At least some content in this article is derived from information featured in Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery. Spoilers will be present within the article.
- "A handy (even life-saving) spell for removing an object from an enemy's grasp."
- —Description of the charm[src]
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. The spell also shares similarities with the Knockback Jinx, Stunning Spell, Banishing Charm, and Impediment Jinx in its alternative ability to shove, knock down or send a target flying, sometimes to the extent of rendering a target unconscious.
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 because the Elder Wand recognised Harry as its master through the spell connection, and thus strengthened the Disarming Charm to the point that Voldemort's curse backfired on himself.
The Disarming Charm causes whatever an opponent is holding at the time — usually a wand — to fly high out of their reach. It is also used to intercept or rebound an opponent´s spell back at them, while duelling, hence the life-saving effects of the charm.
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. Another notable effect of the charm is that if multiple charms are used on the same target, the target will be disarmed, but at the same time will be blasted backwards, as seen when Harry, Ron and Hermione all used the Disarming Spell at once on Severus Snape in the Shrieking Shack. Severus Snape himself used it more offensively during the only meeting of the Duelling Club against Gilderoy Lockhart, blasting him backwards with it.
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, which would normally only have intercepted the former‘s curse.
Known uses and practitioners
|Elizabeth Smudgling||1379||She used it in a duelling contest in Dartmoor.|
|Filius Flitwick||Pre- teaching career.||Professor Flitwick informs one of his students in 1984 that the Disarming Charm was of great help to him on his path to become a Duelling Champion while preparing the young pupil for learning it themselves, emphasising its importance.|
|James Potter||June 1976|
|Albus Dumbledore||1981||Used a white spell to disarm Severus Snape and make him fall to his knees.|
|Jacob's sibling||1984||Used it the first time to disarm Professor Flitwick at the behest of the Charms Master while learning to master it. They later used it to great effect to defeat Merula Snyde in a duel and have since continued to use it in wand-wielding confrontations throughout their magical education.|
|Draco Malfoy||30 June, 1997|
|September, 2020||Draco used this spell while duelling Harry Potter.|
|Fred Weasley||June 1993||At the end of his fourth year, Fred practised 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 practised this spell along with; Fred, Harry, Hermione, and Ron before the start of summer holiday.|
|Ginny Weasley||She used this spell at the end of her first year in 1993.|
|Severus Snape||17 December, 1992||Snape taught this spell to the Duelling Club in the Great Hall.|
|6 June, 1994||Snape used it to disarm Sirius Black in the Shrieking Shack during the events of 6 June.|
|Summer, 1997||Snape used it to disarm Harry Potter when Harry tried to attack him after he killed Dumbledore at command of Albus himself|
|Harry Potter||1993||Harry used it to get Tom Riddle's Diary back from Malfoy who mistook it for Harry's own diary.|
|Harry used it to disarm Gilderoy Lockhart in his office.|
|Harry used it again at the end of the year before summer holiday.|
|6 June, 1994||In his third year he used it against Snape inside the Shrieking Shack.|
|24 June, 1995||Harry used this spell while duelling Voldemort in Little Hangleton, which resulted in Priori Incantatem.|
|October 1995||In his fifth year this is one of the spells Harry taught Dumbledore's Army he had them practise it in pairs.|
|18 June, 1996||During the Battle of the Department of Mysteries Harry uses this charm against Lucius Malfoy during their duel in the Death Chamber.|
|27 July, 1997||Harry disarmed Stan Shunpike during the Battle of the Seven Potters.|
|2 May, 1998||He used it against Goyle during the Skirmish in the Room of Requirement.|
Harry also used it the same night to kill Voldemort by rebounding his Killing Curse.
|September||Harry used this spell during a duel with Draco Malfoy, while in his home.|
|Hermione Granger||June 1993||She used this spell at the end of her second year along with; Fred, George, Harry, and Ron before summer holiday.|
|6 June, 1994||In her third year she used this spell against Severus Snape in the Shrieking Shack along with Harry and Ron.|
|August 1997||Hermione also used this spell to disarm Mundungus Fletcher in 1998 during the hunt for Horcruxes.|
|Ron Weasley||June 1993||Practised this spell at the end of his second year.|
|6 June, 1994||Ron used it during his third to disarm Severus Snape in the Shrieking Shack.|
|March 1998||During the Skirmish at Malfoy Manor, Ron disarmed Bellatrix Lestrange with the spell.|
|Neville Longbottom||18 June, 1996|
|Albus Potter||September, 2020||Albus used this charm twice on Delphini to practise disarming before travelling back in time.|
|Cedric Diggory||24 June, 1995||Cedric cast this charm on Delphini while participating in the Third Task of the Triwizard Tournament.|
Latin expellere (ex = out, pellere = to drive), meaning "to drive out" and "arma" meaning "weapon". Expelliarmus actually means 'to drive out 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 later films, it is only when a witch or wizard is locked in the Priori Incantatem that the spell appears scarlet. When not locked in combat, it manifests as a bluish- white ball or flash of light, while in the second film, it appears as a golden fiery ring. The spell will either connect with the target's hand and force the wand out of their hand or will blast them off their feet, sometimes unconscious.
- When Dumbledore used this on Snape in Chapter 33: The Prince's Tale, it appeared as white light similar to 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 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.
- As seen in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, it is possible to disarm and take ownership of one's wand without using the spell, as demonstrated by Harry, who forcefully disarmed Malfoy with his bare hands to take the latter's wand.
- In the film versions of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Hermione Granger used the spell to make Mundungus Fletcher's wand fly over to her for her to catch it, which also happened when Harry Potter defeated Tom Riddle during Voldemort's Last Stand, in a similar way to the Summoning Charm.
- 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)
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (play)
- 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
- Harry Potter: The Character Vault (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery
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)
- ↑ Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Wonderbook: Book of Spells (See this video) (00:20 - 15:20)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Act Two, Scene Thirteen
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 18 (Dobby's Reward), page 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)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Act Two, Scene Four
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Act Three, Scene Twenty
|Grade 1 · Grade 2 · Grade 3 · Grade 4 · Grade 5 · Grade 6 · Grade 7|
|Charms included in the series: Fire-Making Spell · Levitation Charm · Locking Spell · Mending Charm · Softening Charm · Severing Charm · Unlocking Charm · Dancing Feet Spell · Disarming Charm · Engorgement Charm · Freezing Charm · General Counter-Spell · Memory Charm · Tickling Charm · Summoning Charm · Banishing Charm · Substantive Charm|