"Harry had already attempted a few of the Prince's self-invented spells. There had been a hex that caused toenails to grow alarmingly fast."
— The toenail-growing hex[src]

A hex was a type of dark charm,[1] whose effects caused moderate suffering to the victim. As a moderate type of dark magic, hexes were slightly worse than jinxes, but were not as dark as curses.[5]

Usage

Hexes could be defended against using Hex-deflection;[6][7] Salvio hexia was a protective enchantment used for this purpose.[8][7] Hexes could also be countered by using a Hex-Breaker or Hex Zapper, which both countered their effects.[9]

Hexes could be used in both a defensive and offensive capacity.[10][11][12][13][14][3] For instance, Ginny Weasley gained a reputation for being an accomplished caster of the Bat-Bogey Hex,[15] particularly in 1996 after using it to free herself from Dolores Umbridge's Inquisitorial Squad[14] and also for casting it on Zacharias Smith from her carriage on the Hogwarts Express.[16]

List of Hexes

Name Incantation Effect
B Bat-Bogey Hex Causes the target's bogeys to turn into large, black bats and fly out their nose.[14][2]
Bedazzling Hex Disguises things.[17]
C Confusion Hex Impairs foes by weakening their mental awareness, making them more vulnerable to attack.[18]
D Densaugeo Grotesquely elongates teeth[11]
Deterioration Hex Impaired foes and reduced an opponent's stamina.[19]
H Horn tongue hex Turns the target's tongue into a horn.[20]
Hurling Hex Unclear, possibly causes a broomstick to attempt to hurl its rider off.[21]
I Illegal growth hex Head grows.[22]
Instant scalping hex Shaves all the hair off a target's scalp.[20]
K Knee-Reversal Hex Switches knees from front of legs to back.[23][2]
P Pepper Breath Inflicts fiery hot breath.[20]
S Stickfast Hex Colloshoo Makes target's shoes stick to ground.[1]
T Tickling Hex Titillando Tickles target and weakens.[1]
Toenail-growing hex Causes its victim's toenails to grow alarmingly fast.[24]
Twitchy-Ears Hex Makes victim's ears twitch.[6][2]
W Weakening Hex Impaired foes and reduced the damage they could cause via their spell casting.[18]

Etymology

The word "hex" may derive from Pensylvania German hexe meaning "to practise witchcraft" or German hexen "to hex",[25] a meaning that the word still retains today when used as a verb. Its usage as a noun in contemporary English may refer to "a magic spell" or "a charm" and usually carries an connotation of ill will (though it used to refer to a an evil witch; such as a Hag as well).[25][26] In Dutch, a witch is called a heks, which is pronounced the same way as hex.

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."[27] This shows that the categorisation of dark charms is not set and stone, and may sometimes be used interchangeably. This explains why some spells are known by multiple names, like why the Stinging Jinx is also sometimes known as the Stinging Hex.

Appearances

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Pottermore
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Wonderbook: Book of Spells
  3. 3.0 3.1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 28 (Flight of the Prince)
  4. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
  5. J.K.Rowling Official Site - Extra Stuff
  6. 6.0 6.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 28 (The Madness of Mr Crouch)
  7. 7.0 7.1 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, Chapter 2 (Grave Danger) - Defence Against the Dark Arts Lesson "Hex-Deflection"
  8. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 14 (The Thief)
  9. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
  10. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 3 (The Burrow)
  11. 11.0 11.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 18 (The Weighing of the Wands)
  12. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 24 (Occlumency)
  13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 27 (The Centaur and the Sneak)
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 33 (Fight and Flight)
  15. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 6 (The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black)
  16. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 7 (The Slug Club)
  17. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 21 (The Tale of the Three Brothers)
  18. 18.0 18.1 Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
  19. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite (see this image)
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 20 (The First Task)
  21. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 11 (The Firebolt)
  22. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 24 (Sectumsempra)
  23. Quidditch Through the Ages, Chapter 3 (The Game from Queerditch Marsh)
  24. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 12 (Silver and Opals)
  25. 25.0 25.1 Hex, etymology of
  26. Hex, definition of
  27. J. K. Rowling Official Site - Extra Stuff
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