The Goblet of Fire

chapter sixteen of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

After a welcoming feast for the guests (at which Dumbledore brings out the Goblet of Fire), Harry, Ron, and Hermione spend Saturday visiting Hagrid and watching students enter the Tournament. Finally the champions are selected – Viktor Krum, Fleur Delacour, Cedric Diggory, and, to everyone’s surprise, Harry Potter.

Dumbledore, by Sebastian Theilig

“The champions will be chosen by an impartial selector: the Goblet of Fire.”


Fred and George Reap the Consequences of Dumbledore's Age Line Around the Goblet of Fire, by Drew Graham

The entrance hall rang with laughter. Even Fred and George joined in, once they had… taken a good look at each other’s beards.


Krum, by Snapesforte

“The champion for Durmstrang,” he read in a strong, clear voice, “will be Viktor Krum.”


Fleur, by LMRourke

“The champion for Beauxbatons,” said Dumbledore, “is Fleur Delacour!”


Cedric, by LMRourke

“The Hogwarts champion,” he called, “is Cedric Diggory!”


Goblet of Fire, by JRose

Automatically, it seemed, Dumbledore reached out a long hand and seized the parchment. He held it out and stared at the name written upon it. There was a long pause…. And then Dumbledore cleared his throat and read out –
“Harry Potter.”

(by JRose)


about the chapter


Something You May Not Have Noticed

I always thought it was funny that the heads of the foreign schools come to Hogwarts with their students for the entire year. I mean, can you imagine Dumbledore going nearly a full school year without setting foot in Hogwarts? But then as I was thinking about it, the reason dawned on me – it’s because they have to teach every subject to the students they’ve brought. After all, the students wouldn’t enroll in Hogwarts classes; the subjects are different, the exams are different, and it simply wouldn’t work. So someone is needed who doesn’t teach classes of his or her own (and thus won’t be missed by the students who stay behind), but who can represent the school’s curriculum and is magically powerful enough to effectively teach it. If Hogwarts students travelled to Beauxbatons or Durmstrang, Dumbledore would have to be the one to go with.

The Wizarding World

At Hogwarts there are far more seventeen-year-olds than the dozen or so that Karkaroff and Madame Maxime each brought from their respective schools. So unless the other schools are quite a bit smaller, it seems some students of age were most likely left behind for the year. I wonder how these students were chosen, then? Karkaroff doesn’t seem thrilled at all with Poliakoff, so it’s unlikely these are simply his twelve favorite students (or the twelve favorites of the staff, in general). Perhaps there’s some selection process at the schools that, similar to the Goblet of Fire, impartially decides which students should be able to go. On the other hand, there don’t seem to be more than a dozen or so Hogwarts students who actually put their names in the Goblet, so maybe it’s simply which students wanted to attend!

The Power of Magic

We see Fred and George try to get past Dumbledore’s Age Line by taking Aging Potion, but clearly this is something that has already occurred to Dumbledore. Something else that I’m sure has occurred to him would be a student writing their name on a slip of paper, then levitating the paper into the Goblet without ever crossing the Age Line themselves. Given Dumbledore’s obvious sense of humor in casting this spell, I wonder what the result would be if someone tried to get their name in another way?

Life at Hogwarts

The Gryffindors in Harry’s year seem to me to have gotten a little full of themselves. They’ve won the House Cup every year since they came to Hogwarts, and have come to expect Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff to cheer for them simply because of their shared enmity toward Slytherin. Yet they talk about Cedric “contemptuously” and are angry when he’s chosen. I realize you’d ideally like your own house to win, but what’s wrong with Hufflepuff?

32 Responses to “The Goblet of Fire”

  1. I always wondered what would happen if a younger student got an older one to enter his or her name for them. Dumbledore asks Harry if that’s what he’s done right after the Goblet spits his name out, so it seems to me that there might not have been any protection in place if that was the case.

  2. Lola, I wondered about that too. But it seems so easy, surely somebody would have tried it, right? I’m not sure how Dumbledore could have built protection against it, but it seems uncharacteristic of him to make it so easy.

    I’m also not sure that Dumbledore asking Harry whether he had an older student put his name in meant that he didn’t put *any* protections against this; instead I think it could just be that once Harry’s name came out, Dumbledore immediately started thinking through his magic again, searching for flaws, and some flaw in this particular spell popped into his head.

    Anybody else have thoughts on this?

  3. I’ve always wondered all of the ways a student could try to enter, I’m sure there are loads and Dumbledore would have made a protection against them all. But I thought along the same lines as Lola, that Dumbledore hadn’t done anything against it. But then again, that is very un-Dumbly-dor-ish.
    It never even occured to me that the rest of Beauxbatons and Durmstrang would have to go an entire year without their headmaster or headmistress.
    You’re right about the Gryffindors, they just expect Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw to go for them, not thinking perhaps Ravenclaw might like Hufflepuff or vice versa. J K Rowling usually says things like ALL of Slytherin sided for or against something, as though no one in the house might think differently.

  4. I’m not so sure that Dumbledore protected the Goblet in any ways other than how it appears in the book.

    Its important to remember that its not the Goblet that prevents under-17 year olds from entering, its the Age Line, so its the Age line that actually spits out the twins’ names and gives them beards. The Goblet doesn’t care how old you are.

    And the age line only “punishes” underage students who *physically* cross it – Dumbledore says “…Nobody under the age of seventeen will be able to CROSS this line…”

    There is an argument that Dumbledore may have added more and different protections (and this jumps ahead to the next chapter) and that he was simply “thinking through his magic again”.

    Evidence for the counter-argument to this is that Dumbledore didn’t ask Harry any more questions about how he could have crossed it, he only asked him the one.
    More evidence is that after Professor McGonagall gets angry for Madame Maxime suggesting that Dumbledore made a mistake, McGonagall states “…Harry could not have crossed the line himself…[and] he did not persuade an older student to do it for him…”, which strongly suggests that this particular way of entering was not protected against.

  5. About the whole Gryffindor-thing: The only people who really don’t want Cedric to win, are the Gryffindors who’ve played Quidditch against him the previous year and lost. So isn’t it just more a bit of a personal thing against Cedric? And Gryffindors can be indeed seem a bit arrogant by thinking that Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff are on their side, but doesn’t a highly dangerous contest sounds like something that would appeal more to a Gryffindor than a Ravenclaw or a Hufflepuff?

  6. About the Age Line: I think there have to be other protections besides just preventing younger students from crossing the line. I’m not sure how they would work, especially in terms of an older student putting in the name of a younger one, but certainly a Wingardium Leviosa would get a slip of parchment into the Goblet pretty effectively, too. Or an enchanted paper airplane. The Age Line would be useless without protecting against these other measures as well.

  7. I agree, the Gryffindors are full fo themselves. Alright, the “we can’t have a Slytherin champion” was to be expected, but it always shocked me when they started badmouthing Cedric in front of a group of Hufflepuffs. This is one instance when Harry’s actually mroe modest than the rest of his house, for he says later that he never expected Slytherin’s or Hufflepuff’s support, and was just disappointed that none of the Ravenclaws supported him.

  8. A couple of questions:

    Since Harry’s name has come out of the Goblet, he has to compete, it’s a binding contract. But couldn’t he just not play hard in order to keep himself from harm?

    How does the Goblet choose the worthy Champions from their names? Or is who is chosen a coincidence?

    All entering students were supposed to write down their school name as well. When Dumbledore reads out who was chosen as Champions he also adds the school names. But did they come out of the Goblet as well? There was no school name with Harry’s name. Later it is said that he might have been entered as a student from a different school though.

  9. Just when we thought Harry would have a quiet year, his name comes out of the Goblet… poor Harry.

  10. There must have been a different school listed with Harry’s name, right? Since there could only be one champion from each school chosen by the Goblet..?

  11. Yes that’s what “Moody” confirms; that Harry was entered under a different school. I don’t know that the school names actually appear on the paper though. When Dumbledore reads Harry’s name, if the name of another school had appeared on the paper wouldn’t that have constituted a breach of contract, i.e. since that school was not participating (and Harry doesn’t attend it), so he would not qualify as a champion?

  12. About an older student putting a younger one’s name into the Goblet… who would do that? It would mean more Hogwarts candidates, and less of a chance that the older student would be chosen

  13. @Adele: One who’s not entering. Not everyone is mad enough to compete in something where people have been known to die.

  14. Eliza: Perhaps there are independently thinking Slytherins, but they succumb to peer pressure and aren’t open about it.
    Kim: perhaps the Goblet reads the way they walked up to it from the parchment, and deduces things about their magical and personal prowess from that – a sort of magical imprint by osmosis?

  15. Also: I wonder if another tournament was held at one of the other two schools in 1999-2000, or whether Cedric’s death discontinued the Tournament again. It’s interesting to think of McGonagall and some new, less DarkArtsy Durmstrang head travelling to Beauxbatons with people such as Dennis Creevey as potential Hogwarts champions. Also, do we ever find out who the new Department Heads of Games&Sports & InternationalMCO are, after Bagman and Crouch’s respective misfortunes? Given Bagman’s financial implosion and Crouch being controlled in his own home by Voldemort and later murdered, might people have started to think the Tournament was jinxed like the DADA job?

  16. I agree with kim, it wasn’t that the Gryffindors had a problem with Cedric being the champion because he was a Hufflepuff, it’s that some of them, paricuarly those on the team, didn’t like him because he beat them at Quidditch the previous year.

  17. There are lots of different analysis done with handwriting samples in the muggle world, I always assumed that was similar to what the goblet was doing with the slips of paper.

  18. On an unrelated note, I just noticed that Crouch might have seemed bored and unreactive because he was already imperious at that point. I always assumed it was because he just never got riled up about things like this. It might also just be both.

    I’ve always wondered about what school it said Harry came from, too.

    About the age line, didn’t the twins stand there for a bit before they got thrown out? So they should have been able to run across the line and quickly put their pieces or parchment in before that.

  19. The Gryffindors that don’t want Cedric to be the Champion aren’t only Qudditch players. Ron isn’t a Quidditch player himself yet, though he does root hard for Gryffindor cause he loves Quidditch and Harry is his friend. I think there’s animosity toward Cedric, not just cause he beat them at Quidditch, but he’s also described as very good looking. And Ron is always calling him “pretty boy” or telling Hermione she only likes him cause he’s *handsome*. I know that I, as a member of the male sex, always felt a little jealousy toward the really good looking guys. So I think that’s part of it. I also agree with kim that the Tournament seems more like a Gryffindor thing, and that also ticked them off a little bit. Not to mention it’s Hufflepuff, which most people think are a “load of duffers”.

    Kim, I think you’re forgetting somewhat that Harry is thinking a lot about how great it would be to win the Tournament. He definitely wants to win, and isn’t aware of the *real* danger at the end. And who knows how it chooses the student? It’s a very powerful magical object, so I assume that it somehow judges their magical prowess and character and what-not just by having their name and school. I like Rtozier’s idea about how being near the Goblet gave it their magical signature somehow, whether it was imprinted onto their piece of parchment or it was due to close proximity at the time of entering their name. And I think the Goblet was Confunded into thinking it should pick a student from a fourth school, and the only entrant for that school was Harry.

    And Ari, I think if they ran toward the Goblet, they’d still be thrown out at some point. That is probably the reason for the diameter of the circle. Even if you’re running toward it, by the time you get there you’re getting thrown out. Kind of like the further you push into a rubber band, the more resistance there is, and the harder the force of the launch.

  20. As far as the school names on the slips of papers, I can’t vouch for the rest, but I can quote the following (even though the slip never actually made it to the Goblet):

    “Harry watched, fascinated, as Fred pulled a slip of parchment out of his pocket bearing the words ‘Fred Weasley–Hogwarts’.”
    Having gone back to the start of the chapter, I quote this for you:

    “‘Anybody wishing to submit themselves as champion must write their name and school clearly upon a slip of parchment and drop it into the goblet,’ said Dumbledore.”

    So, yes, school names were required to be on the slips.

  21. I think it’s perfectly plausible – even probable – that one or two underage students managed to levitate their names in or get an older friend to drop in their names. I can just see the Creevey brothers sneaking down before breakfast to levitate Colin’s name into the goblet! The goblet just considered Cedric to be the best of the Hogwarts candidates who entered, and it didn’t reveal the names of the candidates it rejected.

    The adults in the following chapter are all arguing about how Harry could have gotten his name in, but the real question they should be asking is why Harry’s name came out of the goblet after the Hogwarts champion had already been chosen. The only person who brings up that issue is Moody, and no one else picks it up.

  22. I always thought that you had to submit your own name to the cup to “bind”? the magical contract. I also thought that Dumbledore only asked Harry if he had asked another student to enter his name as 1) for the benefit of the other heads and 2) to further his ideas of what happened to trick the goblet of fire to spout out his name after it should have been finished.

  23. i love how one champion was picked from each table. i only noticed last month. i guess thats one of the reasons JR picked cedric from her characters.

  24. The thing that annoys me is that it is called a TRIwizard Tournament. The Goblet of Fire was created for the purpose of choosing the contestants for the TRIwizard Tournament. Emphasis on the TRI. So how come it is fooled by another school name. It’s enchanted to give off names from Durmstrang, Beauxbatons and Hogwarts, presumably in that order. So after giving off three names it should have died down.
    So pretty much, the tournament was not the Triwizard Tournament, but just a tournament.

  25. I think it’s the Triwizard Tournament because when it started it was between three schools, but it could have been enchanted to choose champions from any number of schools. Besides, right after it spits Harry’s name out and all the teachers are arguing, Moody says “It would have needed an exceptionally powerful Confundus Charm to bamboozle that Goblet into forgetting that only three schools compete in the Tournament.” and I can’t shake the feeling that he actually did what he said the culprit did.

  26. I feel so bad for the Slytherins sometimes. They get such a bad rep. Can you imagine the reaction if a Slytherin had been chosen as a champion? Everyone would have made their lives hell. Well worse than they made Harry’s anyways.
    On another note, it probably never even crossed Harry’s mind not to play hard. It’s just part of his Gryffindor nature to me. “Go big or go home”, y’know? Personally, everything seems so dangerous and difficult… you can’t really consider NOT playing hard. You might die if you try something like that. 1st task Dragons, 2nd his friends were in danger (as far as he knew), 3rd… well you’re stuck in this maze with a bunch of random spells all over it and full of things that may suddenly jump out and eat you. So, no Harry can’t just take the fall in the tournament. It would turn out horribly.

  27. Perhaps the age line prevents your entering by way of levitating your parchment in because it is underage magic that is causing the paper to levitate? The magic of an under-17 year old cannot cross the age line? Just a thought.

  28. Well, naturally every house wants a champion of their own. The Ravenclaws might not like the idea of a brash Gryffindor as a champion either, and perhaps spoke similiar about Angelina. But I’m sure the Gryffindor’s would have cheered for Cedric, if he had been the only Hogwarts champion.

  29. I wonder why Fleur went from the Ravenclaw table to the Gryhffindor table to get some bouillabaisse?

  30. I’ve also thought of the levitating idea to get around the Age Line! ;)

  31. I can’t bring myself to believe that anyone but a Dark wizard could have got an underage name into the Goblet. I believe that the only reason Dumbledore asks Harry if he achieved this was because Maxime? had just accused him of it. When Dumbledore asks, he’s saying “Did you do that thing you were just accused of?” – so he can say “There you are” to Maxime? after Harry says no – rather than asking out of his own curiosity.

  32. If there *are* any future Triwizard Tournaments after 1995, I would recommend they retire the GoF and just draw names out of an unenchanted hat. That way if anyone tries to illegally insert a contestant again, they can say “Screw that” without anything gruesome happening to the student in question.

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