Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the fourth book in the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. It was published in 2000 by Scholastic. For all things Harry Potter, check out the Lexicon (CONSTANT VIGILANCE, there are spoilers!). Also, check out the #1 Harry Potter fansite, mugglenet.com.
Will contain spoilers for the series.
Genre: Fantasy, Children’s, Realistic
“Harry Potter is midway through both his training as a wizard and his coming of age. Harry wants to get away from the pernicious Dursleys and go to the International Quidditch Cup with Hermione, Ron, and the Weasleys. He wants to dream about Cho Chang, his crush (and maybe do more than dream). He wants to find out about the mysterious event that’s supposed to take place at Hogwarts this year, an event involving two other rival schools of magic, and a competition that hasn’t happened for hundreds of years. He wants to be a normal, fourteen-year-old wizard. But unfortunately for Harry Potter, he’s not normal—even by Wizarding standards.
And in his case, different can be deadly.”
“Ced’s talked about you, of course,” said Amos Diggory. “Told us all about playing against you last year….I said to him, I said—Ced, that’ll be something to tell your grandchildren, that will…You beat Harry Potter!”
Harry couldn’t think of any reply to this, so he remained silent. Fred and George were both scowling again. Cedric looked slightly embarrassed.
“Harry fell off his broom, Dad,” he muttered. ‘I told you…it was an accident….”
“Yes, but you didn’t all off, did you?” roared Amos genially, slapping his son on his back. “Always modest, our Ced, always the gentleman….but the best man won. I’m sure Harry’d say the same, wouldn’t you, eh? One falls off his broom, one stays on, you don’t need to be a genius to tell which one’s the better flier!”
“The Imperius Curse can be fought, and I’ll be teaching you how, but it takes real strength of character, and not everyone’s got it. Better avoid being hit with it if you can. CONSTANT VIGILANCE!” he barked, and everyone jumped.
“Now, if there’s no countercurse, why am I showing you? Because you’ve got to know. You’ve got to appreciate what the worst is. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you’re facing it. CONSTANT VIGILANCE!” he roared, and the whole class jumped again.
~Rowling 215, 217
“Can you remember your parents at all?” said Rita Skeeter, talking over him.
“No,” said Harry.
“How do you think they’d feel if they knew you were competing in the Triwizard Tournament? Proud? Worried? Angry?”
Harry was feeling really annoyed now. How on earth was he to know how his parents would feel if they were alive? He could feel Rita Skeeter watching him very intently. Frowning, he avoided her gaze and looked down at words the quill had just written:
Tears fill those startlingly green eyes as our conversation turns to the parents he can barely remember.
“I have NOT got tears in my eyes!” said Harry loudly.
Warnings: Violence, death.
Recommended Age Range: 10+
What I Liked:
So, Goblet of Fire is about twice as long as Prisoner of Azkaban, and its thickness can be a little intimidating. Most large books like this one tend to be slow and draggy in places, which, thankfully, this book (mostly) avoids (most people complain about the bad editing job [because of the length?], and it does take a long time to get through). Goblet of Fire has possibly the most complex, intricate plot of the series, and it’s done so well that everything just completely falls into place at the end. Rowling uses the “explanation by the main antagonist/villain” to explain all the hints/reveal everything and it is used quite effectively here, I think. Prisoner of Azkaban was unique, and a refreshing departure from Rowling’s usual formula, but Goblet of Fire has such a complex plot, and interesting mechanics and new aspects of the world are revealed and makes for a wonderful read, that it is just as good, even if it has a different feel to it.
I want to focus on Ron and Cedric Diggory in regards to characters. Harry’s development is fairly obvious, since we’re seeing everything through his eyes. Hermione’s, too, is quite noticeable—she’s a little more flexible and not as straight-laced. Ron gets more aspects of his character revealed here: his jealousy. It’s something that’s not very noticeable in the first three books, but really comes to light here, and will show up even more in later books. Ron’s jealousy is his fatal flaw, as it were; it stands in the way of his friendship with Harry and Hermione (in different ways) and causes a lot of heartache when there needn’t be any. Ron often lets his anger (as seen in Prisoner of Azkaban) or jealousy get in the way of his friendship, and many times it is his emotions that hold him back in various things. Also, in regards to Ron, it is in this book that we first get a hint about his potential relationship with Hermione.
Cedric Diggory is quite obviously set up as a foil/rival to Harry. Harry and Cedric are compared throughout the book, and to many people Cedric comes out on top, which Harry doesn’t quite like. Cedric also dates the girl that Harry likes, an obvious rival tactic. His father describes him (Cedric) as a gentleman, and Dumbledore calls him a “good and loyal friend, a hard worker” and he “valued fair play.” Cedric is also, to put it frankly, nice. Rowling set Cedric up as a rival, I think, to better show Harry’s traits. Draco is so opposite to Harry that she needed someone like Cedric to do it adequately. And, I think, by showing Cedric in this light, she shows how Cedric’s traits are also very similar to Harry’s (perhaps not the hard worker part, however…Harry is quite lazy in this book). She also sets up this more favorable rival, I think, so that Harry realizes Cedric’s traits, and that he is a decent guy (unlike Draco), and so Cedric’s death at the end is just that more devastating to both Harry and the reader.
Oh, the dreaded “I see no difference” line by Snape. I think it was fanfiction that redeemed him for me, I really do.
What I Didn’t Like:
It can be a little slow and a little draggy in places, but there’s just so much going on and so much unfolding and being revealed that it doesn’t last very long.
–Keep in mind Harry’s scar visions/dreams
–Keep in mind Dumbledore’s brother, Aberforth
–Keep in mind what Ron said about Percy and his ambition
–Keep in mind Dumbledore’s insistence on Snape’s loyalty
–Keep in mind what Dumbledore said was the reason behind Harry’s scar hurting
–Keep in mind the “flash of triumph” in Dumbledore’s eyes
–Keep in mind what Dumbledore asks Snape to do
–Keep in mind Hagrid’s job over the summer
The Goblet of Fire is quite long, but the length is counteracted by its complex plot and many revelations that are perhaps the most intricate in the series. There is a lot of character dynamics and development going on and the ending shows that the tension, conflict, and action will only increase from here on out. The Goblet of Fire is the midpoint of the series, but in many ways, it is also the climax.
You can buy the book here:
And the movie here: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Single-Disc Widescreen Edition)
Coming Up Next: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix