Filipe is a big Harry Potter fan. He has read all the books and seen all the movies numerous times.
Whether it's their usefulness, creativity, or just their spectacularity, the spells of the Harry Potter series instill upon every reader a sense of awe—and a wish for the power to be able to cast them. While we Muggles unfortunately cannot do so, we can still think about the possibilities. In that spirit, here are my personal favourite Harry Potter spells.
My Top 10 Spells
9. Antonin Dolohov's Curse
8. Expecto Patronum
Among all the things Harry learns in the Half-Blood Prince book, this spell might be one of the most useful. Created by Severus Snape himself, this spell provokes a buzzing sound in people's ears, rendering them unable to hear nearby conversations. It's hilarious how often Harry, Ron and later even Hermione use this spell on other people, and sometimes on their friends and family so that they can chat with each other without being heard. Additionally, the spell proves itself very useful in the seventh book, being one of the protective charms the group casts whenever they set up camp. Just imagine using it in class so you can talk all you want and not be noticed. A very useful spell indeed.
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9. Antonin Dolohov's Curse
Used in only one instance, Dolohov's curse certainly proves to be an interesting, albeit very deadly spell. It's described as a streak of purple flame that shoots towards the target. The effects are not entirely made known; however, we can gather that it's lethal when performed correctly and presumably causes deep internal injury.
Hermione is hit by it in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, and she only manages to survive it because Dolohov had been hit earlier by her Silencing Charm, and therefore was not able to say the incantation. However, she does collapse immediately, and afterwards she is in recovery for a long period of time, still feeling a degree of soreness in her insides and having to take ten potions a day.
I found the introduction of such a curse very refreshing because whenever the Death Eaters were ordered to kill Harry's friends, they sometimes used non-lethal spells (which baffled me), or just used the Avada Kedabra (which honestly because somewhat repetitive to read). Here we have an example of a different deadly spell that kills in what seems to be a different way, while the Avada Kedabra leaves no markings on the subject, I imagine this one would on an internal level which is very interesting.
8. Expecto Patronum (Patronus Charm)
One of the most iconic spells in the series, if not the most iconic, is Expecto Patronum. This spell is useful not only to fend off Dementors, but also as a way to communicate to others over large distances. The charm itself casts a spirit derived from the caster's positive emotions, that takes the form of an animal, and protects him/her from the negatives effects of Dementors.
What I find interesting about this spell is that it requires the recollection of a powerful happy memory, and that the animal form of the charm is often of important meaning to the caster, meaning that this spell comes truly from within the one who projects it. Having done the Pottermore test, I can tell you that mine takes the shape of a wild boar, read that however you want to. If you'd like to tell me yours, leave a comment below, I would very much like to know.
This spell, used by Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters, conjures onto the sky the Dark Mark, Voldemort's symbol, which consists of a green skull with a snake slithering out of its mouth. It was left above places where either Voldemort or his followers committed assassinations and acted as a terrifying foreboding of what would be found at that location.
The name of the incantation itself seems to derive from several expressions related to death, with mort and mordre being the French words for "death" and the verb "to bite" respectively, which would be appropriate given the Death Eater name, and mors being the Icelandic, German, Norwegian, Danish Polish and Swedish word for "murder".
Fiction and even reality itself are not strangers to villains leaving signatures to mark themselves as the authors of their misdeeds, and this mark is Voldemort's equivalent to that trend. What always interested me about this spell was the emotional effect it had, because it's cast high in the air and is visible from far away, so a person that sees it experiences extreme dread for some time up to the point where they arrive at the scene to likely find their worst fears realized, just Arthur Weasley's description of its usage is enough for me to imagine just how terrifying such an experience would be:
"...You-Know-Who and his followers sent the Dark Mark into the air whenever they killed. The terror it inspired... you have no idea, you’re too young. Just picture coming home and finding the Dark Mark hovering over your house, and knowing what you’re about to find inside... Everyone’s worst fear... the very worst."
Sectumsempra is the second spell from the Half-Blood Prince book to feature on this list, and it is probably the more dangerous one. Another one of Snape's personal creations, this one acts as a severing curse, slashing the opponent as if by an invisible sword that strikes in the same movement as the wand of the caster. The cuts inflicted by the curse are extremely deep and there is a great risk of bleeding out from the curse even if the cuts themselves are not fatal.
Additionally, it is a spell that consists of dark magic. When a body part is severed, the effects are irreversible, as seen with George Weasley's ear. Another case of a deadly spell that is not the Avada Kedavra, this one really leaves an impact just because of how visual it is. When Harry uses it against Malfoy, he is as shocked as the readers are because the effects are so brutal. It was very distressing to imagine an invisible slash, followed by blood and agony.
There is also the obvious pun of someone named Severus creating a spell that severs.
One of the most devastating spells ever to be introduced in the Harry Potter universe, Fiendfyre is characterized as a cursed fire of gargantuan size and heat that manifests from the caster's wand into fire spirits capable of seeking out and pursuing living targets while consuming all in their path in flames. The spreading of the fires generated from this spell happens abnormally quickly.
As a spell that requires very advanced knowledge of dark magic, Fiendfyre is incredibly difficult to control once cast, as seen with Vincent Crabbe in the Room of Requirement. There is a charm to cease the jets of flame but the incantation was not known to Crabbe, resulting in his death. There is also the possibility that the fire will burn out if it no longer can find anything else to consume.
This spell makes the list because of its sheer power of destruction, especially because we see it in an instance where the fires are allowed to run wild and we see how catastrophic the effects of this spell can be. However, I still get mad every time I read Hermione saying that she knew the spell could destroy Horcruxes, but she never even mentioned the mere possibility of using it when the trio was so desperately looking for a way to destroy the locket. You could have said something, Hermione.
4. Accio (Summoning Charm)
In fourth place on my list is a spell that ranks high purely due to its practicality and usefulness. Accio does one thing and one thing only: it summons objects to the caster, and despite not being visually stunning or particularly combat applicable, this spell is useful as hell.
In addition to the obvious example of being able to summon the remote of your TV without having to get up, you can use this charm for all kinds of purposes. Since you don't even have to know where the object is, you can use it to find things you lost, you can use it to summon inaccessible objects, you can even use it on animals (Dirk Cresswell uses it to catch a salmon in the Deathly Hallows, although the Wiki on this spell says it doesn't work on living things, so draw your own conclusions). You might even be able to steal things with this (provided they are not magically enchanted to stay put). Plus, the range of this spell seems to be considerably large (Harry summoned his Firebolt that was in the castle, all the way to the dragon pit). The more I think about it, the more I want to use it just to summon cookies to my room, or to find my belongings when I lose them—it's just so useful.
3. Geminio (Gemino Curse)
"If you are so hungry, why don't you just multiply what little food you can find?" This is what I wonder whenever I read The Deathly Hallows and come across the passages where it is remarked how hungry the trio was and the effect that had on their disposition during their trip.
This spell essentially multiplies the object on which its cast into an apparently identical copy. The simplest version of the spell creates only a single copy, but more advanced ones can make objects duplicate multiple times, giving endless copies.
Not much needs to be said to sell you on the usefulness of this spell. It could solve the food and water crisis around the world. The thing with this spell is that the copies will rot and tarnish faster than the original, but that's not a problem if the copy is meant for immediate use, or if you consistantly make copies of a version of the item in good conditions.
You can pretty much multiply whatever you want, and for a while you'll have a good-quality duplicate. Even if it starts to degrade, you can just multiply it again. Much like Accio, this spell is ranked highly based on its usefulness alone. It's one of those spells that you don't think about much, but it's one of the spells in the Harry Potter universe I'd most like to be able to use.
Anyone who knows me in real life knows that if I were ever to have a superpower, teleportation would be my go-to choice, no hesitation. Thus, the Harry Potter equivalent, Apparition, was obviously going to take a very high rank on this list.
For wizards, Apparate requires no incantation or wand movement, but for humans it does require a wand. All the caster needs is a clear visual idea of where he wants to go, so he needs to have seen the destination prior to Apparating there. Once focused, the caster will disappear from their current location and appear instantly at their destination.
Mastery of this spell is quite tricky, however, and if poorly attempted the use of Apparition could result in mutilation or even death. These risks increase with the distance one covers with the spell. Intercontinental Apparitions can only be pulled off by very experienced wizards.
Despite these limitations, this spell is, again, just so useful. Teleportation means awesome, unlimited free vacations. You can go anywhere at any time with no traffic. You can get into concerts for free, visit people who are far away, or go to a place where it is summer during the winter.
Even if you can't go very far with one Apparition, you could just hop from place to place until you get to your end destination with multiple Apparitions. If you've never actually seen the place before, Google Maps will take care of that for you. Practically speaking, this spell is one of the best ones out there, and given the choice, I would take it in an instant.
Now this choice may sound a bit strange given the ones that came before it, especially those in the top five, given that Obliviate is not nearly as useful as Geminio or Apparition or Accio—yet it is the spell I personally like the most. I cannot pinpoint the exact reason or reasons why. I just really like it!
Obliviate, or the Memory Charm, is used to erase specific memories from an individual's mind. However, it does not replace them with false ones (for that, a different spell is used, which was the case for Hermione's parents).
It is most often used on Muggles to make them forget instances in which they witness magic. The effects of the spell can vary widely depending on the desired effect from the caster and his or her proficiency in the casting itself. In some cases, only little portions of memory are removed, but in other circumstances the spell can cause someone to lose large portions of their memory and potentially suffer permanent brain damage. This was the case with Gilderoy Lockhart and Bertha Jorkins.
The spell can be reversed, however, either through powerful magic or if the subject is placed under intense duress.
Like I said before, I'm not entirely sure why I love this spell so much. In terms of its usefulness, there are several things one could do, such as doing something bad and having people forget about it. You certainly could get away with a lot of things by using Obliviate.
However, my favourite potential application for it is actually one I saw someone else propose, which is to use it on Askaban inmates. It could basically rehabilitate them in an instant. Think about it: If captured Death Eaters were subjected to it, they could be made to forget what they did, but more importantly, why they did it, what drove them and maybe even who they are. Many of them could end up being completely different people. Think about a nice Bellatrix Lestrange or a gentle Antonin Dolohov.
And that brings me to another aspect of Obliviate that I find interesting, which is the fact that, for a spell that can have such devastating effects on one's mind, it doesn't seem that it is regulated that much. At its most extreme, this spell can destroy someone's identity. It's almost akin to killing, yet it is not an unforgivable curse, which is astounding.
In the end, my love for this spell is mostly due to nostalgia. When I first saw it back in Chamber of Secrets, for some reason I really liked everything about it—from what it did, to its name, to the color of the spell itself—and that made it forever my favourite one of them all.
How About You?
So these are my top 10 favourite Harry Potter spells. I would very much like to know what you think of my picks, and I'd like to know what your favourites are, as well, so leave a comment below. Thank you for reading.
Poppy from Enoshima, Japan on November 13, 2018:
I wonder how many people would cast Obliviate on themselves to forget horrible memories? If I were a witch, I'd definitely never use Sectumsempra. Poor Malfoy didn't deserve its effects.
Accio would be extremely handy in everyday situations. Can you imagine the pranks you would be able to pull? Game idea: go into a crowded train and yell "Accio wig."