As Hermione said, he was jealous, hurt and thought Harry put his name in the Goblet without him to spite him and get all the glory. He even read in the newspaper that Harry was loving all the attention (which wasn't true). Since he saw Harry performing well in the task against the Horntail, wouldn't Ron see that as more reason to keep being mad at Harry?

Sorry, haven't read Goblet of Fire in years and the question popped into my head 😅

  • 35
    Because they're friends and real friends don't stay mad at each other for long.
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 6, 2023 at 9:42
  • 2
    Are you talking about the end of the first task, where Ron suddenly proclaims that he believes Harry?
    – RalfFriedl
    Commented Sep 6, 2023 at 10:47
  • 2
    The "realtalk" answer would be that he also had no good reason to be mad in the first place, but the author wanted that strained friendship dynamic, so she started it and ended it when it was convenient for her narrative purposes.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Sep 6, 2023 at 21:48

4 Answers 4


Michael's answer is good, but I think it leaves out one detail:

The trigger for Ron's initial anger was his belief that Harry had tricked his way into getting his name into the Goblet of Fire. He wasn't even really very offended that Harry had cheated; it was more a matter of feeling excluded because Harry launched into one of their "adventures" without including Ron in it. His anger escalated from there because he thought Harry repeatedly lied to him about it when he denied having put his name into the Goblet.

After the horntail competition, Ron comes to believe that someone is, in fact, trying to kill Harry, and that person put Harry's name into the Goblet. So Harry hadn't excluded Ron from anything, and had never lied.

  • 3
    How would seeing him battle the Dragon make Ron do a 180 about thinking Harry put his name in the Goblet?
    – S-Mania
    Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 1:46
  • 17
    Because until that moment he probably thought that the trials would fall more in line with their past shenanigans (which until that point were mostly not life-threatening), so he essentially thought Harry was going for fun and glory without him. However, actually seeing a giant bloodthirsty firebreathing lizard chase his best buddy around and maim him probably made him realise that nobody, not even Harry, would find something like that "fun". It probably also brought him back to the reality of the impossibility of fraudulently entering the competition, something he learned from watching Fred Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 2:30
  • 3
    and George's attempt, but ignored due to jealousy Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 2:30
  • 2
    @H.sapiensrex: On top of that, from a certain point of view - thinking that Harry went to the effort of bypassing the Goblet for fun and glory is more likely than someone wanting to essentially force Harry into a fight against essentially a More Dangerous Basilisk - which was one of the few dangers in their past shenanigans that did nearly kill Harry. And...that was task one - of three. Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 20:10
  • 1
    @S-Mania your main misconception is to think that Ron changed his mind after seeing how Harry performed against the horntail whereas he most likely changed his mind after seeing the horntail, before Harry performed. He was so shocked, Harry’s good performance had no impact on it, then the first opportunity to talk with each other was after the competition but the point of saying “I changed my mind” is not necessarily the point of time where the change happened.
    – Holger
    Commented Sep 8, 2023 at 7:37

Ron probably didn't really believe the reports, or at least not for long. He was a stubborn teenager however, with the 'emotional range of a teaspoon' as Hermione put it in Order of the Phoenix. Admitting that he was wrong and apologising was a bit of a psychological barrier.

In the first task, Harry did well but was clearly in mortal peril (again). Ron's underlying care for his friend came to the fore and outweighed his stubbornness, and the dramatic nature of the task also gave him a way in to acknowledging that Harry probably wouldn't have chosen to take those risks.


This is explained in Chapter Twenty of Goblet of Fire:

But Harry was looking at Ron, who was very white and staring at Harry as though he were a ghost.

“Harry,” he said, very seriously, “whoever put your name in that goblet — I — I reckon they’re trying to do you in!"

It was as though the last few weeks had never happened — as though Harry were meeting Ron for the first time, right after he’d been made champion.

“Caught on, have you?” said Harry coldly. “Took you long enough.”

Hermione stood nervously between them, looking from one to the other. Ron opened his mouth uncertainly. Harry knew Ron was about to apologize and suddenly he found he didn’t need to hear it.

“It’s okay,” he said, before Ron could get the words out. “Forget it."

“No,” said Ron, “I shouldn’t’ve —"

“Forget it,” Harry said. Ron grinned nervously at him, and Harry grinned back.

  • 1
    It doesn't explain why Ron wanted to apologize to him, just that Harry didn't care anymore to hear it. But wouldn't him seeing Harry succeed against the horntail make him think the rumours in the papers were right and he loves the attention and wanted to intentionally exclude Ron from the glory/adventure (which obviously wasn't true anyway, but was in Ron's head)?
    – S-Mania
    Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 6:27
  • 4
    @S-Mania Ron being "very white" and looking at Harry "as though he were a ghost" indicate that Ron was (very) afraid for Harry, despite his success.
    – Grooke
    Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 10:36
  • @S-Mania This quote is the real answer here. Previously, Ron thought that Harry had entered his own name, as he saw the Triwizard contest as more about fame and glory than danger. After seeing the first task (where Harry and the other contestants came close to mortal injury, despite their eventual success), Ron realised that being a Triwizard contestant was extremely dangerous, and Harry wouldn't have been stupid/suicidal enough to volunteer for it himself. This is, IIRC, the first time Ron acknowledges that there was a "whoever put your name in that goblet", rather than Harry himself.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Sep 8, 2023 at 12:46

The "realtalk" answer would be that he also had no good reason to be mad in the first place, but the author wanted that strained friendship dynamic, so she started it and ended it when it was convenient for her narrative purposes. If the reasons don't make much sense, that's probably her fault.

However, its a fact that real people do sometimes behave unreasonably like this. So let's instead say she was trying to portray that.

Having been in a relationship with real live anger-prone people before, if this was a real person, I'd say he was ticked about something else he didn't want to admit to (perhaps Harry getting treated special yet again, or even his brothers picking on him, or just having a real bad day), and just displaced that anger onto the nearest person with the best excuse he thought he had to be mad at the time. That way he can play like his otherwise irrational anger isn't his problem that he has to deal with, but rather the fault of the other person.

The excuse was always bogus, and even he knew it, so he'll "forgive" the other person and drop it the first reasonable chance he has to, once he cools off. Whatever that excuse at the end was isn't really important, and likely the excuse at the beginning wasn't either.

  • 1
    My son used to be like this. He would get upset about something, and then once you learn how his mind works, you could see the point at which he was no longer really angry; but he would still act angry until given any excuse, no matter how minor, to stop being angry.
    – Trevortni
    Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 22:33

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