Category Archives: The Goblet of Fire

Final Thoughts

New Harry Potter

Note from Ashley: My post about the Epilogue is still to come next week, which is why I’ve abstained from writing final notes, myself. I get an entire post to wax poetic about the end of this series and the end of this project, so it’s only fair everyone else gets a space, too.

– – –

JENNIE

I’ve had so much fun with this, not only writing my own posts, but getting to read what everyone else thinks about Harry Potter (SPOILER ALERT: you all love it). I’ve enjoyed all the insights everyone has had that I’ve never, ever had in all of my rereads, and the discussions that followed, but my very most favorite thing was getting to see new GIFs I’d never seen before. You guys are good at GIFs, is what I’m saying.

Also, I can’t believe it’s over. Again. Sads. Don’t mind me, I’m just going to be over here in the corner, rereading all the books and pretending Harry Potter is never going to end ever ever. Continue reading

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The Goblet of Fire, Chapters 36-37: And You Were There, And You…

HospitalWingPS17

The thing that strikes me the most about Goblet of Fire, more than any of the other books, is the concept of family. Throughout the entirety of the book, we are exposed to a variety of different family connections and archetypes, and we even get a chance to explore the surrounding contexts – the causes and long-reaching effects of each. It’s not, as I mentioned at the beginning of the book, just the difference between the Dursleys and the Weasleys. There’s a lot more we get shown.

Consider the casual overconfidence and blatant pride of Amos Diggory, desperate to recapture some sort of glory. Does he feel slighted that Harry Potter overshadows his own son? He certainly interjects himself into any real or perceived conflict between the two. We can see the well-meaning but still overbearing parenting style reflected on Cedric, who clearly wants nothing to do with it. If Cedric’s going to beat Harry it has nothing to do with lost honor and everything to do with being fair and friendly.

Consider the carefully hidden shame of Barty Crouch Senior, who places so much importance on his own image that he ignores the signs of his own son who is seeking out whatever attention he could. Barty Senior makes one attempt at holding his family together – but still without dragging his own name into the mud – and thus creates a web of lies that grows more monstrous and misshapen with each added strand… until the entire thing collapses under its own weight and smothers him to death.

Consider the little we learn of Thomas Riddle Senior, who was forced into a relationship based on lies and coercion. A flawed man who was subjected to the darkest parts of desire and magic, the depths of which we don’t even find out for another two books, but is revealed to us by Voldemort himself so we know it’s a bit biased. There is no love in that union, and what little love there may have been towards the child is swept away by the orphanage and Tom Junior’s own warped psyche.

Harry has all these examples laid out for him this year, and he learns a great deal. He learns about the interactions between people and how lasting even the smallest gesture can be.

But on top of all that, he also learns about family from the Weasleys. It’s Bill and Molly, showing up for the family seats for the Third Task. It’s Molly sending him Christmas presents for four years, ever since hearing that he might not have anyone else. It’s the twins taking him under their wing, both in Quidditch and in pranking, the two things they love best, and training him like he belongs. It’s Arthur, warning him of the dangers of vengeance and the slippery slope it would take him down, and soon it will be Arthur again who stands with him against the consequences of his actions, justified as they might be.

The Weasleys look after Hermione as a friend of the family, as evidenced by the tickets to the World Cup and the multiple offers of shelter during the summers. But they look after Harry as family.

Good morning. My name is Kevin, and these are my massive Weasley feels.

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The Goblet of Fire, Chapter 35: The Tenth Doctor Reads ‘Veritaserum’

When I first read this chapter in 2000, it blew my mind. Because that phrase has lost most of its impact due to overuse, however accurate to my experience, it is also inadequate — but I promise my reaction at the time lives up to the initial promise of that image. When I was done reading this chapter, my brain was spinning so fast with the narrative joy of it, I probably ended up on the floor a little comatose. Jo had pulled off a version of the long con in Prisoner of Azkaban with the character of Sirius. We think he’s a scary bad wackjob for the entire book, only for her to completely turn that image on its head at the climax. Sirius becomes instead a character we love so much it hurts inside, and not just because of what he represents of Harry’s (and his parent’s) past, but because of what he represents for Harry’s future.

She does the exact opposite with Professor Moody/Barty Crouch, Jr., and she adds into the mix a little something extra.

I have chosen to write this post using a fuck-ton of Tenth Doctor GIFs for two reasons: 1) David Tennant’s face makes my insides turn into puddles of goop; 2) We know he’s a fan; and 3) because as much as I love him, his version of the Crouch Jr. character in the Goblet of Fire movie was a misfire in almost every way possible. I actively choose to believe his weird tongue flicking thing is the fault of director Mike Newell, and that the filmed version of this chapter, in all its bastardized, poorly-timed awkwardness a fault of both Newell and screenwriter Steve Kloves. Everything that I love about this chapter is either missing or ruined. And I suppose this is my poor attempt to fix it.

c35--veritaserumCHAPTER 35: VERITASERUM

Something I think the movie got very right is the scene immediately following Harry’s abrupt return from the graveyard with Cedric’s body. The chaos and the noise and the confusion (and the sorrow) were all elegantly conveyed (and the score in that scene always makes me tear up). Jo’s words paint us a picture of a shell-shocked Harry, unable to really process what’s going on around him. But she writes it in such a way that we as her readers can piece it all together. This scene is a masterpiece of organized chaos. Everything is from Harry’s perspective so we don’t know exactly what’s going on, but if you go back and re-read it, it’s clear what’s happening.

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The Goblet of Fire, Chapters 33-34: Saved By a Hiddleston

Hey, so I sort of ran out of time on this one. I’ve been sort of running out of time on a lot of things lately, or maybe it just feels that way because we’re so close to the end of the year. EITHER WAY, I’m posting this super late and NOT ONLY THAT, my post today is just a list. But lists are great! Right? I love lists so much. I make lists sometimes just so I can cross stuff off of them.

Anyway. The fun and games of the Triwizard Tournament are now far behind us because CEDRIC DIGGORY IS DEAD and the Dark Lord, he is arisen. THINGS ARE FUCKED.

CHAPTER 33: THE DEATH EATERS

Things That Are NOT OK:

1. Voldemort’s hands look like spiders. PALE spiders, which for some reason is even creepier than regular spiders. Also the description makes me think about Voldemort’s hands and how they can touch things now because HE IS RISEN.
2. We learn that Voldemort killed his father. Which…I guess is not a huge surprise since he killed so many other people but there’s just something about killing your family that’s so, I don’t know, RUDE.
3. A bunch of Death Eaters show up. He Crucios one of them as punishment for not trying to find him. Lucius Malfoy is there (SURPRISE) and he’s in charge of Muggle-torture, which is probably not something you really want to put on your resume but Luscious Malfoy does what he wants. And, you know, he’s like VP of Muggle-Torture, which is at least Head Muggle-Torturer In Charge. What other departments are there in CEO Voldemort’s company? Do you think there’s Death Eater HR and they’re in charge of recruiting Death Eaters and, like, writing Death Eaters up if they didn’t torture enough people that month?
4. There’s a spy at Hogwarts, someone who is responsible for getting Harry to Voldemort. Is it Snape? It’s Snape, right? It has to be Snape.
5. Voldemort can touch Harry (WITH HIS GROSS SPIDER HANDS) and it causes Harry great pain.
6. Voldemort killed Bertha Jorkins. This isn’t super upsetting because know her or anything but because Voldemort killed her when he was still in his gross, underdeveloped baby form. If he can kill Bertha and that old Muggle caretaker as a Voldefetus, how much damage is he going to be able to do now?
7. Voldemort Crucios Harry, then says he’s going to kill him in a fair fight. When I say fair fight, I mean, Voldemort is going to give Harry his wand back. It’s not REALLY a fair fight because Harry’s exhausted from YOU KNOW the tournament and watching his friend die and being tortured and stuff, but it’s not like you’d expect someone who calls himself The Dark Lord to be all that worried about being fair.

Things That Are OK:

NOTHING, NOTHING, NOT EVER AGAIN.

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The Goblet of Fire, Chapters 30-32: Death Once Had a Near-Voldemort Experience

It’s been over a month since I last wrote here, and–not gonna lie–I sort of lost track of time. Last night (or early this morning, actually) I was studying for finals when it suddenly hit me that there was something else I was supposed to do. Then I remembered it was my turn to write about Harry Potter! I frantically tried to squeeze in my post between studying and finals, and it didn’t quite work out. Honestly, though, I’m glad because I wouldn’t have been able to do these chapters justice if I had tried to hurry this post. Now I’m finally home, I’m officially done with the semester, and I’ve got nothin’ but time.

(Also, I desperately need to catch up on all of your posts, fellow re-read writers! Which I will be doing over the next few days, so you’ll be seeing comments from me on older posts. Finals took over my life for a while, but now that they’re over I can spend time doing other things on the internet besides researching medieval feudalism and Python scripts! Yay!)

CHAPTER 30: THE PENSIEVE

This is the chapter in which Harry discovers a bowl filled with silvery stuff that allows him to see inside Dumbledore’s mind. This is also the bajillionth instance in which I found myself thinking, “Huh, that would be really useful… Why doesn’t magic exist?!” Not only is the Pensieve a cool idea, but it’s also really helpful as a literary device because it allows J.K. Rowling to give us insight into impactful story events without losing Harry’s point of view or making us suffer through an infodump. As usual, I am in awe of J.K. Rowling’s brain. I wish I had access to her Pensieve.

Through Dumbledore’s memory, we learn that: a) Ludo Bagman unknowingly gave information about the Ministry of Magic to a Death Eater named Augustus Rookwood, who worked in the Department of Mysteries, b) Snape was a Death Eater, and c) Neville’s parents were tortured to the point of insanity by Barty Crouch, Jr. and the Lestranges. For the first time, we see a real correlation between Harry and Neville. They both lost their parents due to tragic circumstances involving Voldemort either directly or indirectly. We don’t know yet just how significant the similarities between Harry and Neville are, but we can be sure that Harry feels a deep empathetic connection to Neville from this point forward. The purpose of Rowling’s exposition here is to establish sympathy for Neville–not just the sympathy we already feel for the poor, socially inept boy, but a larger, more significant sympathy that carries a weight of meaning. There is more to Neville Longbottom than it seems, and this chapter is when Rowling begins to scratch the surface.

Another one of Neville's secrets: he's a hottie.

Another one of Neville’s secrets: he’s a hottie.

After Dumbledore pulls Harry out of the Pensieve and explains to him what the heck just happened, they discuss Harry’s dream and Neville’s parents. Harry is surprised to learn that Dumbledore has been communicating with Sirius and thus already knows about the dream. He explains that Harry’s scar will hurt whenever Voldemort is nearby or feeling strong emotions, which is really going to suck later on. He also makes Harry promise to keep the truth about Neville’s parents to himself, as it’s Neville’s story to tell and not anyone else’s.

Dumbledore Witticism of the Day: “Curiosity is not a sin. But we should exercise caution with our curiosity… yes, indeed.”

Something I’ve wondered about here: the purpose of the Pensieve is to store excess memories in order to retain them and revisit them later. Presumably, there are numerous memories swirling around in Dumbledore’s Pensieve, so how is it that Harry happened to stumble into the exact memories that were relevant at the time? Did Dumbledore pull those memories to the surface of the Pensieve just before Harry arrived?

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