Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the first “new” book in the series I’ve read. Meaning that was the first book I actively remember waiting for to come out. I still remember reading the first chapter behind the armchair in the livingroom just next to the radiator. I think I was a little too young for it at the time, as I remember being quite put off by the dark tone at first. But I wanted to read it of course and despite being a shade darker, there are also many fun and truly memorable scenes in the fourth instalment of the Harry Potter series.
JK Rowling understands it so well to raise stakes and make each book a little bigger and Harry’s world richer. This also means that with each book the story gets a darker undertone. Part 4 starts with a murder and ends with a murder – that doesn’t sound like a children’s book anymore. We are moving into the young adult genre. And that opens up many more possibilities. In a way you could say Harry Potter is a founder of the young adult genre (or at least made it appealing to a mass audience).
We watch Harry and his friends grow up and so the story grows up too. I feel that The Goblet of Fire is leading on from The Prisoner of Azkaban – Harry and his friends are no children anymore and they are beginning to grow out of their innocence. In part 4 that journey is going even farther and they are beginning to understand that the world is much larger than they thought and there is much for them yet to know. But that realisation – triggered by ghosts from the past and confrontation with death – makes them grow, grow out of innocence. And I think that is why I always feel a little bittersweet about this book. Harry won’t always be the little boy we got to know him as. He will go out into the world and grow up. And we too must leave our childhood behind at some point and take our place in the real world.
Now that sounds all very broody and dark, but of course part 4 also introduces the nicer part of growing up – falling in love. There are quite a few entaglements here and it’s definitely fun to read it in the light of knowing what the final couples are going to look like.
My highlights for The Goblet of Fire are Hermione and Krum, the Yule Ball, Sirius’ visit and the Pensieve. I love the awkward situations that arise because of Krum’s attachment to Hermione. She should have visited him in Bulgaria 🙂 The Yule Ball is great, as the big build up is described so beautifully and everyone stresses over something that should be fun. But isn’t that always the way? 😉 I liked to see Sirius, as this really shows how much he cares and how much of a risk-taker he is. Well, what do you expect from a Marauder? And the Pensieve was interesting for me again, as it showed us the past. I always feel like books get a lot richer when they have a past to refer back to. And Harry Potter does have a lot of backstory!
Despite being more on the dark side, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is of course the perfect and logical next step in Harry’s story. The more Harry grows up, the more he understand the big wide world around him. So he begins to see darker aspects of it, that have been hidden from him when he looked at the world with children’s eyes. The next part will push him even further – part 5 is the longest in the series