Friday, February 22, 2013

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Readalong Post 1

First things first, did everyone get their wands? I've kind of forgotten who I sent them to, so I've completely lost track of who has posted on twitter that it arrived, and who hasn't. Unless they got lost in the mail, you should have them by now...I hope!


I have been excited to get to this book since the readalong started, not because it's my favourite (although it is a good one) but because I now, finally, get to use this gif...

Voldemort just be stutting with Nagini, doin' what he do.

So I've been very busy with uni work and had no time for reading, so I decided to dust off my audiobooks and listen to this book read by the wonderful Stephen Fry. I know Americans seem to be super into your guy (blanking on the name here) but Stephen Fry is top narrator of all time (not including Morgan Freeman. I would pay a lot of money to listen to Freeman read HP). But, it does make noticing the bizarre little details a little harder, because listening and making furious notes sorta defeats the whole purpose of using the audiobook in the first time.

POA will always be my favourite book, but I think this might be my favourite book intro. Since she already had a legion of fans, and she knew they were getting a little older, it's like JK decides she can afford to experiment and doesn't even mention Harry for 19 pages. That chapter with Frank, Voldemort, Nagini (pumped for Nagini - god I love her) and Pettigrew sets up so much, not just for this book but for the rest of the series. We hear about V's most trusted follower, we see Pettigrew's hesitance (he's such a coward that I find it impossible to feel anything but sadness for him), we are introduced to the house and a bit of back story which will be important come book 7, we get a scar connection between Voldy and Harry and VOLDEMORT IS A PHYSICAL THING AGAIN.

Anyway, awesome first chapter aside this first quarter was definitely more action packed than any of the previous three books. We do get a little exposition but was everyone aware that prior to HP it was incredibly rare for children/young adults to re-read books before reading the next in the series? JKR changed reading habits, people were so excited when the next book finally came out that they'd read them all so that they were as up to date as possible. So that's why HP has a lot of that exposition, not because there were people starting at book 4, but because publishers were used to people needing reminders in the first two or three chapters because it might have been a year or so since their last read. I wish I could share the link that discusses this, but it was part of an assignment years ago and I wouldn't even know where to start. Anyway, I thought it was a neat little titbit.

The World Cup is AMAZING. I love the Quidditch games in every book, so this is basically just one of those scenes on roids, but I also love, love, love the Portkey (new travel technique! Yes!), the issues with wizards trying to blend in but not doing a particularly good job, the amazing tents (I'd be so into camping if I had one of their tents), the ministry folk (does anyone else see Ludo Bagman as a fatter, older brother to Lockhart? Because I do), the leprechauns and veela, and the intense scene in the woods post-game. Those death eaters are nasty pants.

Wizard Archie = Iggy Pop
This is not a good book for promoting the awesomeness of wizards. You have Voldemort killing a poor old man, the twins tricking Dudley into eating one of their charmed sweets, then the whole house elves thing both at the World Cup and at school, and of course the whole death eaters parading humans in the air thing. Yikes. They should get the ministry marketing department on this stat. It's nice to have outsiders like Hermione and Harry, because they really emphasise how messed up wizard thinking is. Sure everyone was shocked at the death eaters thing, but everyone just shrugged off the Winky issue except Harry and Hermione. Harry didn't get super into the whole thing like Hermione did, but he still noticed it and was still perplexed by the whole Dobby-wants-payment thing. Also, yeahhhhhh Dobby, standing up for Elf rights - you deserve that cashesh son, so you take it!

I. Love. Moody. He is amazing. In year 5 I had a teacher called Mr Taylor. He was the most sarcastic, and black humoured teacher I've ever had. When I was finishing at the school to move up to Cairns he wrote in my going away card to watch for falling coconuts because they will kill me, but are also perfect for making horse noises, and he once told a kid that if he didn't behave he'd hang him out of the window by his shoelace. Anyway, he was the sort of no-nonsense, kind of mad dude that I think of whenever I read a scene with Moody. Mr Taylor would not have hesitated to turn one of us into a hamster if we attacked someone with their back turned. And I'm sure he would have totally dug a magic eye and crazy Einstein hair and a limp. And since I'm avoiding spoilers (major ones anyway) I can't wait for the final week of GoF reads so that we can start a really big discussion about Moody as teacher. Oh yes.

It's been a few weeks since I took a trivial matter and blew it into something way bigger than it rightfully should be. This week I'm wondering about kitchen utensils.

Where does Molly get her fry pans? Do wizards sell them, or do they drop into the nearest shopping centre and pick one up? The same with cutlery, plates, cups etc. Because if they buy them from muggle shops then there's no reason why everyone should have so much trouble with muggle money and customs. Which I guess means they buy them from wizard stores, but where do they make their frypans? Do they buy supply from muggles or do they make them themselves? Considering how stone age-y the wizarding community is I don't imagine they have fry pan factories, but they'd be so expensive if they had to make them in the traditional metal work way. They could magic it, but they say that you can't just magic food it has to come from somewhere, so does apply for all materials? Can you conjure up a fry pan if you have some copper or aluminium on hand? But what about that time Dumbledore conjured up a chair just by drawing one? I hope this haunts all of you and causes you as many headaches as it's causing me. This shit is ridic.

Food for Thought

*If the Veela had a quidditch team they'd win so hard.

*I really enjoy that Ron uses his omnioculars to watch some guy pick his nose over and over.

*It sucks that the World Cup didn't have a bigger role in the GoF film - it'd be spectacular.

*I always imagine Krum as this big and domineering jock - even though everything JK writes contradicts that.

*I love the little mention of Mundungus and his scheme to squeeze money out of the ministry.

*If I went to Hogwarts I'd go through the barrier at platform 9 3/4 differently each year. No inconspicuous leaning on a trolley and sliding through...I'd moonwalk through.

*I love the dynamic between McGonagall and Dumbledore, they're such a perfect pair. Like the scene where Dumbledore gets distracted and starts to tell a joke at the feast and only stops when McGonagall reigns him in. They're a powerhouse duo, and deserve a sitcom.

*I'm pretty sure I'm just a lady Ron, because I still giggle when Ron asks to see Lavender's Uranus in divination.

Lady Ron Out.


  1. Hehehe Lady Ron. Awesome.

    I cannot wait to talk about Moody! Three more weeks to go. I know we're not worrying about spoilers too much, but this is such a big one!

    Soooo, frying pans. I'm guessing some wizards make them and sell them. I'm not sure if mass production is a huge issue... there have to be wizards who make all of the books, vials, scales, and other of millions of little things wizards use. And the number of consumers is probably a lot less than the Muggle world, so they don't have to make as much. They probably go through a lot less plates - especially since if one breaks, they can just repair it.

    I was thinking about the Dumbledore chair thing... do you think maybe he owns those chairs like at his house or something, and they conjures them up whenever he needs them and then sends them back when he's done? Hmmmmm...

    1. The idea of Dumbledore just having a chair room is delicious. I want it so badly to be a thing.

      But DO they make vials and scales or are they all in the same boat as frying pans? Maybe there are just a few wizards/witches who are in the know and own the monopoly of muggle made paraphernalia.

    2. Yes! That, I think. Like, a Muggle-ware importer. Oh god, a sMuggler!! Only above-board, but that's not a good pun. But seriously, though, they probably have some sort of Muggle Goods Emporium run by the only guy who understands Muggle money and shipping and order forms and stuff.

      (This is why I am doing this readalong, for THESE KINDS OF DISCUSSIONS. Someone needs to develop a Sincerity Font because I am in all seriousness.)

  2. Stephen Fryyyyyyy. Not to put this too strongly, but everyone who likes Jim Dale is wrong. I actively dislike his rendition of the Harry Potter books. It is all about Stephen Fry. He is the greatest. I want to hug him. (Not really, I would be much too in awe of him to hug him, but I DO want to bond with him over our mutual love of Oscar Wilde, and then get him to set me up on a date with Oscar Wilde's great-grandson so we can get married. Hm. This comment has taken a turn.)

    1. I think you're the first person to dislike Jim Dale, everyone seems to rave about him. Stephen Fry is much more awesome though, and should have been a part of the HP film franchise. How was he never given a role? I don't know who he would have played, but he would wear rich velvet gowns and dapper little hats and would be marvellous.

      I would loooooove to hug Stephen Fry, I imagine it's what heaven feels like. But I'd probably be too scared too, maybe I'd get drunk first. I might do it if I'm drunk.

  3. I enjoy that we both used 'ridic' in our posts.


    I'm extremely anti-audiobook with Harry Potter, because then I'll never get the reader's voice out of my head when I'M reading them, but I would totally be down with Stephen Fry's voice in my head for always. I didn't even know that was an OPTION.

    1. This is only my second time listening to the audiobooks, so I think my own internal narrator wins out, but it would be the worst to have that happen for realsies. Kinda like when the actors become the characters, and your version was way better but can never be seen again.

      I'm so glad it made it safely! I had a moment of panic the other night that they all just got lost in the mail, so I'm pleased they made it safely. Although, of course they did, they're magic.

  4. "(does anyone else see Ludo Bagman as a fatter, older brother to Lockhart? Because I do)" NOW I DO! That is perfect.

    I did get my wand holy crap thank you I'm sorry I didn't mention this sooner and I haven't got my shit together with sending you stuff but I will!!!!! *takes a breath* For serious, it is amazing, and thank you so much. I have it sitting atop my HP books, which are in a place of honour on my bookshelf. I'll post a pic sometime. IT'S WONDERFUL AND I LOVE IT THANK YOU!

    You and your wondering about the manufacturing sector of the wizarding world. I do think they buy them at magical shops, because they buy robes at magical shops... and other reasons. But I don't know how they make them. Maybe the shops have a Muggle Kitchen Supplies Buyer who gets them all their merch.

    1. Yay! So happy it made it there safely, and now you can accio snacks and wingardium leviosa your cats. Wait, do you have cats? If not, buy one, then wingardium leviosa it.

      I'm making it my life's work to stress myself out over shit that doesn't matter in Harry Potter. Maybe I should change my PhD over to 'The Minutia of the Harry Potter World Which Will Make You Lose Your Mind Once You Start to Think About it'

  5. Come on, the Uranus thing is the BEST! And I'm totally with you on the Bagman=Lockhart thing becase OMGSOTRUE!

    I would listen to Morgan Freeman reading HP for all eternity. I would never get anything done ever again, but it would be WORTH IT!

  6. Oh oh oh, and that V-Mort gif is SO FREAKY! Thanks in advance for the nightmares!

  7. OMG that first gif. I haven't even read any of your post yet. I need a moment to take that all in.
    *goes back up to actually read post*
    OK back. We have a different narrator for the audiobooks? I think we have some British guy so I figured that wasn't special for us.
    I love Iggy Pop and also, I think I have that dress...
    I now plan on spending the rest of this series contemplating wizarding kitchenware along with their plumbing. Unless, what if there's some entrepreneurial squib or Muggle-born wizards who decide to make their living buying Muggle stuff the wizarding community needs and then selling it? That way the wizards don't have to deal with Muggles and their money, and this guy can probably make a pretty tidy living, cos it's not like wizards know if they're getting ripped off on their cookware.

    1. If it is the same/similar dress you should absolutely go as Iggy Pop next halloween. It'd be amazing.

      Jim Dale does the American audiobooks, but I don't actually know if he's American or English, so he could be the guy you're thinking of. Apparently he's quite amazing, but Stephen Fry wins everything ever, so he'll never get a chance to amaze me.

      I love the idea of squibs selling the kitchenware. Since it'd mean being a part of the wizarding community but also not only being surrounding by wizards who must make them feel so self-conscious all the time. It's like an equal opportunities thing. Which makes me feel better about how douche-tastic wizards generally are to squibs.

    2. I checked his Wikipedia page and Jim Dale is indeed English and the guy that narrates the HP audiobooks I have. I didn't realize there were any other narrators for the series. And also I am not familiar with Stephen Fry. I know what he looks like and I know people rave about him but that's it. I'm sorry.

      Also there are comparisons between Dale vs. Fry on YouTube because of course there is.

  8. 1) OMMGGG that Vmort gif made me CACKLE.

    2) When you said, "if he didn't behave he'd hang him out of the window by his shoelace," my first thought was YOU HAD MISS TRUNCHBULL AS A TEACHER? (Matilda is my fave, and is equally disturbing on the neglected-child front as Harry Potter.)

    3) Hermione addresses this in Deathly Hallows when she talks about Gamp's Law, which (if I remember correctly) states that food and money are the two exceptions to conjuring things out of thin air. So, you could presumably conjure a frying pan. Except that if you can conjure pretty much anything, why do you need money at all? Only to buy food, I guess? And can you conjure a solid gold frying pan and then magic it into galleons?? I swear, JKR needs to see these posts and give us answers.

    4) There is so, so much truth in that Iggy Pop quote.

    1. 1, I love it so much. It's been REALLY hard not to use it before now.

      2. He was a loveable old grump, but unlike Trunchbull never actually would hang us by our shoelaces. I think. Maybe I should be more scarred by this teacher than I am....

      3. It's just, if JK didn't make such a big deal about all the wizards having such a hard time in the muggle world I don't think I'd pick up on this stuff so much. And if they can just draw one like Dumbles draws chairs, why would anyone ever buy anything? You'd just draw up your own replacement cauldron. And why just food and money, why does food have to come from somewhere but steel doesn't? JK EXPLAIN YOURSELF. (or don't really, because I'm a maniac and you should spend your time writing new HP books. Please)

      4. Iggy Pop KNOWS.

    2. You're totally right -- JKR should be writing new HP books! Has she said in any interviews what she's working on now that The Casual Vacancy is out and Pottermore is pretty much done? I NEED ANSWERS.

      *praying for a prequel about the marauders or a sequel about Albus Severus's epic quest to legally change his name*

    3. Poor Albus Severus, I bet he did that as soon as he legally could. Such a horrible name, but I guess it's in line with the current trend of naming your kids awful names.

    4. Bahahahahaha
      I hope he comes up with some nickname and just never uses his actual name. The poor guy



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