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Shield Charm

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The Shield Charm is a term applied to several varieties of charms that create a magical barrier to deflect physical entities and spells. Conjurations may sometimes rebound directly off it back towards the caster, or, in other cases, may ricochet off in other directions or dissipate as soon as they hit the shield.

The Shield Charm is a moderately difficult spell. Fred and George Weasley realised that most adult wizards, even those employed by the Ministry of Magic, could not produce a functional Shield Charm (something that Harry Potter was able to not only accomplish but also impart to members of the D.A.). They used this to their advantage when marketing their line of protective clothing (hats, cloaks, etc), upon which permanent Shield Charms were cast.

The incantation for the simplest Shield Charm spell is Protego. Incantations for other varieties of the Shield Charm include Protego Duo, Protego Horribilis, Protego Totalum and Protego Maxima.

Known uses

Harry Potter

Stupefy block

Lucius Malfoy using the Shield Charm to deflect Harry's Stunning Spell.

Umbridge protego

Dolores Umbridge using Protego against the centaurs.

File:Sirius Protego.jpg

Minerva McGonagall using a Shield Charm against a giant.

  • Harry Potter first learned this spell in his preparations for the Third Task of the Triwizard Tournament, during which his friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger shot spells at him so that he could practice shielding himself.[1]
  • Harry once used the charm to defend himself against Professor Snape's Legilimency during Occlumency training, and found himself unexpectedly seeing some of Snape's memories. This was most likely the reason why Snape was using a Pensieve to store his memories, and thus to preserve his privacy.[2]
  • Harry used the spell multiple times during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries in order to protect himself and his fellow D.A. members from Death Eaters, and to prevent them from summoning the Prophecy from him that night.[3]
  • During his first sixth year Defence lesson, Harry and the other members of his class had to cast this spell non-verbally. When Snape tried to jinx him, Harry instinctively used a Shield Charm (verbally cast) that was powerful enough to throw Snape off his feet.
  • Harry cast the charm between Hermione and Ron after the latter returned, since Hermione was furious with Ron to the point of wanting to curse him.[4]
  • Harry used the charm multiple times during the Battle of Hogwarts to protect various fighters on his side, such as Molly Weasley after she killed Bellatrix Lestrange.[4]


Known users


Kingsley Shacklebolt uses Protego in the Battle of Hogwarts.


Latin protego, "I cover" or "I protect".

Known Variations

Behind the scenes


Severus Snape using the shield charm against Harry Potter.

  • In the films, Shield Charms are used in nearly every duel shown, almost always used non-verbally and usually accompanied by a parry-like wand movement. The more accomplished wizards are seen parrying even the Killing Curse with a simple wave of their wand.
  • In the early video games, Expelliarmus functions as a shield charm, due to a lack of enemies to Disarm. In these games, Protego is absent.
  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Protego is shown several times to be able to block the Killing Curse.


Notes and references

Defence Against the Dark Arts (D.A.D.A.)
Professors: Galatea Merrythought · Quirinus Quirrell · Gilderoy Lockhart · Remus Lupin · Barty Crouch Jr. (as Alastor Moody) · Dolores Umbridge · Severus Snape ·
Amycus Carrow (as Dark Arts teacher)
Textbooks: The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection · Break with a Banshee · Gadding with Ghouls · Holidays with Hags · Travels with Trolls ·
Voyages with Vampires · Wanderings with Werewolves · Year with the Yeti · The Essential Defence Against the Dark Arts · Defensive Magical Theory · Dark Arts Defence: Basics for Beginners · Confronting the Faceless · Magical Drafts and Potions
D.A.D.A. at Hogwarts: Classroom 3C · Temporary Classroom · Hogwarts Turris Magnus · Professor's Office · Storeroom · Staircase · Lesson Cup · Race Cup · Dumbledore's Army
Spells covered under the subject: Curse of the Bogies · Knockback Jinx · Verdimillious Charm · Verdimillious Duo Spell · Verdimillious Tria · Wand-Lighting Charm · Freezing Spell · Seize and Pull Charm · Patronus Charm · Killing Curse · Cruciatus Curse · Imperius Curse · Impediment Jinx · Reductor Curse · Stunning Spell · Shield Charm · Nonverbal spells · Hex-deflection ·
Hex-Breaker · Hex Zapper
Creatures covered under the subject: Vampire bats · Iguanas · Cornish Pixies · Werewolves · Vampires · Hinkypunks · Boggarts · Red Caps · Kappas · Grindylows · Inferius

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