Title: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Author: J.K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter #4
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Urban fantasy, Witches
5th sentence, 74th page: ‘We’ll be a bit cramped,’ he called, ‘but I think we’ll all squeeze in.
It is the summer holidays and soon Harry Potter will be starting his fourth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry is counting the days: there are new spells to be learnt, more Quidditch to be played, and Hogwarts castle to continue exploring. But Harry needs to be careful – there are unexpected dangers lurking…
I always feel like this is the Harry Potter book that goes from a childish fantasy tale to a series that is complex and a little too serious. Partly it’s because of the content, but I it’s also because if you look in the book case, this book is a LOT thicker than the first three tales in this epic story. Since the first Harry Potter book, I have loved J.K. Rowling’s investigation of relationships. From Ron, Harry and Hermione’s rocky start to their friendship to Malfoy’s jealousy, the relationships follow a really realistic pattern and feel real. And the Goblet of Fire follows this progression.
Ron’s jealousy of his incredibly popular friend is something that I completely understand (after all, my girlfriends all seem to be stunningly beautiful, and I am always jealous of the attention that they get). Not only did this make them seem far more relatable, but it would be hard to believe a story where the best friend (and sidekick) didn’t get jealous. Yes, when you read about his pig-headedness and the ways he manages to ostracise not only Harry, but also Hermione, you kind of want to reach through the pages and slap the boy, but really, if you were in that position, wouldn’t you do the same? Haven’t you?
Then there is Ron’s refusal to see that he has feelings for Hermione. Their relationship is one of my favourite literary romances, not only is it totally natural, but it’s entertaining. There isn’t a moment of wow, we like each other, let’s get together, the end. It’s cat and mouse, people growing up in some really difficult times, and emotions just slowly reaching out to take hold. There’s not even a moment when you realise that they both accept their emotions – it just happens. And, at least in my limited experience. This is what happens in real life. There aren’t grand gestures and roses (at least not for me), but there are these beautiful little moments caught in time. The seconds that make you go “huh”. It’s a perfect contrast to Harry and Ginny’s relationship – Ginny is blatantly in love with him, and then Harry is blatantly in love with her and they take a little while to figure it out. Get together. Break up again.
As I previously said, The Goblet of Fire marked a real change of pace in the Harry Potter stories. And part of this was the return of Lord Voldemort. That moment still brings tears to my eyes and shivers up my spine. Not only is a young life tragically cut short, but the sinister nature of his return and the unashamed disregard for life is kind of terrifying.
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