At the start-of-term feast in Chapter Twelve of Goblet of Fire Dumbledore announces the following:

“The heads of Beauxbatons and Durmstrang will be arriving with their short-listed contenders in October, and the selection of the three champions will take place at Halloween.

Shortly thereafter he says:

Only students who are of age — that is to say, seventeen years or older — will be allowed to put forward their names for consideration.

In discussing how the delegations would arrive in Chapter Fifteen, Ron says the following:

“A Portkey?” Ron suggested. “Or they could Apparate — maybe you’re allowed to do it under seventeen wherever they come from?”

Was there any reason to suspect that any of the visitors would be younger than 17? Dumbledore had said that the contenders are coming, and the contenders have to be 17. Was this just typical Ron nonsense, or were there actually some younger students that were supposed to be coming as well?

  • 6
    Note that they did bring at least one student (Fleur's sister) that was under 18
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 10, 2018 at 19:41
  • 3
    The schools brought all students and they all studied in their respective modes of transport. Ron, as usual, had no idea what was going on
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Aug 10, 2018 at 19:50
  • 4
    @Valorum Did she come with them originally, or was she brought in separately to be a hostage in the second task? Consider that she probably wasn't even a student, as Harry's impression of her is a girl who looked no older than eight.
    – Alex
    Commented Aug 10, 2018 at 20:12
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    @NKCampbell Your comment would actually support Ron, as then there would be students younger than 17.
    – Alex
    Commented Aug 10, 2018 at 20:13
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    You don't get an Apparition license the day you turn 17. Even if you've trained in advance, the tests are only available at certain times - possibly only once a year, based on Half-Blood Prince. So if the rules were the same at Durmstrang as in Britain, not everybody who was eligible to apply for the Tournament would be able to Apparate. (Nonetheless, I suspect the real answer is that JKR just hadn't thought that one through very carefully.) Commented Aug 10, 2018 at 21:29

2 Answers 2


Dumbledore's statement is not absolute about who is arriving

Dumbledore said "with their short-listed contenders" that does not mean only their short-listed contenders. It could just be letting the Hogwarts students know that the other schools have already selected which of their pupils will putting their names into the Goblet. Because if Durmstrang arrived with only their short-listed contenders only two people would have arrived... Karkaroff and Krum...

  • Huh? Krum wasn't the only one from Durmstrang to put his name in the Goblet. Commented May 18, 2019 at 0:30

It's probably just Ron forgetting that it's only those who are eligible to compete are arriving.

First of all, that specific tidbit was days ago. There's no particular reason to assume that Ron would remember this particular one tidbit of information among all the other information.

Especially, as that very quote proves, Ron doesn't always remember stuff very well.

Look at the very next line:

"You can't Apparate inside the Hogwarts grounds, how often do I have to tell you?" said Hermione impatiently.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, chapter 15: "Beauxbatons and Durmstrang"

In making this suggestion, Ron is showing that he is forgetting yet again this bit of information, which he has been told at least once (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, chapter 9: "Grim Defeat") before over the past few years. So it's not unreasonable to assume that he simply didn't remember that Dumbledore had said that only above 17s would be arriving.

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