"Stunning is one of the most useful spells in your arsenal. It's sort of a wizard's bread and butter, really."
Harry Potter on the usefulness of the charm[src]

The Stunning Spell (Stupefy), also known as a Stunner or Stupefying Charm[3] is a charm[1] that is used to render a target unconscious or semiconscious, as well as to halt moving objects.[2] This spell is also commonly used in duels; it is quite useful if one's opponent is unconscious and unable to continue the duel and is a guaranteed victory for the caster.


Used by Ministry wizards to try to stop whomever cast the Dark Mark during the Quidditch World Cup riot and was used by dragon keepers (a lot of them at once) to manage dragons.

Flavius Belby tried to use a Stupefying Charm against a Lethifold, but only succeeded in blasting a hole through his bedroom door. The spell is also effective against Pogrebins.[4]

In 1995, Harry Potter learned this spell in preparation for the third task of the Triwizard Tournament. He practised it on Ron Weasley who complained about it not being easy to aim where you fall when you are stunned.


Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger using the charm during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries

Harry also taught this spell to Dumbledore's Army during the 1995-1996 school year, during one of the meetings.[5] The spell was used numerous times during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, by both the D.A. and the Order of the Phoenix; it was also used during many other battles of the Second Wizarding War, such as the Battle of the Astronomy Tower, the Battle of the Seven Potters, the Skirmish at Malfoy Manor, the 1998 Break-in of Gringotts Wizarding Bank, and the Battle of Hogwarts.

It may be assumed that this spell was also used frequently during the First Wizarding War as well, by the wizarding community at large.

Scorpius Malfoy and Albus Potter, discuss whether to use this spell to destroy the Experimental Time-Turner that they stole from Hermione Granger's desk at the Ministry.


If this spell is used by multiple wizards aiming at the same target, the damage it causes is increased; for example, Professor McGonagall had to be moved to St Mungo's after being hit with the spell by multiple Ministry of Magic employees in 1996, and Madam Pomfrey expressed surprise that it did not kill her. Dragons are able to shrug off a single Stunning Spell, but if multiple Stunning Spells are aimed at a dragon, they should work.[6][7] It manifests itself as a jet of scarlet light.

Defence against stunning

"The effects of the Stunning Spell may be counteracted by 'Rennervate', but will also wear off with time on their own. Another method of avoiding the spell is to deflect it with a Shield Charm."
—Defence against the spell[src]
Stupefy block

Shield Charm, defence against the Stunning Spell

The effects of a Stunning Spell may be counteracted by Rennervate, but will also wear off with time. It can also be deflected by a Shield Charm. Species known to be naturally resistant to the spell include dragons, trolls, giants and half-giants. Rubeus Hagrid was unaffected by this spell when, in 1996, several Ministry of Magic employees attempted to remove him from Hogwarts grounds.

It is also possible to bewitch objects to be resistant to the spell. Fred and George Weasley bewitched their fireworks to explode when hit by Stunning Spells.[7]

Known uses

Caster(s) Victim(s) Note
Gellert Grindelwald Mykew Gregorovitch Used in order to steal the Elder Wand.
Peter Pettigrew Ron Weasley Cast non-verbally with the wand of Remus Lupin, in order to make his escape.[8]
Twenty Ministry employees Winky During the chaos after Morsmordre was cast following the 1994 Quidditch World Cup.[6]
Barty Crouch Jr
8-30 of Charlie Weasley's colleagues Hungarian Horntail Multiple wizards had to cast the spell at the same time for it to work.[6]
Harry Potter Ron Weasley Used numerous times on during practise for the Third Task of the Triwizard Tournament.[6]
Viktor Krum During the Third Task of the Triwizard Tournament to save Cedric Diggory from the Cruciatus Curse Krum was casting under the influence of the Imperius Curse.[6]
Death Eater Battle of the Seven Potters


Thorfinn Rowle During a skirmish at the Luchino Caffe in 1997.[9]
Muggle waitress While aiming for Antonin Dolohov during a skirmish at Tottenham Court Road.[9]
Dolores Umbridge While infiltrating the Ministry.[9]
Corban Yaxley
Lucius Malfoy Battle of Malfoy Manor


Fenrir Greyback
Death Eater During the early stages of the Battle of Hogwarts Harry used this spell on an unknown Death Eater.
Harry Stupefy
Barty Crouch Jr (disguised as Alastor Moody) Fleur Delacour Used discretely during the Third Task of the Triwizard Tournament in an effort to ensure that Harry won.[6]
Albus Dumbledore Bartemius Crouch Jr After Harry's return from the Little Hangleton graveyard, Dumbledore used the spell to subdue the disguised Bartemius Crouch Jr after he had attempted to attack Harry.[6]
Molly Weasley 12 Grimmauld Place portraits After Tonks knocked over an umbrella stand and the portrait of Sirius Black's mother started shouting, Molly abandoned an attempt to close its curtains and began shooting Stunning Spells at other shouting portraits to shut them up.[10]
Dolores Umbridge Weasleys' Wildfire Whiz-bangs At the start of Umbridge's reign as Headmistress at Hogwarts, she attempted to stun the Weasley twins fireworks in order to prevent them from spreading around the school[7]
Four Ministry employees Minerva McGonagall The Ministry employees were trying to remove Rubeus Hagrid from Hogwarts, but attacked McGonagall when she offered him protection.[7] The concentrated effects were devastating enough to have her hospitalised, and was considered a miracle that she did not die.
Nigel Wolpert Harry Potter Used in the Room of Requirement during a D.A. practise.[11]
Hermione Granger Nott During the Battle of the Department of Mysteries in defence of Harry Potter.[7]
Mafalda Hopkirk As part of the Infiltration of the Ministry of Magic in 1997.[9]
Gregory Goyle During a skirmish in the Room of Requirement during the Battle of Hogwarts.[9]
Harry Potter Crabbe Snr & Rabastan Lestrange Battle of the Department of Mysteries


Hermione Granger
Death Eater Ginny Weasley
Luna Lovegood
Tonks Death Eaters Battle of the Seven Potters


Ron Weasley
Xenophilius Lovegood


Harry Potter As Death Eaters were arriving at his house, it hit his Erumpent horn instead, causing a colossal explosion.[9]
Ron Weasley
Hermione Granger
Bellatrix Lestrange Scabior After they defied her authority at Malfoy Manor.[9]
Ron Weasley A beggar The beggar lunged at Hermione while she was disguised as Bellatrix Lestrange with Polyjuice Potion.[9]
Harry Potter Gringotts Goblins During their escape from the bank after robbing it in 1998.[9]
Hermione Granger
Ron Weasley
Luna Lovegood Alecto Carrow While searching for information on Rowena Ravenclaw's Diadem with Harry Potter during the Battle of Hogwarts.[9]
Fred Weasley Death Eaters Battle of Hogwarts


Dean Thomas
Parvati Patil Travers
Aberforth Dumbledore Augustus Rookwood


"Stupefy" comes from the English stupefy, which means "to stun" or "to amaze". It may also come from the Latin stupere, meaning "to be stunned".

Behind the scenes

Potter spells h4

The DA using the Stunning Spell against Death Eaters in the Ministry of Magic

  • Another variation of the spell is Stupefy Duo.
  • The Stunning Spell has been identified as a jet, a flash or a burst of red, blue, white or green light in the film adaptions.
  • In the books, it is described as a "jet of red light," and appears as such at the beginning of the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, when Ministry of Magic Officials apparate near the trio and attempt to stun them after the destruction of the Quidditch World Cup fair grounds. However, from the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on, it is shown as blue light that often just knocks people off their feet, as well as leaving them unable to think or react.
  • Harry counters unidentified green curses cast by Death Eaters with the Stunning Spell, causing the spells to collide and explode in midair. If these green curses were Killing Curses, this would serve as a demonstration of the Killing Curse being parried and blocked by another spell.
  • In the video game adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Stupefy is shown as a ball of red light, but when cast by opponents, it is green, like the Killing Curse. Also at the end after Harry defeats Bellatrix Lestrange outside Hagrid's hut he casts Stupefy but instead of the red light it came out as a green ball of light.
DH1 Yaxley hit by stunning spell

Yaxley being hit by the Stunning Spell

  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Hermione attempts to use a Stunning Spell on one of the enemy giants, but is prevented from doing so by Ron as it would "crush half the castle." However, it was Hermione herself who pointed out in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix that Stunning Spells are almost completely ineffective against Giants, even when cast by multiple wizards.
  • In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4, it can be bought at Wiseacre's Wizarding Equipment in Diagon Alley.
  • Flavius Belby tried to use this spell against a lethifold, however it had no effect as lethifolds can only be repelled by the Patronus Charm like with Dementors.
  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Hermione casts Stupefy at Blaise in the Room of Requirement instead of Gregory Goyle. This is due to Crabbe's part being replaced by Blaise and thus is Goyle is the one to conjure the Fiendfyre.
  • It has been implied that Dobby does this to Wormtail in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. However, when Harry does this to Umbridge and Mafalda, they are instantly knocked out, while Wormtail stands for a few seconds, says "Ow" (hinting that the spell was quite painful) and collapses. This, as well as his unintended non-reappearance in Part 2, suggests that he may be dead, or that Dobby used a different spell to knock him out.
  • Also in Deathly Hallows: Part 1, When Ron (disguised as Reginald Cattermole) hits Yaxley with a non-verbal Stunning Spell, it seems to strike his chest rather hard, causing him to groan in pain and leaving him incapacitated for several minutes before he catches up with the trio and attempts to stop their escape.
  • In Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Voldemort casts Stupefy at Neville Longbottom out of anger, after Harry Potter seemingly came back to life. Neville was blown backward into the Great Hall, and remained unconscious until he woke to slay Nagini.
  • In Harry Potter for Kinect Harry and Voldemort can use this spell against each other in the final battle during Voldemort's Last Stand as they engage in a normal duel.
  • In the video game adaption of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts 1 and 2, the player's stunning spells are blue, while enemy stunning spells are red, bosses such as Snape and Bellatrix cast green stunning spells.
  • In the Deathly Hallows, Harry uses the combined power of the wands of Draco Malfoy, Bellatrix Lestrange and Peter Pettigrew to cast a stunning spell on Fenrir Greyback, causing him to be lifted up, smash into the ceiling and them slammed onto the ground, it can be implied here that spells can be more powerful when being cast by multiple wands at once. In the Film adaption, Harry uses it against Lucius Malfoy and it causes him to be launched to the other side of the room just as he is about to touch his Dark Mark.

Stupefy in different languages

Language Incantation
Bulgarian (Български) Вцепени се (literally - "be numb")
Lithuanian Sustink
Catalan Animo Linqui
Croatian Omami
German Stupor
Dutch Paralitis
Hungarian Stupor
Icelandic Rænulaus
Italian Stupeficium
Spanish Desmaius / Desmaio
Swedish Lamslå
Finnish Tainnutu
Danish Lammer (Stunner)
French Stupéfix
Romanian Stupefy
Norwegian Lamstivosløvus
Polish Drętwota
Greek Αποχαυνώσιους - (Apochavnosius)
Hebrew שתק
Hindi जर्व्तम (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1) or बिसमित भव (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film))
Turkish Sersemlet
Estonian Juhmista
Portuguese (Portugal) Atordoar/Stupefy (Books); Estupidificar (VideoGames)
Portuguese (Brasil) Estupefaça; Estupore (in the movie of Goblet of Fire)
Serbian Ošamuti
Thai สตูเปฟาย
Russian Окаменей (in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire); Остолбеней (in later books)
Ukrainian Закляктус
Czech Mdloby na tebe!
Slovak Nehýb sa!
Slovenian Hromi!
Vietnamese Điểm huyệt!
Japanese Suchu-pifai! 「麻痺せよ!」, pronounced "Mahi seyo!!" literally means, "Be paralysed!" in Japanese.



Harry casts Stupefy in the Duelling Club

Auror stupefy

Disapparating Aurors casting Stupefy

Dumbledore stupefy

Albus Dumbledore using the Stunning Spell against Voldemort

Arthur Weasley casting unknown spell

Arthur Weasley using the Stunning Spell against a Death Eater

Notes and references

Defence Against the Dark Arts (D.A.D.A.)
D.A.D.A. at Hogwarts
Classroom 3C · Temporary Classroom · Hogwarts Turris Magnus · Teacher's Office · Storeroom · Staircase · Lesson Cup · Race Cup · Dumbledore's Army
Arsenius Jigger · Albus Dumbledore · Galatea Merrythought · Patricia Rakepick · Quirinus Quirrell · Gilderoy Lockhart · Remus Lupin · Bartemius Crouch Junior (as Alastor Moody) · Dolores Umbridge · Severus Snape · Amycus Carrow (as Dark Arts teacher)
The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection · 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 · Magical Drafts and Potions
Spells studied at Hogwarts under D.A.D.A.
Aqua Eructo Charm · Boggart-Banishing Spell · Counter-curses · Counter-jinxes · Counter-spells · Curse of the Bogies · Defensive Charms · Densaugeo · Deprimo · Disarming Charm · Everte Statum · Freezing Spell · Full Body-Bind Curse · Fumos Duo · Green Sparks · Hex-Breaker· Hex-deflection · Hex Zapper · Homorphus Charm · Human-presence-revealing Spell · Impediment Jinx · Knockback Jinx · Lacarnum Inflamari · Nonverbal spells · Patronus Charm · Red Sparks · Reductor Curse · Salvio hexia · Seize and Pull Charm · Shield Charm · Smokescreen Spell · Snake-Vanishing Spell · Stunning Spell · Tickling Charm · Tongue-Tying Curse · Trip Jinx · Verdimillious Charm · Verdimillious Duo Spell · Verdimillious Tria · Wand-Lighting Charm · Cruciatus Curse · Imperius Curse · Killing Curse
Creatures studied at Hogwarts under D.A.D.A.
Banshee · Boggart · Cornish Pixie · Dementor · Erkling · Ghost · Ghoul · Grindylow · Gytrash · Hag · Hinkypunk · Iguana · Imp · Inferius · Kappa · Nocturnal beasts · Red Cap · Snake · Troll · Vampire · Vampire bat · Werewolf · Yeti · Zombie
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