The ramblings of a freelance writer, novelist and avid reader.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

HP Monday – More fire, this time in a cup!

For those of you keeping up – Yes, I did finish my NaNo novel – or at least made it to 50,399 words, officially. It’s still not done, but hopefully I’ll have a completed first draft by mid December!

Alright, back to Harry Potter. You've all been waiting long enough. I’ve almost officially gotten over my crush on book and movie 3 and feel that I can turn my attentions towards the next, thicker novel. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire weighs in at 2 lbs and 636 pages (UK version) – that is SO many more words than 50, 399!

Honestly I just keep thinking about all of the fire imagery in HP – and I don’t even know what it all means or why I’m so fixated on it. But here we are in book # 4 and fire is even in the title! There are fire breathing dragons and a goblet of fire, joyous fires, fires in the sky, and a ceremonial fire of pure evil. There’s also the fiery red hair of the Weasleys, Fawkes – a bird born of fire, the firebolt, Rita Skeeter’s scorching quill, and a lot more I’m not thinking of, I'm sure.

So what’s with all the fire? Anyone? I know, I know, I’ve already blogged about fire in book 2, but it just keeps coming back. It’s one of the elements – which would be important in any wizarding world; but I know there is so much more. Hmmm…Fire symbolizes chaos and war but it also cleanses and purifies. It banishes the darkness and stands for love and undying desire. It can also stand for determination and independence. It’s always a very strong image and one that is not used lightly. I’m going to have to ponder fire (and write the word in bold) a lot more during this re-read.

Feel free to pick another element here; I’m sure there’s plenty of elemental symbolism to go around – I also like the use of water in book #4 a good deal (and even more in book #6).

Anyone have any general thoughts on book 4? I have to say I REALLY enjoyed it on this re-read; there’s a lot of growing and discovering in this one. And poor Ron – he’s really confused about a lot of things in this one – albeit, most of the time I just wanted to punch him in the face. Yes, I said it. I wanted to punch a literary character – and one of the good guys – in the face. If you are shocked by that, just wait until book #5 when I seriously want to do great bodily damage to Harry – arghhh, teenage angst rears its ugly head big time and I just see red (fire even?).

But I digress. I think we also need to talk about budding romance and love – because this is the first time we really see it occurring at Hogwarts. I’m a girl who spent six years of her adult life writing about beauty trends, so I love the Christmas ball a lot - clothes, hair, accessories, twirling - there's not bad here. Plus – and here I go again – nothing beats dance imagery! From a writer’s perspective I think this book would be the most fun and entertaining to write – you know, until the end when we suddenly all get really serious, very quickly.

So, talk about all of this already! What are you all waiting for? And, I’d also like to know if this is anyone’s favorite book? If so, then why? Oh come on, you knew I was going to ask…


  1. You know, if you ask readers to choose another element besides fire to track in the book, you can't steal water as well. That leaves only earth and wind. (Heh, heh, wind.)

    I don't know if this is interesting to anyone but me, but in all of JK Rowling's books, I appreciate the characterization of the Weasley family. For example, Ron's dress clothes for the ball of course are hand-me-downs, and of course they're disgustingly awful. The wearing of these clothes makes yet another chink in Ron's armor...Chink? Really? Anyway, I like how Rowling takes advantage of a number of opportunities to show the Weasley's monetary issues, and she makes them into nice subplot conflicts.

  2. Oh, and The Goblet of Fire is just a tad more than you or I wrote for NaNo. It's 190,637 words. Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

  3. If I do put in my pipe and I do smoke it, is that fire imagery?

  4. I was struck by how this is the first book in which we get a peek at Harry's solipsism. He never thinks to ask Hagrid or Neville about their parents. This ties to his overall angsty egocentric nature in Book Five and his feelings of remorse overall his self-centered relationship with Dumbledore in Book Seven.

  5. Mara - You want to hit him in book 5 too! But did you really need to put the word solipsism in my blog?! Is Matt mocking you yet?

    For everyone else, it's the idea that all that exists is one's own mind - Mara's saying Harry is ecotistical. I see your point, but I'd like to raise you: This might actually be Rowling's solipsism shining through - because I do beleive all writers are solipsistic - that's why we write everything inside our minds down.

  6. I think the word you meant to type was EGOtistical, although I agree that Harry cares about the environment.

    As to the Harry/Rowling, all writers live up in their own heads thing, NEAT point!