Does anyone know what happens if you let go while a portkey is transporting you somewhere? Is it like Apparation, where you end up splinching? Or like the Floo network, where you end up in some place that you didn't want to be? Or is it something entirely different?

  • 16
    Your head explodes and you die. Probably.
    – Valorum
    Jan 7, 2018 at 18:04
  • 4
    You end up on Sakaar
    – Möoz
    Jan 8, 2018 at 2:31
  • 3
    Can you actually let go while you are travelling? Just asking
    – xDaizu
    Jan 8, 2018 at 13:48
  • 1
    @xDaizu Fabian's answer covers that...
    – Machavity
    Jan 8, 2018 at 13:49
  • 2
    @Rebel42 try it and tell us where it lead you :P Jan 10, 2018 at 0:52

3 Answers 3


In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, in the chapter "The Portkey", the feeling of being transported by a portkey is described as ...

It happened immediately: Harry felt as though a hook just behind his navel had been suddenly jerked irresistibly forwards. His feet had left the ground; he could feel Ron and Hermione on either side of him, their shoulders banging into his; they were all speeding forwards in a howl of wind and swirling colour; his forefinger was stuck to the boot as though it was pulling him magnetically onwards and then [...]

So it's probably either physically or psychologically impossible to let go of the portkey.

The obvious next question is: What happens if someone cuts off your finger that connects you to the port key?

  • 36
    The finger arrives to the destination and a team is sent to collect the rest of the pieces.
    – user68762
    Jan 7, 2018 at 18:22
  • 30
    Your definition of the word ‘obvious’ is a good deal grislier than mine. Jan 8, 2018 at 0:31
  • 3
    I have a better follow-up: assume the wizard in question have swallowed an ACME time-bomb, which will go off exactly in the middle of transportation process. Where will all the pieces end up? Jan 8, 2018 at 12:00
  • 7
    @DarthHunterix: Complicated electronic devices stop working in the presence of high magic density. So the bomb will only resume ticking after reaching the destination.
    – user21820
    Jan 8, 2018 at 14:28
  • 4
    physically or psychologically impossible -- Uh, based on that description, it sounds like it's magically impossible. Physically or psychologically, letting go is (probably) the primary instinct, so the portkey spell sets up the proper "force" to prevent you from acting on that instinct.
    – tonysdg
    Jan 8, 2018 at 15:16

Nothing bad

The first of JK Rowling's WOMBAT tests had a question asking to identify which of a set of "commonly held wizarding beliefs" was true.

Question 13 out of 17
Which of the following commonly held wizarding beliefs is actually true?

☐ If an inanimate object appears to think for itself, Dark Magic has been involved in its creation
☐ The use of magic in front a Muggle is prohibited unless the witch or wizard is under threat of personal injury.
☐ Releasing a Portkey before it has arrived will result in death or serious injury.
☐ 'Finite Incantatem' should be used as a precaution when a Muggle rings the doorbell.
☐ Bad luck can be prevented by turning three times on the spot and deliberately Splinching one's thumbs
W.O.M.B.A.T. Grade One - Question 13

One of the choices was "Releasing a Portkey before it has arrived will result in death or serious injury.", but no credit was given for that choice.

Thus we can presume that letting go of a portkey (if even possible) wouldn't result in any serious harm.

  • Did you bold the wrong option in the question? I don’t quite see what Finite Incantatem has to do with this question… Jul 22, 2018 at 9:09
  • @JanusBahsJacquet - I bolded the answer choice that was determined through experimentation to have been the correct answer choice. The unbolded choices (including the one about letting go of a portkey) were wrong choices and therefore according to the question represented beliefs which were not "actually true".
    – ibid
    Jul 22, 2018 at 21:05
  • So the use of magic in front of a Muggle is not prohibited? That seems… rather at odds with everything in the books! Jul 22, 2018 at 21:07
  • @JanusBahsJacquet - Yeah, this could be a question where either the wombats were bugged or where Roonwit erred when trying to reverse-engineer the grading scheme. (He had determined that choice D got full credit, choice B got partial credit, and the other two choices no credit.) Regardless of which of those two is correct the point is the same as it still makes choice C wrong.
    – ibid
    Jul 22, 2018 at 21:17

You cannot let go of a portkey; you actually do not hold it. They are only touched ; therefore a magical force, the powerful spell is what holds you to it. That spell does not allow anyone to deviate from the destination.

  • 3
    Welcome to SFF! Can you cite anything to support your position?
    – Machavity
    Jul 22, 2018 at 3:14
  • 2
    Even though this seems logical, it would be an even better answer if you have a source.
    – sudhanva
    Jul 22, 2018 at 4:02

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