He probably doesn’t need it, given his capabilities, but Dumbledore took the Elder Wand anyway. Speaking of which, how did Dumbledore get the Elder Wand in Harry Potter? It’s only the most powerful wand in the Wizarding World.
In the Harry Potter books and films, the Elder Wand stands as one of the most coveted and potent artifacts, known for its incredible power and its deadly history of owners.
Among its notable owners is Albus Dumbledore (played by the late Michael Gambon in movies 3 through 8), and his acquisition of the Elder Wand is a pivotal moment in the series. Of course, before we explain why, we’ll answer “How did Dumbledore get the Elder Wand?” first.
Grindelwald and the Elder Wand
Before coming into Dumbledore’s possession, the Elder Wand belonged to the notorious dark wizard named Gellert Grindelwald.
Grindelwald, Dumbledore’s former friend and confidant, had a relentless obsession with uniting the Deathly Hallows, one of which is the Elder Wand, making him a formidable and dangerous adversary. He broke into the workshop of wandmaker Mykew Gregorovitch, who claimed to be its master, and stole the Elder Wand.
This marked the first recorded instance of the wand changing hands without the death of its previous owner.
Grindelwald’s acquisition of the Elder Wand catapulted him to the status of the most powerful dark wizard of his time, which was around the 1940s in the Harry Potter mythos.
Immediately, he raised an army and terrorized multiple countries in pursuit of his vision of the “greater good.” Despite his immense power, Grindelwald never dared to challenge Dumbledore directly, even though he possessed the Elder Wand. Even back then, he feared the Hogwarts Headmaster’s strength and resolve.
Dumbledore’s legendary duel won him the Elder Wand
In 1945, after years of hesitation and reluctance, Albus Dumbledore finally confronted Grindelwald in an epic and iconic duel. This battle, which took place on the grounds of Nurmengard, Grindelwald’s prison fortress, would go down in history as one of the most remarkable displays of magical prowess.
Dumbledore emerged victorious, defeating his former friend and ending Grindelwald’s reign of terror.
As a result of his victory, Dumbledore became the rightful master of the Elder Wand. Unlike most previous owners, Dumbledore did not flaunt the wand’s power or use it for personal gain. Instead, he sought to prevent the wand from causing further harm and bloodshed.
The Mysterious Origins of the Elder Wand
The Elder Wand, also known as the Deathstick, is one of the three Deathly Hallows, along with the Resurrection Stone and the Invisibility Cloak.
Its origins are shrouded in mystery and myth, making it an enigmatic element in the wizarding world.
According to The Tale of the Three Brothers, a wizarding fable, Death himself crafted the wand for Antioch Peverell, one of the three brothers who sought to cheat Death. However, Albus Dumbledore believed that the tale was more legend than fact, suggesting that it might have been created by an extraordinarily talented wizard.
As for the Elder Wand’s exact powers, they’re rather vague, but some of the most typical feats include mending broken wands and letting the wielder perform spells and magic that’s impossible for any wizard or witch. Apart from that, it amplifies the wielder’s known spells.
More importantly, the Elder Wand will not harm its current master and will also presumably grant its current master all the accumulated magical abilities of all its previous owners.
Regardless of its origins and abilities, the Elder Wand had a dark and bloody history, with its ownership frequently changing hands through violence and murder. Each new owner typically had to defeat the previous one, often leading to a trail of destruction and chaos.
Dumbledore’s intentions with the Elder Wand
Dumbledore’s acquisition of the Elder Wand marked a turning point in the wand’s history. Unlike previous owners who wielded it to instill fear and dominance, Dumbledore intended to use the wand for a higher purpose. He understood the wand’s allure and its potential for destruction, but he did not desire power for its power’s sake.
“I was fit to own the Elder Wand, and not to boast of it, and not to kill with it. I was permitted to tame and to use it because I took it, not for gain, but to save others from it,” Dumbledore explained. Thus, his keeping the Elder Wand was quite a noble and admirable endeavor.
His intention was to prevent the wand from falling into the wrong hands, particularly those of Lord Voldemort, who, like Grindlewald, sought it fervently.
Dumbledore’s plan was to end the wand’s power with his own death, but a twist of fate would alter the course of events.
Draco Malfoy and the disarming
As Dumbledore faced his imminent death, Draco Malfoy, a young and conflicted wizard, disarmed him in the Astronomy Tower at Hogwarts. Or rather, Dumbledore allowed Draco Malfoy to disarm him and let Snape kill him.
This act unintentionally transferred the allegiance of the Elder Wand to Draco, making him its new master. Such an unexpected turn of events frustrated Voldemort’s relentless pursuit of the wand.
Voldemort’s frustration and defeat
Despite his belief that he possessed the Elder Wand, Voldemort soon discovered that he could not harness its full power. The wand’s allegiance remained with Draco Malfoy as it recognized him as its true master.
Even when Voldemort killed Severus Snape, whom he believed to be the wand’s master, the Elder Wand did not yield its full potential.
Ultimately, the wand’s complex allegiance and its resistance to Voldemort played a crucial role in his ultimate defeat.
Harry Potter, who had disarmed Draco Malfoy during a skirmish at Malfoy Manor, became the true master of the Elder Wand. In the end, Harry’s intentions to die undefeated and the wand’s recognition of his true ownership sealed its fate.
Therefore, it would be fair to say that Dumbldore’s influence and acquisition of the Elder Wand still paid off even long after his death.