Title: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Author: J.K. Rowling
Review: The opening to the fourth instalment of the Harry Potter series was amazing. This book unlike the previous three does immediately start with us rejoining Harry but it open at the Riddle House where we get some background information on the Riddle family including Tom Riddle aka Lord Voldemort. We then see Voldemort for the first time since The Chamber of Secrets with Wormtail discussing their plans with the Riddle’s old caretaker Frank Bryce listens which ultimately leads to his death. It is here we rejoin Harry as he awoke from a dream. I really loved seeing all the build up to the opening of the Quidditch World Cup, we get to see lots of people from the Ministry of Magic; we also see more of Ministry’s structure and what certain departments do and their importance to the wizarding world. We also see how difficult it is for the magical community to stay hidden from muggles especially during times like this when there are thousands of wizards and witches from all over the world converging in one place.
As we approach the 1/4 mark in the novel we get to see the set-up for Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes and the Quidditch World Cup which introduces Victor Krum who we will see more of later on in the book. I also loved seeing more of Fred and George which we don’t see in the movie, I felt their potential is underplayed greatly in the film version of this book and they are made out to be comic relief when they are actually far more than that. After the events that took place after the Quidditch World Cup we see the Weasley home return to some degree of normality as the children prepare to leave for Hogwarts once more. Harry though, is extremely worried about his dreams especially in light of recent events and hopes he will hear from Sirius soon despite it being over a week since he sent him the letter with the details of his dreams. I liked the fact that this book as well as Prisoner of Azkaban have darker feels so the content of the books mature with its audience. We also see Harry, Hermione and the Weasley clan head back to Hogwarts, it is here that Mrs. Weasley, Bill and Charlie drop hints about something big happening at Hogwarts this year. We also begin to learn about other magical schools which have never been mentioned until now. This book despite its length is actually quite fast paced which really surprised me this time around, I also believe that Draco isn’t actually a bad guy but that he is actually a product of his parent’s conditioning, we also see this in the Weasley family and several of the children resent it, we see Ron make fun of his father’s plug collection and Percy is actively distancing himself from the rest of his family.
As we cross the 1/4 mark in the novel we are introduced to yet more amazing characters like Mad-Eye Moody who is by far one of my favorite characters in the entire series especially after he turns Draco into a ferret, I swear I haven’t laughed so hard in ages. We also see many of the adults preparing for an upcoming battle in the future between the light and dark wizards. The announcement of the Tri-wizard Tournament and the arrival of the students from other magical school; Beauxbatons Academy of Magic and Durmstrang Institute was brilliant as expected of J. K. Rowling, I also really enjoyed seeing the beginnings of S.P.E.W. which allows Hermione to come into her own a little more as a character and it’s nice for her to find something she is really passionate about as Ron and Harry have Quidditch. Seeing the champion choosing was really brilliant as it is totally unexpected for Harry’s name to come out of the Goblet of Fire and we are just as shocked as Harry himself and everybody else. Watching the other champions, students and teachers react to Harry’s name coming out of the Goblet of Fire was heart-breaking as nobody except Moody and Dumbledore really believe Harry, even his friends have doubts and it makes Harry feel so isolated and to top it off he know has to face challenges that he doesn’t really have a hope at winning. It was sad to see the friendship between Harry and Ron break down although this was unforeseen but when Hermione distances herself from Harry this was a shock because she has always been the logical one who should have known there was no way Harry could have entered himself into the Tournament.
As we approach the half way mark in the novel the first task approaches Harry with the help of good old Hagrid learns what he is going to be facing: dragons. All of the champions learn what the task is before it occurs although Cedric wouldn’t have found out without Harry telling him. Once again Sirius makes an appearance which was great because we saw a lot of him in Prisoner of Azkaban and we will see more of him in Order of the Phoenix. This is one book were I think the movie did a slightly better job, purely because of the visuals. You can imagine a dragon in your head but to see it on screen doesn’t compare but this doesn’t change the fact that the books contain far more information than their movie counterparts like S.P.E.W. I also liked the fact that Rowling implicates Karkaroff as the primary antagonist. The first task was a little shorter than I remember and we don’t even get to see any other champion take on their dragons other than Harry and I felt it made Fleur and Krum feel less 3-D and they felt a little flat. Once again Rowling reverts the story back a little in the sense that she is going to build up to the second task the way she did for the first task.
As we cross the halfway mark we see the trio reunite after Ron’s stupid actions and jealousy earlier in the book. Our beloved Dobby also makes a reappearance where he is no enjoying his free life, he even gets paid a wage much to Hermione`s delight although this is a little overshadowed by Winky’s hysterics. I absolutely loved watching Harry and Ron go through the awkward teenage phase when trying to find dates for the Yule Ball. I was also wrote surprised at the way Harry argued with McGonagall about performing the opening dance with the other champions, I literally cheered out loud for him – I don’t know why I just did and I scared a few people waiting the bus stop too. The actual Yule Ball scenes in the books are very different from the movie with everyone seeming quite awkward rather than blossoming into the young adults they will become in the next 3 books. As another Christmas comes and goes Hogwarts is filed with teen angst and drama which I didn’t really like but I did enjoy seeing the subtle tension building between Karkaroff and Snape and the black cloud of death eaters and the Dark Lord seems to get bigger and closer in every chapter and any seasoned Potterhead will know what is to come and will have decoded the line “it’s getting clearer and clearer everyday Severus” I know I did 😉 We also see Cedric slip Harry a clue about the golden egg which he has basically ignored since the end of the first task.
As we approach the 3/4 mark in the novel the scenes with Harry trying to figure out the egg weren’t great as he ignores Cedric`s advice and leaves it very late to figure out a plan for the second task. Although I did enjoy seeing the tense relationship between Snape and Mad-Eye Moody given their respective pasts. I also liked how Rowling almost reused the same plot twist she used in Prisoner of Azkaban with someone turning up on the Marauder’s Map who shouldn’t be there. I did actually curse Harry for turning over his map to Moody so easily but we can understand this because Harry is too trusting and a little naive despite everything he has been through. The second task was very well written but it was far more visual in the movie. I also liked the fact it is Dobby not Neville who helps Harry. Another major difference between the books and movies is the tasks in the books are spaced out over months whereas in the movies the tasks feel like they are very close together and they cut a lot of the smaller bits of information which are still very important for the story. Sirius is also making an appearance in this book despite still being on the run. Sirius plays a massive role in this book since he’s the one who fills Harry in with history. He informs Harry of Crouch`s past and his sin as well as Snape`s past and his mingling with people who are now death eaters. Karkaroff also begins increasingly paranoid during his time at Hogwarts and once again draws Snape into suspicion one again like in the first book. Been as I am rereading these books I know why Snape is doing these things so I do feel very sorry for him and don’t hate him as much as I did the first time I read this series (Snarry and Snupin are my favourite fanfiction pairing comment your favourite ship below. P.S. If you don’t know these ships Google them, hot as hell!)
As we cross into the final section of the novel we see Crouch go mad rather than just turning up dead like he does in the movies as it adds more tension and suspense building towards the final task which is the maze. Despite being in the final section of the novel nobody has really caught onto Moody yet and Cedric has also disappeared into the background a little with Krum and Fleur becoming a little more prominent. The first proper sight of Voldemort happens during a divination class where Harry Hess straight to Dumbledore although I did find it rather convenient how much information Harry just “accidentally” overhears. As the final task gets closer we can feel the tension rising and we know something significant is going to happen very soon. Harry’s first trip into Dumbledore’s pensieve was so much better in the book. In the movie Harry witnessed Karkaroff’s information and Crouch Jr. being apprehended in one scene after which Dumbledore spouts some strange wisdom and that’s it, whereas in the book Harry witnessed a lot of different events that tie in perfectly with what is happening at Hogwarts. Harry also asks questions about the true loyalties of the people in Dumbledore’s memories: Karkaroff, Ludo Bagman and Snape who are all at Hogwarts. While Dumbledore claims none have current ties to the Dark side and Voldemort Harry is insecure about Snape but we the readers can see Rowling’s hints at Snape’s true allegiance. I have to admit this is one of my favourite scenes in the whole book and as the third task approaches we see Harry become more confident in his abilities. The final task itself was done 10x better in the book than the movie. In the movie we see the champions encounter nothing more than enchanted hedges until Harry and Cedric reach the cup whereas in the book the champions have to with magical creatures like spiders, dementors and even a sphinx in order to reach the cup. When Harry and Cedric simultaneously reach the cup both want the other to take it but end up taking it together, it was unfortunate that the cup is a portkey. Reading Voldemort’s resurrection literally gave me chills and learning of everything he had done since Harry defeated him as a babe was a little horrifying to say the least but it is a testament to Rowling’s writing that her books nature with their audience.
As we cross into the final section of the novel we see Harry prepares to face Voldemort in battle once more and by God does Harry have some balls and major sass going on. Seeing everyone appear in ghost forms cheering Harry on and supporting him was heart breaking yet hopeful. Seeing Cedric ask Harry to take his body back had me in tears because despite not being friends Harry cared for the Hufflepuff and his is the first death that really affects Harry in the series, Buckbeak doesn’t count because Buckbeak didn’t really die. Seeing Harry break down after returning from the graveyard and his conversation/reveal of who Mad-Eye really was truly heart-breaking. In the aftermath of the final task we see many things put into motion; Dumbledore tries to convince Fudge of Voldemort’s return which he refuses to believe forcing Dumbledore to ask Sirius to assemble some people (who we know are the Order of the Phoenix) and Snape to return to the Dark Lord’s side as a spy which they are both glad to do even temporarily putting aside their own differences.
Overall, the ending of this book was heart-breaking as truths are revealed but the burden of Cedric’s death weighs heavy on Harry’s heart. Harry is a good, kind person though even giving his winnings to Fred and George to help with their inventing because he believes it should have been Cedric’s and where he himself has no use for the money he gave it to someone who needed it far more than he did. At this point we can clearly see that Harry and the Weasley’s see each other as family, especially when Harry refers to Molly hugging him like a mother would. In this end this book is terribly sad and it is only going to get worse but it signals the turning point in the series and it grows and matures with its audience.
I read this book as part of a read-a-long with the #HPBlogateers
You can find their reviews here: Tiff & Steph
We will be spotlighting Steph for this book
So here are the questions:
Tiff – which dragon out of the 4 used in task 1 is your favourite?
Probably the Common Welsh greenback. He’s cute and non-threatening as hell!
Jodie – Which task would you like to participate in and why?
I guess the safest would be the maze.
Sammi – How would you choose to breathe underwater in the second challenge?
I chose the bubble head charm
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