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Wand Basics 101

by David Haber

As long as there have been Witches and Wizards, there have been magical wands. No part of Harry Potter's magical heritage goes back further. The ancient Celtic Druids who lived in what is now called Scotland employed wands all the way back to 500 BC. As a matter of fact, "Druid" actually means "man with the wisdom of the wood".

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Reader Comments: (Page 4)

Harry was quite young, only just 11 when he bought his wand. He wouldn't have had the experience to get someone else's wand to work for him. Ollivander uses the wands of all four champions in GoF to test them. It can be done. Perhaps it's a bit like using someone else's musical instrument - you do become very used to your own and switching to another is quite hard. You have to learn the individual instrument to get the best out of it, and musicians often find that a particular maker simply makes instruments that suit them better than any other.
Same with horses. The best rider in the world wouldn't expect to take an unknown mount around an Olympic course and do well. And some horses and riders just clash. Maybe wands are the same. A sed musician or rider still get a response from another horse or instrument - just not as good as they would get from their own.

Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on March 19, 2007 04:20 AM

Elizabeth from Australia, I like your analogy, it is one I can relate to.

smk, We have seen our heroes use other wands before, in POA (at least on the movie) Harry used Hermione's wand in the Shrieking Shack.

mrcrister from Lakeport, You mentioned "The Magickers", which I have not read, but there is another series of books in which "Mental Abilities" such as telekinesis, telepathy, and others (which can be considered magic by some) are ENHANCED through the use of certain crystals, to which you have to key yourself into at a young age to make them work. The series is based in a planet called Darcover and is masterfully written by Marion Zimmer Bradley.

Posted by Emilio from Mexico City, Mexico on April 16, 2007 2:53 PM

"If you'll pardon me, I need to go now and give my wand a good and proper polishing."

ahaha, that one made me laugh. =]

Posted by Devanshi from India on May 1, 2007 04:07 AM

I have a replica of the wand Harry uses in the first Harry Potter movie. It doesnt have holly and a phoenix tailfeather from Fawkes, though...

Posted by Dante on May 3, 2007 07:49 AM

What kind of wand whould be perfect for a person who work with magical creatures, such as Charlie Weasly?

Posted by Michael Kraemer from Montana on May 18, 2007 6:08 PM

Michael - I'm unsure of Charlie�s current wand, but his old wand (the one passed down to Ron) had a unicorn hair core, while the wood is not mentioned. According to his birthday, it should be elder, but, for personality I would compare to Hagrid, who's wand is oak, which Jo chose because of what it symbolizes, rather than his birthday wood, which is also elder. Hagrid�s core is not mentioned. (I would guess dragon heartstring.)

Posted by Monkeeshrines from Orlando FL on May 21, 2007 3:34 PM

The magical cores on Harry and Voldemort's wands are made from Fawke's feather right? That's why their battle at GoF resulted to Priori Incantatem..

Just curious, you said that the wands could also choose their wizard/witch handlers.. do the wands' choices vary only for ability? or did Fawkes had a choice to whom he wanted he give his pieces of feathers?

Posted by Ashley from Baguio City, Philippines on May 25, 2007 12:31 AM

Ashley from Baguio City--
I think it is unlikely that Fawkes knew who was going to end up with his feathers. I'm also not sure it was recently that Fawkes gave his feathers to Ollivander, because Ollivander has been in the business since (1919?) I don't remember off the top of my head but it has been a considerable amount of time. Those wands, which choose the wizard they want to be handled by, have been waiting for the right person whom they have been created for.

Coincidentally, this would mean that Fawkes is extremely powerful, even for a phoenix. Think about it: he gave two feathers. One went to the most evil sorcerer ever to exsist, and the other went to the wizard with the power to destroy the evilest sorcerer ever to exsist. That's a lot of power. I think the wood and the style of the wand (James: made whippier, Hagrid: made benr, ect.) have something to do with it, but because they have two different types of wood and they are equally powerful, I think it has a lot to do with the phoenix who gave the feathers to make the wands.

Posted by Ashley R. from Missouri on June 5, 2007 6:46 PM

Ashley & Ashley;
Here is another take on why Harry and Voldemort ended up with the 2 phoenix feather wands. Phoenix are reborn from their ashes and Voldemort is reborn from his horcruxes. Harry is mortal and represents a single life progression and not be reborn. Mortality vs. Immortality. Kind of a Yin & Yang thing. Harry have to find a way to inflict his mortality on Voldemort.

Posted by Dave Porter from New Mexico on June 6, 2007 3:31 PM

I like to think of a wand less of focusing a persons magic but more of a tap.

The magic being in the person themselves, like a unlimited reservoir, the wand just lets the magic out, and the spell determines what form it is in.

The magical core and the wood it is made from would still be very important as to better tap into this persons magic.

Since spells seem to be control alot by emotions and thoughts a wand better suited to a persons personality does make alot of sense as to better tap into the magic within them.

This would mean that wizards or witches with larger magic reservoirs in them would obvioudly need a more powerful core at the centre of their wand to better control the flow of magic.

Posted by Graham B from Cumbria on June 12, 2007 12:46 PM

Graham B from Cumbria,

I understand what you mean about a more powerful core for a more powerful witch or wizard, but I also think of them as focusing or targeting devices.

Imagine that magic is water, and that the witch or wizard is a fire hydrant. If you open the fire hydrant then you can have a lot of water (magic) going in all directions, but if you add a hose (wand) you can direct and concentrate the water (magic) to the right target.

If the hose is very flexible it can be turned more easily but if the hose is more rigid it can hold more pressure (but needs more strength of the user), so depending on the type of use it would be the type of hose (wand).

Posted by Emilio from Mexico City, Mexico on June 14, 2007 11:10 AM

Dave Porter from New Mexico-

I like your take on Fawkes giving rebirth to Voldemort and Harry. Since Voldemort was reborn through horcruxes, perhaps harry was also reborn as the "boy who lived" or the only one who survived the ing curse. right?

Posted by Ashley from Baguio City, Philippines on June 17, 2007 04:25 AM

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