Harry Potter and the Goblet of Extreme Liability

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Mrs. Guesswork and I are watching Harry Potter and the Goblet of Extreme LiabilityFire and in my sheer frustration over the plot holes I'm reminded of Tom Franck's hatchet job on Quidditch. Amazingly, HPATGOEL is even more nuts. Spoilers below.

For those of you who haven't seen the movie or read the book, Harry gets drafted into the highly dangerous "tri-wizard tournament"—and I mean drafted pretty literally. In order to enter the tournament you have to put your name in the titular goblet of extreme liability (GOE) The names are then randomly selected out of the GOE Now, the tournament is supposed to be limited to people over 17, but someone (hint: the villain!) puts Harry's name in anyway and then when his name gets chosen of course) it turns out that the GOE "constitutes a binding magical contract" and Harry has to compete in the tournament whether he wants to or not. Did I mention it's extraoardinarily hazardous, as in, three challenges each bearing an extreme risk of death? Putting someone else's name in the goblet seems like it would be a pretty good way to take care of someone you don't like.

Anyway, everyone thinks that Harry is a big cheater for putting his name in. Ron is especially pissed at him, since Harry didn't tell him. We, of course, know that Harry is innocent because he's too incompetent a wizard to have fooled the cup about his age without help from Hermione his heart is pure.

In the first challenge each of the champions has to retrieve a golden egg from a dragon. Ostensibly the nature of this challenge is secret, but as usual the security at Hogwarts is so terrible that everyone seems to know. There are four different dragons which appear to be of rather different breeds and levels of viciousness. The candidates get a random dragon and there doesn't appear to be any attempt to make them equally vicious or to handicap the competitors for the level of dragon viciousness. Naturally, Harry gets the most vicious of them, so much better to demonstrate that he's the best.

The golden egg contains the secret to surviving the next challenge, which is even more insane. In this challenge, the sadists running the tournament have hijacked one of each contestant's friends, doped them up, and tied them up under the water guarded by vicious mermaids with nasty big pointy teeth (now we know why Ron was so pissed at Harry, since he's the one tied up down there. One wonders if Ron's parents had to sign some kind of waiver.) One of the other contestants bails out, presumably leaving her friend to her death. Harry, being a complete goodie two shoes, decides to save both Ron and the other girl. In doing so, he finishes last (except for the girl who quit, of course) but gets promoted to second because of his extraordinary courage and selflessness. Remind me to try that one to move up a couple places at my next race. It's a bit surprising that the guy who gets bumped down to third—who looks to be about twice Harry's size—doesn't decide now would be a good time for Harry Potter to sleep with the fishes.

Anyway, it barely matters since the last challenge is a maze and the only difference between being in first and last place is the order in which you enter the maze, which, since it's constantly shifting and pretty much everyone runs into everyone else, seems like a relatively minor advantage. Even drop-out girl gets to start, about 15 seconds behind Harry. In other words, you could have spent the first two challenges playing PS/3, avoided getting alternately singed and wet, and just jumped right to stage 3.

3 Comments

While the whole entry was piss your pants laugh out loud funny, filing under sports was the icing on the cake!

On a broader level, the entire plot by the baddies makes no sense. The idea is that they want Harry to be brought to the graveyard to help resurrect Voldemort, so he has to touch a Portkey at the right time. Was entering him in the Triwizard Tournament really the best way to do that? Could they not have, for example, slipped a Portkey into his schoolbag?

I think that you are overanalyzing here. Cheating is a longstanding tradition in the tri-wizard tournament so the security issue is not a suprize.

The bit about the goblet is necessary because Harry spends his time exclusively either at Hogwarts or at the Durseleys where he is safe under some Dumbledore charm. Hogwarts itself is under powerful magical enchantments that prevent apparation or disapparation. Under normal circumstances a portkey would not work within the grounds. But the various incantations have to be lifted for the maze to function.

As for the somewhat arbitrary scale of moral values that applies amongst Wizarding folk the point is that a world with magic is not quite so much fun as it may sound.

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