"No, I cannot do that," she [the Witch of the North] replied, "but I will give you my kiss, and no one will dare injure a person who has been kissed by the Witch of the North."
She came close to Dorothy and kissed her gently on the forehead. Where her lips touched the girl they left a round shining mark, as Dorothy found out soon after.
To say heroes face trials, enemies, and dangers that imperil their lives with alarming frequency is putting it mildly. Some heroes are hunted even before birth
by proactive villains, and regardless of the tendency of such efforts
it behooves the forces of good
to take steps to protect the hero. One of the more popular ones
(along with hiding them at birth in a common family
) is to use a Protective Charm on them.
This can be a spell or Ancient Artifact
that acts as a form of Supernatural Aid
that keeps the character safe. It might render them hard to find, naturally harm or repel
attackers, or cause Glamour Failure
on whoever is using supernatural disguises.
Of course, an un-harmable protagonist is too close to being an Invincible Hero
, so the charm likely has limitations
either in the wording
, the method, range, or another part of the protection. One popular limit is it stops working on a Dangerous Sixteenth Birthday
. Likewise, it may not protect allies
or actively defeat villains, either.
Worst of all, though, is when their enemy twists the charm against them or even No Sells
it. Of course, wily villains may just trick the hero into giving it to them or someone else.
Often White Magic
. Compare Kryptonite-Proof Suit
. If worn, may be a Magical Accessory
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- In Omamori Himari, Ordinary High-School Student Yuuto turns out to belong to one of the twelve families of demon slayers. His grandparents gave him a charm that kept the demons at bay until his 16th birthday as shown in the first episode. It then begins to weaken, and when the demons begin to sense his presence, they begin attacking him. Fortunately he has a Action Girl, Himari, whose sole purpose is to protect and serve him, and she comes into his life to protect and help train him to fight demons.
- Bleach: Isshin gives Ichigo a charm he claims his dead mother once gave Isshin. Isshin doesn't actually mean for Ichigo to be protected by it, however. Isshin knows that Ichigo is a shinigami and that when Ichigo's soul leaves his body to fight as a shinigami, a special spirit called Kon inhabits Ichigo's body so that the humans don't realise Ichigo is "missing" from his body. By giving Ichigo the charm, Isshin ensures Ichigo's body is protected while Kon is inhabiting it. When the arrancar first attack the living world, Kon's life is saved by the power of this charm (and along with it, Ichigo's body as well).
- The main character's ability Imagine Breaker, in A Certain Magical Index. His right arm removes any supernatural fete it touches.
- In issue #12 Ms. Marvel (2014) as a compensation for the trouble he caused, Loki wards the school of the eponymous heroine. She asked for it jokingly and Rhetorical Request Blunder ensued. It's telling that she asked for something to protect others not herself. How well this will work has yet to be seen; he says it's strong enough to stop any attacker up to an ice giant, but... Loki.
- In much folklore a cross will ward off vampires. Sometimes other holy items have similar effect.
- A great many Real Life books of folk magic focus heavily on protections against malicious witchcraft.
- The original Mark of Cain in The Bible was intended as a protective charm, but it's now considered to be a curse/mark of shame.
- The SCP Foundation restores it to its former meaning with SCP-073, Cain, whose mark rebounds all harm onto the would-be attacker.
- Dungeons & Dragons has had a plethora of protective spells and magic items over the years, such as Bless and Prayer spells and the Brooch of Shielding.
- In GURPS traditionally styled protective amulets can be made using Path/Book rituals. The standard spell system has spells to create charms more in line with the modern concept.
- One of the things that made the founding of the Order of Hermes in Ars Magica possible in the first place was the timely invention of the Parma Magica, a ritual taught to every wizard of the Order as a matter of course that provides protection from the magic of others — both outsiders and potentially hostile members of their own organization.
- Purity seals in Warhammer 40,000 serve to protect Imperial soldiers, vehicles, and even weapons from the corruption of Chaos. They don't always work. There is also mention of other sorts of inscriptions and holy relics used for similar purposes.
- In Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, there's a throwaway line in Dumbledore's office that mentions how the riders have had numerous protective spells placed upon them. This is the in universe justification for why they're able to No Sell dragon fire, acromantula poison, and the Whomping Willow's attacks. The only thing the riders aren't safe from are the Dementors, requiring Harry to step in.
- In "Shounen Kininden Tsumuji" Tsumuji is given a magatama that protects him from being turned to stone.
- In Red Dead Redemption, if you're a consistently good person, you can get a special item from a nun. The item in question is a cross pendant that actively deflects bullets fired at you.
- Final Fantasy games often have the status effects Protect and Shell. These reduce physical and magical damage (respectively) by as much as 50%. Protect is almost always a boon, but Shell sometimes also reduces the effect of healing spells, which can make it a Useless Useful Spell. Similarly, the status effect Reflect bounces magic back to its target, meaning enemy mages need to attack physically, or have their own magic bounced back at them. However, this also works with friendly magic, meaning that characters need to be healed through the use of items.
- In Umineko: When They Cry, Maria gives Jessica a Scorpion Charm with a protection spell on it in the very first visual novel. However, it's implied that the "charm" is really just a plastic toy.
- In Sinfest, the angel's glitter appears to act as this. It nullified Baby Blue's hostility to Crimney when he appeared in Hell, and it warded off the zombie from Monique.
- Inverloch has Kayn'dar's pendant. His parents intended it to protect him from harm, which didn't stop him from getting kidnapped, but it is still linked with him. Acheron can get flashes of memory through it. It turns out that Kayn'dar managed to put all of his memories in it before Raul swapped his soul into the real Acheron's body.
- The Justice League episode, "Alive!" had Tala lead a mutiny against Lex Luthor. However, when she attempted to attack him directly with her magic, she was defeated when it was turned against her. As Tala is dumbstruck how that was possible, Luthor, a mad, but very open minded, scientist, reaches into his shirt to show his magic amulet noting, "You wouldn't believe how much this cost me..."