"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] (Petrificus Totalus)[1], also known as the Body Freezing Spell,[5] was a curse that temporarily paralysed the opponent.[3] It was often used by inexperienced or young wizards and witches in duelling.[5] This curse can be found in Curses and Counter-Curses by Vindictus Viridian.


"Essential Tip # 1: Whilst the Body Freezing spell will work on inanimate objects, it tends to prove less satisfying than when used on a moving object."
—Tips on casting, Cast-a-Spell handbook[5]
When used on a living subject, the victim's arms and legs snap together, and they will fall down, stiff as a board.[1] However the person's abilities to hear, see (however just straight forward), feel, and think still work properly.

Technically, the spell also works on inanimate objects, but its effects are usually imperceptible, because the object isn't moving in the first place.[5]

The effects of the Full-Body Bind Curse can be undone by use of the General Counter-Spell,[6] an Anti-Paralysis Potion or the Reparifors spell.[7]

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.[8]


During the 1986–1987 school year, this spell was covered in third year Charms classes, taught by Professor Filius Flitwick.[9]

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(s) Victim(s) Date Notes
Newt Scamander Gilbert Bingley 6 December, 1926 Newt used it to immobilise Mr Bingley, in Steen National Bank branch in New York, after he wrongly deduced that he and Jacob Kowalski want to stole the vault.[10]
Sirius Black Severus Snape June, 1976

Used it to bully him after an O.W.L. exam.[11]

Jacob's sibling Ben Copper Was asked to demonstrate the spell during a Charms lesson.
Ben Copper Jacob's sibling Used to make Jacob's sibling unable to react while the Messenger delivered their message.
Hermione Granger Neville Longbottom 4 June, 1992 Hermione used it to immobilise Neville, when he tried to prevent her, Harry Potter and Ron Weasley from sneaking out of their dormitories, which they did in order to prevent the theft of the Philosopher's Stone.[1]
Antonin Dolohov 1 August, 1997 During a skirmish at the Luchino Caffe.[4]

Hermione dueling

Neville Longbottom Death Eater 18 June, 1996 Used to paralyse a Death during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries.[11]
Neville casting Full Body Bind
Draco Malfoy Harry Potter 1 September, 1996 Draco used it to immobilise Harry under the Invisibility Cloak on the Hogwarts Express.[6]
Harry Potter Jugson 18 June, 1996 Battle of the Department of Mysteries


Antonin Dolohov


Harry used it to immobilise Dolohov, after he hit Hermione Granger with his curse, during Battle of the Department of Mysteries. He later used it again on him in the Death Chamber .[11]
Inferi 30 June, 1997 Harry used it to immobilise one of the Inferi, while looking for Horcrux in the Crystal Cave with Albus Dumbledore.[6]
Corban Yaxley Harry used it to immobilise Yaxley when escaping from the top of the Astronomy Tower during the Battle of the Astronomy Tower.[6]
Fenrir Greyback Harry used it to immobilise Fenrir when escaping from the top of the Astronomy Tower during the Battle of the Astronomy Tower.[6]
Albus Dumbledore Harry Potter Albus used it non-verbally to immobilise Harry under Invisibility Cloak on the Astronomy Tower.[6]
Parvati Patil Antonin Dolohov 2 May, 1998 Used to protect Dean Thomas during the Battle of Hogwarts.[4]
Tom Riddle Neville Longbottom Used it nonverbally to immobilise Neville in order to put the Sorting Hat on his head and then lit on fire during the Battle of Hogwarts.[4]


Caster(s) Victim(s) Date Notes
Ron Weasley Vincent Crabbe 2 May, 1998 Used it nonverbally to immobilise Vincent Crabbe during the skirmish in the Room of Requirement during the Battle of Hogwarts,[4] but unsuccessful, because he missed.

Known practitioners


  • 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.

See also

Behind the scenes

  • In the Cast-a-Spell training room, the spell literally freezes the victim (a snake), covering it in ice.[5]
  • 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 and offensive spells have not been shown as being part of the Charms curriculum, but in Defence Against the Dark Arts class instead. Although jinxes, hexes and curses can be grouped together in a category called Dark charms, which explains why such spells were taught under Charms class.
  • In the video game adaptation of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, the curse acts as a long-range, sniper like attack, it appears as a sharp, quick bolt of blue light that can immobilise a foe, stun a foe or shatter their Shield Charm, when used by enemies, the spell is made red and is sometimes believed to be the Cruciatus Curse, it has the ability to shatter the player's shield charm or weaken the player quickly.
  • In the video game adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the curse appears as a triangular jet of white light, when the player reaches the discovery level of 12, Harry will release two curses at once.


Notes and references

Charms (class)
PS Wingardium Leviosa feather
Charmbook writers and developers
Blagdon Blay · Daisy Pennifold · 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 · Violeta Stitch
Professors Fortinbras · Filius Flitwick
Textbooks Achievements in Charming · Extreme Incantations · Quintessence: A Quest · The Standard Book of Spells
Charms studied at Hogwarts
Banishing Charm (Depulso) · Cheering Charm · Cistem Aperio · Colour Change Charm (Colovaria) · Dancing Feet Spell (Tarantallegra) · Descendo · Disillusionment Charm · Drought Charm · Eradication Spell (Deletrius) · Engorgement Charm (Engorgio) · Exploding Charm (Bombarda) · Fire-Making Spell (Incendio) · Freezing Charm (Immobulus) · Freezing Spell (Glacius) · Full Body-Bind Curse (Petrificus Totalus) · General Counter-Spell (Finite Incantatem) · Growth Charm · Knitting Charm · Knockback Jinx (Flipendo) · Leg-Locker Curse (Locomotor Mortis) · Levitation Charm (Wingardium Leviosa) · Locking Spell (Colloportus) · Locomotion Charm (Locomotor) · Mending Charm (Reparo) · Memory Charm (Obliviate) · Muffliato Charm (Muffliato) · Nonverbal spell · Pack Charm (Pack) · Red Sparks (Vermillious) · Reductor Curse (Reducto) · Scouring Charm (Scourgify) · Seize and Pull Charm (Carpe Retractum) · Severing Charm (Diffindo) · Shrinking Charm (Reducio) · Silencing Charm (Silencio) · Slowing Charm (Arresto Momentum) · Skurge Scouring Charm (Skurge) · Softening Charm (Spongify) · Spell for growing legs · Substantive Charm · Summoning Charm (Accio) · Tickling Charm (Rictusempra) · Unlocking Charm (Alohomora) · Vinegar into Wine · Wand-Extinguishing Charm (Nox) · Wand-Lighting Charm (Lumos) · Lumos Maxima · Water-Making Spell (Aguamenti)

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

Defence Against the Dark Arts (D.A.D.A.)
D.A.D.A. at Hogwarts
Classroom 3C · Temporary Classroom · Hogwarts Turris Magnus · Teacher's Office · Storeroom · Staircase · Lesson Cup · Race Cup · Dumbledore's Army
Arsenius Jigger · Albus Dumbledore · Galatea Merrythought · Patricia Rakepick · Quirinus Quirrell · Gilderoy Lockhart · Remus Lupin · Bartemius Crouch Junior (as Alastor Moody) · Dolores Umbridge · Severus Snape · Amycus Carrow (as Dark Arts teacher)
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
Spells studied at Hogwarts under D.A.D.A.
Aqua Eructo Charm · Boggart-Banishing Spell · Counter-curses · Counter-jinxes · Counter-spells · Curse of the Bogies · Defensive Charms · Densaugeo · Deprimo · Disarming Charm · Everte Statum · Freezing Spell · Full Body-Bind Curse · Fumos Duo · Green Sparks · Hex-Breaker· Hex-deflection · Hex Zapper · Homorphus Charm · Impediment Jinx · Knockback Jinx · Lacarnum Inflamari · Nonverbal spells · Patronus Charm · Red Sparks · Reductor Curse · Salvio hexia · Seize and Pull Charm · Shield Charm · Smokescreen Spell · Snake-Vanishing Spell · Stunning Spell · Tickling Charm · Tongue-Tying Curse · Trip Jinx · Verdimillious Charm · Verdimillious Duo Spell · Verdimillious Tria · Wand-Lighting Charm · Cruciatus Curse · Imperius Curse · Killing Curse
Creatures studied at Hogwarts under D.A.D.A.
Banshee · Boggart · Cornish Pixie · Dementor · Erkling · Ghost · Ghoul · Grindylow · Gytrash · Hag · Hinkypunk · Iguana · Imp · Inferius · Kappa · Nocturnal beasts · Red Cap · Snake · Troll · Vampire · Vampire bat · Werewolf · Yeti · Zombie
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