Five Questionable Moments in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”
Since I previously examined the questionable moments in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, I thought I’d continue and look at the dubious moments in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
The Treatment of House-Elves
‘It wasn’t her [Winky]!’ said Hermione. She looked very nervous, speaking up in front of all these Ministry wizards, yet determined all the same. ‘Winky’s got a squeaky little voice, and the voice we heard doing the incantation was much deeper!’ She looked around at Harry and Ron, appealing for their support.” (GoF 135)
The way most witches and wizards viewed house-elves was despicable. Poor Winky was blamed for Barty Crouch, Jr.’s actions regardless of the fact that Barty Crouch, Sr. knew that she had nothing to do with the Dark Mark. His reputation and status were more important to him than the creature who loyally served him for many years.
Hermione and SPEW
True, both of them had paid two Sickles for a S.P.E.W. badge, but they had only done it to keep her quiet.” (GoF 239)
The only person who saw the injustices that the house-elves faced and actively tried to do something about it was Hermione. Unfortunately, her society was mocked and not taken seriously by her friends and peers. Frankly, her beliefs and club deserved more attention and praise than they received.
Mad-Eye the Imposter
In truth, he hadn’t stolen either of these things [boomslang skin and gillyweed] from Snape. Hermione had taken the boomslang skin back in their second year — they had needed it for the Polyjuice Potion — and while Snape had suspected Harry at the time, he had never been able to prove it.” (GoF 516)
Even though Barty Crouch, Jr. was thorough with his story and Polyjuice Potion, it’s hard to believe that nobody realized that the Mad-Eye teaching was an imposter, especially when Snape realized that the ingredients used to make Polyjuice Potion were missing from his stores.
‘Death toll?’ Hermione whispered, looking alarmed. But her anxiety did not seem to be shared by the majority of students in the Hall.” (GoF 187)
Despite the extra regulations, the Triwizard Tournament wasn’t that much safer after all. Having a minimum age requirement was a good start, but it clearly wasn’t good enough if Harry got in. Plus, who thought having loved ones as the goal of the second task was a good idea? It must have been terrifying for Ron, Hermione, and the others who were at the bottom of the lake.
Cornelius’s Attitude Towards Voldemort’s Return
Fudge looked as though someone had just swung a heavy weight into his face. Dazed and blinking, he stared back at Dumbledore as if he couldn’t quite believe what he had just heard. He began to sputter, still goggling at Dumbledore.
‘You-Know-Who . . . returned? Preposterous. Come now, Dumbledore.’” (GoF 703-4)
While I completely understand why he was in denial, in the end, it only made things worse for everyone. Given Harry’s and Dumbledore’s reputations, Fudge should have accepted them at their word. If only he had believed what they were saying, things might have been so different.
Are there any other questionable moments in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire? Let us know in the comments!