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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

by J.K. Rowling

Frank Bryce

Character Analysis

The book opens with a focus on Frank Bryce, an elderly Muggle caretaker of the Riddle family house, long unoccupied. Fifty years before, the Riddle family – an elderly man and a woman and their grownup son – were all murdered. No one ever found the killer, but everyone in town thinks it's Frank Bryce. It isn't, though. At the time, Bryce said that he saw a teenage boy hanging around the house, and that this boy might be the killer.

Little did Frank know that the person he saw fifty years before was young Tom Marvolo Riddle, a.k.a. Lord Voldemort. Voldemort killed his father and grandparents using the Avada Kedavra curse, and they were buried in the town of Little Hangleton. When Frank Bryce goes into the Riddle house fifty years later to investigate a strange light, Voldemort then slaughters him as well.

Frank Bryce's murder is one of the first experiences Harry "shares" with Voldemort thanks to his curse scar (which is disturbing). It also demonstrates Voldemort's philosophy in a nutshell. Before murdering Frank for overhearing his conversation with Wormtail, Voldemort tells Frank, "But I am not a man, Muggle [...] I am much, much, more than a man" (1.102). Now picture the scene: currently, Voldemort is not in a body at all. He is a tiny, red, scaly thing. But Voldemort is twisted enough that he's capable of saying that he's "more" than a man, even so. We talk a little bit more about poor Frank Bryce in the "Symbols, Imagery, Allegory" section – just check out our entry on "The Hanged Man."

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