Who has owned the Elder Wand in Harry Potter? The legend of the most powerful magic wand in existence ran throughout the history of the Harry Potter franchise. Along with the Resurrection Stone and the Cloak of Invisibility, the Elder Wand made up the Deathly Hallows. A magical holy trinity.
The Elder Wand had a number of owners during the Harry Potter movies, and the extended Harry Potter material has taught us a lot about what happened to it outside of the best fantasy movies. We can trace most of the lifespan of the Elder Wand, including the time it was owned by Voldemort and Dumbledore.
So here’s everyone who’s owned the Elder Wand throughout the known history of the Wizarding World. Expect children’s stories, tales of bloodshed, and a wizarding duel or two as we go through the events of the best movies in the series. As Voldemort said back in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, there is only power and those too weak to seek it. And power doesn’t come much stronger than this.
Complete list of everyone who owned the Elder Wand:
- Antioch Peverell
- Emeric the Evil
- Egbert the Egregious
- Barnabas Deverill
- Arcus or Livius
- Mykew Gregorovitch
- Gellert Grindelwald
- Albus Dumbledore
- Draco Malfoy
- Lord Voldemort
- Harry Potter
The creation of the Elder Wand forms a part of The Tale of the Three Brothers. Those brothers were believed to be inspired by the Peverells, who are ancestors of a certain Harry Potter. The eldest sibling, Antioch, asked Death for the most powerful wand in existence. He got his wish.
Emeric the Evil
Antioch was murdered in his sleep by another wizard, and the trail of the Elder Wand then went cold until the Middle Ages. It ended up in dark hands once again with Emeric, who terrorised southern England until he was brutally killed by Egbert the Egregious.
Egbert the Egregious
Other than his significant duelling skills – very few people can beat the master of the Elder Wand in combat – not much is known about Egbert after his victory.
Godelot and Hereward
About a century after Egbert, Godelot used the Elder Wand to write a book about dark magic. He died when he was locked in a cellar by his son Hereward, which is certainly one way to win a wand. We don’t know what Hereward did with it after that. Avoided cellars, presumably.
Barnabas Deverill, Loxias, and Arcus or Livius
Barnabas got his hands on the wand in the early 18th century, until he was killed by Loxias – the guy responsible for giving it the moniker of ‘Deathstick’. It’s certainly cooler and scarier than ‘Elder Wand’.
No one is quite sure who ultimately beat Loxias. According to Xenophilius Lovegood – not the most reliable of sources, admittedly – it was either Arcus or Livius. We don’t know a great deal about either of them.
This is the point at which the history of the Elder Wand began to bump into the established world of Potter. At the end of the 19th century, wandmaker Mykew Gregorovitch got hold of the wand somehow and realised what it was. He tried to harness and duplicate its power, to no avail.
The wand was ultimately stolen from his workshop by a mysterious stranger, who we eventually found out was Gellert Grindelwald.
Grindelwald was obsessed with power from a young age, including in his friendship – and indeed romance – with the teenage Albus Dumbledore. After the death of Dumbledore’s sister put an end to their bond, Grindelwald became obsessed with the Deathly Hallows. That led him to track down Gregorovitch and nab the Elder Wand from him.
The Elder Wand subsequently enabled Grindelwald’s reign of terror throughout the first half of the 20th century. That was until his former beau Dumbledore squared up to him in 1945 for what has been described as one of the most legendary wizarding duels ever.
We’ll have to wait for the Fantastic Beasts 4 release date to see if we ever get chance to see that duel on the big screen. At this point, it doesn’t seem likely.
Dumbledore was certainly one of the most morally solid custodians of the Elder Wand. He didn’t use it to pillage and conquer, deploying his new wand to carry out important and innovative magic over the course of his lifetime.
This also had the added bonus of keeping the wand away from Voldemort, who only learned of its existence when he tortured the information out of wandmaker Ollivander. Naturally, he then wanted it more than ever.
Draco Malfoy is one of the best Harry Potter villains, and he’s probably also the only master of the Elder Wand not to have a clue it was his. At the end of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, he disarmed Dumbledore atop the Astronomy Tower at Hogwarts.
Though it was ultimately Severus Snape who completed the assassination of Dumbledore, Malfoy earned mastery of the Elder Wand by ‘beating’ its previous owner in combat.
The Big Bad of the Potter movies, Voldemort certainly owned the Elder Wand, but he was never its master. Desperate for a wand that didn’t share a core with Harry’s, Voldemort stole the Elder Wand right out of Dumbledore’s tomb. He even murdered Snape, Dumbledore’s killer, to make sure it was truly his.
Unfortunately for the Horcrux-loving contender for any list of the best movie villains, he didn’t reckon with the finer points of wandlore. Step forward, Mr Potter.
During a scuffle at Malfoy Manor at the midway point of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – RIP Dobby – Harry disarmed Malfoy. At the time, that felt like an insignificant moment. But, as it turned out, he had just ‘beaten’ the master of the Elder Wand.
So when he faced off against Voldemort, the wand turned against its assumed master in favour of its true one. Voldemort died, and Harry destroyed the Elder Wand after using it to repair his own. A nice touch, and a neat conclusion to the bloody history of the most powerful wand in history.
For more wizarding goodness, check out our guides to the Harry Potter cast, the Harry Potter TV series release date, and the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child release date. We’ve also got information on all of the new movies coming in 2023.