Seven Things: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the fourth book in the series. It took me a stupid long time to read it (8th July – 23rd September) but that is no reflection on how good it is just a refection on how slow I am.

So without any further delay. Let’s begin.

One

‘Why doesn’t anyone just go to the police?’ (Blink: Doctor Who)

I’m going to start us off with something fairly minor. At the start of the novel Harry’s scar hurts and he considers contacting Dumbledore but dismisses the idea. This seems a little short sighted. Harry knows by this point that the scar can be an omen of things. It is  indicative of a problem shown in so many films. People never do the logical thing. Even if it is nothing to worry about Dumbledore has always taken Harry seriously. What would be the worst that would happen if Harry did contact him?

Two

Stamps

It continues to amaze me how little the Wizarding world understands our world. This is shown near the beginning of the novel when Harry receives a letter from Mrs Weasley. The letter is ‘…covered in stamps except for a square inch on the front…’ It’s funny but does it really make sense? Stamps have existed for nearly two centuries. I find it hard to believe that it has never come up before. If nothing else wouldn’t Mrs Weasley have had to have gone to a post office? Books of stamps come in 12s – surely that should be a clue that not that many are needed.

Three

Classified Information and Magical Contracts

I am lumping these two together because they are tangentalily related. The Triwizard Tournament is described as being classified and none of the main characters know about it until they reach Hogwarts when Dumbledore announces it. There is just one problem with this: What about the other schools? They knew and had to travel to Hogwarts, select which of their number were going to go, and so on. Yet somehow in the host school it is a secret. Wouldn’t this be considered a highly important event?

Then we have the issue of a ‘binding magical contract’ this is something that is never explained and is a problem because it drives the plot. Harry has to compete because of this and, as explained in the above video, we are not given an explanation as to why this can’t be overturned. In real life when we sign a contract it doesn’t bind us in a literal sense. We are still free to do the exact opposite. If we do there will be a fine or possible imprisonment depending on the severity of the breach.

If I was Harry Potter, well I would have died in the first book but never mind, I would have refused to compete. What would have happened if he had?

Four

Universal Translator

I never said that these were to be in anyway an in depth analysis. So this is a rather minor point but I shall make it anyway. When we meet the Bulgarian minister we are told he ‘…didn’t seem to understand a word of English.’ I accept that but find it hard to accept that there isn’t a spell for that. Surely with the possibilities we are presented with when it comes to magic a translation spell would be easy. Instead it seems that the approach to foreigners in the magical world is the same as the approach employed by many in our own world. Speak your own language loudly and the foreigner is bound to understand you.

Five

Tracking Hedwig

Owls are clearly magical in the Harry Potter universe. They are able to find anyone, I don’t believe their range is ever stated, but they can certainly travel a great distance. In this book Hedwig is able to find Sirius despite his being in hiding. So my question is this: If Hedwig is able to find him why can’t the ministry?

There isn’t really much else to say on this subject. It just interests me how limitless and limited magic seems to be in almost equal measure.

Six

The Cup

At the end of the novel Harry is brought to the graveyard by the cup. The cup was a port key. However if any object can be a port key then why go to the rigmarole of the tournament, this is also mentioned in the Cinema sins video, why couldn’t they have just made something else into a port key – one of his text books for instance.

To be fair this is a common problem with fantasy and science fiction story telling. When characters are in their world they don’t talk about it. Any more than we would feel the need to explain the phrase ‘I don’t have any bars.’ in relation to a mobile phone.

Seven

S.P.E.W

The Wizerding world seems to be behind us in a lot of ways. The technological issue is explained in this book but what about the cultural issue?

The House Elves are slaves. This seems to be accepted by everyone, except Hermione obviously, and it makes me wonder why.

I find it had to believe that an organisation like S.P.E.W doesn’t already exist. I also find it had to believe that Hermione didn’t notice how obviously silly, and open to misinterpretation, the name is.

S.P.E.W however is a nice subplot to the novel and adds nice layers to the novel.

***

I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

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