|Title||Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire|
|Author||Rowling, J. K.|
Plot (from Wikipedia)
BackgroundThroughout 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.
OverviewIn 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 camp 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 a revival of the Triwizard Tournament, in which a champion of Hogwarts will compete against champions from two European 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 is supposed to contain 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 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, 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, 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.
ThemesJeff 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."