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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, written by J.K Rowling, was published in 2000, and is the fourth book in the Harry Potter series. It is part of the fantasy genre, popular among all age groups, worldwide.
The book opens with Harry being awoken due to searing pain in his scar-the outcome of a nightmare. He accompanies the Weasley family and his friend Hermione Granger to the Quidditch World Cup, where he meets Cedric Diggory. At the end of the match, Lord Voldemort’s followers, the Death Eaters, attack the spectators’ campgrounds, creating chaos and wreaking havoc. Someone casts the Dark Mark into the sky, leading to panic amongst the spectators. Winky, the house elf belonging to Barty Crouch, an officer from the Ministry of Magic, is blamed for firing the mark into the sky because she is caught at the crime scene with a wand. This wand belongs to Harry, who lost it in all the disarray. Hermione is infuriated at this injustice and decides to start an organization for helpless elves-S.P.E.W(Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare). The school term begins with Professor Dumbledore welcoming “Mad-Eye” Moody, who would be teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts. Dumbledore also announces that the Triwizard Tournament would be hosted by Hogwarts that year. Only students above the age of seventeen would be allowed to participate, and the champion would be awarded with one thousand gold galleons. Students from Beauxbatons Academy and Durmstrang Institute would be residing at Hogwarts during the Tournament. On Halloween, the Goblet of Fire would pick the most able student from each school- Fleur Delacour from Beauxbatons, Victor Krum from Durmstrang, and Cedric Diggory from Hogwarts. Astonishingly, the Goblet gives out one more name- Harry Potter- who is underage, and this causes panic among the organizers and school authorities.
How it works
As the first obstacle in the Tournament, Harry must fight a dragon-a Hungarian Horntail- and retrieve a golden egg that would contain a clue for the next task. Harry, with the help of his trusty broomstick(the Firebolt), makes it past the dragon, tying for first place with Krum. The egg leads Harry to divulge the secret of the second task, for which he must dive into the depths of the Black Lake and retrieve something that he would “sorely miss”. Dobby the house elf, who Harry had freed in the past year, helps him by giving him Gillyweed, a magical herb that would give him gills and webbed limbs, helping him scour the bed of the mysterious lake. Harry ties with Cedric at the end of the task. The third task involves the contestants to find their way through a maze, with the Triwizard Cup at its centre. Harry is compelled to hex Krum, who seems to be under an enchantment. Harry and Cedric reach the Cup at the same time. As they touch the Cup(signifying the end of the competition), they are transported to a eerie graveyard, realizing that the Cup was a Portkey. They are accosted by Peter Pettigrew and his master, Lord Voldemort. Pettigrew killed Cedric and uses Harry’s blood to help Voldemort regain his power. Voldemort summons his Death Eaters and then challenges Harry to a duel. During this ordeal, their wands strangely connect due to their identical cores, causing Voldemort’s wand to regurgitate all its past spells. This causes imprints of his last victims, including Harry’s parents, to appear. They manage to distract Voldemort long enough for Harry to get Cedric’s body and leave the scene using the Portkey. When Harry Harry returns to Hogwarts, Moody takes him to his office amidst all the discord, and reveals himself as Barty Crouch Jr. He confesses to killing his father and many others to help Lord Voldemort resurface. Right before he kills Harry, Dumbledore, McGonagall and Snape intervene. Dumbledore uses Veritaserum, a truth-telling potion, to get Crouch to admit his wrong doings. Unfortunately, many people like Fudge, the Minister of Magic, refuse to believe that Lord Voldemort was back, as Crouch dies before Fudge arrives. Harry is declared the de facto winner of the Tournament.
One of the major themes in the book is Fighting against Enslavement. Hermione Granger starts the S.P.E.W (Society for Promotion of Elfish Welfare), after she realizes the plight of house elves throughout the magical world. She works throughout the book to liberate the oppressed minority. Another theme would be Community Connectedness. Throughout the book, characters are dependent on each other, helping each other through hard times. For example, Harry and Cedric give each other hints regarding the tasks. Dumbledore, Sirius, Ron and Hermione (not to mention Hagrid) help Harry throughout the tournament in whatever way they can. Even Voldemort is assisted by Pettigrew and Crouch Jr. to make his plan for revival work. Rowling has portrayed the interdependence of characters in a subtle way, leading readers to realize the importance of friendship in the story.
This book is the fourth in the Harry Potter series. It is the continuation of Harry Potter’s educational journey at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. At the onset of this book, I hoped to divulge the secrets of magic hidden deep in the foundations of the majestic castle of Hogwarts. This book is a major turning point in the story of “the Boy who Lived” and Rowling has created a web of words that obliges readers to completely immerse themselves into the world of magic.
I consider this book as an integral part of the series, as there are present, subtle hints of adolescence amongst Harry and his friends. Difficult decisions and tests of character and morals define Harry to be a promising wizard getting ready to combat the darkest wizard of all time, Voldemort. This book ties together Harry’s dark past and pushes him towards hoping for a bright future. Friendship and trust are tested and bravery is forced to blossom in this book. Rowling has depicted the interdependency of characters with subtle maneuvering between scenes, as the story intensifies. The constantly waging war of good and evil is the focus of the book. The darkness starts to seep into the series with this book, as Harry realizes what he will soon face.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was certainly an enjoyable book to read. I would recommend it to people who truly enjoy fantasy, with a glimpse of reality. The book is perfect for all age groups. It summarizes the shaky adolescent life of a teenager who, although he has magic to help him, is troubled by all the same problems as an ordinary teenager.
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