When considering canon-based spells, potions, and quasi-sentient objects such as wands ¹, what type of magic was likely used to create the Marauder's Map? I was thinking Homenem Revelio might be involved, but I can't recall any other object in Potterverse that acts quite like the Marauder's Map.

Is there a canonically-based explanation regarding the magic used in the creation of the Marauder's Map?

¹ JK Rowling: Essentially, I see wands as being quasi-sentient. I think they awaken to a kind of- They’re not exactly animate, but they’re close to it, as close to it as you can get in an object, because they carry so much magic. So that’s really the key point about a wand. Pottercast Transcript - The Leaky Cauldron - 01.02.08

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    Now that I think about it... the closest thing I can think of from canon is Tom Riddle's diary. "Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can't see where it keeps its brain!"
    – Joe White
    Jan 29, 2012 at 14:44
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    @JoeWhite The Sorting Hat?
    – Möoz
    Apr 10, 2014 at 22:21
  • @JoeWhite, So don't use wands?
    – trysis
    Jun 8, 2015 at 0:49

3 Answers 3


The Weasley's clock is similar to the map in a few ways. The clock tells you something about a person's current status. The map reveals a person's current location. One difference is that the clock is for a set group of people and the map reveals information about a set physical location.

It seems similar magic would need to be done to create both items. I don't recall any explanation for how the clock was created or what 'type' of magic it required to be created but at least I think this shows that there are objects with similar types of magic associated with them.


According to J.K. Rowling on Pottermore, the following type of magic was used to create the Marauder's Map:

The magic used in the map's creation is advanced and impressive; it includes the Homonculous Charm, enabling the possessor of the map to track the movements of every person in the castle, and it was also enchanted to forever repel (as insultingly as possible) the curiosity of their nemesis, Severus Snape.

POTTERMORE - Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Book 3 - Chapter 10

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    This is apparently my first time coming back to this question since the days I answered it but I think you should take the checkmark away from me and give it to yourself. This is an actual answer to the question asked - mine was just a demonstration of a similar type of magic. I don't think the pottermore info was available when I first answered the question but it definitely is the answer to the question as written.
    – Dason
    Jun 8, 2015 at 12:23

At a fundamental level every enchantment, even one as powerful and complex as that of the Marauder's Map, is just the result of a charm, so creating a new enchantment boils down to creating a new spell.

Most enchantments are static, they just do the same thing - for instance, fly or follow Quirrell around, bouncing off his turban. Ones that need to do more, the map in particular, I think require another level of skill. The way I see it, more complex enchantments need to effect magic when they're activated/used/whatever. This requires that the spell used to create the enchantment include, essentially, a spell to "cast" on demand, in effect an anonymous spell. (λ-spells!)


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