Re-reading Harry Potter 4# The Goblet of Fire
So I've been re-reading my way through the Harry Potter series over the last few weeks (although I think I might have to speed it up a bit - only 17 more days until I see Cursed Child!!!) and I've been looking forward to this book most of all. Goblet of Fire has been my long-time favourite, but it's also the one I've read least recently, so I was apprehensive. What if I didn't love it as much this time around? I needn't have worried however. It has retained its place of honour! The final few chapters especially really had me gripped, despite the stupid amount of times I've read them before.
New thoughts this time:
The tone of Goblet of Fire is different, I think, from all the other books in the series. The innocence of the early books is still present in a lot of ways, but the clouds are gathering - it feels like the beginning of something big. It's a big book and we end in a very different place from where it begins. In this one, Voldemort returns, Hermione and Ron's 'thing' (whatever it is at this point) is finally out in the open and there's a lot of death. Not just villains getting their just deserts, or historical deaths recalled by other characters from a safe distance, but real, immediate and un-nerving deaths. Cedric of course (and he's so lovely - someone for us Hufflepuffs to be proud of) but also Frank Bryce (murdered in chapter one) Bertha Jorkins (tortured by Voldemort and killed once she's of no further use) Barty Crouch senior (disposed of actually within the Hogwarts grounds) and Barty Crouch Junior - who technically doesn't die but is subject to the dementor's kiss, which is even worse. It's definitely a darker book, more adult. The jeopardy has been upped again.
I found all the stuff about Rita Skeeter and the press really interesting this time around. It felt closer to home, in an era of internet trolls and the power of the tabloids. It's so horrible when Hermione gets hate-mail over the Witch Weekly article, or Hagrid shuts himself away after Rita tells the world he had a Giantess for a mother. I also wondered, thinking about the phone-hacking scandal of recent years (J.K Rowling was one of the celebrities who spoke up about it) whether she was writing this book around the time she was getting hacked and harassed, and Rita Skeeter was kind of a response to that? She's a deliciously hateable character anyway - possibly my favourite villain after Umbridge.
This book has so much great stuff - and I'm almost glad the film included so little. There are so many interesting scenes and interactions that haven't been coloured, for me, by the film's portrayal the way things sometimes are in the early books - and I think it feels fresher for that.
Favourite forgotten moments:
When Snape reads out the Witch Weekly article about Harry and Hermione in front of their potions class - such a squirmy moment. Harry buying a load of socks for Dobby as a thank you for saving his bacon in the second task. Best of all is Ron fighting against his jealousy to ask Krum for his autograph right before he leaves.
I love when all the Weasleys are together (plus Harry and Hermione) at the Burrow before the world cup. They're such a lovely family and I love seeing all the dynamics between them when Bill and Charlie are home too. I feel like Harry grows closer to the Weasleys in this one - and I like that Mrs. Weasley and Bill come to see him in the third task.
In other stuff, I thought the bit with the trials in the pensieve was dead interesting. I also really enjoyed the scene where Harry is caught in the trick step in his invisibility cloak and almost caught by Snape and Filch. It's very tense, even more so when you realise that he's so close to discovering Moody's real identity. I like when Myrtle visits Harry in the prefects bathroom, when Hermione almost bashes down Hagrid's door when he's hiding because of Rita's article, and all the stuff surrounding the Yule Ball. And the final few chapters, especially 'The Parting of Ways' with Dumbledore and Fudge, are very dramatic and stirring. Yeah, this is definitely my favourite.
"I've got two Neptunes here," said Harry after a while, frowning down at his piece of parchment. "That can't be right can it?"
"Ah," said Ron, imitating Professor Trelawney's mystical whisper. "when two Neptunes appear in the sky, it is a sure sign that a midget in glasses is being born, Harry..."
Some wise words from Sirius...
"If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals."
A little plant for book six...
'Fleur Delacour, Harry noticed, was eyeing Bill with great interest over her mother's shoulder. Harry could tell she had no objection whatsoever to long hair or earrings with fangs on them. '
And some classics from the final chapters....
"You are blinded," said Dumbledore, his voice rising now, the aura of power around him palpable, his eyes blazing once more, "by the love of the office you hold, Cornelius! You place too much importance on the so-called purity of blood! You fail to recognise that it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be!"
"No good sittin' worryin' abou' it," he said. "What's comin' will come, an we'll meet it when it does."
These are getting longer aren't they? I apologise. Do you have a favourite bit in the Goblet of Fire? See also: