"Harry Potter" Spells: The Complete List
From the original book series to the movie franchise and the spin-off video games, the world of Harry Potter has captured the minds of millions of fans across the globe. Indeed, Harry Potter has been imprinted into our modern-day culture, with many of the magical spells and charms used in the book now known around the world. Finding someone under the age of thirty who doesn't know what Expelliarmus or Expecto Patronum means is a real challenge.
While some of the most dedicated 'Potterheads' can rattle off 50 spells, along with the required wand movement and during which books they were first introduced, for others remembering the spells is harder. This article lists every spell ever mentioned in the Harry Potter series and what they do, with the exception of a few that are exclusive to the video games and app (do those really count?).
Whether you're a seasoned Potterhead looking to test your knowledge or a newbie trying to cram as many spells into your memory as possible, this list has the answers for you.
The Most Recognisable Spells and Charms
This section lists some of the most used, most well-known and most popular spells used in the Harry Potter franchise:
- Accio: Also known as the summoning charm, Accio summons any object to the user within a certain distance. In the Goblet of Fire Harry uses Accio to summon his broomstick during the first Triwizard Challenge.
- Alohomora: Also known as the unlocking charm, Alohomora enables its user to open any lock. The charm is first used in the Philosopher's Stone and after this regularly makes an appearance in the later books.
- Expecto Patronum: Also known as the Patronus charm, Expecto Patronum conjures a Patronus; an animal-shaped mass of energy that repels dementors. Harry first learns the Patronus charm during the Prisoner of Azkaban, which is considered impressive given his young age and the difficulty of the charm.
- Expelliarmus: Also known as the disarming charm, Expelliarmus is arguably the most recognisable of any Harry Potter spell. The spell, which causes the victim's wand to fly out of their hand, becomes almost a trademark for Harry and is the charm that he uses to kill Voldemort.
- Horcrux Curse: The incantation is never specified, but it's known that the Horcrux Curse splits the user's soul and allows them to trap a piece in an object. This allows them to live even if their mortal body is destroyed, effectively rendering them immortal unless the Horcruxes are destroyed. Voldemort's immortality is due to his use of the Horcrux Curse to make seven Horcruxes.
- Lumos: Lights the tip of the user's wand.
- Petrificus Totalus: Also known as the full-body-bind spell, Petrificus Totalus renders its victim totally paralysed. Hermione Granger uses this spell on Neville Longbottom during the Philosopher's Stone.
- Protego: Casts a magical forcefield around the user, repelling spells cast at it. Protego is one of the most commonly used defensive spells.
- Stupefy: Stuns an opponent, rendering them unconscious. This is one of the most popular duelling spells and is used frequently throughout the series. In the Half-Blood Prince, Professor McGonagall is hit by four stunners and must recover in St. Mungos Hospital.
- Wingardium Leviosa: Causes an object to fly. This is one of the first spell taught to the first-year students at Hogwarts. In the words of Hermione Granger; "It's leviOsa, not levioSA."
The Unforgivable Curses
The Unforgivable Curses are a trifecta of spells that are outlawed in the wizarding world due to their dangerous, gruesome nature. They are as follows:
- The Cruciatus Curse (Crucio): Puts the victim in immeasurable pain. This is the spell that was used by Voldemort's followers to torture Frank and Alice Longbottom to insanity.
- The Imperius Curse (Imperio): Puts a person under another's control. Voldemort's followers used this curse to turn witches and wizards to their side.
- The Killing Curse (Avada Kedavra): As the name suggests, this spell kills its victim immediately and irreversibly. Only one person is known to ever have survived the killing curse; Harry Potter.
These spells are designed to be used in Wizarding duels and fights. Some are offensive in nature, while others are defensive.
- Confringo: Causes fireballs to shoot from the user's wand.
- Confundo: Causes confusion and disorientation. In the Order of the Phoenix, Hermione uses this spell on Quidditch hopeful Cormac McLaggen to ensure that Ron beats him in the Quidditch tryouts.
- Densaugeo: Causes the victim's teeth to enlarge dramatically. Draco Malfoy uses this spell of Hermione, causing her great distress.
- Depulso: Pushes an object away with a powerful blast.
- Diffindo: Slices through objects such as rope.
- Duro: Turns objects or people into stone.
- Expulso: Makes an object violently explode.
- Fiendfyre: The incantation for this curse isn't known, but the effect certainly is. Fiendfyre is cursed wildlife that east through anything it touches. The flames take the form of wild animals, such as serpents and dragons, which have a solid form and are able to target specific objects or people. In the Deathly Hallows, Crabbe unleashes Fiendfyre in the Room of Requirement, killing himself and almost Harry, Ron, Hermione, Draco, and Goyle along with him.
- Finite: A general-counter spell that can reverse some minor damage.
- Furnunculus: Causes painful boils to appear on the victim's skin.
- Immobulus: Freezes an object or person.
- Impedimenta: Slows an advancing object for a brief amount of time.
- Incarcerous: Binds the victim head-to-foot in thick ropes.
- Jelly-Legs Jinx: Causes the victim's legs to wobble like jelly, preventing them from walking.
- Levicorpus: Dangles the victim in their air by their foot. This jinx was invented by Severus Snape and was subsequently used against him by James Potter, as shown in a flashback during the Half-Blood Prince.
- Liberacorpus: The counter-jinx to Levicorpus; returns the victim to the ground.
- Locomotor Mortis: Paralyses an opponent's legs. Locomotor Mortis is the weaker version of Petrificus Totalus, the full-body-bind curse.
- Oppugno: When used in conjunction with Avis, this causes the victim to be attacked by a flock of birds. It's used by Hermione Granger during the Order of the Phoenix to attack Ron Weasely.
- Piertotum Locomotor: Animates suits of armour and statues, causing them to fight for the caster. This spell is used by Professor McGonagall during the battle for Hogwarts.
- Protego Horribilis: A variation of Protego that protects against dark magic. This spell is cast by the Hogwarts teachers during the battle for Hogwarts.
- Protego Maxima: Another variation of Protego that protects even more strongly against dark magic. This spell is cast by the Hogwarts teachers during the battle for Hogwarts.
- Protego Totalum: Another variation of Protego that shields a particular area rather than a person.
- Reducto: Blasts solid objects to the side. In the Order of the Phoenix, it's revealed that Ginny Weasley can cast Reducto so powerfully that it disintegrates objects.
- Rictusempra: Also known as the tickling charm, Rictusempra causes the victim to buckle over laughing. Harry Potter uses this charm on Draco Malfoy during their duel in the Chamber of Secrets.
- Ridikkulus: Banishes boggarts; magical creatures that take the appearance of whatever the viewer is the most afraid of.
- Salvio Hexia: Repels hexes.
- Sectumsempra: Slashes the victim. This spell was invented by Severus Snape and used by Harry Potter on Draco Malfoy during the Half-Blood Prince.
- Serpensortia: Conjures a snake that attacks the victim. Draco Malfoy uses this spell on Harry Potter during their duel in the Chamber of Secrets.
- Slugulus Eructo: Also known as the slug-vomiting curse, Slugulus Eructo causes the victim to uncontrollably vomit slugs. Ron Weasely attempts to use this curse on Draco Malfoy during the Chamber of Secrets but ends up accidentally cursing himself due to his broken wand.
- Stinging Jinx: Causes the victim to swell up to the point of being unrecognisable. In the Deathly Hallows, Hermione Granger uses this jinx on Harry to disguise his identity from the Death Eaters.
- Tarantallegra: Causes the victim's legs to dance uncontrollably.
- Waddiwasi: Unsticks objects. In the Prisoner of Azkaban, Remus Lupin uses this spell to unstick chewing gum from a lock.
This is a list of spells that don't quite fit into any other category, but are fantastic all the same:
- Aguamenti: Conjures a stream of water from the user's wand.
- Anapneo: Un-chokes a person, allowing them to breathe again by removing whatever's obstructing their airway.
- Arresto Momentum: Presumably slows or stops a person's fall. In the Prisoner of Azkaban film, Dumbledore uses this spell to stop Harry from falling to his death after he passes out on his broom.
- Ascendio: Moves an object upwards.
- Avis: Conjures a flock of small birds.
- Bombarda: Causes a violent explosion.
- Bubble-Head Charm: Creates a bubble of air around the user's head, allowing them to breathe underwater. It was used by Cedric and Fleur during the second Triwizard challenge to enable them to swim t the bottom of the Great Lake.
- Caterwauling Charm: Imposes a magical curfew on a restricted area; if anyone breaks the charm by emerging from their house, apparating or disapparating it sets off a loud wailing. In the Deathly Hallows Harry, Ron, and Hermione trigger a Caterwauling Charm when they apparate into Hogsmeade.
- Collorportus: Used to lock doors. In the Order of the Phoenix Hermione uses the charm in an attempt to lock out the Death Eaters that chase them through the Ministry of Magic.
- Cushioning Charm: Cushions a fall.
- Deletrius: The counter charm to Priori Incantatum, Deletrius disperses the smoke that represents the user's last spell.
- Deprimo: Blasts a hole in the floor of wherever the user is standing. In the Deathly Hallows, Hermione uses this charm to escape the Lovegood's house.
- Descendo: Moves an object downwards.
- Disillusionment Charm: The disillusionment charm renders the user invisible by camouflaging them into their surroundings perfectly. In Order of the Phoenix Alistair Moody casts this charm on Harry to make him invisible.
- Dissendium: Opens a specific secret passageway in Hogwarts, which is designed in the hump of a statue.
- Engorgio: Causes an object or person to swell to a greater size.
- Episkey: Episkey allows the user to heal bones.
- Erecto: Erects a tent automatically.
- Evanesco: Makes things vanish.
- Ferula: Conjures bandages and binds them around an injury. In the Prisoner of Azkaban, this spell is used to bandage Ron Weasley's broken leg.
- Fidelius Charm: A complex charm that involves hiding a secret inside someone. The secret is kept unless the subject willingly reveals it. Peter Pettigrew's betrayal of James and Lilly Potter centred around this charm.
- Flagrate: Burns writing or shapes onto objects. In the Order of the Phoenix Hermione Granger uses this charm to mark doors.
- Flying Charm: The Flying Charm is what allows broomsticks to levitate.
- Gemino: Casting Gemino on an object causes it to multiply rapidly. In the Deathly Hallows Harry, Ron, and Hermione are almost crushed to death by rapidly multiplying treasure in Bellatrix Lestrange's Gringotts vault.
- Glisseo: Causes stairs to flatten, turning them into a slide or chute.
- Homenum Revelio: Alerts the user to nearby human presence.
- Hot Air Charm: Shoots a jet of hot air from the caster's wand.
- Hover Charm: Causes an object to hover. In the Chamber of Secrets Harry is almost expelled from Hogwarts when he is mistakenly thought to have cast this charm in the presence of his Aunt and Uncle.
- Hurling Hex: Hurls a flier from their broom. In the Philosopher's Stone, Professor Quirrell likely casts this spell to try and unseat Harry from his broom during his first Quidditch match,
- Impervius: Creates a kind of forcefield around objects upon which it is cast. For example, Hermione casts Impervius on Harry's glasses to make them repel rain.
- Incendio: Conjures fire from the user's wand.
- Intruder Charm: Alerts the user to when an intruder has entered a house or a specific location.
- Langlock: Glues the user's tongue to the roof of their mouth. This spell was invented by Severus Snape during his days at Hogwarts
- Legilimens: Allows the user to see into another's mind, provided that they're not adept at Occlumency (protecting their mind from invasion).
- Locomotor: Moves objects.
- Lumos Maxima: Throws a ball of light from the user's lit wand.
- Meteolojinx Recanto: Reverses weather-related spells. In the Deathly Hallows, Hermione recommends that Ron try this spell to stop a Ministry employee's office from raining.
- Mimblewimble: Tongue ties its victim, causing them to be unable to say a certain thing.
- Mobiliarbus: Similar to locomotor in that it moves objects.
- Mobilicorpus: Moves a person or body.
- Morsmorde: Conjures the Dark Mark; the symbol of Voldemort and his followers.
- Muffliato: Fills the air around the user with a buzzing noise, preventing anyone from eavesdropping.
- Nox: The counter-charm to Lumos; extinguishes the user's lit wand.
How many Harry Potter spells do you know?
- Obliviate: Wipes the victim's memory. In the Chamber of Secrets Gilderoy Lockhart loses his memory after this charm backfires on him.
- Obscuro: Conjures a blindfold that obscures the recipient's vision.
- Orchideous: Summons a bunch of orchids to the user's wand-tip.
- Periculum: Conjures red sparks from the tip of the owner's wand.
- Permanent Sticking Charm: Sticks posters, paintings and other items to walls for an indefinite amount of time. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows it's revealed that Sirius Black stuck posters to his bedroom wall with a permanent sticking charm, to avoid his mother taking them down.
- Point Me: Makes the user's wand spin in their hand to point north. In the Goblet of Fire Harry uses this spell in the last triwizard challenge to help navigate the maze.
- Portus: Turns an item into a Portkey; a magically enchanted object that teleports the user from one place to another.
- Priori Incantatem: Reveals the last spell that a wand cast.
- Quietus: The counter-charm to Sonorous; causes the caster's voice to quieten after being magically amplified.
- Reducio: The counter-charm to Engorigo; reduces an object's size.
- Relashio: Forces something gripping the user to release. In the Goblet of Fire Harry uses this spell to force Grindylows in the Great Lake to release his feet.
- Rennervate: Causes a person to return to consciousness after being stunned or otherwise knocked out.
- Reparo: Repairs a broken item. In the Philosopher's Stone, Hermione fixes Harry's glasses on the Hogwarts Express using Reparo, making it one of the first spells to be identified and used in the series.
- Repello Muggletum: Repells muggles from a specific location. This is used by Harry, Ron, and Hermione when camping in the muggle world during the Deathly Hallows. Presumably, it's also the spell that was cast on Hogwarts to deter muggles from finding its location.
- Revelio: Reveals hidden objects, messages, or writing.
- Scourgify: Cleans an item. In the Order of the Phoenix, Tonks uses this spell to clean Hedwig's cage.
- Silencio: Renders an animal or person unable to make a sound.
- Sonorous: Amplifies the user's voice. In the Goblet of Fire, Ludo Bagman uses this spell while commentating on the Quidditch World Cup.
- Teleportation Spell: Teleports items from one place to another. Although it's never revealed what the incantation is, this spell is used by Dumbledore to transport Harry's trunk and owl to the Burrow.
- Tergeo: Cleans items.
- Trip Jinx: Causes the victim to trip.
- Unbreakable Vow: Kills the participant or participants if they break a promise. In the Half-Blood Prince, Severus Snape swears an Unbreakable Vow to assist Draco Malfoy in killing Dumbledore.
- Undetectable Extension Charm: Causes an object to expand on the inside while remaining the same size on the outside. Arthur Weasley performs this charm on his car in order to fit his entire family in it as they drive to Kings Cross station.
- Vulnera Sanentur: Returns a person's blood to their body after it's spilled. This is used by Severus Snape to heal Draco Malfoy after Harry attacks him in the Half-Blood Prince.
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And there we have it; a complete list of the spells used in the Harry Potter book series and movie franchise. Which of these spells would you like to perform the most? Which are you glad doesn't exist? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Questions & Answers
Which spell in the Harry Potter universe results in a white stag?
You're thinking of the Patronus Charm (expecto patronum), which conjures a kind of spirit animal that repels dementors. Harry's Patronus is a stag, but every witch/wizard has a different one. For example, Hermione's is an otter and Ron's is a dog. If you want to find out what your Patronus is, Pottermore.com has a simple quiz you can take!Helpful 27
Which spell in Harry Potter reverses Langlock?
The counter-jinx to Langock is never mentioned in the books. The spell was created by Severus Snape, who is shown to create counter-spells to other things (for example, Levicorpus and Liberacorpus) so we can assume that there is a counter to Langlock, but it's never stated what it actually is.Helpful 8
Are new spells still being added to this list of Harry Potter spells?
While the book series is finished, the Harry Potter franchise is still going strong. The final Fantastic Beasts movie is being released in 2021 and may contain some exciting new spells and magic. The Hogwarts Mystery app also includes many spells, charms, and potions that aren't mentioned in the original book series. So yes, new spells are still being created and added.Helpful 8
Does expecto patronum only repel dementors?
As far as the book series explains, Expecto Patronum's only function is to repel dementors. Patronuses have no effect on people, aside from making them feel warmer in the presence of dementors.Helpful 7