Ron Weasley : "Hagrid did well, didn't he? How come all the spells bounced off him?"
Hermione Granger: "It'll be his giant blood. It's very hard to Stun a giant, they're like trolls, really tough... but poor Professor McGonagall... four Stunners straight in the chest and she's not exactly young, is she?"
— Discussion of Hagrid surviving multiple Stunning Spells[src]

Spell resistance is the magical ability to resist, recover from and protect oneself from the main effects of a spell. Wizards and witches may have this trait naturally, as displayed by Harry Potter's and Bartemius Crouch Junior's resistance to the Imperius Curse.[1][2][3] Magical creatures and beings such as Giants and Half-giants may also have the natural ability to resist spells.[4]

In Magical Creatures

"Some charms will be ineffective on large creatures such as trolls, whose hides repel all but the more powerful spells."
Miranda Goshawk, The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 1[src]

Giants, dragons, Graphorns and trolls have considerable spell resistance, with hides that repel all but the most concentrated and powerful spells, although they are still vulnerable to attacks on their eyes such as the Conjunctivitis Curse, possibly owing to the eyes being weak. It took almost half a dozen wizards to stun a dragon in preparation for the Triwizard Tournament.[5] This attribute is also shared with Half-giants, such as Rubeus Hagrid, who was able to resist repeated stunning in 1996.[4]

Quintaped are able to resist untransfiguration, as both the McClivert clan and the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures tried in failure to turn them back into humans.[6]

The natural resistance to certain spells is among the information contained on Creatures in the Folio Bruti. This is measured by a series of bars, one each for each combative spell being assessed by the book. The further to the right the bar is, the weaker that creature's resistance to that spell.[7]

Dragon hide seemed to retain much of its protective power after the creature's death, and so was often made into protective gloves that could protect the wearer from hazards such as burning.[8] A dragon-skin coat could make the wearer resistant to most spells.[9]

Natural spell resistance can be overcome by shrinking a creature using a Shrinking Solution.[10]

In Wizards

Strong mental capabilities are required when resisting some spells, which include resisting the Imperius Curse,[1] the obscure art of Occlumency[11] and non-verbal magic.

Young witches and wizards may often lose control of their magical skills when they are under emotional strain. This may have a defensive use when in danger.

It is doubtful whether all spells could be resisted by a person of wizard blood only, such as the Stunning Spell, or any number of hexes and jinxes.

Magical Protection

Shield Hats, Cloaks, and Gloves can grant the wearer resistance from minor to moderate hexes and jinxes, but would provide little defence against the Unforgivable Curses.[12]

If somebody willingly gave their life for another person or people they would be protected. This is called Sacrificial Protection. This form of spell resistance only applies to spells from that individual.

When Lily Potter willingly gave her life for her son Harry Potter, so when Voldemort sent a Killing Curse at the child it just rebounded and struck Voldemort, destroying his physical body and weakening him severely.[13]

When Harry Potter gave his life during the Battle of Hogwarts, his friend Neville Longbottom should have died when Voldemort paralysed him and set him on fire, but Harry Potter's magical protection let him break free of the spell and kill one of Voldemort's Horcruxes, Nagini.[14]

When someone close to Harry died, Voldemort could not stand Harry's grief. This may or may not be sacrificial protection, but when someone dies to protect someone else.

See also


Notes and references

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