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"This ancient and mysterious charm conjures a magical guardian, a projection of all your most positive feelings. The Patronus Charm is difficult, and many witches and wizards are unable to produce a full, corporeal Patronus, a guardian which generally takes the shape of the animal with whom they share the deepest affinity. You may suspect, but you will never truly know what form your Patronus will take until you succeed in conjuring it."
Miranda Goshawk's overview of the Patronus Charm[src]

The Patronus Charm (Expecto Patronum) was the most famous and one of the most powerful defensive charms known to wizardkind.[4] It was an immensely complicated and extremely difficult spell that channelled the caster's positive emotions into a powerful protection. When cast properly, it evoked a partially-tangible positive energy force known as a Patronus (pl. Patronuses)[5] or spirit guardian.[3] It was the primary protection against Dementors and Lethifolds, against which there were no other defences.

There were two types of Patronuses: the incorporeal variant, which took the form of a shapeless wave of mist, and the corporeal variant, which had a particular shape, taking on the form of the animal that the caster had the greatest affinity for. The incorporeal Patronus was weaker than its corporeal counterpart, but the corporeal Patronus was more advanced and difficult.

Some wizards, like Remus Lupin chose to cast incorporeal Patronuses, even if they were capable of a more powerful corporeal Patronus, as a way to prevent the Patronus animal from revealing their identity.[1]


Early history[]

It is evident from old woodcuts and scrolls that the Patronus Charm had been used since ancient times. Therefore, it is unknown who created it, or when it was first invented.[6] However, use of the charm is attested in Greek antiquity, as ancient Greek wizard Andros the Invincible became famous for being able to summon a Patronus the size of a giant.[7] The charm also has a long association with those fighting for lofty or noble causes (those able to produce corporeal Patronuses were often elected to high office within the Wizengamot and Ministry of Magic).[4]

According to legend, one of the most famous Patronuses of all time was a lowly mouse, which belonged to a young wizard called Illyius. Illyius cast the Patronus Charm when his village was being attacked by the Dark wizard Raczidian and his army of Dementors. Despite the mouse's diminutive size, it shone with a brilliant light, bringing the Dementors to a halt as it nimbly moved through the ranks of fleeing villagers.[6] Enraged, Raczidian decided to enter the fray himself. He tried to summon a Patronus to ward off Illyius's mouse.

However, Raczidian failed to remember that only the pure of heart could produce a Patronus. Thus, for the first time in history, it was revealed what happened when a competent, but unworthy wizard or witch attempted the spell. Maggots shot out of Raczidian's wand and quickly devoured him as they engulfed his entire body. The villagers then hailed Illyius as a hero.[6]

Second Wizarding War[]

"And out of the end of his wand burst, not a shapeless cloud of mist, but a blinding, dazzling, silver animal. He screwed up his eyes, trying to see what it was. It looked like a horse. It was galloping silently away from him, across the black surface of the lake. He saw it lower its head and charge at the swarming dementors... "
— Harry Potter's stag Patronus fending off hundreds of Dementors[src]
Stag Patronus

Harry Potter's stag Patronus fending off hundreds of Dementors

Harry Potter took Anti-Dementor lessons with Remus Lupin in order to learn the advanced charm and was one of the youngest to attempt this charm with actual results.[1] During a Quidditch match against Ravenclaw in 1994, he cast his very first corporeal Patronus, when several Slytherin students were impersonating Dementors.[8] He performed the charm again in June when he, along with Hermione Granger and Sirius Black, were being attacked by over a hundred Dementors, and cast a corporeal Patronus powerful enough to drive them all away.[9][10]

In 1995, Harry cast the charm against a Boggart that he thought was a Dementor during the third task of the Triwizard Tournament.[11] The following summer, he and Dudley Dursley came under attack by two Dementors, and Harry managed to drive them away with the charm, leading to him being put on trial for underage magic in an attempt to discredit him.[12]

B5C27M1 Harry Teaching Dumbledores Army Patronus Spell

Harry Potter teaching the members of the D.A. the charm

Harry also taught the members of Dumbledore's Army the charm, some of whom were successful in casting it.[12]

The charm was used frequently to ward off Dementors, such as when The Trio escaped from the Ministry of Magic after obtaining the Horcrux locket, and during the Battle of Hogwarts. Severus Snape also conjured his Doe Patronus to guide Harry to the hiding place of the Sword of Gryffindor.[13]

The Order of the Phoenix would send out messages with their Patronuses, such as Kingsley Shacklebolt and Arthur Weasley, who in 1997 delivered warnings.[13]

After the war[]

"So shall it be written in Hogwarts: A History: A Patronus of Light was summoned at Hogwarts that day."
— Description of the 2010-2011 Hogwarts siege[src]
Harry's Patronus MA

Harry's Patronus at the end of the battle

This charm was used by Hogwarts staff, students and alumni during the 2010–2011 school year when Dementors and other Dark creatures attacked the castle. Minerva McGonagall personally met some students in the Great Hall and urged them to practise the charm even though it was an advanced spell.[14] Later in the greenhouses, a Dementor attacked Daniel Page, and an unidentified student tried to cast the spell to no avail, but Filius Flitwick arrived and successfully used the spell to banish the Dementor.[15] At the end of the final battle, Harry Potter came to the rescue and cast the final Patronus Charm.[16]

Skirmish in the dungeon MA

The students casting the Patronus Charm in the caravan dungeon

In the same school year, having heavily practised the charm, Daniel Page, Ivy Warrington and the unidentified student cast it to fend off the Dementors in the dungeon of Victor Gridley's caravan.[17]

In 2020 of an alternate reality, Hermione Granger stopped Ron Weasley from casting the spell to drive off Dementors in order to buy time for Scorpius Malfoy to travel back in time and set things right. Severus Snape subsequently cast the spell, surprising Scorpius with its doe shape. Snape sent his Patronus to clear the way for Scorpius to reach the Great Lake, sacrificing himself in the process, since the doe protected Scorpius instead of its caster. The doe disappeared when Snape was given the Dementor's Kiss, but succeeded in safely guiding Scorpius to the lake.[18]


"Well, when it works correctly, it conjures up a Patronus, which is a kind of anti-Dementor — a guardian which acts as a shield between you and the Dementor. The Patronus is a kind of positive force, a projection of the very things that the Dementor feeds upon — hope, happiness, the desire to survive — but it cannot feel despair, as real humans can, so the Dementors can't hurt it. But I must warn you, Harry, that the Charm might be too advanced for you. Many qualified wizards have difficulty with it."
Remus Lupin explaining to Harry Potter the charm's nature[src]

According to Charms of Defence and Deterrence, the masterwork of the great eighteenth-century researcher of Charms, Professor Catullus Spangle, the Patronus represented that which was hidden, unknown but necessary within the personality. When a human was confronted with inhuman evil, such as the Dementor, they must draw upon resources they might never have needed otherwise, and the Patronus was the awakened secret self that lay dormant until needed, which must now be brought to light.

Corporeal Patronuses took the form of whatever animal the caster had the greatest affinity for. It could take a form that its caster might not expect, animals for which they had never felt a particular affinity, or (in rare cases) even recognised. Every Patronus was as unique as its creator, and even identical twins had been known to produce very different Patronuses.[4]


Ginny Weasley conjuring a horse Patronus, a common form of Patronus

Dogs, cats, and horses were among the most common Patronuses when cast. Given these animals' long affinity with humans, it is perhaps unsurprising that humans would commonly have an affinity for them. Although it must be noted that any corporeal Patronus was highly unusual.[4]

The unusual witches and wizards who produced a Patronus that took the form of their favourite animal was an indicator of obsession or eccentricity. Here was a wizard who may not have been able to hide their essential self in common life, and may have paraded tendencies that others might have preferred to conceal. Whatever the form of their Patronus, one would be well-advised to show respect, and occasionally caution, towards a witch or wizard who produced the Patronus of their choice.[4]

If they were not protecting anyone, Patronuses seemed to take on the traits of the creature they resembled and generally followed their caster around. This made it unsure whether or not they were truly sentient. Harry's Patronus was able to follow both oral and physical commands.

Remus Lupin owned a spellbook which detailed the casting of the Patronus Charm.[19]


Harry Potter: "And how do you conjure it?"
Remus Lupin: "With an incantation, which will work only if you are concentrating, with all your might, on a single, very happy memory."
— Discussion on how to conjure a Patronus[src]

To successfully cast the spell, one began by mustering the happiest memory they could think of; the happier the memory, the better the charm would work.[1] Alternatively, one could fantasize a scenario that would act as a very happy memory, as Harry did for his D.A.D.A. O.W.L. exam.[12] The next step was to begin drawing circles with their wand so as to increase the power of their spell.[6] They must then say the incantation, Expecto Patronum; the Patronus would come from the tip of the wand and could be directed towards a target by pointing one's wand at said target.[20]

The vast majority of witches and wizards were unable to produce any form of Patronus, and to create even the weaker and less difficult incorporeal variant was generally considered a mark of superior magical ability.[4] Rubeus Hagrid was an example of a wizard who could not conjure any form of Patronus, as the charm was too difficult for him.[21] Alternatively, Minerva McGonagall was the only person seen to be able to produce three Patronus charms at once.

Some witches and wizards may have been unable to produce a Patronus at all until they had undergone some kind of psychic shock.[4]

POA Remus Hogwarts Express against Dementor

Remus Lupin disguising his Patronus to hide his condition

It was possible to disguise the form one's Patronus took, which was done both by Severus Snape to hide his love for Lily Evans, and by Remus Lupin, who felt it would give away his condition.[4]

Patronuses only remained active whilst the caster was focusing on them.

Although it was extremely hard to fully conjure a Patronus, in an alternate reality, fourth-years in Defence Against the Dark Arts class were tasked with casting this charm.[18]


"That's very, very advanced magic."
— The difficulty and complexity of the charm[src]

The Patronus Charm was widely regarded as advanced magic, far beyond N.E.W.T.-level. It was very complex, and many qualified wizards and witches had trouble with it.[4] Being able to cast a Patronus, whilst fighting Dementors or not, was not required to graduate from Hogwarts, so it was something that was only taught under special circumstances. Amelia Bones and potential members of the D.A. were all very impressed when Harry Potter revealed that he could cast not only a Patronus Charm but a corporeal one to boot, which was notably more difficult than casting an incorporeal one, from as early as his third Hogwarts school year. In fact, Harry Potter was one of the youngest known wizards able to cast a Patronus; he was taught how to do so in early 1994 at the age of thirteen by Remus Lupin, who described the charm as "ridiculously advanced".[1]

Patronus shield POAF

Harry Potter struggling to conjure a Patronus, due to the overwhelming number of Dementors

In a Dumbledore's Army lesson, Harry taught the members how to use the charm. Some were even successful in casting a corporeal form, though Harry said this might be because there was no Dementor to make them frightened and thus impede their efforts.[12] However, three members were later able to cast corporeal Patronuses in the presence of Dementors.[13]

Given that the success of the charm was directly reliant on the caster retaining a particular mental state, it was more difficult to cast in emotionally trying circumstances. For instance, Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger all had difficulty casting their Patronuses when under the negative influence of Salazar Slytherin's Locket, one of Lord Voldemort's Horcruxes, and after witnessing the death of Fred Weasley in the final battle.[13] This feature of the Charm was particularly unfortunate, since the Charm's primary use was to defend against Dementors, which were specifically equipped to mentally unhinge people.

Self-confidence may also play an important role in casting the spell. In 1994, after going back in time, Harry was able to cast the spell successfully, driving off a large number of Dementors in the process (which, according to Severus Snape, was only achievable by a very powerful wizard), thus saving Sirius Black and a younger version of himself, seemingly without recalling a happy memory. Harry cast the charm when he realised that his future self had already done it, although he could potentially have had the required 'happy memory' upon realising that he had already saved all three of their souls.[10]


"While there is a widespread and justified belief that a wizard who is not pure of heart cannot produce a successful Patronus (the most famous example of the spell backfiring is that of the Dark wizard Raczidian, who was devoured by maggots), a rare few witches and wizards of questionable morals have succeeded in producing the Charm..."
— The worthiness needed to produce a Patronus[src]

Raczidian's demise while trying to cast a Patronus

It was a general (and justified) belief held by the wizarding world that only those who were pure of heart were able to cast the Patronus Charm. This, however, was untrue, as several characters with negative personality traits were able to cast a fully-fledged Patronus.[4]

If an unworthy witch or wizard attempted to cast it, they would be devoured by a swarm of maggots coming from their wand.[6] However, Dark witches and wizards would generally not try to produce a Patronus at all, not having any need for one. Most such men and women, who became desensitised to the effects of the Dark creatures whom they may ally themselves with, regarded the Patronus not being necessary to know. [4] For this reason, Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters were not able to cast a Patronus Charm (not that it was necessary, as they already had the Dark creatures under their control via their affinity to darkness, and would have no use for Patronuses).[22] Draco Malfoy numbered among those unable to cast the Patronus Charm. Severus Snape was the only Death Eater capable of casting the charm.[13]

However, some witches and wizards of questionable morals, such as Dolores Umbridge, were able to produce corporeal Patronuses. This may have been because she had a true and confident (though erroneous) belief in the righteousness of her actions.[4][13] Merula Snyde could only conjure an incorporeal Patronus, though it should be noted that she was only a fourth-year at the time and it was an advanced spell; the only other wizards known to produce a corporeal Patronus by that age were Harry Potter, Nymphadora Tonks, and Jacob's sibling.[23] Patricia Rakepick was a Dark witch who sadistically tortured Merula Snyde with the Cruciatus Curse and murdered Rowan Khanna with the Killing Curse, yet was able to cast a corporeal Patronus in the form of a lioness.[24]

The Patronus[]

A successfully conjured Patronus could take one of two forms: incorporeal and corporeal. Both types varied greatly in their appearances and strength.


"A thin wisp of silver escaped his wand and hovered like mist before him."
— Description of Harry Potter's incorporeal shield Patronus[src]
POA Harry Patronus Charm practise

Harry Potter casting an incorporeal Patronus for the first time

An incorporeal[25] Patronus was one that did not resemble any living creature and had few distinguishing features, if any. Incorporeal Patronuses resembled a burst of vapour or smoke without any clearly defined form shooting from the tip of the caster's wand.

While they might be partially effective at halting Dementors (but not repelling them) and shielding the caster from them, incorporeal Patronuses were not "fully-fledged" Patronuses, and were regarded as a simpler and weaker version of the Charm. However, being able to cast even an incorporeal Patronus was still seen as an impressive feat.[4]


Harry Potter: "What does a Patronus look like?"
Remus Lupin: "Each one is unique to the wizard who conjures it."
— Discussion of corporeal forms a Patronus could take[src]
Doe next step module

Severus Snape's doe Patronus was the same as Lily Potter's due to his lifelong love for her

A corporeal Patronus was one that was fully-formed, taking the shape of a bright, silvery, translucent animal. It was the strongest form a Patronus could take, being able to fully drive Dementors away.

The animal species it took the form of was the one which the caster had the greatest affinity for. Furthermore, the specific animal forms that a corporeal Patronus took would vary from person to person and reflect each individual's innermost personality. No two Patronuses were the same. Most Patronuses took the form of a mundane animal. Hedley Fleetwood's woolly mammoth Patronus was a notable exception. It was very rare for Patronuses to take the form of extinct animals. Patronuses resembling a magical creature, such as Albus Dumbledore's phoenix Patronus, were the most uncommon kind of all.[6][4] Andros the Invincible was the only known wizard capable of casting a Patronus the size of a giant,[7] although whether it was a true giant or not is unknown.

No reliable system for predicting the form of an individual's Patronus has ever been found.[4]

It should be noted that the animal was a reflection of the caster, not a reflection of the strength of the spell. While a rare and magical Patronus undoubtedly reflected an unusual personality, it did not follow that it was more powerful, or will enjoy greater success at defending its caster. In fact, one of the most famous Patronuses of all time was a lowly mouse, which belonged to a legendary young wizard called Illyius, who used it to single-handedly hold off an attack from an army of Dementors, led by Raczidian.[4]

Additionally, Patronus forms were subject to change if the caster went through an emotional upheaval of some sort, including falling in eternal, unchanging love.[26] For example, Nymphadora Tonks's Patronus changed from its previous jack rabbit form to an ambiguous four-legged creature, which others guessed was a wolf because it would reflect her love for Remus Lupin, himself a werewolf.[12] Another example was Severus Snape, whose Patronus was that of a doe, the same as Lily Evans, though this may have been the case all along rather than a change from its original form, as Snape was in love with Lily for most of his life.

Based on the fact that Patronuses were conjured by recalling happy memories, it stands to reason that a Patronus might change its form after one fell in love and the memories used to conjure the Patronus largely revolved around the person the caster was in love with. In addition, it seemed that some couples had "complementary" Patronuses (male and female forms of the same animal), such as Lily and James Potter. It is, however, unknown if this was a coincidence or not.

If a wizard was an Animagus and could summon a corporeal Patronus, their animal transformation and the Patronus animal might take the same form. This was the case for Minerva McGonagall and James Potter.[13] Apparently, the form one's Patronus took may have been predetermined by the same inner-traits as the Animagus form.

Remus Lupin's Patronus took the form of a true wolf rather than a werewolf. Whether or not all werewolves would generate a similar Patronus is unknown. It stands to reason that it was likely due to Remus's best memories of his youth revolving around the acceptance he felt despite his condition, in which he felt more at home in his wolf form during those times, rather than cursed by it and also due to his nature as desiring a sense of belonging at his core, much like a true wolf.


"As a pure, protective magical concentration of happiness and hope (the recollection of a single talisman memory is essential in its creation) it is the only spell effective against Dementors."
— The Patronus is the only known method of defence against a Dementor[src]

There were two known uses for the Patronus Charm. The first and main use of the Patronus was to drive off certain dark creatures, such as Dementors and Lethifolds, and was the only known charm that would work against them. As Dementors fed on happy memories, causing humans to drown in their own sadness and hopelessness, the Patronus acted as a shield of sorts, of which the Dementor would try to feed off of instead — and since the Patronus was comprised exclusively of positive feelings and couldn't comprehend negative emotion, the Dementor's influence couldn't affect it.

HarryPotterDeath feature

Harry casting a Patronus during the hunt for Horcruxes

The other use was devised by Albus Dumbledore, who invented a way of using the Patronus (corporeal and incorporeal) as a means of communication. They could deliver messages, speaking with the voice of the caster. This source of communication was believed to be exclusive to the members of the Order of the Phoenix. Using the Patronus for communication offered great advantages in security, as Patronuses identified the caster and were Dark Arts-proof.[3] A prime example of this was when Minerva McGonagall used her feline Patronus to call for help to the other Heads of Houses in 1998, when she found out that Harry Potter had returned to Hogwarts in search of Rowena Ravenclaw's Diadem.[13]

Multiple Patronuses could be cast for communication, as McGonagall was able to create three. Another was when Severus Snape used his Patronus to lead Harry Potter to a pool in the Forest of Dean in 1997, where he had laid the Sword of Gryffindor for Harry to retrieve. It is unknown if Snape had conjured the Patronus with instructions to follow, or if he was hiding nearby and controlling it for this task.

Patronuses and practitioners[]

"The majority of witches and wizards are unable to produce Patronuses and to do so is generally considered a mark of superior magical ability."
— Only a select few witches and wizards can cast a Patronus[src]
Witch/wizard Patronal form Notes
Andros the Invincible Something allegedly the size of a giant[7] Stated on his Chocolate Frog Card as the only wizard to make a Patronus that size.[7]

Andros the Invencible

Illyius Mouse[6] Initially, Illyius's fellow villagers mocked him as they had never seen such a small and weak-looking Patronus, which corresponded to Illyius's timidity and for being tongue-tied. However, when the Dark wizard Raczidian invaded and terrorised the village with his army of Dementors, Illyius's mouse Patronus proved to be stronger than the others, making him a hero.[6]
Flavius Belby Something with horns[27] In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, it is recorded that Flavius cast off a Lethifold by performing the Patronus Charm. The Lethifold was thrown into the air on the horns of his Patronus.[27]
Cho Chang Swan Seen in the last Dumbledore's Army meeting in 1996.
Patronus Swan2
Aberforth Dumbledore Goat Summoned outside the Hog's Head in an attempt to convince the Death Eaters who had seen Harry's stag Patronus that they really saw a goat.
Albus Dumbledore Phoenix Albus used it in 1995 as a message to Hagrid when Krum was stunned. It was described as "a ghostly bird that flew off in the direction of Hagrid's house". The phoenix was a rare form of the Patronus.
Phoenix Patronus WU
Seamus Finnigan Fox Seamus could not produce a fully formed corporeal Patronus in Dumbledore's Army, though, in the Battle of Hogwarts in 1998, he managed to conjure a Patronus in the shape of a fox.
Hedley Fleetwood Woolly mammoth[6] An unusual form, due to the extreme rarity of Patronuses based on extinct animals.
Hermione Granger Otter Seen in the last Dumbledore's Army meeting in 1996. It is apparently the only spell Hermione had trouble with, as said in 1997 while escaping from the Ministry of Magic.
Hermione's Patronus
Harry Potter Stag Harry's Patronus was in the shape of his father's Animagus form and Patronus. He learned how to conjure a Patronus at an exceptionally young age.
Stag patronus
James Potter James' Patronus form was also that of a stag.
Luna Lovegood Hare[13][28] Seen in the last Dumbledore's Army meeting in 1996 and in the Battle of Hogwarts in 1998.
Ernie Macmillan Boar Seen in the Battle of Hogwarts in 1998.[13]
Minerva McGonagall Cat Just before the Battle of Hogwarts, Minerva sent her Patronus out to alert the other Heads of House that Hogwarts Castle would soon be under attack by Lord Voldemort and his followers.[13]
Dolores Umbridge While interrogating Muggle-borns at a trial, Dolores had cast a Patronus to ward the Dementors from the prosecutors. Cats were her favourite animal, as shown by the many plates with cats on them in her office. She was able to cast the Patronus due to her affinity with the locket Horcrux's evil influence.[13]
Lily Potter Doe Mentioned in conjunction with Snape's Patronus. It was also the female form of her husband's Patronus.
Severus Snape Acted as Harry's guide through the woods to where Godric Gryffindor's Sword was hidden. Snape's Patronus mirrored Lily's due to his unspoken love for her that began when they were small children.
Cast by Severus Snape to aid Scorpius Malfoy and himself in the alternate reality created by Albus Potter and Scorpius in 2020.
Symposia Rawle Ladybird[6] An unusual form that was very powerful, despite its tiny size.[6]
Kingsley Shacklebolt Lynx Seen in 1997 when Kingsley warned the Order during Bill and Fleur's wedding of the downfall of the Ministry of Magic and Rufus Scrimgeour's death.
Kingsley Patronus PM
Nymphadora Tonks Jack rabbit[4] Tonks learned the Patronus Charm at some point by or during her fourth year.[23] Her Patronus originally took the form of a jackrabbit.
Tonks Patronus
Wolf The form of Tonks' Patronus changed in 1996. It became a wolf due to her love for Remus Lupin.[29] Changes of Patronus are rare and usually caused by devastating life traumas. Occasionally when a witch and a wizard are married, their Patronuses will match each other, most likely because the caster's happy thought may be that of their spouse.
Nymphadora Tonks casting the Patronus Charm
Remus Lupin[30] Remus often deliberately disguised the form of his Patronus by casting it as an incorporeal one, because he felt that it would give away too much about his lycanthropy.[4][30]
Arthur Weasley Weasel First seen when Arthur sent a message about Rufus Scrimgeour's arrival on Harry's seventeenth birthday. Later seen when Arthur sent a Patronus to 12 Grimmauld Place to inform Harry, Ron, and Hermione that the Weasley family was safe.
Ginny Weasley Horse[20] Seen in the last Dumbledore's Army meeting in 1996.[20]
Ginny's Patronus GIF
Ron Weasley Jack Russell terrier[31] Seen in the last Dumbledore's Army meeting in 1996 and in the Battle of Hogwarts in 1998.
Jacob's sibling Either a white stallion, unicorn, Abraxan, tiger, cheetah, leopard, Spotted Hare, Mountain Hare or Lop-Eared Rabbit[23]

In their fourth year, they learnt the charm under Tonks' tutelage.[23]

Patricia Rakepick Lioness[24] An unusual form, as lions were not native to Great Britain.[4] Used to banish several Dementors in the Forbidden Forest in 1990.[24]
Lioness Patronus HM
Miriam Strout White Swan[32] Miriam's Patronus changed to this form to commemorate Talbott Winger's mother, a White Swan Animagus and colleague Healer at St Mungo's.[32]
White Swan Patronus pointing to cursed CD HM726
Constance Pickering Unicorn[33] A rare form, given how a unicorn is a magical creature.[4]
Daniel Page Black cat[17] Mastered the charm at a very young age.[17]
Lottie Turner Hummingbird Mastered the charm at a very young age.[17]
Cassandra Vole Mink Mastered the charm at a very young age.[17]
Colby Frey Rhinoceros Mastered the charm at a very young age.[17]
Fischer Frey Crocodile Mastered the charm at a very young age.[17]
Ivy Warrington Pug Mastered the charm at a very young age.[17]
Robyn Thistlethwaite Polar Bear Mastered the charm at a very young age.[17]
Kevin Farrell Hedgehog Mastered the charm at a very young age.[17]
Helen Thistlewood Rabbit[34] Used it to ward off Dementors while visiting Azkaban.[34]

Patronus forms[]


Patronus is the nominative singular case meaning "protector", "guardian", or simply "patron" in Latin, specifically reflecting the entire role that the Patronus Charm plays. In archaic Latin, it meant "father", which is interesting, considering that Harry Potter's Patronus is the same as his father's Patronus and Animagus form, a stag. The Latin word exspecto is the first person singular form of exspectare meaning "to await", thus the charm's incantation translates into "I await a patron" (since patronum is the singular accusative form of patronus, meaning it is the case which a noun or an adjective describing the noun takes when it is the direct object of a sentence, which in the spell's translation, it is).

Behind the scenes[]

" [...] the Patronus often mutates to take the image of the love of one's life (because they so often become the 'happy thought' that generates a Patronus). "
J. K. Rowling[src]

The spell's symbol in the PC version of the Prisoner of Azkaban video game


The Patronus Charm as seen in the PC version of the Prisoner of Azkaban video game


The Patronus Charm in LEGO form


Expecto Patronum as seen in Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells

Spellpath expectopatronum 3 light

The wand movement for the Patronus Charm in Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

  • Two Patronuses planned for the films but were ultimately cut included a Thestral and a chimpanzee.[35]
  • The Patronuses of James Potter and Minerva McGonagall match their respective Animagi form. These are the only characters whose Patronus and Animagus forms are known. However, not all Animagi have the same animal as their Patronus and Animagus.[36]
    • Similarly, Remus Lupin's Patronus is a wolf, but whether this is universal among werewolves or not is unknown.
  • In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, when Dementors attack Harry, Hermione, and Sirius, Harry's Patronus is very weak and thin (based on the large amount of Dementors) yet the Dementors were still unable to pass through it. However, one Dementor made it vanish by gesturing at it.
  • In the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, a white peacock appears in the gardens of Malfoy Manor. Some fans believed this bird to be Lucius Malfoy's Patronus. However, J. K. Rowling stated that no Death Eater except Severus Snape could (or had a need to) conjure a Patronus, because Death Eaters fight alongside that which Patronuses fight against.[37] This means that the peacock was in fact a living creature. It is stated in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows that the creature was in fact an albino peacock.
  • In the video game adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the more moderate Expecto Patronum is a ball of light.
    • In the console versions, it works as a guided-missile that can only be steered left or right, and accelerate.
    • In the PC version, before being cast, a white ring goes up Harry's arm and if it reaches the top of the wand, Harry has to try the spell again, and it is used only to attack Dementors (it also produces lightning effects). At the climax of the game, a stag (Harry's Patronus) jumps out of the wand to drive away all the Dementors nearby attacking Harry and Sirius, and its during that battle in the console versions, Harry's Patronus changes into a stag with altered controls.
  • In said video game, the first video game adaption of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4/LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7, the Patronus Charm appears to push the Dementors away with the first shot, and destroys them with the second shot.
  • The lecture that Harry gives on Patronuses to Dumbledore's Army in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is extremely similar to the lecture Remus Lupin gave him in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, Dolores Umbridge's Patronus seems to emanate a shield that keeps the Dementors separated from everyone in the courtroom. In addition, Kingsley Shacklebolt's Patronus is described in the novel as taking the form of a lynx; however, in the film it is depicted as a shimmering comet of light from which springs silvery images of witches and wizards screaming in terror, as Kingsley's voice details the death of Scrimgeour and the fall of the Ministry.
  • In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4, Voldemort, Lucius Malfoy, Walden Macnair, Barty Crouch Jnr, and an unnamed Death Eater can all cast the spell, despite the fact that Rowling stated that no Death Eater besides Severus Snape could produce a Patronus. This was most likely incorporated for gameplay purposes.[38]
  • According to W.O.M.B.A.T., it is possible that Patronuses vary in strength according to which animal's form they take. Later canon from Wonderbook: Book of Spells, however, stresses that this is not the case and that the form of the animal has no correlation to the strength of the Patronus (see, for instance, Illyius and Symposia Rawle).
  • J. K. Rowling stated that the happy memory that would produce the strongest Patronus for her would be the births of any of her three children, though a close fourth would be when she learned that Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was going to be published.[39] She has also stated that she'd like for her Patronus to be an otter, like Hermione's, but she has a feeling it might actually be a large dog.[37] However, in a message on Twitter in 2014, she claimed it would be a pine marten.[40] Additionally, in a 2000 interview, she stated that the Patronus Charm was her favourite spell in the series so far.[41] Rowling later revealed that a pine marten was what she had tested as in the initial form of the Patronus test that was later posted on Pottermore. She took the test again in its final form and tested as a heron.[42]
  • Learning to cast a Patronus is one of the tasks given to the player in the final Chapter of the game Wonderbook: Book of Spells. For learning the incantation and gesture, the player is given the Trophy "Expecto Patronum!" On the next page, the player is given the chance to cast a true Patronus, the form of which is apparently chosen randomly. Amongst the possible Patronuses are a bat, a bull, a cat, a goat, a horse, a rabbit, a scorpion and a snake.[43] For discovering their Patronus, the player is awarded the Trophy "True Patronus."
  • J. K. Rowling has stated the only way that a Patronus is able to change its current form is through eternal unchangable love.
  • Although J. K. Rowling has stated that the plural form is Patronuses and not Patroni, the German translation always translates it as Patroni.
  • On 22 September 2016, Pottermore unveiled the long-awaited and discussed option for members of the site to determine their patronus. This takes the form of a quiz of several questions that can only be taken once, at which point the member's Patronus is revealed and added to their member profile.[44]
  • When J. K. Rowling was asked about the form of Newton Scamander's Patronus, she said that it would be a spoiler to future films of the Fantastic Beasts series.[45]
  • On Pottermore (and in other releases), a few animals such as horses, cats, squirrells and swans, have Patronuses in different hair colours of the animal. It is unknown how hard the difference is to tell in-universe, since all Patronuses are silver in colour, and therefore all look the same (aside from their forms).

Patronuses in the films[]


The Harry Potter Wiki has 255 images related to Patronus Charm.

Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 12 (The Patronus)
  2. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 JKR Official Site (Text only, accessed 8 February, 2012 via the Wayback Web Archive)
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 4.19 Writing by J. K. Rowling: "Patronus Charm" at Wizarding World
  5. "The Rules" at AccioQuote!
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 Wonderbook: Book of Spells
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
  8. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 13 (Gryffindor versus Ravenclaw)
  9. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 20 (The Dementor's Kiss)
  10. 10.0 10.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 21 (Hermione's Secret)
  11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 31 (The Third Task)
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  13. 13.00 13.01 13.02 13.03 13.04 13.05 13.06 13.07 13.08 13.09 13.10 13.11 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  14. Harry Potter: Magic Awakened - "A New Dawn" special event - Day 1 (see this video)
  15. Harry Potter: Magic Awakened - "A New Dawn" special event - Day 5 (see this video)
  16. Harry Potter: Magic Awakened - "A New Dawn" special event - End of battle (see this video)
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 17.6 17.7 17.8 17.9 Harry Potter: Magic Awakened
  18. 18.0 18.1 Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game)
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
  21. Hagrid couldn't produce a Patronus. It's a very difficult spell. by J.K. Rowling on Twitter
  22. J.K. Rowling and the Live Chat, Bloomsbury.com, July 30, 2007 (2.00-3.00pm BST) at Accio Quote!
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 4, Side Quest "Unleash Your Patronus"
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6, Chapter 18 (Into the Forest)
  25. Pottermore describes "non-corporeal" Patronuses as "incorporeal".
  26. .@tigs25 Your Patronus only changes if it's eternal love, unchanging - part of you forever. by J.K. Rowling on Twitter
  27. 27.0 27.1 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  28. "Harry Latino Interview" retrieved from Snitch Seeker
  29. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 8 (Snape Victorious)
  30. 30.0 30.1 Writing by J. K. Rowling: "Remus Lupin" at Wizarding World
  31. "Leaky Cauldron and MuggleNet Interview with J. K. Rowling" retrieved from Accio Quote!
  32. 32.0 32.1 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 7, Chapter 28 (The Last Laugh)
  33. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite - Baby Beasts
  34. 34.0 34.1 Hogwarts Legacy (see this video)
  35. Harry Potter Limited Edition
  36. In Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, the options for the Patronus and Animagus form of Jacob's sibling are different.
  37. 37.0 37.1 The Leaky Cauldron - J.K. Rowling July 30, 2007 Bloomsbury.com chat
  38. J.K. Rowling and the Live Chat, Bloomsbury.com, July 30, 2007
  39. Harry Potter: A Blue Peter Special interview, transcript available here
  40. Twitter account of J.K. Rowling
  41. AOL Live Interview - October 19, 2000
  42. Discover your Patronus on Pottermore
  43. See this YouTube video's comments
  44. My Pottermore - Patronus
  45. Twitter - Newt Scamander's Patronus
Defence Against the Dark Arts (D.A.D.A.)
D.A.D.A. at Hogwarts
Classroom 3C · Classroom 3C backrooms · Temporary Classroom · Hogwarts Turris Magnus · Teacher's Office · Storeroom · Staircase · Storage room · Lesson Cup · Race Cup · Duelling Club · Dumbledore's Army
Isidora Morganach · Dinah Hecat · Arsenius Jigger · Albus Dumbledore · Galatea Merrythought · 1984–1985 professor · 1985–1986 professor · 1986–1987 professor · 1987–1988 professor · Patricia Rakepick · 1989–1990 professor · First 1990–1991 professor · Olivia Green · Quirinus Quirrell · Gilderoy Lockhart · Remus Lupin · Bartemius Crouch Junior (as Alastor Moody) · Dolores Umbridge · Severus Snape · Amycus Carrow (as Dark Arts teacher) · Unidentified professor · Brindlemore
The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection · Advanced Defence Against the Dark Arts · 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 · Defence Against the Dark Arts
Spells studied at Hogwarts under D.A.D.A.
Aqua Eructo · Boggart-Banishing Spell (Riddikulus) · Bombarda Maxima · Cave inimicum · Concealment Charms · Counter-curses · Counter-jinxes · Cruciatus Curse (Crucio) · Curse of the Bogies (Mucus ad Nauseam) · Cursed barrier spell · Densaugeo · Deprimo Spell (Deprimo) · Disarming Charm (Expelliarmus) · Ear-Shrivelling Curse · Everte Statum · Freezing Spell (Glacius) · Full Body-Bind Curse (Petrificus Totalus) · Fumos Duo · Green Sparks · Hex-Breaker· Hex-deflection · Hex Zapper · Homorphus Charm · Human-presence-revealing Spell (Homenum Revelio) · Impediment Jinx (Impedimenta) · Imperius Curse (Imperio) · Imperturbable Charm · Killing Curse (Avada Kedavra) · Knockback Jinx (Flipendo) · Lacarnum Inflamari · Langlock · Levitation Spell (Levioso) · Limbo Mist anticharm · Nonverbal spells · Patronus Charm (Expecto Patronum) · Pimple Jinx (Furnunculus) · Protective enchantments · Red Sparks (Vermillious) · Reductor Curse (Reducto) · Salvio hexia · Sea Urchin Jinx · Seize and pull charm (Carpe Retractum) · Shield Charm (Protego) · Smokescreen Spell (Fumos) · Snake-Vanishing Spell (Vipera Evanesca) · Softening Charm (Spongify) · Stretching Jinx · Tickling Charm (Rictusempra) · Tongue-Tying Curse (Mimblewimble) · Trip Jinx · Twitchy-Ears Hex · Verdimillious Charm (Verdimillious) · Verdimillious Duo Spell (Verdimillious) · Verdimillious Tria · Vermillious Duo · Vermillious Tria · Wand-Lighting Charm (Lumos)
Creatures studied at Hogwarts under D.A.D.A.
Banshee · Boggart · Chameleon Ghoul · Charmed skeleton · Cornish Pixie · Dementor · Dugbog · Erkling · Flesh-Eating Slug · Ghost · Ghoul · Gnome · Grindylow · Gytrash · Hag · Hinkypunk · Iguana · Imp · Inferius · Kappa · Manticore · Nocturnal beasts · Nogtail · Poltergeist · Red Cap · Snake · Troll · Vampire · Vampire bat · Werewolf · Yeti · Zombie