The Yule Ball

chapter twenty-three of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

The Yule Ball arrives – and isn’t much fun, thanks to Harry’s thoughts of Cho and Ron’s anger at Krum. He and Ron do overhear Snape and Karkaroff discussing something, though, as well as Hagrid admitting he’s half-giant; but at the end of the night, after Cedric pulls Harry aside to give him a clue about the egg, Harry walks in on Hermione and Ron amidst a blazing fight.

Rude Awakening, by NicoPony

Wondering what had caused his abrupt return to consciousness, he opened his eyes, and saw something with very large, round, green eyes staring back at him in the darkness.


Dress Robes, by Laura Freeman

All of them [looked] very self-conscious, but none as much as Ron, who surveyed himself in the long mirror in the corner with an appalled look on his face.


Yule Ball Hermione and Krum, by gerre

Krum was at the front of the party, accompanied by a pretty girl in blue robes Harry didn’t know.

(by gerre)


Sight, by lberghol

It was Hermione.


by Amanda Grazini

It wasn’t as bad as it could have been, Harry thought, revolving slowly on the spot.


Yule Ball - Cedric and Cho, by Sheena Kristen Sy

Harry tried not to watch Cho and Cedric too much; it gave him a strong desire to kick something.


Yule Ball Stomp, by Emily Benson

Fred and Angelina… were dancing so exhuberantly that people around them were backing away in fear of injury.


I haven't got a problem... by gerre

“Ron,” said Harry quietly, “I haven’t got a problem with Hermione coming with Krum – ”
But Ron ignored Harry too. “Why don’t you go and find Vicky, he’ll be wondering where you are.”

(by gerre)


Snape and Karkaroff, by VikingCarrot

Snape had his wand out and was blasting rosebushes apart, his expression most ill-natured.


Snape and Karkaroff, by Heather Campbell

“Severus, you cannot pretend this isn’t happening!” Karkaroff’s voice sounded anxious and hushed, as though keen not to be overheard. “It’s been getting clearer and clearer for months.”


Yule Ball Fight, by gerre

“Well, if you don’t like it, you know what the solution is, don’t you?” yelled Hermione; her hair was coming down out of its elegant bun now, and her face was screwed up in anger. “Next time there’s a ball, ask me before someone else does, and not as a last resort!”

(by gerre)


about the chapter


It’s hard to remember now, but there was a time (before the movies came out) when the most commonly asked question regarding the books was how to pronounce Hermione’s name. Goblet of Fire was released almost a year and a half before the first movie, so to help answer the question, Rowling wrote Hermione instructing Krum to say her name (and his subsequent mispronunciation) into the story, and the questions stopped. The most common mispronunciation prior to this? ‘Hermy-won.’

Something to Remember

Harry swears Dumbledore winks at him when discussing the mysterious disappearing chamber pot room with Karkaroff – is this just his way of making a joke? Or is he, for some reason, actually hoping Harry’s paying attention to what he’s saying?

The Final Word

“I always wanted Harry to grow up plausibly…. I have a real moral objection to books that freeze children in pre-pubescence even though they’re actually – in earth-years – sixteen years old, but they’re still behaving as eight- or nine-year-olds.”

“The characters in Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books act in a prepubescent way right through the series. In the Narnia books the children are never allowed to grow up, even though they are growing older. I want Harry Potter and his friends to grow up as well as older, though I’ll keep it all humorous, well within the tone of the books. I want them eventually to be truly 17 and discover girlfriends and boyfriends and have sexual feelings – nothing too gritty. Why not allow them to have those feelings?”–J.K. Rowling, October 1999 & October 2001

39 Responses to “The Yule Ball”

  1. I always pronounced it Hermy-own. It took quite some time to get used to the ‘new’ way of saying it, but now, thinking back, I laugh at how funny it sounds. :D

  2. Hi, love your site, I just reacently discover it.
    Great way to remember what happened in each chapter.
    The artwork is perfect but what I love most is your comments at the end.
    I read the first 4 books in Spanish, me and my brother always pronunced er-mee-ON , after the movie I started to say it correctly but it sounded funny. My brother stills call her like that.

  3. I did “Hermy-own” too for a whole. For some reason it didn’t dawn on me that it was Greek in origin and should be pronounced accordingly (as I knew how to pronounce Persephone “per-seh-fo-nee”, for example, and not as “per-seh-fown”).

  4. I was a member of the Her-moyn club for a long time. It took me till the second movie was released that I finally gave that up for a lost cause…

  5. I remember being younger and getting in fights with friends about how to say Hermione’s name. Heck I’m 16 now and we still fight over the names in Eragon.

  6. There are some chapters I remember reading for the first time and other I don’t, and I remember the first time I read this one perfectly; I kept giggling out loud and I just couldn’t believe the Yule Ball was happening, it was so great!

  7. Lola – I was the same way!

  8. I pronounced it Hermi-own until a family member corrected me. I was so embarrassed, given that I was in college at the time and should have known this by now — but the Harry Potter books were literally the first time I had ever encountered the name.

    You know, we never learn much about the Grangers. I wish we could have met them for longer than a few brief moments. They sound like cultured parents — giving their daughter a classical name and a love of study. Perhaps it’s an escape from dentistry. I’m actually surprised they took Hermione to the South of France (a pretty mundane and common British vacation spot). I would have expected a more cultural spot, like Paris or Rome with all the history and art.

  9. I love this chapter! It’s such a good mix of humour, plot-points and a lot of Teenage drama…

  10. I absolutely agree with JKR’s quote about allowing characters to grow up. I think if the author doesn’t, it gives the whole story a kind of hazy reality. Or everything seems kind of off because the characters don’t quite seem like well-developed people (imaginary underline).
    Way way in the beginning I pronounced it Her-moyn but my dad corrected me before I’d gotten 1/2way through the first book.

  11. The Fat Lady and her friend are having chocolate. How did it get into the portrait? I guess they might have gotten it from another portrait, but I’m still wondering.

    Something you might not have noticed: Harry tells Moody that the socks he’s wearing were knitted for him by Dobby. This is an information that might be more valuable to Moody than Harry would think.

    Something else to remember which you might not have noticed is the beetle that is not interesting enough for Harry to not hear what Hagrid says to Madame Maxime.

  12. I pronounced it Her-moan-ee – lol

  13. I love this chapter because Hermione gets her moment. I always wondered how Krum asked her out and how much time they spent together afterwards. That first conversation must have been awkward.

  14. I’ve always pronounced Hermione as Her-my-nee. I wasn’t too far off :)

  15. Fun chapter. I always wonder how how the Y.B. could have gone if Harry had asked Cho before Cedric did. Would he have learned to dance? Where would Ron have been without Harry to sit with him? Also, because of British actress Hermione Gingold, it seemed obvious to me how to pronounce the name. But she’s not that well known I guess.

  16. The picture of Fred and Angelina dancing is pure awesomeness!

  17. As Kim said, I think its interesting how Harry tells Moody about his relationship with Dobby. It makes me wonder what Moody would have done without this information.

  18. LOL. It’s ages late, but elethian’s comment cracked me up.

    It sounds like per-seh-fo-nee is the actual Greek pronounciation of Persephone when it’s actually just the English one. As her-my-oh-nee.

    In Greek (and Latin, for that matter), the letter E is not pronounced as “ee”, but rather “eh”. The letter I is the one which sounds like “ee”.

    Up until the fourth book, I was just using the Greek/Latin pronounciation her-mee-oh-neh, with the stress on the “oh”. Now I stick to that when I read/speak Italian and her-my-oh-nee for English.

  19. i wonder if snape’s destruction of the rosebud’s has just a small amount to do with hating seeing couples be all happy and dancing, when he never got that chance with a certain other kind of flower-girl. Though i think most of it is his forced company with karkaroff.

  20. Does anyone else find the age difference between Krum and Hermione a little strange?
    I mean, he’s eighteen or nineteen and she’s fourteen! Obviously this would be different if they were both out of school and four years apart, but…I mean…now really!

  21. it was said somewhere that hermione was born in september, so she would be 15 during the yule ball. and looking at other examples of age difference of couples in the wizarding world, maybe it isnt seen as a weird thing?

  22. Ron says of Krum in August, “he’s only just 18 or something!” It is possible that Durmstrang’s academic year starts earlier than Hogwarts, but it is also feasible, given Ron’s uncertainty, that Ron was relaying what he’d heard: a garbled version of the truth, the truth being that Krum’s birthday is, for the sake of argument, September 5, 1976, which would put him at 18 during the Yule Ball and only just over 3 years older than Hermione.

  23. I always wonder…who does George go to the Yule Ball with? If Fred goes, George definely would have gone too. Katie or Alicia maybe?
    And for that matter – Dean?

  24. The artwork for this chapter is wonderful!

  25. Love the site!!! Anyway I never had a problem pronouncing Hermione’s name because I read The Winters Tale back in J.H.S. and I usually go with phonetic spelling when all else fails…

  26. I forget who, either Dean or Seamus, asks Harry and Ron how they got the best looking girls in their year to go to the ball with them. If Padma and Parvarti are that good looking, why on Earth hadn’t someone else asked them?

  27. Yeah-why didn’t Dean ask one of them if he thinks they’re so pretty?

  28. @Kit-Kat and wevi: Isn’t this obvious? All boys expected they would be turned down. Who would dare to assume that the best looking girls in their year had not already found somebody better than just him?

  29. Hermione was born in September, so she is 15 at the Yule Ball, and Krum is 18. That seems okay to me, many of my friends in highschool (myself included) had boyfriends that were 2-3 years older. Now as an adult, that seems a bit scary for a 15 year to date an 18 year old, but I think it is accurate.

  30. I remember having a very vivid argument with my year five teacher about the pronunciation of Hermione when he read it out in class (I read along with my own copy, thank you very much :)). He said Hermy-own. I said Her-mown (which now I think about it sounds an awful lot like Herman. AVPM!)

    Anyway. Turns out we were both wrong.

  31. I said Her-MEE-oh-nee until JKR corrected me. I actually think that Irene is most likely to be strictly accurate, though. Anyone counting the varieties here?

    I think the deal with the dentist parents is that they are not so much cultured as pretentious. They fit a stereotype of the bourgeois who completely lack imagination (basically, nice and better-educated versions of the Dursleys). They would pick a classical-sounding name for their daughter without ever quite remembering who the original Hermione had been.

    I think Krum is only three years older than Hermione, but his birthday is probably July or August (i.e., Ron had read about it in a recent news article). That would mean that he ought to be have finished Year 7 by the time he reaches Hogwarts and be the equivalent of a Year 8 student. It’s actually quite usual for Germans to finish school 19, and Durmstrang does seem to be based on the German system, so this is not implausible.

    After all those boring remarks… This is one of my favourite chapters ever! It is packed with so much drama that every sentence has to be read separately, and it’s probably my most re-read chapter in the canon. Every detail has been pulled apart on the fan-boards, and people just keep coming back for more. But this is my favourite Yule Ball fan-art:
    The artist doesn’t seem to have any theory about whom Dean took to the ball. Did he settle for Eloise Midgen? Had he quarrelled with Parvati, or did she refuse him because she was hoping for a better offer?

    Yes, I always wondered whom George took too. I suppose George took Alicia and Lee took Katie, or vice versa. It’s all up rather sad to think of Fred and Angelina being the life of the dance when you consider what happened to Fred (and whom Angelina eventually married).

    And the punchline (the Yule Brawl) was my first inkling that Ron and Hermione would end up together! Up to that point, I simply hadn’t been reading the story as a romance and was not looking for clues. But how could I have missed the blindingly obvious?

  32. I love this whole site. It’s very well done: the pictures are well chosen and there are a lot of good questions for people to think on.

    As for Hermione’s names pronuciation. My dad read me the series (up to the sixth book) and he always said “Hermy-own.” Since he was reading them to me (and he started me on them late) I had not read about the proper pronuciaton before the first movie. I was quite upset when I thought they were saying it wrong. When I finally found out the movie was right and I was wrong, well, I named my second hermit crab Hermy-own (the first was just Hermy).

  33. Her-my-oh-knee, eh? I don’t find the “oh” flows well in speech so I omit it and just say Her-my-knee. I used to pronounce Seamus wrong, though. I said Sea(as in body of water)-mus. It’s Shay-mus, correct?

  34. what i liked about Harry Potter is that i grew up with him, I was the same age as Harry when he left for Hogwarts, so I understood what he was going through, in a sense. my mom read the first two books to me and i don’t remember how i pronounced hermione, it’s been a long time

  35. in my head her name was always Her-my-own-knee until i heard it pronounced!

  36. And, contributing to all the ways you can say Hermione’s name – I said it with the ugliest of Swedish accents: “Her-MI-oe-ni”.

  37. Hagrid being half-giant would explain his wild hair, his cooking, and his monster fixation.

  38. I don’t find the Enid Blyton books a good argument for the grow up/don’t grow up argument. The Famous Five never aged and the books weren’t about growing up, they were about having adventures. Therefore Julian having a crush would be out of context and unnecessary. Harry Potter on the other hand is about coming of age, so it’s relevant.

    I love that picture of Fred and Angelina!

  39. It’s been a long time for me too – I was 9 when Philosopher’s Stone came out – and I only have a vague memory of pronouncing it “Hermy-own” – by the way Josie, are you sure that “Hermy-won” isn’t a misprint? Seems a very obscure pronunciation to be the most common. What I do remember is that until I heard Stephen Fry’s audio tapes, I pronounced Hagrid as “hay-grid”.

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