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Analysis

What’s Up With the Title?

Amelia Bedelia and the Cat. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. And Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. What do these titles have in common? Well, for starters, they all belong to popular series that focuses on a single character. When you want your character to become a brand name known all over the world, what better way than to put his or her name right up there in the title? That way, all you have to do is look at the book cover to realize that you're reading one of the Harry Potter books. Clearly done, Ms. Rowling.

As for the "Goblet of Fire" part of the title, when Rowling went on her first book tour for the fourth Harry Potter novel, she commented:

I changed my mind twice on what it was. The working title had got out – "Harry Potter and the Doomspell Tournament." Then I changed Doomspell to Triwizard Tournament. Then I was teetering between Goblet of Fire and Triwizard Tournament. In the end, I preferred Goblet of Fire because it's got that kind of "cup of destiny" feel about it, which is the theme of the book. (source)

So the title choice is a mix of publicity and artistic considerations. The original name got leaked to the press, so Rowling felt she had to choose something else. And she changed it to a name she liked better anyway, something with that "cup of destiny" feel – the Goblet of Fire. The Goblet of Fire sounds like something magical and mysterious – something we want to find out more about, right? (Something we don't want to drink from, right?) So put "Goblet of Fire" in the same title with "Harry Potter" and we just have to read this book!

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