“Harry, dangerous times are ahead. We must choose between what is right and what is easy.” Professor Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire is a film of transition, where we see our hero Harry Potter go from the observant wide-eyed kid of Sorcerer’s Stone to the proactive, confident young adult we see in the later Harry Potter books.
Transitions, however, are not easy.
More than any of the other books, The Goblet of Fire showcases the trauma of adolescence, the most awkward of transitions. Harry (played by Daniel Radcliffe), along with best friends Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson), in this film, have their first serious encounters with dating and inter-school rivalry.
We are uneasy with transition. We are defensive when we’re in transition. We feel helpless when we’re in transition. Just like in the film, people act differently when these emotions rear their ugly heads. Because of this, the Yule Ball at Hogwarts turns into a place where our three heroes turn on each other instead of being a fun winter experience. But we cannot – and the Hogwarts kids cannot – escape transition.
In our adult lives, it happens when we’re new at a job or amongst a new group of people. It happens when we’re dating, when we move, or when things suddenly change in life. We cannot escape these times.
The question isn’t how do we minimize our awkward life transitions, but how do we handle them when these situations happen to us?
What Goblet of Fire and the Scriptures advise us to do is to find something solid to cling onto as we weather those difficult times. “Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock” (Matt. 7:24), says Jesus. When Simon Peter tried (and failed) to walk on water in the middle of a storm, it was only by grasping the firm arm of Christ that he did not drown (cf. Matt. 14: 29-31).
Dumbledore gives us similar advice in that, at troubling times like this, we need to choose a side and stick to it: “We must choose between what is right and what is easy.”
When Voldemort appears in this film, Harry must rely on the things he believes that are right, even hard – the sacrificial love of his mother, the loyalty to friends (even when they are rivals), and trust in his mentors and teachers – to escape the curses of his enemy.
Hold your head high. Stick to what you believe in. Be firm in your faith. By this, we shall be saved.