Mark Reads ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’: Chapter 33
In the thirty-third chapter of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry comes face-to-face with Voldemort, who has regained his orignal body. And the man is so unflinchingly evil that he subjects his followers to insults, hatred, and an incredibly arrogant monologue that explains what on earth has been going on since he failed to defeat Harry. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Harry Potter.
CHAPTER 33: THE DEATH EATERS
I legit don’t even know how to review any of this.
I just want to say STUFF HAPPENED, YOU ALL KNOW IT and then just keep going. But I was the one who foolishly committed to reading this in this way, so I’m sticking to it. (For those who are curious, I am actually reading chapter-by-chapter. For real. I have not read past ch. 33 and don’t plan to read more than one at a time. It hurts. A lot.)
So. Chapter 33. As if I could possibly handle any more mind-fuckery at this point, Rowling makes sure not only to provide some crucial backstory, but she makes things even more complicated and shocking than before.
We learn what it was that Karkaroff was staring at on his arm, and what he showed Snape in his office: as the Dark Lord started regaining power, the Dark Mark appeared on the forearm of all the previous Death Eaters. It’s on Wormtail’s arm and ostensibly has been a way of showing his followers that he is coming back.
It’s even creepier when the Death Eaters actually do start to return. A handful of wizards Apparate right before Harry. I would have peed my pants at this point.
And what’s the first thing that Voldemort does once his faithful followers return?
Shame them, embarrass them, guilt-trip them, and do everything he can to make them feel shitty and fearful.
It’s a testament to a character that ends up being surprisingly one dimensional in this sense. (I mean that in a good way, actually.) Voldemort is evil; plan and simple. He’s not appealing in that “Oooh, I’m an incredibly handsome, dark, misunderstood villain” kind of way. He’s ugly, he’s hideous, and he represents everything terrible in the world.
And he marks the literal and metaphorical death of any sort of innocence for Harry Potter.
Oh, he also casts the Cruciatus Curse on one of his followers for asking for forgiveness. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
But let’s just get to the really good part: the naming of the Death Eaters. This scene is significant not just for obvious reasons, but because by making Voldemort’s followers characters with names and history, it makes him seem all the more real.
- Wormtail stood up and took his place in the circle, staring at his powerful new hand, his face still shining with tears. Voldemort now approached the man on Wormtail’s right.
“Lucius, my slippery friend,” he whispered, halting right before him. “I am told that you have not renounced the old ways, though to the world you present a respectable face. You are still ready to take the lead in a spot of Muggle-torture, I believe? Yet you never tried to find me, Lucius….Your exploits at the Quidditch World Cup were fun, I daresay…but might not your energies have been better directed toward finding and aiding your master?”
I did not expect to get confirmation that Lucius was a fuckface, but SERIOUSLY???? oh my god I AM ALREADY SPECULATING ON HOW HARRY IS GOING TO DEAL WITH THIS IN THE NEXT BOOK. Also: THE QUIDDITCH WORLD CUP omg
- “And yet you ran from my Mark, when a faithful Death Eater sent it into the sky last summer?” said Voldemort lazily, and Mr. Malfoy stopped talking abruptly.
WAIT. WAIT. WAIT. Lucius did NOT send the Dark Mark??? OH GOD WHO DID.
We learn the Lestranges are still in Askaban and that Crabbe’s and Goyle’s fathers are both Death Eaters as well. (SURPRISE.)
There are six Death Eaters missing, and Voldemort/Rowling give us one of those logic/riddle puzzles. I swear:
- “And here we have six missing Death Eaters…three dead in my service. One, too cowardly to return…he will pay. One, who I believe has left me forever…he will be killed, of course…and one, who remains my most faithful servant, and who has already reentered my service.”
And the tall one never stands next to the short one, and the oldest one is never the tallest one and….
Ok, I kid. But who are these people?
Karkaroff? Snape? Ummm….I don’t know?
- “He is at Hogwarts, that faithful servant, and it was through his efforts that our young friend arrived here tonight….”
Oh god, is it Snape? Karkaroff???? UGH I NEED TO KNOW.
This sentence marks the start of what might ordinarily be a pretty dumb technique: a giant monologue in which Voldemort basically explains his master plan. Villainous monologues are so overused and tired, and I’m not saying this section isn’t a trite, common trope. It still is.
It’s the execution and context of it that makes it a bit different.
Voldemort is pure, selfish ego: he refers to himself in the third person, and spends nearly the entire speech talking about how evil and awesome he is. But that’s to be expected from the kind of villain that Voldemort is: he is absent of any known positive quality. He’s just the kind of person to lecture people who don’t really need it, to talk about himself being the leader even though everyone knows it, and to be arrogant enough to think he needs to waste 15 minutes spelling out his grand plan. (Though it is a wonderful bit of exposition for all of us.)
It’s cheesy, sure. I have no problem admitting that. But it does help, on one level, establish what a horrible person Voldemort is. And fuck, he’s horrible.
So what does he reveal to his followers?
– Voldemort admits to miscalculating the power of “old magic” that protected Harry when his mom sacrificed herself and this is why he was stripped of his powers.
– He was previously trying to gain immortality. I’m not sure he did? Sort of?
– Quirrell was the first wizard to help Voldemort.
– Wormtail was the one who had found Bertha Jenkins and brought her to Voldemort. She was the one who provided the information regarding the Triwizard Cup and the fact that there was a Death Eater at Hogwarts who would be willing to help if Voldemort could contact him. But the method used to break her memory charm ended up killing her.
– Harry himself was needed because the old magic spell which Voldemort used to gain his body back required flesh of a servant, bone of the father, and blood of the enemy. (Harry).
– The Death Eater at Hogwarts put Harry’s name in the Goblet, made sure he was picked, and made sure that he won so he would touch the Triwizard Cup. (This makes me think it was Karkaroff, who used Krum to eliminate the opposition.)
Oh, and then Harry has to suffer the Cruciatus Curse from Voldemort.
🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁
But wait! He now has Harry’s blood. Why is he keeping him around?
Because, Voldemort explains, he wants to prove to his followers once and for all that he alone is the stronger wizard.
- “And I am now going to prove my power by killing him, here and now, in front of you all, when there is no Dumbledore to help him, and no mother to die for him. I will give him his chance. He will be allowed to fight, and you will be left in no doubt which of us is the stronger.”