Fans tend to be picky, especially sci-fi and fantasy fans. This is true for the younger fans as well, including the Potterheads of the Harry Potter fandom.
But it still might seem odd that they are so picky about one word: calmly.
To understand the rationale behind this, looking at it from a writer’s perspective might help.
Why did J.K. Rowling add the word “calmly” in the first place? Obviously, because in her head, Dumbledore said it calmly. Why did Dumbledore say it calmly?
I always believed that Dumbledore didn’t really believe Harry put his name into the Goblet of Fire. If anything, Dumbledore is good at reading people, and Harry is the last person to want to put himself through the Triwizard Tournament. He doesn’t like the fame his name has already accumulated, and Dumbledore probably realizes that all Harry wants is a calm school year at Hogwarts, and maybe to cheer on his school from the stands.
Not to mention that Dumbledore is very aware that there are several reasons someone would want Harry in the Triwizard Tournament. His hiring of Mad-Eye Moody shows he is aware of the rising threat, so when Harry Potter’s name is not only in the Goblet of Fire, but the only underage name to successfully make it in, Dumbledore probably realizes already that something odd is happening.
But when the movie Dumbledore overreacted, it took away that part of his character – the part that understands that Harry doesn’t want any extra trouble, the part that knows something odd is going on, the part that trusts that Harry will answer truthfully to a simple, calm question – so naturally, Potterheads dislike that particle scene.
For the month of January, I will be focusing on Harry Potter related posts. Check in this month for more posts like this!