Harry Potter fans might think that they know the wizarding world inside and out, but J.K. Rowling's unyielding imagination leaves a lot to be remembered. Those who have only seen the films are privy to even less, sometimes vital, information which can make the movies themselves seem a bit complicated at times. The Elder Wand, for example, had only been fully fleshed after the last book's publication in 2007. And websites like Pottermore help to fill in the blanks that Potter enthusiasts are keen on knowing in order to fully grasp Harry's cultivated universe.
The Elder Wand, one of the three Deathly Hallows, is the most powerful wand known to wizard-kind. It became the catalyst for Harry's defeat against Voldemort, though it was only Hermione's recital of the Tale of the Three Brothers that gave much insight into this magical heirloom. So in the case that you have forgotten how its powers came to be or you simply missed its importance in the film, here are ten things you didn't know about the Elder Wand.
10 It Was The First Hallows Created
The Deathly Hallows were created specifically for the Peverell brothers. They consist of the Resurrection Stone, the Invisibility Cloak, and the Elder Wand. Because they had evaded Death, Death himself conjured up these magnificent pieces, giving his first gift to Antioch Peverell.
Antioch wished to possess the most powerful wand known to wizard-kind, and so, Death worked first to make him a wand unlike any other: the Elder Wand.
9 It Can Mend Other Wands
Those who have only seen the films may not know this (unless they are adamant about supplementary research), but the Elder Wand can mend other wands. This is showcased in the book when Harry uses the wand to fix his first and only wand which had been snapped in half. It is actually a very liberating scene from the novel, so fans are pretty upset when Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) is shown simply breaking the Elder Wand instead of first repairing his own.
The fact that the Elder Wand can even procure this type of magic is very telling about its characteristics. While stationary objects like glasses can be easily mended by wands, repairing a broken wand with another is not typical feat. In fact, no other wand can do this sort of magic.
8 Its Core Is The Tail Hair of a Thestral
A Thestral, for those who have forgotten, is the skeleton-like horse with wings. They are invisible to everyone, save for those who have witnessed death. Each wand has some sort of feather from a magical creature (Harry' wand has a Phoenix feather, for example).
The Elder Wand contains a Thestral tail-hair core, which is a very rare marrow. According to J.K. Rowling, this core is, "a tricky substance that only wizards that mastered death can control."
7 Elderberries Are In Its Design
The "Elder" feature in its name is derived from two separate sources. The first is that the wand itself is made out of wood from an elder tree. As you can see, the Elder Wand captures a unique presence, one with circular-like fixtures embedded into its length (fifteen inches, by the way).
Those are the resemblance of elderberries, an actual fruit that has some folklore heritage. These legends say that elderberries had been used to protect witches and wizards and to ward off evil.
6 Other Names
The Elder Wand has been given a few nicknames throughout its existence, most notably spoken by Lord Voldemort. It has been called the "unbeatable wand" owing to the fact that its sole purpose is to give the owner more power than any other witch or wizard. Voldemort himself speaks of it in high regard, as this is truly the only Deathly Hallows he wished to possess. In the Deathly Hallows book, he claims, "I killed Severus Snape three hours ago, and the Elder Wand, the Deathstick, the Wand of Destiny is truly mine!"
Spoiler alert: it wasn't.
5 It Has A Bloody Trail
After Antioch bested another wizard in a duel with the Elder Wand, he boasted about its powers. This foolishly led to him being murdered in his sleep. Ever since then, it has been known that the Elder Wand can be given a new master by whoever can win it over its previous owner.
The theory that most wizards abide by is that the original owner must be killed in order to truly relent to its new master. That is why Voldemort felt he needed to kill Snape. However, we learn that this isn't true considering that Harry became the master of the Elder Wand by simply yanking it out of Draco Malfoy's hand.
4 At Least 13 People Had Possession Over The Elder Wand
Before Harry, there were at least twelve other people who had been named the owner of this wand. Most of which were well before Harry's time. Its legacy of leaving a bloody trail is well documented in wizard history, as those who sought its power would do so with a vengeance. Some familiar names that have come to wield the power of this wand are Egbert the Egregious, Mykew Gregorovitch (who tried to duplicate its powers), Gellert Grindelwald, and Dumbledore.
Once Draco Malfoy disarmed Dumbledore in the Astronomy Tower, he unknowingly became the rightful owner, not Snape, as Dumbledore had already been disarmed when Snape killed him. And as we all know, Harry disarms Draco at Malfoy Manor, making him the new master of the Elder Wand. This allows him to defeat Voldemort, and after the battle is over, he destroys it.
3 Its Loyalty Lies With The Strongest Wizard
This fact is what makes most wizards believe that one must kill in order to take hold of the Elder Wand. However, it's loyalty lying with the strongest wizard is not simply calculated by the spells that are cast out of it. In fact, this wand will not give up its master so easily if the master has put up a good fight.
That is why the Elder Wand never relinquished its full power to Voldemort who mistakenly thought that it is truly an "unbeatable" wand (though history has proven otherwise). Voldemort believed that being in possession of the wand absolutely made him the most powerful wizard. However, Harry's strength, persistence, and willingness to surrender proved he was more worthy of the wand, which is what helped him defeat the Dark Lord.
2 It Keeps A Tally
J.K. Rowling describes the Elder Wand as being sentient. In a duel, this wand is able to pick up on what spells are being used against it, and even further still, it can identify the wizard who attacks its owner.
It will then start keeping a tally of which wizard casts which spell in order to determine whose allegiance it should lie with. It keeps a tally of which wizard has been beaten in a duel, though it is unclear if this tally marks up every duel the wizard has been in or just the current one. This ability is why Rowling says that physical possession of the Elder Wand is "irrelevant."
1 The Most Coveted Deathly Hallows
As mentioned, Voldemort only desired to have the Elder Wand, even though the wizard to hold all three Deathly Hallows would be the Master of Death. Voldemort already had his Horcruxes in place to make him immortal (though most of them were destroyed without him knowing), which is why he essentially already considered himself a defier of Death. Before him, the wand had been the most sought after artifact, as the Invisibility Cloak later became an obtainable product, and the Resurrection Stone seemed to be nothing but folklore.
In the Deathly Hallows, Ron said he would want to own the Elder Wand above the other Hallows. Hermione said she would want the Invisibility Cloak and Harry's heart fell to the Resurrection Stone.