In the first Fantastic Beasts film, the entire city if New York is obliviated with a rain storm to wipe the memories of all Muggles who were witness to the events that nearly destroyed the city.

Later, in The Crimes of Grindlewald, we learn that Jacob didn't have his memories erased because it only erased bad or unpleasant memories, of which Jacob appat had none from the events in New York.

How exactly does obliviating someone work? This detail about it only eliminating bad memories would seem to indicate that Hermione using the spell on her parents may not have taken, right? So are there different ways to cast the spell, or are there different kinds of obliviations? If not, then wouldn't the spell been ineffective on Hermione's parents unless any memories they had of here were actually unpleasant?

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    I'd suggest that this might get a more specific answer on SF&F as it's only tangentially related to the movie.
    – Paulie_D
    Commented Nov 24, 2018 at 10:45
  • There may be a difference between the proper Obliviate spell vs the venom of the Swooping Evil administered (and diluted) via rain from "Frank"
    – m1gp0z
    Commented Nov 26, 2018 at 14:55

1 Answer 1


This is because the Swooping Evil's venom was used in this particular Oblivation event, not the "Obliviate" spell. Swooping Evil venom only erases bad memories, Obliviate erases any memories the caster wants to, right up to almost completely wiping their memories like what happening to Lockhart in Chamber of Secrets.

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    Hello and Welcome to Movies & TV Stack Exchange! Your answer seems very helpful, but it would greatly benefit, if you could back it up with a reliable source. :) Commented Jan 29, 2019 at 16:08
  • 2
    Agreed with the above comment. Your answer seems solid, but more direct sources to back it up would make it even better. :D
    – MattD
    Commented Jan 29, 2019 at 17:44

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