Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire : Karma

The fourth instalment to the Harry Potter franchise may be most notable for the tri-wizard tournament and the Yule Ball, but has the most significance in the larger picture for being the part where Voldemort comes back to life. It is easy to get caught up in the easy and exciting world of the contest but the real learning comes through the hard and dark stuff.

Some of the most interesting newly introduced characters in the plot include Alastor Moody, Rita Skeeter and of course, Cedric Diggory. They all have specific traits that are their Achilles heel. For Rita, it is her need to manipulate the reality and dramatise events; for Moody (the real one), it is his paranoia that makes him such a good candidate for imposting by Barty Crouch Jr. & Cedric whose need to repay someone costs him his life as he refuses to leave Harry alone at the graveyard to fend for himself. Not after Harry saved his life earlier in the maze anyway.

Other aspects of the film include emphasis on building a team spirit and forming lasting friendships, which, according to Dumbledore, was the whole point of the tournament to begin with, but its need even more aggravated by the death of Cedric. Focus on how sometimes being a good person and a good friend is more important than winning, which they perfectly showcase throughout the movie in interactions between Harry & Cedric when they keep tipping each other off about the approaching tasks, during the maze when they ultimately decide to go for the cup together and when Harry saves Fleur’s sister in the second task even though that means he would be placed last by doing so.

The movie also pays emphasis on Ron’s jealousy, which had always been hinted earlier, but put on a full display in the first half of the film. Ron has always felt an insecurity about being the least appreciated and cherished in his family where he has to compete with 6 other siblings and at school where he lives in the shadows of Harry Potter – the boy who lived & Hermione Granger – the brightest witch of her age. It is not that Harry entered into the contest that Ron detests; it is not telling Ron about it or involving him in his plans that does the deed. Ron wants to feel special by being the famous Harry Potter’s confidant and his position for the same seems to be challenged in his head when he assumes Harry hid things from him. Even with Hermione, at the Yule Ball, Ron never understands how he may have done something to hurt her and how he only treated her as a last resort. Maybe it has something to do with (again) growing up with 5 elder brothers that he is so emotionally unintelligent when it comes to certain things.

Coming back to the most crucial moment in the film and arguably the entire franchise, Voldemort comes back with his full powers and in all his glory in this film. The stakes have been risen now for all future plot points in the franchise. With his father’s bones unwillingly given, his servant’s flesh willingly surrendered and his enemy’s blood forcibly taken, Voldemort is back, strong as ever before. And while he comes back with more answers than before (like why Harry survived that night), he is still ever ignorant about many others. For instance, he demands loyalty out of his followers. Even in Wormtail’s case, Voldemort is not satisfied since he served Voldemort only out of fear and not out of any sense of loyalty. However, Voldemort fails to consider how he never did anything to deserve loyalty from any of his followers. Maybe envy and definitely fear, but never loyalty. And that is what distinguishes Harry from Voldemort despite his lesser magical skills than Voldemort.

Hence the lesson for the blog is Karma. Voldemort, since he never showed any compassion or sensitivity towards any of his followers, never warranted an unfaltering loyalty from any one of them. Harry on the other hand, was able to get Cedric Diggory’s support despite not knowing him for too long or having any sort of a real emotional bond with him. And that is what makes one leader different from the other – how well they are able to get people to work for them and for their cause. That is why love will always win against fear.

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