Disarms an opponent
The Disarming Charm, also known as the Expelliarmus Spell or Disarming Spell (Expelliarmus) was a defensive charm which forced the victim to release whatever they were holding at the time. It is common to see this spell used in duels, to make an opponent release their wand.
It is not known precisely who created the Disarming Charm. Some wizarding historians claim that it may have been invented by Merlin himself, others claim that its first widespread use was in Madagascar in the 11th century. Even if any of this is true, the fact remains that it was not very popular until 1379, when Elizabeth Smudgling — the most likely inventor, in the opinion of Miranda Goshawk — used it in a duelling contest in Dartmoor. It became Harry Potter's signature spell, and it notably caused the death of Lord Voldemort during the Battle of Hogwarts by rebounding his Killing Curse.
The Disarming Charm causes whatever an opponent is holding at the time — usually a wand — to fly high out of their reach.
The Disarming Charm always appears as a jet of red light; indeed, this is one of the things that makes it recognisable before the effects of the charm are seen. However the intensity of the light appears to correspond to the strength of the spell as a weak/moderate one creates a small flash of white light whereas a more powerful version manifests as a bright jet of scarlet light.
Uses and practitioners
- Albus Dumbledore used this spell to disarm Severus Snape.
- Draco Malfoy used this spell to disarm Albus Dumbledore during the Battle of the Astronomy Tower before fleeing with Snape and the other Death Eaters.
- In 1379, Elizabeth Smudgling used it in a duelling contest in Dartmoor.
- At the end of his fourth year, Fred Weasley practiced this spell along with; George, Harry, Hermione, and Ron before the start of summer holiday.
- George Weasley at the end of his fourth year in 1993 practiced this spell along with; Fred, Harry, Hermione, and Ron before the start of summer holiday.
- Ginny Weasley used this spell at the end of her first year in 1993.
- In 1992, Severus Snape taught this spell to the Duelling Club on 17 December in the Great Hall.
- Harry Potter used this spell on many different occasions. He used it twice during his second year first; to get Tom Riddle's Diary back from Malfoy who mistook it for Harry's own diary and at the end of the year before summer holiday. In his third year he used it aginst Snape inside the Shrieking Shack. In 1995 he used this spell while duelling Voldemort in Little Hangleton, which resulted in Priori Incantatem. In his fifth year this is one of the spells Harry taught Dumbledore's Army he had them practice it in pairs. He also used this spell during the 1997-1998 school year; he disarmed Stan Shunpike during the Battle of the Seven Potters, used it against Goyle during the Skirmish in the room of requirement, and to kill Voldemort by rebounding his Killing Curse.
- Hermione Granger used this spell at the end of her second year along with; Fred, George, Harry, and Ron before summer holiday. In her third year she used this spell against Severus Snape in the Shrieking Shack along with Harry and Ron. She also used this spell to disarm Mundungus Fletcher in 1998 during the hunt for Horcruxs.
- Ron Weasley practiced this spell at the end of his second year and used it during his third to disarm Severus Snape in the Shrieking Shack.
- Neville Longbottom used this spell during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries to disarm a Death Eater, accidentally also disarming Harry.
If two wands with the same core are forced to do battle with each other, the effect is a magical connection called Priori Incantatem. When Priori Incantatem occurred between Lord Voldemort and Harry Potter, the latter was using the Disarming Charm, a much weaker spell than the former.
English expel, meaning "remove" and Latin arma, meaning "weapon" or "the weapon".
Behind the scenes
- "Then a blinding, jagged jet of white light flew through the air: Harry thought of lightning, but Snape had dropped to his knees and his wand had flown out of his hand"
- —Dumbledore's use on Snape[src]
- This is the signature spell of Harry Potter.
- In the films only when a witch or wizard is locked in the Priori Incantatem is the spell scarlet. When not locked in combat it's always just a blue or white flash that will either connect with the target's hand and force the wand out of their hand or will blast them off their feet, sometimes unconcious.
- When Dumbledore used this on Snape, it appeared as white lightning, and hence was probably a variation of it rather than the spell itself, or else an entirely different disarming spell.
- The charm is described in The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 2, and has a spellbook purely for itself.
- In the second film, it appears as a golden ring; from the fifth film onward it was a ball of blue light.
- In the video games, mainly he console versions of the first and second games, the Disarming Charm worked rather like a Shield Charm, rebounding an opponent's spells upon them. This is actually also the describing of the spell in the The Standard Book of Spells series. This was mainly due to the lack of being able to disarm in past video games.
- However, the spell returned to its more offensive use by the Order of the Phoenix game, though the GBC version of the Chamber of Secrets game also follows this scheme.
- Also in the console version of the second game, it's possible to catch and deflect spells not only cast by prefects in the PS2 version, but it's also possible to do so on one's own backfired spell. This only works on Flipendo and Incendio however, as the other projectile spells will pass through. In the case of the former, it moves rather fast so tight timing to activate the charm is needed.
- The Disarming Charm is referenced on Doctor Who, when Shakespeare uses it to conclude a formula used to banish the villains from earth. The Doctor (played by David Tennant) smiles after the villains are beaten and says: "Good old J.K.", referencing the author of the Harry Potter series.
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (video game)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Building the Magical World (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- Wonderbook: Book of Spells
- Harry Potter for Kinect
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Chapter 11 - The Duelling Club) (pg. 142 UK edition)
- ↑ Pottermore
- ↑ Wonderbook: Book of Spells
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Wonderbook: Book of Spells (See this video) (00:20 - 15:20)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Chapter 33 - The Prince's Tale) (pg. 543 UK edition)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Chapter 27 - The Lightning Struck Tower) (pg. 584 US edition)
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Chapter 18 - Dobby's Reward) (pg. 250 UK edition)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Chapter 13 - The Very Secret Diary) (pg. 178 UK edition)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Chapter 11 (The Bribe)