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Thoughts on Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling, Chapters 34 and 35

Thoughts on Chapters 1-3, 4-6, 7-9, 10-12, 13-15, 16-18, 19-21, 22-24, 25-27, 28-30, and 31-33!

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Chapter Thirty-Four: Priori Incantatem

  1. In case you needed to be reminded that these books are quite horrific: a fourteen-year-old has been kidnapped, tied to a gravestone, had his arm sliced open, been forced to watch the man who murdered his parents form a new body, and is now standing in front of twenty or so grown adults ready to watch him be murdered by that same regrown guy who killed his parents and has been after him for thirteen years since. And that boy can’t even try to make a run for it, because his leg is so injured he can barely stand on it—oh, and the person who tied him to that gravestone, and has now untied him to be killed, is the man who betrayed his parents to their death and framed his only chance at an abuse-free home for it, sending him on the run to live off rats in a cave.
  2. Just for a recap in horror, like.
  3. I know these posts are usually funny, but Voldemort is magically forcing Harry to bow before dueling him, and I don’t know where I can find the humour in that.
  4. I do know that I can find a whole bunch of heart-wrenching admiration for Harry, though; refusing to react to Voldemort humiliating him, throwing off the Imperius curse, resolving to stand on his feet and face Voldemort like his father did.
  5. I mean, Harry is fourteen.
  6. Maybe this just hits harder when you’re twice his age—older than his parents were when Voldemort killed them.
  7. And talking of his parents: their echoes are forced from Voldemort’s wand because of Priori Incantatem. There’s a continuity issue in the original Goblet printing, where James emerges first instead of Lily (in the reverse order of spells the wand is being forced to recount, Lily, having died last, should’ve emerged first). They’ve fixed it in the illustrated edition I’m reading–but the speech is still in the same order, and it gave me solid spooks to read the wrong names after the familiar dialogue.
  8. Just a nerdy tidbit. Like the Mandela effect, except completely provable.
  9. A second nerdy tidbit to relieve the tension: this chapter is another example of simple spells getting Harry out of trouble. Wingardium Leviosa vs the mountain troll in Stone; Expelliarmus a thousand times; and here, in the graveyard, Summoning the portkey cup with Accio, within seconds of Voldemort killing him.
  10. It’s really no wonder the Death Eaters knew which of the Seven Potters he was in Hallows. It’s been building for years, and I think that’s genius.

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Chapter Thirty-Five: Veritaserum

  1. More content I can’t find humour in: Harry arriving at Hogwarts, traumatised and clutching Cedric’s corpse.
  2. Accompanied by the memory of movie Amos Diggory’s shout of ‘MY BOY’ that just pulls my heart out of my body.
  3. I don’t like Amos—see why here and here (TL;DR–also the fact that he’s the reason for Cursed Child)—but my God, that bit in the movie kills me.
  4. Okay, levity: Fake Moody has to monologue his year to Harry, because all good villains do, and… It makes sense, here? This is a guy who’s had no one to openly talk to for ten months. He’s needed a good vent for a while.
  5. Dumbledore interrupts it—how long was he waiting there while Harry was in danger?—looking so fierce, Harry finally realises why Voldemort’s afraid of Dumbledore. I think this is where we get a change in tone for Dumbledore: he’s no longer just an eccentric, lovable old man. We see him in action with Fake Moody, interrogating him under Veritaserum and bringing Winky in for it—and in the next chapter, he’ll be dragging more out of Harry, in spite of Harry being exhausted and Sirius protesting it. He’s not benign anymore; he’s taking charge of real, frightening things, and becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy about power and people who should or shouldn’t take it, like he mentions in Hallows. He’s about to make some calls that make life hell for a whole lot of people—about to reveal just how much he’s been doing that for years.
  6. It must be a shitty position to be in, making hard calls with other people’s lives because you’re the only one smart enough to see so many steps ahead, but still.
  7. I guess that’s the Dumbledore paradox for you.

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