NUMBER 1 – HERE IT IS! THE BEST! TADAAA! – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
All the French are hot. Don’t fall for a Veela! Wow, so much sex in this one!
+The Quidditch WORLD CUP!!!
+ Hermione takes up a political cause!
+ Unforgivable Curses!
+ Alastor Moody (though not)!
+ A maze!
+ A dragon!
+ Voldemort returns!
+ Dobby freaking out the other house elves!
+ Harry meets his parents (kind of)
+ A dramatic death!
+ The Daily Prophet articles about Harry!
– No Quidditch tournament!
– Krum is kind of annoying
Goblet of Fire is THE Harry Potter book for me. It’s legendary. It’s the first of the books that caused a global storm of hysteria prior to its release. It also is the book that destroys the world of Harry Potter as we had come to know and love it so far.
VOLDEMORT IS BACK, Baby!
The final chapters of this one are legendary! Hit me like nothing else in my youthful years. Holy crap, that kettle! Voldemort finally gets into shape! And what a badass! (Although, re-reading it now, he seems a little cartoonish in his evilness)
But there’s so much more to this one than Death Eaters and Unforgivables. Who could forget the bonanza of wonder and enchantment that is the Quidditch World Cup? The excitement of the Triwizard Tournament and its tasks? The Yule Ball?
Goblet of Fire is the volume that introduces us to the politics of the magical world, its global extent, its corruption and its hypocrisy. Hell, it even deals with the issue of slavery (I’m with SPEW!) as well as with the terrible power of the media. And what other children’s book criticizes blind careerism in one of its main characters? Really, the level of darkness gathering throughout these pages is magnificent. No wonder that this was the book that ended the preconception that HP books were only for children. Goblet of Fire finally universalized the Potter phenomenon.
HP 4 is also, even more than the previous books, a detective story. Throughout the novel, the clueless reader, along with Harry, asks themselves who the Death Eater at Hogwarts is, and why they would want to manipulate the Tournament. Smarter readers than a completely fascinated, page-munching 14-year-old could probably tell that it’s part of Voldemort’s plan, but when I first read the book I had already almost forgotten the events of the first chapter again. The intricacies of the Crouch family together with the mysterious relationship between Ludo Bagman and the Weasley twins, strange activities of a former terrorist organization and a poor house elf’s fate weave one of the most intricate, mis-leading, surprising and dramatic Rowling plots. And boy, what a finale, right? KILL THE SPARE!
Amazement and Wonder
All the serious and dark stuff notwithstanding, Goblet of Fire nevertheless still serves us the familiar sense of wonder. We get to know more cute, interesting, mysterious and hilarious details of the wizard world (port keys!), while also drastically expanding our knowledge of magical creatures. HP 4 is probably in this sense the most fantasy-like of the Harry Potter books. The inhabitants of the maze alone could fill an entirely new book.
Bottom Line: A complex plot with several dramatic twists and a breathtaking finale combined with an explosion of creative world-building make this one my very favourite Potter!