Monday, October 28, 2013

Pottermore Rated: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Pottermore explores the Harry Potter series by renowned and imaginative author JK Rowling. Each book has been released in sequence, and at the end of summer 2013, one of the most popular books Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was added.

The fourquel brings the terrifying and death-defying Harry Potter villain closer to meeting Harry Potter. The Gryffindor student is incidentally and mysteriously chosen to participate in the Twi-Wizard tournament alongside foreign exchange wizards and Hufflepuff's very own Cedric Diggory. Today we are showcasing Pottermore and its recent installment of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Let's rate!

Chapter 1 - The House on the Hill. Narrated briefly by Jim Dale with sound effects of an owl cooing in the background, the first chapter of Goblet of Fire is decent enough. Though there isn't much to do except collect items for your trunk, there is a neat visual effect of Voldemort's wand casting the Avada Kedrava on the poor groundskeeper who tends to the abandoned Riddle House from inside the house.

Chapter 3 - The Tiny Owl - Not included in this chapter is narration by Jim Dale, however, we can still hear Hedwig cooing in the background. There are plenty of letters to read in this chapter such as Ron's invitation to the Quidditch World Cup. Items to collect include an Xaver Rastick chocolate frog card.

Chapter 4 - The Weasleys Arrive. Saving Harry from another terrible summer at the Dursleys, the Weasleys - Arthur and sons - come to his rescue by crashing through the Dursleys' fireplace. While Fred and George distract Dudley with an engorgement charm, Arthur tries to make peace with Harry's relatives. This chapter includes a neat animation captured above as well as information to unlock about The Floo Network. Don't skip this chapter if you'd like to hear JK Rowling narrate the history about the technique wizards use to travel.

Chapter 5 - Bill and Charlie Weasley. The Weasleys with Hermione Granger and Harry Potter "re-arrange" the outdoor furniture at the Burrows. The illustration includes a nifty animation of the furniture floating in the air. Not much activity to do here except collect frog spawn, flower heads, and dried nettles - to name a few.

Chapter 6 - the Misty Moor. Hermione, Ron, and Harry make a crash landing during their fight travel excursion of the Port Keys. Not much to say and do here EXCEPT clicking on the box items will unlock exclusive JK Rowling information about the Port Keys. You will learn not only the history of PortKeys and one muggle accident in particular but also Rowling is in possession of her very own key to a U.S. City. Also, you will find some ingredients to collect such as slugs and the portkey will open with a bit of slime.

Chapter 7 - The Campsite Double-clicking on various illustrations on Pottermore leads to a zoom-in. In this particular chapter, double click and you can wander over the campsite. Plenty of activity takes place below with roaring fires and flying birds. Click on a particular tent and you will unlock Colours - fascinating information on how colors play into the wizarding world. Also, hover your mouse and become 5 galleons richer!

Chapter 8 - The Quidditch World Cup. One of my favorite illustrations of the Goblet of Fire experience so far. Glistening in sparkling team colors, the illustration comes to life with a roaring of the crowd in attendance for the Quidditch World Cup. Some of the players whiz around the screen high above the field - where you can find some leprechaun gold.

Chapter 9 - Morsmorde Scratch that - Chapter 9 is perhaps my favorite illustration. Glowing grown in the night sky is the mark of the Dark Lord as Ron, Hermione, and Harry are frozen in place. There is some toadstool and poison ivy to collect - I'd hate to be the Pottermore friend who is gifted with that from a fellow member! Disappointingly, no information to unlock or uncover here, however, Jim Dale does briefly narrate the summary.

Chapter 10 - Dress Robes Ron embarrassingly holds up his ratty dress robes as Harry watches on. Nothing to uncover here, however, the posters around the room becomes animated with flying Qudditch players and there are items to add to your trunk such as galleons, Jocunda Sykes chocolate frog card, and Chudley Cannons badge.

Chapter 11 - A Hundred Horseless Carriages Squinting through the hardcore pouring of rain, a hundred horseless carriages waddle their way towards Hogwarts. If you hover over the carriages, they will bounce a bit. However, no new information can be found here except wormwood can be collected on the mountainside.

Overall Review: 3 out of 5 owls
While the activity for the fourth book is a bit tame for the first eleven chapters available on Pottermore, there are some beautiful illustrations. They remind me of the amazing cover and chapter art by Marie Grand Pre for the first release of the series' books - colorful, bold, and magical. Looking ahead I can't wait to see the artwork for the Twi-Wizard tournament but do not anticipate the grim death of Cedric Diggory.

Reading about portkeys and the floo network was interesting, and I enjoy the feature of hearing JK Rowling narrating the information she shares. If more information could be made available, I would have loved to read how she conjured up the dark mark insignia for Voldemort or even some background story to the Durmstrang school. The narration to Jim Dale is not available for every chapter, which is sometimes welcoming and sometimes missed. What's your favorite chapter of Goblet of Fire so far?


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