Harry Potter is incredibly beloved because it is a story of good overcoming evil; a tale of perseverance, friendship, and sacrifice. It is complex and many layered, and it’s filled with really cool magic stuff, of course! From the first moment that Harry learns he is a wizard, each of the books is packed with the exploration of the Wizarding World, where all kinds of things are possible with the wave of a wand. There are the useful things that aren’t that powerful, like Skiving Snackboxes and magical ways of doing the dishes. There are spells and incantations that allow witches and wizards to do all manner of helpful things, from keeping the rain off your glasses to producing a Patronus for protection. There are magical creatures, cloaks, and butterbeers, and of course, broomsticks to allow for the achievement of that shared dream: to fly!
Then, there are the items - magical objects that possess their own power, whether good or evil. These can be potions, enchanted objects, cursed objects, wands, weapons, or anything else that is not a spell, but that holds its own magic. There are so many that it's a pretty tall task to choose just a few that are stronger than the rest… but that’s what we've set out to do here. Read on for the fifteen most powerful objects in the wizarding world of Harry Potter.
15 The Guardians of Hogwarts
Technically, these were simply suits of armor and statues that stood in and around Hogwarts, brought to life by the spell ‘Piertotum Locomotor’ to protect the school during battle. And while this list doesn’t include most spells, we made an exception here, because these were just so impressive!
Spoken by Minerva McGonagall as the students prepared for the Battle of Hogwarts, the charm continues with an order to "do your duty to protect our school", and the spell itself can be roughly translated to ‘move forth, dutiful soldiers’. These ‘dutiful soldiers’ are some of the most incredibly powerful objects in this world because, although they hold no power of their own, as protectors, they cannot be hurt, tricked, harmed, or stopped (short of total destruction). They are honor-bound (magically), strong, and tireless - making them incredibly powerful protectors for anyone battling on their home turf.
14 The Mirror Of Erised
The Mirror of Erised appears in the very first installment of the Harry Potter series, and at first glance, it's more interesting or amusing than truly powerful. It is inscribed with the words "Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi", which can be reversed to spell out ‘I show not your face but your heart's desire’. A fascinating concept, its power lies in the ability to drive men mad with longing, leaving them to waste away in front of the mirror as they pine over a thing that they cannot have - a dark power, that may or may not have been the intention of the maker.
Dumbledore later modified the mirror to make it even more powerful still, by giving it the ability to hide the Philosopher’s Stone, and give it only to someone who wanted to hold it, but not use it. As such, the Mirror of Erised had the power to prevent Voldemort himself from coming back to life, which is pretty impressive.
13 The Pensieve
Legend has it that the Pensieve of Hogwarts was found buried where the school was built, and has a magic that pre-dates much of the wizarding world. A bowl with runic markings along the edge, the Pensieve allows a witch or wizard to siphon off their memories and re-live them, or to step inside the memories of others. As Dumbledore puts it, it’s a useful way of dealing with having too many thoughts swirling around inside your head, and it certainly comes in handy in the Harry Potter series.
Exploring the memories of Dumbledore and others helps Harry in his search for the Horcruxes, eventually allowing him to defeat You-Know-Who. It’s not clear whether this is the only Pensieve in existence, but it is certainly the only one mentioned, making it as rare as it is powerful.
12 The Goblet Of Fire
The Goblet of Fire is an ancient object that has always been used as the impartial judge to select Champions for the Triwizard Tournament. In the books, it's simply a wooden cup, while the films decided to make it a little more flashy, turning it into a huge urn.
Whether it's a glowing sculpture or simple chalice, the Goblet of Fire has the ability to weigh and measure students, and to immediately enter them into the magical contract that is selection as School Champion. It’s not a power that can be directed for or against any particular witch or wizard, although the Death Eaters try very hard to do that by using a very powerful Confundus Charm to force it to recognize Harry as a fourth champion. Still, this Goblet is very limited in scope, because despite being old and immensely powerful, it can only use that power to choose Champions.
11 The Cursed Opal Necklace
The first item on our list with the power to harm, and even kill, the Opal Necklace very nearly spelled the end for Katie Bell. It’s first seen in Borgin & Burkes, where a sign proclaims (proudly) that it is cursed, and has "claimed the lives of nineteen Muggle owners to date".
Obviously created by a Dark Wizard specifically to kill enemies, the necklace was then bought by Draco Malfoy when he was attempting to kill Dumbledore. Had it reached the Headmaster intact, and had Dumbledore touched it, he would have been killed instantly - instead, it ended up touching a tiny area of skin on Katie Bell’s finger, and the poor girl was lifted into the air, enduring excruciating pain. Katie was able to recover, but the power of the necklace is so strong that she needed months of care before she could return to school.
The first potion on our list, Veritaserum is also known as Truth Serum, and it does exactly what you would expect. When given to someone to drink, that person is forced to tell the truth - whether they want to or not. The serum is clear and odorless, and only a few drops are enough to be effective. For obvious reasons, this is not a potion available to any wizard on the street, and it can only be brewed by accomplished potions-makers.
Although the potion is powerful, it is not, however, infallible. Some can resist the effects of Veritaserum, and it cannot force someone to reveal the unbiased truth - only the truth as they see it. Insanity and biases can twist the results, which is why the Ministry does not use it as a matter of course in trials and investigations. Despite its flaws, Veritaserum is one of the most powerful and carefully regulated potions in the wizarding world.
9 Felix Felicis
Another incredibly powerful potion is Felix Felicis, otherwise known as Liquid Luck. Molten gold in color, this little potion is banned from all sporting events and competitions, thanks to its ability to grant the drinker perfect luck for several hours at a time. Everything that the witch or wizard who drinks the potion tries to do will be a success, everything will come easily, and all obstacles will be removed.
It's an incredible potion, but it does have limitations. It only works if taken in moderation, as drinking too much (or too often) leads to reckless behavior, giddiness, and the kind of overconfidence that ruins the effects of the luck. Felix Felicis is so powerful that it must be used sparingly, and cautiously. Of course, if that weren’t the case, everyone would be taking it daily, and when everyone has perfect luck, no one is luckier than anyone else.
8 The Sword of Gryffindor
On its own, the Sword Of Gryffindor is a magical artifact because it is a Goblin-made sword, which means that it is enchanted. It does not require cleaning or sharpening, and is quasi-sentient, able to come to any true Gryffindor in a time of need (which is how Harry got it, more than once). In addition, the sword became significantly more powerful after Harry used it in the Chamber of Secrets to kill the Basilisk. A property of Goblin metal is that it absorbs anything that strengthens it - including Basilisk venom. As a result, the sword can now destroy Horcruxes, something that almost nothing else in the wizarding world is mighty enough to do.
Despite its power, it lands at the halfway point on our list because it cannot be kept by any other wizard. It remains at Hogwarts, waiting for a loyal Gryffindor in need.
Love potions are risky - and surprisingly available in the wizarding world, despite their concerning powers. Amortentia, the most powerful of all love potions, has a mother-of-pearl sheen to the surface, but is most recognizable by its scent. The potion smells different to each person, taking on the scents of those things that they love most in the entire world. When consumed, the potion creates an infatuation so strong that it can inspire people to dangerous obsession, and presumably even to deadly ends.
The potion is recognized as highly dangerous, although love potions are not banned (or even that strongly regulated) by the ministry. The effects will, thankfully, wear off after time if it is not regularly consumed, and antidotes can be made, but even with them, this is easily one of the most powerful potions in the wizarding world.
6 The Philosopher’s Stone
Renamed the Sorcerer’s Stone for US audiences, the Philosopher’s Stone is the stuff of alchemy legends. The stone has two primary powers - the ability to turn any base metal into pure gold, and to produce the Elixar of Life, which can keep the drinker alive forever.
In the wizarding world, only one wizard has ever managed to create the substance: Nicholas Flamel. Flamel used the stone to stay alive for several centuries (and of course, to become incredibly wealthy), but agreed to destroy it when he learned that Voldemort sought the stone to restore himself to full health and life.
While immensely powerful, the stone is one of the rarest items in this world, especially now that Flamel has destroyed the sole stone in his possession. Should another, less scrupulous, alchemist learn how to produce the substance, this could become powerful in a less positive way - but for this series, its power was only used for good.
5 Time Turners
Even turning back time is not beyond the abilities of skilled wizards - with the help of a Time Turner, that is. These little golden items are worn like a necklace, with a tiny hourglass that can be twisted to send the user back in time. The time turners were very carefully regulated, as the possibilities for devastating damage to the timeline are very real. The Ministry’s time turners only allowed wizards to go back in time for a few hours, and were destroyed in the battle between Harry and Voldemort.
However, another true Time Turner was introduced in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. This Time Turner, created by Theodore Knott, allows the user to stay in the past for as long as they want. While they can be incredibly useful (just ask Buckbeak!), Time Turners are incredibly powerful, and incredibly dangerous in the wrong hands.
This most dark and evil of magics is rarely used in the wizarding world - except by He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named, of course. A Horcrux is a vessel that is used to hold a part of a wizard’s soul, meaning that if they are ‘killed’, they do not actually die in the true sense. Instead, that disembodied part of the soul lives on, and can be given another physical once more later on. However, creating a Horcrux requires murder to complete, and rips the soul into pieces, damaging it (and the wizard) beyond repair.
Voldemort, who tore his soul into seven pieces (eight, including his accidental Horcrux, Harry), was barely human by the end. Horcruxes are incredibly powerful magic, but are rare due to the darkness of the magic needed to create them. Still, they are a way to achieve immortality, and defeating death is the most powerful magic of all.
3 The Resurrection Stone
And of course, defeating death brings us to the three most powerful items in this magical world: The Deathly Hallows themselves. The Resurrection Stone was given to Cadmus Peverell, who asked for a way to bring his loved ones back from beyond the grave. The stone can indeed bring back those who have passed, but only a shade of them; more than a ghost, less than true flesh. Those returned will stay present while the stone is being held, and were able to give Harry the strength to walk to his ‘death’ after the Battle of Hogwarts.
Like any great power, however, the stone can be extremely dangerous as well. Cadmus Peverell himself fell victim to it, when the return of his fiancee led him into a pit of despair that they could still not truly be together… and he killed himself to attain that goal. Now, of course, the stone is lost in the Forbidden Forest, where Harry dropped it in the end.
2 The Invisibility Cloak
The second most powerful of the Deathly Hallows is the Invisibility Cloak - possibly the only true Invisibility Cloak in the wizarding world. Unlike others, it doesn’t wear with age, and it makes the wearer invisible to (almost) all enchantments. It was given to the third Peverell brother, Ignotus, who used it to hide from Death himself - until he grew old and was ready to greet Death as a friend.
While incredibly powerful (and obviously, phenomenally helpful to Harry Potter himself over the years), the cloak’s power is very specific, and limited to creating invisibility. Invisibility can be created, in the short term, by using other enchantments as well. The story of the Deathly Hallows suggests that the cloak can make a wearer functionally immortal, although this isn’t mentioned after that tale.
1 The Elder Wand
The final Deathly Hallow, the Elder Wand, is without a doubt the most powerful item in the wizarding world. Created by Death for Antioch Peverell, this is the most powerful wand in the world - and it can produce a level of magic that would be impossible for any other wand. It is the only wand able to repair other wands, and was rumored to be unbeatable (although this is not technically true).
The wand gives the wizard who is its true master unfathomable abilities (if the wizard can accept death and tame the Thestral-hair core, that is)… but it insanely dangerous, as well. The wand has a long and bloody history, as wizard after wizard has been killed by others seeking to gain the wand’s power. Because of this, Harry chose to use it to repair his original wand, before placing it in Dumbledore’s tomb (not snapping it, as he did in the film). When Harry dies, the power of the wand will end with his life, bringing an end to the Deathly Hallows as a trio.
Did we forget any hyper-powerful items that exist within the wizarding world of Harry Potter? Let us know in the comments.