Accio

Accio, or the Summoning Charm, is a spell in the Harry Potter universe used to summon objects towards the one who is casting it. It is beneficial for summoning any object that is out of one’s reach.

Accio

The Definitive Glossary for Harry Potter

This is one of the incantations that requires active thought to ease the process. This means that since the spell is for summoning objects, the caster of this spell must think of the object to be summoned clearly with their mind and then chant the incantation along with the name of the object they desire to summon. The opposite of this charm is the Banishing Charm which has the incantation ‘Depulso’. It is believed that any inanimate object summoned through this charm hurtles towards the caster at the speed of light, only to slow down as it reaches the caster.

Accio – Spell Profile

  • Incantation: Accio
  • Type: Charm
  • Light Colour Emanating from the Wand: None
  • Effect: Brings an object (in view or out of view) towards its caster
  • Hand Movement: A curve from the lower left, peaking in between and lowering back towards the right


Etymology

The word “Accio” comes from Latin and means “I summon” or “I call,” both of which are apt for the purpose of the Summoning Charm.

History of the Spell

The Summoning charm is considered to be one of the oldest known charms in the wizarding world. In Miranda Goshawk’s textbook, The Standard Book of Spells, which is the recommended textbook for Charms in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, it is documented that the Summoning Charm became popular because of the Accionites and their leader, Gideon Flatworthy. The Accionites were an Anti-Muggle extremist group that frequently summoned Goblin-made artifacts when they ran out of gold.

In one of the stories from Tales of Beedle the Bard called The Wizard and the Hopping Pot, one of the characters summoned a lost donkey using this spell. Furthermore, this spell is taught at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to the fourth-year students and is contained in the Standard Book of Spells: Grade 4 written by Miranda Goshawk.

It is believed that Modesty Rabnott was one of the first people to use the Summoning Charm. She used it to summon a Golden Snidget during the game of Quidditch to prevent it from getting killed.

Effects of the Charm

The charm worked more accurately on non-living things. However, the Summoning Charm couldn’t be used to summon buildings or large structures. Although Trevor was once summoned by Harry when practicing for the Triwizard Tournament, it is believed that the Summoning Charm only works on living things when the thing they are attached to is summoned. However, it is believed to be a very risky process, as the objects travel at the speed of light and can therefore cause harm to a living being if they were hurtled at such speeds.

Appearance in the Harry Potter Universe

The first appearance of the Accio spell in the Harry Potter series occurs in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire when Molly Weasley uses it several times to summon sweets and toffees that Fred and George intended to smuggle to the Quidditch World Cup. Since the Accio charm works very well on inanimate objects, Molly Weasley, a very clever witch, used a very efficient charm to get out all the toffees and sweets from George and Fred’s trousers and shirt pockets. In the movie adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, it is also used by Professor McGonagall nonverbally to summon the books she accidentally dropped after she sees that Malfoy has been turned into a ferret by Professor Alastor Moody. 

The next time this charm is used in the Potterverse is when Hermione teaches Harry how to perform the spell so that he could summon his broomstick, the Firebolt, to him when he has to retrieve a Golden Egg from a dragon in the first task of the Triwizard Tournament. Eventually, Harry learns the Summoning Charm by trying to summon several things, including gobstones, feathers, chairs, books ,and even Neville’s pet toad Trevor. Harry successfully uses the spell to summon his Firebolt during the task and also manages to retrieve the Golden Egg from the dragon.

Furthermore, Harry uses the summoning charm to summon the Triwizard Tournament Cup, which is a Portkey, after he duels Voldemort and is protected by the apparitions of his parents and the other victims of Voldemort. Harry uses Accio to summon the Triwizard Cup and then transports himself from the cemetery at Little Hangleton to Hogwarts with Cedric Diggory’s body. Harry also uses Accio in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince when he summons Madam Rosemerta’s brooms for him and Dumbledore to go to Hogwarts from Hogsmeade after the Dark Mark is spotted above it. He again uses it to summon the Essence of Dittany from Hermione’s bag after Ron gets splinched during an apparition.

Accio is also used several times in the rest of the books, including Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, in which Hermione uses it to summon Harry’s wand at the Department of Mysteries and give it to him. Hermione also uses Accio in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to summon all the books on Horcruxes from the headmaster’s office. They hurtle through an open window, and she gets all the books on Horcruxes.

Other instances of the usage of the Summoning Charm include Barty Crouch Jr. disguised as Alastor Moody, using it to summon the Marauder’s Map from Severus Snape before he could go through its contents. Sirius Black uses this charm to summon Butterbeer for himself, Harry, and the Weasleys at Twelve Grimmauld Place. George Weasley used the spell to summon his broomstick that was locked up in Umbridge’s office before he left Hogwarts for good with his brother Fred Weasley.

‘Accio’ and Particle Physics

One real-world analog to the effects of the Summoning Charm is the experimental side of Particle Physics. Most experiments in Particle Physics are used to determine the properties of atomic and sub-atomic particles. They use highly charged environments to bombard a set of particles with other particles at the speed of light. This is made possible by exciting these particles with enough energy to attain near-light speeds. This is similar to the Summoning Charm in that the highly energized particles, like the summoned objects, approach its ‘caster,’ the particles supposed to be bombarded with the speed of light and give rise to essential data that unravel the mysteries of the universe, quite like how the Summoning Charm gives rise to magic.

FAQs

Who taught Harry Potter Accio?

Hermione Granger taught Harry Potter the Accio spell or the Summoning Charm. Since Harry was finding it very difficult to figure out a way to get the golden egg from the dragon in the first task, he was approached by Mad-Eye Moody and was suggested to try the Summoning Charm to get his broomstick mid-task. Hermione, being the talented and well-read witch that she is, figured out a way for Harry to practice it by summoning random objects like gobstones, chairs, and books. She then taught him the spell till he became thorough with it.

Can you Accio a person?

No, it is not possible to use the Summoning Charm to summon living things, and therefore, it is also not possible to summon a person. However, theoretically, it is possible to summon something non-living that a person is wearing or is held by, and therefore, if the person is attached to it, it must be possible to summon them through it.

What is the opposite of Accio?

It is believed that the countercurse to the Accio charm is the Banishing Charm. It has the incantation ‘Depulso’ and does exactly the opposite of what ‘Accio’ does. It is used to banish an object away from its caster. Like ‘Accio,’ it works especially on non-living beings.

Accio
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