Weekly Meeting: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Weekly Meeting

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the 4th book in the series and my personal favorite.  At the same time, it is not my favorite movie at all… except for Cedric.  This was the movie that deviated from the book so much, it would have benefited from a second movie.  So much is left out, minimized, or changed that I actually left the theater annoyed.  Now, I would have led the riot if they had cut out my beloved Cedric, but thankfully, the producers, writers, and director knew better.

Goblet of Fire marks the first of the lengthy books and the first to cut out about half the book to fit in a movie.  While book 7 (Deathly Hallows) was the only one split into 2 movies, the last 4 books could all have benefited from 2 movies.  Also, there was a huge gap in time between the publication of this book and the next.  I started reading the series in the time period so Goblet of Fire ends phase 1 of my Harry Potter experience.  I didn’t have to wait as long as some fans, but I basically binged the first 4 books.  It was all very fresh in my mind as I sat and dwelled on Cedric’s death.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

So, here are the 5 differences between book and movie that… well, most of these piss me off.

  1. The movie skips right over Harry’s time in the muggle world before the World Cup.  What movie viewers miss is a fantastic interaction between the Dursleys and the Weasleys.  From trying to get through  closed off fireplace, a tense goodbye, and Dudley eating a charmed candy that engorges his tongue… It’s painful at times, but should have been completely expected.
  2. So much is left out from this movie including almost ALL of Barty Crouch Jr’s (played by David Tennant) plot.  Thus, you don’t meet Winky, the House Elf protecting him.  You don’t learn how someone else managed to escape Azkaban.  You don’t learn how he was able to overpower the real Moody and replace him.
  3. You get so little of Quidditch World Cup because… dragons, basically.  They dragged out Harry’s first task with the dragon and didn’t need to do so.  It went on way too long and I would have rather had more David Tennant or Cedric.  They even further minimize the conflict between the Malfoys and the Weasleys fathers.   You don’t get Charlie and Bill in this movie (and we never actually get Charlie in ANY movie, which is shit).   Basically, the choice was made to take only the most critical content from the first quarter of the book, never mind that much of that was important to the development of the story.
  4. CEDRIC!  This is Cedric’s book… It is my favorite because of this (and a few other things).  Why is it that I love Cedric and mourn his death?  He is… It’s not about the actor who played him, although I admit Robert Pattinson was cast perfectly.  Cedric was nearly the perfect Hogwarts student and exemplified the best of each house.  He was smart like a Ravenclaw, he was brave like a Gryffindor, and he was ambitious like a Slytherin.  Above all, he was kind and fair; a true Hufflepuff.  He was an innocent in the war and it was his sense of fairness that got him killed.  His death marks the lowest point in the story and the shift from childhood to adulthood, even though these are still teenagers.  His death is critical for Harry to move forward and for fans to really appreciate what we would soon learn about Voldemort and the Wizarding World.
  5. S.P.E.W should never have been cut.  It was wonderful and gives Hermione so much more depth than almost anything else.  It is why she is a Gryffindor and not a Ravenclaw.  She believes in justice and will do what she has to do to get it.  She learned to knit to fight slavery and didn’t even stop when the slaves told her they liked being slaves.

Side note, I am taking the rest of the week off because I am in Orlando.  Watch my Instagram and Twitter accounts for pictures from the ALA Conference (including books!) and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter with my family.

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