On the train to Hogwarts in the first book, Ron says he uses Charlie's old wand. I have two questions:

  1. Doesn't he have to kill or disarm Charlie to be able to effectively use Charlie's wand? How could he do this with no wand.

  2. Didn't the Weasleys just have to buy Charlie a new wand anyway? Why didn't they buy Ron one? Charlie would be fine with his old wand, unless he drove a car into the Whomping Willow.

Here is what Ollivander says:

"Much also depends on the wand itself. In general, however, where a wand has been won, its allegiance will change." ".....the conquered wand will usually bend its will to its new master."

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    Ron was never able to use the wand effectively. also its hard to gauge the wands abilities or Rons abilities with the wand, when we only see him use it for 2 years and he can barely use magic as it is during those years.
    – Himarm
    Commented Aug 25, 2015 at 16:31
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    Your premise is flawed. It is not necessary to defeat someone to use the wand, it simply will not be as effective. And probably Charlie bought his own wand when he moved out, or perhaps it was his Prefect's gift. You should probably split this into two questions. Commented Aug 25, 2015 at 16:39
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    I think the root of the confusion here is that you are drawing generalities from the Elder Wand. The Elder Wand is an extreme example of both wand loyalty and fickleness, far from the norm.
    – DavidS
    Commented Aug 25, 2015 at 17:06
  • I think the killing/disarm - ie. need to conquer/defeat - someone, only applies to the Elder Wand... which is a bit special and gives special powers to the owner. Other wands would work (more or less good) for anybody. However, best result was gotten when "the wand chooses the wizard". Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 12:45

3 Answers 3


J.K. Rowling has answered your first question:

Stephanie: If the wand chooses the wizard, then why do wands work when passed down from father to son, e.g. Neville had his father's wand

J.K. Rowling: As established by Ollivander, a wizard can use almost any wand, it is simply that a wand that chooses him/her will work best. Where there is a family connection, a wand will work a little better than a wand chosen at random, I think.


Charlie was already working by the time Ron enrolled into Hogwarts. So Charlie could afford another wand.

We never read about Mr. and Mrs. Weasley borrowing money from their kids, instead they purchase used things for their kids. It is possible that Charlie might have given away his wand to his brother. To reduce financial burden on his parents.

  • 2
    It might be a question of culture and family values but wouldn't it have made more "sense" for Charlie to pitch in and buy Ron a new wand and stick with his own (no pun intended)? Or buy a new one for each of them.
    – skytreader
    Commented Aug 25, 2015 at 18:23
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    Unless, perhaps "Charlie's wand" was also a hand-me-down. Considering the Weasley fortunes, it's pretty likely. Once he had money of his own, Charlie probably went wand shopping - or rather, took himself to a wand shop so the wands could go wizard shopping.
    – T.J.L.
    Commented Aug 25, 2015 at 18:25
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    @skytreader, Who in their right mind would buy a brand new wand that they want (and quite possibly need to do their job properly), and then give it to a middle-schooler? I recently bought myself a new wand--I mean cellphone, and plan on handing off my old one to my much younger brother because it's better than the one he's currently using which was another hand-me-down.
    – zzzzBov
    Commented Aug 25, 2015 at 18:48
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    Also, Harry uses Hermione's wand without too much trouble. I would make an answer of my own but I don't have the books to quote
    – childcat15
    Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 2:38
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    Charlie may also have got his new wand through his job. "We're going to restrain DRAGONS; if that tatty thing falls apart we all die. Here's 50 Galleons, go buy yourself something pretty."
    – deworde
    Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 15:10

As well (i.e. rather badly) as Neville's father's wand for Neville. We learn that Neville was using his father's wand when it snapped in the ministry of magic at the end of Order of the Phoenix.

Both Ron and Neville get new wands. Both do better (or less badly) at magic afterwards. Before they are often described as failing at spells. This is especially true for Ron with his broken and spell-o-taped wand, which is described as failing him next to every time. They seem to be falling behind the class implying they are below-average students. After getting new wands the occurrences of failure diminish, at least in my subjective memory.

We see Ron using Charlie's wand only in the first year. In the second year it breaks before classes start. So I'm concentrating further on Neville:

Note that Neville leads DA and fights successfully in the battle for Hogwarts in the end. Probably he got a serious boost in confidence after the fight at the Ministry, which might have to do with being accepted by his grandma but also with getting a wand that actually works for him.


The quote here from Deathly Hallows sums it up very well.

"Oh yes, if you are any wizard at all you will be able to channel your magic through any instrument. An initial attraction, and then a mutual quest for experience, the wand learning from the wizard, the wizard from the wand" -Garrick Ollivander

So even though Ron was not the true master of his first wand, he was still able to use it because he is a wizard, and therefore can still use magic through any wand.

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