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"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.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Chapter II: The Council With The Munchkins

To say heroes face trials, enemies, and dangers that imperil their lives with alarming frecuency is putting it mildly. Some heroes are hunted even before birth by proactive villains, and regardless of the tendency of such efforts to backfire 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.

Examples of Protective Charm include:


Anime

  • 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.
  • In Umineko no Naku Koro ni, Maria gives Jessica a Scorpion Charm with a protection spell on it in the very first visual novel.

Film

  • Constantine. As Constantine and Chas are about to leave to to rescue Angela, Papa Midnight tries to give them a blessing. Constantine refuses it, while Chas accepts it.
  • The Golden Child. Chandler Jarell buys a necklace which ends up protecting him from a demon wielding the Ajanti Dagger.
  • In Barbie of Swan Lake, the Fairy Queen gives Odette an amulet to protect her from harm... after she's turned into a swan, unfortunately.
  • In the The Wizard of Oz film, Glinda implies that the Ruby Slippers themselves are these. Glinda does kiss Dorothy, but the kiss is not stated to be protective at all.

  "Remember, never let those Ruby Slippers off your feet for a moment, or you'll be at the mercy of the Wicked Witch of the West."


Folklore

  • In much folklore a cross will ward off vampires. Sometimes other holy items have similar effect.


Literature

  • Spellfire. Shandril is given a magical amulet that will prevent enemies from learning her location. Unfortunately she destroys it when she uses her spellfire ability.
    • Non-detection amulets are eventually issued to almost everyone hunted by magic-users and having a powerful ally -- when everyone and their familiar has a Crystal Ball it's a no-brainer. Rinda the Scribe was given an artifact (specifically created for her) that prevents location even by gods -- she hides the Cyrinishad. In Finder's Stone series all living constructs has even more universal built-in antidivination measures of minor artifact level -- they were supposed to be superpowered assasins, after all.
  • In The Wonderful Wizard of Oz it could be argued that the protection from the Good Witch's kiss is less magically protective in of itself than a matter of not wanting to tick off a powerful witch.
  • Eragon gives a blessing to a girl, but because he fucks up the words it goes Horribly Right. (Exact Words and Blessed with Suck too):

 Elva is an orphaned baby Eragon attempts to bless but accidentally curses. As a result, Elva is compelled to protect other people from harm at the cost of her own peace of mind. (Eragon intends to say 'May you be shielded from harm' but accidentally says 'May you be a shield from harm'.)

  • Harry Potter's mother's love acts as a charm protecting him from Voldemort (for the first four books, anyway).
    • A more universal version would be the Protego spell, usable by any wizard that knows it, and can block most offensive spells.
  • Used often in the Got Fangs? novels by Katie Maxwell. The main character lives at a dark (but not evil) Circus, where Protective Charms are sold (most of which really do work). Her best friend, a Moravian draws a protective ward across her forehead to keep her safe at one point.
  • The can-tah skoldpadda from The Dark Tower is a small, turtle figurine that protects the Beam of the Turtle and the Bear. The skoldpadda mesmerizes the people it's shown to, which can make them cooperate with Roland's ka-tet, or it can sometimes cause enemies to briefly stop attacking.
  • In Teresa Frohock's Miserere an Autumn Tale, Lucian tells Lindsey that the Psalter is this. She is quite annoyed when he explains he gave her it to focus, and it was actually her own power.


Religion

  • 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.


Tabletop RPG

  • Dungeons and 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.


Video Games


Web Comics

  • 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.


Western Animation

  • 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..."
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