The Harry Potter Compendium

"Unnoticed by Travers, who was looking through the bronze doors at the inner hall, each of the guards gave a little start as the spells hit them. The guard was confused. He stared down at the thin, golden Probe and then at his companion, who said in a slightly dazed voice, 'Yeah, you've just checked them, Marius.'"
—The Gringotts guards, confused by a Confundus Charm placed on them by Harry Potter[src]

The Confundus Charm[3] (Confundo[1]) is a charm[2] which causes confusion in a person[1] or bewitched object.[3] It appears that there are varying degrees of confusion caused by the spell, from simply tricking a person or thing about a specific incident[4] to confusing a person to the point at which they endanger themselves.[5]



The spell seems to be rather difficult to cast, as Severus Snape, an exceptionally powerful wizard who could flawlessly perform Nonverbal spellcasting and Wandless spells, had such trouble with it that he had to "frown in concentration". To cast it, one must point their wand directly at the person or thing that must be confused and incant, "Confundo". If one is casting the charm on multiple targets, they must point their wand at each individual target in turn and incant once for every individual target.


Although the spell carries no light or sound, one can detect if another person has been "Confunded" (someone who is under the influence of the Confundus charm) only immediately after the spell has been cast; the person will shudder when the spell hits them. It will cause any of varying degrees of confusion, from a simple trick[4] to making a person believe that they have come up with a complex plan when said plan was given to them by the caster.[8] It can also be used on inanimate objects that have a level of sentience, as Barty Crouch Jr. did with the Goblet of Fire, though this was noted to be a difficult task, as the Goblet itself was a powerful magical artefact.[3]


Confundus, as well as the incantation Confundo, are derived from the Latin verb confundo (confundo-confudi-confusum-confundere), meaning "to confuse, to perplex."

Behind the scenes[]


Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Chapter 26 (Gringotts)
  2. 2.0 2.1 As the name itself is Confundus Charm, it is evident that this is a charm.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Chapter 17 (The Four Champions)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - Chapter 11 (Hermione's Helping Hand)
  5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Chapter 35 (Beyond the Veil)
  6. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Chapter 35 (Veritaserum)
  7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Epilogue (Nineteen Years Later)
  8. 8.0 8.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Chapter 33 (The Prince's Tale)