As I said in the last posts, these Harry Potter posts will be formatted differently from the May discussion posts. I won't be writing non-spoiler sections for any of the Harry Potter books, simply because it's Harry Potter. If you haven't read the books already, go read them. At this point, there's almost no excuse for not having read the books except a lack of interest... in which case you probably wouldn't be here reading my discussion! I also will not be writing a summary of each book because, again, it's Harry Potter. If you don't know what Harry Potter is about, I'd really like to know what rock you've been hiding under because it sounds like an amazing place to get away and completely shut out all knowledge of the outside world.
Anyway, on to the discussion!
So, a little background. I first read Goblet of Fire in 5th grade. I finished Prisoner of Azkaban while travelling to my grandparents' house for Christmas, and I remember picking up Goblet of Fire while I was still at my grandparents' house. I think I finished it sometime in January. I'm not sure how many times I've re-read this book, but I know that Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix are the two books I've read the least of the series.
Normally, this is the part where I would be like, "Whoa, I totally forgot about this thing that happened! And I also forgot about this other thing that happened!" but... I hadn't really forgotten anything. Obviously, I couldn't recite the book back to you word for word, but I hadn't even forgotten many of the smaller plot points such as the twins blackmailing Bagman, the trio going to the kitchens, Hagrid and Olympe's secret conversation, Rita Skeeter being an animagus, meeting Sirius in Hogsmeade... etc. I was actually just a tiny bit disappointed that I didn't come across anything I forgot.
However, while I hadn't forgotten anything happening in the book, I did forget a couple things concerning my feelings toward the book and a certain character. Goblet of Fire has always floated somewhere in the middle of my Harry Potter rankings. It's never been my favorite or my least favorite, just... a Harry Potter book. Because it's been so long since I've read it and because it's floated in the middle, I've always thought of it as just average- not exciting, not bad, just average. So, when I found myself absolutely loving Goblet of Fire, I was slightly surprised. I think I had forgotten how exciting the tournament was, and how interesting the stuff in-between was. I'm not sure that it will move up in my rankings just because of how much I enjoy the books I've already ranked above it. But, my opinion on the book has certainly changed and I appreciate it much more.
So the character I mentioned... I've never made it a secret that Harry, while a good character, is nowhere near my favorite. I don't know why, but this is a common theme for me when it comes to narrators/ main characters. I never seem to like them as much as the rest of the characters they're surrounded by. I often feel like the other characters are more dynamic, and I'm not really sure why that is. I honestly can't think of a book or series where the main character is my favorite character. Literally none. One of the secondary main characters (like Jace in TMI) is almost always my favorite character. However, this book reminded me how much I underestimate and undervalue Harry. He was strong and sarcastic and able to stand his ground and speak his mind, and I respect that immensely in a character. I think it was when Harry told off Rita Skeeter in the middle of the Three Broomsticks was when I really respected Harry more than I had in the past. I'm not sure why it was then, but it reminded me that he actually is a dynamic character who can hold his own.
As I said, I really enjoyed the Triwizard Tournament part of the book. It was really exciting and interesting. I really also love the intricacy of all of the smaller story arcs combining to create this really incredible story. Plus, the darker tone really starts to set in with this book, which is just great because that's when the series gets really exciting.
I'll be adding commentary on these since this post is really short so far...
Serves Dudley right!
Page 60: The source of the commotion was revealed as they entered the garden, and saw that Bill and Charlie both had their wands out, and were making two battered old tables fly high above the lawn, smashing into each other, each attempting to knock the other's out of the air. Fred and George were cheering, Ginny was laughing, and Hermione was hovering near the hedge, apparently torn between amusement and anxiety.
This family is just absolutely perfect.
Page 83: One of them was a very old wizard who was wearing a long flowery nightgown. The other was clearly a Ministry wizard; he was holding out a pair of pinstriped trousers and almost crying with exasperation.
"Just put them on, Archie, there's a good chap. You can't walk around like that, the muggle at the gate's already getting suspicious-"
"I bought this in a Muggle shop," said the old wizard stubbornly. "Muggles wear them."
"Muggle women wear them, Archie, not the men, they wear these," said the Ministry wizard, and he brandished the pinstriped trousers.
"I'm not putting them on," said old Archie in indicnation. "I like a healthy breeze 'round my privates, thanks."
How on earth did this gem get cut from the movie?
Page 157: "I'm never wearing them," Rom was saying stubbornly. "Never."
"Fine," snapped Mrs. Weasley. "Go naked. And, Harry, make sure you get a picture of him. Goodness knows I could do with a laugh."
Sassy Molly is sassy.
Page 186: "It is my very great pleasure to inform you that the Triwizard Tournament will be taking place at Hogwarts this year."
"You're JOKING!" said Fred Weasley loudly.
The tension that had filled that Hall ever since Moody's arrival suddenly broke. Nearly everyone laughed, and Dumbledore chuckled appreciatively.
"I am not joking, Mr. Weasley," he said, "though now that you mention it, I did hear an excellent one over the summer about a troll, a hag, and a leprechaun who all go into a bar..."
Once again, I love the twins.
Page 200: "... your dark hair... your mean stature... tragic losses so young in life... I think I am right in saying, my dear, that you were born in midwinter?"
"No," said Harry, "I was born in July."
Trelawney is just so bad. So, SO bad.
Page 206: "What- what are you doing?" said Professor McGonagall, her eyes following the bouncing ferret's progress through the air.
"Teaching," said Moody.
"Teach- Moody, is that a student?" shrieked Professor McGonagall, the books spilling out of her arms.
"Yep," said Moody.
This scene was just too good in the movie.
Page 260: For a split second Harry thought it had worked- George certainly thought so, for he let out a yell of triumph and leapt after Fred- but next moment, there was a loud sizzling sound, and both twins were hurled out of the golden circle as though the had been thrown by an invisible shot-putter. They landed painfully, ten feet away on the cold stone floor, and to add insult to injury, there was a loud popping noise and both of them sprouted identical long white beards.
The entrance hall rang with laughter. Even Fred and George joined in, once they had gotten to their feet and taken a good look at each other's beards.
Page 367: Just then, Neville caused a slight diversion by turning into a large canary.
"Oh- sorry, Neville!" Fred shouted over all the laughter. "I forgot- it was the custard creams we hexed-"
Have I mentioned that I love the twins?
Page 384: "Percy wouldn't recognize a joke if it danced naked in front of him wearing Dobby's tea cozy."
JKR's sense of humor is spot on.
Page 417: "Oh, I would never dream of assuming I know all Hogwarts' secrets, Igor," said Dumbledore amicably. "Only this morning, for instance, I took a wrong turning on the way to the bathroom and found myself in a beautifully proportioned room I have never seen before containing a really rather magnificent collection of chamber pots. When I went back to investigate more closely, I discovered that the room had vanished. But I must keep an eye out for it. Possibly it is only accessible at five-thirty in the morning. Or it may only appear at the quarter moon- or when the seeker has an exceptionally full bladder."
Harry snorted into his plate of goulash.
Are we really supposed to believe that Dumbledore, the most brilliant wizard alive, who had lived in that castle for over 50 years, could make a wrong turn in the castle? Or that he'd never found the Room of Requirement previously? Still funny though.
Page 490: "Harry Potter has to go into the lake and find his Wheezy-"
"Find my what?"
"- and take his Wheezy back from the merpeople!"
"What's a Wheezy?"
"Your Wheezy, sir, your Wheezy- Wheezy who is giving Dobby his sweater!"
Dobby is another fave.
Page 525: "If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals."
Sirius getting all deep.
Page 733: The twins turned. Harry pulled open his trunk and drew out his Triwizard winnings.
"Take it," he said, and he thrust the sack into George's hands.
"What?" said Fred, looking flabbergasted.
"Take it,"Harry repeated firmly. "I don't want it."
"You're mental," said George, trying to push it back at Harry.
"No, I'm not," said Harry. "You take it, and get inventing. It's for the joke shop."
"He is mental," Fred said in an almost awed voice.
"Look," he said flatly, "take it, or I'll hex you. I know some good ones now, Just do me one favor, okay? Buy Ron some different dress robes and say they're from you."
I actually teared up a bit at this. I wish it had been in the movie. It's such a beautiful moment.
So, there you go, that's all for this summer reading post! I hope you enjoyed it, because I definitely enjoyed making it. I could talk about Harry Potter ceaselessly for the rest of my life and never get bored. If you have questions, ask in the comments!
Thanks for reading! If you like my posts, don't forget to subscribe/follow, since it lets me know that you're enjoying what I'm doing. See y'all in a few days!