Study Guide

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Summary

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Summary

The Halfway Point

Like Bon Jovi, Harry Potter's halfway there. Also like Bon Jovi, he's living on a prayer. Unlike Bon Jovi, though, H.P. isn't only living on a prayer—he's got the usual cast of awesome sidekicks to keep him company, not to mention some tricksy wand-work and hand-dandy potions.

This is the fourth installment of eight…and things are starting to get very interesting. Sure, the last movie/book featured a prison break and some weird things called Dementors that can suck out your soul (check out our guide on that if you need a recap), but that's nothing compared to the horrors that await Harry and his friends in this episode…

Things start out innocently enough, we suppose. Harry is having nightmares about Voldemort, Wormtail a.k.a. Peter Pettigrew (a.k.a. the guy who helped Voldemort find/kill his parents), and some random guy he doesn't recognize…but those are just dreams, right? At least that's what he and Dumbledore (and, well, the rest of us) are hoping.

And sure, we have to admit that the Quidditch World Cup takes kind of a nasty turn. Some folks called Death Eaters (followers of You-Know-Who) show up to march, and then some unknown person sends up "the Dark Mark"—that is, Voldemort's superspecial signal. So, the party breaks up a lot earlier than expected.

But all that aside, the school year looks like it's shaping up to be super-fun on account of the Triwizard Tournament. What's the Triwizard Tournament, you ask? Well, it's a competition between three wizarding schools (Hogwarts, Durmstrang, and Beauxbatons). Hogwarts is hosting this year, and so the students and headmasters from the other two schools are there visiting.

Wait. You Need A Signed Permission Slip To Go To Hogsmeade, But It's Totally Cool To Have A Potentially Fatal Tournament At School?

So, that all sounds fun, right? New students to befriend/crush on are always welcome, and who doesn't like a little friendly competition between schools?

Well, er, about that: this competition isn't exactly a volleyball game (or even a Quidditch match). The challenges students are going to face involve potentially life-or-death situations. Yes, that's right—the students competing will be in serious danger. That's why the powers-that-be for the games have agreed that students competing should be seventeen.

Whew! What a relief: Harry and his friends are well under seventeen and tend to find themselves in sticky situations, so we're kind of glad they aren't eligible for anything that already advertises itself as potentially fatal.

And Dumbledore is pretty serious about enforcing the age rule. He's placed enchantments on the "Goblet of Fire" (ah, the title makes sense now) where students submit their name for consideration, and from what we can tell, it's very hard to get past them. Just ask the Weasley twins, who end up being turned into old men when they try to trick the goblet into letting them enter.

However, it turns out that someone manages to get past the enchantments and enters an underage student.

  

The Edge Of Seventeen

Who? Come on. You know who (no, not You-Know-Who). It's Harry, of course—he can't stay out of trouble for too long.

And, of course, the goblet ends up spitting out Harry's name along with those of three other champions: Cedric Diggory (also from Hogwarts), Fleur Delacour (from Beauxbatons), and Viktor Krum (from Durmstrang).

So, yeah, even though Harry is a younger and less experienced wizard, he has to compete in all these super dangerous contests. Oh, and a lot of the other students hate him because they think he cheated to get in the competition. Poor Harry.

With a little help from his friends, though, he manages to make it through all three tournaments tasks unscathed. One of those "friends" includes the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Alastor Moody, who seems to go out of his way to help Harry out.

At first, we think that's just Moody being a good guy and trying to even out the playing field for the much younger Harry. Ha. Wishful thinking, we're afraid. It turns out that Moody is actually a guy named Bartemius Crouch Jr. who has taken Polyjuice Potion in order to change appearance. Barty Jr. is a Death Eater who was supposed to be imprisoned in Azkaban, but he'd escaped and made his way to Hogwarts to make trouble for Harry.

And boy, does he succeed. You see, he's the guy that Harry saw in his "dream" at the beginning. Yup, you know what that means: he's working for Voldemort. He's the one who made sure Harry's name made it into the Goblet of Fire, and he's the one who, it turns out, has rigged the Triwizard Cup as a Portkey (which is kind of like a teleporter) to take Harry directly to Voldemort right as he's about to win the whole tournament.

Not Your Average Blood Donation

Unfortunately, Harry has no idea about any of this, so he thinks he's being nice when he offers to share his victory with Cedric and lets him grab the cup at the same time. Instead of ending up in the winner's circle together, though, they come face-to-face with Voldemort in a creepytastic graveyard. Voldemort's first act? Telling his assistant, Wormtail, to kill poor Cedric.

We should explain that Voldemort isn't really quite himself when Harry first arrives in the graveyard. You see, V is kind of a shell of his former self and has this weird, almost fetus-like "body." With Wormtail's help, though, he fixes all that—which involves trapping Harry and using his blood (plus some other ingredients) to bring himself completely back to life.

Harry manages to escape, but he's hardly feeling victorious when he makes it back to Hogwarts. He's devastated about Cedric's death—and, you know, the whole bringing Voldemort back through his blood situation.

Dumbledore and friends finally realize that Moody is an imposter and capture him, but the damage is done: Voldemort is back. Everyone is super glad that Harry is safe, of course, but there's definitely a dark cloud hovering over Hogwarts as this installment closes.