Once upon a time a few months ago I was at the beach with my cousin, and when we were discussing Harry Potter faves I mentioned I really loved The Goblet of Fire. She said that was an unconventional choice, and then we both wept until we noticed someone going into the water with their socks on and were absolutely fascinated. Now that I’ve reread The Goblet of Fire yet again I can honestly say that I must have been on drugs that I have no recollection of taking (as an aside for potential employers googling me: I was not on drugs) because The Goblet of Fire cannot even come close to my favorite. At times, (re)reading this novel for the third time (fourth if you include an audiobook listen) felt more like a chore than reading Harry Potter ought to be. I still love it because it’s HP, but I think this one might be my least favorite chapter of the Book Smugglers’ Epic Harry Potter Re-Read thus far. My only explanation for my misguided love could lie in the fact that The Goblet of Fire was the first HP novel that I read when it was first published; it was the first time I had experienced that mountainous anticipation of the release of a new Harry Potter book, and that excitement has apparently stayed with me.
- This is my fourth time at this dog and pony show and how in the HELL did I not even bat an eye at the fact that VOLDEMORT IS SURVIVING ON HORCRUX PYTHON MILK. There are several mentions of Nagini needing to be milked and Voldemort being fed her milk and oh my GOD that is probably the most horrific thing I can possibly imagine: fetusy Voldemort supping on Nagimi’s snake breast milk. I hate it more than I’ve hated anything in the world, and I don’t know how it failed to have registered the first three times on the Goblet train. Maybe I blocked the trauma, I don’t know.
- I may be remembering this incorrectly, but I think it was roughly 280 pages before they even got to Hogwarts. While I don’t have a problem with long books (obviously), I actually did have a problem with the bloated pacing in The Goblet of Fire. The beginning is so. Painfully. Slow. I know that important events transpired at the Quidditch World Cup, but I don’t think it was necessary for them to unfold over the course of nearly three hundred pages.
- Sweet Jebus, the house elf sub-plot. Woof. Hermione’s white saviorism, the whole “happy slave” species, it’s all a catastrophe.
- What exactly would happen if HP broke the “binding magical contract” that is the Goblet choosing a Triwizard champion? I mean, what actually would have happened to Harry if Dumbledore had done the RIGHT thing and been like “Nah, this is clearly some dark wizard shit, you can take my ass to court but the man HP will NOT be competing.” I guess there would be no book then, but whatever. You feel me?
- Are there any vegans at Hogwarts? They certainly seem to use a lot of animal based ingredients, not to mention transfiguring animals without their consent, NOT TO MENTION the dragons being tormented in that first task. I have to admit, I was genuinely bummed the h out about Krum’s dragon stomping on her eggs 🙁
- Despite all of the above, I do really enjoy the Triwizard tournament, even if it is a bit…superfluous to the rest of the narrative. I mean, dragons! Merpeople! What can I say, I’m a cheap date.
- I love that Rowling continues to explore the darker side of the wizarding world in this installment, with added elements of species-ism and muddied morals. This truly is a hinge for the series; Voldemort’s resurrection opens an undeniable door to darkness for the rest of Harry Potter’s story.
- I also love that Rowling is clearly enjoying getting into the meat of the angsty teen here, and I especially love knowing that things are only going to get moodier from here on out.
I thought a lot of things while reading the 734 pages of this novel but I honestly am drawing a blank, so that’s all until I reread Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix! I don’t know about you guys, but I am looking forward to spending time with Harry at his most angsty, aren’t you?