Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
|Author||J. K. Rowling|
|Illustrator||Giles Greenfield (first edition)|
|4th in series|
|8 July 2000|
|Pages||636 (first edition)|
|Preceded by||Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban|
|Followed by||Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix|
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is a fantasy novel written by British author J. K. Rowling and the fourth novel in the Harry Potter series. It follows Harry Potter, a wizard in his fourth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and the mystery surrounding the entry of Harry's name into the Triwizard Tournament, in which he is forced to compete.
The book was published in the United Kingdom by Bloomsbury and in the United States by Scholastic. In both countries, the release date was 8 July 2000. This was the first time a book in the series was published in both countries at the same time. The novel won a Hugo Award, the only Harry Potter novel to do so, in 2001. The book was adapted into a film, released worldwide on 18 November 2005, and a video game by Electronic Arts.
Throughout the three previous novels in the Harry Potter series, the main character, Harry Potter, has struggled with the difficulties of growing up and the added challenge of being a famed wizard. When Harry was a baby, Lord Voldemort, the most powerful dark wizard in history, killed Harry's parents but was mysteriously defeated after unsuccessfully trying to kill Harry, though his attempt left a lightning-shaped scar on Harry's forehead. This results in Harry's immediate fame and his being placed in the care of his abusive Muggle (non-magical) aunt and uncle, Petunia and Vernon Dursley, who have a son named Dudley.
On Harry's eleventh birthday, he learns he is a wizard from Rubeus Hagrid, Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and enrols in Hogwarts. He befriends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger and confronts Lord Voldemort, who is trying to regain power. In Harry's first year, he has to protect the Philosopher's Stone from Voldemort and one of his faithful followers at Hogwarts. After returning to school after summer break, students at Hogwarts are attacked by the legendary monster of the Chamber of Secrets after the Chamber is opened. Harry ends the attacks by killing a Basilisk and thwarting another attempt by Lord Voldemort to return to full strength. The following year, Harry hears he has been targeted by escaped mass murderer Sirius Black. Despite stringent security measures at Hogwarts, Harry encounters Black at the end of his third year and learns Black was framed and is actually Harry's godfather. He also learns that it was his father's old school friend Peter Pettigrew who betrayed his parents.
In a prologue, which Harry sees through a dream, Frank Bryce, Muggle caretaker of an abandoned mansion known as the Riddle House, is murdered by Lord Voldemort after stumbling upon him and Wormtail. Harry is awoken by his scar hurting.
The Weasleys invite Harry and Hermione Granger to the Quidditch World Cup, to which they travel using a Portkey. After the match, masked Death Eaters, followers of Voldemort, attack the camping site. The Dark Mark is fired into the sky, causing mass panic. Harry discovers that his wand is missing. It is later found in the possession of Winky, Barty Crouch's house elf, having been used to cast the Mark. Barty Crouch dismisses Winky from his service.
At Hogwarts, Professor Dumbledore announces that Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody will be the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher for the year. Dumbledore also announces that Hogwarts will host the Triwizard Tournament, in which a champion of Hogwarts will compete against champions from other wizarding schools. The champions are chosen by the Goblet of Fire from names dropped into it. As Harry is under the age of majority in the wizarding world, he is disallowed from entering. The Goblet of Fire picks Fleur Delacour from Beauxbatons Academy, Viktor Krum from Durmstrang Institute and Cedric Diggory from Hogwarts to compete. Unexpectedly, it chooses Harry as a fourth champion, forcing him to compete.
Hagrid covertly reveals to Harry that the first task in the tournament is to get past a dragon. Harry struggles to find a way to accomplish this, until Moody suggests flying. Hermione helps him perfect a Summoning Charm, which he uses to summon his Firebolt broomstick and fly past the dragon to retrieve a golden egg. The egg contains a clue to the next task, but when opened it shrieks loudly. Following a tip from Cedric, Harry discovers that the task is to recover something from Merpeople at the bottom of the lake in the grounds.
Harry struggles to find a way to survive underwater. On the day of the task, Dobby, who now works at Hogwarts, gives him Gillyweed, having heard of it from Moody. This allows Harry to find Ron at the bottom of the lake. However, he refuses to leave the other champions' hostages behind, and rescues Fleur's sister, Gabrielle, when Fleur does not arrive. Harry finishes last, but is awarded high marks for 'moral fibre'.
While talking near the Forbidden Forest, Harry and Krum encounter Crouch, who had stopped appearing to work. Seeming insane, he claims to have done something terrible, and begs for Dumbledore. Leaving Krum with Crouch, Harry fetches Dumbledore but returns to find Krum stunned and Crouch gone. Moody tries and fails to find Crouch. Harry later has a dream involving Voldemort punishing Wormtail for a mistake. Harry tells Dumbledore about this, and stumbles upon a Pensieve in Dumbledore's office. With it, he discovers that Crouch's son was sent to Azkaban, where he supposedly died.
Harry prepares for the final task, a hedge maze filled with dangerous obstacles, the goal being to reach the Triwizard Cup at the center. Inside the maze, Harry and Cedric reach the Cup, and agree to touch it at the same time. However, they discover that it is a Portkey that transports them to a graveyard. There, Wormtail appears, kills Cedric on Voldemort's orders, and performs a ritual to restore Lord Voldemort to a body.
Voldemort summons his Death Eaters, berates them for believing him dead, and mentions that he has a servant at Hogwarts, who has led Harry there. He tortures Harry, then challenges him to a duel. However, when he and Harry fire spells at each other, their wands connect, as they share a core, causing echoes of Voldemort's previous magic to appear, including manifestations of Cedric and Harry's parents. These echoes help Harry escape with Cedric's body to the Cup, which returns him to Hogwarts.
Under the panic caused by his arrival, Moody takes Harry to his office. He reveals himself to be Voldemort's servant, having put Harry's name into the Goblet, and guided him throughout the tournament to ensure he would touch the Cup. As Moody prepares to kill Harry, Dumbledore, McGonagall, and Snape intervene and stun Moody. Moody is revealed to be impersonated by Barty Crouch Jr., Crouch's son who was presumed dead, via Polyjuice Potion. Using Veritaserum, they learn that Crouch had rescued his son as a favour to his dying wife. Crouch Jr. was kept at home, until Winky convinced Crouch to allow him to see the Quidditch Cup, where he escaped, stole Harry's wand, and conjured the Dark Mark. Voldemort discovered Crouch Jr. and plotted to install him at Hogwarts, abducting the real Moody. Crouch was imprisoned by Wormtail, and when he escaped to Hogwarts, Crouch Jr. killed him.
Dumbledore announces Voldemort's return to the school. However, many people, including Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge, refuse to believe it. The Dementor's Kiss is performed on Crouch Jr., rendering him unable to testify for Voldemort's return. Dumbledore puts plans against Voldemort into action. Not wanting his tournament winnings, Harry gives them to Fred and George to start a joke shop, and returns to the Dursleys.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the fourth book in the Harry Potter series. The first, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, was published by Bloomsbury on 26 June 1997. The second, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, was published on 2 July 1998. The third, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, followed on 8 July 1999. Goblet of Fire is almost twice the size of the first three books (the paperback edition was 636 pages). Rowling stated that she "knew from the beginning it would be the biggest of the first four." She said there needed to be a "proper run-up" for the conclusion and rushing the "complex plot" could confuse readers. She also stated that "everything is on a bigger scale," which was symbolic, as Harry's horizons widened both literally and metaphorically as he grew up. She also wanted to explore more of the magical world.
Until the official title's announcement on 27 June 2000, the book was called by its working title, 'Harry Potter IV.' Previously, in April, the publisher had listed it as Harry Potter and the Doomspell Tournament. However, J. K. Rowling expressed her indecision about the title in an Entertainment Weekly interview. "I changed my mind twice on what [the title] was. The working title had got out — Harry Potter and the Doomspell Tournament. Then I changed Doomspell to Triwizard Tournament. Then I was teetering between Goblet of Fire and Triwizard Tournament. In the end, I preferred Goblet of Fire because it's got that kind of cup of destiny feel about it, which is the theme of the book."
Rowling mentioned that she originally wrote a Weasley relative named Malfalda, who, according to Rowling, "was the daughter of the 'second cousin who's a stockbroker' mentioned in Philosopher's Stone. This stockbroker had been very rude to Mr. and Mrs. Weasley in the past, but now he and his (Muggle) wife had inconveniently produced a witch, they came back to the Weasleys asking for their help in introducing her to wizarding society before she starts at Hogwarts." Malfalda was supposed to be a Slytherin and was to fill in the Rita Skeeter subplot, but she was eventually removed because "there were obvious limitations to what an eleven year old closeted at school could discover." Rowling considered Rita Skeeter to be "much more flexible." Rowling also admitted that the fourth book was the most difficult to write at the time because she noticed a giant plot hole halfway through writing. In particular, Rowling had trouble with the ninth chapter, "The Dark Mark," which she rewrote 13 times.
Jeff Jensen, who interviewed Rowling for Entertainment Weekly in 2000, pointed out that bigotry is a big theme in the Harry Potter novels and Goblet of Fire in particular. He mentioned how Voldemort and his followers are prejudiced against Muggles and how, in Goblet of Fire, Hermione forms a group to liberate Hogwarts' house-elves who have "been indentured servants so long they lack desire for anything else." When asked why she explored this theme, Rowling replied,
Because bigotry is probably the thing I detest most. All forms of intolerance, the whole idea of that which is different from me is necessarily evil. I really like to explore the idea that difference is equal and good. But there's another idea that I like to explore, too. Oppressed groups are not, generally speaking, people who stand firmly together – no, sadly, they kind of subdivide among themselves and fight like hell. That's human nature, so that's what you see here. This world of wizards and witches, they're already ostracized, and then within themselves, they've formed a loathsome pecking order.
She also commented that she did not feel this was too "heavy" for children, as it was one of those things that a "huge number of children at that age start to think about."
Publication and reception
Goblet of Fire was the first book in the Harry Potter series to be released in the United States on the same date as the United Kingdom, on 8 July 2000, strategically on a Saturday so children did not have to worry about school conflicting with buying the book. It had a combined first-printing of over five million copies. It was given a record-breaking print run of 3.9 million. Three million copies of the book were sold over the first weekend in the US alone. FedEx dispatched more than 9,000 trucks and 100 planes to fulfil book deliveries. The pressure in editing caused a mistake which shows Harry's father emerging first from Voldemort's wand; however, as confirmed in Prisoner of Azkaban, James died first, so then Harry's mother ought to have come out first. This was corrected in later editions.
To publicise the book, a special train named Hogwarts Express was organised by Bloomsbury, and run from King's Cross to Perth, carrying J.K. Rowling, a consignment of books for her to sign and sell, also representatives of Bloomsbury and the press. The book was launched on 8 July 2000, on platform 1 at King's Cross – which had been given "Platform 9+3⁄4" signs for the occasion – following which the train departed. En route it called at Didcot Railway Centre, Kidderminster, the Severn Valley Railway, Crewe (overnight stop), Manchester, Bradford, York, the National Railway Museum (overnight stop), Newcastle, Edinburgh, arriving at Perth on 11 July. The locomotive was West Country class steam locomotive no. 34027 Taw Valley, which was specially repainted red for the tour; it later returned to its normal green livery (the repaints were requested and paid for by Bloomsbury). The coaches of the train included a sleeping car. A Diesel locomotive was coupled at the other end, for use when reversals were necessary, such as the first stage of the journey as far as Ferme Park, just south of Hornsey. The tour generated considerably more press interest than the launch of the film Thomas and the Magic Railroad which was premiered in London the same weekend.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire has received mostly positive reviews. In The New York Times Book Review, author Stephen King stated the Goblet of Fire was "every bit as good as Potters 1 through 3" and praised the humour and subplots, although he commented that "there's also a moderately tiresome amount of adolescent squabbling...it's a teenage thing". Kirkus Reviews called it "another grand tale of magic and mystery...and clicking along so smoothly that it seems shorter than it is". However, they commented that it did tend to lag, especially at the end where two "bad guys" stopped the action to give extended explanations, and that the issues to be resolved in sequels would leave "many readers, particularly American ones, uncomfortable". For The Horn Book Magazine, Martha V. Parravano gave a mixed review, saying "some will find [it] wide-ranging, compellingly written, and absorbing; others, long, rambling, and tortuously fraught with adverbs". A Publishers Weekly review praised the book's "red herrings, the artful clues and tricky surprises that disarm the most attentive audience" and saying it "might be her most thrilling yet." Writing for The New Yorker, Joan Acocella noted that "where the prior volumes moved like lightning, here the pace is slower, the energy more dispersed. At the same time, the tone becomes more grim."
Kristin Lemmerman of CNN said that it is not great literature: 'Her prose has more in common with your typical beach-blanket fare and the beginning contained too much recap to introduce characters to new readers, although Rowling quickly gets back on track, introducing readers to a host of well-drawn new characters.' Writing for Salon.com, Charles Taylor was generally positive about the change of mood and development of characters. Entertainment Weekly's reviewer Kristen Baldwin gave Goblet of Fire the grade of A-, praising the development of the characters as well as the many themes presented. However, she did worry that a shocking climax may be a "nightmare factory" for young readers.
Awards and honours
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire won several awards, including the 2001 Hugo Award for Best Novel. It won the 2002 Indian Paintbrush Book Award, the third after Philosopher's Stone and Prisoner of Azkaban. The novel also won an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award for one of the best books, who claimed it was "more intense than the first three books". In addition, Entertainment Weekly listed Goblet of Fire in second place on their list of The New Classics: Books – The 100 best reads from 1983 to 2008. The Guardian ranked Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire #97 in its list of 100 Best Books of the 21st Century.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was adapted into a film, released worldwide on 18 November 2005, which was directed by Mike Newell and written by Steve Kloves. The film grossed $102.7 million for the opening weekend, and eventually grossed $896 million worldwide. The film was also nominated for Best Art Direction at the 78th Academy Awards.
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