The Dark Mark

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapters 8-10

The first one hundred pages are so of this book have been leading up to the Quidditch World Cup and it finally pays off in these chapters when the Death Eaters crash the celebrations. The actual match isn’t worth discussing too much, but there is a lot happening around it that foreshadow events to come. Though I skimmed the match itself, I was very excited to get to the aftermath.

This event is the most active the Death Eaters have been since Voldemort disappeared 13 years ago. It is also the first anyone has seen the Dark Mark be cast in that time. The Death Eaters terrorize the muggle campground hosts and cause general destruction. Very KKK vibes. But it is unclear if the person who cast the mark was with them. The other Death Eaters disapparated the moment it was cast. Had the caster gone rogue? Or are they a true believer and those in masks were the ones that renounced Voldemort after he disappeared? I don’t know that we ever get the answer to this. We can probably assume that these are the same group of people that show up to Voldemort’s resurrection at the end where they don’t receive the warmest of welcomes. Lucius Malfoy certainly among them.

Amos Diggory continues to be the worst when he accuses Harry and Crouch’s house elf, Winky, of conjuring the Dark Mark. He isn’t using common sense but in all the hysteria he just wants to find a culprit. Never mind that Harry is probably the last person to join up with Voldemort. And that Winky is a house-elf unlikely to know how to do much with a wand, let alone a complicated dark spell that very few people know how to cast. Though it is frustrating to see this whole scene play out, it demonstrates just how scared people are of the idea of Voldemort returning. Crouch knows Winky didn’t conjure the mark but he frees her as punishment anyway so that he appears tough on crime.

Speaking of Winky, the seeds of Hermione’s disgust over the treatment of house elves are planted in these chapters. This will become a pretty big side plot in this book so I will discuss it more later. Harry meets Winky at the match, initially mistaking her for Dobby. Winky knows Dobby and tells Harry that freeing him was not a kindness. Dobby is now asking for wages which no house elf ever has before. Though Dobby obviously should be paid, if he is the only house elf asking for it what incentive do wizards have to pay him? Other than out of the goodness of their hearts?

Next we are headed off to Hogwarts and here’s to hoping that things continue to pick up from here!

Miscellaneous

  • Winky is “saving Crouch a seat” at the match but the seats are assigned so why would he need it saved?
  • Ireland wins but Krum gets the snitch.
  • Another reason Amos sucks: he continuously refers to Winky as “elf”.
  • Rita Skeeter gets her first mention when she writes an article blasting the ministry for what happened at the World Cup.
  • Harry finally fills Ron and Hermione in on his scar hurting and his dream about Voldemort. Combined with the Death Eaters, Harry is beginning to fear that Voldemort is on the rise again.
  • Ron gets frilly dress robes.

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