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Full Body-Bind Curse

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"The "Body Freezing" spell proves quite popular among new students of magic and those given to frequent participation in Wizard duels."

The Full Body-Bind Curse, also known as the Body Freezing Spell [1], (Petrificus Totalus) is a spell that renders a victim completely immobile. This curse is chiefly used to control and limit another individual's power of bodily freedom, and is often employed in defensive combat. The victim's arms and legs snap together, and he or she will generally fall down from lack of balance. Two known counter-curses include Finite or Finite Incantatem.

The Full Body-Bind Curse is fundamentally different from petrification, which is highly Dark magic and which cannot be reversed by a simple counter-curse, though the symptoms are superficially similar. A major difference is that under the Body-Bind Curse the victim remains conscious and aware of his/her surroundings, as opposed to petrification which appears to render the victim comatose.

Known uses

Caster Victim Notes
Sirius Black Severus Snape Used by Sirius Black, in his childhood, while bullying Severus Snape.[2]
Hermione Granger Neville Longbottom When Neville tried to prevent Hermione, Harry Potter, and Ron Weasley from sneaking out of their dormitories in 1992, which they did in order to prevent the theft of the Philosopher's Stone.[3]
Harry Potter Jugson Battle of the Department of Mysteries


Harry Potter Antonin Dolohov
Neville Longbottom Death Eater
Draco Malfoy Harry Potter On the Hogwarts Express in 1996.[4]
Harry Potter Inferi While in the Horcrux cave with Albus Dumbledore in 1997[4].
Harry Potter Yaxley Used when escaping from the top of the Astronomy Tower during the Battle of the Astronomy Tower.[4]
Hermione Granger Antonin Dolohov During a skirmish at the Luchino Caffe in 1997.[5]
Parvati Patil Antonin Dolohov Used by Parvati Patil to protect Dean Thomas during the Battle of Hogwarts.[5]
Lord Voldemort Neville Longbottom Placed in a Full Body-Bind, with the Sorting Hat put on his head and then lit on fire during the Battle of Hogwarts.[5]


  • The root of this curse's incantation seems to be the Latin words petra, "rock", and totus, "whole" or "entire".
  • Also, pertrificus seems to come from the word "petrify", meaning to turn into stone, or describes a manner in which someone takes on the characteristics of a stone. Totalus likely comes from "Total", meaning complete or wholey. Following this, the spell likely means, entirely petrify.

Behind the Scenes

  • In the Cast-a-Spell training room, when the spell is cast it seems to coat the victim (a snake) in ice.
  • When Dumbledore immobilizes Harry, the latter says, in wondering how it could have happened, that it was a Freezing Charm (Dumbledore had done so wandlessly and nonverbally). However, less than a few pages later, after Dumbledore is killed, he notes that the Full Body-Bind had lifted.
  • In Pottermore, the wand movement is shown as thus:


Hermione pt

Hermione Granger using the spell in a Muggle cafe.

Notes and references

Curses and Counter-Curses
Spells included in the book: Full Body-Bind Curse · Leg-Locker Curse · Jelly-Legs Curse · Pimple Jinx · Stickfast Hex · Tickling Hex · Tongue-Tying Curse · Hair Loss Curse

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