Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire marks the first Harry Potter book I read to my daughter without having read it myself first. When it was published back in 2000, it was the first time I'd even heard of Harry Potter, and because of the crazy hype I decided to go back and read the first 3 in the series before jumping in at the halfway mark. But, feeling pretty blasé about them, couldn't face that gigantic chunkster that brought Harry into my radar in the first place. Of course, since then I've started a family and with my kids discovering Harry, I've grown a larger appreciation and finally took on the 4th book.
Initially, I enjoyed the Goblet of Fire. It was quite action packed and made the length go by quite quickly. I thought the ending, with the villains narrating and explaining everything was clumsy and rather silly, but at least provided some answers. All the dating and Cedric Diggory's death, of course, brought the book up a notch in the maturity, but not so much that my daughter couldn't handle.
After reading the book, we of course watched the movie, and likewise it was okay. It felt a little rushed, trying to cram all that into one movie, and as most of the awe of Hogwarts and the whole concept of an alternate wizarding society has worn off, wasn't quite as magical (pardon the pun). But then Ralph Fiennes somehow managed to pull off that stupid dialogue at the end, and so the magic was regained. And I never pieced it together before now that the same guy that played Cedric Diggory was also that guy from Twilight. Holy cow, he must be rich.
Then the fun came screeching to a halt. The M. Night Shyamalan experience: I thought about it. The Goblet was a portkey, designed to transport Harry away from Hogwarts into the arms of Voldemort. All he had to do was spend the entire book trying to win it, so he would unknowingly touch it and be whisked away. But why not make Harry's toothbrush a portkey? For supervillains they're pretty stupid. Or could it be Rowling? I better watch what I say lest I bring that wrath of the Pott-heads down on me. Going online to see if it was a gigantic plot-hole-- a premise destroying plot-hole-- I was exposed to the scary world of obsessed fans. The first rule of thumb is that Rowling is never wrong. Nothing else could have been made a portkey because... let the theories begin! Except for everyone's rationalization, none of them were explained in the book itself. Surely Rowling couldn't be off the hook for that could she? Are fans willing to have to fill in the blanks? Even worse than the theorists, were those that suggested that anything other than the Goblet would have been too short and what would be the fun in that? Seriously? How about she fix the damn plot hole or else come up with a different plot? Then I got over my frustration with the stupidity that was the Goblet of Fire and instead worried for the sake of humanity at the number of people hating on the (I can't believe I have to add this adjective) fictional Ginny Weasley:
"Ginny Weasley is a stupid wh*re."
And that's nothing compared to the fan-fiction. Egad.
Okay, so I didn't like Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire at the end, but it's just a book. Right?