Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

I just finished reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which means that I have now crested the middle of the series. It took me rather a long time because people are visiting, and I’ve been reading it in snippets rather than sitting down to devour it. But I’m finally done, and digesting.

To start with, how did Voldemort get his wand back? I feel like this is kind of important, since his wand is an important plot element. For that matter, why/when did Fawkes donate feathers to make the cores of Voldemort’s and Harry’s wands? I just think it’s very interesting that Voldemort kills Harry’s parents, dies (well, sort of) and gets his wand back 13 years later. Hrm?

And what is up with the famous “gleam of triumph” in Dumbledore’s eyes? The first time I read this book, I went back and read that bit three or four times, just to make sure that I was not imagining things. But, no, a gleam of triumph is definitely there. Why? Because Voldemort is mortal? Voldemort himself says that he is settling for a mortal body while he quests for immortality again. This also sets us up for prophecy funtime…”neither can live while the other survives” could be read as Harry needing to die…but if he dies and part of him is inside Voldemort, doesn’t that mean that Voldemort has to die too? Has Voldemort condemned himself to death?

More with house elves. I think that they are going to be important in the last book, not least because Rowling has said that Kreacher is important. House elves are powerfully magical, and that’s got to count for something. I also think it’s interesting that many “enlightened” wizards condone the slavery of house elves, including Ron. Potential for clashing between him and Hermione later?

Why isn’t Sirius back at Grimmauld place in this book? I just think it’s odd that he is homeless when he has a perfectly good…well…sort of habitable house to return to. And why can’t Sirius conjure up food for himself? Indeed, as a larger question…in a world where you can make anything you want with your wand, why can’t you, well, making anything you want? Why should the Weasleys be poor? Is there some kind of ethical boundary about conjuring things?

We also met all sorts of magical creatures in this book…Abraxan horses, Blast-Ended Screwts, the Sphinx…an interaction with the merpeople, even. And astute readers will note that the giant squid is mentioned, again. Come on guys, the squid has to be important!

This book also starts to hint at the extraordinary talents Fred and George have, despite them not getting enough OWLs to please their mother. Canary creams, for example, represent a tricky piece of Transfiguration. While this is setting up for the escapades of the next two books, clearly, is it also possible that the duo are going to do something rather important with those skills in book seven?

Speaking of setups, I wonder what is going to happen with Wormtail and his blood debt to Harry. I believe it’s important, and it pretty much has to get wrapped up. I am curious to see how Wormtail will spare Harry’s life. While it’s kind of far fetched, I could imagine Wormtail killing Voldemort, possibly? Maybe too far fetched. I don’t know. It just seems odd to think of Harry staining himself by killing Voldemort. Although, as Dumbledore points out, there are fates worse than death.

Also, on a shipping note, when does Hermione get a chance to make out with Krum? It seems like she works way too hard to have time for that sort of thing.

I think also that this book speaks really well about corruption of power, illustrating it with Crouch and Fudge. Indeed, the Ministry in general seems really corrupt, in a lot of ways, at least among administrators. Is Rowling secretly anti-government?

[Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire]