The First Task
Synopsis by William Silvester
Notes and links by Michele L. Worley
U.S. hardcover edition: pages 337 - 362
U.K. hardcover edition: pages 295 - 316
U.K. paperback edition: pages 370 - 397
Sunday 22 November - Tuesday 24 November,
In which Harry and
try to find a spell to use against
Diggory about the
the fake Moody gives
Harry a hint, and
Harry learn to cast a
The first task is to
get past a dragon and collect
a golden egg;
each champion succeeds in turn,
Harry being the quickest.
Harry finally make up, and
Bagman tells the champions that
the clue to the next task is in each
Interesting facts and notes about the text of this chapter:
Note that references to the
Triwizard tasks are not
capitalized in the U.K. editions, although they are capitalized in the
U.S. editions. Except where we refer to the chapter titles themselves,
we are following the U.K. convention of not capitalizing
"first task", "second task", and "third task".
This chapter sets up a pattern that is also followed by
"The Second Task", in that it begins
with Harry's final preparation for
the task, shows the task itself, then ends in a congratulatory
haze of relief after the scoring. This chapter is also reminiscent of the
extended library searches and study sessions of
Harry's first year,
right down to the pile of
library books about
Harry pulled down every book he
could find on dragons...
"Talon-clipping by charms...treating scale rot...
This is no good, this is for nutters like Hagrid who want to
keep them healthy..."
"Dragons are extremely
difficult to slay, owing to the
ancient magic that imbues their
thick hides, which none but the most powerful spells can penetrate...but
Sirius said a simple one would
...Hermione whispering non-stop at his elbow.
"...the trouble is, like that book said, not much is going
to get through a dragon's hide...I'd say Transfigure it, but with
something that big, you really haven't got a hope..."
He stared hopelessly down at the index of
Basic Hexes for the Busy and Vexed...
but dragons had no hair...
that would probably increase a
just what he needed, to give it an extra weapon....
Cedric was at the top.
He was with a load of sixth-year friends.
He wanted to skip Divination to
keep practicing, but
point-blank to skive off Arithmancy...
Vibrates when it detects concealment and lies...
No use here, of course, too much interference
That's when I open my trunk.
Characters introduced in this chapter:
Characters returning in this chapter:
Crouch, Bartemius (junior)
Moody, Alastor "Mad-Eye")
Crouch, Bartemius (senior)
the unnamed young witches of Viktor Krum's
unofficial Hogwarts fan club
Characters mentioned in this chapter:
Settings and locations introduced or returning in this chapter:
Settings and locations mentioned in this chapter:
Exceptional character moments:
Harry, who would rather face
a dragon than leave the only
place where he's ever been happy.
Harry's panic becomes manageable
once he finally has something concrete to do to prepare for the
first task, and is
submerged completely once he has actually begun acting against the
Links and Resources:
The action of the chapter takes place from the morning of 22 November
through the afternoon of the 24th. The dates of the week given in the
chapter are consistent with Hallowe'en having been a Saturday.
Sunday, November 22
Monday, November 23
Tuesday, November 24
Wednesday, November 25
Thursday, November 26
Friday, November 27
Saturday, November 28
Harry tells Hermione about the First Task; they
spend the day researching dragons in the Library.
Harry tells Cedric about the First Task. the fake Moody
gives Harry some good, general advice. Hermione
tutors Harry in Summoning Charms (taking time out
for Harry's Divination and Hermione's Arithmancy
Harry and Hermione practice Summoning Charms in
the Gryffindor Common Room until 2 a.m.
Classes end at noon.
The First Task.