15 Best Harry Potter Spells – A Journey Down Memory Lane
The wizarding world of Harry Potter consist of numerous spells, and each one of them is unique in their own way. The Harry Potter series is popular among all age groups, with all it’s movies breaking box office records worldwide. For me, one of the most interesting things about the series was its wide variety of spells and their use. Surely, everyone must have one or two favorite spells that they think are the coolest or most useful. The Harry Potter series includes as many as 77 spells, and among them, I have compiled a list of spells that I think are the best. Here’s a list of the 15 best Harry Potter spells for fans to reminisce about the movies.
This spell is also called Boggart-Banishing Spell and is used to defeat a Boggart. A Boggart is an “amortal” being that was never alive, to begin with, so this entity is unable to die. It’s not immortal because boggart is not exactly a living being. A suitable term for this entity would be “non-being.” Boggarts are shape-shifting non-beings that takes the form of a person’s worst fear when they look at it. Because of their shape-shifting tendency, no one actually knows what a boggart truly looks like.
Riddikulus is a charm with a hint of humor. It causes the Boggart to transform into a funny version of their fear. Hogwarts teaches this spell to reduce someone’s fear by making them see the things they are most afraid of in a funny form. This spell will cause the Boggart to vanish shortly after someone forces them to transform.
At first, Riddikulus seem like a simple charm, but it’s a lot more complicated than that. For a wizard or a witch to use this, they must acknowledge their fear and then visualize it into something humorous. Professor Remus Lupin taught this spell during a Defence Against the Dark Arts class when Harry was in his third year in The Prisoner of Azkaban movie. During the class, Neville Longbottom created a funny version of Professor Snape since the former feared him the most. Harry also used this spell against a Boggart in the Triwizard Maze in The Goblet of Fire movie.
The Memory Charm or the Forgetfulness Charm allows the user to erase someone’s specific memories. This charm should not be confused with the False Memory Charm as those two are completely different. Obliviate is a pretty convenient spell for wizards as the Ministry of Magic has to use it on several occasions, mostly on Muggles. The Ministry has a whole team of Obliviators who are the best Memory Charm users, and it is their job to keep the wizarding world a secret from the muggles.
The word Obliviate is somewhat similar to the Latin word “oblivisci,” and the word “oblivion”. Both of them relate to “forgetting” or “to forget.” Careless use of this spell can lead to serious consequences, as it was shown in The Chamber of Secrets movie. In the movie, Gilderoy Lockhart tried to use this spell on Harry and Ron. However, he ended up using Ron’s broken wand, and the spell was cast on himself. He lost almost all his memories due to that.
In the Deathly Hallows Part One, Hermione used this charm on her parents to make them forget they ever had a daughter. Hermione’s parents were muggles, and with the threat of Voldemort lurking around every wizard and their families, Hermione decides to protect them by using this charm.
13. Wingardium Leviosa:
‘It’s Wing-gar-dium Levi-o-sa, make the “gar” nice and long.’- Hermione Granger.
It’s one of the most memorable dialogues in the movie where Hermione gets frustrated with Ron not being able to use the spell at all. She tries to teach him, but Ron ends up making fun of her with Harry. This made Hermione cry in the girl’s bathroom, but then Ron ends up saving her from a troll using this spell.
The Levitation Charm is one of the spells that Hogwarts teach to the first years. This charm allows the user to levitate any object they desire. The wizards or witches can levitate as well as move the objects in the air with the correct hand movements. This spell can be used in battles. However, it only works on objects and not living beings. So the wizard can use the spell on their clothes and make their opponents levitate. Though the charm is not strong enough to lift someone very high in the air, it is still very useful.
The Wand-Lighting Charm is one of the most basic charms that every wizard or witch should know. The user can illuminate the tip of their wand as use it to see in the dark. This charm seems simple at first, but it requires a lot of concentration. If there’s any mistake while casting this spell, the wand could be damaged permanently.
This light is also useful for discovering magically hidden architecture like doorways. Even if the caster is not holding the wand, they can illuminate it from a certain distance as long as the wand belongs to them. This charm is one of the most commonly used charms by the characters of the Harry Potter movie series. From lighting up the trail of spiders in the forbidden forest to using it to find Horcruxes, this spell helped Harry countless times in the movie.
The Summoning Charm allows a user to summon an object towards them. The path of the object follows a straight line, and the caster can summon any object from a distance as long as they have a clear thought in mind of what they want. Another condition is that the caster must be very specific about that object’s location to summon it. This spell is only limited to objects and not living beings. The word “Accio” comes from a Latin word that means “I summon.”
One of the most memorable moments of this spell was when Harry Potter used it in The Goblet of Fire movie. He summons his magic broom in the first task, where he had to snatch a golden egg from a dragon. According to the rules, the participants must not bring a broom or any object that will help them fly. However, no rules restricted the use of certain spells. So, Harry used this spell to summon his broom and get away from the dragon.
10. Petrificus Totalus:
Full Body-Bind Curse or Body Freezing Spell is a curse that allows the castor to temporarily petrify/paralyze their targets. It’s a convenient spell that young and inexperienced wizards and witches use to gain the upper hand in dueling. The targets can see, hear, and think properly under the curse.
In the first part of the series, The Sorcerer’s Stone, Hermione puts Neville under this curse when he tries to stop her, Ron, and Harry from breaking the dorm’s rules. You might remember the scene where Neville is against the trio and Hermione petrifies him, then; as a result, he falls on the ground, and the trio could leave the dorm easily. One time, Draco Malfoy petrifies Harry in the Hogwarts Express in The Half-Blood Prince. This spell is used multiple times in the series.
The Unlocking Charm allows the castor to unlock doors and windows. Another name for this spell is The Thief’s Friend. However, there is a spell Anti-Alohomora Charm that can directly counterattack it. When a user cast the counterattack on a door or window, incanting Alohomora would be ineffective. So, they must find out a way to cancel the counterattack or another spell that they can use for entering.
This charm is used to directly reverse the locking spell, Colloportus. The words “Alohomora” can be broken into two parts as “aloho” and “mora.” Aloha means hello or goodbye in Hawaiian, and mora means obstacle in Latin. Hermione first used this charm in The Sorcerer’s Stone to unlock a door on the forbidden third-floor corridor of Hogwarts Castle. She also used this spell to rescue Sirius Black.
The Stunning Spell or the Stupefying Charm allows the user to stun their target for a brief period of time. This is an exceptionally useful charm that can quickly decide the result of a battle. In case of a duel, when both parties are ready to use the charm, the faster one will be the victor. This can be used multiple times in a row to increase the effect and guarantee their victory.
Reviving Spell is a counterattack charm for this spell as the user can use the incantation “Rennervate” to deflect the Stupefying Charm. Reviving Charm is sort of like a Shield Charm that can be used for a very brief amount of time.
In The Order of the Phoenix, Hermione used this charm against Ron and instantly defeated him. This charm is most effective against trolls and other monsters because they don’t have a way to counterattack it.
This is one of the most advanced spells in the Harry Potter series that only well-trained wizards or witches can use. Apparition allows the user to transport anywhere they want in an instant. The user can use this spell by thinking of a certain place where they want to go and then purposefully disappearing from their current location. Some magical creatures like House-elves and Diricawls can use this Magical Transportation Technique as well.
Because this is an advanced spell that not many wizards or witches are capable of using, the most transportation methods in the wizarding world were magic brooms, floor powder, and portkeys. Dumbledore even told Harry that most people vomit after they get apparated. This spell doesn’t require any incantation. Harry Potter once stated that apparition felt like being “forced through a very tight rubber tube” when he and Dumbledore apparated together.
Apparition has a range limit, and it is advisable that only the most skilled wizards should use this as it can lead to severe injury or possible deaths to the castor. Harry Potter is a particularly skilled user of this spell and has used it several times in the series.
It is a very brutal curse that Professor Severus Snape invented during his time as a student in Hogwarts. He wanted to use it as a defensive technique against his bullies, and overtime, it became his specialty. By making the slashing hand movement and incanting the spell, a white light will emerge from the wand that hits the target, cut a very deep wound on the target and cause severe bleeding. The Sectumsempra curse works like some sort of an invisible sword.
Among all the characters in the movie series, only Snape and Harry know how to use this spell. Snape first used this curse on James Potter when he and Sirius Black started bullying him. The second time he accidentally injured George Weasley and cut off his left ear when he was aiming at a Death Eater. Harry also used it once against Draco Malfoy when the latter tried to use a Cruiatus Curse on him. All these events were shown in The Half-Blood Prince movie.
Snape used an incantation Vulnera Sanentur to cure Draco’s wounds. The healing spell will work in three stages- firstly, the spell will stop the bleeding; secondly, the wounds will knit quickly; and thirdly, the spell will remove the worst effects of the curse.
The Imperius Curse is one of the three Unforgivable Curses in the whole wizard community. Use of even one of the three curses on any human, both muggle and wizard alike, will result in a life sentence in Azkaban under normal circumstances.
Imperius Curse allows the user to have total control over the victim’s actions. However, since a person with exceptional talent and strength can resist it, this makes the only resistible curse among the three Unforgivable Curses. The castor can make their victims float in the air or force them to do something they don’t want. There are various ways to make use of this curse.
The word Imperio comes from a Latin word that means “to rule.” Even though resisting the requires a very strong will, Harry Potter, Barty Crouch Sr. and Barty Crouch Jr. learned how to resist the spell. A castor can keep someone under the curse as long as they want; however, the curse will terminate when the castor dies.
The Cruciatus Curse or the Torture Curse is also one of the three Unforgivable Curses. It is one of the cruelest spells known in the wizarding world. The user causes their victims to experience excruciating pain. Wizards mostly use this curse for torturing the victims for information or undoing the Memory Charm. Among so many wizards, only a few are capable of enduring the pain and not give any information to their enemies. Neville always admired his parents for not betraying the wizarding world when Bellatrix tortured and killed them without gaining any information from them.
This curse doesn’t cause any physical damage to the victims as it can only stimulate their pain receptors. The word Crucio comes from a Latin word meaning “pain” or “torture.” Only strong wizards and witches are capable of using this curse. However, simply incanting crucio will not allow someone to use this curse; instead, the castor must have a strong desire to inflict immense pain on someone. For example, even though Harry Potter is an exceptionally talented wizard, he cannot use this curse to its full potential except one time when he used it on Bellatrix after she killed Sirius. The reason behind this is that Harry is a kind person who wants to avoid violence as much as he can.
Among all the eight movies of the Harry Potter series, Harry has used this Disarming Charm most of the time. The reason is that it is the only effective spell that he can use against very powerful wizards who are immune to Stupefying Charm or other offensive spells. Remus Lupin even warned Harry that even though the Disarming Charm is a very useful spell, the Death Eaters are beginning to think that it is his signature move and will come up with a way to counterattack him. However, Harry stands firm on his decision to keep using it as he didn’t want to kill or fatally injure someone.
This charm allows the user to force anything out of their hands. During a fight, they can forcibly drop their opponents’ wand and get the upper hand against them. Incanting even a single Disarming Charm can cause multiple opponents to lose their wands at once, given that all of them are standing close to one another. When the castor uses a very powerful charm multiple times, it can cause a flying target to hit an opponent, causing them to get injured or even become unconscious.
2. Avada Kedavra:
The Killing Curse is, without a doubt, the most despicable curse known to the wizarding world. It is also one of the three Unforgivable Curses. The curse allows the user to instantly kill their victims without causing them any pain or injury.
Harry’s mother, Lily Potter, was the only wizard in the world who was able to counterattack the curse. However, the price of counterattacking the curse was her own life. When Voldermort used the curse on Harry when he was a baby, Lily used “sacrificial protection” that requires the power of love. Due to her love for Harry, she was able to save his life from the curse, and Harry was left with only a scar on his forehead. This tragic incident made Harry popular among all wizards, and they titled him “the boy who lived”.
Another memorable incident of this curse was when Bellatrix used it to kill Sirius Black in The Order of the Phoenix movie. That was the first time when Harry was able to use the Cruciatus Curse to its full potential, as mentioned earlier.
This is Voldermort’s signature curse as he can use it on anyone without any mercy. By the end of the Triwizard Tournament in The Goblet of Fire, Voldermort used this curse on Cedric Diggory when the latter was trying to help Harry.
1. Expecto Patronum:
The Patronus Charm is the most powerful defensive charms in the wizarding world. It is the only protection against Dementors. Dementors are also immortals that feed on a person’s happy memories causing them to generate negative emotions. They are the foulest creatures known to wizardkind. They are under the control of the British Ministry of Magic and closely associated with Azkaban.
This charm allows the user to create a protective shield for themselves. There are two kinds of Patronus Charms; one is Corporeal that takes a particular shape and the other is Incorporeal that doesn’t take any shape. Corporeal Patronus Charm is for defending the user against Dementors, whereas the Incorporeal Patronus Charm allows the user to hide their identity.
One important thing to note is that a wizard or witch cannot simply cast this spell by only incanting or using correct hand movements. Not only do they have to be exceptionally strong wizards, but they also have to feel strong happy emotions while casting it. This spell is very hard to learn and only a few can use it to its fullest potential.