Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapters 3-7
This book has a really slow start. I don’t think I really realized that until I had to take notes on it. We spend four chapters just getting to their arrival at the World Cup and then another chapter just hanging out at the campground the day before the match. I do like the campground chapter though because it introduces us to both Ludo Bagman and Barty Crouch who we will see a lot of in this book. Also it opens the wizarding world to the international level for the first time. Obviously there are wizards all over the world but so far the books have only dealt with British wizards.
Though these chapters are slow, and a little painful to get through, there is a lot that is being set up that will pay off later on. We spend a significant amount of time on Barty Crouch and Ludo Bagman. Crouch is head of the Department of International Magical Cooperation at the Ministry and is a very straight-laced, by the books guy. Bagman is a foil for Crouch. He is head of Magical Games and Sports and is very laid back, disorganized, and unconcerned. He is also a little crooked as he is placing bets on the outcome of the match which, given his position, is definitely illegal. They have had to work together a lot to put on the World Cup, and another future project that Bagman keeps trying to tease but Crouch won’t let him. Crouch clearly struggles to deal with Bagman.
Cedric Diggory is also officially introduced in Chapter 6 (“The Portkey”). He had been mentioned in passing in Prisoner of Azkaban during his Quidditch match against Harry. Though their interaction here is pretty short, we learn that Cedric is a nice guy and his father, Amos, sucks. Amos is overly proud of Cedric for beating Harry in last year’s match. Cedric tries to be cool about it saying that Harry fell off his broom (because of the dementors) so it wasn’t really a fair win. Amos on the other hand seems to be living vicariously through Cedric and sees this as what will probably be Cedric’s greatest life achievement.
We spend a lot of time with the Weasley’s in these chapters. Percy is now working for the Ministry, as an aid to Barty Crouch, and he is more insufferable than ever before. The twins are manufacturing all sorts of joke products called Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes much to Molly’s annoyance. We also briefly meet the two eldest brothers, Bill and Charlie. Harry is surprised to learn that Bill is a cool nerd. Other than some physical descriptions the book doesn’t really spend that much time on either of them.
Throughout these chapters there continues to be numerous little recaps of characters and events from previous books. I don’t think either of the previous two books had this much recapping. Publishers must have really wanted to make sure the books were accessible to people who hadn’t read the previous books. Hopefully as the book goes on these little recaps die down.
- Dudley is on a diet so Harry got cakes, snacks, and meat pies from his friends and is keeping them under his floor boards. How do they not go bad? It seems Harry is rationing it for quite a while.
- The Weasleys come to pick Harry up at the Dursleys and it is disastrous. There is a lot of awkward wizard/muggle clashing in these chapters.
- Bertha Jorkins (who the reader knows was killed by Voldemort) worked for Bagman and he is not too concerned with the fact that she is missing. Apparently everyone knows she is kind of an airhead.
- I feel like each Harry Potter book has a “spell of the book”. In Chamber of Secrets it was Expelliarmus and in Prisoner it was Expecto patronum. This book it will be Accio.
- The Ministry went through great lengths to put on the World Cup without muggles finding out but couldn’t figure out a way around the muggle campsite hosts?
- Wizards really have no clue how to blend into the muggle world. And don’t seem to care too much to try.
- Arthur is having so much fun pretending to be a muggle but he is so bad at it.
- Ron’s obsession with Viktor Krum is very apparent in these chapters. The love will eventually turn to hate.
- “I like a healthy breeze ’round my privates” is probably the most under-appreciated line in the series.
- The twins bet their entire life savings on Ireland winning the match but Krum getting the snitch.
- Crouch doesn’t even know Percy’s name. Calls him Weatherby. Which is even funnier considering that he knows his dad.