Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
J. K. Rowling
July 8th 2000
Fourteen-year-old Harry Potter joins the Weasleys at the Quidditch World Cup, then enters his fourth year at Hogwarts Academy where he is mysteriously entered in an unusual contest that challenges his wizarding skills, friendships and character, amid signs that an old enemy is growing stronger.
It's been a whole month since my last Harry Potter review! Nearly! Did you miss it? I know you did. How could you not miss your favourite idiot rambling on about some of the best Children's books in the universe. Or maybe actually THE best. I haven't decided yet. We'll reach that verdict once I've finished book 7 (of which I have already planned the first line of my review. Yup.)
I can't decide if I liked Goblet of Fire more than Prisoner of Azkaban. I think I like them equally at the minute, but at this point in the series is where we really start to see the differences between the books and the film. In the first three it was relatively small things, maybe a couple of chapters, but there was loads in this book that they missed out in the film! I really liked getting to see all of the extra detail that gets missed out, and I'm still kicking myself that I took until bloody NOW to read them. I am a bonafide fool, and I give you my permission to shun me.
I feel like we get a better sense of who the characters are in this book, which sounds a bit stupid, but I mean that we start seeing more of them than just, like, children's book characters. They're starting to have light and dark, and have romances and feel jealousy, and I'm starting to see them all as much more three dimensional people. I still kind of feel that the Slytherin's are getting a bad rap. Everybody in the whole entire universe knows that Crabbe and Goyle (and Malfoy, really, but I'm witholding judgement for him) and Pansy are douchebags, but there must be some decent people in Slytherin, too. The fact that they have the highest number of people who become dark wizards doesn't mean that they're the 'Evil' house. Then again, we see everything from Harry's point of view, and let's face it, Harry's a bit bias. But there must be douchebags in Gryffindor and Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw, too. These are just minor niggles, though.
We also start to get a sense of the bigger picture in this book, not that Voldey's back and isn't just a weird creepy baby thing that Wormtail brings around with him. And even though we do get a bigger sense of the actual threat that Harry's facing, it feels the most standalone of them all. It's a whole story of its own, that isn't just about Harry and Voldey. It's about Harry and the Triwizard Tournament, which is kind of a big freaking deal if you're a wizard. But I did enjoy the implications at the end of the book about what's going to happen in the next three, especially with Snape.
I thought Hermione and Ron were both really great in this book. I kind of wish they'd just had the S.P.E.W badges or something in the film. That would've been a nice touch. I thought it was really sweet, although a tad grating, all of er campaigning for the rights of House Elves (who don't really want it), and a nice nod to what she ends up doing as a job. I also liked that we got to see Ron being jealous, and he definitely felt like a teenager in this book. I completely get his jealousy of Harry, because if I had 7 brothers, all of whom I considered better than me, and a best friend who was, well, HARRY FREAKING POTTER, I'd be jealous too. And the whole Krum-Hermione (or Herm-own-ninny) thing was completely underplayed in the film. They made it out like it was just a Yule Ball thing, but it lasted way until the end of the book! (Though let's not forget about the cheeky (literally) kiss you gave Harry before he left, Hermione.) I still don't understand how it was always meant to be Harry and Hermione though. Even if I hadn't have seen the films and been familiar with the story, it's been obvious to me that Hermione and Ron have had a thing since book 2. Even more so now after the whole Krum debacle! Just admit that you like her, Ron. Just. Bloody. Admit. It.
This is still the darkest book so far. The whole plot with Barty Crouch Jr Polyjuicing into Mad-Eye Moody and sabotaging Harry in the tournament was pretty dark. And, obviously, the scene with Voldey and the Death Eaters (my new Wrock band) (not really) in the graveyard. It'd never really bothered me that much in the film, but I really didn't like it when Wormtail cut his hand off. I don't know why... It just made me cringe a bit. And I feel like we're starting to see another side to Dumbledore, too. I feel like he isn't as present in the books as he is the films, and when we have seen him, he's usually been his quirky, old-man self, and I feel that it's only now that Harry's starting to realise that this man has a past, and he is just so much more that Harry ever imagined, and maybe not all of that is this pure, righteous good that Harry seems to think he possesses.
Goblet of Fire is probably my joint favourite out of the first four Harry Potter books, and I'm really looking forward to reading Order of the Phoenix, though that might not be for a while because a) I don't know where it is and, b) it took me a week to read Goblet of Fire, and Order is about 200 pages longer that that, so... Yeah.