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Wandless spell

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Wandless magic

Albus Dumbledore casting Aresto Momentum without a wand

A wandless spell is a spell which is performed without the use of a wand.

This form of magic can be particularly volatile, and can only be used effectively by powerful and disciplined wizards and witches. Sometimes, specific hand gestures focus the power of the spell and guide it to the target. This magic can be coupled with silent magic to cast spells under any circumstances.


While it seems that wandless magic is usually not taught at Hogwarts School, other schools cover it in their regular curriculum.

In particular, students from Uagadou School of Magic are taught wandless magic throughout their school years, as the use of wands is less common in Africa.

Underage magic

Main article: Underage magic

Wandless spells are often used in cases of underage magic, in which children under the age of eleven, who have no wands, sometimes use magic. This is known as Accidental Wandless Magic. On most of these occasions, the children have no control over their abilities, and will unintentionally use magic when upset or in danger.

Some children, however, exert some control over their magic, but they are untrained in proper spells. For example, Tom Riddle was able to hurt people and influence animals before he even knew of the existence of the wizarding world,[1] and Lily Evans was able to use magic to stop herself falling as fast as normal and also to manipulate a flower.

Known practitioners

The following people have been known to perform spells intentionally without use of a wand:

Andros the Invencible

Andros the Invincible.

Possible Practitioners

The following people may or may not have intentionally performed spells without use of a wand:

Non-human wandless magic

Main article: House-elf magic

Elves and goblins are able to perform magic without wands. Goblins sometimes refer to wizards and witches as "wand bearers" and humans' failure to share wand knowledge with goblins is a source of ill-feeling between the two species.

Behind the scenes

Screen shot 2012-01-29 at 6.21.25 PM

Voldemort moving a giant's body out of his path.

  • Tom Riddle, a.k.a Lord Voldemort, also only performed wandless magic in the films, not counting the controlled magic he performed prior to going to Hogwarts. In the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire film, Voldemort wandlessly knocked Harry to the ground, deflected Harry's Disarming Charm by waving his hand, and magically lifted Harry from the ground with one hand, apparently applying force to the latter's face whilst forcing him to his feet. He again used wandless magic on Harry in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, impatiently disarming the boy with a wave of his wand-free hand. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Voldemort again used wandless magic to move a dead giant out of the way and to restrain Harry by using his cloak.

Minerva McGonagall casting a wandless Avifors Spell.

  • In the film Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Draco Malfoy appears to close the shutters on the Hogwarts Express without a wand, though its more likely that a Protean Charm had been placed upon them.
  • In the book Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry casts the Lumos spell in the dark alley to get some light and find his wand. The spell was cast without the wand in his hand and yet the wand itself performed the Lumos spell which allowed him to know where the wand was.


Notes and references

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