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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Re-read Part One
Jenny: The last book was so dark that when you open Goblet of Fire, you expect it to carry on in the same manner. The first chapter does not disappoint! For the first time since the first book, the opening scene does not start with Harry at home for summer with the Dursleys. Instead, it opens on the mystery of the Riddle house and a murder that took place there many years ago, and we discover a very startling fact: Voldemort has returned with the help of Wormtail, and he has another plan to kill Harry and rise again to power. I had forgotten about this scene! The scene later, at the Quidditch World Cup, imprinted itself so strongly in my mind, I didn’t remember that the book opens with Voldemort. As Harry matures, so does, it seems, Rowling’s writing style, and this part with Voldemort and Wormtail is truly chilling!
By the end of the chapter, we discover that what we were reading was a dream Harry was having, and his scar is tingling when he wakes. His fear that Voldemort may have returned, however, is quickly forgotten. Harry has been having a relatively good summer this year, which is unusual when you consider how terrible his summers usually go! The next fifty pages fly by in a blur of good times and hijinks with the Weasleys, as Harry is whisked away with the red-headed family to attend the Quidditch World Cup. I have to admit, when I opened this book again, I honestly thought it began with the Death Eater attack at the World Cup sequence. It was a pleasure reading about Harry enjoying his time with the Weasleys and having a nice time, for once!
Jo Rowling does an amazing job of making the reader forget about this book’s foreboding beginning. The first few chapters of Goblet are fun and upbeat, and we even begin to forget that Prisoner of Azkaban was ever dark and scary! When you think about it, I think that’s exactly what Rowling intended. She wants the reader to get caught up in the fun time Harry is having so that when things take a dangerous turn, the reader is just as surprised as Harry. Which is exactly what she accomplishes!
Sasha: This time around I don’t have a famous literary work to compare Goblet of Fire with. That could be because by this point in the books Harry’s story is so uniquely its own tale. The world and many of its characters are firmly established, and it’s running on its own just fine. It’s nice to see that at home with the Dursleys the boy who once occupied the cupboard has much more control over what happens to him during his time under the roof of his Muggle relatives. He’s quite a capable wizard by this point, but even with the use of magic forbidden during the break, Harry Potter is no pushover.
Jenny: My favorite part of this book is when the Weasleys try to use floo powder to pick Harry up from the Dursley’s house, only to find that the fire place has been boarded up! I thoroughly enjoyed the twins’ prank on Dudley and loved seeing Arthur trying to have a civilized discussion with Vernon!
Sasha: I just adore the Weasleys. For one thing, it is not common in literature to read about families boasting more than three children. The worry is that it’ll create far too many characters to keep up with. The Weasley children, however, are distinctive, even though they all have red hair! In fact, I daresay that similarity was a stroke of genius. There’s no mistaking a Weasley, but Rowling is such an effective storyteller that the personalities fly off the pages. The diversity within the family and their loyalty and strength no matter the circumstances make the Weasley family a breath of fresh air.
Best Character in this Section:
Jenny: I’ve given this a fair amount of thought, and I believe that the best character in this section is Arthur Weasley! I mean, he braves the Dursleys’ house, forces Vernon to be polite and say goodbye to Harry like an Uncle ought to, takes all of the kids (including two that aren’t even his own) to the Quidditch World Cup, and even tries not to throw the twins into the path of their mother on occasion, so they don’t get into even more trouble than they usually do. He’s quirky when it comes to his fascination with the Muggle world, but he’s steadfast and true. He’s a wonderful father to all of the children, including Harry and Hermione, and he strives to teach his family the value of hard work and the golden rule. In my eyes, Arthur doesn’t get enough praise! And neither does Molly!
Sasha: Yes, thank goodness for Arthur and Molly. They should receive some sort of Parents of the Year Award. But to be different, I think I’m going to say Bill Weasley. He’s too cool for school.
Jenny’s Re-Read Notes:
I’m sure I’ve already said this, but I honestly didn’t remember just how much was packed into the beginning of this book! Harry with the Weasleys, his strange dream about Voldemort, The Quidditch World Cup, the Death Eaters, Winky and the House Elves, the Dark Mark, the introduction of the Tri-Wizard Tournament! This book is way more exciting than I remember it being and way more exciting than the movie. Though the first three books had their own dark plots, this book is where the kids start to mature, and the storyline gets just a hair more intriguing. Prisoner of Azkaban set us up for it, but Goblet is when it truly begins.
Books Vs the Film
Jenny: I’m certain Sasha will agree, as we get further into the books, it’s easier to distinguish how much more plot is in the books when compared to the film. One major point to make is the absence of the House Elves in the movie. From now until the end of the series, the House Elves will be an ongoing theme, but in the beginning of this book, Winky is a pretty big character. We don’t see her at all in the film. She is cut entirely from the plot.