Goblet of Fire: ‘Aboard the Hogwarts Express’ & ‘The TriWizard Tournament’ (Chapters 11 & 12)

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Chapters 11-12

Mark True statements with a “T” and False statements with an “F.” Write your answers to the discussion points in the com boxes below.

1. _____ Amos Diggory wakes the Weasleys with the news that Arthur must rush to save Mad-Eye Moody from the Muggle “Please-men.” It seems the famous – and paranoid – retured Auror imagined an intruder and sent the dust-bins rocketing. Amos gives Molly some toast to apologize for waking her up.

2. _____ Three Muggle taxis take the Hogwarts crew to King’s Cross station but an errant firework and an overly excited cat make the crowded trip in the rain miserable.

3. _____ Charlie, Bill, and Mrs. Weasley – like Ludo Bagman and Percy in previous chapters – all drop hints about a big event coming to Hogwarts in the coming year.

4. _____ Harry explains to Ron and Hermione that there are two other schools for wizards in Europe, Durmstrand and Beauxbatons, and, like Hogwarts their locations are secret. He thinks they might be Unplottable or loaded with Muggle-repelling charms.

5. _____ Draco sees Ron’s dress robes on Pigwidgeon’s cage, pulls them out to show everyone, and mocks Ron openly for having such out-of-fashion clothes.

6. _____ Peeves the Poltergeist, angry because the Bloody Baron won’t let him come to the start-of-term feast, attacks the students as they arrive in the Hogwarts entrance hall with water balloons thrown from a height.

7. _____ The Sorting Hat reveals he was once Godric Gryffindor’s hat and tells the story of the Inter-house rivalry at Hogwarts from the beginning.

8. _____ Nearly Headless Nick reveals to Hermione that there are almost a hundred house-elves at Hogwarts who do all the cooking, cleaning, and fire-building.

9. _____ Professor Moody arrives during Dumbledore’s talk before the feast, lightning flashes across the ceiling, he “eyeballs” the crowd front and back, and he sits down to a meal of sausage and a drink from his hip flask.

10. _____ Fred and George are determined to become Hogwarts’ two Triwizard Tournament champions despite the 17 year old age requirement. Ron and Harry dream of entering the tournament, too.

Discussion Points: How has the story line grown in scope this year? What effect does learning about other schools and the Hogwarts house-elves, seeing the international community at the Quidditch World Cup, and the history of the school and the Triwizard tornament expand our idea of the story setting? Post Deathly Hallows (knowing how the story ends!), is this expansion a turning point in the story-arc?


  1. 1.F 2.T 3.T 4.F 5.T
    6.T 7.T 8.F 9.F 10.T

    Merlin at Muggle Matters was the first serious reader I read who argued at length that the seven novels were following a story arc that rose with the first three books, turned a corner at Goblet of Fire, and paralleled in descent the first three books (1-7, 2-6, 3-5, 4-stand alone; Joyce Odell wrote along these lines, too, if I’m not mistaken). I’m writing a chapter in the new Unlocking Harry Potter about how the first and last books of the series are a joining of the circle with intentional echoes and parallels. If that is the case — and the evidence is mountainous — Goblet of Fire would be the opposite side of the story arc at which diameter extension we should be able to make out a pointer to the beginning and end.

    Is it in the expansion of the narrow Hogwarts-only storyline? Or just the “gleam of triumph” and specific plot points that hint at Deathly Hallows’ wal;k into the forest again? Rather than an either-or question, is the former just an element of the latter?

    Your thoughts on the new scope of the story in Goblet, please.

  2. JohnABaptist says

    I’m curious John, are you suggesting that the works, volume by volume may be chiastic in nature?

    If so, then they should follow the pattern:

    A Philosopher/Sorcerer’s Stone
    B Chamber of Secrets
    C Prisoner of Azkaban
    D Goblet of Fire
    C’ Order of the Phoenix
    B’ Half-Blood Prince
    A’ Deathly Hallows incorporating in some fashion D’ (an element from Goblet of Fire to form closure)
    where some element of each letter is related in some way to a similar element in its prime counterpart.

    On at least a superficial level I think I can see these chiastic elements being present:

    C-C’ in PofA Harry gains Sirius, in OotP he loses him.
    B-B’ in CofS Harry “finds” (rescues) Ginny, in HBP he “loses” (rejects for her protection) Ginny.
    A-A’ in P/SS Harry succumbs (loses consciousness) and the mission Harry could not complete is finished by Dumbledore, in DH, Harry succumbs (loses consciousness) but it is Dumbledore’s mission that Harry subsequently completes.
    D’ element having closure in A’ The climactic duel in which the Wands take over from the Wizards and fight the duel on their terms and not necessarily those intended by the Wizards.

    Clearly in GOF, we should then see some fundamental pivot point in the second task. We should see Harry, for example, change from doing things for selfish reasons, to doing things for selfless reasons–which perhaps we do?

    Time to reach out for other voices…What say the rest of you? Are John and Merlin on to something here?

  3. For the longer version of the chiastic structure in the Harry Potter novels, Merlin at Muggle Matters is the root, trunk, and branch. A graduate student at Fordham, he writes at daunting length and depth. Here is something he wrote about Goblet of Fire and the structure of the series not long after Half-Blood Prince was published:


    As JAB points out in his quick look at chiastic structure in the book, Merlin’s 1/2006 speculation was only confirmed by Deathly Hallows.

  4. At the risk of a mundane reply, . . . . . . . . what part of #9 is false?

    The most common pre-DH theory is 1-7, 2-6, and 3-5, but I also recall seeing championing of 1-5, 2-6, 3-7. I admit I don’t recall the logic, though. Post-publication, both sides can probably make arguments for their side.

  5. Number 9 is “false” because he arrives during the Headmaster’s talk after the feast not before it (which as that talk consisted of the two words “tuck in” would have been difficult to interrupt).

    Mundane John

  6. JohnABaptist says


    Head’s up…Merlin stirs his cauldrons at ForDham, not ForGham (which sounds like a frog with potty-mouth.)

    John the Picker of Nits.

  7. Remind me never to take one of your classes, John. Your exams are far too tricky! (I went back to the text to see that Dumbledore was talking when Mad Eye arrived – and that was good enough for me at the time.)

    (Oh, and by the way – the precise date escapes me at the moment, but the feast of St Merope is approaching, or may have been last Saturday by the Julian reckoning. Can we assume Lord Voldemort is consistent about observing his mother’s Name Day?)

  8. JohnABaptist says


    It is interesting that you mention the other pattern.

    I have been told by those who certainly ought to be educated enough to know, that the first pattern [1-7,2-6,3-5, 4-stands-alone with the pairs related in some fashion] is a Hebrew pattern, which appears among other places in the Beatitudes (as an even number of elements hence no pivotal 4 as in our example) as expressed by Matthew (of Hebrew antecedents).

    While the pattern 1-5, 2-6, 3-7, 4-stands-alone with the pairs being opposites is, I am told a Greek pattern which appears in the Beatitudes (again as an even number of elements with no pivot line) as expressed by Luke (of Greek origin).

    I would not be surprised if both forms existed within the Potter saga given the length of the work that Rowling has created.

    By the way, while we are this close to the subject, has anyone commented on the relationship of Harry-Ron-Hermione-Neville & James-Sirius-Remus-Peter to the two forms of the Beatitudes? (Forgive me John, I know that properly belongs in a separate thread somewhere…but the discussion came so close.)

  9. John,

    Head’s up…Merlin stirs his cauldrons at ForDham, not ForGham (which sounds like a frog with potty-mouth.)

    John the Picker of Nits.

    Whoops! Sorry, Merlin; Thank you, JAB!

  10. Check out this previous HogPro post with links to sites discussing chiasm pre-Deathly Hallows.

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