This type of narrator may be confused with the omniscient narrator, but the difference between them is the third-person subjective narrator adopts the point of view of one of the characters of the story.
Thus, his or her vision is limited. He’ll have insight into what a character is thinking or feeling, but he will only have a superficial knowledge of the other characters. Nevertheless, the third-person subjective narrator will always be wiser than a first-person narrator as he can describe his chosen hero from both inside and outside perspectives.
This type of narrator’s perception of reality can be one of two types: simple (he can only take one character’s point of view) or global (he can change his point of view from chapter to chapter or even from scene to scene). A clear lesson on how to use a third-person, subjective, global narrator is in George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones which is the first novel in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. This type of narrator appears in every chapter of the book, and each time he appears, he adopts a different character’s point of view. He can analyze the same event from multiple sides this way.
In order to know whether a third-person subjective narrator is the best choice for the story you want to tell, here’s a list of the main features of this type of narrator:
1. He/she has a limited perspective.
As stated above, this narrator’s point of view is restricted to one character at a time. Therefore, he doesn’t know what the rest of the characters are thinking about or what their motivations are.
2. He/she explains one part and suggests the rest.
Unlike the omniscient narrator who knows everything about the story, the third-person subjective narrator is only sure about what is related to his chosen character. What he can tell about the remaining characters is subjective and based on conjectures.
3. He/she allows multiple perspectives.
The third-person, subjective, global narrator can offer different perspectives of a story, and in this way, be almost as reliable as an omniscient narrator.
4. He/she identifies with a character.
Although the narrator is not a character in the story, his opinions and judgments are those of the character he’s representing.
5. He/she creates a connection between character and reader.
As a consequence of assuming a specific character’s point of view, he can create a bond of empathy between character and reader.