5 Thoughts on Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire // Part One

I may have set my expectations far too high for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, deeming it to be one of the ‘lighter’ instalments in the series. I cannot express how much I looked forward to reading this and it ended up being a 2* read. I was so glad that it was over. The film was better. The two-stars I’ve given are for a small number of things that made the book just a teensy bit enjoyable: Harry and Ron predicting their grim fates for Divination homework, the brilliance that is Arthur Weasley and the majesty of Fleur Delacour who strangely reminds me of Amber from the current season of Love Island. *Jon voice:* she is my Queen.

1. ARTHUR WEASLEY & MINERVA MCGONAGALL V HAGRID

Both Arthur and Professor McGonagall are how I expect responsible and mature adults to behave. When Vernon Dursley was raging at the Weasley’s for their arrival in the most unexpected way at Number Four, Privet Drive, did Arthur Weasley attack Dudley? Did he fly off the handle at Vernon? The latter I would have understood, but, as you can see, I am still not over that oaf, Hagrid, attacking a defenceless 11-year-old child because he’s furious about Vernon insulting Dumbledore. No, my good gentleman, Arthur Weasley, kindly attempts to placate the Dursley’s and engage in co-operation with muggles. And when Impostor Mad-Eye Moody transforms Draco Malfoy into a ferret, what does my good gentlewoman, Minerva McGonagall, do? She promptly rebukes Moody. Just as a good, responsible and mature adult should do. *makes Sansa welcoming Daenerys to Winterfell eyes at Hagrid* Humph, 60-year-old man behaving like a 12-year-old Tracy Beaker.

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Other than that, I have completely fallen for Arthur Weasley. I gushed about him after reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and now I am completely in love with him.

2. FLEUR DELACOUR & PERCY WEASLEY APPRECIATION CLUB

Percy receives a lot of unfair flak for being pompous and a ‘traitor.’ He was pompous, sure, traitor? Eh, debatable, we do see him after all arriving at Hogwarts to assist in the battle. I’m sure his pride and ambition got in the way of returning earlier, however, what matters most is that he does return and makes amends. There is absolutely no way I am directing resentment towards a character who demonstrates the ability to recognise his errors, admit them, apologise and make amends. What really stood out for me about Percy in GoF is that though he is one of the judges for the second task, he immediately abandons his seat once Ron emerges from the lake and won’t stop making sure that Ron is fine. It must have been a great honour for him to be a judge for the task as well, bear that in mind. Percy Weasley is underrated… and he’s my third favourite Weasley now after Arthur and Ron. Yes, I much prefer him to the twins and Ginny.    

Fleur Delacour is haughty and has very high standards. I can understand why Hermione was annoyed, I’m sure I, too, would be annoyed if I overheard someone ridiculing the school that I was proud to attend. However, I… am also pretty up myself too, so I don’t really mind. I am in two minds regarding the character arc set out for Fleur Delacour by Rowling. Rowling has written this series in a time when simply being beautiful wasn’t enough, where women had to prove themselves for being beautiful, but, sadly, I think this trope will remain timeless.

It brought to mind the scene in The Office where Erin is screaming at Andy: “What else you got!?” You’re beautiful, huh? BuT aRe YoU nIcE, aRe YoU eVeN sMaRt, ThOuGh? Prove it to me! How very self-entitled of us to demand beautiful people to constantly jump through hoops to placate our lack of self-esteem, to make us feel better about ourselves. The burden of beauty is thrusted upon the beautiful by the less beautiful. If a beautiful woman is slightly rude, the first reference is made to her physical appearance.

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Fleur became one of my favourite characters after rereading this book. She’s a Triwizard Champion, she’s multi-lingual, she’s humble and gracious when she loses, she goes after who she wants, she’s intelligent, and she’s beautiful. Fleur is that bitch.

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The Mother of Cheesy Captions

3. RON & HERMIONE AT THE YULE BALL

Ron was a jerk to Hermione at the Yule Ball. Period. Classing this as emotional abuse as opposed to what it really is – insensitivity – is dangerous and isn’t a term to be lightly bandied about. There’s no denying that he behaved poorly, despicably, to Hermione. This was a special moment for Hermione: opening the Yule Ball and leading the dance, and Ron should have piped down. Despite this, I don’t believe he deserves the vilification he receives for his behaviour at the Yule Ball and its film counterpart exacerbates Ron and Hermione’s argument. In the film adaptation, Ron and Hermione’s argument ruins Hermione’s night and we, consequently, see Hermione crying. This doesn’t happen in the book. That would have been fine had Steve Kloves, writer, not completely whitewashed Hermione assaulting Ron in the Half-Blood Prince. Removing Ron’s more emotionally sensitive moments, reducing him to a comic relief figure, creating scenes to add a ‘much woe to Hermione’ flair, and whitewashing Hermione’s assault in the Half-Blood Prince (an act of toxic femininity in itelf) demonstrated both toxic masculinity and toxic femininity on the part of Steve Kloves.


What are your thoughts on the differences between the way Arthur Weasley and Hagrid interact with the Dursley’s and muggles in general? Is Percy Weasley underrated? Do we demand too much from characters and people who are beautiful? What do you think of Steve Kloves creating a scene where Hermione cries at the Yule Ball? Let me know in the comments!

Also, it’s nice to be blogging again and to be finally reviewing and discussing a book! Tune in for Part Two where I will be reversing my views on S.P.E.W. (yep, a girl will not stick to her argument if better reasoning has been presented) and discussing Harry and Ron’s fight.

– Sophia Ismaa

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29 Comments

  1. The only thing I would say about Arthur and Hagrid’s interaction with the Dursleys is that Arthur spent his life studying them. That was literally his job. He studied aspects about them, and probably had a bit more human interaction with muggles and wizards alike.

    Hagrid owes his life, literally, to Dumbledore. To have these terrible humans (not entirely their own fault) to insult the man, and treat Harry like garbage, whom Hagrid dropped off at their house, yeah I understand that he get’s a bit angry. Plus when does Hagrid get to leave Hogwarts? Probably not often, and he was trying to win over Harry, who was also an 11 year old.

    Hagrid “saves” Harry by stopping his bully, so I don’t think Hagrid’s interaction with them is negative at all. Just my opinion.

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    1. You don’t need to study people to know that you shouldn’t attack them, you don’t need any study at all to know that a grown up should not attack a child. Moreover, he was trying to turn Dudley into a pig and only succeeded in giving him a pig’s tail, and not only that, he had no plans to remove it either. If Harry attempted this – understandable. However, Hagrid had no knowledge that Dudley was a bully. Should such an attack not be directed to the father instead of the child who was cowering behind his parents? Regardless, a 60-year-old man attacking a defenceless 11-year-old child is unacceptable. How is turning a child into a pig an act of saving another 11-year-old child? That is a logical fallacy. It’s child abuse, let’s call it what it is. If you were a child, and a spoilt one at that, who was taught to hate another child all your life, and then your parents insulted a stranger who was close to a stranger that you know nothing about and then they retaliated by attacking you, how would you feel? Should you, a child, bear the brunt of physical retaliation for the words of your parent? I can’t imagine attacking a child if their parents insulted my mother. There are certain things in life you just don’t do or justify.

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      1. I may be remembering incorrectly, but I don’t recall Hagrid attempting to turn him into a pig. I remember him giving him a pig tail, which is much different.

        And I don’t believe it’s child abuse. And even if it was, then we should talk about the abuse the Dudleys have to Harry, over and over again. If Harry can handle the Dursleys for 17 years of his life, Dudley can handle a small little pig tail for a few days

        Hagrid literally stormed into the place, probably scaring the shit out of Harry as well, and had to convince Harry to go along with him. In the grand scheme of all magical spells that Hagrid could have done, giving a spoilt brat a pig tail for a few days isn’t the worst of them. He had to win Harry over and clearly it worked.

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        1. I suggest you read the Philosopher’s Stone. Hagrid states he was trying to turn him into a pig. And it didn’t remain there for a matter of days, Dudley had the pig’s tail for an entire month.

          This is why the Harry Potter fandom worries me. Yes, what the Dursley’s did to Harry was child abuse. However, once Harry saved Dudley, he saw Harry for what he truly was – a good person. The opposite to what his parents taught him. Dudley was terrible to Harry, but he was taught to hate Harry. Manipulating Dudley’s emotions and opinions to hate Harry, spoiling Dudley to the point that he inevitably becomes a ‘spoilt brat’ are not Dudley’s fault, that is the fault of his parents. Likewise, it was Vernon Dursley who insulted Dumbledore, not Dudley. Attacking Dudley only reinforced his belief that wizards are dangerous, he is after all a child and therefore impressionable.

          It is child abuse – it is a physical attack, giving a pig’s tail to a human child is a physical attack and results in a physical deformity. That’s the physical abuse aspect covered. Dudley is an 11-year-old child. Hagrid is a 60-year-old man and therefore would be classed as an adult. Therefore, it is indicative of child abuse. One attack is enough. If a man hits his partner, that’s enough to constitute abuse.

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          1. If you’re claiming this incident is child abuse, then you’re claiming the magic system as a whole is wrong. Magic users literally erase memories of people unwillingly, that sounds like a crime, a large amount of magic users claim they are more entitled than non magic users, magic users even send their kids into a school with dozens of different ways that they could die. I could probably make a list of about 100 different things that show how the wizarding world breaks our understanding of laws and common sense, but guess what, it’s a book.

            Dumbledore sends Harry on impossible tasks and nearly kills him. Nobody bats an eye. There’s literally a giant snake in the school basement, kids still go to school. Oh we need 4 houses for this school, yeah let’s make one of them just the evil house. Don’t forget about that tree that wants to bludgeon you to death, or the candies that make your ears steam. It’s like comparing out lifestyles now to the lifestyle of people on Ancient Rome. Two different things that have some similarities, but the differences are so vast that they follow different rules and laws and customs

            We have no idea how a magic using family would deal with a kid like Dudley. Maybe turning him into a pig is pretty normal, or letting him off the hook.

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            1. What has this got to do with the magic system and erasing peoples memories? In itself, that’s wholly different to directly attacking a child. I was discussing what Hagrid did to Dursley in my post and how Professor McGonagall AND Arthur Weasley differ in this respect. Moreover, wizarding law no longer allows Hagrid to possess a wand or use magic. So, by wizarding standards, systems and laws, he shouldn’t be using magic. Moreover, McGonagall and Arthur Weasley both follow the same laws, rules and customs of the wizarding world and, yet, they do not follow in Hagrid’s footsteps by attacking students nor muggle children. That should be an indicator that attempting to turn children into a pig is not normal.

              Thank you for that, I sincerely did not know it was a book. My apologies. Thank you for pointing that out to me. Next time, I won’t even post about books, after all… they’re just books!

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              1. I didn’t realize that every single person in society has to act the exact same way while following a law. For whatever reason you want to point out that Hagrid is this child abusing law breaking wizard, which is fine and you can do that, but he’s breaking the laws that you understand. If he wasn’t allowed a wand he wouldn’t be able to use his umbrella, but he has his umbrella, which the ministry would have been able to figure out he had, but clearly they didn’t care.

                McGonnigal and Arthur it’s true, don’t instantly turn to making Dudley or Malfoy a pig, but McGonnigal is following a secondary set of rules along with magical laws, because she’s following Hogwarts rules. And maybe Arthur didn’t turn him into a pig because he didn’t feel like it? If I ever have a kid I don’t have to discipline them, I’m making the choice to. Hagrid chose to, and Arthur didn’t.

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                1. Well, yes, everyone does have to, whether in fiction (where there are different magical systems) or when it’s a real-life legal system, people are expected to follow whatever law they’re subscribing to. Otherwise, why else did Hagrid and Harry keep quiet about Hagrid attacking Dudley? If it was acceptable and within the law, they would have been perfectly fine to reveal what Hagrid did.

                  Yes, because that’s Arthur, isn’t it? He only attacks children when he feels like it. Dear me, I have yet to hear a fan interpret Arthur Weasley as one who attacks children whenever he feels like it, or even Professor McGonagall. Except Dudley isn’t even Hagrid’s kid, is he? Hagrid doesn’t even know Dudley, nor does he know that Dudley is a bully. So, what is there to discipline if he barely even knows the kid? Another logical fallacy.

                  I’m curious, do white men ever accept defeat after making numerous logical fallacies or is it necessary for white men to talk down to women of colour over a topic who’s knowledge doesn’t match the woman of colour concerned?

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                  1. Well first off no, not everyone acts the same following certain laws. There’s laws regarding child abuse in a lot of, if not all countries in the world, but all parents discipline their kids differently. I was sparked as a kid, my friend wasn’t. Does that mean one of our parents was breaking the law?

                    I never said Arthur chooses which kids he attacks, I’m saying he chooses not to attack them, the same with Professor M. Every time I drive my car I choose to stay under the speed limit, but I am perfectly capable of going above the limit.

                    And how certain can you be that Hagrid doesn’t know Dudley is a bully. I mean he knew exactly where they were when he went to get Harry, maybe he had been keeping tabs on the family? I mean he is the one kid that survived the killing curse, but yeah it’s probably not important to keep track of the one exception.

                    And I had no idea this was turning into a race and gender issue. You could have been black brown white or anything in between. Man woman or whatever gender you defined yourself as. I don’t care. Do whatever makes you happy, but don’t assume I am being discriminatory to you because you are a woman of colour. It’s nice to see that people can have a, I would say, reasonable debate without race and gender being brought into it.

                    Yes I may not be as knowledgeable as you on the morality of Hagrid and Arthur Weasley and the comparison of Harry Potter to the real world, but you’re trying to compare a magical world that people, even the creator herself, has barely scratched the surface of, and saying you know the intricacies of how their laws and legal systems work?

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                    1. Well, first off no, I don’t know which country you reside in, but given that I have a degree in law, have worked in family law, and work for an organisation that seeks to prevent child abuse, I can, most assuredly, let you know that what Hagrid did was physical disfigurement which would be classified as severe child abuse. Secondly, I’m not going to debate straw man fallacies. “Disciplining” may have been different a decade or so ago, but child abuse, which is exactly what it is in this case because it’s physical disfigurement, is not “disciplining.” Thirdly, Hagrid is not Dudley’s father. And as you’re bringing personal arguments to the table, my father attempted to disfigure me – in an attempt to “discipline” me – in the area Dudley was “disciplined” and I can assure you that it certainly was child abuse, it sure as hell didn’t feel like “disciplining”. Lastly, you do not do that to children. No if’s, no but’s, anybody with a grain of sense can discern that it’s child abuse. And whether child abuse should be permissible and, in this case, sadly, should be advocated will not be tolerated on my blog. Any further advocacy of child abuse, given that anyone can read comments on this blog and gain inspiration from it, will be deleted. It is not up for debate. I will end this “debate” here.

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  2. I feel bad for Percy. I think he was probably trying to stand out from his family and made mistakes sure but he was totally believable and did the right thing in the end.

    The movies could have done much better by Fleur though I did like the actress. Wish they could have had more of the older brothers too I liked them in the books but I suppose things have to be cut.

    I always liked the Draco ferret scene mostly because of how Maggie Smith played it in the films. Like you could tell a tiny little part of Minerva was like yeah, we’d all like to do that to the students some days but she refrains and tells him off cause she’s an adult! I mean its bad but its somewhat mitigated for me when you find out who Moody is at the end.

    I always liked Goblet of Fire because I feel like this is where the real shift happens. Like yeah the previous three were dark but still mostly wrapped up at the end and Voldemort was still out there somewhere but the kids kept putting him off but in Goblet it’s like we’re getting really dark now and staying there for a while. I thought it mostly did a good job of it to!

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    1. I don’t see it as him wanting to stand out, I feel like he’s aware of his financial situation and wants that stability that the pursuit of ambition would provide. I see quite a few people do that, and some balance work-life very well. But, yes, he did the right thing in the end.

      There were a lot of funny scenes that were cut out! I would have loved for the films to sneaked in Harry’s dream where Neville and Professor Sprout waltz together with McGonagall playing the bagpipes and Harry looking on blissfully. 😂 Fleur and Ron’s older brothers would have been a welcome inclusion for the audience to better understand the Weasley family dynamics. But then I guess that’s the beauty of books, it provides the nuances that films miss.

      And OMG thank you for that, I’m disappointed that I didn’t realise that the other character who transformed a student/young person was a Death Eater. She probably enjoyed it, lowkey, but she’s an adult and adults gotta adult.

      Ah, that’s a great thought, I hadn’t thought of it that way. Thinking about it now, it’s realistic to real life dangers, we put off these slight dangers and in the end it gets so dark we can’t ignore it. Whew. Thanks for pointing that out, that’s my food for 3am thoughts prepped. Nicely done JKR!

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  3. I love the post. I have to agree Arthur Weasley definitely handled the situation with the Dursleys a lot better than most of the people who have encountered them.

    I don’t know about Percy to be honest… we never really knew much about him to say anything so I can’t take sides but to be honest he did stoop down pretty low when he chose some government that had never been fair to his family over his own flesh and blood in my opinion.

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    1. He’s got style, he’s got a grace, he’s a gentleman Arthur Weasley is. 💛

      I feel that in this reread, I’ve noticed that in the first five books Percy is covered just as much as Fred and George, but more than Ginny, and I really like him! I understand what you mean, but I understand where he’s coming from too and he comes back in the end and that’s the most important thing! 🙂 I do feel like he genuinely believed the ministry at first, Voldemort being back is big news and it makes sense that not everybody would believe Harry until they saw evidence themselves.

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      1. Ahaha, I like it 🙂
        I do feel like Percy is shadowed in the movies and not really shown, maybe that’s why I don’t remember reading about him…
        Yes I am guilty of watching the movies more than reading the books! *Gasp* 😂💖

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        1. Yeah, he’s barely in the tv series, only Harry, Ron, and Hermione got their screen space, but even Dumbledore is barely there as much as he should be… not even Voldemort!

          Paha, I think Goblet of Fire and Chamber of Secrets are way better than the actual books… plus it’s just quicker to watch than read!

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          1. That is true. I remember when I first read the series I picked out the biggest book from the whole series and got started on it.

            Yeah… at the time I would just jump right into the middle of a series without even reading the first book.
            I don’t know what I was thinking.

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              1. Tbh I was in shock. I mean who in the world kills a student in a school activity or even allows a 14 year old to do these dangerous activities! Regardless of whether or not he was chosen!!!! Srsly! It put me in quite the schock. But I was determined to keep reading the series 😂

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  4. Percy Weasley, to me, is one of those people who has allowed his ambition to cloud his judgement. He desperately needs to believe the official (ministry) line because the alternative is to be shunted off into some low paying department that no-one cares about, like his dad.

    It’s a shame that we never see anything from Percy’s point of view. I suspect that if we did, he would come across as a much more conflicted (and sympathetic) character than the one seen from Harry and Ron’s point of view.

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    1. Very well-put. That’s an excellent point that we’d understand his point of view if we had access to it, everyone is a hero in their own story after all, and telling it from Harry and Ron’s point of view can only show Percy in a bad light. So, that gave us, very young and impressionable when we first read the series, the doubly difficult task of understanding a character when we as of yet don’t have the emotional intelligence to sympathise with Percy.

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