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Complete, detailed, and amazing Reader's Guides
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Chapter Eighteen:
The Weighing of the Wands


Synopsis by William Silvester
Notes and links by Michele L. Worley

US hardcover edition: pages 288 - 312
UK paperback edition: pages 316 - 343
Timeframe: Sunday, 1 November - Friday, 13 November 1994 [Y14]


In which Hermione tries to help Harry, persuading him to write to Sirius. The other Houses (Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw) are no longer friendly to Harry, but he finds an ally in Hagrid. As the situation in the school grows worse, Malfoy taunts Harry into throwing a curse; Malfoy responds, the curses clash, and hit Goyle and Hermione. Harry is called out of Potions for the Weighing of the Wands and meets Rita Skeeter, who is covering the ceremony for the Daily Prophet. Later in the day, an owl arrives from Sirius asking Harry to meet him.

The Weighing of the Wands, 18, by Mary GrandPré

Interesting facts and notes about the text of this chapter:

The chapter title is using "weighing" in the figurative sense of "evaluating".

He had already struggled through one Friday's worth

That would have been Friday, 6 November, so today's Potions lesson and the Weighing of the Wands are taking place on Friday, 13 November. This conflicts with the amount of time that is to elapse before some of the events in the next chapter, however (see).

crocodile-skin handbag

This reference may not survive translation from English to other languages. In the same sense as the expression "crocodile tears" (false tears), one figurative sense of the word "crocodile" is to refer to a person who hypocritically or maliciously pretends to express sadness (NSOED). Rita's certainly got the malice and the hypocrisy, as we will see for ourselves later.

He was very fond of his wand, and as far as he was concerned its relationship to Voldemort's wand was something it couldn't help - rather as he couldn't help being related to Aunt Petunia.

Nice one. Harry's blood relationship with Aunt Petunia has been a protection to him all these years, though he doesn't yet know it, and his wand's relationship to Voldemort's will save his life a few months from now.

Characters introduced in this chapter:

Characters returning in this chapter:

Characters mentioned in this chapter:

Settings and locations introduced or returning in this chapter:

Settings and locations mentioned in this chapter:

Exceptional character moments:

  • none

Spells:

Links and Resources:

Memorable lines:

  • He was very fond of his wand, and as far as he was concerned its relationship to Voldemort's wand was something it couldn't help - rather as he couldn't help being related to Aunt Petunia.

Strictly British:

Timelines/Calendar:

The chapter begins on Sunday morning, the morning after the Hallow'een feast, which dates it as Sunday, 1 November 1994 [Y14]. The Weighing of the Wand takes place on the second Friday after that, which dates the end of the chapter as Friday, 13 November.

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