BOOK FOUR! Goblet of Fire was the first Harry Potter book I waited for, having jumped on the bandwagon after book 3 was published. When it came out, I was assistant stage managing my university’s production of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead – which incidentally is a phenomenal play and a truly brilliantly cast movie that I used to watch on repeat with my dad and so have Very Positive Associations with.
Also Gary Oldman was in it, so, topical!
Anyway, I had ONE JOB in the middle of the 3-hour show, which was to make sure the 30-foot steel doors opened so the king and queen could sweep majestically downstage and greet our titular heroes, and I can’t tell you how many times I nearly missed my cue because I was brain-deep in the Tri-Wizard Tournament.
I got a B in that class.
So you know what’s great about the first ¼ of this book? Pretty much everything except the ACTUAL Quidditch. JK is fleshing out her world nicely, and with as subtle a hand as she can when three-story purple tents with live peacocks are involved.
The gang has settled in to Hogwarts at this point, and Harry gets to see the sorting – did anyone else feel like Rowling rushed this scene even though she knew we hadn’t seen one since book 1? – and the hat gets a new song, which was a charming surprise when I read this the first time and which I skipped every time after.
OH! And as for last week’s discussion on population, I’ve decided that each house has not 10 but 30 new students per year, which would push the student population to somewhere around 800+, which is close enough for Ministry of Magic work to the JK-quoted 1000. And if there are 30 per year per class, then for the purposes of Care of Magical Creatures with the Slytherins or Herbology with Hufflepuffs, maybe they split each class so they can mix up the houses?
Seriously, I am getting NO sleep until this read-a-long is over.
Ron makes a classic 13-year-old "Uranus" crack that still makes me giggle, and Hermione discovers a nasty wizard secret in the form of house elves – we will argue more about this later! (Kreacherrrrr). The Tri-Wizard takes over Quidditch for the year – even JK must have been bored of writing about it after the World Cup – and the twins are beginning to come into their own.
And Harry has a crush on someone who is NOT GINNY because he is a boy and therefore dumb as a box of hair.
Not that I'm biased.