Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Thoughts on Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

It’s time for Harry Potter Reread Part 4! (If you’re interested, here’s Part 1Part 2, and Part 3.) Alright, I’ll just dive in:

- I know I’ve said it before, but I LOVE Fred and George. And I love the beginning of this one when they give Dudley the ton-tongue toffee. Also this book is the introduction to Weasleys’ Wizarding Wheezes! And this quote is fantastic:

“’I shudder to think what the state if 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.’”

- Trelawney can be so ridiculous, and I love how Harry and Ron react to her in the book, both in class and when doing their homework:

“’I’ve got two Neptunes here,’ said Harry after a while, frowning down at his piece of parchment, ‘that can’t be right, can it?’
‘Aaaaah,’ said Ron, imitating Professor Trelawney’s mystical whisper, ‘when two Neptunes appear in the sky, it is a sure sign that a midget in glasses in being born, Harry…’
Seamus and Dean, who were working nearby, sniggered loudly, though not loudly enough to mask the excited squeals from Lavender Brown – ‘Oh Professor, look! I think I’ve got an unaspected planet! Oooh, which one’s that, Professor?’
‘It is Uranus, my dear,’ said Professor Trelawney, peering down at the chart.
‘Can I have a look at Uranus too, Lavender?’ said Ron.”


“’Next Monday,’ he said as he scribbled, ‘I am likely to develop a cough, owing to the unlucky conjuction of Mars and Jupiter.’ He looked up at Harry. ‘You know her – just put in loads of misery, she’ll lap it up.’
‘Right,’ said Harry, crumpling up his first attempt and lobbing it over the heads of a group of chattering first years into the fire. ‘Okay… on Monday, I will be in danger of – er – burns.’
‘Yeah, you will be,’ said Ron darkly, ‘we’re seeing the skrewts again on Monday. Okay, Tuesday, I’ll… erm...’
‘Lose a treasured possession,’ said Harry, who was flicking through Unfogging the Future for ideas.
‘Good one,’ said Ron, copying it down. ‘Because of… erm… Mercury. Why don’t you get stabbed in the back by someone you thought was a friend?’
‘Yeah… cool…’ said Harry, scribbling it down, ‘because – Venus is in the twelfth house.’
‘And on Wednesday, I think I’ll come off worst in a fight.’
‘Aaah, I was going to have a fight. Okay, I’ll lose a bet.’
‘Yeah, you’ll be betting I’ll win my fight…’”

Sometimes the dialogue in these books is just so good.

- I’m trying to resist making too many comparisons to the movie, since I’m discussing the books here, but I can’t resist making a couple of comments. Goblet of Fire is one of my least favorite movies to watch, for several reasons. One of the main reasons is that I really really really don’t like Michael Gambon as Dumbledore (he himself has said that he hasn’t ever bothered to actually read the books), and it’s particularly bad in this movie. ESPECIALLY right after Harry’s name has come from the Goblet. In the book Dumbledore is very calm and in control and obviously knows that Harry didn’t put his name in the Goblet, but in the movie he’s frantic and questions Harry and grabs him so hard that he knocks things over. It’s just so not Dumbledore.

Another little thing that I don’t like from the movie is that when Fred and George take the Aging Potion and grow beards, they start accusing each other and fighting. In the book everything is so much more elegant and awesome. And much more in character with the Fred and George that I know and love (not to mention Dumbledore’s appearance):

“The entrance hall rang with laughter. Even Fred and George joined in, once they had gotten to their feet and taken a good look at each other’s beards.
‘I did warn you,’ said a deep, amused voice, and everyone turned to see Professor Dumbledore coming out of the Great Hall. He surveyed Fred and George, his eyes twinkling. ‘I suggest you both go up to Madam Pomfrey. She is already tending to Miss Fawcett, of Ravenclaw, and Mr. Summers, of Hufflepuff, both of whom decided to age themselves up a little too. Thought I must say, neither of their beards is anything like as fine as yours.’
Fred and George set off for the hospital wing, accompanied by Lee, who was howling with laughter, and Harry, Ron, and Hermione, also chortling, went in to breakfast.”

- Random thought, are the Beauxbatons and Durmstrang students just not taking classes at all this year? Or do they study in their carriage/ship when they’re not watching the tasks or hanging around the castle?

- I love how close Ron and Harry are, how well they know each other and how they can say anything to each other. A great example is right after the second task:

“’Harry, you prat,’ said Ron, ‘you didn’t take that song thing seriously, did you? Dumbledore wouldn’t have let any of us drown!’
‘The song said – ‘
‘It was only to make sure you got back inside the time limit!’ said Ron. ‘I hope you didn’t waste time down there acting the hero!’
‘Most of the judges,’ and here, Bagman gave Karkaroff a very nasty look, ‘ feel that this shows moral fiber and merits full marks. However… Mr. Potter’s score is forty-five points.’
Harry’s stomach leapt – he was now tying for first place with Cedric. Ron and Hermione, caught by surprise, stared at Harry, then laughed and started applauding hard with the rest of the crowd.
‘There you go, Harry!’ Ron shouted over the noise. ‘ You weren’t being thick after all – you were showing moral fiber!’

Haha, love it.

- One thing I don’t really understand is why Mrs. Weasley took Rita’s article about Harry and Hermione being together so seriously. Okay, so she reads Witch Weekly, but she knows Harry and Hermione so well, I just don’t buy that she’d get so upset with Hermione, to the point where she sends her a tiny chocolate egg for Easter and treats her coldly when she sees her before the third task. Surely she’s smarter than that?

- This is the first time we see a Patronus used as a messenger, when Harry finds Crouch wandering in the forest and Dumbledore sends his Patronus to Hagrid’s with a message.

- And speaking of that scene, I absolutely love all the little details and intricacies in the plot that we get in the books that are often lacking in the movie. Huge sections were cut out of the movie for time and money purposes, but it’s just so much more fun to get to see everything. Some examples:
                - Winky the house-elf (in the top box, her involvement in Crouch’s escape, in the woods with the Dark mark, her presence in the kitchen with Dobby and her role in Hermione starting S.P.E.W.)
                - the scene when Harry takes the egg to the Prefect’s bathroom and then sees Crouch in Snape’s office on the map, gets his leg stuck in the invisible stair and the egg bounces down the stairs and starts screaming, Filch and Snape and Moody all come along, Moody saves Harry and takes the map…
                - Harry and Krum finding Crouch Sr. in the woods (I know sort of happened in the movie, but it was more involved in the book)

- I just generally wish they’d dealt with Crouch more in the movie, given what a huge part he plays in the plot. They never even address how he managed to get out of Azkaban, which seems silly when you consider what a huge deal everyone made of Sirius’ breakout in the third book, since it’s supposed to be so impossible.

- Again, I know I’ve said this before, but Snape makes my heart break into little bitty pieces. Just thinking about him right now is making me tear up. And there were a few parts in this book that really made me feel for him. One of my favorite things about doing this reread is reading all of Snape’s scenes throughout the series with all the knowledge that I have from the seventh book.

“’’Course Dumbledore trusts you,’ growling Moody. ‘He’s a trusting man, isn’t he? Believes in second chances. But me – I say there are spots that don’t come off, Snape. Spots that never come off, d’you know what I mean?’
Snape suddenly did something very strange. He seized his left forearm convulsively with his right hand, as though something had hurt him.”

And this following exchange made me sad because it made me think about what we know about why he really stopped supporting Voldemort:

“’What made you think he’d really stopped supporting Voldemort, Professor?’
Dumbledore held Harry’s gaze for a few seconds, and then said, ‘That, Harry, is a matter between Professor Snape and myself.’”

- The maze for the third task is SO MUCH COOLER in the book than in the movie. It was really lame in the movie actually, just a bunch of fog and hedges that closed in on you. The book maze was so much more interesting: having to solve riddles to get past the sphinx, mist that made the world turn upside down, huge Blast-Ended Skrewts…

- I love how at the very end after everything has been revealed Dumbledore just calmly delegates and knows everything that needs to be done and takes charge and is just so cool about everything. And nobody questions him. He’s so badass.

- I also love when Sirius changes from the dog back into himself and everyone in the hospital wing goes nuts. Molly shrieks, Ron yells at her to shut up, Snape is absolutely furious…. Such fun.

- And lastly, I love the hex fest in the train toward the end when Fred and George come in and hex Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle at the same time as Ron, Harry, and Hermione. And I love how casual they are afterwards; Fred just pulls out a game of Exploding Snap and they go on as normal. Haha.

Okay, I suppose that’s it for now. I’m in the middle of writing up my Order of the Phoenix post now, so that should be up tomorrow. Just a couple more days left before the midnight premiere!!

I'll leave you with the illustration from this book, since I've done it for all the others. :)

Happy Harry Potter week!

1 comment:

  1. GoF is my favorite book of the series and, boy, do I really, really, REALLY dislike the movie adaptation. They changed SO much of it that it's truly unacceptable in my eyes. Just thinking about it makes me rage, lol.

    I'll definitely have to do a re-read of the series soon.


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