Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

by

J. K. Rowling

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Chapter Twenty Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The next morning, Harry tells Hermione about everything Sirius said. She believes that the dragons are the most pressing issue. They spend the day looking for a simple spell that would allow Harry to best a dragon with no success. On Monday, Harry considers running away, but realizes that he'd rather face a dragon than go back to the Dursleys. As he finishes his breakfast, he sees Cedric and realizes that he's the only champion who doesn't know about the dragons. He chases after Cedric and then tells him that the first task is dragons. Cedric asks why Harry told him and Harry says that it's just fair.
Harry's choice to tell Cedric becomes an example of the novel's assertion that being a good person is something that happens when someone makes these small choices to help others. Harry could have gone on and, because he's prepared, done better than Cedric, but his reasoning shows that he believes in playing fair and making sure that everyone is on equal footing. This suggests that on some level, Harry already understands the importance of sharing his privileges.
Themes
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Related Quotes
Moody comes around the corner, tells Cedric to move along, and calls Harry to follow him to his office. Harry wonders if he's in trouble and is shocked when Moody tells him his behavior was honorable. Harry looks around at the items in Moody's office. He believes they're all items that help catch Dark wizards. He recognizes a large Sneakoscope and sees a mirror that shows only shadowy figures. Moody explains he's disabled several devices due to the students’ constant lying. Moody assures Harry that cheating is part of the Tournament and asks Harry if he has a plan to get past the dragons. Gruffly, Moody tells Harry to play to his strengths and when Harry says that he's only good at Quidditch, Moody tells him to find a spell that will let him “get what he needs.” Later, Harry asks Hermione to help him master the Summoning Charm.
Given that Hagrid already cheated to show Harry the dragons in the first place, Moody's choice to guide Harry in deciding to use his broom doesn't seem at all out of the ordinary--and Moody himself justifies it by saying that everyone cheats. In doing so, Moody also points to the fact that there's something of a dark side to every person, whether they're good or evil, no matter how low or high the stakes might be.
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Harry and Hermione practice during lunch with little success. He grudgingly goes to Divination, where Trelawney predicts his death, and then spends all night practicing. By two in the morning, Harry is surrounded by objects he Summoned and feels confident that he'll be able to summon his Firebolt.
The discovery on Harry's part that he is capable of learning these difficult charms shows him that, if he works hard enough and chooses to practice, he can be just as successful as Hermione.
Themes
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At lunch the next day, McGonagall fetches Harry to take him down to the stadium. She seems concerned and asks Harry if he's okay before she sends him into a tent with the other champions. Inside, Fleur looks nervous, Krum looks surly, and Cedric paces. Bagman calls the champions to attention when he sees Harry and explains that once the audience is seated, each champion will draw a small model of a dragon out of a bag, and their task is to get the golden egg. Soon, he offers the champions the bag in turn. Fleur draws a green dragon; Krum draws a Chinese Fireball; Cedric draws a blue-gray one; and Harry draws a Hungarian Horntail. Bagman then asks Harry to follow him outside and offers to help. Harry refuses and Bagman races away when he hears a whistle.
When Harry refuses Bagman's offer of help, it's because Bagman offering to help is in an entirely different league than Moody or Hagrid doing the same--Bagman is one of the organizers and this offer suggests corruption and foul play. This begins to suggest that, while Harry and Mr. Weasley like Bagman on a personal level, he might not actually be a trustworthy person and likely has ulterior motives for offering help.
Themes
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Sitting inside the tent and listening to Cedric fighting the dragon is awful. Cedric is successful after fifteen minutes. Fleur goes next and gets her egg in ten minutes. Then Krum collects his egg and finally, it's Harry's turn. He focuses his mind on his Firebolt and Summons it. It arrives and Harry kicks off. In the air, Harry feels at home. He leads the Horntail in diversionary tactics but suffers one cut on his shoulder from the dragon's tail spikes. Harry encourages the dragon to take off and abandon her eggs and as soon as she does, he dives and grabs the egg. Bagman shouts that Harry was the fastest champion.
Harry's success in the first task functions as a way for him to realize that, when it comes down to it, he's just as capable of doing well as the other champions despite the age and maturity differences between them. This in turn helps Harry to feel more mature, especially since in terms of time, he was the most successful at completing this task.
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Harry flies down to McGonagall, Moody, and Hagrid. McGonagall praises him and points him towards Madam Pomfrey. Madam Pomfrey puts something on Harry's shoulder and instructs him to sit, but Harry gets up. Hermione and Ron meet him at the door. Very seriously, Ron says that whoever put Harry's name in the goblet is trying to kill him. Harry realizes he doesn't need to hear Ron's apology and they grin at each other. Hermione bursts into tears and runs away crying. Ron leads Harry out and tells him a bit about how the other champions did. They walk out and each judge gives Harry a score out of ten. Maxime, Mr. Crouch, Dumbledore, and Bagman give Harry high scores, but Karkaroff gives Harry a four. Ron shouts indignantly and Harry thinks that Ron's support is worth more than the score.
It's telling that Ron is able to put aside his anger and jealousy of Harry after seeing the first task--it suggests that Moody is right and the students will only be able to prepare themselves and see reason once they know what's out there in the world. Before, when the Tournament was something abstract in Ron's mind, he felt that it was something simple and glorious. Now, however, he sees that it's a truly dangerous dip into the real Wizarding world and though the winner will certainly earn a great deal of prestige, it will be hard won.
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Bagman calls the champions back into the tent and tells them that the second task will take place on the 24th of February, and to figure out what it is, the champions need to solve the clue hidden inside the egg. As Harry and Ron head back to the castle, Rita Skeeter jumps out and asks for an interview. Harry refuses.
When Harry is able to boldly refuse Skeeter's request for an interview after reaffirming his friendship with Ron, it shows that friendship and camaraderie are some of the best ways to stand up to the kind of mayhem that Skeeter causes.
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