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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Out of Order
NOTE: This is now only in the First American Edition.
In the chapter Priori Incantem, in the scene where Harry and Voldemort wands connect and the echos of previous spells done by Voldemort's wand appears, the echos appear out of order. The order of the echos are:
1. Cedric
2. The Riddle's Groundskeeper
3. Bertha
4. Father Potter
5. Mother Potter
But, according to everything we have read up to this point, it has been stated that Voldemort killed Harry's father first, and then killed his mother. When the echos came out of Voldemort's wand, Harry's father should have come after Harry's mother.
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Contributed By:
Wydok on 07-13-2000
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Comments:
T-zone writes:
In a live chat with J.K. Rowling, she explained that this is not a mistake, and that Harry will find out more about his parents in the next book.
151 of 168 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Dan Deyo writes:
After re-reading the fourth novel, the problem I see isn't with James and Lily but with the echo of Cedric coming forth from Voldemort's wand at all. Peter (Wormtail) kills Cedric on Voldemort's orders (here's the quote) From far away, above his head, he heard a high, cold voice say, "Kill the spare." A swishing noise and a second voice, which screeched the words to the night: "Avada Kedavra!" Later, when the ritual to re-embody Voldemort is performed, Wormtail has his own wand: Wormtail was speaking. His voice shook; he seemed frightened beyond his wits. He raised his wand, closed his eyes, and spoke to the night. And then, after Wormtail robes Voldemort: Voldemort slipped one of those unnaturally long-fingered hands into a deep pocket and drew out a wand. He caressed it gently too; and then he raised it, and pointed it at Wormtail, who was lifted off the ground and thrown against the headstone where Harry was tied; he fell to the foot of it and lay there, crumpled up and crying. There's no indication that Wormtail slips the wand into the robe while struggling ONE-HANDED to put it on Voldemort. And besides, I can't picture Voldemort allowing anyone (especially Wormtail) to use his wand. It seems like either Voldemort should have slain Cedric or the echo of Cedric should never have issued from Voldemort's wand.
53 of 67 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Sue writes:
Maybe this is a slipup, or.....maybe events actually happened differently than we have been led to believe in the first three books.
39 of 46 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Erin writes:
The publishers noticed this mistake too, so they reprinted Book 4 so that it says that Harry's mamma comes out first then his dad. ><+>
38 of 55 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Cmmc1183 writes:
OK, where to begin? Voldemort killed James Potter, then Lily Potter, then Bertha Jorkins, then the riddle's groundkeeper, then Cedric...that means if the spells were regurgitated in reverse, as anyone with a brain would know, it would be Cedric, then the riddle's groundkeeper, then Bertha, then Lily, then James...Hey, Lily was last, not James...it was a slip-up...hmmm...looks like the only one that is wrong is you pet-sitter. I Just wanted to point this out.
48 of 82 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
RonJLow writes:
RE: How would anyone but the killer know? Good question. All we have to go on is the forensic work by the Ministry which concluded Voldemort's power loss was due to a run-in with selfless mother's love. If he hadn't killed the father first, he would have already lost his power and been unable to kill the father. Also, Voldemort's ex-followers who have come back from the dark side may have been able to offer hear-say from the Dark Lord himself.
18 of 22 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
blastendedskrewt writes:
I have also read elsewhere that JKR said in an interview that this is no mistake. In my book Lily comes out after James. I think this is something to look out for in the upcoming books and that they used polyjuice potion. It is nice to see that someone else out here is using their brain.
18 of 22 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Sarah writes:
I think this is way too important to be a slip-up. Keep this in mind when future books come out, it could be very important.
17 of 21 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
muggles writes:
In my book, Lilly Potter does come out before James because she says "Your father's coming.....He wants to see you," so how could Lilly come out last if she says that Harry's father is coming? I have the Australian edition, but I think they're all pretty much the same!!!
15 of 21 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Trapezoid writes:
Perhaps it's some some sort of plot point... Several times in the sequel books there are somewhat important elements that refer to previous books... Uh, none come to mind, but it still sounds a little suspicious. Maybe Lily was killed first, and for some reason Harry was lied to, or... Uh, maybe it's just a mistake...
13 of 18 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Lord Voldemort writes:
This IS a slipup because it was corrected in my book. And Avada Kedavra kills instantly so James had to die before Lily.
11 of 15 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Kari Dragonkin writes:
I don't know whether or not this is really a slip up, but here is why I think it isn't. In Harry Potter, we're often led to believe things that aren't true; Snape being the one after the Sorcerer's/Philosopher's Stone, Black being the one who betrayed Harry's parents, Moody being the real Moody, etc. So why couldn't it be that we're led to believe something happened a certain way, when in fact it didn't. Anything could have happened to make things seem one way, for example, some people could have suggested James and Lily used Polyjuice potion.
10 of 13 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Tony Gies writes:
Yes, but you see, it should be in this order, THAT makes it reverse!
10 of 15 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
BKred writes:
Exactly, pet sitter. Harry's mother was killed after his father, so she would've reappeared before him.
9 of 13 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Freezy writes:
You just proved the point. The first was the Father of Harry, so he would come last, then the Mother of Harry, followed by Bertha, the groundskeeper, and finally, Cedric, being the most recent.
7 of 9 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Matrix3311 writes:
This is a slip-up....@ Barnes and Noble.com I believe they say that Rowling admitted it was a slip-up and has corrected it in the 2nd< versions of the book.
7 of 9 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
kari writes:
He didn't just kill 5 people. I think Dumbledore said later that if Harry hadn't broken the connection, more shadows or whatever would have come out.
7 of 9 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Wydok writes:
This will teach me to post slip ups to this place. Since I posted this, I've gotten two e-mails saying it isn't a slip up. One person was under the delusion that this was done on purpose, and the other said I didn't know how to read and that they did come out the right way. It's weird that I posted this like a year ago and I'm just now getting e-mails about it. Anyway, this slip up was discovered in the first edition American version, published July 2000. In later versions (and in versions from other countries), this error is corrected. Anyone know if it was in the first edition British version? (did that come out before or at the same time as the American?)
4 of 4 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Wydok writes:
This article from Salon.com explains that this was in fact an error: http://archive.salon.com/books/log/2001/01/12/potterfix/
4 of 4 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
FlamingSickle writes:
To clear this up once and for all (please, people, read some of the more informative comments before simply posting opinions), this is a slip-up, but it's not Rowling's slip-up. For whatever reason, the American editor told her that she had it backwards when she had Lily coming out first, and, not having been paying much attention just then, she agreed with him, and it was switched around for the American version. Naturally, he also switched the wording around to have James saying that Harry's mother was coming and wanted to see him. Something similar must have happened for the Australian books then, I imagine. In the English books the order stayed in the original and true way, meaning that Voldemort did indeed kill James first and Lily second before turning his wand on Harry. There is no hidden meaning behind the slip-up except that the American guy screwed up.
4 of 4 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
TORCH writes:
I noticed that too, and it was really annoying me. I'm glad I'm not just being picky, but I'm sure it was an accident... no one's perfect after all.
5 of 7 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Bloomer writes:
I think it's pretty obvious what happened, in the first publishing she made an error that was not caught however when she did here about it she fixed it end of story.
4 of 5 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
r@BiD-@nT writes:
Uhh... Fireball... the wand doesn't monitor who dies first... but which spells were cast... and besides, if Voldemort used that death curse (can't remember the name) Potters father would have died instantly anyway...
3 of 4 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
BowlOfGravey writes:
In this chapter, it says that the victims exit the wand in the reverse order and which they died. So, therefore, the last would come first. Therefore, first was Cedric (he was the last killed). Second, Bryce (the gardener, killed before Cedric). Third, Bertha Jenkins (She was killed last before Bryce). Fourth, Lily Potter, she was killed AFTER James. Last, James. JKR did in fact catch this and reprinted the book. The second edition is correct. What I find more interesting, is how JKR was so careful with this. In the first book, Voldermort didn't kill Quirell, but left him to die. If he had killed Quirell, the fourth book would have had to change. JKR also did not allow Voldermort to kill Ginny in the Second. Isn't that something? Coincidence, or does she have the whole series planned?
7 of 12 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
---==Diabolo Jr==--- writes:
in the Australian version, it is page 577-579. the order is: Cedric, Riddle's ground-keeper (the old man), Bertha Jorkins, James Potter, and his mother. very strange. when Harry's father comes out, the book says: '"your mother's coming..." he said quietly. "She wants to see you...it will be all right...hold on..."' I suppose you are right, this is, in fact a very good slip up!
2 of 2 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
myself writes:
Hey everybody! I've got news for you......in the first book, when Harry first meets Voldemort(page 294 in American hard back, 12th line down), Voldemort clearly says, "...I killed your father first......." so the order is wrong.....it should be Cedric, Frank(grounds keeper), Bertha, Lily, James. Hope this helps!
4 of 6 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
carrie writes:
This was a slip up and I think it was just that because they couldn't have lied to us. In book three when Harry hears the Dementors he remembers his father telling lily to run and that he died first. This is Harry's memory, the worst thing that's happened to him, which mean the fact that James Potter came out first was a slip up.
3 of 5 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Ramla writes:
JK Rowling and the publishers have already stated that this is a mistake, and they're planning on fixing the mistake in further editions.
5 of 9 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
IceFire writes:
They reprinted the books, because I got book 4 on the day it came out and it says that his mother comes after his father. But other, newer books say she comes first. And lily potter WAS killed after james because harry hears it all happen when the dementors are near him.
2 of 3 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Kristen writes:
In my book, it also says that Lily emerges first, then James.I have the Canadian edition so maybe it was only the American book with the mistake? Or maybe some of us have the re-printed copy.
2 of 3 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Casey writes:
I've got the English (England's) version, and it clearly says the order is Cedric, Frank, Bertha, Lily, James. Lily says, "Your father's coming...he wants to see you." I don't know what version you've got, but mine sure gives yo the impression that James died first (which he did.)
1 of 1 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Erica writes:
This is obviously a slipup. They even fixed their mistake in all versions but the American copy. For those of you that have another copy, the mistake is most definetely,not in your book. This is not a major plot point. It is simply a mistake. You shouldn't read to much into it.
3 of 5 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
charmedgal writes:
The Aussie version says that James comes out before Lily. I've always wondered about that as it is meant to be in reverse order and James died first. And James definately died first because in the 3rd book Harry hears his parents die and he hears James say to Lily to take Harry and run and he will hold Voldemort off.
1 of 1 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
mellyone writes:
If you have both the paperback and the hardcover versions you will notice that the order is switched in the hardcover version.
1 of 1 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
T-zone writes:
Of course this is a slip-up! Dumbledore said "The wand will force its brother to perform all the spells it has used...but in reverse order.". Reverse order! James was killed first, so he should have come out last!
3 of 6 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Unown writes:
The groundskeeper's name is Frank Bryce. The Dementers tell us James died first. And it is an Unforgivable Curse Avada Kedavra that He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named used. It kills instantly.
3 of 6 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
dairy queen writes:
In my book, it has Harry's mom come out & she said hold on your father is coming. So in my book it has them in the right order.
1 of 2 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Andrew Watson writes:
Ummm, Anya, you just got it wrong, the order is in fact, Cedric Riddle's ground-keeper Bertha Jorkins James Lily And Lily doesn't say "hold on, your father's coming", or whatever, it is the other way round: "hold on, your mother's coming" This is a Slip up!
3 of 6 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
ChaserChick writes:
In every edition I've ever read/listened to (I've worn out my library's book on tape, lol) the order has been the following: 1-Cedric (killed that night, not long before) 2-Frank Bryce (killed that summer, in the beginning of the book) 3-Bertha Jorkins (earlier that summer, sometime between PoA and GoF [or it would seem that way because it wasn't mentioned in PoA]) 4-James (???) 5-Lily (???) I don't know...I've been thinking (and that usually means trouble) and I can't really think of a way that Lily would have had the killing curse cast on her BEFORE James, and then save Harry...maybe she had another spell cast on her, then James died from AK, and she died of natural causes (I almost wrote in curses). I don't know. I just think that if I was an author I would remember about something like that. Then again, I've never attempted writing a 700 page novel. Not that I wouldn't like to...:) Or maybe Ms. Rowling really DID screw up. Oh well. My sibs and I have the copies with all of the screw ups.
2 of 4 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
VoiceInTheBackOfYourHead writes:
Carlos X is incorrect. Voldemorte (or Tom Marvolo Riddle if you prefer) killed more than five people but his wand didn't regurgitate them because Harry broke the connection.
2 of 4 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
maniakk08 writes:
First of all, Cedric should not have come out at all. Wormtail killed Cedric, so why is he coming out of Voldermort's (shudders) wand? Also, in my book, it says "Your MOTHER wants to see you" not "Your FATHER wants to see you."
1 of 2 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Lily-Behn writes:
I would first like to point out that this slip-up has been recognized by J.K. Rowling herself. She has said that she originally had it the correct way but one of her editors told her that it wasn't correct so she changed it. She now realises that she was correct in the first place and that this is in fact a slip-up and not some foreshadow. Next, I would like to point out to Carlos X that Dumbledore specifically said that more people would have come out of Voldemort's wand if Harry had kept the connection which he did not. Lastly, Anya and Muggles are incorrect because the book clearly has Harry's father saying to him that his mother will be coming soon.
0 of 0 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
daunrealist writes:
Good eye!
0 of 0 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Zev writes:
In my hardback copy of Goblet of Fire it states that James emerges before Lily, and he says to Harry "Your mother's on her way, she wants to see you". But in the paperback version, printed a year later, it has been corrected so that Lily emerges first and says "Your father's on his way, he wants to see you". James DID die BEFORE Lily. Lily saw Voldermort kill James, and come after Harry, which is why she died to protect him.
0 of 0 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Satou Sei writes:
It's clearly a slip-up since it was corrected in other books! That should be enough... Also, I doubt that it has to do with the plot. The Polyjuice Potion theory doesn't make any sense, I don't think we were lead to believe that James died first when in fact he didn't. There's a difference between being led to believe that Snape wanted the Philosopher's Stone en being led to believe that James died before Lily. You see, we were not litteraly TOLD that Snape was after the stone. Harry just assumed this because of circomstantial evidence. We were actually TOLD by more reliable sources that James died first, then Lily. I'm not saying that either of these theories are impossible, but I do believe they are unlikely. Especially since, as I already said, the error was corrected and was therefore just that: an error.
0 of 0 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Satou Sei writes:
It's clearly a slip-up since it was corrected in other books! That should be enough... Also, I doubt that it has to do with the plot. The Polyjuice Potion theory doesn't make any sense, I don't think we were lead to believe that James died first when in fact he didn't. There's a difference between being led to believe that Snape wanted the Philosopher's Stone en being led to believe that James died before Lily. You see, we were not litteraly TOLD that Snape was after the stone. Harry just assumed this because of circumstantial evidence. We were actually TOLD by more reliable sources that James died first, then Lily. I'm not saying that either of these theories are impossible, but I do believe they are unlikely. Especially since, as I already said, the error was corrected and was therefore just that: an error.
0 of 0 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
disneychick writes:
This mistake was made in the first editions, but it was a publishing error that was corrected in later editions. If you want the answer right from the author, look at her explanation on her site. www.jkrowling.com.
0 of 0 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
mandrakeroots writes:
Ok. why is evryone bothering with this question??? its either important or not to the later plots but my question is if the priory incantatem curse is supposed to spit out the last ways the spell was used specifically for the curse said when priory incantatem is induced (avada kadavra) why would the hand made for wormtail by voldemort come out?????????? think about it.
0 of 0 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Caitlin writes:
You know whats ineresting? I noticed in the book on tape version of HP and the Goblet of Fire, Jim Dale switches the order of the parents coming out of the wand. I know because I've checked by listening to the tape while reading the book. Just a little fun fact.
0 of 0 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
edulmes writes:
I heard at Harrypotterfans.com that it is a clue to the 5th book and after that.
5 of 11 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
MaggieKnowsTooMuch writes:
I don't know about anyone else's version, but in my book, Harry's mom comes out first and says something along the lines of "Hold on, your father is coming."
0 of 1 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Jewel86 writes:
Maybe they had switched, like what Mr.Crouch's son did with Mrs.Crouch , so everyone thought that Harry's father died first when it really was Lilly Potter in fromt he Polyjuice potion.
1 of 3 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Broadway writes:
Throughout all of the books, Voldemort has done almost nothing but lie to Harry. No one else has ever told Harry in what order his parents died, so Voldemort was probably lying when he told Harry that James died first.
0 of 1 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
lukky_one writes:
In my book (page 667), Harry's father says "Your mother's coming...". It's just a misprint! GET OVER IT!
2 of 6 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Me writes:
This is in fact a slip-up, but I think it is only in the hard back copy of Book 4. Why? Because it says in only of the books that the reason You-Know-Who could not kill Harry is because his mother sacrificed her life for him.Now I'm sure that his father did too in a way,but the fact of the matter is,is that his mother was the last one alive protecting him.Therefore she should have be the last one out of the wand.
1 of 4 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Talyn writes:
Well, where to start, well to begin I think your all a bit sad for actually finding these things, second of all we know Harry's dad died first because when Harry met the Dementors, (in Harry Potter and the prisener of Azkaban) he hears the last moments of his parents life, in this he hears his dad shouting to his mum saying "get back I'll hold him off" so that Lily can escape with Harry, but they do come out in the wrong order which is quite funny.
1 of 4 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Jaime writes:
I don't get why they would use polyjuice potion, as many people have said... what difference would it make? They were already hidden using that secret-holder thingie with wormtail mentioned in book 3, and why would it matter who was who? Voldemort wanted to kill both of them either way!
0 of 2 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Steve-o writes:
My theory is that they used polyjuice potion to look like eachother. this was incase one of them was killed but the other escaped. Then, the one who was still alive could have stopped taking the potion and been themself again, and voldemort wouldn't know.
6 of 15 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
remy martin writes:
All right my little nit-pickers. Does it really matter? The one person that Harry had wanted to see since childhood had been his parents. Most likely his mother of course; the natural rules can be suspended since it was his mother who gave up her life to protect him in the first place. Follow? "The oldest and strongest of magic", Dumbledore said so in one of the books, I believe. Problem solved.
1 of 5 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Kathryn writes:
Hey, yeah! I noticed that, too! I guess it just made it more dramatic for Lily to come out last?
4 of 13 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Lethal Eye writes:
How does anyone other than Voldemort himself knows how the killing had been done?
3 of 11 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Carlos X writes:
Most evil wizard of all time only killed 5 people?
13 of 32 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Gavin writes:
Lily probably came out last, so that she could tell Harry what he was supposed to do when the wands came apart.
0 of 6 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
sohini writes:
Lily Potter was NOT last because she quotes in the 4th book 'Hold on Harry your father is coming.' Now how could she say that if she was last? Have a think
0 of 6 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
katie writes:
OK first of all I'd like to say in my book it says the same thing. But if the person would have read closer he/she would have noticed that in chapter 36 page 697 paragraph 6 Dumbledore clearly states " When a wand meets its brother they will not work properly against each other.If, However the owners of the wands force the wands to do battle , a very rare effect will take place.One of the wands will force the other to regurgitate spells it has performed in reverse.MEANING: THE MOST RECENT FIRST AND THEN THOSE WHO PROCEEDED IT!!!!!!
0 of 7 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Joe Schmoe writes:
Avada Kedarva was the death curse
2 of 12 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Anya writes:
Sorry, hate to break it to you, but the order is right. The order they come out is: Cedric Frank Bryce Bertha Jorkins Lily Potter James Potter **I know this BECAUSE Lily Potter clearly says, "your father's coming, Harry, just hold on" So, that would mean that they ARE in the right order! Look at the book, people, she says it. Earlier it says that James was killed before Lily, and that the priori incantatem goes in reverse order. THE PASSAGE IS CORRECT!
8 of 25 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Liz writes:
Where does it ever say that James died first? I think Lily did!!!
3 of 16 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Roby_NZ writes:
Harry's mum and dad were killed on the same day,so it doesn't matter. Or maybe if they were killed on the same day they get shown in the opposite order that they were killed that day or something. It doesn't matter
2 of 15 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
RonJLow writes:
I think it's a slip-up, but if it's a valid plot point, it's big. Dumbledore would never lie to Harry. Dumbledore trusts Black, but he also seems to have trusted young Crouch as Moody. This could be proof that Black is a liar.
4 of 20 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Insane_Fireball writes:
I think that James Potter died after Lily Potter died, because he did not die instantly.
2 of 29 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes


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