Harry Potter: What Each Character's Wand Says About Them

Nothing in the wizarding world has been left untouched by J.K. Rowling. Even the most minuscule of details have been explored; so much so that Harry's magical realm is oftentimes spoken of as if it is a tangible place as opposed to a coveted fantasy. This dedication is part of the reason these tales have become classic. Rowling gives meaning to every square inch of Harry Potter's world, down to the very last wand hair.

RELATED: Harry Potter: 10 Facts About the Potters Left Out Of The Movies

The wands in the wizarding world are typically recognized by three traits: its wood, its core, and its length. Each of these factors influences the wand's unique characteristics and how it ultimately matches with its owner. Pottermore describes wands as the "singular most important tools" that help to channel the inner abilities of each witch or wizard. Knowing this, it's interesting to note what these wand features reveal about the book's key characters.

Continue scrolling to keep reading

Click the button below to start this article in quick view

Start Now

10 Voldemort

Wand Type: Thirteen and a half inches, yew, phoenix feather

Wands generally range from nine to fourteen inches. The latter of which, according to Ollivander, is exceptionally rare. Voldemort's wand almost hits that unique note, which usually symbolizes a strange appearance in the wand holder. Longer wands are also usually drawn towards those with bigger personalities, which makes sense as to why the Dark Lord's is so long.

Yew wand holders are known to be exceptional wizards and often victorious. Rowling describes them as "reputed to endow its possessor with the power of life and death." It's a rare trait, just like the rest of the traits that make up Voldemort's wand. The phoenix feather core is hard to maintain and chooses its owner carefully and strategically. Everything about Voldemort's wand speaks to the rare and powerful, which shows that, despite his Dark Arts fascinations, he was a particularly powerful wizard.

9 Bellatrix Lestrange

Wand Type: Twelve and three-quarter inches, walnut, dragon heartstring

Bellatrix's lengthier wand speaks to her rare and unusual stature. A wand made out of walnut, like Bellatrix's, usually falls in line with the most intelligent of wand wielders. In the wrong hands, this could lead to disastrous, albeit impressive, consequences.

RELATED: Harry Potter: 10 Facts About Snape Left Out Of The Movies

This could explain why Bellatrix's Cruciatus Curse so permanently damaged the Longbottoms. It is said that this wand "makes for a truly lethal weapon in the hands of a witch or wizard of no conscience." Dragon heartstring cores have the most power, although they are a bit temperamental. It's also the wood that tends to lean towards the Dark Arts.

8 Dumbledore

Wand Type: Elder and Thestral tail hair, fifteen inches

The Elder Wand is one of the Deathly Hallows, meaning that its features are dauntingly telling. At fifteen inches long, it is one of the largest wands. A wand made out of elder wood also denotes to the wand carrier may be either extremely unlucky or woefully powerful. It's another rare feature that gives a reason as to why it's so hard to master a wand of this type.

Ollivander surmises, "On the rare occasion when such a pairing occurs, I take it as certain that the witch or wizard in question is marked out for a special destiny." The Thestral tail hair core is not a part of Ollivander's three Supreme Cores, which makes it likely that the Elder Wand may be the only one to possess this trait.

7 Minerva McGonagall

Wand Type: Fir, nine and a half inches, dragon heartstring

McGonagall's wand is not truly considered to be a short wand at 9 1/2 inches, but its neat veneer could mean that she has greater control of her spell casting.

According to Ollivander, fir wands "demand staying power and strength of purpose in their true owners," which makes sense given the Hogwarts professor's durability. As mentioned, the dragon heartstring produces the most power to the heart of these specific wands, which explains why McGonagall is such a fierce witch.

6 Ginny Weasley

Wand Type: Yew, unknown

Most of Ginny Weasley's wand characteristics have yet to be revealed. What is known is that her wand is made out of yew. This is the same material that Voldemort's wand is made out of, which is very telling of this wand's flexibility.

Yew wands are known for their dueling dexterity, which explains why Ginny's spells always come out so vibrantly. The owner of the yew wand is also known to be a protector of others and equally does not ever choose an owner who is timid or mediocre.

5 Draco Malfoy

Wand Type: Hawthorn and unicorn hair, ten inches

Draco's exact wand length of ten inches should speak to something of his character. Perhaps it relates to his constant need for guidance since he rarely seems to formulate a plan for himself outside of his father or Voldemort's expectations. Hawthorn wands are known to be complex, just like their owners.

RELATED: Harry Potter: 10 Facts About Luna Lovegood They Leave Out Of The Movies

They only find themselves in the hands of someone with true talent, though Ollivander also notes, "The hawthorn wand seems most at home with a conflicted nature, or with a witch or wizard passing through a period of turmoil." Unicorn hairs, however, are the hardest to use for the Dark Arts, which is maybe why Draco felt compelled to leave that life behind him.

4 Neville

Second Wand Type: Thirteen inches, cherry, unicorn hair

Neville's wand is initially a hand-me-down from his father. Because the wand did not choose Neville specifically, it had a hard time bending to his will, hence Neville's troubles in school.

His second wand, however, is a thirteen-inch wand that is made out of cherry wood. These wands are envied in parts of the world such as Japan, where those with cherry wood wands are held to a higher prestige. It's a rare wand with rare lethal powers. However, combined with the unicorn hair, it's a bit more docile, which suits Neville perfectly.

3 Hermione

Via: Harry Potter Wiki

Wand Type: Dragon heartstring core, ten and three-quarter inches, vinewood

Wands that have more intricate features like Hermione's vine wand are the most uncommon. Vine wooden tools usually aid the carrier with astounding talent far beyond their means.

Its larger length helps aid to the notion that Hermione is the "brightest witch of her age" since it helps highlight the strength of her dramatic spells. The dragon heartstring core is actually known to backfire on its owners who do not possess solid control, which is obviously not the case with Hermione. It only makes her spell work all the more impressive.

2 Ron

First Wand Type: Twelve inches, ash wood, and unicorn tail hair

Ron's wand, up until his second year when it snaps in half, is a hand-me-down from his brother Charlie. Just like Neville's first wand, it did not bound to Ron the way his own unique wand would have.

Second Wand Type: Fourteen inches, willow and unicorn tail hair

At fourteen inches, Ron's new wand should be able to perform expert casting. This seems applicable in Ron's case since his wand work seems to drastically improve later in the series. A willow wand often possesses unnecessary insecurity, which is Ron to the tee. Ollivander notes that his "willow wands have consistently selected those of greatest potential, rather than those who feel they have little to learn."

1 Harry

Wand Type: Holly and Phoenix feather, eleven inches

Ollivander says that holly wood wands "work most happily for those who may need help overcoming a tendency to anger and impetuosity." This is definitely the case for Harry (at least in the books). It is usually drawn to witches or wizards who are destined for greatness and who will, at some time or another, divulge in a dangerous quest.

It's actually not supposed to make great allies with the phoenix feather due to the core's excessive magical potential. However, people like Harry, who are lucky enough to find such a match, should not be trifled with.

NEXT: Harry Potter: 10 Things In The Half-Blood Prince Movie That Only Make Sense If You Read The Books

More in Lists