At the end of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, there is a reveal

Percival Graves (played by Colin Farrell) is a disguise for the infamous Dark Wizard Gellert Grindelwald (played by Johnny Depp)

I don't think Polyjuice potion was used, mainly because of the accent and voice differences (which in the movies have always remained undisguised when using Polyjuice), though I could be wrong, and we may find out it was indeed Polyjuice.

Either way, it raised the question, are there any other ways for a witch or wizard to disguise themselves as another person? I want to exclude obvious things like disfiguration (e.g. Hermione's Stinging Jinx on Harry in Deathly Hallows).

  • I think there are known inconsistencies with polyjuice potion's ability to change the user's voice, like in the book it works but in the movie it doesn't. This could be another case of that. Nov 21, 2016 at 16:29
  • @user1306322 I figured that, it's why I said "though I could be wrong, and we may find out it was indeed Polyjuice" and then went on to say "Either way, it raised the question, are there any other ways for a witch or wizard to disguise themselves as another person?" Nov 21, 2016 at 16:44
  • @user1306322 Question is more about what are other ways to achieve it except polyjuice.
    – Ankit Sharma
    Nov 21, 2016 at 17:53
  • See also the later question scifi.stackexchange.com/q/145434/4918 "How did this Fantastic Beasts character disguise themselves?"
    – b_jonas
    Nov 22, 2016 at 11:34
  • I think it's of importance that the person in question just wanted to look different while the polyjuice potion's main idea is to look exactly like someone else. The latter is vastly more difficult than the former, even in real life.
    – fstanis
    Nov 22, 2016 at 23:19

1 Answer 1


There are several ways that I know of that you can use to disguise yourself without polyjuice potion.

The first -- and the one that fits best for Fantastic Beasts -- is you can use transfiguration on yourself. Aurors are formally trained to do this. Tonks was an expert in this, and got top marks in her auror training. In The Order of the Phoenix, she used this method effortlessly to amuse others. That consensus is held by a lot of others as indicated in this Insider piece, and also in this Quora piece. An extract from the latter:

Tonks mentions in Order of the Phoenix that part of Auror training that she received top marks in was transfiguration disguise [partly due to her genetic disposition :)]. We know human transfiguration is possible at a young age (Cedric Diggory and Krum both used it as part of the Triwizard Tournament). I imagine someone with the power to control the Elder Wand can hold his own for extended transfiguration. He probably allowed himself to be revealed.

A second (and not so useful) way is by using the Confundus Charm on those who can see you, but that requires its repeated use, and the likely scenario that you will eventually miss somebody and be recognized.

A third way (and least useful) is by being an Animagus, and literally changing into an animal. That helps answer the question, but is not useful at all for Grindelwald.

  • Awesome answer, just a slight nitpick (well, question really): Are you implying that he is using the Elder Wand in Fantastic Beasts? It didn't look like he was. Might be a good question. At any rate, I just wanted to clarify what you meant with that Elder Wand mention (though my intuition tells me you didn't mean he was using it in the flick) Nov 21, 2016 at 18:07
  • No, I did not mean to imply the Elder Wand. I was simply answering your question strictly as you asked it -- but also shoehorning it into Fantastic Beasts because of the tag you used.
    – John
    Nov 21, 2016 at 18:27

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