Remus Lupin: "Expelliarmus is a useful spell, Harry, but the Death Eaters seem to think it is your signature move, and I urge you not to let it become so!"
Harry Potter: "I won’t blast people out of my way just because they’re there ... That’s Voldemort’s job."
— Harry Potter standing by his decision to use the Disarming Charm[src]

A signature spell (or signature move) was the spell most commonly cast by a witch or wizard, especially when used in the context of duelling. Even though the spell might be the one the caster was best at, its predictability could make its user vulnerable.[1]


According to Remus Lupin in 1997, Lord Voldemort's Death Eaters knew Harry Potter's signature spell was the Disarming Charm, and he urged Harry not to allow that to be the case.[1] Despite this, Harry continued to make good use of the charm, and ultimately used it to defeat and kill Voldemort in the Battle of Hogwarts.[2]

The Killing Curse was known throughout most of the wizarding world to be Voldemort's signature spell, due to his frequent and indiscriminate usage of it; he certainly massacred enough to create an army of Inferi.[3] He also invented the Morsmordre curse for his subordinates, to which it became somewhat of a signature as they usually cast it over locations where they commit murder.[4]

Sectumsempra was invented by Severus Snape,[5] and was thought to be his signature move, as Lupin noted after the Battle of the Seven Potters.[1]

Gilderoy Lockhart took great pride in his skills with the Memory Charm, the only spell he truly focused on and could cast without fail. He considered himself to be gifted in it, and used it extensively to aid his lifestyle of a credit-taking charlatan. As such, it is his signature spell, even if he did not let the world know of it, and only inadvertently blurted it out when Harry confronted him about trying to escape the Chamber of Secrets. However, it also became his downfall, as Lockhart last attempted it with a damaged wand, it caused the spell to backfire that destroyed his own memory instead, giving him severe amnesia as a result.[6]

Death Eater Antonin Dolohov's repeated use of a particular curse may also have made this a signature spell of his.[7]

Death Eater Bellatrix Lestrange was a well known practitioner of the Cruciatus Curse, where she would torture numerous victims to her immense satisfaction; thus this curse could be assumed to be her signature spell. It was often said by Dumbledore that she sadistically liked to play with her food before eating it. She is infamously known for torturing Frank and Alice Longbottom to insanity. This curse could also be considered as a secondary signature spell for Voldemort, whom will use this curse not only on his enemies but also on many of his fellow Death Eaters that have failed him, as a form of punishment.

Ginevra Weasley was well-known for her ability to cast a particularly potent Bat-Bogey Hex, which could be considered her signature spell as she used it several times on people who annoyed her and was referred as "an accomplished caster" of the spell.[8]

Behind the scenes


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 5 (Fallen Warrior)
  2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 36 (The Flaw in the Plan)
  3. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 26 (The Cave)
  4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 9 (The Dark Mark)
  5. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 28 (Flight of the Prince)
  6. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 16 (The Chamber of Secrets)
  7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 35 (King's Cross)
  8. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 14 (Felix Felicis)
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