Sunday, October 10, 2010

Goblet of Fire Chapters 1 -2

Merlin's Beard! This book is long!

Welcome to the beginning of another book, Gryffindorks. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the 4th book in the series and really serves as the pivotal book in the series. From this book on, the mood changes from rather light-hearted to very serious. The big, overall plot really takes a turn at the end of this book as we'll see. This book is the 2nd largest in the series at a staggering 734 pages! Critics said that this would deter young readers from plowing through this one, but this juggernaut turned out to be the best-selling book in the series up until the 5th was published.

To recap, here's how I've ranked the books in terms of the books I liked best:

Sorcerer's Stone: 6th out of 7
Chamber of Secrets: 7th out of 7
Prisoner of Azkaban: 4th out of 7
Goblet of Fire: 2nd out of 7

I gave the 2nd place ribbon to Goblet of Fire for several reasons:

1.) It's one of the longest. More story = more awesomeness!
2.) Plot twists. This book is full of 'em.
3.) Shock factor. There are very few moments in the series that have absolutely floored me, but this story has a couple of 'em, including the death that shocked me most. There was a different death that made me the most sad, but that's another book. (No, it's not the big one in the 6th book, if that's what you're thinking.)
4.) Harry's world gets expanded. In the first few books, there is relatively little of significance that happens outside Hogwarts. This book really expands the scope of the wizarding world, with the addition of new magic, new ideas, and new characters.

With that said, I did not much like the 4th movie. This was in part due to the fact that the book was so awesome, and in part due to the book's length. The movie felt rushed. I'll offer my critique and critisisms of the movie in a later post. For now, it's off to the first two chapters.

Can I Give You a Hand?

The beginning of Goblet of Fire places us in Tom Riddle's home where we find Wormtail nursing a weak Voldemort. Wormtail, nervous, wimpering, and nearly wetting himself, begins to complain to Voldemort that the task of killing Harry Potter might prove too difficult. Voldemort replies that many of his servants would "give their right hand" to be put in the place of Wormtail. Though this hyperbole is often used, and in this case could easily be overlooked, it proves to be more than an exaggeration. Wormtail will indeed literally give his right hand.

The Village of Little What?

Even though the story of Harry Potter is told in third person, it is mostly told from Harry's perspective. It's like a reality show where the camera follows only Harry. There are a couple of chapters that take place outside Harry's presence and this is one of them. It's a great way for the reader to see what's going on outside Harry's life and see what potential things could lie in wait for our little hero.

Migraine Scar!

Harry wakes up with is scar hurting again and our little hero freaks out that Voldemort is skulking about Little Whinging. It's interesting that what Harry assumes is a dream was actually reality. Harry suspects this, but is afraid to admit it to others and to himself. This link between Harry's mind and Voldemort's becomes an extremely importand plot element of the next book.

The Boy Who Lived

In the first several books, as a reader, I've been satisfied in asking myself the same question that has been asked of all the characters in the books, "How did the boy survive?" To answer many of the secrets that lie ahead, the more important question should be, "Why did Voldemort not die?"


Anonymous said...

Anonymous here again-- I'm going to be known as Hedwig from now on.

I, too, loved how Rowling used Harry's dream to show us the world outside of Harry's perspective. Although she really did stay with the rules of the first person narrative by having Harry dream this situation. I was actually a little upset about the opening of the 6th book, where something was taking place that didn't have to do with Harry. Rowling broke the rules-- all seven books are in the 1st person!

I also really liked the play on words of "giving your right hand" and how Voldemort makes sure that happens. Don't you just love to hate him?!

I'm excited to read your thoughts on the 4th book... there are plenty of opportunities for them!


DiaNe said...

on to book 4! One of my favorites, though I agree with you...the movie didn't do it justice.