Harry Potter Wiki
Harry Potter Wiki

"Dark charms are known as jinxes, hexes and curses. This book does not deal with such spells."
Miranda Goshawk, The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 1[src]

Dark charms were charms that drew their power from Dark magic.[2] Like all charms, a Dark charm would provoke a magical effect on a target, but in a malicious and harmful manner. The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 1 didn't carry instructions for such spells.[1]


Dark charms were classified into three groups based on their level of severity. The higher one ascended up the hierarchy, the more powerful, wicked, and longer lasting the spells became. The three types of Dark charms in order of increasing severity were jinxes, hexes, and curses.[1]

Type Example Incantation
Minor Dark Magic. They caused a small inconvenience to the target. Their effects were irritating but amusing, almost playful.[3]
Knockback Jinx[4][5] Flipendo[4][5]
Oppugno Jinx[6] Oppugno[7]
Revulsion Jinx[8] Relashio[9]
Moderate Dark Magic. They caused a major inconvenience and/or a low level of harm to the target.[3]
Bat-Bogey Hex[6] Unknown
Knee-reversal hex[6]
Toenail-growing hex[10]
The worst kind of Dark Magic. They caused extreme harm to the target or otherwise affected them in a strongly negative manner.[3]
Cruciatus Curse[11] Crucio[11]
Imperius Curse[11] Imperio[11]
Killing Curse[11] Avada Kedavra[11]

Behind the scenes[]

  • Even though Rowling herself specified the differences between curses, hexes, and jinxes, she states that "Within the Potter world, the boundaries are flexible and I imagine that wizards may have their own ideas."[3] This shows that the categorisation of Dark charms is not set in stone, and may sometimes be used interchangeably. This explains why some spells are known by multiple names, like why the Slug-vomiting Charm is a curse, and why the Jelly-Legs Curse is also sometimes known as the Jelly-Legs Jinx. This also explains why some curses, such as the Leg-Locker Curse, Jelly-Legs Curse and Full Body-Bind Curse, which don't cause any lasting injury, seem to fall more under the definition of a jinx or hex, while Voldemort's Jinx on the post of Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher has had serious, lasting consequences for several of those affected, which would seem more like a curse. It further explains why duelling charms such as the Disarming Charm and Stunning Spell seem more like Dark Magic to the opponent as it causes them to lose a duel and leaves them more vulnerable to further attacks from their opponent.


Notes and references[]