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Even though Harry and Ron told Aragog that they were friends of Hagrids, why did Aragog still try to kill them?

‘Kill them,’ clicked Aragog fretfully. ‘I was sleeping …’

‘We’re friends of Hagrid’s,’ Harry shouted. His heart seemed to have left his chest to pound in his throat.

later

‘My sons and daughters do not harm Hagrid, on my command. But I cannot deny them fresh meat, when it wanders so willingly into our midst. Goodbye, friend of Hagrid.’

HP and the Chamber of Secrets

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  • 8
    If you look carefully, Facebook makes a VERY clear distinction as far as privacy settings between "Friends" and "Friends of Friends". Commented Jun 22, 2014 at 18:37
  • 3
    'Friend' is not a transitive property Commented Jun 22, 2014 at 18:38
  • not sure how the last quote from the book doesn't self-answer the question :\
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Dec 15, 2023 at 22:26

5 Answers 5

10

Aragog didn't try to kill them, it was his children.

Aragog: I never saw any part of the castle but the box in which Hagrid kept me. The girl was discovered in a bathroom. When I was accused, Hagrid brought me here.

Ron: Harry!

Harry: What? [Ron points at the spiders surrounding them]

Harry: Well... thank you. We'll just go.

Aragog: Go? I think not. My sons and daughters do not harm Hagrid on my command, but I cannot deny them fresh meat when it wanders so willingly into our midst. Goodbye, friend of Hagrid.

11

As JohnP points out, Aragog's children and not Aragog attack Harry. Aragog could however have stopped them, as he did for Hagrid, but chooses not to. As to why this might be, Aragog explains most of it in your second quote. The spider owes a debt to Hagrid for saving him when he was falsely accused of the murder committed by the basilisk. He does not, however, appear to have any particular fondness for humans.

The spiders attempt to eat Harry and Ron because they are humans and therefore they are prey in the spiders' eyes. As Aragog indicates, Harry and Ron's friendship with Hagrid is not sufficient to award them any special status in Aragog's eyes.

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    Self-preservation: I personally have murdered hundreds of spiders. It's rare the eight-legged b******s have the upper hand -- they cannot miss the opportunity to rid the world of a couple of predators :)
    – Mac Cooper
    Commented Jun 22, 2014 at 20:05
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Even though Harry and Ron told Aragog that they were friends of Hagrids

Actually Hagrid was a person who always had a soft corner for animals (That includes monsters kind of animals too).

Hagrid had an ability to control them as well as to cure them.

Harry and Ron were different for Aragog.

In fact , Any other person was a food for Aragog's family.

I can just say that :

Hagrid was a friend of Aragog.But his (Hagrid's) friends were not.

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Perhaps Aragog was just humoring them? All he had to go on was Harry's extremely iffy proclamation of, "We're...friends of Hagrid.". He didn't sound very confident, nor was he very convincing. He had no evidence to back up his claim of being associated with Hagrid, and indeed, he probably had tons of students try the old 'friends of a friend' trick to get out of being eaten.

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  • He said that they'd not attacked a human before.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jun 22, 2014 at 10:24
-2

he took offense at being called a monster and the accusation of murdering myrtle when asked. aside from the nature of IRL spiders, these guys are by all intents, sentient magic spiders, capable of showing empathy, and fluently communicating with humans. if aragog's children are in hogwarts, surely he knows about and who, harry and ron are. it would seem out of character for a friend of hagrid to willingly allow the murder of innocent human child who kept the world ending, surely-lesser-creature-enslaving big baddie from coming back. i think it was just bad writing

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    Hi, welcome to SF&F. Can you cite any evidence for this theory? You have a lot of points here that could really use some support (e.g. "capable of showing empathy," "surely he knows about..."); as it is this reads like fanon rather than an argument based on canon knowledge.
    – DavidW
    Commented Dec 15, 2023 at 19:40
  • The proof is right there in the scene. He definitely seemed offended at the accusation of murder. If Aragog is capable of befriending a human, that can extend to anyone else. These spiders ARE INSIDE hogwarts, how else did Ron and Harry follow them to the lair? If they can communicate with Aragog in order to obey his commands, they probably keep abreast of what goes on there as well. I feel like JKR didn't think the scene or her own lore out well enough. There was no reason to have the spiderlings attack Ron or Harry, but she went with it anyway.
    – darkstar
    Commented Dec 22, 2023 at 14:46

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