Goblet of Fire: ‘The Riddle House’ & ‘The Scar’ (Chapters 1 & 2)

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Chapters 1-2

Mark True statements with a “T” and False statements with an “F.”

1. _____ Goblet of Fire opens with the story of the mysterious murder of three Muggles in “the Riddle House” in Little Hangleton. The patrons in ‘The Hanged Man’, the local pub, believe there was dark magic involved.

2. _____ The autopsy report on the dead Muggles said “the Riddles all appeared to be in perfect health – apart from the fact that they were all dead.”

3. _____ Frank Bryce, the groundskeeper, investigates noises in the main house and discovers two men talking about Nagini, Quidditch, and Harry Potter, whose murder they seem to be planning.

4. _____ Nagini attacks Frank and brings him into the room. Bryce tells Lord Voldemort that he is calling the police, that his wife knows he is up there, and that he will report the murder of Bertha Jorkins Lord Voldemort committed.

5. _____ Frank Bryce sees the face of Lord Voldemort and a flash of green light before he screams and dies.

6. _____ Harry wakes up on Privet Drive when the scar on his forehead burns “beneath his fingers as though someone had just pressed a white-hot wire to his skin.” He goes to the mirror with a vivid recollection of his dream in his head.

7. _____ He remembers an old man, Peter Pettigrew, “a snake on a hearth rug,” and “the cold, high voice of Lord Voldemort.” They were plotting to kill him when the old man fell to the ground.

8. _____ He thinks of writing Hermione, Ron, and Dumbledore and decides he needs to send a note to the Headmaster and to his godfather, Sirius Black.

9. _____ Sirius had written him twice since escaping on Buckbeak’s back. Both letters had been delivered by “large, brightly colored tropical birds” rather than owls. Harry hoped this meant Sirius was somewhere tropical and beautiful.

10. _____ Harry writes Sirius about his scar hurting, about the dream he had with Lord Voldemort threatening to kill him, and about Dudley’s diet (and the loss of his PlayStation and Mega-Mutilation Part Three).

Discussion Point: How is the opening of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire different from the openings of the first three Harry Potter novels? What difference does this make? Is there an echo of the beginning in the book’s ending? And your thoughts post Deathly Hallows?


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

    #5 is true and false because Bryce is screaming before he sees the green flash and the sentence can be read in different ways. #& is ambiguous, too, because it suggests they’re plotting at the same moment Bryce hits the ground.

  2. I remember when Laura and I bought our shared copy of Goblet of Fire at midnight and she read the first chapter aloud while I drove home. We were so confused over who Riddle was. Neither of us could figure out who the people in the first chapter were, aside from Wormtail, of course, until we started thumbing through the first three books. Finally in COS we found the name Tom Riddle and then the first chapter of GOF made at least a little sense.

    I like that chapter now, and even by the end of GOF, but at the time, it was just confusing and didn’t seem to fit.

    I’ve always found Harry’s lack of memory about dreams and visions to be highly annoying. When I’ve had a nightmare, I remember it for years, vividly. But I suppose not everyone does (wish I didn’t, come to think of it), and it would spoil some of the mystery if Harry were too quick to make those connections of his dreams/visions with what’s happening around him.

    This chapter has a lot more meaning, also, when we find out about Tom Riddle, Sr., and Merope in HBP. It then becomes quite a brilliant chapter once we see the result of all the foreshadowing that Rowling tucked in there.


  3. Obviously, the blaring difference between the opening chapters of books 1-3 and GoF is the setting. We are not in Little Whinging…we are in Little Hangleton. The Dursleys’ tidy little abode at 4 Privet Drive…Harry’s personal prison during summer break…is replaced with the boarded-up, “derelict” Riddle manor where we find Wormtail to something of a servant-prisoner of LV’s. JKR gives us great backstory and sets up the events in the cemetery at the end of the Triwizard Tournament!

    Isn’t this the first time we see Nagini as well? Another Slytherin symbol, she made me think of the basilisk in CoS. Finding Wormtail in LV’s service is not surprising; however, we learn that he was the one who found LV in Albania: “I found you…I was the one who found you” (GoF, p 10).

    So, how did Wormtail know LV was in Albania? Even LV thought Wormtail incredibly lucky… “A stroke of brilliance I would not have thought possible from you, Wormtail–“(GoF, p11)…JKR does not reveal the source of Peter Pettigrew’s successful (?) return to his master. This is one backstory I would like to know more about.

    As for the echo of the book’s beginning in its ending, there’s a lot of eavesdropping (resulting in difficult circumstances or death) going on in this book: Frank Bryce dies doing his job caretaking the old Riddle house but who is also eavesdropping on LV and Wormtail) in chapter one. Cedric Diggory is identified by LV as “the spare”…one who should not be present, much as an eavesdropper behind the door…and dies! Rita Skeeter’s use of her unregistered animagus power to eavedrop on conversations for Daily Prophet gain earned her personal, unpleasant consequences at Hermione’s hand. One could surmise that Rita was doomed to “bug” no more!

    Disbelief also reigns both in the beginning and end of GoF: Frank Bryce believed he was tormented by the locals because they thought he was a murderer when the Riddle deaths were determined to be inconclusive. Harry believes he is being labeled a liar because he insists LV has returned and they don’t believe him. LV is the center of both controversies.

    My thoughts post DH? I’ll have to think about that some more.

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