Search Menu

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

J. K. Rowling

Analysis of Major Characters


Themes, Motifs, and Symbols

Harry Potter

Harry Potter is the fourteen-year-old protagonist and hero. He is famous within the wizard community for having warded off a curse from Voldemort, the most powerful dark wizard. Although this event occurred when Harry was only an infant, Harry managed to reverse the curse and take away Voldemort's power. Hary was left with a small lightening-shaped scar as a remnant of the encounter. Because Harry lived through a curse that no other wizard could survive, he is celebrated internationally. Harry does not remember these events, and because was orphaned by Voldemort's attack, he lives with his aunt, uncle, and cousin. These relatives do not tolerate any mention of magic in the house.

Because Harry was famous before he even knew he was a wizard, much of his personality is shaped by his desire to live up to his fame. He steers clear of special treatment, flattery, and praise. He strives to live a normal wizard's life, and to a great extent he does. He has close friendships, enemies, dilemmas, and triumphs just like any other adolescent boy. But Harry is distinct because of his courage and loyalty. Although Harry risks his life to fight the forces endangering Hogwarts, he always succeeds through a mix of skill and help from his friends. In this book, Harry faces Voldemort for the first time since his infancy. Through a combination of his own quickness as well as assistance from the ghosts of Voldemort's past victims, Harry emerges alive. Harry is not a typical or mythological hero. He is an underdog, with his skinny stature, broken glasses, and relative inexperience in the wizard world. Yet he lives up to his fame by bravely entering situations with the inborn faith that someone will get him through the situation alive.

Ron Weasley

Ron is one of Harry's best friends at Hogwarts, and has five older brothers and one younger sister. As a member of such a large family, Ron is rarely the center of attention. Ron feels valued by Harry and doesn't seem to mind that Harry gets more attention than he does on a regular basis, although he sometimes feels envious. At one point, after Harry has been chosen as a Triwizard champion, Ron jealously refuses to speak with Harry for quite a long time. Although Ron is usually notably loyal to his friends, he is frequently causing trouble, either because he is jealous of Harry, or because he appears to have a hopeless crush on Hermione.

Ron's father is a highly-ranked member of the Ministry of Magic and his family is backed by generations of pure wizard blood, but Ron is often picked on by Malfoy for wearing tattered robes, living in an old house, not having a rich father. He is adventurous, like Harry, and somewhat mischievous but always with good intentions. Ron has a wry, skeptical sense of humor; if Harry is the bold leader of their trio and Hermione the textbook brain, Ron often acts as the fiery and sarcastic jester.

Hermione Granger

Hermione Granger is a quintessential brain, in the same way that while Harry represents courage and Ron represents loyalty. Hermione was born to a Muggle family, but she is the top student in her class. These traits make one of Malfoy's favorite targets. She pleases her teachers and follows rules. She values grades and genuinely loves to learn. Although she disapproves of Ron and Harry's sometimes questionable behavior, she stands by them. Hermione is good- natured and adventurous, and always helpful and brilliant. When in doubt, she turns to books, and usually she knows how to find an answer. Hermione's research and training is essential in helping Harry prepare for and triumph in his three Triwizard tasks.

Although her priorities lean heavily toward obsessive academic details, she is very self-confident and forthright, pursuing without abandon the causes in which she believes, such as the liberation of house-elves. In this book, she seems to have matured significantly, becoming a more loyal friend than ever before, especially when Ron and Harry aren't speaking after the Goblet of Fire chose Harry as a champion. She becomes a subject of much contention when Viktor Krum develops a crush on her, causing tension between her and Ron, who also seems to have a crush on her. She handles it in a rather immature and belligerent manner. She is extremely clever and fair, and she provides a great deal of support to Harry in this book.

More Help

Previous Next
Harry's OWL Results

by unmissingpiece, October 05, 2013

There is a factual error here. Harry receives an "Outstanding" on his Defence Against the Dark Arts OWL, rather than an "Exceeds Expectations."


2 out of 4 people found this helpful

Rita Skeeter

by baman23, September 28, 2014

I think Rita Skeeter should have been mentioned in Themes, Motifs and Symbols.
How you personally want to break it down is left up to you, but here is my opinion on it:
Rita Skeeter's articles address the problem with modern news media. Things are taken and twisted into something else, and put in a newspaper that most people read and believe. Even though her words hold no truth (we see that with her use of the Quick Quotes Quill), people buy into everything she says, no matter how outrageous her claims are. She repor... Read more


18 out of 21 people found this helpful