Overview (No Spoilers):
If you’d asked me prior to beginning my reread of the Harry Potter series, which of the nostalgic books I would have ranked as my favorite, I would have hemmed and hawed, delayed, distracted, and when further pressed finally would give a noncommittal answer of Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire. This time around during my reread, I’m trying very hard to have a more firm response to this controversial query, all the while fully acknowledging that there is no right or wrong answer. That being said, of the four Harry Potter’s I’ve reread, The Goblet of Fire definitely still stands as my favorite, although The Sorcerer’s Stone comes in a close second. The jury is still out regarding if the title will hold up to the last three. I believe the reason this title stands out to me is that it begins the first real deviations from arguable a children’s book toward leaning in the young adult direction. I’m still find myself appreciating how Rowling manages to have the series mature alongside her audience. By audience I’m referring to the typical age that kids first pick up this series. In The Goblet of Fire we see the series begin to take shape for the first time and begin to branch out in the direction for the following novels to build upon. No longer will the books stand on their own as individual misadventures, let’s say Boxcar Children style where every books holds its own self-contained and solved mystery. Instead, this novel leaves the reader with an overwhelming sense of the dread regarding the dark events that will unfold in the future for our young protagonists, therefore catapulting this series beyond the confines of children’s literature. Overall, this fourth installment of the Harry Potter series was a wonderful reread that I could hardly put down as the Triwizard Tournament challenges and wizarding world in general were just as delightful a second time around.
Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):
- The first time I read this series I remember being shocked that Mad Eye was actually the bad guy. He was so likable throughout this book. Looking back, he attitude toward Draco was likely genuine as he despised his parents that Mad Eye viewed as betraying Voldermort.
- Mad Eye’s magical eye is so interesting from an applications standpoint? What other ways could Crouch have employed his powers behind the scenes?
- How did the kidnapping affect Mad Eye in the long term?
- I’m guessing that Crouch used Mad Eye’s wand? Was it ever incompatible or temperamental?
- Ron is so dislikable. I remember during my initial reading not really enjoying his character, however those feelings have been confirmed in this reread.
- When is the Professional Quidich season? When would Krum have had time to do PR or train with his teammates?
- That truth serum is significantly underused in the wizarding world! Why not use it in the Dark Magic trials? Or perhaps use it on Sirus Black in the last book to find out his innocence? I realize it would have been a literary cop out to employ it more than once, however realistically it makes sense.
- How do you train to become an Animagus?
- Harry should have totally taken a stake in Fred and George’s company.
- Why did Mad Eye/Crouch show compassion for Neville when he was part of the party that tortured them? If it was all an act to give Neville the book to help Harry it seemed a bit over the top.