Why did Hermione obliviate her Parents?

At the beginning of Harry Potter- Deathly Hallows Part One we see Hemoine cast Obliviate on her parents. The movie also starts with a gloomy scene. The whole scene screams tension and fear. Harry, Ron, and Hermione have that look of tension as well.

We see Hermione seeing the news of the Muggle family being murdered. After reading the newspaper she goes down to her parents and casts a magic spell, ‘Obliviate’. The spell caused all the pictures of Hermione to disappear slowly.

It seemed like her existence in her parent’s life was fading slowly. So, why does Hermione use that spell on her parents? What does that spell really do?

The action Hermione had some obvious reasons. We see that Muggles were being murdered by the Death Eaters. Hermione’s parents, also being the Muggles themselves, were also in danger. So to protect her parents she used the Obliviate spell on her parents.

Stick with us for further explanation of why Hermione obliviates her parents?

First of all, let us know what the Obliviate spell does.

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The Obliviate Spell

This is a memory charm used to erase the memory of an individual. It is also called Forgetfulness Charm. As the name suggests, it can partially or completely make people forget their memory.

This spell was first developed by the witch, Mnemone Radford. This also made her the first Minister of Magic Obliviator. This spell later contributed to keeping the wizarding world a secret from the muggles.

Gilderoy Lockhart, who later became the teacher of Hogwarts, was one of the wizards who perfected it. It seemed like he solely focused only on this spell, seeing how he was unable to cast other spells. He also seemed to bluff a lot.

Lockhart used this spell to his advantage. He used this on those people who had obtained heroic feats after interviewing them about every detail. He then would go on to include the detail in his book like it was his own feats. This also made him quite famous in the wizarding world.

This spell later backfired on him. It was also the first time we got to see the spell cast on someone in the movie. When Lockhart tried to erase the memory of Harry and Ron in the Chamber of Secrets, it backfired. It was because he used Ron’s broken wand to cast the Obliviate.

“His memory’s gone. The Memory Charm backfired. Hit him instead of us. Hasn’t got a clue who he is, where he is, or who we are. I told him to come and wait here. He’s a danger to himself.”- Ron Weasley regarding Gilderoy Lockhart’s backfired Memory Charm

This was a dangerous spell. The danger that this spell possessed was that it can cause brain damage to the individual it was cast on. The memories of that person were erased permanently.

The erased memories are also difficult and almost impossible to recover. The charms could only be broken through torture. This can also cause further damage to the brain and the body which cannot be repaired at all.

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Why did Hermione use Obliviate on her parents?

Sometimes the cost to be safe and to keep someone safe is high. After seeing the movies, we can agree on that. Many people lost their lives in order to keep Harry, the Chosen One, safe. Hermione also had to sacrifice her parent’s memory to keep them safe. She had to stay away from her family.

There are many reasons that also conclude why Hermione decided to take such a drastic decision. She didn’t do it because it simply came to her mind. There were valid reasons that led to her decision. A harsh decision to not be part of her parent’s memory.

Let’s look at the reason why Hermione cast Obliviate on her parents.

To protect her Parents

During the starting phase of the Second wizarding war, everyone who was against or didn’t support the Dark Lord was in danger. The Dark Lord was a ruthless and evil character and wouldn’t hesitate to do the unthinkable to complete his motive. The death eaters were also the same. They didn’t mind taking life for their own selfish desire.

After Dumbledore was killed, the Ministry of magic was taken over by the army of the Dark Lord. They had prepared an Undesirable list, which they used to identify anyone that defied the Dark Lord and put them as a target.

Hermione Granger was also on the Undesirable list of the Ministry of Magic. So, there was a high chance of them hurting Hermione and even her close ones like her parents because of her involvement with the Chosen One.

So, she thought it would be best to make her parents forget every information about her, her friends, and the wizarding world. This way Voldemort and the Death Eaters wouldn’t come searching for her parents and try to hurt them. She wanted to prevent her parents from having any connection to the wizarding world.

This was a brave, selfless, and smart act from Hermione. After her parents moved to Australia, her home was visited by the Death Eaters. So, this was the right move on Hermione’s part to keep her parents and her friend safe.

Prevent her family from the heartbreak of the loss of children

The second wizarding war was very dangerous. After the death of Dumbledore, the wizarding world was in chaos. All the witches and wizards were afraid for their life. The Death Eaters along with the Ministry of Magic was trying to eliminate the Muggles and even the Half-blood from the wizarding world.

Hermione was also one of the important individuals to take part in the Second Wizarding war. She was a prominent figure in the war. The war was so dangerous that it might have cost her life. The chance of winning the war was also very low.

If she was to die in the war then, it was evident that her parents would become greatly heartbroken. Losing their only daughter would be hard for them to bear.

Her parents were also exposed to the wizarding world. They knew that their daughter could perform magic. So, even after her death, it is likely the army of Voldemort would kill all the Muggles including her parents. So, she wanted to keep her parents happy and safe even if she died.

Hermione’s Parents’ New Identity

After casting the Memory Charm, Hermione gave her parents a new identity. They believed they were Wendell and Monica Wilkins. She also made them believe that they didn’t have any children.

They had also always dreamed of moving to Australia. So, after they lost the memory of Hermione, they moved to Australia.

This theory of Hermione’s parents getting the new identity clashes with the casted spell. As stated above the memory charm is used to erase the memory, not alter it. If we are to read the same scene in the books, it says Hermione changes her parent’s memory.

So, the scene portrayed in the movie doesn’t really do justice to what has been written in the book. The book states that Hermione didn’t make them lose their memory but altered it.

The Obliviate spell was a permanent spell and caused a great effect on the brain of the individual it was cast on. Reversing the spell also causes a great toll on the brain and the body. So, bringing back the memory of Hermione’s parents also seems impossible.

Movie Vs Book

Although in the movie we see Hemoine casting the Obliviate spell on both her parents, the book portrays it differently. Let’s look at what Hermione does in the book and which of the stories makes sense.

In the movie, Hermione is seen behind her parents with a sad and worried expression. Her parents are watching TV and talking about their dream destination to live in, Australia. Then slowly she approaches her parents and casts the Obliviate Spell.

We then see all the pictures in the house change. Hermione slowly disappears from all the pictures as if she never existed in their life. The Memory Charm that she cast on her parents had a permanent effect. So, this also might make us think they won’t remember Hermione again.

But if we are to look at the same incident in the book, it says otherwise. In the original story stated in the book, it says that Hermione uses a false Memory Charm on her parents. This charm made her parents think they were another person.

She made them believe they were Mr. and Mrs. Wilkins, without any children and planning to move to their dream destination, Australia.

Due to this massive change in the story of the movie, many fans agree that the scene was poorly portrayed. Many people who have only seen the movie might believe that Hermione wiped her parent’s memories completely.

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Do Hermione’s parents regain their memory?


Hermione had claimed that she would bring her parent’s memories back if she survived the war. But the way Hermione Obliviates her parents in the movie creates a problem regarding the statement. The movie says she uses the Obliviate spell which erases the memory permanently.

Obliviate is also a dangerous spell that can affect the person it was cast on. Reversing the magic is more difficult than casting. It is kinda impossible to do so.

“I’ve also modified my parents’ memories so that they’re convinced they’re really called Wendell and Monica Wilkins, and that their life’s ambition is to move to Australia, which they have now done.”- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, page 96.

But in the original story of the book, Hermione uses a memory-altering spell. This spell is easy to undo by the wizard that cast it. So, this story makes it seem possible for her parents to regain their memory.

After the end of the war killing Voldemort, we do not get the scene of her going back to her parents and bringing back their memories in the movies.

But don’t worry folks, in the Harry Potter book, it is written that she brought her parents back and brought their memory back by undoing the magic. In a web chat, JK Rowling stated that Hermione didn’t use Obliviate spells but bewitched her parents into thinking they are another person.

So, it was easy for Hemoine to undo her magic and make them remember her. After that, she might have told her what really happened and lived happily with her parents.

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Did Hermione do the Right Thing?

Hermione’s action brings us to divided views. Many people wonder whether what she did was right or not, considering the fact she was not even eighteen when she decided to alter her parent’s memory.

Many fans say what she did was right. She did that out of love and care for her parents. To protect them and to prevent them from facing any sort of torture from the Dark Lord and hid Death Eaters.

There was also a war happening and her parents were potential targets. Although they were at the risk of getting attacked, they were not important enough to get guards to stay protected from the wizarding world.

Some argue that what Hermione did was bad for her parents. They say that tampering with their parent’s memory and making them forget their only daughter wouldn’t have been appreciated by her parents.

But what Hermione did was out of love and was the right thing considering the situation they were in. If her parents were in her place then they would also do the same. They would rather hurt their feelings than put them in danger.

So, the brave and intelligent character of Harry Potter played her part as a daughter very well. She loved her parents more than her life. She did what was best for them.

Later she also brought her parents’ memories back and might have told them what really happened. This could have prompted their parents to get angry at first, but like every parent ever, they sure would be glad that their daughter is safe and home.

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