"And all along the corridor the statues and suits of armour jumped down from their plinths, and from the echoing crashes from the floors above and below, Harry knew that their fellows throughout the castle had done the same... Cheering and yelling, the horde of moving statues stampeded past Harry; some of them smaller, others larger than life. There were animals too, and the clanking suits of armour brandished swords and spiked balls on chains."

Piertotum Locomotor is the incantation for a charm used to bring life to those artefacts that had, previously, been inanimate and unmoving.[1] The target's movements can be controlled by the caster of the charm.[5]

Known uses

"I've always wanted to use that spell."
—Professor McGonagall[src]
Hogwarts suits of armour and statues

The statues and suits of armour

Minerva McGonagall used this charm to animate the Hogwarts suits of armour and statues to fight in the final battle of the Second Wizarding War, the Battle of Hogwarts on 1 May, 1998.[1]

The suits of armour were used to aid the defenders of Hogwarts against Lord Voldemort, his Death Eaters, and the various Dark creatures that had sided with him.[5]

Known practitioners


This incantation may derive from:

  • French "pierre", meaning "stone"[10]
  • Latin "pie", meaning "dutifully" or "affectionately"[10]
  • Latin "totum", which means "everything", "the whole" or "they all"[11]
  • Latin "loco", meaning "position" or "place"[12]
  • Latin "moto", meaning "moves" or "moving"[13]

The whole incantation could, therefore, translate to "The whole position dutifully moves," or any other combination of the translations. A less rigid translation: 'I move thee forth, all dutiful [soldiers]'. 

Behind the scenes

  • In the eighth video game, when Professor McGonagall performs this spell and gives her orders, her voice makes an echo throughout the night, most likely for dramatic effect.[14]
  • In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7, Professor McGonagall does not bring the statues and suits of armour to life onscreen.[15]
  • In the eighth film, when Professor McGonagall cast this spell during the Battle of Hogwarts, she says eagerly to Molly Weasley that she has "always wanted to use that spell".


Notes and references

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