In Goblet Of Fire, we hear Sirius telling Harry from the fireplace

“Right — these dragons,” said Sirius, speaking very quickly now. “There’s a way, Harry. Don’t be tempted to try a Stunning Spell — dragons are strong and too powerfully magical to be knocked out by a single Stunner, you need about half a dozen wizards at a time to overcome a dragon —”

“Yeah, I know, I just saw,” said Harry.

“But you can do it alone,” said Sirius. “There is a way, and a simple spell’s all you need. Just —”

-Chapter 19, The Hungarian Horntail.

only to be interrupted by sound of footsteps (which was Ron coming) at which Harry made sure Sirius went back safe immediately. He never got a chance to speak to Sirius again before the First Task, and however he completed it successfully acting on a tip from (fake) Professor Moody.

The matter was never taken up later.

What could have been the simple spell Sirius was about to tell Harry that would help overcome a dragon all by oneself? Given that usually dozens of well trained wizards are always deployed to care for dragons?

Now Sirius is presented as a very talented wizard, at least as far as duelling is concerned, though he is not known to be so outside. There could well be some simple spell that he knew, or even he created (mind, he was one of the four who created the Marauder's Map) that would create a situation that would help a wizard overcome a dragon.

Is there any way to infer anything about this from canon?

  • 4
    Get low, head up, wrap arms and drive-through.
    – Lighthart
    Commented Feb 20, 2015 at 15:07
  • 41
    Dragons hate him! Take out those pesky flying lizards with this one weird trick!
    – corsiKa
    Commented Feb 20, 2015 at 16:06
  • 1
    The killing curse would also work, at it works on all living creatures and cannot be blocked or resisted. Not that Harry could have cast it, nor would a wizard cast it if they wanted the dragon alive, but it's another "easy" way of defeating a dragon.
    – vsz
    Commented Feb 20, 2015 at 16:13
  • 2
    @Lighthart I see you've been reading my comments on proper Dementor tackling techniques. Good on you for spotting the key difference in strategy for tackling dragons - lots of legs, way too big to grab.
    – Zibbobz
    Commented Feb 20, 2015 at 17:43
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    @NUnnikrishnan : The killing curse doesn't do "hitpoint damage". It doesn't wound. It kills. This means if it's successfully cast, it kills, if not, then it has no effect. Stunning might be completely different.
    – vsz
    Commented Feb 20, 2015 at 17:57

1 Answer 1


We find out later in the book, when Sirius writes to Harry after the task:

Congratulations on getting past the Horntail. Whoever put your name in that goblet shouldn’t be feeling too happy right now! I was going to suggest a Conjunctivitis Curse, as a dragon’s eyes are its weakest point“That’s what Krum did!” Hermione whispered — but your way was better, I’m impressed.

— Chapter 23 (The Yule Ball)

I don't recall much other discussion of the spell in canon (at least, not enough to say whether Sirius's description of it as “simple” is really appropriate), but it seems like a reasonable option. Compared to the task of stunning or immobilising the dragon, merely distracting and/or blinding it seems pretty sensible.

  • 8
    "I was going to suggest..." Feeling embarrassed, to think that I missed out that letter by Sirius! Commented Feb 20, 2015 at 10:24

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