We meet Harry Potter again in the fourth instalment of the Harry Potter series, where he became famous as a child for destroying Lord Voldemort – a terrible Dark Wizard who murdered Harry’s parents before his destruction. Harry’s survival, and Voldemort’s disappearance, made Harry very famous in the wizarding world, but also made him live with his only horrible relatives, Vernon and Petunia Dursley.
While on vacation from his school Hogwarts, Harry has the strangest dream – a dream where Wormtail, the man responsible for Voldemort finding and killing his parents, is busy nursing a form of Voldemort back to health. They are interrupted by Frank Bryce, a muggle who is in charge of taking care of the home Voldemort and Wormtail is staying in, and Voldemort murders Frank immediately when he notices him.
Harry wakes up from his dream, and promptly writes to his new-found godfather Sirius about what he dreamt. He also receives a letter from the Weasleys, inviting him to the Quidditch world cup, and to stay with them for the remainder of the summer. Uncle Vernon ultimately agrees to let Harry go – not for Harry’s happiness, but to get him away from Privet Drive earlier.
Harry and the Weasleys set off to the Quidditch World Cup the day after Harry arrives at the Burrow (the Weasley’s home) they meet up with Amos and Cedric Diggory, with whom they will be sharing a portkey to transport themselves to the venue of the game. Cedric is also a Hogwarts student, though in Hufflepuff. He seems like a very nice guy, and is very embarrassed when his father keeps referencing to when he beat Harry at Quiddicth at Hogwarts.
When they arrive at the stadium, they are seated on the top of the pitch, giving the best view. They meet a houself, Winky, there, who is apparently saving a seat for her master, Bartemius ‘Barty’ Crouch. The group spots the Bulgarian seeker, Victor Krum, during the match, and he seems around Harry’s age. Ron particularly seems to have a hero worship going for him.
After the game, a crowd of Death Eaters (followers of Voldemort who managed to stay out of prison) terrorises muggles on the camp ground. Harry, Ron and Hermoine escape to the nearby wood, and Harry is worried when he realises his wand is missing. Shortly afterwards, someone casts the Dark Mark, the sign of Lord Voldemort, and the three is nearly stunned by ministry wizards. Things become highly uncomfortable when it is discovered it was Harry’s wand which cast the spell. Winky is found nearby, hit by the Stunning spells, with Harry’s wand, and her master, Barty Crouch, ignores her pleadings and sends her away – the greatest disgrace to a houself.
the Dark Mark
When all the students arrive at Hogwarts, professor Dumbledore announces a great surprise – that the Triwizard tournament will take place at Hogwarts during the school year. The Triwizard tournament is a historic event where one student from three magical schools: Hogwarts, Durmstrang and Beauxbatons compete in magical tasks where the winner receives 1000 Galleons in prize money, the triwizard cup, and the fame for themselves and honor for their schools. Dumbledore warns the students that only students who are 17 years or older will be allowed to compete because of the danger of the tasks. He also introduces their new defence against the Dark Arts teacher – Alastor ‘Mad-Eye’ Moody, a famous ex-Auror, who is slightly senile and orthodox. Mad-Eye moody becomes a hit at the school, despite his strange appearance and manners, when it becomes apparent how much he knows about the Dark Arts. He teaches them the unforgivable curses, and even practises the Imperius Curse on them, and only Harry manages to throw of the curse completely, which causes you to do anything the caster of the curse wants.
A selected group of champions arrive from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang, and during a feast on Halloween, the champions are selected: Fleur Delacour for Beauxbatons, Victor Krum for Drumstrang, and Cedric Diggory for Hogwarts. Shock, suspicion and dismay occur when Harry is chosen as the fourth champion – an impossible occurrence. Though Harry swears he didn’t put in his name, no one believes him, and he is magically bound to competing in the tournament. Harry is most hurt when Ron distances himself from Harry, also believing that he chose to put his name in to further his fame. Harry’s life becomes a nightmare, without his best friend, the taunts from the Slytherins, the open loathing from the rest of the school, and the articles Rita Skeeter publishes. Rita is a journalist for the Daily Prophet, and she makes up stories about Harry to suit her reader’s needs
Harry, who routinely writes to Sirius about what is happening at Hogwarts, gets a letter from his godfather asking him to be at the fire in the Gryffindor common room at midnight – on the same night Hagrid requests Harry to be at his house. Harry decides attempting to be at both, and sets of to Hagrid, where he sees that the first task for the triwizard tournament will be something involved with dragons. When he returns to the common room, Sirius appears in the fire, telling Harry to be careful, and that the principal of Durmstrang, Igor Karkaroff, was once a Death Eater.
Harry’s nervousness increases as the test becomes closer, but receives unexpected help when Moody points him to his strong points – flying. With Hermoine’s help, he learns the Summoning Charm, and summons his broom during the test. He manages to get his egg from the dragon, and receives high marks from the judges. The best thing happens – Ron apologises for his disbelief in Harry, and they become friends again.
An unexpected problem occurs when Professor McGonagall announces that the Yule ball, a traditional part of the Triwizard tournament, will take place, and that Harry must get a partner for it. He wishes to ask a pretty girl, Cho Chang, but when he finally gets the courage, she is disappointed to tell him that she already agreed to go with Cedric Diggory. Crestfallen, he goes with a girl in his year, Parvati Patil. Hermoine stuns everyone when she turns up with Victor Krum, looking gorgeous, but Ron is angry at her and jealous (although he won’t admit it)
On a clue from Cedric Diggory, Harry takes the egg under water, and discovers that there are merepeople in the lack, from which Harry will need to collect something. This, again, stresses harry out, but help arrives in the form of Dobby, the house-elf, when he gives Gillyweed to harry, which makes him move like a fish underwater. Harry tries to save all the hostages under water, causing him to break the time limit, but the judges still grade him high due to his “moral fibre”.
The three meet up with Sirius in Hogsmeade, and he tells them that Barty Crouch’s son was a convicted Death Eater. Later on, the champions see their final challenge – a maze with the trophee in the centre. Hermoine and Ron once again assist Harry in preparation for it, and when the day arrives, Harry is calmer since he knows that he practised well. Inside the maze, he and Cedric finds the cup at the same time, and they agree to share the glory for Hogwarts. Upon touching the cup, they find it is a Portkey, and it takes them to a deserted graveyard.
In the graveyard, Lord Voldemort awaits them, and murderes Cedric Diggory. With the assistance of Wormtail, Voldemort is reborn, and he summons his Death Eaters that escaped prison to him. They arrive, and he tortures Harry. He gives Harry back his wand, and they prepare to duel. Upon the first curse that is cast, Harry and Voldemort’s wands connect, and Harry’s parents, Cedric, and Frank Bryce reappear in ghost form, and they create a diversion to help Harry escape. Harry takes Cedric’s body, Summons the Portkey, and returns to Hogwarts.
Upon his arrival at Hogwarts, Mad-Eye takes Harry away from the maze, ignoring instructions from Dumbledore. Locked up in Mad-Eye’s office, he finally reveals himself, as Barty Crouch junior, the Death Eater that had managed to escape from Azkaban with his father’s help. He tells Harry that it was he who put Harry’s name in the Goblet of Fire, and that he had been impersonating the real Mad-Eye all along. Just when he turns to kill Harry, Dumbledore, Snape and McGonagall arrive to save him.
Harry tells his story to Dumbledore and Sirius, and is sent to the hospital wing to recuperate. There, he is awoken by Cornelius Fudge and McGonagall shouting at each other, for Fudge had ordered the Dementors to Kiss Barty Jnr., thereby destroying evidence that Harry’s tale was true. Fudge expresses his scepticism at Harry’s story, and it is evident that he doesn’t believe Voldemort is back. Harry gives the Weasley twins, Fred and George Weasley, his winnings of the Triwizard cup, telling them that the world will need happiness in the dark times ahead. He heads to Privet Drive for vacation, with the promises of his friends that they will see him soon.
The Goblet of Fire has always been one of my favourite Potter books. There is so much excitement happening, with the Triwizard, Harry growing up, finally having a parent figure, and Voldemort returning. JK Rowling chose the perfect moment to bring Voldemort back. It would otherwise have killed the storyline.
PS: Can you believe it was published in 2000? That makes the Goblet of Fire 13 years old – and you, very old 😉