Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Friday, April 29, 2011Posted by Melissa (Avid Reader)
**If you haven’t read this book, just skip this review. I tried to avoid spoilers, but there is just too much to talk about.**
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
by J.K. Rowling
The fourth book marks a drastic changing point in the series. Until this installment the seriousness of the situation with Voldemort wasn’t clear. Instead of opening the Goblet of Fire with Harry, Rowling chose to start with a much darker scene featuring Voldemort and the death of a muggle. We also learn about the three unforgiveable curses, find out Snape used to be a Death Eater and discover the fate of Neville’s parents. Death reaches the world of Hogwarts and the sense of foreboding at the end of the book is undeniable.
One thing that really stood out to me was the absence of parental figures for Harry. From the beginning of the book that’s a strong theme. Harry’s scar hurts and he wishes he had someone who could give him advice about it. Luckily he has Sirius now, but it’s not like they can chat casually every day. Dumbledore definitely fills a father-figure role for Harry on occasion, but again, there’s a distance between them.
In another scene the Triwizard Tournament champions are sent to a room to greet their families and Harry is shocked to discover Mrs. Weasley and Ron’s brother Bill have come as his “family” to support him. Imagine being a 14-year-old kid and not knowing if there’s anyone in the world who will show up on your family day at school. He’s lucky to have the Weasleys, but it’s still not quite the same. The theme of father/son relationships is continued through Barty Crouch and his father and Voldemort and his muggle father. Both of those characters are deeply affected by their relationship (or lack thereof) with their father.
A few things I'd forgotten about the fourth book:
1) Peeves was completely removed from the movies, but he makes an appearance in every single book.
2) Those awful Blast-Ended Skrewts. I can’t really imagine a worse creature to have to take care of.
3) I’d forgotten all about Ludo Bagman, his gambling problem and his shady past. It’s a great example of how “innocent” people can get involved with the wrong side. Imagine how many people did something like that with the Nazi party.
4) Hermione’s S.P.E.W. efforts, though well-meaning, become tiresome quickly. I definitely understand why they were cut from the movie. I do love the parts with Dobby though.
5) Sirius was corresponding with Dumbledore the whole time he was in hiding. Harry was so surprised to discover that, but it makes sense.
I really loved learning more about Dumbledore in this book. There’s one part in the book where he allows Harry to ask him questions and it’s such a great scene. It shows that he respects Harry and doesn’t just see him as a little kid. He also refuses to answer some things, but he does it in such a tactful way. He is wise enough to know who he can and can’t trust, but strong enough in his beliefs to maintain that trust even when others question it. We also saw his powerful side for the first time. Until now he was almost docile from Harry’s point of view. It was so important for him to understand that Dumbledore has incredible strength and power, he just chooses not to use it for evil.
“At that moment, Harry fully understood for the first time why people said Dumbledore was the only wizard Voldemort had ever feared. The look upon Dumbledore’s face as he stared down at the unconscious form of Mad-Eye Moody was more terrible than Harry could have ever imagined. There was no benign smile upon Dumbledore’s face, no twinkle in the eyes behind the spectacles. There was cold fury in every line of the ancient face; a sense of power radiated from Dumbledore as though he were giving off burning heat.”
Read for the Harry Potter Challenge hosted here.