Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

How Harry Potter's Yule Ball Is More Sinister Than You Thought

One of Harry Potter's most glamorous scenes is way more sinister than you originally thought.

In the fourth book and film of the pop culture sensation, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and his classmates at Britain's Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry are caught off guard when their school hosts the international Triwizard Tournament, inviting students from other wizarding schools throughout Europe to join them. After Harry is inexplicably chosen as a second champion for Hogwarts alongside handsome Hufflepuff Cedric Diggory (Robert Pattinson), brooding Quidditch star Viktor Krum (Stanislav Ianevski) from Durmstrang, and beautiful young witch Fleur Delacour (Clémence Poésy) from Beauxbatons, the champions are told they must conquer three death-defying challenges. However, for Harry, the Yule Ball, for which he needs a date, might be the toughest challenge of all.

Ultimately, Harry and his best friend Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) conquer their teenage fears and find dates, and the ball seems to go smoothly, even when Ron picks a fight with their other best friend, Hermione Granger (Emma Watson), when she attends with Krum. However, if you really think about the intention behind the Yule Ball, there's some unsettling implications there. Here's why the Yule Ball in Harry Potter has a much darker meaning than you originally thought.

The Yule Ball is a way to investigate the Triwizard champions — and their relationships

When the Yule Ball arrives, Harry ultimately brings one of his Gryffindor classmates, Parvati Patil (Shefali Chowdhury), and Krum, harboring a huge, silent crush on Hermione, works up the courage to ask her as his date. Meanwhile, Cedric brings Harry's crush, Cho Chang (Katie Leung), and Fleur goes with a Hogwarts student named Roger Davies (Henry Lloyd-Hughes).

After the ball is over, the champions are given a little time to relax before the second task in February. Just before the task, Harry discovers that he'll need to travel into the deep recesses of Hogwarts' expansive lake, and not only that, he'll have to rescue that which he'll miss most; Ron, his best friend, who is held "captive" by the lake's merpeople. When he finds the hostages underwater, he realizes that Hermione, Cho, and Fleur's younger sister Gabrielle are asleep alongside Ron, meaning that for Krum and Cedric, Hermione and Cho are what they'd miss most.

Clearly, the organizers of the tournament watched students closely at the Yule Ball and realized that, rather than spend time with his date, Harry stuck with Ron, and that both Krum and Cedric were quite enamored of their dates. Apparently, Fleur didn't take much of a liking to Roger, and her beloved sister took what could have been his place.

The Yule Ball, as it turns out, was no simple party, but a way for the Triwizard organizers to study the Champions' interpersonal relationships — and figure out a way to structure the tournament's daunting second task.

All of the Harry Potter movies, including Goblet of Fire, are available to rent or buy on major streaming platforms.