How did Harry Potter become the owner of the Elder Wand?
In this article, we will be looking at the backstory of the legendary Elder Wand, its path from its former owners to Harry, and all the way down to its destruction.
Origin And The Backstory Of The Elder Wand
Before moving to the obvious, let us look at the origins of the Elder Wand.
The Elder Wand, said to be the most powerful wand that had ever existed, could perform feats of magic that would normally be impossible even for the most skilled wizards. It was the first Hallow created, made by Death himself, and no other wand was equal to it. The Elder Wand was made of Elder wood, and its core was the tail hair of a Thestral. 15′ long, it had carvings down its length that resembled clusters of elderberries. Using the Elder Wand, wizards and witches could produce intensely powerful magic, which others could only dream of. Possession of the wand enabled the wielder to create magic that was not otherwise possible, including things like mending other wands. The Elder Wand changed ownership by conquering the previous owner.
So how was the Elder Wand created?
Where Did The Elder Wand Come From?
Being one of the Deathly Hallows, the Elder Wand is associated with the tale of the three brothers named Antioch, Cadmus, and Ignotus. The brothers were all members of the famous Peverell family. The plot surrounds the three wizard brothers and their ability to cheat Death. When the three brothers cheated Death, it told each of the brothers that he would award them a gift of their choosing. The eldest brother, a combative man, asked for a wand more powerful than any in existence. Death granted his wish by fashioning the Elder Wand from a branch of a nearby Elder tree on the banks of the river.
The elder brother Antioch did not possess the Elder Wand for long. After killing a rival wizard in a duel shortly after getting the wand, Antioch was murdered in his sleep that night, and another wizard took possession of the Elder Wand. Over time, this powerful and mysterious wand passed through various hands, usually by violent means. Many owners were killed by their successors in a desire for power, and over time it was well known that murder was necessary to gain mastery of the Elder Wand.
The wand was passed through many wizards after Antioch Peverell. Until at one point during the nineteenth century, the Elder Wand came into the possession of wandmaker Mykew Gregorovitch. Upon realizing that it was the most powerful wand in existence, Gregorovitch spent many years experimenting to try and duplicate its powers. Sometime between 1899 and 1926. Gregorovitch went inside his workshop and saw that someone had taken the wand: a blonde-haired young man, who promptly shot a Stunning Spell at Gregorovitch to acquire mastery of the wand, before jumping out the window. That boy was Gellert Grindelwald, one of the most dangerous Dark Wizards of all time. He was educated at Durmstrang Institute but was later expelled. Following his expulsion, he lived with his aunt in the village Godric’s Hollow, and later, struck up a friendship with a young Albus Dumbledore, and the two made plans to find the Deathly Hallows. They believed that possessing the Hallows would allow them to create a world for the greater good. This partnership fell apart after the two were involved in a three-way duel with Albus’ brother Aberforth, which resulted in the accidental death of his sister Ariana.
How Did Dumbledore Get The Elder Wand?
Over the years, Grindelwald raised an army and began the terror that spread through several countries. In 1945, Dumbledore finally felt forced to confront his former friend. Dumbledore defeated him in a legendary duel despite Grindelwald’s mastery of the Elder Wand.
The mastery of the Elder Wand passed to Dumbledore after that. Under his ownership, the wand was largely used for good, unlike many of its former masters. Dumbledore performed great magic with this wand, furthering his reputation as the world’s most powerful wizard.
How Did Draco Malfoy Become The Master Of The Elder Wand?
In 1997 when Dumbledore and Harry returned from the cave to Hogwarts after searching for one of Voldemort Horcruxes, the death eaters had found a way to get into Hogwarts. When Draco Malfoy arrived, he disarmed Dumbledore, and the wand flew from Dumbledore’s hands over the ground. After Draco hesitated in attempting the murder, Snape appeared and performed the Killing Curse on Dumbledore himself.
Since Dumbledore was disarmed and defeated by Draco, Malfoy thus became the next master of the Elder Wand. He managed to own the mastery of the wand without killing its previous master, the same way as Dumbledore did with Grindelwald. Since Dumbledore was disarmed and defeated by Draco, Malfoy thus became the next master of the Elder Wand. He managed to own the mastery of the wand without killing its previous master, the same way as Dumbledore did with Grindelwald.
Voldemort’s Quest For The Elder Wand
Later, when Voldemort came to know about the Elder Wand’s existence and its legendary powers, he sought his mastery to secure his desire as the ultimate wizard in the world, which he believed would make him invincible. Voldemort broke into Dumbledore’s grave and took the wand, which had been buried with its former master.
After Voldemort realized that the wand was not living up to its full potential, he thought that Snape was the owner of the Elder Wand. So Voldemort took Nagini and went on to murder Snape, not taking into account that Draco had disarmed Dumbledore before Snape killed him.
But in the Battle of Hogwarts, Harry revealed to Voldemort that the wand had not belonged to Snape, but Draco. Only in his final encounter with Harry at the Battle of Hogwarts, Voldemort used the Elder Wand to cast his final Killing Curse against Harry. But because the wand’s allegiance was to Harry, Voldemort’s spell backfired and killed him, once and for all.
But how did Harry get the mastery of the Elder Wand?
How Did Harry Get The Ownership Of The Elder Wand?
This question is intriguing because, in the Malfoy manor, Harry took Draco Malfoy’s Hawthorn Wand, not the Elder Wand. How, then, did he become the master of the Elder Wand, which he never took from its true owner or touched?
At the Malfoy Manor, when Harry Potter defeated Draco Malfoy by taking his wand, not only did Draco’s Hawthorn wand switch allegiance to Harry, but the Elder Wand did as well. Draco Malfoy was master of both, his Hawthorn Wand (the wand that chose him at Ollivanders when he was eleven) and the Elder Wand, following his disarming of Dumbledore on the Astronomy Tower the night Dumbledore was killed. Draco, however, never knew that he was master of the Elder Wand at any point. Furthermore, the Elder Wand chose Harry as its master.
“The wand chooses the wizard.” – Ollivander
When Harry took the Hawthorn Wand from Draco, the Elder Wand knew that Draco had been “beaten” and it changed its allegiance to Harry Potter (evidently, being disarmed counted). It was simply waiting for him to gain possession of it.
At the top of the Astronomy Tower, Malfoy disarmed Dumbledore, and the Elder Wand, realizing that its previous master had been defeated, switched its allegiance. Some months later in the Malfoy Manor Harry overpowered Draco and took his Hawthorn Wand. The Elder Wand detected this and switched masters again.
Even though it was not taken directly by Harry, the chain of dominance remained unbroken -Harry defeated Malfoy who defeated Dumbledore. The Wand recognized when its owner was defeated and gave its allegiance to the victor. The fact that it was never in his hand is irrelevant because the wand ‘knew’ and sought the best to be held by.
In the end, Harry broke the Elder Wand in half and threw it away so that no one could ever find and use it. However, in the books, Harry told Dumbledore’s portrait that he would place the Elder Wand back in Dumbledore’s grave, and when Harry would die a natural death, the wand’s power would be broken as Dumbledore had intended.