In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, only three people (one from each school) can be selected for the tri-wizard tournament.

All champions can only be over the age of 17 to join.

So Harry, being only 14 and in his fourth year got chosen to participate... and it just so happens to be that he is the fourth contestant, which is against the rules.

How did Harry get chosen and why?

  • 47
    I'm a little puzzled by this question. It's clearly a pretty up-front plot point, set out as a mystery towards the start and then made plain towards the end.
    – AJFaraday
    Jan 11, 2018 at 14:02
  • 3
    Upvoted because it's been a while since I read the book, so I'd forgotten the answer. (And because this question attracted AJ's very nice answer.) Jan 11, 2018 at 17:55
  • SciFi related: scifi.stackexchange.com/q/22621/25379
    – jpmc26
    Jan 12, 2018 at 1:41
  • Why do you guys go "oh good question, let's upvote', and then you suddenly start down-voting and claim that some other site that appears to be the same question pops up in the comments? Why couldn't you tell me this BEFORE? As I would have deleted the question to make things easier?
    – natural
    Jan 12, 2018 at 5:01
  • 3
    Well, we vote based on the question my friend. We don't see comments. You will notice that there are no upvotes on the link from the other site. It means that people didn't vote after looking at the comments but voted looking at the question. We DON"T want you to delete the question and we want you to post questions because they attract good answers and help the site. What happens on sister site has nothing to do with this site. :)
    – Nog Shine
    Jan 12, 2018 at 6:16

1 Answer 1


The Goblet can only spit the fourth candidate if it is bewitched. It takes a strong charm to do this.

MAD-EYE: The hell he is. The goblet of fire is an exceptionally powerful magical object, only an exceptionally powerful conjurer could have hoodwinked it. Magic way beyond the talents of a fourth year.

It was later revealed that Barty Crouch Jr., who was disguised as Mad-Eye, did it and he knew the way to do so.

Later, near the end of the movie,

Harry Potter: It was you from the beginning. You put my name in the Goblet of Fire.

From the novel in the 17th chapter,

“Because they hoodwinked a very powerful magical object!” said Moody. “It would have needed an exceptionally strong Confundus Charm to bamboozle that goblet into forgetting that only three schools compete in the tournament… I’m guessing they submitted Potter’s name under a fourth school, to make sure he was the only one in his category…”

So, it's clear he already knew how to bewitch the Goblet. And he put Harry's name in under a fourth school.

In 35th chapter, Moody says,

Who put your name in the Goblet of Fire, under the name of a different school? I did. Who frightened off every person I thought might try to hurt you or prevent you from winning the tournament? I did. Who nudged Hagrid into showing you the dragons? I did. Who helped you see the only way you could beat the dragon? I did.”

The age criterion was set at 17, so Dumbledore set the charm around the goblet since, as it seems, the goblet doesn't care about the age. Harry wasn't seventeen, but Mad-Eye was older than 17, so he easily crossed the boundary.

From 12th chapter,

“Eager though I know all of you will be to bring the Triwizard Cup to Hogwarts,” he said, “the heads of the participating schools,
along with the Ministry of Magic, have agreed to impose an age restriction on contenders this year. Only students who are of age — that is to say, seventeen years or older — will be allowed to put forward their names for consideration. This” — Dumbledore raised his voice slightly, for several people had made noises of outrage at these words, and the Weasley twins were suddenly looking furious — “is a measure we feel is necessary, given that the tournament tasks will still be difficult and dangerous, whatever precautions we take, and it is highly unlikely that students be low sixth and seventh year will be able to cope with them. I will personally be ensuring that no under-age student hoodwinks our impartial judge into making them Hogwarts champion.” His light blue eyes twinkled as they lickered over Fred’s and George’s mutinous faces. “I therefore beg you not to waste your time submitting yourself if you are under seventeen.

So, in conclusion, Barty Crouch Jr. bewitched the goblet so it can forget that there are only three schools participating. Later, he put Harry's name in it and since he was the only candidate from that false school, the goblet spat his name out.

  • 21
    So the goblet considered SCHOOL = NULL to be a distinct value from the other 3.
    – BradC
    Jan 11, 2018 at 17:59
  • 8
    Chould be school = " "
    – OganM
    Jan 11, 2018 at 19:56
  • 26
    SCHOOL = '); DROP TABLE Students;--? Jan 11, 2018 at 20:48
  • 6
    I see programmers from StackOverflow started to overflow to Movies SE site. I wonder how many people have we managed to confuse by now with those comments. Jan 11, 2018 at 21:27
  • 5
    Hot Network Questions are gonna draw in the riff raff...
    – JPhi1618
    Jan 11, 2018 at 21:39

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