Harry dreams of Voldemort

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Chapters 1 & 2

One of the many joys of reading Harry Potter is the way the series evolves with its audience. Goblet of Fire is in many ways a transition book from the first to the second half of the series. It is not only the middle book, but it also introduces changes in length, tone, and world building. Goblet of Fire is 300 pages longer than Prisoner of Azkaban. As the first kids who read Sorcerer’s Stone would have aged several years at this point, they were ready for lengthier, more detailed books. Harry is 14-years old now and with that comes, a darker tone, bigger challenges, and hormones.

The book starts with a rare chapter that is not from Harry’s perspective. Technically he is dreaming it, but it is a scene that is really happening. It is a more interesting way to open the book than the typical recap chapter (though we aren’t spared that entirely, it is just moved to the second chapter). This one works nicely to set up the end of the book without giving too much away.

Just as predicted, once Wormtail escaped from Harry and the gang, he reunited with Voldemort and is helping him regain his full strength. Voldemort’s physical appearance at this time is never really described beyond being too revolting to look at. Voldemort has been scraping by living a parasitic life but it seems now he has a real plan to fully resurrect himself. He murdered a witch from the Ministry of Magic, Bertha Jorkins, after getting all the important information out of her he could. Apparently the information they got from her was very useful, though we don’t know what it was about yet.

We also find out what happened to Voldemort’s father’s side of the family. His father and grandparents were murdered (presumably by him) and their muggle village was completely baffled as to what happened. It was blamed on their gardener, Frank, but since there was no apparent cause of death he couldn’t be charged. The chapter is primarily from Frank’s perspective as he listens in on the conversation between Voldemort and Wormtail, very confused by all of the wizard terminology.

After all of the interesting intrigue of the first chapter, we then get the recap chapter. This one seemed even more painful than some of the others. Most of it is Harry walking around his room looking at things and thinking about his dream. He imagines what each important person in his life might say about it as a way to remind us who those people are and their essential characteristics. Then Harry finally remembers Sirius exists and he sends him a letter to find out if he should be concerned that his scar is hurting out of no where, which obviously he should be.

Foreshadow and First Mentions

  • Voldemort tells Wormtail “I will allow you to perform an essential task for me, one that many of my followers would give their right hands to perform”. Part of the spell Wormtail uses to bring Voldemort back requires him to sacrifice his hand.
  • Voldemort is only dealing with Wormtail until his “faithful servant” returns. Who might this faithful servant be? Snape? Lucius Malfoy? Someone new entirely?
  • First mention of Voldemort’s snake, Nagini.
  • There is a lot of talk about events to come and the Quidditch World Cup.

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