The wizarding world of Harry Potter has captured the imagination of people worldwide like very few other phenomena. The books alone have become the best selling series of all time, with a staggering 500 million copies sold globally.
Then there’s the movies, six of which are in the 50 highest grossing movies ever, with the last one, Deathly Hallows Part 2, crossing the coveted billion dollar mark at the box office and becoming one of a mere 31 movies to ever do so.
Perhaps one of J.K. Rowling’s biggest strengths is her world-building. Hogwarts and the magical world was painted in intricate detail, packed full of interesting characters and supernatural curios.
Despite the often fantastical elements, it feels like a tangible place and it’s hard not to wish to visit places like Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. The same attention to detail is afforded some of the interesting weapons and tools that powerful wizards, both good and bad, use to aid their causes.
Some of these objects have incredible properties and it felt only right to see how they stacked up against each other.
Here are the 15 Most Powerful Magical Artifacts In Harry Potter, Ranked From Weakest To Strongest.
15. The Sorting Hat
The battered old Sorting Hat may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about some of the Potterverse’s magical heavy hitters, but it does have an important job nonetheless.
Tasked with sorting Hogwarts students into one of four houses, the Sorting Hat has to evaluate individual personalities and try to match them up to the valued characteristics of the each of the Hogwarts founders, thus shaping the next generation of witches and wizards.
If knowledge is power, then the Sorting Hat would be up there in the rankings.
It’s said that the hat was enchanted by the four founders and imbued with their combined intelligence.
It has a long memory too, able to remember all of its previous sortings and identify patterns, like all Weasleys ending up in Gryffindor. If knowledge isn’t your parameter of power, then let’s not forget that Godric Gryffindor’s legendary sword can be pulled out of it too.
A Sneakoscope is a glass spinning top that lights up, spins, and whistles every time there’s someone untrustworthy around. Whilst they look like a novelty toy, they’re a handy tool in the fight against dark forces.
There have been numerous times where a Sneakoscope has been on the money about something. Harry’s went haywire near Ron’s pet rat Scabbers and the large one in Professor Moody’s office was disabled, presumably so the imposter could go undiscovered.
An early warning that you may be in danger is a definite plus and it becomes invaluable when Harry, Ron, and Hermione go on the run in Deathly Hallows and don’t know who to trust.
While there are other Dark Detectors like the Foe-Glass and the Secrecy Sensor, the Sneakoscope’s usefulness and portability makes it the companion of choice for any wizard embarking on a dangerous mission.
13. The Mirror of Erised
The Mirror of Erised is an enchanted mirror that, by its own backwards inscription, promises to show “not your face, but your heart’s desire.” In a genuinely touching moment, Harry discovers it and sees his family behind him, with Ma and Pa Potter smiling and looking on their son with pride.
Not much is known about the mirror’s creation.
It seems to have been made with innocent, good-natured intentions, but it has a dark side to it.
According to Dumbledore, many wizards have been driven mad and wasted away in front of the mirror, becoming obsessed with the visions of glory and success reflected back at them.
Harry was in danger of joining them, visiting the mirror repeatedly over several days before Dumbledore steps in and warns him of the dangers. As it has the unintentional ability to warp minds by showing tempting visions, we’re going to say it’s pretty powerful.
12. The Goblet of Fire
Magical folk seem to really like using enchanted artifacts as decision makers. For another example of this, look no further than the Goblet of Fire, the magical cup that acts as an impartial judge for who can represent their school in the Triwizard Tournament.
It’s like a flashier Sorting Hat, designed to choose one representative from each of the three competing schools by spitting out their names in a burst of red fire– or at least that’s how it’s supposed to work.
In Goblet of Fire, it spits out a fourth name, Harry Potter, to the surprise of everyone. This is eventually revealed to be thanks to a powerful Confundus charm cast by Barty Crouch Jr.
Since the goblet can be provably fooled, it doesn’t rank higher, but it’s worth noting that it took some incredibly advanced magic to trick it.
11. The Veil
Known only as “The Veil,” this ancient archway is kept deep in the Department of Mysteries, a secret section of the Ministry of Magic devoted to confidential research. According to Rowling herself, The Veil has been there “as long as the Ministry itself.”
It’s basically a barrier, separating the lands of the living and dead.
In the archway, there hangs a tattered curtain that is apparently only visible to those who have witnessed death. As the curtain is approached, it’s possible to hear deceased loved ones whispering and murmuring, calling out to you.
If that wasn’t creepy enough, apparently prolonged exposure can cause a desire to walk through it, leading to a fatal one-way trip. The Veil’s designated room, fittingly called the Death Chamber, is the setting for Sirius Black’s tragic end.
After being hit with a curse from his cousin, Bellatrix Lestrange, Black falls through the Veil itself and Harry has to watch his godfather literally disappear from his life.
10. Alastor Moody’s eye
The paranoid Professor Moody knows that it pays to have eyes in the back of your head. After he lost his real eye in a battle with Death Eaters, Moody had it replaced with a magical glass one, leading to his nickname– “Mad-Eye Moody.”
The eye is a significant upgrade, as it allows Moody to see through anything, including the back of his own skull. It can also detect all sorts of deception charms and can even see through invisibility cloaks.
The eye is so useful, in fact, that it was even used after Moody’s death in a rather gruesome fashion. The eye was recovered from Moody’s body and used by the hateful Dolores Umbridge to track her Ministry of Magic lackies.
When Harry, Ron, and Hermione find the eye on a Ministry wall in Deathly Hallows, they’re horrified by the situation and steal it, giving it a proper and respectful burial after they escape.
9. The Pensieve
We all wish we had a better memory. Life gets so complicated sometimes that it can feel like we have too many thoughts for one mind to handle. The wizarding world has a solution for this– the Pensieve.
Pensieves look like stone/metal basins, covered in runic symbols and gems. They’re filled with a shimmering liquid/gas. These are memories, extracted from a wizard/witch’s brain and left to pool with the other thoughts.
These collected memories can then be visited by anyone like a ghost, from a third person, non-interactive viewpoint.
We only know of Dumbledore’s Pensieve in the books/movies, but further lore states that it isn’t unique.
Some magical families have passed down Pensieves for generations, whilst others chose to be buried with theirs. Considering that the Pensieve offers a way of not only saving memories and being able to revisit them, but showing other people your personal experiences into the bargain, we’re going to say it’s up there when talking about powerful magical items.
8. The Marauder’s Map
On first glance, the Marauder’s Map seems like any old bit of tattered parchment. However, if tapped with a wand and the words “I solemnly swear I am up to no good” are uttered, the object’s true nature is revealed– that of a full map of Hogwarts.
Created by Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs, a gang of former Hogwarts students, it plots the supposedly unplottable and details all of the castle’s grounds, including its numerous secret passageways and hidden rooms.
Best of all, it gives the real-time locations of everyone in Hogwarts, making sneaking around after dark that much easier.
The only downside is that it doesn’t show every single part of the school. As it’s based on what the boys had been able to map out themselves, the map doesn’t contain locations like the Chamber of Secrets or the Room of Requirement. Still, it’s a powerful tool for those who want to get their mischief managed.
7. The Sword of Gryffindor
Fiction is littered with examples of a weapon choosing a worthy owner, from the legend of King Arthur to Thor. It’s the same in the Harry Potter universe, where wands have a slight will of their own and “choose” their owner.
This is taken to the next level with the Sword of Gryffindor. The sword was made by the finest goblin metalworkers for Godric Gryffindor.
As a goblin sword, it is indestructible and never requires cleaning.
The sword appears to “true Gryffindors” in need and can be pulled out of Godric’s other lasting possession– the Sorting Hat. The sword became even more powerful after Harry uses it to kill the Basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets.
Like all goblin metal, it absorbs any powerful element it comes into contact with, in this case Basilisk venom, which strengthens the blade and gives it the ability to destroy Horcruxes, products of truly advanced and evil magic.
6. The Cloak of Invisibility
Invisibility cloaks/spells/potions are nothing new in Harry’s world. However, the one that he finds in his possession is way more powerful than the usual fare.
Beedle the Bard’s Tale of the Three Brothers tells the story of three brothers who are given “gifts” by Death. One of these is the Cloak of Invisibility, granting the wearer “true” invisibility, beyond the capabilities of all other cloaks.
The story is revealed to be just that, but as we learned, the Deathly Hallows are real and Harry is the rightful descendant of the cloak. It can resist strong jinxes and hexes that an ordinary cloak wouldn’t, although it can’t block them.
There are very few things that can see through the cloak’s illusion, but Alastor Moody’s eye is one of them. The user also shows up on the Marauder’s Map just as any other person would.
5. The Philosopher’s Stone
Alchemist Nicolas Flamel hit paydirt when he managed to create the Philosopher’s Stone, a gem that not only produced the Elixir of Life, granting immortality, but could also turn any base metal to gold.
As practically everyone would want the Stone for themselves, it was locked away in Gringotts Bank, said to be one of the most secure locations in the wizarding world.
After his dramatic defeat at Godric’s Hollow, the weak and broken Voldemort intends to use the Stone to restore him to full health.
Harry thwarts Voldemort’s plans and sends the Dark Lord packing, but Flamel realizes that the Stone may be too dangerous to exist.
After a conversation with Dumbledore, Nicolas decides it’s time the Stone is destroyed to prevent it from ever falling into the wrong hands, bringing he and his wife’s six centuries together to an end.
4. The Resurrection Stone
Unless you’re unfortunate enough to come back as a ghost, death really is the final curtain for wizards and witches. That is unless the second Deathly Hallow, the Resurrection Stone, is used.
Unlike the name implies, the Stone doesn’t bring a dead body back to life. Instead, it brings their spirits back from the afterlife for as long at it’s held. The spirits are said to be rather annoyed by this process.
Harry uses the Resurrection Stone to a great effect during the climactic Battle of Hogwarts in Deathly Hallows. With the Stone, he brings back shades of his parents, Sirius Black, and Remus Lupin who all encourage him and give him the strength to carry on.
The spirits conjured by the Stone seem to be more tangible than regular ghosts and are able to form a shield and protect Harry from a group of soul-sucking Dementors.
Horcruxes are a creation of the very darkest magic. They’re part of a malevolent process in which an individual can practically become immortal by splitting their soul and putting it into any object, living or inanimate.
To do this, a wizard or witch has to deliberately murder someone and take the resulting damaged part of their soul and transfer it into a chosen vessel, turning it into a Horcrux.
Voldemort created six Horcruxes in his attempt to live forever.
Horcruxes are imbued with some seriously evil magic and can influence and manipulate those around them, as seen with Ginny’s obsession with Tom Riddle’s diary in Chamber of Secrets.
Not only that, but some, like Salazar Slytherin’s locket, can have defense mechanisms to prevent their destruction. When Ron tries to break the locket, it shows him all his deepest fears and insecurities as a final attempt for survival.
2. The Elder Wand
The Elder Wand was the first Hallow created and is probably the most obviously powerful of the three. Made to be superior to all other wands, The Elder Wand is a unique artifact with a long and bloody history.
The wand is said to make previously impossible magic possible and has had an exceptionally lengthy list of owners, who usually came to a premature and violent end.
Whereas all other wands have loyalties, The Elder Wand only responds to strength. This has meant that it has often been attracted to wizards who were prepared to seize what they wanted and most likely, kill to get it.
Ownership of the wand requires someone to defeat (but not always kill) the current owner. The wand’s powers are never fully explored, but in the books, Harry uses it to fix his own broken wand, which was previously thought to be beyond magical repair.
The final film goes a different route and Harry deems it too powerful for anyone to use and snaps it in two, throwing the pieces off a bridge.
When Hermione Granger wanted to take more classes than a normal day would allow, she was entrusted with a Time-Turner, a magical hourglass on a chain that allows the user to travel five hours into the past.
Time travel is already impressive, but these “normal” Time-Turners were soon outclassed by an upgraded version, known as a True Time-Turner.
Time-Turners could be used for some nefarious purposes on their own, but a True Time-Turner can take the user back to any point in history.
They were created by Theodore Nott, and only two were ever made– a prototype and a finalized version.
The prototype allowed the wearer to stay in the past for five minutes, whereas the proper version could be used to stay in the past indefinitely. The prototype proves enough of a danger in Harry Potter and The Cursed Child when Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy use it and alter the entire timeline.
As even the shortest of trips can have catastrophic consequences, this one has to top the list on sheer principle.
Can you think of any other extremely powerful artifacts in Harry Potter that we forgot to mention? Sound off in the comment section!
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