“There will soon be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right.”
Hello! I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend so far. Today, I will be reviewing the fourth book in the Harry Potter series- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The story begins not at the usual Durseley house, but at the house of character we recently learned about: The Riddle House.
Many years ago, the entire family living in the house were murdered. At first, the village blamed the caretaker of the house, until the police released a statement that said there was no proof of poisoning or physical contact. It was as if the family died of natural cause- except a whole family couldn’t die of natural causes in one night. Many years later, the same Frank Bryce sat in his house across from the now empty Riddle’s. He was quick to notice that a light was on in the upstairs window across the street, and went over to investigate. When he climbed the flight of stairs, he heard to voices conversing- one addressed as Wormtail (so Pettigrew really wasn’t innocent!) and the other as Lord Voldemort. Frank understood that Voldemort wanted to find Harry Potter. But for some reason, Voldemort had to wait for the Quidditch World Cup to be over.
All of a sudden, Voldemort’s snake, Nagini, slithers past Frank and enters the room. Speaking Parseltongue, Voldemort realizes that Frank is in the hallway. While Pettigrew doesn’t think Voldemort has the strength yet, Voldemort abruptly turned around and did the ‘Avada Kedavra’ spell on Frank. From this, we learn that Voldemort’s soul is still alive, and that he is beginning to get stronger. We later learn that with Harry’s blood, Voldemort would be able to take the form of a full human body.
We soon return to the present, where Harry had just woken, his scar hurting like the last time Voldemort was nearby. Harry makes his way downstairs, where he finds a letter from Molly Weasley inviting him to stay the summer and attend the Quidditch World Cup with them. While Vernon isn’t happy about it, he allows for Harry to go.
Harry waits for the Weasley’s, and they soon arrive through the use of floo powder. Fred and George retrieve Harry’s trunk, while Arthur tries to make conversation with the Durseley’s. The group is ready to leave, but not before the twins drop tongue-inflating candy on the ground before Dudley. Arthur Weasley attempts to clean up the mess, and soon Harry finds himself in the cozy Burrow, where he meets Ron’s older brothers, Bill and Charlie. He also congratulates Percy on graduating Hogwarts, who is now working for the Ministry of magic.
At dinner that night, now joined by Hermione S well, Percy discusses how Ludo Bagman, head of Magical Games and Sports, had lost an employee. While he didn’t know it, Voldemort had used her for information about the World Cup- and killed her before she could talk to the world. The group also discusses the next day’s World Cup, and they all sleep with thoughts of what the next day could hold in their mind. I doubt any of them expected what actually happened at the Quidditch cup.
I will say, this part (and several others in the book as well, including a character named Mad- Eye Moddy) were hard to follow. The following morning started with the family trekking towards the hill with a port key, where they encounter Cedric Diggory, and boy who played against Harry in Quidditch in previous years. While his father boasts about how great Cedric is, Cedric tries to be nice to Harry. Soon, the time to use the port key arrives, and everyone is transported to the muggle-free location of the Quidditch World Cup. The group pitched tents and are soon joined by Ludo and Barty Crouch, Percy’s boss. They mention that something special will be occurring at Hogwarts that year, but don’t give any details.
The Weasleys soon find their seats in the top box, where they find a house elf named Winky awaiting her owner. She explains to Harry that Dobby was requesting payment for his services, unlike what house elves are supposed to do. The Malfoys also join them, but not in a pleasant way at all.
The game begins with Ludo commentating, and Ron’s favorite player, Krum, enters the field. The game goes by very fast, as compared to Harry’s usual Quidditch matches. Krum eventually catches the Snitch, but to Ireland’s favor, not his own team.
I am about to spoil an important event that involves Voldemort’s rise again to power. I wish not to spoil any information that you may not want to learn just yet, so I encourage you to pause reading this book review here. Thank you.
After the excitement of the World Cup, it felt like nothing could go wrong. But, while the group was resting in their tents, Mr. Weasley showed Harry a rampage of death eaters ( Voldemort’s followers) running through the camp. Harry suddenly realizes that his wand is missing, and also notices Winky running past him. Just after, Voldemort’s sign, the Dark Mark, appeared in the sky. Harry, Ron, and Hermione are close to being stupefied by magic officials, but are saved by Arthur Weasley. As the investigation continues, they find Winky holding Harry’s wand just underneath the death mark. Barty Crouch, Winky’s owner, is defensive but concludes that none of them could have conjured the dark mark. Harry has to assume that his scar hurting had something to do with this event.
Back at the Burrow, a hysterical Mrs. Weasley greets the family, and Arthur and Percy are soon off to the Ministry of Magic, to clear off rumors that Daily Prophet writer, Rita Skeeter, had conjured. Harry, Ron, Hermione, and the Weasley twins begin to get ready for the upcoming school year, which Percy and Arthur have repeatedly said holds something extremely special.
The morning of the first day of school arrives with a report from Amos Diggory that a man named Mad-Eye Moody had gotten into a situation with several dustbins. While this does seem like a peculiar introduction to this character, he plays an important role in this story, and he actually becomes a pretty like able character. I love the way J.K Rowling created Mad-Eye Moody. She had us at a complete delusion as to who Moody really was, and what major plot twist was beginning to develop.
I loved how, in the Harry Potter series, the plot twist is always developed from the very beginning, even if readers don’t always catch onto it at first. I won’t spoil anything big just yet, but the relationship between Mad-Eye and Barty Crouch was a bit confusing, at least for me. But it certainly didn’t take away from the book, which was just as great as the others.
At school, the trio finally learns what would be happening at school that year: the Triwizard Tournament. Dumbledore announces that a student from Hogwarts would be competing against students from two other wizard in schools, Durmstrang and BeauBatons. They would be judged on three completions, and the wizard with the most points would win the Triwizard Cup. The competition had been done in many years due to a rising death rate. Only students above the age of 17 could participate.
The students of BeauBatons and Durmstrang arrived shortly, and joined the Hogwarts students for the feast. Among the Durmstrang students was Victor Krum.
In addition to that announcement, Dumbledore also welcomed a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher: Mad-Eye Moody.
Over the next few days, several names were submitted into the Goblet, and the time to pick names came quickly. Dumbledore picked three names, or rather, the names presented themselves to him: from Durmstrang, Krum, from BeauBatons, Fleur Delacour. And from Hogwarts, Cedric Diggory. But then, a fourth name flew out of the cup, and a fourth name was announced: Harry Potter.
Unsure what to do, having not entered his name himself, Dumbledore invited him up on stage, where he stood with the other four wizards. After the meeting, the four were pulled into a separate room where Snape, seething, among other teachers, tried to decide whether Harry should compete. The verdict was: Harry, unwillingly, would be forced to compete in the Triwizard Tournament.
Later that night, Ron got into an argument with Harry. He thought that Harry had purposely placed his name in the goblet without letting him know. Harry tried to reason with Ron, but Ron wouldn’t give up.
For the fourth year in a row, the first Defense Against the Dark Arts began with a new teacher. Mad-Eye began the lesson with a strikingly advanced topic- unforgivable curses. The first was the killing spell, Avada Kedavra. The second was the Cruciatus curse, whom Bellatrix Lestrange had tortured Neville’s parents into insanity with. Finally, the Imperius curse, which allows a person to control another. We now understand that Voldemort used the killing spell not only on Frank Bryce, but on Harry’s parents as well.
Harry makes sure to stay in contact with Sirius, and he discusses his scar hurting. But to make matters worse, Rita Skeeter is now hurting Mr. Weasley’s reputation, criticizing his actions with Mad-Eye Moody. Rita Skeeter really got under my skin in this book!
At a visit to Hagrid’s, Harry hides under his invisibility cloak and follows as Hagrid meets up with the headmistress of BeauBatons. They both obviously have a liking for each other, especially both being half- Giants. Hagrid leads her into the forest, where handlers were controlling dragons. Immediately, Harry knew that the first task of the Triwizard Tournament would involve dragons, and, being both from Hovwarts, let Cedric know as well.
The first task arrived very quickly, and Harry finds himself entering a secluded rocky area containing a Hungarian Horntail- the most dangerous type of dragon. His goal was to get past the dragon and receive the golden egg on the other side. Harry’s technique worked out well- he used the retrieving spell to get his firebolt and used it to battle the dragon, successfully finding the golden egg.
Harry is told that the egg contains a hint as to what the next challenge would contain, but when he opened it, a horrifying scream erupt into the room. He wasn’t sure how to find the hint, but Cedric was. To return the favor from the dragons, he told Harry that he would have to open the egg underwater.
In the bathroom, he comes across Moaning Myrtle, who watches Harry as he tries to figure out how to listen to the egg. He finally listens to the hint underwater, and with the help of Myrtle, he realizes that the next challenge has something to do with the merpeople underneath the lake. His only difficulty would be breathing underwater.
Dobby, now working at Hogwarts, took up that challenge and tried to find him a solution to the problem. He eventually found gillyweed, which would allow Harry to sprout find and breathe underwater.
Mysteriously, Hermione (now dating Victor Krum), Ron, Fleur’s sister, and Cho Chang (Cedric’s girlfriend) were called in by Professor Mcgonagall and weren’t seen until the second task, where the four had to rescue a person that they were very close to. Just before the challenge began, Harry consumed the gillyweed, and he plunged into the water.
He fought off plants that attempted to strangle him, and Harry eventually found the merpeople village, where Hermione, Ron, Cho, and Fleur’s sister were tied up, unconcious. He was obviously the first one there. He realized that Ron was the person closest to him, and quickly untied Ron. Cedric then came and grabbed Cho, but Harry stayed behind to help Fleur’s sister. Krum had quickly come and gone, but there was no sign of Fleur. Harry decided to take the risk and bring both people back up to the surface. He may have been the last to finish, but he had saved Fleur’s sister after Fleur had to return to the surface.
The annual Triwizard Yule Ball took place shortly thereafter, and Harry and Ron attended with the Patil twins, while Hermione had secretly asked Victor Krum. The ball was very awkward for Harry and Ron, and were glad when it was all over. Ron and Hermione were both upset as Ron had tried to invite Hermione, but it was too late.
The four contestants were informed that the final challenge would be a maze. Krum invited Harry to talk to him about his relationship with Hermione, but Barty Crouch emerged from the forest and asked to speak with Dumbledore. Harry went to get Dumbledore, and when he returned, Krum was stunned on the ground and Crouch was no where to be seen. Barty Crouch was blamed for this, but it was actually someone just a bit different. (This was one part that was confusing for me- but after rereading I understood better).
As Harry and Krum had earned the most points so far, they got to enter the maze first. But unlike the small Quidditch grounds, the maze seemed to go on forever. Mad-Eye Moody had hidden the Triwizard Cup inside of the maze. Harry, feeling lost and alone, travelled through the maze but somehow crossed paths with Fleur and Krum. Krum seemed like he was about to attack Fleur, but a spell from outside prevented him from doing so.
After undergoing many other challenges, both Cedric and Harry touched the cup at the same time and were immediately (plot twist!) transported to a graveyard. They saw a figure moving towards them, and realized it was Pettigrew just before Peter shot a killing spell at Cedric, leaving Harry alone to face the wrath of Lord Voldemort.
Pettigrew sliced Harry’s arm and collected some of his blood and deposited it inside of a cauldron, where he also placed the small, inhumane body of Tom Riddle. In front of Harry’s eyes, Voldemort took the form of his own human body. He and Harry battled wand-to-wand, some just barely missing each other. But one spell collided- and a gold aura surrounded them, along with a ghost of James and Lilly Potter. They told Harry to take Diggory back and touch the cup to transport them back to Hogwarts and that they could hold Voldemort off. Harry quickly obeyed, and found himself surrounded by hundreds of cheering people that quickly stopped after seeing Cedric’s lifeless body.
Harry explained what had really happened, but Amos Diggory couldn’t contain his anger at Harry. To relieve him of this, Mad-Eye offered to take Harry to his office. But instead of comforting Harry (another plot twist!) he showed Harry the polyjuice potion he had been using to turn into Mad-Eye, and that his real intentions were to kill Harry. Unsure what this meant, Harry watched defenseless as Mad-Eye started casting a killing spell, just as Dumbledore intervened.
Dumbledore proved that the real Mad-Eye was hidden in a large, locked chest, while Harry realized that Barty Crouch’s son had killed his father, and had plotted to kill Harry by using Mad-Eye’s body as a disguise.
There was to be no happy ending to this book- Harry didn’t feel anything good about winning the Triwizard Tournament, and Cedric Diggory was dead. But worst of all, Lord Voldemort was still out, hunting for Harry, quickly gathering followers to unleash the plot to end Harry’s life.
Thank you so much for reading! I’ll be releasing my book review for the 5th book in the Harry Potter series on Monday. See you then!