Every powerful wizard needs an arsenal of powerful spells. With well over 100 spells in J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” universe, we decided to break down the basics before “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” introduces a whole new offering of spells for you to study up on.
Harry and friends’ progression through their seven years at Hogwarts introduces them to a series of spells both helpful and destructive. From early classes where they learned first level spells in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” to Harry teaching Dumbledore’s Army a series of advanced spells in “Order of the Phoenix,” the amount of magic flying around in the films can get confusing.
Below is a list of the most popular spells used in the books and movies, along with a brief description and -– if you really want help identifying them –- the film where the spell is first seen being used.
Accio: Summons an object to the user. (“Goblet of Fire”)
Lumos/Nox: Creates light at the tip of a wand/makes the light disappear. (“Chamber of Secrets”)
Reparo: Fixes an object. (“Sorcerer’s Stone”)
Expelliarmus: Knocks the wand out of an opponent’s hand. (“Order of the Phoenix”)
Stupefy: Temporarily stuns and knocks out an opponent. (“Order of the Phoenix”)
Expecto patronum: Summons the user’s Patronus, which can be used for a variety of purposes like defending against Dementors or sending messages to other wizards. (“Prisoner of Azkaban”)
Apparation/Disapparation: Allows the user to teleport. Only wizards only the age of 17 can use this. (“Order of the Phoenix”)
Levicorpus: Makes a person hover in midair. Invented by the Half-Blood Prince. Used by James Potter against Snape in Snape’s worst memory. (“Order of the Phoenix”)
Sectumsempra: Has the effect of an invisible sword; inflicting relentless injuries and causing severe scarring and potential death. Invented by the Half-Blood Prince. (“Half-Blood Prince”)
Unbreakable vow: A magical oath between two wizards, supervised by a “Bonder.” Defying an unbreakable vow causes instant death. (“Half-Blood Prince”)
Crucio: The torture curse. Bellatrix Lestrange and other Death Eaters tortured Neville Longbottom’s parents with the Crucio curse to the point of permanent insanity during Voldemort’s first rise to power, meaning that – before Voldemort attacked the Potters – Neville could have been the prophecy’s “Chosen One” instead of Harry. (“Goblet of Fire”)
Imperio: Allows the user to take control of another being. Voldemort used this during his past and present rises to power which allowed him to infiltrate the Ministry of Magic and other wizarding institutions. (“Goblet of Fire”)
Avada Kavadra: The killing curse. Avada Kadavra is the most horrible of the unforgiveable curses because it causes instant death. Only one person is known to have survived it, which is why Harry Potter is known in the wizarding world as “The Boy Who Lived.” (“Goblet of Fire”)
What is your favorite spell from the “Harry Potter” universe?