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Looking to Replace Harry Potter? Try These Inclusive Fantasy and Sci-Fi Epics
For fantasy fans, it’s been disheartening and disappointing to see J.K. Rowling’s recent lack of respect for the trans community. For an author who introduced kids to and explored major themes about the importance of people speaking up against intolerance, it’s been heartbreaking to see her defend radical, toxic beliefs that dehumanize trans people.
Seeing Rowling’s transphobic tweets and comments laid bare, you may feel the need to set aside the Harry Potter series for now. If so, perhaps you’re looking for something just as engaging to replace these books with. These great series that are inclusive and diverse, welcoming characters of all orientations, genders and races. You don’t need to cancel Harry forever, but these books might help you feel a little more welcome and accepted after Rowling’s actions.
“Children of Blood and Bone” by Tomi Adeyemi
Children of Blood and Bone is a 2018 book by Nigerian-American novelist Tomi Adeyemi. This is the first book in a planned trilogy, which follows heroine Zélie Adebola as she brings back magic to the kingdom of Orïsha after its magic users were purged.
This work of fiction was inspired by novels like Harry Potter and An Ember in the Ashes but does a magnificent job of exposing readers to other cultures by blending in West African mythologies and the Yoruba language and culture. These elements converge to create Children of Blood and Bone ‘s world — one that’s unique yet strikingly similar to our own, considering that another major motivation for Adeyemi was the hopelessness the author felt about police brutality directed against Black Americans.
Writing the book took over 18 months and 45 drafts, but the end result has been a brilliant coming-of-age story that’s received high praise across many platforms. The New York Times has included the novel on its best-seller book list for young adults. The book has received mostly positive reviews, with critics digging deep into its examination of racism, oppression and slavery, noting how the Kosadan and Maji serve as the stand-ins for real-world groups. As Vann R. Newkirk II of The Atlantic explains, “That Children of Blood and Bone may prod readers to see a whole genre with new eyes could hardly be a more timely development.”
“Nemesis Trilogy by April Daniels
For trans excellence, look no further than the “Nemesis” trilogy by April Daniels. The first in the series, Dreadnought, is about a girl named Danny. After receiving superpowers from her idol, Dreadnought, her body changes into the feminine body she always pictured herself in. Of the supervillains she faces, the most noteworthy is a witch that is also a TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist), so the book could be read as an allegorical narrative reflectingJ.K. Rowling’s transphobic beliefs in our own world.
The second book in the series, Sovereign, is about a gender-queer superhero. Kinetiq grapples with the mental health implications of being a superhero. In real life, they go through familial abuse and emancipates themself from family. The book has been optioned for film by Makin’ It Up Productions, Wayne Brady’s production company. Not only are these books a great alternative to Harry Potter, but they will make great alternatives to Marvel and DC films after these books are adapted for your screen.
“Dark Star” Trilogy by Marlon James
Another newer fantasy series comes from Jamaican writer Marlon James: the Dark Star trilogy. The epic fantasy includes the titles Black Leopard, Red Wolf; Moon Witch, Night Devil; and The Boy and the Dark Star. The tales follow three characters — the Tracker, the Moon Witch and the Boy — as the three mercenaries make their way through a dark fantasy world and await their impending torture and trial in the dungeon of a dying king.
The first book was released in 2019, and the two remaining planned novels are forthcoming. The story draws from African history and mythology and explores political tensions rising between two warring states, various tribes and city-states, exploring truths, ambition, the limits of power, duty and honor in the process. The first offering in the lineup was influenced by many favorite epics, including The Lord of the Rings and the now-classic Game of Thrones.
More good news? Michael B. Jordan purchased the film rights to Black Leopard, Red Wolf before the book hit shelves, so fans can expect some exciting on-screen treatment.
“Inheritance” Trilogy and the “Broken Earth” Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin
N.K. Jemisin debuted her first novel, part of the Inheritance trilogy, in 2010, which elevated her to the position of one of the most prominent Black sci-fi/fantasy authors in the United States. And her novel The Fifth Season , which is part of her Broken Earth series, won the Hugo Award for Best Novel, making her the first Black writer to earn this title in that category.
The Inheritance trilogy follows a cast of mortals and gods as they navigate politics, class warfare and slavery under the umbrella of twisted power dynamics, and the Broken Earth trilogy follows three connected women in a magical society in which man’s monstrous actions outweigh the horrors of the natural disasters that plague their world.
Jemisin is not afraid to double down on her characters and their identities. When a review in The Guardian misgendered one of her characters, Jemison took to Twitter to hold the publication accountable. The mistake was eventually corrected on May 17th, 2020. Rather than scare people off from her work like J.K. Rowling has, Jemisin wants queer, trans, and nonbinary readers to feel welcome turning her pages.
The “Tensorate” Series by Neon Yang
Imagine a world where every new child is nonbinary. A world without gender seems like more than enough for a story’s premise, but for Neon Yang, that’s just the beginning. Monks, magic, and prophecies converge in this series of four novellas. As the characters come of age, they eventually get to confirm their own genders and have to make the tough decision of whether or not to stay where they are or join the Rebellion.
These novellas are ideal for those who struggle with sci-fi or fantasy books that can often be hundreds and sometimes thousands of pages long (especially if you total up the number of pages in a series).
You might be a bit confused seeing the author’s name listed as Neon in this article, but JL on the books. Neon is their preferred name, chosen after the release of their first book. This happens as people develop their identities over time. As queer and trans people become more visible, expect things like name changes to become part of the norm. Yang’s debut novel, The Gensisis of Misery, is expected to be released in 2022.
“The Star-Touched Queen” Series by Roshani Chokshi
Are you looking for something a bit less violent than the brilliant Black Leopard, Red Wolf ? This series by Roshani Chokshi is a winner. The beautiful writing in The Star-Touched Queen books is lyrical and lush, bringing the characters and events to life in a vivid and mesmerizing way. This YA romantic fantasy plunges you into a captivating retelling of the story of Hades and Persephone with a deep Indian-mythology twist.
The first book follows Maya, a 17-year-old girl cursed to marry into doom and destruction. Her path crosses that of an otherworldly man who introduces her to a kingdom that holds the key to her past and future. Needless to say, Maya’s epic journey is fascinating and makes for an enlightening, page-turning read.
“Sawkill Girls” by Claire Legrand
Claire Legrand writes for adults, middle school readers, and anyone who enjoys YA. Legrand has written more than five standalone novels, the Winterspell trilogy and the Empirium trilogy. Her 2018 novel, Sawkill Girls, made waves when readers saw that not only were there young queer characters engaging each other the same way young hetero characters do — there was also an asexual character that still got to experience love and relationships.
The book, which brings fantasy elements to a horror story, centers around Maron, Zoey, and Val as they try to figure out why young women their age keep disappearing from the town of Sawkill. After some research, Zoey learns that young women have been disappearing from Sawkill for a long time. To prevent further atrocities, these three women must confront an evil that takes many different forms.
“Pet” by Akwaeke Emezi
Pet takes place in a world that is totally normal. Or, is it? Jam grew up being told by adults that monsters did not exist and were no longer a problem. When a drop of Jam’s blood causes Pet, a horned creature, to emerge from a painting that Jam’s mother had made, Jam quickly learns that the world is not what she was told. If you’ve ever had the world turned upside down on you, just like it did with Harry, you may love this one.
An emerging talent, Akwaeke Emezi is an Igbo and Tamil writer from Nigeria. She is also the author of Freshwater (2018), The Death of Vivek Oji (2020) and Dear Senthuran (forthcoming 2021).
“Cemetery Boys” by Aiden Thomas
Picture this: your family has trouble accepting your gender identity. They go as far as calling you a “brujo,” a warlock. Discouraged but motivated, you set out to prove yourself by summoning the ghost of your murdered cousin. As you set out to prove yourself, you realize you summoned the wrong ghost.
This is how NYT Bestseller, Cemetery Boys kicks off. Main character, Yadriel, summons Julian, who is a bit of a bad boy and refuses to go to the afterlife without the answers he seeks. Things get even more complicated when Yadriel doesn’t want Julian to leave.
Aiden Thomas is an Oakland native and identifies as queer, trans, and Latinx. Cemetery Boys, Thomas’s debut novel, was released during fall of 2020. Spooky yet heartfelt, Cemetery Boys can fill the wizard-sized hole that might be in your heart. The book’s release made Thomas the first trans man to debut on the Young Adult Hardcover section of the NYT Bestseller list.
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Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Major Events/Second Task
- 2 Event Details
- 3 Notable Consequences
- 5 Questions
- 6 Greater Picture
Overview [ edit | edit source ]
The Second Task of the Triwizard Tournament is to rescue something dear or important to the Champion which is being held by Merpeople deep in Hogwarts' lake.
Event Details [ edit | edit source ]
The golden egg, which the Champions had each retrieved from the dragons in the First Task , holds a clue for the Second Task . Opened, Harry's egg is empty, but emits a screeching sound that seems to remind Neville of someone being tortured. The champion must decipher the sound's meaning, then find a way to complete the task described in it.
The correct way to decipher the egg is to open and listen to it underwater; the screechy sound is actually a song sung by Merpeople , who have high, thin, and screechy voices, making the egg's song incomprehensible when listened to in air. Submerging the egg deepens the sound to where it can be understood. Harry had tried all sorts of things to understand this clue, including, in a fit of pique, throwing it across the room; it was only the hint that he received from Cedric , who told him to take a bath with the Egg, that allowed him to discover the secret. Though dismayed by the way Cedric's suggestion is couched, Harry eventually visits the Prefect's Bathroom, where he deciphers the clue in the Egg with some small assistance from Moaning Myrtle , who appears, to Harry's dismay, while Harry is in the bath.
According to the song in the Egg, Harry would have only one hour to rescue something dear to him that would be held deep beneath the lake at Hogwarts by the merpeople. Harry, Hermione , and Ron spend pretty much all of their spare time, from the time Harry deciphered the egg, until the night before the Task, in the library looking for ways Harry could breathe underwater for an hour. When Hermione and Ron are called away, Harry continues his search, eventually falling asleep in the library. He is awakened by Dobby , with only ten minutes to go before the Task. Dobby has overheard some teachers talking about the Task, and has brought Harry some Gillyweed , that will allow him to breathe underwater. Harry hopes that Dobby is correct, and runs off down to the lake shore. There, he is somewhat startled to find that Percy is once again filling in for Mr. Crouch .
On the signal, all four Champions enter the lake. The Gillyweed gives Harry gills and grows his hands and feet into flippers. Swimming under water, Harry is somewhat lost but aims downward, assuming that the Merpeople will be in the depths of the lake. In his journeys, he encounters Myrtle, who points him in the correct direction, and grindylows , who unsuccessfully attempt to hold him.
It turns out that the "something dear" for each of the champions was another person. This was why Hermione and Ron had left Harry alone in the library; Professor McGonagall had brought them to her office so that they could be placed in an enchanted sleep and handed over to the Merpeople.
- Gabrielle Delacour for Fleur Delacour (used Bubble-Head Charm )
- Cho Chang for Cedric Diggory (also used Bubble-Head Charm)
- Ron Weasley for Harry Potter (used gillyweed , which transformed him by developing gills, and flippers in his feet and hands)
- Hermione Granger for Viktor Krum (used incomplete form of Transfiguration )
Fleur Delacour failed to finish the second task because she was attacked by the grindylows. Because Delacour failed to finish, she never retrieved her younger sister, Gabrielle. Harry, who reached the hostages first, possibly due to some assistance from Moaning Myrtle, was afraid that the song was literal truth, and that the hostages would not be returned if they were not rescued within the allotted hour. He attempted to save all of the hostages, and was prevented from doing so by the Merpeople. Cedric, and then Krum, arrive and retrieve their hostages, but when Fleur failed to show, Harry threatened the Merpeople with his wand, and retrieved Gabrielle in addition to Ron. Harry's choosing to try and save the other hostages earned him extra points from the judges for "moral fiber."
Final scores, out of 50, for this Task were assigned as follows:
- Fleur Delacour - 25 points
- Cedric Diggory - 47 points (he had started this Task with 38 points, ending it tied with Harry for first, with 85)
- Harry Potter - 45 points (he had started with 40 points, ending tied with Diggory for first with 85 points)
- Viktor Krum - 40 points (he had started with 40 points, ending in second place with 80)
Notable Consequences [ edit | edit source ]
The Champion with the highest standing after the second task will be allowed to enter the Third Task maze first. Harry and Cedric, having the highest standings, enter the maze together before the other Champions.
Harry's decent showing and ethical behaviour in this Task lead the other Champions to believe that Harry is, in fact, a worthy contender. His remaining tied for first place would indicate that his showing in the First Task was not a fluke, and should result in his receiving more respect from the other Champions.
Fleur kissing Harry and Ron somewhat reinforces Ron's infatuation, and upsets Hermione. It is possible that this contributes to Krum's belief that Harry and Hermione are a couple; it is entirely possible that he believes it is Fleur kissing Harry that Hermione is scowling at, rather than her kissing Ron.
The fact that Hermione is the hostage that Krum is to rescue does rather point up that Krum has romantic intentions towards Hermione, and not just friendship. We can also see, by her reaction after the Challenge, that she does not share those feelings.
We see again how Harry's friendships act to save him from the situations he gets himself into. In the next book, he will protest that every time he has gotten into a sticky situation, it is only by means of help from his friends that he has been able to survive. This is true in this Task as well, where it is only the last-minute effort by Dobby that gives Harry any chance at this Task at all.
Analysis [ edit | edit source ]
As we almost expect, Ludo Bagman once again clumsily tries to assist Harry in this task, asking if he has solved the riddle of the Egg when they meet at the Three Broomsticks before Christmas. Any help he could give is forestalled by the arrival of the Twins , and Ludo's immediate departure, followed by goblins . Harry has no qualms about telling Ludo that he needs no help, although later when he says the same thing to Hagrid , he somehow feels that he is betraying Hagrid's faith.
While each task is designed to measure a champion's physical capabilities, it is also meant to test their magical ingenuity, problem-solving skills, and strategic abilities. Harry actually did little to prepare for the second challenge, eventually relying on others for help, although most likely so did the other champions. With some assistance from Professor Moody, Harry was resourceful in retrieving the dragon's egg in the first task, but he made few attempts to decipher its hidden meaning; a necessity for completing the second challenge. Cedric Diggory finally provides Harry a hint to solve it, but this only reveals that there is yet another step Harry must overcome. He again procrastinates to find a solution, and it is only because Dobby helps him minutes before the event begins that he is able to compete.
Questions [ edit | edit source ]
Study questions are meant to be left for each student to answer; please don't answer them here.
- Viktor's and Cedric's hostages are their respective love interests; Harry's is Ron; Fleur's is her younger sister. What does this tell us about the Champions?
Greater Picture [ edit | edit source ]
Although we have no understanding of this as yet, once again Professor Moody has interfered to improve Harry's chances. In fact, Moody attempted interference twice, once without success. When Neville suffered a partial breakdown following the Defence Against the Dark Arts class earlier in the year, Moody had given him a book about the properties of magical Mediterranean water plants. While Moody had assumed that Harry would ask Neville for help, and Neville would have been able to tell Harry about Gillyweed, that did not happen; Harry never asked Neville, instead relying on Ron and Hermione. When it appeared that Harry was not going to find that answer, Moody arranged to summon Dobby to the staff room, and then mentioned Gillyweed in conversation with Professor McGonagall. Dobby then, as expected, stole some Gillyweed from Professor Snape 's stores and presented it to Harry.
Ludo, of course, is still trying to improve Harry's chances of winning the Tournament because of his own bet with the Goblins. It is likely that the Goblins are keeping an eye on Ludo in order to protect their bet; they likely worry that he may try to make a run for things, or possibly try to throw the match, which in fact he is trying to do but is running up against Harry's sense of fair play. We have seen that Ludo earlier gave Harry 10 out of 10 on the First Task, and we can safely say that he will have done the same in the Second, although the scores are not broken out by judge. Given Harry's score of 45, and Karkaroff's opposition to Harry getting points for "moral fiber", we must assume that at least one, and possibly three or four, of the judges gave Harry full marks. It's safe to assume that Ludo has again given Harry top marks to protect his investment.
We will learn that Neville's breakdown, and his reaction to the Merpeople song in the Egg, are actually related. Neville's parents, we will learn later in this book, were tortured to madness by Death Eaters , possibly in Neville's presence, using the Cruciatus curse . It is Moody's use of this curse in the first Defence Against the Dark Arts class which triggers Neville's episode. We will learn also at the end of this book why Moody has particular reason to remember this.
- Book:Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter
- View history
- 1 The Lyrics
- 2 The Movie Lyrics
- 3 Appearances
- 4 Notes and references
The Lyrics [ ]
The movie lyrics [ ], appearances [ ].
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film) (First heard)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (soundtrack)
Notes and references [ ]
- ↑ This track is sung by Abigail Doyle . Only the first verse is heard in the film .
See also [ ]
- 1 Tom Riddle
- 2 Harry Potter
The Second Task
"Harry Potter has to go into the lake and find his Wheezy - " -- Dobby
Harry , Ron and Hermione discuss the situation in Charms class , they search for spells to help with the second task, and Hagrid returns to Care of Magical Creatures . Harry continues his studying all through the night before the second task, to be awakened by Dobby (who gives him gillyweed for breathing underwater). Harry performs the second task: to recover from the merpeople what was taken from each Champion. Harry rescues Ron and Fleur’s sister , tying with Cedric on points.
Calendar and Dates
This chapter begins the morning after Harry's visit to the prefects' bathroom , and ends just after the second task on the 24th of February.
Interesting facts and notes
This chapter echoes the pattern of the first task: frantic preparation at the last minute, and the unexpected attendance of one of the three elder Weasley brothers.
"You said you'd already worked out that egg clue!" said Hermione indignantly.
From the tone of Hermione 's remark, it is clear that Harry has just told her and Ron what he learned from the golden egg. This suggests that the conversation is taking place at Harry's first opportunity to talk with his friends in private that day, which in turn strongly suggests that Charms class takes place before lunch, at least on this particular day of the week.
He, Ron, and Hermione were sitting at the very back of the Charms class with a table to themselves.
Since this conversation is taking place on a Friday (see below), this tells us that Harry's fourth-year Charms class meets on Fridays.
Neville's aim was so poor that he kept accidentally sending much heavier things flying across the room - Professor Flitwick, for instance.
Neville's aim is not necessarily due to poor hand/eye coordination. Harry and Ron similarly display bad aim at various points during the lesson, and they have good hand/eye coordination (or they'd never be able to play Quidditch properly). Neville's difficulties, like those of Harry and Ron, may be due to difficulty in concentrating properly.
Neville's difficulties with the Banishing Charm are interesting, because instead of (for instance) having no effect, we are told that his problem is that he is accidentally moving much heavier objects than what he is supposed to be aiming at. This may be an indication that Neville has strong magical ability that just isn't being properly controlled.
...as Professor Flitwick went whizzing resignedly past them, landing on top of a large cabinet.
Apart from telling us that the furnishings of the Charms classroom include a large cabinet as well as the tables at which the students are working, this shows us how patient Flitwick is with his students.
Harry had been recounting his adventures of the previous night in whispered installments for the last half hour.
Consequently, this scene is taking place on the day after Harry's visit to the prefects' bathroom . Since that was on a Thursday, this scene is on a Friday. Furthermore, the length of Harry's explanation suggests that Charms class on Fridays is at least an hour long.
"If only we'd done human Transfiguration already! But I don't think we start that until sixth year, and it can go badly wrong if you don't know what you're doing..."
This tells us a little about the expected sixth-year Transfiguration curriculum. Hermione's remarks on the danger of such Transfiguration expand upon what we have already been told about one of the reasons the Ministry keeps tabs on people who can perform an Animagus Transfiguration .
Whether Hagrid was trying to make up for the Blast-Ended Skrewts, or because there were now only two skrewts left, or because he was trying to prove he could do anything that Professor Grubbly-Plank could, Harry didnt know...
Perhaps all three? Poor Hagrid , worrying so much about what his students think of him.
...two unicorn foals. Unlike full-grown unicorns, they were pure gold. Parvati and Lavender went into transports of delight at the sight of them, and even Pansy Parkinson had to work hard to conceal how much she liked them.
So Pansy isn't all bad.
"Easier ter spot than the adults," Hagrid told the class. "They turn silver when they're abou' two years old, an' they grow horns at aroun' four."
We don't know whether unicorns are velveted when first grown, or if their horns periodically shed and regrow like those of deer.
"Don' go pure white 'til they're full-grown, round about seven. They're a bit more trustin' when they're babies...don' mind boys so much...c'mon, move in a bit, yeh can pat 'em if yeh want...give 'em a few o'these sugar lumps..."
So unicorns take a couple of years longer to reach maturity than horses do, but like horses they enjoy the occasional lump of sugar.
He looked up at Hagrid - perhaps he had to go into the lake sometimes, to deal with the creatures in it? He looked after everything else on the grounds, after all-
Interesting idea! Who does interact with the lake residents? We haven't had much mention of or dealings with the lake thus far, except for first-year crossings.
'Take two pints of water, half a pound of shredded mandrake leaves and a newt...'
This tells us that newts are Potion ingredients.
"There's a way of doing it!" Hermione said crossly. "There just has to be!"
She seemed to be taking the library's lack of useful information on the subject as a personal insult; it had never failed her before.
In fact, the library was instrumental in helping solve the riddle of the Chamber of Secret s' occupant two years ago.
"It takes years to become an Animagus, and then you have to register yourself and everything," said Hermione vaguely, now squinting down the index of Weird Wizarding Dilemmas and Their Solutions . "Professor McGonagall told us, remember...you've got to register yourself with the Improper Use of Magic Office...what animal you become, and your markings, so you can't abuse it..."
This is one of the earliest indications that the Improper Use of Magic Office has a function other than monitoring under-age magic; they maintain the Animagus registry.
...snapping Weird Wizarding Dilemmas shut. "Who on earth wants to make their nose hair grow into ringlets?"
This tells us a little about the contents of the book, although not why that particular situation is either a weird wizarding dilemma nor what its solution is.
By eight o'clock, Madam Pince had extinguished all the lamps and came to chivvy Harry out of the library.
So the Hogwarts library closes at eight o'clock in the evening, and apparently teachers do not commonly grant notes of permission to stay late (or Harry - and certainly Hermione - would have asked before now).
Wand tip alight, he crept along the bookshelves, pulling down more books -
We know that none of the spellbooks in this chapter appears to mention the Bubble-Head Charm - at least, not in any context that suggests using it underwater.
...books of hexes and charms, books on merpeople and water monsters, books on famous witches and wizards, on magical inventions, on anything at all that might include one passing reference to underwater survival.
Interesting. The discoverer of gillyweed is on a famous wizard card, so Harry just had bad luck in not finding out about gillyweed this way.
Percy Weasley was sitting at the judges' table - Mr. Crouch had failed to turn up again.
Four people were bound tightly to the tail of the stone merperson.... appeared to be in a very deep sleep. Their heads were lolling onto their shoulders, and fine streams of bubbles kept issuing from their mouths.
Harry turned and saw something monstrous cutting through the water toward them: a human body in swimming trunks with the head of a shark. ... It was Krum. He appeared to have transfigured himself- but badly.
As mentioned earlier by Hermione, human transfiguration is learned in sixth-year. What spell(s) could one use for such a purpose?
Their yellowish eyes were fixed upon Harry's wand, and they looked scared. There might be a lot more of them than there were of him, but Harry could tell, by the looks on their faces, that they knew no more magic than the giant squid did.
Is it because they don't practice magic? (a definitive answer to which we would love to receive) Or because they are afraid of (to them) this stranger and how unpredictable he seems to be?
Merpeople were rising with him. He could see them swirling around him with ease, watching him struggle through the water. .. . Would they pull him back down to the depths when the time was up? Did they perhaps eat humans?
The answers to both of which we are unfortunately not given.
"It was only to make sure you got back inside the time limit!" said Ron. "I hope you didn't waste time down there acting the hero!"
Surely you know your friend well enough by now to know the answer to that, Ron.
Percy, who looked very white and somehow much younger than usual, came splashing out to meet them....Percy seized Ron and was dragging him back to the bank ("Gerroff, Percy, I'm all right!")
A rare touching moment of brotherly concern from Percy.
she turned to Harry. "You saved 'er," she said breathlessly. "Even though she was not your 'ostage...." Fleur bent down, kissed Harry twice on each cheek...then said to Ron, "And you too-you 'elped -" "Yeah," said Ron, looking extremely hopeful, "yeah, a bit -" Fleur swooped down on him too and kissed him. Hermione looked simply furious.
All Ron's dreams come true.
Exceptional character moments
Harry, for whom Ron is the thing he'd miss the most. (At least in the opinion of the Triwizard judges.)
"I don't care what Moody says," Hermione went on. "Dumbledore's not stupid. He was right to trust Hagrid and Professor Lupin, even though loads of people wouldn't have given them jobs, so why shouldn't he be right about Snape, even if Snape is a bit -"
"- evil," said Ron promptly.
"I know now yeh can do anythin' yeh set yer mind ter. I'm not worried at all."--Hagrid to Harry
Ron merely expelled a great spout of water, blinked in the bright light, turned to Harry, and said, "Wet, this, isn't it?" Then he spotted Fleur's sister. "What did you bring her for?"
Words and phrases
- Fancy, Fancies
- Gabrielle Delacour
Note that references to the Triwizard tasks are not capitalized in the UK editions, although they are capitalized in the US editions. Except where we refer to the chapter titles themselves, we are following the UK convention of not capitalizing "first task," "second task", and "third task".
Tags: bravery fear friendship gratitude love panic research time underwater
Editors: Steve VanderArk , Michele Worley , William Silvester , Beth and Kathryn Thomas
- February 23rd, 1995 : Dobby learns about gillyweed from the fake Moody
- February 24th, 1995 : Dobby prepares Harry for the second task
- February 24th, 1995 : The Second Task of the Triwizard Tournament
- March, 1995 : Witch Weekly article about Krum, Harry and Hermione
- September, 2020 : Scorpius and Albus use the Time-Turner a second time
- October, 2020 : Hermione and Ron caught by Dementors, Snape fights Umbridge
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Warner Bros. Pictures / Heyday Films
Having already triumphed with creatures created for previous Potter films (the Basilisk and the Hippogriff, to name but two) Framestore was once more invited to join the fun. The creative studio faced some of the toughest challenges yet thrown at it by a series that has consistently raised the bar on cinematic digital visual effects. Framestore delivered over 200 shots for Goblet of Fire , including an astonishing underwater sequence, a carriage drawn by seven Pegasus-like creatures, and a cheeky quill pen with a character all its own.
BAFTA Award Nominated
Best achievement in special visual effects, saturn award nominated, best special effects, ves award nominated, outstanding visual effects in an effects driven motion picture, outstanding created environment in a live action motion picture.
'The Framestore team did such an amazing job that you really believe you're swimming with Harry in this mysterious yet beautiful underwater world, even though it only existed in the computer.' Jim Mitchell - Visual Effects Supervisor,
Diving into the Triwizard Tournament
The key event in the Goblet of Fire is return of the Triwizard Tournament – a sort of Wizardry World Cup – which had been discontinued for many years because of the high mortality rate. Harry finds himself participating, vying for the Triwizard Cup not only with fellow Hogwarts pupil Cedric Diggory, but also with Fleur Delacour and Viktor Krum, champions from the colleges of Beauxbatons and Durmstrang.
The tournament takes the form of three Tasks, which challenge the contestants in a variety of dangerous magical environments. The Second Task takes place in the huge Black Lake, the mysterious body of water overlooked by Hogwarts. They are to dive into the lake and 'recover what has been taken from them' – a mission which only becomes clear as they explore the mysterious depths. It was the creation of these depths that formed the main part of Framestore's work on the film.
Beneath the Surface
Once under the surface, Harry temporarily mutates; growing gills, webbed fingers and flippery feet to cope with life under water. Fleur and Cedric adapt to life underwater by having a magical air bubble around their mouths, while Viktor becomes half shark. As he travels deeper down through the lake, Harry enters 'forests' of undulating kelp. A mermaid - not the siren-like beauty of popular myth, but a fishier, far less seductive figure, greets him with a song. She leads him to some underwater ruins in which Harry discovers what the purpose of the task is. Four children have been magically bound, and float, suspended and unconscious before him. Harry rescues Ron, and attempts a further rescue, but is warned off by the mer-people – who indicate that the others are to be rescued by his fellow contestants.
However, Fleur has been attacked by highly dangerous creatures called Grindylows (think squid-meets-piranha) and is unable to carry out her rescue. It is up to Harry to use all his wits (and a handy spell or two) to save the final victim and escape the vicious Grindylows...
'I'm not sure that something like this has ever been attempted before, where the whole of a sub-aqua environment in every shot is completely CG.' TIm Webber - VFX Supervisor
The Underwater shoot for the sequence took place over several weeks, largely at Leavesden Studios. Says Tim Webber, 'We shot what we could in the way of underwater blue screen material of the actors performing in a tank, but there were all sorts of limitations placed on them by the demands of the script and the environment. For instance, even with divers in the tank supplying Daniel with oxygen prior to the cameras rolling, we'd still have to wait for the bubbles to clear the shot before action could start, which cut into his available acting time. So, in addition to creating every single element of the underwater environments, we also had to create a CG Harry to carry out some of the action – and not just in long shots'.
Framestore's work began with the creation of the enormous, multi-tiered platforms that are both the location from which the competitors start the Second Task, as well as the site from which the spectators watch. An impressive aerial shot created entirely in the computer introduces these structures – CG constructs in composited lakeland environments – before we move in closer for the lead up to the event.
After Harry dives in, he finds his body adapting itself to the underwater environment, and he soon starts to take advantage of his flippers, webbing and gills, relishing the experience. As he moves deeper into the lake, his (entirely CG) surroundings – the rocks, the plant life – make for an extraordinary and mysterious atmosphere. The Framestore team had originally anticipated creating just three varieties of kelp by way of vegetation, but this grew to more than 10 iterations as the work progressed.
As well as Harry, CG versions of the four unconscious victims and the Krum-Shark were also required. Of the CG creatures, the Grindylows were the most challenging, not least because there are more than 100 of them on screen in some shots. Whilst automated 'cycles' were used in a limited fashion, as much of the Grindylow movement as possible was carried out using hand animation. One tool that proved highly useful was the in-house 'Choreographer' software. This was originally developed in tandem with the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory team who needed something that would help bring large numbers of squirrels to the screen. The software was further developed and refined by the Goblet team to assist them in their Grindylow wrangling.
'The biggest challenge was the sheer number of big challenges'
Included amongst Framestore's sequences was the dramatic arrival of the Beauxbaton team's carriage, drawn by seven Pegasus creatures. The team were able to return to much of the geometry they had created when building Buckbeak, the widely-acclaimed Hippogriff for the third Potter film. The creatures were substantially tweaked in order to create the flying horse form, and the results are spectacular, with shots of the coach and seven creatures being among the first to be used in teasers for the film.
The journalist Rita Skeeter appears for the first time in Goblet of Fire , a tabloid journalist and muckraker. Working as she does in the world of magic, her pen could not be anything less than a magical quill which takes dictation without being held, jumping across the page as people speak. Of course, a gutter journalist's pen is going to have its own ideas about what's occuring, and will write accordingly. Imbuing this little object with a character all it's own in the space of just 19 shots was an enjoyable challenge for Framestore's animators.
Similarly, using hand-drawn animation rather than relying overly on computers, gives a stained-glass window that comes to life during a scene between Harry and Moaning Myrtle a much more natural and beautiful look.
Looking back on 18 months work, from first conversations to final delivery, spent by 130 Framestore artists and technicians, Tim Webber is philosophical. 'The biggest challenge', he says now, 'was the sheer number of big challenges'.
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