Moody Spider GOF

A spider is used to demonstrate the Unforgivable Curses

"Talented isn't she? What shall I have her do next? Jump out the window? Drown herself?"
—"Moody" demonstrates the Imperius Curse on a spider[src]

At the beginning of the 1994–1995 school year, Barty Crouch Jr, impersonating Alastor Moody through the use of Polyjuice Potion, demonstrated the Unforgivable Curses to Harry Potter's class using three spiders.[1]

The first spider was placed under the Imperius Curse, and was made to dance and perform acrobatics. Everyone in class were laughing, especially when Crouch had it jump onto students, until he suggested it to commit suicidal acts, as well as putting the curse on them.[1]

The second spider was tortured by the Cruciatus Curse, much to the discomfort of Neville Longbottom, his parents were tortured into insanity with this curse by Death Eaters, and only stopped at Hermione Granger's behest. The Engorgement Charm was used on the spider beforehand to have a better visualisation of the spider's sufferings on the curse.[1]

The third spider was struck by the Killing Curse, and died instantly.[1]

Behind the scenes

  • In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, only one spider is used to demonstrate the three curses. Furthermore, the spider in the film is actually an Amblypygi. Also, the Engorgement Charm was used when the Imperius Curse was performed, as opposed to the Cruciatus Curse. At that point, the spider remained larger for all three curses.
  • Also in the same film, the spider is shown to be squealing when tortured with the Cruciatus Curse. In the book, it remains silent. Although Harry thinks it would have screamed if it would have had a voice.
  • In the movie, Alastor quips that her bite is lethal. In reality, amblypygi (or tailless whip spiders) are completely harmless to humans, and are quite good-natured.
  • The spider in the movie is female.


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 14 (The Unforgivable Curses)