joi, 22 ianuarie 2015

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

In the fourth Harry Potter book, as Harry grows he attends the Quidditch World Cup and is a participant of the Triwizard Cup, which is held at Hogwarts. Both events are deemed to foster cooperation between wizards and witches from around the world. Even though in the magical world the returning of Voldermort is kept secret, signs of his return appear.

At the Quidditch World Cup, at which Hermione, Ron, Harry and the Weasley Family are all present, the Dark Mark of Voldermort appears after a group of Death Eaters start killing half-blood wizards and witches. The resulting wave of panic is blamed upon a house-elf belonging to Barty Crouch’s family (an official of the Ministry of Magic) and an unofficial investigation concerning the identity of the Death Eaters begins.

Harry is convinced of the importance of this dark activity, as he experiences pains in his scar and strange dreams about Voldermort’s activity. Dumbledore sets put extra precautions, and he even bans students under the age of 18 years to compete in Triwizard challenge. In order to compete at Triwizard Tournament, participats from two other prestigious schools: Durmstrang and Beauxbatons arrive at Hogwarts, alongside Ministry of Magic officials. The guests are received with curiosity and enthusiasm. As a mean of selecting suitable champions from the schools the Goblet of Fire (an ancient magical sorting device) is used. It comes as a surprise that after the election of Cedric Diggory, from Huffelpuff House – Hogwarts, Viktor Krum from Durmstrang and Fleur Delacour from Beauxbatons, Harry´s name is also selected, without him entering in the competition. With suspicions over the person which entered Harry´s name is trying to kill him, his friends and close professors seem to help him figure out clues on how to overcome the three challenges. As he finds out the nature of the first task he also shares information with Cedric, managing thus to get the golden egg protected by a fierce dragon. In the second task, Cedric repays the help by giving Harry a clue on how to open the egg and understand what the second task will be. Between the first and the second task a great Yule Ball is given, and Hermione attends it with Viktor, leaving Ron to feel for the first time a surge of jealousy and to notice that he has certain feelings for Hermione. Harry and Ron attend the party with the Patil sisters (Padma and Parvati), but end up talking to each other the whole time, as neither really fancies the girls. In the second task they must recue the loved ones from the lake, where they are guarded by Meerpeople. Harry’s need to be assured that all the captives are rescued almost cost him the points, but in the end the judges decide he showed moral fibre and award him points nonetheless, sending him in the second place for the Cup. The last task is a Maze completion and as he and Cedric decide to reach the cup at the same moment they are transported to Voldermort´s whereabouts. The cup was a portkey, bewitched to bring Harry to the Dark Lord.

In the fight to save their lives, Cedric is killed and Harry manages to escape. Harry shows incredible strength when duelling with Voldermort and realizes that his wand and Voldermort’s are sister wands, having been made with magical feathers from the same phoenix bird (Fawks - Dumbledor´s phoenix). After Harry returns with Cedric’s dead body, nobody believes him that he had to duel Voldermort, and the Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge, goes to great lengths to publicly discredit this claim. Only Dumbledore makes the information known to students in the end of the year feast and sends cautionary messages to all witches and wizards who believe him. In this note, the school year finishes and Harry is left to return once again to his uncle and aunt at Privet Drive.

The book follows the same themes such as death, friendship and bravery as the previous ones. It is enchantingly well-written and makes you think twice about the important decisions and trials in one’s life. I am reading it from an adult perspective and I am always amazed at the meanings which appear in the book. For example, how to deal with challenges set ahead of you and also how we tend to regard everything that has come to pass as something that was bound to happen. It seems he have a certain need to think that once we overcome something we were always meant to live it, and how we tend to forget the anxiety and stress that accompanies our struggles. 

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