What are the different laws of magic (e.g. Golpalott's Third Law) mentioned in the Harry Potter universe?

No movie answers, but Pottermore is fine.

  • 1
    I don't think you'll find anything more than Golpalott's Third Law (which implies a First and Second Law, but these are not described in the books) and Gamp's Law of Elementary Transfiguration in the books. I'm pretty sure no other ones are mentioned by name or outlined at all. That's probably all to the good. Pottermore may have some, though. And there are surely laws that are not quite named, but wounds caused by Dark Magic can't be healed (in the books), apparently things conjured into existence by magic don't last forever (not in the books)
    – Au101
    Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 0:17
  • 8
    Law 1. You can do almost anything you want, if the plot warrants it. Law 3. No rational basis of any set of laws is possible, as per Goedel's magical incompleteness theorem. Law 4. If you learn math, you will lose magical abilities. Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 0:22
  • 1
    @DVK - Law 5. Don't talk about Dumbledore's Army club. Rule 6. Don't Don't talk about Dumbledore's Army club.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 0:39
  • @Richard - that's not a law of Magic. That's a law of society :) Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 0:51
  • would this include laws passed by the Ministry of Magic?
    – user13267
    Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 8:53

1 Answer 1


There are only three mentioned in the (ten) books.

Gamp's Law of Elemental Transfiguration

"Your mother can’t produce food out of thin air," said Hermione. "No one can. Food is the first of the five Principal Exceptions to Gamp’s Law of Elemental Transfigur—"
"Oh, speak English, can’t you?" Ron said, prising a fishbone out from between his teeth.
"It’s impossible to make good food out of nothing! You can Summon it if you know where it is, you can transform it, you can increase the quantity if you’ve already got some —"

-- HP and the Deathly Hallows, chapter 15: The Goblin's Revenge

Further discussion here.

Golpalott's Third Law

Hermione recited at top speed: "Golpalott's-Third-Law-states-that-the-antidote-for-a-blended-poison-will-be-equal-to-more-than-the-sum-of-the-antidotes-for-each-of-the-separate-components."

-- HP and the Half-Blood Prince, chapter 18: Birthday Surprises

Further discussion here.

Adalbert Waffling's First Fundamental Law of Magic

"Tamper with the deepest mysteries — the source of life, the essence of self — only if prepared for consequences of the most extreme and dangerous kind."

-- The Tales of Beedle the Bard

Pottermore doesn't seem to have any further information on the laws of magic, at least at present.

Miranda Goshawk's Book of Spells also refers to a fourth (thanks @ibid for the find):

Principle of Artificianimate Quasi-Dominance

Of course, creating any living creature out of thin air is immensely difficult. This spellbook is concerned with practical instruction, and not with theory; but your teacher will be able to explain the Principle of Artificianimate Quasi-Dominance, which will help you understand some of the many things that can go wrong when attempting to conjure animals from nothing. Severed heads, unidentifiable stumps, terrifying frog-rabbit mutations – all have been created, to the dismay of those who made them (and the horror of those who found them hidden under cushions). However, for reasons that are still not fully understood (research continues in the Dept. of Mysteries in the Ministry of Magic) two categories of creature are much easier to create from nothing than any other: birds and snakes.

-- Book of Spells

  • 1
    You could also add that "It is impossible to manufacture or imitate love". Not exactly a well-formulated law but still counts.
    – vap78
    Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 11:45
  • 1
    @vap78 That may be another of the exceptions to Gamp's Law.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 11:51

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