories. I have touched above on Harry's earliest memories.
> First it was the flash of green light, then he remembered the
> high, cold laughter and in PoA he recalled his mothers pleading
> with Voldemort. All this has moved his earliest memory perhaps a
> single minute back - from the light of the rebounding Avada
> Kedavra to Voldemort coming to where his mother hid with him, but
> we still know very little of what happened before that; is it
> concievable that this single, terrifying door is the door to
> Harry's own earliest memories? That something more terrible than
> the death of his mother happened before that?
> At this point I will not advance one interpretation above the
> other, but rather leave those interpretations up in the air for
> all of you to wonder more about.
> "Whatever I state either will come to pass or will not; truly
> the great Apollo has given me the art of divination."
> - Horace, /Satires/ book II
> Now - let us see. What have I accomplished?
> I believe that I have demonstrated that at least some of Harry's
> dreams are important clues to the plot of the books - enough to
> make it likely that all the dreams share this.
> I have shown how a number of passages from the dreams can be seen
> as foreshadowing later events, either in the same or in later
> books. Other passages can be shown to add empasis to important
> plot elements or to have clairvoyant content.
> Now the really interesting part is of course what, if anything,
> can be derived that pertains to future books. The time has come
> for me to leave the fence (I am reluctant to do so - the
> Cushioning Charm is really very comfortable).
> Voldemort will become stronger still; that is perhaps not very
> controversial, and neither is the prediction that we will see
> more pains in Harry's scar.
> That Draco Malfoy will continue to taunt Harry and oppose him
> probably won't surprise anyone, but not everyone will agree. I
> don't think that Draco will turn against Voldemort.
> I also propose that Voldemort will once more fall through the
> casting of the killing curse - once more the green light will
> signal the end of the Dark Lord and this time for good.
> Another unsurprising prediction is that the details of the events
> in Godric's Hollow on the Hallowe'en eve in Harry's second year
> will prove to be crucial to the plot. Perhaps the single,
> terrifying door in book 5 means that we're going to learn them in
> that book, but I believe that we will not learn the full story
> until book 7.
> I predict that Harry will at some point be captured by his
> enemies - probably Death Eaters. He may or may not be kept at
> Azkaban, but he will in the end be saved by his friends -
> probably including Dobby.
> At some time we're going to see Harry bring his Firebolt to the
> forest, probably trying to capture something. This will be a
> significant plot element.
> Finally I think that Neville is going to fill in for Harry or
> cover for him at some point; e.g. by taking a curse that was
> meant for Harry.
> Well -- have fun ;-)
> Troels Forchhammer
> Valid mail is <t.forch(a)email.dk>
> Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm
> not sure about the former.
> - Albert Einstein
Troels, I posted a thread about the "Sorting Hat" dream from PS a few
days ago. I find it extremely curious that Malfoy turns into Snape,
given the events at the end of HBP.
- Re: For fun -- revisiting Harry's dreams
- From: Troels Forchhammer
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