Since Harry didn't actually put his name in the Goblet of Fire, is it possible that he wasn't actually magically bound to compete?

Dumbledore didn't contradict Crouch's insistence that it was magically binding, but then again, Dumbledore let Harry take a lot of risks over the seven years in Hogwarts. And it is a little bit hard to imagine that magically binding contracts can be forced without consent.

2 Answers 2


He was bound to compete. TenthJustice points out in his answer to “Why was triwizard tournament continued even when Dumbledore knew that it was dangerous for Harry?” (on Sci Fi SE) Dumbledore himself talked about this contract. The information isn't only from Crouch. This is in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (book) chapter 16, when Dumbledore addressing everyone as he first presents the Goblet of Fire to the students.

‘Finally, I wish to impress upon any of you wishing to compete that this Tournament is not to be entered into lightly. Once a champion has been selected by the Goblet of Fire, he or she is obliged to see the Tournament through to the end. The placing of your name in the Goblet constitutes a binding, magical contract. There can be no change of heart once you have become champion. Please be very sure, therefore, that you are whole-heartedly prepared to play, before you drop your name into the Goblet. […]’

  • 3
    I'm not sure this actually addresses the question. You've answered "is someone obliged to see the Tournament through to the end if they place their name in the Goblet".
    – iandotkelly
    Apr 14, 2018 at 17:40
  • @iandotkelly The question asks about whether Harry has entered a magically binding contract when he put his name into the Goblet, and whether this was with Harry's consent. Dumbledore explained that there is such a magically binding contract to the whole school, including Harry. See the second part I bolded. I think that answers the question.
    – b_jonas
    Apr 14, 2018 at 18:52
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    But its implied that it should be you that puts the name in ..... "impress upon any of you ..." and "be very sure ... before you drop your name". That's the point of the question, its not entirely clear whether it is binding or not if someone else does it. Its not normal in muggle contracts to be able to bind someone else without their knowledge, why here? The question may not be answerable however.
    – iandotkelly
    Apr 14, 2018 at 19:45
  • @iandotkelly I see. I don't know then.
    – b_jonas
    Apr 14, 2018 at 19:55
  • @iandotkelly It also says "Once a champion has been selected by the Goblet of Fire, he or she is obliged to see the Tournament through to the end" and "There can be no change of heart once you have become champion". The "placing of your name in the Goblet" part is likely just a figure of speech due to nobody expecting that someone's name might be put in by someone else, as it should be (nearly) impossible to do so. Apr 15, 2018 at 10:24

I have asked the same question and this is the answer: It is called the Triwizard Tournament for a reason, meaning only three schools compete, one from each school. But as no one knew (not even Harry) that Harry's name was put in the goblet by an interschool teacher who had also put Harry down as the only entree into the tournament of a fourth school, as the goblet is completely unaware that Harry was in fact from Hogwarts and none of the others, it recognised his listing as a fourth school and so it selected Harry to compete despite the rule proclaiming only three schools to compete.

I hope this answers your question :)

  • 2
    A reference from the books/movies would be ideal here...
    – Paulie_D
    Apr 14, 2018 at 15:10
  • The key premise of my question is just this: Magically binding contract gets enforced by the Goblet without the consent of the person involved. I'm tempted to add: If Harry refused to compete, would the Goblet force him? Your answer states that the Goblet can be hoodwinked to spit out the name.. but in case of lack of consent, does the Goblet actually enforce the contract?
    – Simpleton
    Apr 14, 2018 at 15:34

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