Are there any spells that affect multiple targets at the same time? Like can a wizard use a spell that deals damage to several targets at the same time, or, for example, heals several targets at the same time?

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    @Roberto Not a duplicate, this is asking if there are any; that question knows there are but is asking why they are used rarely. Also if your flagging a question for closure you really shouldn't be answering it.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Aug 7, 2020 at 16:03
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    @TheLethalCarrot answering the question "are there any" by pointing a person to the "why are this type rarely used" quite accurately answer the "are there any" question - they couldn't be rarely used if they didn't exist.
    – FreeMan
    Aug 8, 2020 at 13:28
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    @FreeMan I don't really understand what you mean but in general if the answer to question 1 is in the question of question 2 and not the answers then no, they aren't duplicates.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Aug 8, 2020 at 13:31
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    In some jargons, there is distinction between "area of effect" (the spell acts on some area or volume and all targets in that region are affected, e.g. fireball) and "multiple target" (several targets are identified by the caster during casting and only those targets are affected, e.g. chain lightning). Did you intend to make this distinction? Aug 10, 2020 at 8:53

7 Answers 7


Yes, spells can affect multiple targets.

Spells that hit more than one target do exist, because Sirius Black was believed to have killed thirteen people with a single curse. While Sirius had not actually done this, it is presumably possible since the Ministry of Magic believed this to be true, and would likely have more doubts if this was not considered possible. Therefore, although Sirius had not, it is presumably possible to harm multiple targets with one curse. Indeed, it is possible that Peter Pettigrew had killed multiple targets this way, and that part was true but simply misattributed to Sirius.

While Muggles have been told that Black is carrying a gun (a kind of metal wand which Muggles use to kill each other), the magical community lives in fear of a massacre like that of twelve years ago, when Black murdered thirteen people with a single curse.
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 3 (The Knight Bus)

Voldemort’s use of the Dark Mark to summon the Death Eaters also affects multiple targets, as everyone who has a Dark Mark feels its summons.

“The Dark Mark. It is not as clear as it was, an hour or so ago, when it burnt black, but you can still see it. Every Death Eater had the sign burnt into him by the Dark Lord. It was a means of distinguishing each other, and his means of summoning us to him. When he touched the Mark of any Death Eater, we were to Disapparate, and Apparate, instantly, at his side. This Mark has been growing clearer all year. Karkaroff’s, too. Why do you think Karkaroff fled tonight? We both felt the Mark burn. We both knew he had returned.”
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 36 (The Parting of the Ways)

More generally, the Protean Charm causes changes in multiple objects to mimic the changes when only one of the objects is changed.

“You see the numerals around the edge of the coins?’ Hermione said, holding one up for examination at the end of their fourth meeting. The coin gleamed fat and yellow in the light from the torches. ‘On real Galleons that’s just a serial number referring to the goblin who cast the coin. On these fake coins, though, the numbers will change to reflect the time and date of the next meeting. The coins will grow hot when the date changes, so if you’re carrying them in a pocket you’ll be able to feel them. We take one each, and when Harry sets the date of the next meeting he’ll change the numbers on his coin, and because I’ve put a Protean Charm on them, they’ll all change to mimic his.”
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 19 (The Lion and the Serpent)

McGonagall’s spell to make the Hogwarts statues defend the school worked on all the statues throughout the entire castle.

“And now – piertotum locomotor! ’ cried Professor McGonagall.

And all along the corridor the statues and suits of armour jumped down from their plinths, and from the echoing crashes from the floors above and below, Harry knew that their fellows throughout the castle had done the same.”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 30 (The Sacking of Severus Snape)

Multiple items can be fixed without requiring a spell to be cast for each item needing to be fixed, as Dumbledore and Slughorn restore an entire room with one sweep of their wands.

“They stood back to back, the tall thin wizard and the short round one, and waved their wands in one identical sweeping motion.

The furniture flew back to its original place; ornaments re-formed in midair; feathers zoomed into their cushions; torn books repaired themselves as they landed upon their shelves; oil lanterns soared on to side tables and reignited; a vast collection of splintered silver picture frames flew glittering across the room and alighted, whole and untarnished, upon a desk; rips, cracks and holes healed everywhere; and the walls wiped themselves clean.”
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 4 (Horace Slughorn)

In the movies, Snape deflects a spell aimed for him and used that one spell to hit both of the Carrows.

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In the Fantastic Beasts series, Protego diabolica conjures a type of fire that can branch off to attack multiple people at once. Grindelwald uses this spell to create a circle of fire around himself.

They start to descend the amphitheater steps. GRINDELWALD turns his back on the advancing AURORS, relishing the fight to come.

GRINDELWALD Protego diabolica.

He spins and draws a protective circle of black fire around himself. The exits close.”
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (The Original Screenplay)

The fire, while still forming a circle around Grindelwald, forms multiple spears that strike in different directions at the Aurors.

TINA retaliates, throwing a curse at GRINDELWALD, but the circle of fire lashes out in ever more violent spears. GRINDELWALD conducts the flames as though leading an orchestra, the Elder Wand his baton, as the forks of fire strike at AURORS attempting to Disapparate or flee.
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (The Original Screenplay)

The fire pursues several people even as they attempt to escape it.

NEWT and THESEUS, TINA with JACOB, and KAMA with NAGINI all Apparate out from the amphitheater. The black fire pursues them like a many-headed hydra, erupting out of every mausoleum.
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (The Original Screenplay)

If spells from Fantastic Beasts qualify, this is certainly an example of spells that affect multiple targets. Also, in a separate instance, Grindelwald sent five Aurors flying with one spell.

Five Aurors stand, wands aloft, tentative as they edge towards the chateau. A sudden explosion of pure white light sends them flying.

We whip round to find their bodies scattered, lying motionless at the entrance to a large parkland. A figure (GRINDELWALD) enters the frame, his back to the camera; ignoring the bodies, he stares out into the night sky, as we pan up towards the moon.
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (The Original Screenplay)

The Aurors also return New York to normal, presumably without needing to cast a separate spell for each brick they replace.

“Aurors move through the streets, performing Repairing Charms to rebuild the city: Buildings and cars are reconstructed and streets are returned to normal.”
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (The Original Screenplay)

Newt is confirmed in the screenplay to have used only one spell to fix an entire room’s worth of damage. Jacob’s apartment is severely damaged when some of Newt’s creatures escaped from his case.

NEWT enters JACOB’S room and stops, staring: the room is completely destroyed. Footprints, broken furniture, shattered glass. Even worse: a massive hole in the opposite wall – something huge has blasted its way out. We can hear JACOB groaning from the corner.
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (The Original Screenplay)

The screenplay specifically says Newt cast one Repairing Charm, and it fixed the entire room.

CUT BACK TO NEWT, who desperately performs a repairing charm. The room is righted, the wall repaired, just in time before TINA enters the room.
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (The Original Screenplay)

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    I don't think that "13 people with 1 curse" thing went the way the magical community describes it. I think the Muggle explanation, namely that he blew up a gas line, might be more accurate.
    – Nzall
    Aug 9, 2020 at 21:59
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    To add to this: in the book (not the movie) Order of the Phoenix (ch 27), when the Ministry tries to apprehend Dumbledore, there are two silvery flashes which devastate large portions of Dumbledore's office and knock out Fudge, Umbridge, Kingsley and Dawlish - meaning at least of of the spells must either have been Area of Effect and the Aurors were knocked out by blunt trauma from e.g. falling items, or the spells had multiple targets. Aug 10, 2020 at 8:07
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    McGonagall also sent three Patroni at once, to inform the teachers of the other houses. And the Muffliato spell targets multiple people at once.
    – Holger
    Aug 10, 2020 at 8:27
  • Dumbledore managed to tie all the people up in the Department of Secrets with one spell I think. Aug 10, 2020 at 10:32
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    I think this answer mixes "multiple target" spells with "area of affect" spells. IMHO there is a difference. Can you target 3 people of varying distances who are all moving in unique directions? That's a multi-target spell. Can you only attack a large area regardless of who may be in it? That's an AoE spell. All the fire and explosion spells listed here, for example, are AoE, not multi-target, spells. While I think they are worth mentioning, I think the answer could be improved by delineating between the two.
    – TylerH
    Aug 10, 2020 at 15:15

Dumbledore had an area of effect fire spell that he used to prevent the undead from dragging him into a mosh.

Gif showing Dumbledore circling his wand around himself creating a fire storm in the air around himself

Image source and spell description the Harry Potter Wiki page in Firestorm.

It wasn't as impressive and fabulous in the book, though.

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    If that doesn't qualify as a crowd control build, I don't know what does.
    – Misha R
    Aug 7, 2020 at 18:44
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    "Dragging him into a mosh" Beautiful.
    – Prometheus
    Aug 9, 2020 at 18:11
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    One could say this didn't 'target' anything, though. It very much just filled an area.
    – Weckar E.
    Aug 9, 2020 at 23:05
  • I agree with @Weckar E. This spell is more an "Area of Effect" spell than a "Multiple Targets" spell. If the spell was meant set multiple targets on fire at once, then maybe, but the spell is made simply to create a dome of fire around the caster, regardless of who or what is in the vicinity. Sep 8, 2020 at 18:24

There are some mass spells, although the majority seem to be individual-target.

  • For example, the Patronus Charm, when properly executed, can repel multiple Dementors. The corporeal Patronus can attack multiple targets.

  • Another example would be the "Silence Charm" -unknown incantation-, which is used by Voldemort to silence everyone in The Battle of Hogwarts

    ‘SILENCE!’ cried Voldemort, and there was a bang and a flash of bright light, and silence was forced upon them all.

    Rowling, J.K.. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (p. 597). Pottermore Publishing. Edición de Kindle.

This question is pretty similar to yours, by the way In the Harry Potter universe, why are spells that can affect lots of targets at once used rarely?

  • Wasn't silencio used as a spell at some point in the movies, though I'm not sure whether it had the same effect.
    – Prometheus
    Aug 9, 2020 at 18:12
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    @Prometheus Silencius is a known incantation in the books, but we can't be sure if that's the charm used by Voldemort, since the spell used by Voldemort produces a "bang and a flash of bright light", but when the students learn the Silencing Charm, there's no visible effect nor audible sound.
    – IloneSP
    Aug 10, 2020 at 2:55

If you consider objects to be targets, repairing spells can repair damage to lots of vehicles, buildings, and objects in a room simultaneously.


Fiendfyre, while hard to control, can obviously destroy many different targets at once. It is a giant magical fire that can be shaped into multiple "entities" by the caster, often resembling animals - these can all chase separate targets.

Fiendfyre — cursed fire — it’s one of the substances that destroy Horcruxes, but I would never, ever had dared use it, it’s too dangerous.

It was used in the Battle of Hogwarts amongst other times and places.


Are you talking about spells that hits multiple targets (like chain lightning) or area of effect spells that aren't really targeted at anyone in particular?

Area of effect spells definitely exists, there are abundance of examples for them, for example the Fidelius charm and many other protection spells like those protecting Hogwarts or the Goblet of Fire, and attack spells that have physical manifestation that just happens to be big enough to cause damage in a huge area like Fiendfyre or spells that do not need to hit their opponent to be effective like the Patronus Charm, or other utility spells like the spell that Newt Scamander used to reveal traces of magic in an area.

As for spells that by their nature acts on multiple targets (e.g. like a chain lightning), this is less clear, considering that the the Harry Potter story has a fairly soft magic system, it's unclear whether a proficient caster actually just casts the same spell multiple times really quickly, use non-verbal spell after the initial incantation, or whether the magic itself is multi-target by nature. The only clear example I can think of is the Unbreakable Vow. Other candidates for this type of spells are repairing spells that reverses the damage when an entire building is demolished (we see many of these in Fantastic Beast), but these types of spells are rarely explored in the story, it's possible that this might just be an area of effect reversal rather than a multi-target spell. In any case, the utility of a multi-target spell in a battle is less clear; the caster will either need to be able to divide their focus to select multiple targets or the combatants need to be wearing some sort of friend-or-foe identification tag if we want to suppose that the spell can autonomously choose its target when cast.


There are many spells that affect multiple targets. The silencing charm, Silencio, can affect many targets at once, as seen in The Deathly Hallows:

‘SILENCE!’ cried Voldemort, and there was a bang and a flash of bright light, and silence was forced upon them all.

A variation of the Charm, made by the Half-Blood Prince (Severus Snape) is Muffilato, which fills the ears of those affected with a buzzing sound so that conversations can be held without being overheard.

The memory altering spell, Obliviate, can be cast on multiple people, as Hermione does to both of her parents at once, erasing her from their minds and making them believe they were different people living in Australia.

The vanishing charm can be used on several objects at once, as we have seen done countless times during the start and end-of-term feasts at Hogwarts.

"When everyone had eaten as much as they could, the remains of the food faded from the plates, leaving them sparkling clean as before. A moment later the desserts appeared."

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Chapter 7, “The Sorting Hat“

The Charm used to vanish the eaten food and transport new food up from the kitchens is used on all the food in the great hall at once.

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    I thought the food in the great hall was handled by the Hogwarts (house) Elves? Completely ignored in the films.
    – fdomn-m
    Aug 8, 2020 at 7:35
  • food is made by the house elves in the kitchens, located directly below the great hall. There, there are four tables identical to the house tables above. The food is set out on these tables exactly as it would be during a feast, and is magically sent up through the ceiling and onto the house tables above. Regardless if the magic is elvish or wizard, the spell is affecting multiple objects at once. Aug 9, 2020 at 18:07

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