Saturday, August 14, 2010

HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE by J.K. Rowling

Countdown to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows-Month Two-Book Four-Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K Rowling


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Here we are, on book number four! Only three more books to go till The Deathly Hallows-and, better yet, the month its in-November, the release of the first half of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the movie! Whoo-hoo!

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The story opens with this guy named Frank Bryce. He’s the housekeeper for the Riddles (does that name ring any bells to you people who’ve read The Chamber of Secrets? Hmm?), and, when the Riddles are discovered dead with no apparent cause of death (to the Muggles, at least), he is the prime subject. But he gets off and continues taking care of the Riddle mansion.

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Fast forward over fifty years. Frank wakes up in the middle of the night, thinking a bunch of kids has gotten in and is messing up the Riddle mansion. It turns out to be something far less welcome-Lord Voldemort, his cowardly assistant Peter Pettigrew, and Lord Voldemort’s pet snake Nagini. Suffice it to say Frank does not get a warm welcome.

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Miles away, everybody’s favorite hero Harry Potter wakes up from a nightmare-incidentally, one of that very same scene that was just played out. Uncanny coincidence? Or is it that Harry’s just reading Voldemort’s mind? We don’t know for sure-yet. But more of that later.

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Turns out Harry’s pretty curious on what’s up with Voldemort and his scar, too. So he writes to his recently-on-the-run-with-Buckbeak-the-hippogriff-godfather, everybody’s favorite absolutely, positively, so-unexpected-we-thought-he-was-a-villain-like-Harry-didn’t-have-enough-of-them hero, Sirius Black.

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Then, at breakfast with the Dursleys, Harry finds out Uncle Vernon got a letter from (guess who!) Mrs.Weasley, inviting Harry along with Hermione and the Weasleys to go see the Quidditch World Cup match between Bulgaria and Ireland! Superbly awesome! Needless to say, the next day Mr. Weasley, Fred, George, and Ron arrive in a hilarious way. They try to use Floo powder (Read the Chamber of Secrets, people!) to get in, only to find that the Dursleys have blocked up their (electric) fireplace. Soon, stuff is flying and Harry is off to the Burrow!

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There he meets Bill and Charlie, Ron’s out-of-Hogwarts brothers, and they get ready to go to the World Cup. There they meet Amos Diggory, a colleague of Mr. Weasley’s, and his son, everybody’s favorite super-extra-ultra-cute-guy Cedric.

(((Kimber An here- Yeah, he's cute...for a brown-haired guy!)))
(((Kimber, Jr. here-   Mooooom!!!)))
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You should know the drill for Quidditch games by now, and the World Cup is no exception. I’m not telling you who wins. You’ll just have to make like Hermione and get the book for that! (And don’t bother with the movie for this either, they cut it out.) However, I will say that the Bulgarian Seeker’s name is Viktor Krum, and he turns out to be pretty important later on. .

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But after that something rather monumental happens that I will tell you about. All of a sudden that night, a bunch of followers of everybody’s favorite villain Lord Voldemort, otherwise known as Death Eaters, stampede through the grounds, levitating Muggles up into the air! And then, something quite awful happens-the mark of Voldemort, otherwise known as the Dark Mark, is cast into the air, chasing the rest of the rather cowardly (ring, ring!) Death Eaters.

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But who cast it? Was it Percy’s new boss Mr.Crouch’s house-elf (ring, ring! Read your Chamber of Secrets!) Winky, who was found at the scene of the crime, one of the Death Eaters, (quite unlikely, seeing as they all ran away when it was cast) or even Harry Potter (no way!), whose wand seemed to have been used to cast it? The mystery continues-well, until the end of the book, obviously. But more of that later.

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For now, it’s back to Hogwarts with Harry, Ron, and Hermione. The trip is not made any easier by the fact that everybody’s favorite arch-school-enemy, Draco Malfoy, is dropping hints that something else really big is going down at Hogwarts. .

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We find out exactly what that thing is once Harry gets to Hogwarts. A big tournament called the Triwizard Tournament is going to be hosted by Hogwarts this year. Students from fellow magical schools Durmstrang and Beauxbatons will be arriving to compete. In the meantime, however, Harry, Ron, and Hermione meet the new Defense against the Dark Arts teacher, everybody’s favorite seemingly-grumpy-guy ex-Auror Mad-Eye Moody. In his classes, they learn about the three Unforgiveable Curses-the Cruciatus Curse (as according to everybody’s favorite cheer-on-able character, Neville Longbottom), the Imperius Curse, and the worst of all, Avada Kedavra: the Killing Curse. If you think back maybe four books, I think you’ll know just how significant this last one is to Harry.

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Finally, however, the Durmstrang and Beauxbatons students arrive, and we learn a little about schools other than everybody’s favorite magical school, Hogwarts. We also learn what became of that Bulgarian Seeker, Viktor Krum-he’s come to enter for the Triwizard Tournament, surprise, surprise!

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Soon, the finalists for the Triwizard Tournament are in- everybody’s favorite super-extra-ultra-cute-guy Cedric Diggory for Hogwarts, Viktor Krum for Durmstrang (big surprise there), a girl named Fleur Delacour for Beauxbatons, and------Huh?! Now this is totally weird, I don’t think anyone anticipated this, (yeah, right,) but it looks like Harry is the fourth Triwizard champion!!! Not only is he underage, but there aren’t supposed to be more than three champions, one for each school! However, while we are left to ponder 1) who managed to fool the Goblet of Fire and put Harry’s name in and 2) why one would even try to do so, Harry is bound by magical contract to compete! Yikes!

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` One night not long after that, we find out what the first task is: dragons! Hagrid takes Madame Maxime, the headmistress of Beauxbatons, for a midnight stroll to see them with Harry under the Invisibility Cloak in tow.

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Then, during an encounter with Draco Malfoy, the mean Slytherin does something to get on Mad-Eye Moody’s bad side and, for all his trouble, gets turned into a white ferret!!! Haha, that is my favorite Malfoy scene after last book’s punch! Well, so far, anyway.

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Not long after that Harry is facing the first task. He has to somehow grab an egg protected by a very fierce, very protective, and very dangerous Hungarian Horntail dragon. So Harry pulls off an awesome flight on his new Firebolt to evade the dragon and grab the egg. Awesome!

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However, there is one “task” that Harry does not know about: the Yule Ball. It is the traditional Christmas party for the Triwizard Tournament. And for that, Harry needs a partner.

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Yeah. Really.

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What is it with boys anyway?! Harry and Ron wait until, like, the last second to get dates. Ron’s chosen partner: Fleur Delacour. Yeah, no offense, Ron, but dream on! Harry’s is a bit more realistic, shall we say: Cho Chang, the Ravenclaw Seeker, whom we met, last book (along with Cedric, I’m pleased to say). However, that doesn’t work out. Cho’s going with another guy. In the end, Harry enlists the help of the Patil twins, Parvati and Padma.

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You may be wondering: What about Hermione? Well, you’re about to find out. When the Yule Ball rolls round, Harry joins the champions. Turns out Cho’s been asked out by none other than everybody’s favorite super-extra-ultra-cute-guy, Cedric Diggory. Good for her! Then we find out just who Hermione’s gone with: none other than everybody’s favorite Bulgarian bonbon, Viktor Krum! (((Mmm!)))

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Yeah. Really.

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Then the boys reach a hurdle: um, how are we supposed to dance?

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Yeah. Really.

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Somehow, though, they figure it out with the helpof their rather-better-at-dancing girl partners, and they manage to avert a potential fiasco.

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A little later (or maybe a little earlier, I forget) we find out something you may have guessed about our big friend, Hagrid. Turns out that he’s-surprise, surprise!-half-giant! Some time later, a very annoying reporter named Rita Skeeter publishes an article on the subject- hereby turning the wrath of rather annoying people such as everybody’s favorite ex-Death Eater (?), Lucius Malfoy. That’s right, Draco’s dear daddy, though that shouldn’t be a surprise to someone who’s carefully kept an eye on him through the past three books. Now, Hagrid is disgraced by one bug of a reporter. (Literally!)

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The second task is looming. Remember that egg Harry had to take? Well, it’s a clue to the second task. However, Harry isn’t able to figure it out till a carefully placed clue courtesy of everybody’s favorite super-extra-ultra-cute-guy Cedric lands him in the prefect’s bathroom in the middle of the night.

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Déjà vu!!

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And, to complete the feeling of déjà vu, we’re reunited with an old friend: Moaning Myrtle from the Chamber of Secrets. Apparently, she’s been very naughty and spied on everybody’s favorite super-extra-ultra-cute-guy Cedric puzzling out the clue within his own egg. So now she’s helping out Harry-at the price of some hilarity of course, but the more the merrier! Eventually Harry figures it out: he’s got to rescue something from the merpeople in the Black Lake and get it back to the surface within an hour, or he loses. (don-don-dawwww!)

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The problem is: how’s he going to survive underwater for an hour? The solution comes when everybody’s favorite really-bad-at-saving-Harry’s-life-house-elf, Dobby, stealing a bit of an herb called gillyweed from Professor Snape’s stores and brings it to him. He says that it was give Harry gills to breathe underwater for an hour. Awesome!

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Second task dawns. The four champions take the plunge underwater. Harry uses his gillyweed, everybody’s favorite super-extra-ultra-cute-guy Cedric and Fleur both use the Bubble-Head Charm, and everybody’s favorite Bulgarian bonbon Viktor Krum Transfigures himself into a shark.

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That’s when we find out just what the merpeople took: people the champions hold dear! Harry’s is Ron (don don dawww!), everybody’s favorite Bulgarian bonbon Viktor Krum’s is Hermione (don don dawww!), everybody’s favorite super-extra-ultra-cute-guy Cedric’s is Cho Chang (don don dawww!), and Fleur’s is her sister Gabrielle. (don don daww!)

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Now Harry, the born hero that he is, heroically stays behind to make sure everybody is safe. When Fleur gets knocked out of the competition by a bunch of crazy octopeople called grindylows, Harry heroically risks running out of time to save both Ron and Gabrielle.

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In the end, though, Harry ties with everybody’s favorite super-extra-ultra-cute-guy Cedric for first! All that’s left is the third task and Harry’s home free! However, before we can get to that several big, huge, and quite monumental things happen. First off we meet up with everybody’s favorite absolutely, positively, so-expected-we-thought-he-was-a-villain-like-Harry-didn’t-have-enough-of-them hero, Sirius Black. He tells Harry, Ron, and Hermione about something quite alarming: Igor Karkaroff, the headmaster of Durmstrang, was a former Death Eater! Could he have put Harry’s name into the Goblet of Fire?

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Then, during a chat with everybody’s favorite Bulgarian bonbon Viktor Krum, Harry discovers none other than everybody’s favorite paranoid Ministry member, Mr. Crouch. This time, though, he’s gone somewhat crazy. Harry runs for Dumbledore, but by the time help arrives, Mr. Crouch is dead.

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But, why? That’s what everyone is pondering lately.

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Then Harry dreams (okay, it’s definitely getting suspiciously uncanny now) about Voldemort (who else? Seriously!) and Wormtail. Wormtail did something wrong, and now he’s getting the brunt of the Cruciatus Curse. I know, I know, Wormtail’s a bad guy, but I still think Voldemort should go a little easier on the poor guy.

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Then we find out just why Mr. Crouch is so significant: he had a son. Just one. That one son was sent to Azkaban for being a Death Eater. As a matter of fact, Karkaroff put him in. He died there, soon after.

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Or did he?!

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Harry finds this all out when he finds a special stone bowl called a Pensieve, full of thoughts and memories. It’s quite cool, actually. It’s one of the principle forms of time-travel throughout the Harry Potter books. If you think about it, he’s done time-travelling in all of the books except Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. It was Tom Riddle’s diary in the Chamber of Secrets, Hermione’s Time-Turner in the Prisoner of Azkaban, and the Pensieve in this book. He also uses them in the next three, but I’m not saying how.

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Now, finally, though, Harry faces the third and final task, a maze leading to the ultimate prize, the Triwizard Cup!

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Early on, it’s only Harry and everybody’s favorite super-extra-ultra-cute-guy Cedric still in it. Everybody’s favorite Bulgarian bonbon Viktor Krum is Imperiused by an unknown person and is knocked out, and Fleur is taken by an unknown villain. After a riddling session with a sphinx and an attack courtesy of one of Hagrid’s pet spiders, Harry and everybody’s favorite super-extra-ultra- cute-guy Cedric are locked in a race for the Cup. They decide to take it together, but receive a shock when it turns out the Cup is a Portkey-an object that is bewitched to take them somewhere! And this Portkey turns out to take them to a random graveyard out in the middle of nowhere.

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Then Wormtail shows up and does something really, really, awfully bad. He kills eveybody’s favorite super-extra-ultra-cute-guy CEDRIC!!!!!!!! That guy is in serious trouble with me now!!

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Then, something we knew would happen, even if we didn’t know it could happen, happens. Voldemort rises again! Yipes!

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Soon, a bunch of Death Eaters show up, including certainly-not-ex-Death Eater Lucius Malfoy! And yes, I’m totally serious about that, pun intended.

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Can Harry get away this time in one piece, or will Lord Voldemort finish what he started thirteen years ago? Well, sorry, but I’m still not in the give-away-the-ending mood, so you can stop holding you breath and make like Hermione and get the book!



Well, there’s number four for you! Next up in September we’ll have Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, so if you can’t wait you’ll have to make like Hermione and get the book. After that, though, there’s only two books left- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows!!!!!!! See you then!

4 comments:

Nayuleska said...

Lol! I love the make like Hermione remark :) She is the best character. she loves books!

I was a bit freaked out in this book because of Voldemort's 'pet'. Eugh. Hate those creatures. I have to close my eyes when I watch the film.

Will Voldemort never die?

Great review again - a double Harry Potter week!

Kimber An said...

Thanks, Nayu!

Wait, haven't you read The Deathly Hallows? You're British! Won't you get thrown in the Tower of London or something?

Nayuleska said...

Heehee! Perhaps. I have read it...but I didn't want to spoil it for those who hadn't!

Frances said...

Fantastic synopsis, Kimber An! I laughed all the way through. My roommate gave me the Mp3s of all the books, because my eyes were getting tired. I've listened to all of them a gazillion times, and will continue to a mazillion. LOL! I think that the series is a work of genius. I love the emotional development of the characters from one book to the next, and the fact that nobody is perfect, but each grows and is vital to the final victory. I want to take all of these kids home and keep them. ;-D