It appears that in the films almost every single character uses a wand to cast spells, but then we have seen a man in the leaky cauldron stirring a cup of coffee without an obvious use of a wand or physical interaction. This suggests to me that it is possible for wizards to cast spells without wands, it's just a lot harder. So how does having a wand help?

The man in the Leaky Cauldron

The man that appears in the leaky cauldron.

  • 5
    – Mithical
    Jan 25, 2016 at 10:19
  • The man in the Leaky Cauldron is most likely using some kind of charmed spoon which would have required the use of a wand to place a charm on in the first place.
    – Paul Omans
    Aug 15, 2016 at 16:04

1 Answer 1


Like you mentioned. It is a lot easier with wands. I doubt any major spell can be performed without the use of wands.

Also, it seems only in the movies that magic can occur without a wand. There is no evidence in the books to suggest that fact. In fact, all the evidence in the books suggests that witches and wizards are powerless without the wands. That's why even powerful wizards like Dumbledore and Voldemort use their wands all the time. Considering Voldemort discovered how to fly, you would think he would find a way to perform all kinds of magic without needing to hold on to a piece of wood, if it was possible.

While I am no expert on the movies (IMO, they are an insult to the books), it could just be that the wizard in question has cast a spell to make the spoon follow the directions of his finger. Though, if this was the case, I don't understand why he would not just cast a spell to make the spoon stir on its own without the need of a finger to guide it.

  • As always, it is important to remember that Wandless magic is possible, with the best example being kids doing magic before getting their wands (eg, Harry growing his hair back overnight, vanishing the glass at the zoo, jumping really high in school to avoid bullies etc).
    – Guy S
    Apr 21, 2016 at 0:40
  • @GuyShapter Good point. But I believe in order for magic to be controlled as per the witch/wizard's wishes, a wand is required. The magic kids perform is beyond their control. Wandless magic does seem to be possible as you said. But nowhere in the books is any instance of wandless magic mentioned. Apr 22, 2016 at 6:26
  • That's a lot of trouble to go to to stir your tea... at that rate it'd be quite a lot easier just to use one's hand as normal! :)
    – Toby
    Aug 25, 2017 at 13:48

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