If you have read the Harry Potter series before, then you know J.K. Rowling is a master of foreshadowing. She sets up the scene so unnoticeably, you don’t even realize that she’s gone and hit you with some good foreshadowing. Like when Harry meets Professor Quirrell in Diagon Alley, then sees him again at Hogwarts, he briefly wonders where he got the turban and why. It isn’t until the end of Sorcerer’s Stone that you learn what happened and then you’ll look back at that line, like you sneaky devil J.K. Or when Crookshanks immediately tries to kill Scabbers in Prisoner of Azkaban, you think well he’s just a cat. But then Sirius lays it on you that he made friends with Crookshanks at Hogwarts and found out that Crookshanks knew Scabbers wasn’t a rat.
Good foreshadowing the sign of a talented author. J.K. doesn’t just foreshadow what will happen in each book. Over the course of 7 books, she managed to set up foreshadowing for the final books beginning all the way in book one. You certainly might not have caught these on your first read, or even after your tenth. We’ve carefully combed through all seven books and found the juiciest foreshadowing moments given to us by Queen J.K. As you’ve probably assumed, these are all direct foreshadowing moments in the book series. Not all moments made it into the films in their entirety.
1. The warning at Gringotts about thieves – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone foreshadowing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
“Enter stranger, but take heed
Of what awaits the sin of greed,
For those who take, but do not earn
Must pay most dearly in their turn.
So if you seek beneath our floors
A treasure that was never yours,
Thief, you have been warned; beware
Of finding more than treasure there.”
When Harry visits Gringotts for the very first time, he reads this sign on the building. This is a double whammy on foreshadowing. As Hagrid tells him you’d be mad to try and rob Gringotts, you later learn that someone tried to rob it, the very same day they visited. You probably never thought twice about the warning of “more than treasure” and Hagrid suggesting there were dragons down there, as it was a quick line in the books. Fast forward to Deathly Hallows, and sure enough, there really are dragons down there. And the Golden Trio is a bit mad (who wouldn’t be after all their drama with Voldy) and they try and succeed at robbing Gringotts. Then they fly off into the sun on the back of a dragon like it’s NBD.
2. Ollivander’s story about wands being connected – Sorcerer’s Stone foreshadowing Goblet of Fire
“I remember every wand I’ve ever sold, Mr Potter. Every single wand. It so happens that the phoenix whose tail feather is in your wand, gave another feather – just one other. It is very curious indeed that you should be destined for this wand when its brother – why, its brother gave you that scar.”
When Harry is trying to get his wand at Ollivanders, you learn that the wand truly does choose the wizard. Way before he even got to Hogwarts, you learn about one of Harry’s connections to Voldemort. This doesn’t come up again until Goblet of Fire. We learn that there is a rare occurrence when two wands who share a tail feather meet and that is Priori Incantatem.
“A jet of green light issued from Voldemort’s wand just as a jet of red light blasted from Harry’s — they met in midair — and suddenly Harry’s wand was vibrating as though an electric charge were surging through it; his hand seized up around it; he couldn’t have released it if he’d wanted to — and a narrow beam of light connected the two wands, neither red nor green, but bright, deep gold. Harry, following the beam with his astonished gaze, saw that Voldemort’s long white fingers too were gripping a wand that was shaking and vibrating.”
This spell reveals the previous spells of each wand, which in the case of Voldemort, it showed all the murders he’d commit, giving Harry the chance to briefly speak with his parents and Cedric Diggory after he was murdered.
3. Harry swallowing the snitch – Sorcerer’s Stone foreshadowing Deathly Hallows
“Harry was speeding toward the ground when the crowd saw him clap his hand to his mouth as though he was going to be sick-he hit the field on all fours-coughed-and something gold fell into his hand.”
In Harry’s first ever Quidditch game, he didn’t touch the snitch first with his hand, but instead swallowed it. This came up a bit over the course of the series when the sport was mentioned, but it’s significance didn’t come into play until Deathly Hallows. When the Golden Trio received items from Dumbledore’s will, Harry got his first snitch. He didn’t understand why at first, because what could an old snitch have to do with the mission to defeat of Voldemort? Everything, literally everything Harry. After some serious thinking, wasted time and fights between friends, it’s discovered that snitchs are touch sensitive and it needed to be touched by Harry’s lips. The words “I open at the close” are then revealed to Harry, which again stumps him, because it’s Harry. Essentially, this is the key to thwarting Voldemort. Harry cannot access what is in the snitch until he’s absolutely ready to die, which then leads him to discovering he has the Resurrection Stone in his possession. Before he meets Voldemort in the forest, he is comforted by his deceased loved ones who promise to stay with him “until they very end”.
4. A piece of Voldemort’s soul being inside Harry – Chamber of Secrets foreshadowing Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix and Deathly Hallows
“…he transferred some of his own powers to you the night he gave you that scar…”
“Voldemort put a bit of himself in me?”
In Chamber of Secrets, we first learn that Harry and Voldemort’s connection is very real, as unintended as it was. This bit of Voldemort’s soul in Harry came up several times in the series. First, when Harry starts having visions of Voldemort rising to power in Goblet of Fire. At the time, Harry believes these are just dreams and attempts to wave them off, as he has other things to focus on. After Voldemort is officially risen, it becomes glaringly obvious in Order of the Phoenix that this connection is more than previously believed. Voldemort has direct access into Harry’s mind, which leads to failed Occlumency lessons from Professor Snape. The real kicker on this foreshadowing is that this connection is because Voldemort unintentionally turned Harry Potter into a horcrux the night he tried to kill him. This was the flaw in his entire plan to become immortal, as Dumbledore figured out this error and set Harry on the path to defeating Voldemort once and for all.
5. Snape telling Harry what a Bezoar does – Sorcerer’s Stone foreshadowing Half Blood Prince
“You don’t know? Well, let’s try again. Where, Mr. Potter, would you look if I asked you to find me a bezoar?”
One of the first things Snape ever says to Harry is this scathing question. Most of us literally thought nothing of this line. And for good reason, as it didn’t come p again until Half Blood Prince. When Ron is poisoned in Slughorn’s office, Harry acts quick and shoves a bezoar down his throat. Back in SS, Snape tells him that it acts fast against poison. However, Harry didn’t remember that lesson, in fact, he learned this information from the Half Blood Prince’s potions text book that he acquired and became obsessed with during HBP. As we all know, the Half Blood Prince is Snape.
6. Pettigrew’s life debt to Harry – Prisoner of Azkaban foreshadowing Deathly Hallows
“Pettigrew owes his life to you. You have sent Voldemort a deputy who is in your debt…When one wizard saves another wizar’s life, it creates a bond between them…”
In PoA, Harry spares Pettigrew’s life when Sirius and Remus want to kill him. It was his intent to use Pettigrew to prove Sirius’s innocence, but then Pettigrew got away and he was distraught about this. Dumbledore comforted him with the knowledge that Peter owed him a life debt. Fast-forward to when Harry & Co. are trapped in the Malfoy’s dungeon, Harry and Ron tackle Pettigrew to gain access to his wand. When Pettigrew attempts to strangle Harry, he reminds Pettigrew that he owes him a life debt which gives him pause. The metal hand, given to Pettigrew by Voldemort, then turns on him and strangles Pettigrew to death.