"Petrificus Totalus, or the Full Body-Bind, stiffens a person’s limbs so they cannot move. Only the person’s eyes are free while the spell is in effect."

The Full Body-Bind Curse[4], also known as the Body Freezing Spell[5] (Petrificus Totalus[1]) is a curse that paralyses the opponent.[3] It is often used by inexperienced or young wizards in duelling.[5] This curse can be found in Curses and Counter-Curses by Vindictus Viridian.

During the 1986–1987 school year, the spell was covered in third year Charms classes.[6]


The victim's arms and legs snap together, and they will fall down, stiff as a board.[1] However the person's skills to hear, see (however just straight forward), feel, and think still work properly.

Despite the incantation, the Full Body-Bind Curse is fundamentally different from petrification, which is highly advanced Dark Magic and which cannot be reversed by a simple counter-curse.[7] The effects can be simply undone by use of the General Counter-Spell, the Anti-Paralysis Potion, the Reparifors spell and presumably a specific counter-curse as well (in case of the stronger versions of it).

Known uses

"Neville's arms snapped to his sides. His legs sprang together. His whole body rigid, he swayed where he stood and then fell flat on his face, stiff as a board. Neville's jaws were jammed together so he couldn't speak. Only his eyes were moving, looking at them in horror."
—Description of Neville Longbottom under the curse[src]
Caster Victim Notes
Newton Scamander Gilbert Bingley Used by Newton Scamander, in Steen National Bank branch in New York in 1926.[8]
Full Body-Bind FB
Sirius Black Severus Snape Used by Sirius Black, in his childhood, while bullying Severus Snape.[9]
Jacob's sibling Ben Copper Was asked to demonstrate the spell during a Charms lesson.
Messenger Jacob's sibling Used to make Jacob's sibling unable to react while the Messenger delivered their message.
Hermione Granger Neville Longbottom When Neville tried to prevent Hermione, Harry Potter, and Ron Weasley from sneaking out of their dormitories in 1992, which they did in order to prevent the theft of the Philosopher's Stone.[1]
Harry Potter Jugson Battle of the Department of Mysteries


Neville casting Full Body Bind
Antonin Dolohov


Neville Longbottom Death Eater


Draco Malfoy Harry Potter On the Hogwarts Express in 1996.[10]
Harry Potter Inferi While in the Crystal Cave with Albus Dumbledore in 1997.[10]
Yaxley Used when escaping from the top of the Astronomy Tower during the Battle of the Astronomy Tower.[10]
Hermione Granger Antonin Dolohov During a skirmish at the Luchino Caffe in 1997.[4]

Hermione dueling

Parvati Patil Antonin Dolohov Used by Parvati Patil to protect Dean Thomas during the Battle of Hogwarts.[4]
Lord Voldemort Neville Longbottom Placed in a Full Body-Bind, with the Sorting Hat put on his head and then lit on fire during the Battle of Hogwarts.[4]


  • The root of this curse's incantation seems to be the Latin words petra, "rock", ficus, "making or doing something" and totus, "whole" or "entire".
  • Also, pertrificus seems to come from the word "petrify", meaning to turn into stone, or describes a manner in which someone takes on the characteristics of a stone. Totalus likely comes from "Total", meaning complete or wholly. Following this, the spell likely means, entirely petrify.

Behind the scenes

  • In the Cast-a-Spell training room, when the spell is cast it seems to coat the victim (a snake) in ice.
  • When Dumbledore immobilises Harry, the latter says, in wondering how it could have happened, that it was a Freezing Charm (Dumbledore had done so wandlessly and nonverbally). However, less than a few pages later, after Dumbledore is killed, he notes that the Full Body-Bind had lifted.
  • In the films and video games, this spell occasionally appears blue, white or purple.
  • When Hermione uses this on Neville a mist-like effect issued from her wand and there was a faint white flash around his body before the curse took effect.
  • The only instances in the films where a victim's arms and legs are snapped together as depicted in the books is when Hermione used it on Neville in Philosopher's Stone, when Draco used it against Harry on the train in Half-Blood Prince, and Newt's use of this spell on Mr Bingley in Fantastic Beasts; any other time it was used, such as when Neville used it on a Death Eater in Order of the Phoenix and when Hermione used it on Antonin Dolohov in Deathly Hallows: Part 1, they were either immobilised in their current position, or they were spread eagled.
  • In Hogwarts Mystery, the Knockback jinx and the Full Body Bind Curse are covered in Charms class. This seems unusual, as defensive spells have not been shown as being part of the Charms curiculum, but Defence against the Dark Arts instead. Though jinxes, hexes and curses can be grouped together in a category called Dark charms.


Hermione pt

Hermione Granger using the spell in a Muggle café

Notes and references

Curses and Counter-Curses
Spells included in the book: Full Body-Bind Curse · Leg-Locker Curse · Jelly-Legs Curse · Pimple Jinx · Stickfast Hex · Tickling Hex · Tongue-Tying Curse · Hair Loss Curse

Charms (class)
PS Wingardium Leviosa feather
Charmbook writers and developers
Delfina Crimp · Miranda Goshawk · Jarleth Hobart · Basil Horton · Randolph Keitch ·
Levina Monkstanley · Orabella Nuttley · Mnemone Radford · Scarpin · Elliot Smethwyck ·
Felix Summerbee · Fred Weasley · George Weasley
Professors Fortinbras · Filius Flitwick
Textbooks The Standard Book of Spells · Achievements in Charming · Quintessence: A Quest
Charms studied at Hogwarts
Arresto Momentum · Banishing Charm (Depulso) · Bird-Conjuring Charm (Avis) · Cheering Charm · Colour Change Charm (Colovaria) · Engorgement Charm (Engorgio) · Fire-Making Spell (Incendio) · Freezing Spell (Glacius) · Full Body-Bind Curse (Petrificus Totalus) · General Counter-Spell (Finite Incantatem) · Growth Charm · Knockback Jinx (FlipendoLevitation Charm (Wingardium Leviosa) · Locomotion Charm (Locomotor) · Mending Charm (Reparo) · Reductor Curse (Reducto) · Seize and Pull Charm (Carpe Retractum) · Shrinking Charm (Reducio) · Silencing Charm (Silencio) · Skurge Scouring Charm (Skurge) · Softening Charm (Spongify) · Summoning Charm (Accio) · Unlocking Charm (Alohomora) · Vinegar into Wine · Wand-Extinguishing Charm (Nox) · Wand-Lighting Charm (Lumos) · Water-Making Spell (Aguamenti)