In Harry’s fourth year the Triwizard Tournament is held at Hogwarts, and Harry (despite being underage) is selected to compete, because of course he does. Then all manners of things happen, and shit gets real when he almost gets killed by Lord Voldemort and his impressive comeback.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed that my copy of this book is completely tattered. This is my favourite book in the series, mostly because I finally understood how vast the wizarding world is, much like Harry did. Also, the Triwizard tournament is very, very awesome, and I love all the tasks and such. However, the boys are quite horrible to Hermione, and I really feel for her. And Dobby! I almost forgot Dobby! He’s back, working at Hogwarts, being awesome. I love all the little kitchen scenes with him. They’re just brilliant.
Everything also takes a much, much more serious turn, and I think this is the moment where Harry, and everyone who read this book for the first time as a kid, has to grow up. First off, Cedric dies, and then there’s the whole threat of Voldemort which suddenly becomes real and tangible. The ending is also great in the way that it sets up the next book so beautifully. It really is my favourite, from the Moody and Crouch mystery, the Quidditch Cup, the Dark Side making an appearance, the Tournament to everyone’s hormones flailing wildly about the place. It’s fun watching Ron and Harry stutter.
On a final note, I started watching the movie a couple of days ago, AND I CANNOT DO IT. The story was demolished, really. And the acting is so bad, but it was good the previous movie, so I don’t get how that was possible. The only movie I actually enjoy in the HP franchise is the Prisoner of Azkaban (yes, even with no Marauders explanation) and the first part of Deathly Hallows. To me, GoF is the worst.
Reading this also made me feel sad for Cedric, and then I remembered he’s living happily in Forks with his freakish mutant baby. Actually, death would probably be a better fate than that, but oh well.