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Week 8: Goblet of Fire, Ch. 1 - 10

Discussion in 'Bookclub' started by BTT, Dec 19, 2016.

  1. BTT

    BTT Viol̀e͜n̛t͝ D̶e͡li͡g҉h̛t҉s̀ ~ Prestige ~

    Aug 31, 2011
    Cyber City Oedo
    High Score:
    << Week 7 | Book Rereads | Week 9 >>

    Onto the fourth book.

    ---------- Post automerged at 10:55 ---------- Previous post was at 06:50 ----------

    I guess this bit might be relevant to the "Tom Riddle Sr: Dick or Not" thread.
    Also this whole murder mystery-like bit is pretty neat. JKR wrote a whole novel like it so she must've felt the same.

    I wonder who this wealthy man is. Lucius? Dumbledore? Some fund Voldemort set up before his "death"?

    Hmm. On one hand, Rowling describes old Frank as being very deaf, but on the other hand he seems to hear just fine.

    I forgot Wormtail tried to shoot down Voldemort's plan, or at least that they'd use Harry for it.

    Subtle, Voldemort is not.

    You know, if you need a reminder of how hardcore Canon Harry is.


    Good Lord, Harry! Calm down!

    I have to say, GoF is definitely the funniest book so far, IMO.

    Or so they say, but I recall them doing the exact same the year after this.

    More characters being mentioned books before they show up.

    An eel farm? Do eels figure in some potions? Do wizards have other uses for them?

    Canon MILF.

    So much for immunity to that aura, eh?
    Interestingly, it seems Mr. Weasley is actually immune, since there's no mention at all of him being under the influence.

    What a guy, that Bulgarian Minister.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 19, 2016
  2. Rhaegar I

    Rhaegar I Death Eater

    Jul 8, 2013
    Right behind You...
    Does anyone else wonder if she already had a plan for these characters she introduced before they properly appeared, just comes up with random character names and only later decides to use them for something, or both? She mentions characters before they show up in the Books so often, I honestly can't tell which one it is.

    Also, let's be honest: if you very recently gained the ability to teleport, and there was nothing stopping you from teleporting instead of walking down the stairs, you'd probably do it too.
  3. BTT

    BTT Viol̀e͜n̛t͝ D̶e͡li͡g҉h̛t҉s̀ ~ Prestige ~

    Aug 31, 2011
    Cyber City Oedo
    High Score:
    Whoops, was looking at the old schedule. Two extra chapters, so extra commentary is necessary.

    I imagine the colour of the light was deliberately chosen by these pseudo-Death Eaters.

    Bit of a shame we never saw how this went. Just imagine Percy and Arthur fucking shit up.

    This reminds me that Snape was hung upside down that exact same way, IIRC.

    First, Beauxbatons being introduced before they show up for the tournament. I like how JKR makes a point of including these details beforehand.
    Second, I wonder who this girl with curly hair is. Definitely not Fleur (though that'd be a neat idea for a H/F fic, I suppose).
    Third, how in the hell do you lose a half-giant?

    Wow, Crouch. Ice cold.

    Man, Bill hit it right on the nose here.

    One does have to wonder what that paragraph says.
    Also: vampires, officially not wizards. Does this mean they can't do magic?

    It seems the titles Charm Breakers and Curse Breakers are interchangeable.
  4. Atram Noctem

    Atram Noctem High Inquisitor

    Jan 13, 2015
    I never really understood why Wormtail sought Voldemort out. Surely he could have found somewhere in the world to hide? returning to Voldemort's service only puts him at more risk.
    So, who were they planning to murder? sounds like it's part of the entire scheme, and not an attempt to create another Horcrux.
    Since Harry had seen Nagini there, it means that he wasn't peering through her like later in OotP, and he had also seen Voldemort - so what, he just has clairvoyant powers? it doesn't quite work with the Horcrux connection theory, and there is another similar "dream" later in the book that doesn't involve seeing from Nagini or LV's POV.
    Makes you wonder who was the 19th century equivalent. Dumbledore later upgrades that status to the most dangerous wizard of all time.
    Good foreshadowing to Ludo leaking info to the Death Eaters.

    Interesting that the colors the Irish players wear are green and silver, while the Bulgarians wear red and gold. Who does that remind me of...
    Also, isn't it pretty stupid to wear cloaks while flying at high speed? wouldn't it slow them?

    People seem to very easily jump to the conclusion that Voldemort is back just because the Dark Mark was conjured - at least, considering how they act a year later...

    I've forgotten how great Rowling's prose was in the 4-5 first books. Every line feels important, the descriptions are simple yet evocative, and she can create eeriness without the usual cheesiness. Shame that she lost her talent.
  5. Shinysavage

    Shinysavage Madman With A Box ~ Prestige ~

    Nov 16, 2009
    High Score:
    I suspect that it probably started out as just throwing out character names as world-building details before slowly becoming foreshadowing; I seem to recall her getting a little embarrassed when she mentioned some random, never to be seen again kid from around Privet Drive who was called Evans, and half the fandom immediately assumed he was related to Lily, when it was actually nothing at all.

    Chapter 1: The Riddle House

    I don't think that I knew enough about writing to properly appreciate this chapter the last time I read it. It's a real change of pace from the first three opening chapters; there's a palpable sense of tension and slow-burning horror that's a real step up, IMO. Great stuff.

    Like BTT said, we've had a thread on this recently, but I think it mostly focuses on the depiction of him in HBP, which is a little different to this line - not to say that he isn't a little rude about the Gaunts, but having seen just how weird they are, it's hard to argue with his comments. It's probably just a slight retcon/flash of forgetfulness on Rowling's part, but in-universe, you could perhaps explain this change in personality as a reaction to the year or so he spent under the influence of a Love Potion. It's got to have some sort of effect.

    A side effect of the Curse, or just a sign that they were terrified before they were killed?

    Or maybe Voldemort didn't just kill his father and grandparents, he cursed the family home, in an early version of his curse on the DADA position?

    I wonder where they might have been going, given that they planned to be back? None of the Death Eaters would have put him up. Maybe Crouch's house? Or Moody's, in his absence?

    Well, he's not wrong.

    Voldemort flat out states that he would die without Wormtail, but Wormtail is still terrified of him. Does that say more about Voldemort, or Wormtail?

    Well first of all, LOL, but also, I bet Bellatrix actually would.

    That dialogue tag has been seen twice before in the series (at least), and it's always used with Snape. Nice, subtle association going on there.

    Without apparently casting a spell or even making eye contact, because he's just that creepy and powerful.
    Atram Noctem: yeah, there's no good in-universe reason that I can see for Harry being able to see all of that. Just a refining of the process between here and OoTP, I guess. Shit happens.

    Chapter 3: The Invitation

    He's always had a snarky side, but this is a definite increase in backbone around them over the summer.

    Chapter 4: Back to the Burrow

    How Freudian.

    So are they trapped in the Floo Network, or do the Dursleys just have a huge fireplace?

    He's a selfish, spoilt, bullying asshole, but it's hard not to feel sorry for Dudley, sometimes. His three big moments are being partially Transfigured by mistake, cruelly enchanted by design, and nearly having his soul sucked out as collateral damage.

    Chapter 5: Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes

    All joking aside, that's probably actually a fairly serious issue, given the time and effort that goes into brewing some potions. Can you imagine making a batch of Polyjuice that was ruined because of a substandard cauldron?

    Well yeah, if the cauldrons are leaking.

    Say what?
  6. Atram Noctem

    Atram Noctem High Inquisitor

    Jan 13, 2015
    Shinysavage, yes, Voldemort and Wormtail stayed at Crouch's.
  7. Shinysavage

    Shinysavage Madman With A Box ~ Prestige ~

    Nov 16, 2009
    High Score:
    Chapter 7: Bagman and Crouch

    Ron's a really enlightened, forward thinking young man.

    Highly classified and dangerous black-ops assassinations, of course. Also, more characters making early bird cameos.

    Canonical evidence of Quidditch being good for muscle tone!

    Given the difficulty of Apparation (and the non-existence at this stage of the series of Side-Along Apparation), and the fact that Floo Powder, although set at cheap prices, is still an extra expense, Ali may not be entirely wrong.

    Chapter 8: The Quidditch World Cup

    If the mark of a good house-elf is that they're never heard or seen, then how come so many people recognise Winky?


    Genuinely the best politician in the entire series.

    Wow. Mr Diggory is kind of an asshole. It makes certain developments in Cursed Child seem a lot more in character than I'd previously thought.
  8. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

    Mar 5, 2006
    United Kingdom
    High Score:
    So I'm currently rereading but not strictly speaking in order. Some thoughts:

    This is good further evidence that "place memory" exists in Harry Potter, and that events themselves have magical significance. When I first read the books I never got the impression that Voldemort deliberately cursed the DADA position, but rather that the mere act of denying such a powerful dark wizard made the position cursed by association. I was surprised when the fandom considered it a deliberate spell. This idea of a location being "cursed by association" kinda backs up my original feeling.

    One of the main pieces of evidence for the permanence of transfiguration, even imperfect and inexpert transfiguration.

    There's definite EU-esque associations being made here, with respect to international wizarding law being used to harmonise standards to facilitate trade and product safety.

    This bit has always been interesting, given the later revelation about food being an exception to Gamp's law. There are a couple different ways to explain it:

    1. The spell is a Charm and therefore Gamp's law is irrelevant, being that it relates to transfiguration. This also goes nicely with the fact that you can apparently drink conjured water just fine.

    2. The conjured food has no nutritional value but has flavour. Works well with the fact that it's a sauce. Doesn't work well with the fact that the wizarding world has overweight people.

    Important quote which demonstrates that wizarding nations do not line up with Muggle ones - Transylvania is not a country. It's not evidence that Transylvania is a state, since Scotland has a team without being a state, but it does mean that it has nationhood.

    Concrete evidence on international apparition and portkeys.

    This quote took place at around 5 a.m, meaning the Diggorys walked 3 hours to get there. 3 hours at average walking speed is 9 miles. The Weasleys also had to walk a decent amount of time to reach the hill, so it's safe to say that the Weasleys and Diggorys live 10-13 miles from each other. So the wizarding population density of Ottery St Catchpole isn't quite as it is frequently depicted in fanfic - these wizarding families aren't really neighbours.

    More international Portkey evidence. Also a hint as to where magical people are located in Germany.

    Surely belongs to the Malfoys.

    Concrete evidence of reserves.

    The mention of the eel farm isn't just an interesting insight into a magical business, as mentioned above, but the reference to shares is also revealing as to the level of financial sophistication present in the wizarding world - it appears to be more developed than I previously thought. Though this doesn't mean there's public companies.

    More international portkey evidence, including that it's not just from relatively close places like Europe.

    Nice reference to centres of wizarding business.

    Nice evidence that Harry (and by extension Voldemort) is not just a big deal in the UK.

    This one is quite important in showing that Fudge is not as in Lucius' pocket as the fandom assumes. As of GoF he had never met Narcissa.

    Good evidence against the fanon idea that prejudice against Muggleborns is openly acceptable, but rather that, like racism in the Muggle world, it is officially a taboo but nonetheless remains a social problem.

    I had not remembered how large a group this was. It's an interesting and powerful contrast to the paragraph above where saying anything negative about Muggleborns is a social taboo, and yet many people are happy to join some Muggle baiting.

    It's worth noting that the wood is full not of British wizards but an international crowd, but the emergence of the Dark Mark is enough to terrify the lot of them. Again, more evidence that Voldemort was internationally feared.

    In CoS we saw that House Elves can creatively interpret their master's orders, and have freedom to act where their master has remained silent. But here we see that House Elves can also directly disobey the explicit command of their master. This suggests that there is in fact no magical bond of servitude but rather a social one. This neatly solves the "how can House Elves do laundry?" point. There's no magic to the giving of clothes. The key is whether the Elf in question believes that they have been made free.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
  9. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

    Dec 20, 2007
    Blocksberg, Germany
    With regards to the Muggle(-born) stuff, Dumbledore directly accuses Fudge of putting too much stock in blood at the final chapter of GoF. So he, too, is part of it; he's not a paragon of virtue. If you also consider Malfoys Mudblood-comment in CoS, it appears to me that there is a definitive and widespread discrimination of Muggleborns in wizarding society, and what is frowned upon is crassness. So not the content, but the way of the presentation. A layer of PC, in other words, perhaps laws paying lip service to inclusion, while in reality people hide behind de jure equality when actually, there are hundreds of Malfoys.

    So TL;DR, the situation in the stands is actually comically absurd, as both Malfoy and Fudge consider Hermione inferior, and both pretend not to, in order not to offend the respective other. I very much doubt if Lucius had thrown out a dig that Fudge would have held it against him.

    There's definitively a grey area -- Transfiguration changes the nature of a Thing, whereas a charm only changes an aspect, but what is an aspect, and isn't a Thing the sum of its aspects? Charming a red balloon green works, sure. Charming a wooden broomstick cushioned, too -- but that's already less obvious. Wood is hard, that's why it's wood. If you can charm it soft, is it still wood? Can you charm water not to be wet? Is it still water if you do?

    What happens, if in the very first Transfiguration lessons, someone charms the matchstick to be silver, pointy, and round? Is that a needle or a matchstick? And beyond all that, why is Aguamenti a charm, when it, for all intents and purposes, conjures water? If that's a charm, however, I'd be inclined to say so is that sauce spell, and Gamp's exception has a lot of exceptions.*

    There doesn't necessarily have to be an answer to those questions, but they do show that you can construct fun magical disputes in FF, without resorting to the annoying scientific stuff people sometimes use.

    * Keep in mind Gamp is inverse. Formulated, it would state something of the kind, "Elemental transfiguration allows a wizard to transfigure one Element into another, or create one Element from nothing". And then come the principal exceptions -- this is not the case for Food, Gold (presumably?) and three other Elements.