In the fourth installment of the Harry Potter series, Harry, Ron and Hermione attend the Quidditch World Cup finals between Ireland and Bulgaria with the rest of the Weasleys. Following the game, a sign is seen in the night sky — the Dark Mark. The sign that Lord Voldermort used with his faithful followers, the Death Eaters. As Harry returns to school, troubled with his scar hurting during the holidays and the sight of the Dark Mark, he and his friends are in for a surprise. Instead of Quidditch this year, there is to be the Triwizard Tournament. It’s a competition between champions chosen from each of three schools — Hogwarts, Beauxbatons and Drumstrang. The rules are that the contestant has to be 17 years or older. A champion from each of the schools is chosen by the Goblet of Fire — Cedric Diggory, Fleur Delacour and Viktor Krum from each of the aforementioned schools. But everyone is in for a surprise. A fourth name is called out — Harry Potter. Who doesn’t meet the age requirement. Harry’s entry causes a rift between his and Ron’s friendship. Harry and the other champions go through the tournament escaping dragons, saving people from the bottom of the lake and going through a maze with several obstacles. But the question is — who put Harry’s name in the Goblet of Fire in the first place? And why? The twist in the end will shock you.
The fourth book is a lot darker than the previous books and a lot thicker. While bravery is once again a predominant theme, there is also the message of teamwork and community spirit. Harry is able to succeed on the tasks thanks to help prior to the tasks from Hermione and Ron as well as from Professor Moody, Dobby, Hagrid and Cedric. Another predominant issue and theme discussed is that of slavery. House-elves (like Dobby) are the lowest of the low in the wizarding world and work for no pay. Hermione is used to pass this message against slavery by standing up for elves’ rights. Once again, discrimination and prejudice as exists in our world is viewed in the magical world with pure-blood wizards and witches humiliating Muggles, negative judgements about giants and the continued battle against half-bloods and Mudbloods. The power of the press is also explored as articles in the Daily Prophet which are clearly lies and exaggerations are taken as gospel by some readers, similar to what occurs in the world today.
Once again, a brilliant piece of literary work by J. K. Rowling. I give it a 5.
Until next time,