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"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 had connotations of Dark Magic. 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]


The three types of dark charms in order of increasing severity were jinxes, hexes, and curses.[1]

Type Example Incantation
Minor dark magic, irritating but amusing effects.[2]
Knockback Jinx[3][4] Flipendo[3][4]
Oppugno Jinx[5] Oppugno[6]
Revulsion Jinx[7] Relashio[8]
Moderate dark magic, caused moderate suffering.[2]
Bat-Bogey Hex[5] Unknown
Knee-reversal hex[5]
Toenail-growing hex[9]
The worst kind of dark magic, caused immense suffering to the victim.[2]
Cruciatus Curse[10] Crucio[10]
Imperius Curse[10] Imperio[10]
Killing Curse[10] Avada Kedavra[10]

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."[2] This shows that the categorization 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