The Quidditch World Cup! House elf liberation! The Triwizard Tournament and other magical schools! Malfoy as a ferret! Portkeys! Yule Ball drama!
Even though I’ve read this one multiple times, it’s been at least six years since I last read it and it was so amazing. I had a massive book hangover and didn’t want to read something new. What is it about these books that even when things are bad, they feel cozy, and when I finish I feel like I’m leaving behind friends. That’s rare; I don’t get that with many books, and I read a lot.
In this book I could feel Harry’s anxiety and dread about the next task and what he might have to face, his elation when the task’s over and all went well and he doesn’t have to think about the next one for months, his guilt over Cedric’s death.
I just can’t get over how immense and detailed the wizarding world is, AND all the clues and hints J.K. Rowling dropped regarding future events. She alludes to the Room of Requirement and horcruxes, for example. The whole series is like an intricate puzzle with millions of pieces, and in the end Rowling fits them all together just so. I think that’s part of why this series is so fun to re-read, because you can go back and see how the puzzle fits together after you’ve seen the end result.
Every time I read the fourth book, I think about Dumbledore’s portrayal in the movie and in particular the infamous “Harry did you put your name in the Goblet of Fire?” scene and I just cringe and cringe and cringe. Dumbledore is supposed to be calm, serene, composed, eccentric. Look at this description of him from Wikipedia: “He almost constantly gives off an aura of serenity and composure, rarely displaying intense emotions of anger or fear.” Why couldn’t he have been portrayed that way in the movies? Why was the Goblet of Fire scene in particular so off the mark?
I actually got teary on two different occasions. The first was when Harry, Ron, and Hermione banged on Hagrid’s door, shouting that they don’t care if he’s half-giant, they still like him and want to know him. It was just such a lovely example of true-blue friends who stick by and stand up for each other no matter what.
The second was when Harry was in the hospital wing after the whole ordeal of the third task and what happened after, and he’s on the verge of tears because he feels like it’s his fault that Cedric died, since Harry was the one who suggested they both take the Triwizard Cup. And then Molly gave him a huge hug, the likes of which Harry can’t remember ever receiving in his life, and I just wanted to cry over all Harry has been through, not only on the night of the third task (which would have been enough on its own!) but also during his whole life.
Favourite Quotes (more like scenes – the bantering and dialogue are top-notch in this one)
“Mr. Weasley, it’s Harry … the fireplace has been blocked up. You won’t be able to get through there.”
“Damn!” said Mr. Weasley’s voice. “What on earth did they want to block up the fireplace for?”
“They’ve got an electric fire,” Harry explained.
“Really?” said Mr. Weasley’s voice excitedly. “Ecklectic, you say? With a plug? Gracious, I must see that … let’s think … ouch, Ron!”
Ron’s voice now joined the others’.
“What are we doing here? Has something gone wrong?”
“Oh, no, Ron,” came Fred’s voice, very sarcastically. “No, this is exactly where we wanted to end up.”
“Yeah, we’re having the time of our lives here,” said George, whose voice sounded muffled, as though he was squashed against the wall.
(and basically the whole chapter of the Weasleys arriving at Privet Drive to take Harry to the Quidditch World Cup – pure gold. That would have been HILARIOUS if it was in the movie!)
“Well, I certainly don’t,” said Percy sanctimoniously. “I shudder to think what the state of my in-tray would be if I was away from work for five days.”
“Yeah, someone might slip dragon dung in it again, eh, Perce?” said Fred.
“That was a sample of fertilizer from Norway!” said Percy, going very red in the face. “It was nothing personal!”
“It was,” Fred whispered to Harry as they got up from the table. “We sent it.”
But Ron was staring at Hermione as though suddenly seeing her in a whole new light.
“Hermione, Neville’s right — you are a girl….”
“Oh well spotted,” she said acidly.
“Who’re you going with, then?” said Ron.
“Angelina,” said Fred promptly, without a trace of embarrassment.
“What?” said Ron, taken aback. “You’ve already asked her?”
“Good point,” said Fred. He turned his head and called across the common room, “Oi! Angelina!”
Angelina, who had been chatting with Alicia Spinnet near the fire, looked over at him.
“What?” she called back.
“Want to come to the ball with me?”
Angelina gave Fred a sort of appraising look.
“All right, then,” she said, and she turned back to Alicia and carried on chatting with a bit of a grin on her face.
“There you go,” said Fred to Harry and Ron, “piece of cake.”
He therefore had to endure over an hour of Professor Trelawney, who spent half the lesson telling everyone that the position of Mars in relation to Saturn at that moment meant that people born in July were in great danger of sudden, violent deaths.
“Well, that’s good,” said Harry loudly, his temper getting the better of him, “just as long as it’s not drawn-out, I don’t want to suffer.”
Read my thoughts on The Order of the Phoenix here.