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Piertotum Locomotor

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Piertotum Locomotor

Piertotum Locomotor[1]
(PY-air-TOH-tuhm LOH-koh-MOH-tor)[2]



Hand Movement

Hold wand aloft[2]




Animates target[1]

"And all along the corridor the statues and suits of armour jumped down from their plinths, and from the echoing crashes from the floors above and below, Harry knew that their fellows throughout the castle had done the same... Cheering and yelling, the horde of moving statues stampeded past Harry; some of them smaller, others larger than life. There were animals too, and the clanking suits of armour brandished swords and spiked balls on chains."

Piertotum Locomotor is the incantation of a transfiguration charm used to bring life to those artefacts that had, previously, been inanimate and unmoving.[1] The target's movements can be controlled by the caster of the spell.[3]


Hogwarts suits of armour and statues
Bewitched statues and suits of armour defending Hogwarts Castle on 1 May, 1998.
You-Know-WhoAdded by You-Know-Who
"I've always wanted to use that spell."
—Professor McGonagall[src]


This incantation may derive from:

  • Latin "pie", meaning "dutifully" or "affectionately"[8]
  • Latin "totum", which means "everything", "the whole" or "they all"[9]
  • Latin "loco", meaning "position" or "place"[10]
  • Latin "moto", meaning "moves" or "moving"[11]

The whole incantation could, therefore, translate to "The whole position dutifully moves," or any other combination of the translations. A less rigid translation: 'I move thee forth, all dutiful [soldiers]'. 

Behind the scenes

  • In the eighth video game, when Professor McGonagall performs this spell and gives her orders, her voice makes an echo throughout the night, most likely for dramatic effect.[12]
  • In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7, Professor McGonagall does not bring the statues and suits of armour to life onscreen.[13]
  • It is possible that the caster only have to hold the wand aloft when animating more than one at a time.
  • In the eighth film, when Professor McGonagall casted this spell during the Battle of Hogwarts, she says eagerly to Molly Weasley that she has always wanted to use that spell.


Notes and references

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