Goblet of Fire was released 15 years ago! To celebrate, we’re looking at 3 things the fourth book foreshadowed about the series.
Happy Birthday, Goblet of Fire! Fifteen years ago on July 8, 2000, the fourth Harry Potter book became the first in the series to be simultaneously released in America and the U.K. This huge event marked the franchise’s arrival as a worldwide cultural phenomenon. More midnight releases would follow, as would more sales records, and the most successful franchise in movie history (at least until Marvel crashed the party, though they took more films to do so).
But this was the turning point.
The book didn’t just signal a change in Harry Potter‘s place in our pop culture psyche though. The middle installment in the saga also marked a massive change in the narrative: Voldemort returned, the Ministry of Magic turned on Dumbledore, and Harry and his friends showed noticeable signs of growing up.
Despite being the series’ central point, Goblet of Fire dropped plenty of hints about how Harry Potter‘s story would continue, and ultimately, end. Prepare to be amazed!
Harry, Ron, and Hermione never hide their disdain and cynicism for the art of Divination. But, as we’ve seen throughout the books, many of Trelawney’s predictions turn out to have some truth to them. Goblet of Fire is no exception, but rather than the bug-eyed fortune teller predicting the future, it’s actually the trio themselves. When Harry and Ron try to make up some miserable predictions to impress their Professor, they inadvertently foretell the dangers Harry will face throughout the three tasks of the Tri Wizard Tournament. In the first task, he’s “in danger of burns” from the dragon. He will later “lose a treasured possession” for the second task (Ron, who thinks he’ll drown, and ends up not breathing underwater). Finally, Harry is “stabbed in the back” by someone he thought was a friend (Mad Eye Moody/Barty Crouch Jr.) before coming off “worse in a fight” (his duel with Voldemort). Clever foreshadowing is nothing new to the series, but the way this particular prophecy was handled demanded inclusion.
Often speculated about following Goblet of Fire‘s release, the “gleam of triumph” Harry spots in Dumbledore’s eyes when he finds out about Voldemort’s resurrection perplexed us for years. Of course, following the climax of Deathly Hallows we now know that this flash of happiness was due to the fact that Voldemort had brought himself back using Harry’s blood, thus ensuring that Harry would defeat him. All authors say they plan all of their stories in advance, but this really proves that J.K. Rowling knew how Harry Potter would end well in advance of Deathly Hallows.
Prior to the release of Deathly Hallows, one of the most contentious debates among Harry Potter fans was the subject of Severus Snape’s allegiances. Dumbledore’s murder in the climax of Half Blood Prince led us to believe he might be evil. Or was he a double agent? Or a triple agent? Quadruple? We all missed it, but Jo told us that Severus was good back in Goblet of Fire. When Harry is talking to Professor Moody in his office, he sees Snape in his foeglass. Of course, as is revealed later in the book, it was in fact Barty Crouch Jr. masquerading as the new Defense Against The Dark Arts teacher throughout Harry’s fourth year. As one of Voldemort’s most respected servants, Crouch Jr’s animosity towards Snape shows us that he was on the right side all along.