by J. K. Rowling
and the Goblet of Fire
This is the fourth book of the series.
Its working title was Harry Potter and the Doomspell Tournament (EW)
- Reader's Guide to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
a complete chapter-by chapter guide with notes and commentary
- Canon Portkey: detailed outline of the book
explore book four with links and cross-references
- chapter synopses
- day by day calendar of events in the book
- differences between the British and American versions
- edits and changes to the text
- gallery of cover art from around the world (from Leaky Galleries)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - 190,637 words
Official Word Count Provided by Scholastic Inc TM & © 2004-1996. All rights reserved.
other media versions:
- film (Warner Bros. - November, 2005)
- video games (Electronic Arts)
facts & trivia:
There are a number of inconsistencies in the book.
In Chapter 8, Ludo Bagman welcomes everyone to the "four hundred and twenty second Quidditch World Cup." However, Quidditch through the Ages sets forth the history of the World Cup competition. It says that the Cup was first held in 1473, and held every 4 years since. That means that the Cup had been held around 130 times by 1994. Not even close to 422.
The now-infamous "Wand Order Problem" was corrected in later editions of the book. In the original version, when the Reverse Spell Effect happened in the graveyard, James Potter's image came out before Lily's. Since the spells were happening in reverse, that would mean that James died after Lily during Voldemort's attack in Godric's Hollow. Although everything in the GF text clearly points to Lily coming out last, the passage was rather clumsily changed in later editions to have Lily come out first. That is now the official version of the events.
There are problems with dates and times in various places in the book. Amy Z explains these problems in her introduction to the GF calendar.
- On July 8, U.K. publication day of Goblet of Fire, an astonishing 372,775 hardback copies were sold. In the US-where Rowling is believed to be the first author ever to occupy the top three slots on The New York Times best-seller list at the same time-a nation of bleary-eyed children stayed up for the midnight launch to snaffle 3.8 million volumes." (Reader's Digest December 2000 "J.K. Rowling: The Wizard Behind Harry Potter" by Tim Bouquet)
- Other mysteries and puzzles from the book:
- Where did Snape go at the end of the book?
- Do the Hogwarts toilets really empty into the lake? Don't the merpeople object?
- What's up with that "gleam of triumph" in Dumbledore's eye when he heard that Voldemort had used Harry's blood in his rebirthing ceremony?
- Why did just having that Tournament mean no one got to play Quidditch for an entire year?
- Why did everyone turn out to watch the Second and Third Tasks when there was no way they could see anything?
- How did Crouch Jr. learn the powerful magic he used when he went to Azkaban when he was still a teenager?
- more puzzles...
JKR discovered a serious flaw in the story as she worked on this book. Here's what she said about it in an interview (SN):
Q: You mentioned something in a recent interview about a flaw in Book 4...Other comments about book four by Rowling:
A: Did I? Oh yes. . .I repaired it! This is why Book 4 nearly caused me a nervous breakdown - because for the first time ever I lost my careful plot - which I've had since 1994, I think. I really should have gone through it with a fine toothcomb before I started writing and I didn't. I had a false sense of security because all my other plans had held up so well. So I sailed straight into the writing of Four, having just finished Azkaban. I had written what I thought at the time was half the book - it turns out now to have been about a third of the book - and I realised there was this big hole in the middle of the plot and I had to go back and unpick and redo. That's part of the reason it's longer than I thought it was going to be.
Q: Can you say what the flaw was, or would that spoil things ?
A: No, because that would ruin it.
JKR: "The worst ever [rewriting] was thirteen different versions of one chapter (chapter nine in Goblet of Fire). I hated that chapter so much; at one point, I thought of missing it out altogether and just putting in a page saying 'Chapter Nine was too difficult' and going straight to Chapter Ten." (CR)
Q: Now, Book Four. Very scary ending. How difficult was it to write that?awards:
A: The first time ever, I cried while writing. I actually cried twice during the ending of Book Four. It's a powerful ending, but there's a reason why - something VERY important happens. I have said all along that if you're writing about evil you should have enough respect for children to show them what it means. Not to dress up a pantomine villain and say, isn't it frightening?, when it isn't. It's the ending I planned and I was very happy when I re-read it (Nr).
Note: According to an interview with ___, she cried when she wrote the passage where Dumbledore exhorts the students to remember Cedric Diggory when they're faced with the choice between what is right and what is easy.
Q: And how vital is Book Four in the 7 book series for Harry?
A: Crucial. Book Four's a very very VERY important book. Something very important happens in Book Four. But also, it's literally a central book. It's almost the heart of the series, and it's pivotal. It's very difficult to talk about all seven books. I can't wait until the day when someone's read all seven and I can talk completely freely about them, but it's a very important book.
I changed my mind twice on what [the title] 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. (EW)
Scottish Arts Council Book Award 2001, Children's Book Award in 9-11 category 2001, Winner of the Hugo Award, Whitaker's Platinum Book Award 2001
Primary editor: Steve Vander Ark. Previous editor(s): Steve Vander Ark,
Original page date 13 February 2001; Last page update July 12, 2012 SVA.