Can the Imperius Curse be used to force someone to perform acts that the caster would not know how to perform, but that the victim does? Such as fly an aircraft, operate a weapons system, or program a computer.


1 Answer 1



There are several instances that seem to qualify:

  • The very first time the Imperius Curse is introduced, Moody uses it on a spider:

    Moody reached into the jar, caught one of the spiders, and held it in the palm of his hand so that they could all see it. He then pointed his wand at it and muttered, “Imperio!”

    The spider leapt from Moody’s hand on a fine thread of silk and began to swing backward and forward as though on a trapeze.

    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

    Since presumably Barty Crouch Jr. does not know how to extrude silk, it would seem that he can make the spider do something he does not know how to do.

  • During much of Harry's sixth year, Draco Malfoy has Madame Rosmerta under the Imperius Curse.

    “Very gratifying,” said Dumbledore mildly. “We all like appreciation for our own hard work, of course. But you must have had an accomplice, all the same . . . someone in Hogsmeade, someone who was able to slip Katie the — the — aaaah . . .”

    Dumbledore closed his eyes again and nodded, as though he was about to fall asleep. “. . . of course . . . Rosmerta. How long has she been under the Imperius Curse?”

    Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

    She must have been under the Imperius Curse from at least when she gave Katie Bell a cursed necklace with the aim of killing Dumbledore, to the night Dumbledore returned to Hogwarts from the sea cave that had contained the Horcrux. During that period, she must have served convincingly as the proprietor of the Three Broomsticks, including making beer and doing many other things of which Malfoy, raised in luxury, presumably was entirely ignorant.

  • The same argument also applies to Bartemius Crouch Sr. and Pius Thicknesse, both of whom were placed under the Imperius Curse and had to carry out their day-to-day duties at the Ministry without further input from their controllers. Presumably Crouch Jr., for instance, was not familiar with all the procedures of the Department of International Magical Cooperation.

Generally speaking, the Imperius Curse seems to be a "fire-and-forget" kind of spell, as evidenced especially by the last few examples. The caster gives a generic command, which the target uses their own skills to carry out.

  • 8
    +1 for "presumably Barty Crouch Jr. does not know how to extrude silk". lol
    – RedCaio
    Aug 13, 2016 at 7:12

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