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Confundus Charm

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"The guard was confused. He stared down at the thin, golden Probe and then at his companion, who said in a slightly dazed voice, 'Yeah, you've just checked them, Marius."
—The Gringotts guards, confunded by Harry Potter[src]

The Confundus Charm[2] (Confundo[1]) is a charm which causes confusion in a person[1] or bewitches an object.[2] It appears that there are varying degrees of confusion caused by the spell, from simply tricking a person or thing about a specific incident[3] to confusing a person to the point at which they endanger themselves.[4]


The spell seems to be rather difficult to cast, as Severus Snape, a very powerful wizard who could flawlessly perform Nonverbal spell casting, had such trouble with it that he had to "frown in concentration". To cast it, one must point their wand directly at the person or thing that must be confused and incant, "Confundo". If one is casting the charm on multiple targets, they must point their wand at each individual target in turn and incant once for every individual target.


Ulick Gamp Confunded

The Confunded portrait of Ulick Gamp

Although the spell carries no light or sound, one can detect if another person has been Confunded (someone who has had this spell cast on them has been "Confunded") only immediately after the spell has been cast; the person will shudder when the spell hits them. It will cause any of varying degrees of confusion, from a simple trick[3] to making a person believe that they have come up with a complex plan when said plan was given to them by the caster.[5]

It can also be used on inanimate objects that have a level of sentience, as Barty Crouch Jr did with the Goblet of Fire, though this was noted to be a difficult task, as the Goblet itself was a powerful magical artefact.[2]

Known uses

Caster(s) Date Notes
Barty Crouch Jr October 1995 The fake Moody used this charm to fool the Goblet of Fire into accepting Harry's name under a fourth school.
Hermione Granger 1996 Hermione used a Confundus Charm on McLaggen during Keeper tryouts in her sixth year.
Harry Potter 1 May, 1998 Cast by Harry on each of the two wizards outside the main entrance of Gringotts.
Severus Snape July 1997 Snape used this charm on Mundungus Fletcher, suggested by Albus Dumbledore.
Unknown 1998 It was speculated that a Confundus Charm had been placed on Dawlish, who was known to be susceptible.
Ronald Weasley 2017 Admitted to using the charm on a Muggle driving instructor so that he would pass his driving test.
Delphini 2020 Used the Confundus Charm on Amos Diggory while impersonating his niece and carer.

Known practitioners

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Hermione casting the Confundus Charm


Confundus, as well as the incantation Confundo, are derived from the Latin verb confundo (confundo-confudi-confusum-confundere), meaning "to confuse, to perplex."

Behind the scenes

  • In the films and video games, the incantation for this charm is Confundus, and not Confundo as it should be.
  • Professor Severus Snape repeatedly insisted that Sirius Black had cursed Harry Potter and Hermione Granger with this spell; however, this was false, as Black was actually telling the truth. This, however, could merely have been a cover-up to attempt to protect Harry due to his lasting love for his mother, and the reason he did the same for Hermione and Ron may have been would seem odd if only Harry was supposedly Confunded when all three of them attacked him.
  • Ronald Weasley used this spell to trick his Driving Examiner into letting him pass his driving test. This clearly constitutes a breach of the International Statute of Secrecy, but it is unknown if Ron faced any repercussions about it


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 26 (Gringotts)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 17 (The Four Champions)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 11 (Hermione's Helping Hand)
  4. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 35 (Beyond the Veil)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 33 (The Prince's Tale)
  6. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named GoF35
  7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Epilogue (Nineteen Years Later)

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