Last year, after the release of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban on Pottermore.com, we published a review of the book. This year, we’re continuing that tradition with a review of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Pottermore released the book in three installments. The first installment was released on the first of October 2013, and the second installment came a few months later, in January of this year. Finally, six months later, the concluding chapters were released, on July 31. The six-month wait between the second and third installment was long, but in the mean time, Pottermore added new J.K. Rowling entries on Gilderoy Lockhart and Scottish Rugby, and the 2014 Quidditch World Cup occurred. So, it was a busy six months.
Starting off with the artwork, it stayed at par with the other books and continued to awe us. In our opinion, the last installment especially had some of the better artwork in the book. Contrary to what we noted for Prisoner of Azkaban, the Moments in Goblet of Fire seemed more illustrative rather than realistic. Specific illustrations that stood out to us include the Dark Mark,the Beauxbatons Carriage, and the Blast-Ended Skrewts. In addition, the characters looked older as well, which has been a consistent improvement throughout the Pottermore books.
As always, the animation in Goblet of Fire continued to enhance the Moments. Particular animations that we enjoyed were the Weasleys arriving at Privet Drive, the dragons of the first task, Hagrid’s Blast-Ended Skrewts, and the owls in chapter 28. The faucets in the Prefect’s bathroom were also a lot of fun to play around with. Pottermore did not let us down with the maze of the third task, and it was cool to be able to progress through the maze like Harry did.
Another aspect that stood out to us while exploring the book was the sound. Sound has the ability to make an all-encompassing experience, and Pottermore succeeded at this in the “Merepeople” and “Golden Stadium” Moments. In addition to this, the use of the audiobook version of the Harry Potter books was the best so far. We liked how the book opened with the narration, and we thought the voiceover in “Morsmorde” was spot-on. However, nothing beat the audio of Dumbledore’s speech in “The Leaving Feast” Moment. It was perfect.
Overall, the Moments were better in Goblet of Fire because not only was the artwork and animation outstanding, but also the sound was the best in this book than any we’ve heard on Pottermore before. The only complaint we have is that three chapters were skipped (chapters 2, 29, and 33) and that there were no mini-games (please bring these back!). Though we realize there might be much to adapt from the fiction in those chapters, we would have loved to be able to actually participate in the Triwizard Tournament, and this could’ve been made possible through games.
J. K. ROWLING’S EXCLUSIVE CONTENT
J.K. Rowling continued to catch our intrigue with entries on the Pensieve, Great Lake, and even the significance of colors in the wizarding world, which was surprisingly interesting. For the first time, the author also provided audio commentary for Pottermore, in an entertaining entry on the Floo Network. Pottermore also added an entry to Chamber of Secrets on Gilderoy Lockhart, which included more audio from J.K. Rowling.
In February, the author revealed the wizarding world’s admiration for Scottish Rugby, to coincide with the Scottish Rugby team’s involvement in the 6 Nations competition.
In March, J.K. Rowling revealed the history of the Quidditch World Cup, which led into the 2014 competition, for which J.K. Rowling wrote a whopping 23 Quidditch match reports as Ginny Potter, and a 1,500-word gossip column as Rita Skeeter that received international attention. Rowling revived Ginny and Rita for the Quidditch World Cup final between Bulgaria and Brazil, where they provided game commentary that was live-blogged on the Pottermore Insider.
As a whole, we were impressed by what J.K. Rowling had to share this time around. We did feel that the earlier chapters lacked in this area, with missed opportunities with S.P.E.W. (How did this plot idea come about?) and Mad-Eye Moody (we would’ve loved some backstory on him), but the Quidditch World Cup more than fulfilled us.
Top 7 Entries in Goblet of Fire:
#2: Scottish Rugby
#3: The Floo Network
#4: The Great Lake
Honorable Mentions: Beaubatons Academy of Magic and the History of the Quidditch World Cup
There was a lot going for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in this arena, and Pottermore once again exceeded expectations. We didn’t think Pottermore could top Prisoner of Azkaban, but sure enough, they did. We’re now left to speculate whether they’ll be able to do the same for Order of the Phoenix.
On a different note, with the Quidditch World Cup, Pottermore also succeeded in keeping visitors’ attention during an interim for the first time, an accomplishment that must be noted. Will they be able to succeed in this category again? Only time will tell. Until next time, keep calm and Potter more!