Four fully grown, enormous, vicious-looking dragons were rearing on their hind legs inside an enclosure fenced with thick planks of wood, roaring and snorting - torrents of fire were shooting into the dark sky from their open, fanged mouths, fifty feet above the ground on their outstretched necks.
(Goblet of Fire, Chapter 19, The Hungarian Horntail).

A thought on the dragon enclosure in Goblet of Fire. It appears to be made out of wood. Dragons are, of course, fire-breathing creatures of huge destructive force.

Later, some stands (of an unknown material) are added around the enclosure. We do know, however, that also in the vicinity of the dragons are a tent where the champions huddle and the Forbidden Forest. All of these substances have one thing in common - they are highly flammable.

Rowling is aware that putting dragons and wood next to one another isn't a good idea and even has Hermione being sassy about it in an earlier book.

He looked very pleased with himself, but Hermione didn't.
"Hagrid, you live in a wooden house," she said.
(Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 14, Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback).

Why would the Triwizard Tournament organisers (or any self-respecting grown-up) pick a wooden enclosure in the middle of a forest as a place to hold four fire-breathing dragons?

  • 1
    Um how about magic?
    – iMerchant
    Commented May 12, 2016 at 20:33
  • 1
    Raising a dragon army Lord?
    – Don_Biglia
    Commented May 13, 2016 at 10:00

1 Answer 1


Knowing that the enclosure was going to be holding dragons, the wood was most likely treated with a flame resistance spell known as the Flame-Freezing Charm

We see it in practical use with a witch during the Witch Trials of the 1400s.

Indeed, Wendelin the Weird enjoyed being burned so much that she allowed herself to be caught no less than forty-seven times in various disguises." - Bathilda Bagshot, A History of Magic

Besides that, there are spells such as Augamenti to make water that would be able assist any fires the dragons started.

If you doubt that the charm would be able to work... I would say that depending on how thick the logs were it may take them a while burn.

A pen large enough to hold a dragon would need some serious planks. I submit they would need to be about a large as a telephone pole. While they can catch fire, it takes a large sustained flame or a bolt of lightning to really cause damage. As seen in these picture the size comparison is at least plausible.

pole on fire dragon pen

  • I like that thought. Would there be something in the nature/ferocity of dragon-fire that would make those sorts of charms ineffective, I wonder? The only time we see that charm being used is in that example you give, where it's a run-of-the-mill Muggle fire. Commented May 12, 2016 at 19:25
  • I don't remember additional magical properties to the dragons fire... just their blood and hide.
    – Skooba
    Commented May 12, 2016 at 19:32

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