Beyond Hogwarts

Search Beyond Hogwarts:

Reference Desk:
Beyond Hogwarts FAQ
Wizard to Muggle Currency Converter
Harry Potter Spelling Reference

The Five Principal Exceptions to Gamp's Law

by David Haber

Elemental transfiguration is the magical art of physically converting one thing into another. But as with all types of magic, there are limitations to what you can do with transfiguration, as we learn in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, when Hermione mentions the five Principal Exceptions to Gamp's Law of Elemental Transfiguration. But she only tells us one of them. What are the other four? I think we know two more, and can guess another.

> Read the full article

Pages:  <<  <  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 ...  >  >>

Reader Comments: (Page 12)

All very well stated, a wizard probably can't change time, BUT! Would time changing time fall under the art of transfiguration? I think not.

Since we're not discussing the five exceptions of magic, it's the five exception of transfiguration, I don't think changing time qualifies.

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles on August 13, 2008 8:41 PM

I've always thought it was love but flipping through the comments...well my theory:

SLughorn mentions in the 6th book that it is impossible to create or imitate love and that you can only create a powerful obsession...

but that its a potion isn't it? not a transfiguration spell so my new theory:

Ms Rowling made it up as 5 because it sounded catchy.

Posted by Lily Evans on August 15, 2008 04:26 AM

The five exceptions are simply: food, love, life, money, and information.

Posted by robmelendez from Laredo Texas on August 16, 2008 01:45 AM

Sorry, but once again we're talking about the five exceptions to the laws of elemental transfiguration. Love, life and information are not elements (physical things).

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles on August 16, 2008 07:10 AM

i think its love. slughorn said it. love cannot be created. when talking about amortentia.

Posted by charlie on August 16, 2008 10:26 PM

That's not an element.

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles on August 17, 2008 06:05 AM

well off course there could be creatures or objects that are are immune for transfiguration that we never heard from.

Posted by Carni from netherlands on August 20, 2008 11:18 AM

Well... it's your turn to guess, Carni, as the books don't say.

How about Politicians? Perhaps you can't transfigure a politician since they keep changing themselves so much...

That would explain why they couldn't do anything about Fudge...

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on August 20, 2008 11:29 AM

of course love is an element! The definition of an element is not limited to physical things. An element can encompass anything abstract or not.

You cannot say an element is purely physical. Even a simple definition of the word could refer to the elementary elements of Earth, Fire, Water, and AIR. Obviously, not all relating to purely physical, tangible substance.

Love is without a doubt one of the elements, which is clearly stressed upon in the sixth book.

Posted by robert melendez from laredo tx on August 22, 2008 8:37 PM

Nope, sorry. By definitition, an element is physical, not abstract. Love is a force, it is not an element.

Even if you go by the meval definition (earth, water, air, and fire) those are all tangeable. Air has physical properties, so does fire. But love has no physical properties, you can only see it by its affect.

Important? Yes. Element? No.

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles on August 23, 2008 01:56 AM

I do agree with you saying that the last one cannot be love. As Dave Haber says, we are talking about the five exceptions to the laws of "elemental transfiguration". Elements are based on elementary particles (atoms etc.), thus they are physical. Love is no physical substance, it is an abstract phenomenon.

I don't know if this has been mentioned earlier, but what about wands being the last exception? I can't help myself thinking that if anyone could make themselves a wand from anything, that could possibly cause a lot of trouble and make the society pretty chaotic...

Posted by Fredrik from Norway on August 23, 2008 04:51 AM

I think you can't transfigure anything bigger then the wizard himself. seems like a fair rule to me

Posted by Carni from the netherlands on August 25, 2008 1:20 PM

Pages:  <<  <  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 ...  >  >>

Featured Discussions | The Septology | Harry's World | Harry Potter Movies | Dumbeldore Is Not Dead | FAQ is not affiliated with or approved by
Scholastic Books, Bloomsbury, Warner Bros., or J.K. Rowling
Original Content Copyright © 2006-2010 David Haber, All Rights Reserved