“It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.”
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire surprisingly stole the spot as my favorite book in the series after Prisoner of Azkaban. I didn’t think it would be replaced so quickly but the ending of this book made it a no-brainer for my top spot so far. It’s not only the end that makes it my favorite, but this book also starts out with a bang. We become even more immersed in the wizarding world outside of Hogwarts as Harry, Hermonie, and the Weasley’s go to the Quidditch World Cup. We come across a portkey, fun quidditch devices, an epic stadium, and a wild quidditch match. Plus things take a turn for the worse, and the celebrations end as Lord Voldemort’s signal, The Dark Mark, appears in the sky.
Despite the fear of Voldemort’s return, the new school year starts and the Ministry of Magic has worked with Hogwarts to host the Tri-Wizard Tournament at the school. A tournament comprised of three tasks with a champion competing from three wizarding schools. This opens an opportunity to explore more into the world outside of Hogwarts as two other wizarding schools visit Hogwarts to produce a champion for the tournament. Despite measures to prevent Harry from entering, his name somehow is picked from the Goblet of Fire and Harry becomes a Hogwarts Champion. This sets the stage for a fun narrative with exciting challenges that Harry must overcome. With the help of his friends, Harry advances in his wizard training as he hones his skills to complete the tasks.
A lot more characters come into play, and Rowling amps up the world building as we learn more about the Ministry of Magic and some history about the tournament judges, Bartemius Crouch, and Ludo Bagman. I love seeing Harry, Ron, and Hermonie continue to mature as the Yule Ball is held at the school this year, a formal gathering to socialize the visiting schools. Emotions run high as they search for dates to the ball, and jealousy rears its ugly head among the friends and certain feelings come to light. Harry and the gang learn a lot throughout the year, but nothing could have prepared Harry for what he had to face once completing the Tri-Wizard tournament.
For those who are like me and didn’t read Harry Potter earlier in life, I won’t include spoilers about the ending. Believe me, it is EPIC. I love the dark side of this world and the ending was badass but there was plenty of emotion in there. There were a few parts that got me misty-eyed. Of course, the book ends off with more words of wisdom from Dumbledore and even a line from Hagrid that’s worth living by. This book does end with dark times on the horizon but I am so excited to continue my journey. Easily my favorite book so far but they truly seem to get better and better. Let’s see how Order of the Phoenix turns out!