Accio is not supposed to work on people or creatures as per this source:

Why couldn’t Newt use ‘Accio’ to retrieve all his beasts?

‘Accio’ only works on inanimate objects. While people or creatures may be indirectly moved by ‘Accio-ing’ objects that they are wearing or holding, this carries all kinds of risks because of the likelihood of injury to the person or beast attached to an object travelling at close to the speed of light.

JK Rowling’s New Website

Yet in the new film Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Newt casts 'Accio' on a Niffler to get it back to him. He specifically says 'Accio Niffler'.

Doesn’t this break the rules set by JK?

  • 14
    JKR breaks the rules set by JKR...
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Mar 18, 2019 at 16:14
  • 3
    @TheLethalCarrot While this is true, it still a glaring mistake.
    – GamerGypps
    Mar 18, 2019 at 16:23
  • 6
    Glaring mistakes and broken ret-cons seemed to be par for the course with JKR. So I believe the answer to your question is yes, it breaks her own rules.
    – Virusbomb
    Mar 18, 2019 at 16:30
  • 1
    This seems like a duplicate of scifi.stackexchange.com/q/207433/100430 but I can’t close it since it has no answer.
    – Alex
    Mar 18, 2019 at 16:36
  • Notably this is not her new (new) website but her old (new) website. It has since been superceded
    – Valorum
    Mar 18, 2019 at 16:50

2 Answers 2


Accio has been used on creatures before.

In the Harry Potter series, creatures have been successfully summoned by using Accio before, and aren’t harmed by it. Harry successfully Summoned Neville’s toad Trevor.

“I’m almost certain of it,’ said Hermione grimly. ‘Watch your frog, it’s escaping.’

Harry pointed his wand at the bullfrog that had been hopping hopefully towards the other side of the table – ‘Accio!’ – and it zoomed gloomily back into his hand.”
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 18 (Dumbledore’s Army)

Also, Ted Tonks successfully Summons salmon out of a river.

“There ought to be a few salmon in here, or d’you reckon it’s too early in the season? Accio salmon!’

There were several distinct splashes and then the slapping sounds of fish against flesh.”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 15 (The Goblin’s Revenge)

Therefore, the answer by JKR contradicts the book.

  • 2
    It's worth mentioning that book canon is separate from movie canon, and both are separate from Rowling's "word of God". Questions and answers should be more specific about which canon they're talking about.
    – user91988
    Mar 18, 2019 at 21:26
  • Also don't forget about the fly that Harry accio'ed in Divination class while practicing the spell for the challenge. We still don't whether Harry managed to do it , or the fly was stupid to fly to his hand :) Mar 18, 2019 at 21:29
  • 2
    I guess creatures like frogs and fish are more likely to fail their spell saves.
    – user50379
    Mar 18, 2019 at 22:14

I'd argue that though JKR said that objects travel close to the speed of light on that website, that all of her writings in the books seem to contradict this. She seems to describe objects as appearing to fly through the air, rather than instantaneously teleporting, which is how traveling near the speed of light a very short distance would appear to a person.

Additionally, there are examples in the books of people using Accio on living things, such as Harry Accio'ing the toad he was practicing the silencing charm on. As late as book 7, "Accio salmon" is successfully used, however, as the intent was to eat the salmon, there was no concern about killing the salmon with sudden g-forces. See the wiki page for the Summoning Charm for more info on this.

Therefore, I see that blog post as the contradiction, rather than the Accio'ing of the Niffler.

  • Not to mention that having macro objects travel near the speed of light is very unhealthy: what-if.xkcd.com/1 Mar 20, 2019 at 21:24

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