Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

by

J. K. Rowling

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The Elder Wand Symbol Analysis

The Elder Wand Symbol Icon

The Elder Wand—one of the three objects that make up the Deathly Hallows and, in theory, allows a person to "cheat death"—is supposedly the most powerful wand in the world. While the other two Hallows (the invisibility cloak and the resurrection stone) are widely considered to be legends, it's possible to trace the Elder Wand through history—as its presence is often marked by bloody duels and changes of power. Its reputation is why Voldemort chooses to break into Dumbledore's tomb and steal the wand; he believes that possessing this wand will be a guaranteed way to best Harry. However, wandlore is more complicated than this: simply possessing the wand doesn't guarantee that a person will be successful with it. This suggests that there's more to winning than simply having the best wand. With this, the Elder Wand—and indeed, Voldemort's new Ministry slogan, "Magic is Might"—come to represent how limited and incomplete Voldemort's view of power and success is, as the wand is useless without a firm understanding of the theory to back it up.

The Elder Wand Quotes in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

The Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Elder Wand. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Choices, Redemption, and Morality Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Scholastic Inc. edition of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows published in 2007.
Chapter Thirty-Five Quotes

"And his knowledge remained woefully incomplete, Harry! That which Voldemort does not value, he takes no trouble to comprehend. Of house-elves and children's tales, of love, loyalty, and innocence, Voldemort knows and understands nothing. Nothing. That they all have a power beyond his own, a power beyond the reach of any magic, is a truth he has never grasped."

Related Characters: Albus Dumbledore (speaker), Harry Potter, Lord Voldemort
Related Symbols: The Elder Wand
Page Number: 709-10
Explanation and Analysis:

"So Voldemort, instead of asking himself what quality it was in you that had made your wand so strong, what gift you possessed that he did not, naturally set out to find the one wand that, they said, would beat any other. For him, the Elder Wand has become an obsession to rival his obsession with you. He believes that the Elder Wand removes his last weakness and makes him truly invincible."

Related Characters: Albus Dumbledore (speaker), Harry Potter, Lord Voldemort
Related Symbols: The Elder Wand
Page Number: 721
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Elder Wand Symbol Timeline in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Elder Wand appears in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter Twenty-One
Knowledge and Power Theme Icon
Mortality and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...Death to his own death. Xenophilius picks up a quill and draws the Deathly Hallows—the Elder Wand , the Resurrection Stone, and the Invisibility Cloak—into the triangular symbol. He says that having... (full context)
Chapter Twenty-Two
Knowledge and Power Theme Icon
Mortality and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...that the stone is in the Snitch. Harry realizes that Voldemort must be after the Elder Wand , but he must not know about the Deathly Hallows—possessing them would render Horcruxes unnecessary. (full context)
Choices, Redemption, and Morality Theme Icon
Grief and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Knowledge and Power Theme Icon
Mortality and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...In the morning, he remembers Luna and feels ashamed of himself. He desperately wants the Elder Wand , especially since he hates the wand Ron brought. He becomes obsessed with the Hallows... (full context)
Chapter Twenty-Four
Choices, Redemption, and Morality Theme Icon
Knowledge and Power Theme Icon
...if it's necessary to kill to take control of a wand and asks about the Elder Wand . Ollivander looks terrified, but confirms everything that Harry has seen about Voldemort's quest for... (full context)
Knowledge and Power Theme Icon
Ollivander assures Hermione that the Elder Wand is indeed real, and confirms that he told Voldemort that Gregorovitch had the wand. Harry... (full context)
Chapter Twenty-Five
Choices, Redemption, and Morality Theme Icon
Knowledge and Power Theme Icon
Friendship, Community, and Resistance Theme Icon
Harry is shaken by his choice to not get the Elder Wand before Voldemort. Ron continually voices all of Harry's doubts, while Hermione supports Harry's choice and... (full context)
Chapter Thirty-Two
Grief and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Knowledge and Power Theme Icon
...and Snape. Snape offers to find Harry, but Voldemort ignores this and asks why the Elder Wand won't work for him. He says that it works like any other wand and again... (full context)
Chapter Thirty-Four
Mortality and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Friendship, Community, and Resistance Theme Icon
...shout. Harry watches Nagini but knows he can't kill the snake here. Voldemort lifts the Elder Wand , and Harry sees a flash of green and then nothing. (full context)
Chapter Thirty-Five
Grief and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Knowledge and Power Theme Icon
Mortality and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...he's the last of the Peverells, and Dumbledore confirms this. He says he had the Elder Wand and the Cloak when James died. Dumbledore says that Harry should despise him and reminds... (full context)
Choices, Redemption, and Morality Theme Icon
Knowledge and Power Theme Icon
Mortality and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Friendship, Community, and Resistance Theme Icon
Dumbledore says that, in the years after, Grindelwald acquired the Elder Wand and Dumbledore refused to be Minister of Magic—he fears he would've abused his power. He... (full context)
Choices, Redemption, and Morality Theme Icon
Knowledge and Power Theme Icon
...Voldemort knew about the Hallows at all. He thought that Voldemort would go for the Elder Wand because Voldemort thought an unbeatable wand would solve the problem better than asking what Harry... (full context)
Chapter Thirty-Six
Choices, Redemption, and Morality Theme Icon
Grief and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Knowledge and Power Theme Icon
...Dumbledore, and that Snape loved Lily. Voldemort insists that Dumbledore just wanted to keep the Elder Wand from him and pass it on to Snape, but he insists that he mastered the... (full context)
Knowledge and Power Theme Icon
Friendship, Community, and Resistance Theme Icon
...at Harry and Harry responds with a Disarming spell. Gold flames erupt between them, the Elder Wand goes flying, and Harry catches it as Voldemort dies from his own curse. People begin... (full context)
Mortality and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...look for it. Dumbledore agrees that this is a good plan. Harry holds up the Elder Wand and says he doesn't want it. He pulls out his original wand and repairs it... (full context)