There is a bit of controversy surrounding the fourth book of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Note, this is from the perspective of having only read the first four books. As it stands right now, there is a bit of a incongruence. It is possible and likely this will be resolved in later books.

Also, this is a small spoiler, so if you haven't read the book yet and would like to, you should stop here.

Now, in the first three books, it seems very clear that Harry's father, James Potter, died at Lord Voldemort's wand first. Voldemort then kills Harry's mother, Lily Potter, but not before she casts a spell to protect Harry, which is why he is able to survive Voldemort.

At the end of The Goblet of Fire, Harry and Voldemort face off, using their own wands. However, their wands are brother wands, their cores come from the only tail feathers given by Professor Dumbledore's phoenix, Fawkes.

As Dumbledore later explained, brother wands do not work properly against one another; one wand will force the other to expel the spells cast from it, in reverse order, an effect called Priori Incantatem.

When Priori Incantatem occurred, the most recent victims of Voldemort's wand appeared. First, Cedric Diggory, then the old muggle from the first chapter, then Bertha Jorkins. Now, here is the issue - James Potter appeared next, and then Lily.

But, if James Potter had died first, he should have appeared after Lily.

Looking forward to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix!

So, a good number of people have written me to tell me that this has been corrected in later editions of The Goblet of Fire. From J.K. Rowling's website:

At the end of 'Goblet of Fire', in which order should Harry's parents have come out of the wand?

Lily first, then James. That’s how it appears in my original manuscript but we were under enormous pressure to edit it very fast and my American editor thought that was the wrong way around, and he is so good at catching small errors I changed it without thinking, then realised it had been right in the first place. We were all very sleep-deprived at the time.

Go to: The Harry Potter Project

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