Wednesday, May 22, 2019

10 Most Commonly Used Spells in Harry Potter Movies

10 Most Commonly Used Spells in Harry Potter Movies
Throughout the Harry Potter films, characters cast spells to protect themselves, create light in their dark world, and practice magic at Hogwarts. But how many spells are used in the film franchise and which ones are the most popular. This is a question that fellow Harry Potter fan and blogger Milan researched as a special guest post for Think you know which spells were used the most in the Harry Potter films? The results might surprise you! So take it away Milan:

Expelliarmus is one of the most memorable spells that Harry uses in the series. He gained freedom from Voldemort while using it in the Battle of Hogwarts. But he was advised to change his approach because he could not be expected to win by simply disarming Death Eaters. Although many would say that it is one of the most commonly used spells in the movies, my research does not support that claim. Expelliarmus is actually near the end of my list. But which ones are above then? Some of them surely come to your mind. And I believe you will be surprised. But before we start, I would like to tell you more about research itself.

I watched all the movies once more (probably for the hundredth time) and took a note of every spell that was used. There's a lot of them! Especially as the serial moves on. It is interesting to note that Harry did not use a single spell in the first film Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone unlike the rest of the films where numerous spells are used. Most of the spells used were noted, though there were a few issues with doing that.

Firstly, there are non-verbal charms and spells, many of which I managed to note, taking into account colour of the charm, context, reactions to it and the same events as they were described in the books. Of course, some of them I could not get a hold of, especially in great battles, and I did not want to make guesses. Unfortunately, as long as none of the people who made the movie or J.K. Rowling herself says exactly which spells were used, our list cannot be complete.

The second problem was keeping track of the spells. In moments when many different people use the spell, it is almost impossible to count all of them. In spite of that, many of them were counted anyway. All in all, I managed to note down roughly about 95% of the spells. The battles were the most problematic. You can see the list and the explanation in the infographic below as well as in the rest of the text.

10 Most Commonly Used Spells in Harry Potter Movies

Shield Penetration Spell

It was used about 617 times in those few scenes where Voldemort with his army try to attack Hogwarts. A great number of Death Eaters disintegrated the shield which was made to defend the castle. Considering how many of them were there, it is more than clear why this spell takes the first place. Incantation is unknown. The action lasts up to the moment when Hermione destroys Voldemort’s Hufflepuff cup horcrux.

Dark Mark counter-curse

You probably don't know about this curse. It was used in one scene only. A little clue might help you figure it out: Dumbledore's death in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. As Harry mourns over his mentor’s death, you can see about 467 shining wands from students and teachers on the castle grounds. We can’t exactly call this spell ‘lumos’ – a similar spell wizards use to illuminate a dark place within their area – because the light these students use casts high into the sky to try to eliminate Voldemort’s dark death eater mark in the clouds. The specific incantation used in this scene is unknown. Since it meets all the requirements to be considered a spell and a lot of students use it at the same time, it deserves a second place on my list.

Wingardium Leviosa

One of the most popular spells. We all love the argument between Ron and Hermione from the first movie. It was used 229 times over the course of eight movies. One scene is considered very important and should be ranked highly. That is the one where Harry tries to break into Dolores Umbridge's office in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, where we see the Ministry employees transporting and shifting fascist booklets. Considering the number of employees and the speed at which they are doing it, Wingardium Leviosa takes the third place.


Great spell to use against antagonists. Harry, in particular, casts the spell throughout the series to disable his enemies and inflicts pain on them. This spell was mostly used in battles. Due to the fact that it was most commonly used non-verbally and that we recognize it primarily for its blue colour, the number of uses (217) should not be taken as a sure fact.

Protego | Protego Maxima | Fianto Duri | Repello Inimicum

These spells are considered together, since, essentially, they are the same. The scene where they are used the most is the one where the shield around the castle is being formed in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Of course, it was used in battles on a regular basis such as when Snape turns away Professor McGonagall’s attack with the first form of this spell Protego. The entire spell sequence is used 147 times if all the movies are taken into account.

Avada Kedavra

The darkest spell in the world of magic is used around 114 times. As with the others, great battles gave me the most trouble, so I used the colour green as the main factor in recognizing it. It would be great if it weren't used at all. However, it brought sorrow and pain way too many times as many beloved characters like Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire were killed with this spell.

Lumos/Lumos Maxima

Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light. One of the common and standard spells, Lumos was used 38 times. It was especially useful at the beginning of the third movie Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, when Harry tries to read but Uncle Vernon won't leave him alone. The scene left us questioning: how is it even possible to use magic outside of Hogwarts even just for practicing homework?


We got to Harry's favourite one! It is only 8th on the list, used 36 times. Even so, it turned out to be the most powerful since it brought victory against Voldemort in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.

Expecto Patronum

It is definitely one of the most complicated ones, especially among the students. However, it does not seem to be that hard to learn it if you have a great teacher like Harry showing Dumbledore's Army in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It was used 17 times altogether in the movies.

Fire creating spell

Used 14 times, only by Professor McGonagall against Snape while trying to defend Harry in the beginning of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. At this point, they had no knowledge about his sacrifice and agreement with Dumbledore in trying to protect The Chosen One. Incantation is unknown.

Both Milan and I hope you enjoyed this infographic about the most commonly used spells throughout the Harry Potter films. Be sure to follow Milan's Harry Potter blog Potteric for more interesting posts about Harry Potter's world.

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