Magic and magical theory
Harry Potter Lexicon Minute

Summoning Charms


Summoning Charms

I’ve been doing some thinking about Summoning Charms, which, given the option, I would perform at least a dozen times a day, because where are my car keys and is my phone in my purse or did I leave it in the car again? (For those two reasons alone, I think the Summoning Charm would probably tack another year onto my life.)

I recently reread Half-Blood Prince, and when Harry suggests to Dumbledore that they try summoning the Horcrux in the cave, just in case—because why not—I did a little internal spit-take. You don’t even know what kind of object the Horcrux is, Harry! Can you imagine, librarians and web designers and fellow humans/users of the Internet, if search engines achieved that level of prediction-savviness?

I mean, honestly, we’re pretty close. Google already knows that when I search “hello it’s me again,” I either meant “hello it’s me” and was looking for Adele, or I meant “hey it’s me again” and was looking for Cheap Trick, and if it’s the latter, that I was just having some dim recollection of that one episode of “How I Met Your Mother,” and by the way, here is that clip.

I guess my point here is that we don’t have magic doing this for us. It’s fun for me to imagine some ancient wizard going through every conceivable object, past/present/future, and adding some kind of magical tag to it, just so that when Harry shouts, “Accio Horcrux!”, supposing it hasn’t been enchanted not to react to such a lowly fourth-year magic school spell, it will just come soaring out of the depths and into Harry’s outstretched hands.

But I doubt that’s how it would have actually gone down. I imagine young witches and wizards getting the briefest crash course on Platonic allegories and concepts like semiosis and the social contract inherent in language, or more likely some magical equivalent thereof, then scraping an Acceptable on the essay and having to move on, because practical application of a Summoning Charm is too important to delay, whether the magical theory makes any sense or not.

Anyway, Muggles these days are pretty good at creating non-magical work-arounds, so if anybody has any new ideas for real-life instantaneous search-and-retrieval, I am very interested.



In the Harry Potter Lexicon Minute podcast you’ll hear the voices of our editors sharing some of the many little things which delight us about the Wizarding World. In each podcast, just a couple of minutes in length, we’ll talk about anything from cool trivia and interesting canon passages to the latest Wizarding World news. We hope you’ll join us! And we’d love to hear from you as well. Feel free to use the comment section on the blogpost for each podcast to post your thoughts.

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