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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Port-Key Slip-Up
In this book, the first time they explain what a port-key is to Harry, they tell him it's an object that is preset to a specific time and if you touch the object at that time, you will be sent to another place with it. Correct? I thought so. But in the end of the book, Harry and Cedric touch the Cup (a supposed port-key) and are immediately transported to the middle of nowhere. That last task wasn't timed, and in fact they both took a while to get there and even hesitated in taking the cup to each convince the other to take how could they have been taken somewhere else if the Cup had been timed, which it obviously would have been, since it was a port-key, unless Crouch Jr. knew exactly at what time they would get to the cup? This, is of course, impossible, unless he has some weird kind of divining power J.K.R. didn't mention.
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Special Requirements: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire book
Contributed By: DaMighty Femme on 06-18-2001 and Reviewed By: Webmaster
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Becka writes:
The port-key could have been set up for that hour (or two, or three, etc) without a problem. A specific time does not have to mean a specific second.
48 of 54 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
bren2000 writes:
Well, because of the world cup they didn't want everyone to arrive at the same time. So they had set times for them. But because it was Voldemort, he could tamper with it so the first person to touch it will be transported to him.
39 of 44 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
The General writes:
"A specific time" could mean anything, Crouch Jr. could have set the port-key for, i.e, 8:00-9:00, and as long as Harry touched it in that time it would work.
17 of 20 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
psychochick writes:
Picture it like this: the World Cup Portkeys are like planes. They are scheduled to leave at a certain time once people are on them. You know where they are going to be beforehand and at what time they are leaving. The Triwizard Cup Portkey is like a car. They can leave at anytime, once someone gets behind the wheel. In this case, the first person(s) to touch the Cup started the car and off they went (much to Harry's dismay).
17 of 21 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Siobhan writes:
I think your right about the timing not having to be to the second. if you remember the beginning of the book when the Weasleys meet the Diggorys to go the the World cup, they don't seem to be timing when they all touch it. In fact Mr. Weasley asks if they're waiting for anyone else, which implies that they would hang on for a bit if there were late comers. No slip up
16 of 21 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
kel writes:
A portkey could be set up to be ready until someone touches it, but with transport to the Quidditch World Cup, since the portkey was in a muggle area, it would be essential to have it set for a specific time. Otherwise, if unused, it could transport a muggle.
9 of 12 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Empress writes:
Yes, I thought this too! I think it is a plot hole, and JK should have explained, but here's how I rationalize it: Portkeys are set to take everyone in contact with it to a designated place at a prearranged time. Right? So maybe Voldemort (or young crouch aka Moody) tinkered with the design so it went off at the FIRST sign of contact. Though if it was that, Voldy would be kind of miffed if a fly landed on it. Maybe Voldy could command it. But you're right, there is no discussion of this.
9 of 13 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Mindy Doll writes:
Maybe they set it to transport the first HUMAN to touch it.
7 of 10 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Ice Lord Ssarl writes:
Well, in the start of the book, the (boot) Portkey only works once the Weasleys etc touch it, AND the time is reached, so perhaps they're set off by timers AND contact - ie both are required so as the Portkeys do not "take off" by themselves and are not lost or don't end up in Muggle land.
7 of 11 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Cort writes:
I think the case with the Portkeys is rather simple. The Portkeys for the Cup were timed because it's the same principle as a train/bus/plane system---you can't have two trains coming to the station at exactly the same time! Like Crouch (or whoever the guy was who met Harry and the Weasleys at the campsite) said, they had better get a move on because he was expecting a large crowd of people right in the spot where they were standing. In the case of a huge event like the Quidditch Cup where thousands of people from across the globe will be attending, you have to time the Portkeys so wizards don't come swarming into the campsite all at once... I believe it would be a dastardly mess if you didn't! As for the squirrel comment, you have to suspend disbelief when you read a work of art like Harry Potter. Only humans can transport through Portkeys and that's just the way it is.
5 of 8 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Mike writes:
Many of the above suggestions were very good... I perticularally liked the idea of no set-to-the-second time limit... But think about it. The real Moody was an Auror. Crouch Jr., when kidnapping Moody, had the Auror tools that Moody packed, with him... Now, in book three, Hermione used a time-turner to go back in time... Who is to say, that since Moody was an Auror, and probably had a time-turner, that Crouch Jr. didnt wait for Harry and Cedric to reach the cup, figure out what time it was, go out of sight and back in time, set the portkey for that time, then simply wait untill the time came that he had to be back, because the other him had just gone back in time, and act like he just "strolled away" for a second? Even though this wasn't mentioned, couldn't it be a logical answer also?
6 of 10 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Satou Sei writes:
The most likeley explanation would be that a port key can either be timed, or be set to work whenever someone touches it. Makes sense, doesn't it?
5 of 8 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
june writes:
I think that since crouch Jr. was helping Harry he would know where Harry was at each part of the maze so he could make sure Harry got to the port-key at the time the it was going to leave.
13 of 25 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Penger writes:
has anybody asked why Crouch Jr. went to the whole trouble of making the triwizard cup a portkey instead of something else? I mean, he could have made a pencil a portkey and given it to harry during class or something. It made for a good story but I dont see why Crouch Jr. didn't just go for the obvious solution instead of helping harry through a year long tournament
5 of 10 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
MIH writes:
Not all portkeys are timed, in the order of the pheonix, dumbledore creates portkeys that transport harry, ron, hermione and etc. just like that! The portkeys were timed for the quidditch world cup so that they could be left lying around, so a ministry official didnt have to be at every portkey departure poinnt on the day of the final
3 of 6 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
SweetNsazy writes:
Maybe, Crouch Jr. turned the world cup into a port-key at the very last second before Harry and Cedric touched the cup since he was watching from the stands. He would also set it to transport Harry at the exact time it was then. He could do this all without even touching the cup, and just using his magical powers.
6 of 13 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
jennimiki writes:
Since all of the books are out now, we know that the cup IS a portkey and that they CAN be timed because all of the "Harrys" in the Deathly Hallows had to be at their portkeys or the portkey would arrive at the Burrow without them. The boot that transported them in GoF WAS timed, and if they'd missed it, they'd have been out of luck and had to travel another way. MIH is right; portkeys don't have to be timed, but in these cases, they were. I do have to wonder how the portkey was set to transport Harry BACK to Hogwarts. As Crouch Jr., I certainly wouldn't have wanted to give Harry any way to escape...
1 of 3 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
belladonnaanodyne writes:
I think that the point about them not being set for an exact second is probably the right one, but did no-one notice that Harry just grabs the key to go back? It doesn't seem to say in any other book that you can use port-keys to return to where you were - in fact, it specifically says, many times, that they turn back into ordinary objects. This is probably the REAL slip up.
1 of 3 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
ChaserChick writes:
But the cup DID travel with Harry and Cedric. That's the only reason that Harry barely got back with his life, and Cedric's body.
3 of 8 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Empress writes:
But what if a squirrel thinks its a nut and touches it? o well, its a good book anyway.
6 of 15 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
LimeJello4545 writes:
I've got two stupid words for you about this so called "slip-up": So what?
2 of 17 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Sarah writes:
I haven't read the Goblet of Fire for a while, so this may be wrong, but o well... The triwizard cup isn't necessarily a port-key. If it was, then it would travel with the first person to touch it, so it wouldn't be there for the others to touch, and they wouldn't know who came in second, third, or fourth. I don't think it was meant to be a port-key, because I vaguely remember the book saying that "Moody" (or crouch the junior) turned it into one. I may be wrong, but I think that's how it was.
3 of 21 found this helpful. Did you? Yes

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