First of all, this answer is related, but not equal to, Was Harry making a big mistake with his plan for Elder Wand?.

In the final acts of the HP story, we learn that wand ownership plays a great part. If a wizard uses a wand that does not belong to him, his power is greatly diminished.

Now, a wand belongs to a certain wizard and will change allegiances if the wizard is killed or disarmed by another (for example, Draco disarming Dumbledore). However, we also find out that a wand will change allegiances even when it was not directly involved in the fight that causes it to shift. For example, when Harry disarmed Draco, Draco did not have the elder wand in hand. Still, because Draco was the owner of the elder wand, and Harry defeated him, Harry became the new owner.

Now, this leads me to believe that the rule is

If a wizard is disarmed by another wizard, the second wizard becomes the owner of the first wizard's wands.

This, however, is horrible. This rule means that whenever I disarm someone, I am now the owner of his wand, and there is no way for him to get his wand back without me losing my wand. My wand and his are now locked to have the same owner for eternity. Even worse, if I'm a defence against the dark arts teacher and I am teaching a class to perform the Expelliamus spell, there are bound to be some succesful spells cast, and therefore half of my students will lose ownership of their wands. Probably, after a couple of fights, there will be a handful of students who own 10 or more wands each!

Am I missing some rule here? How is it possible in the HP universe that anyone still has ownership of their wand?

  • 3
    The rule is more "If a wizard is disarmed by another wizard, the second wizard might become the owner of the first wizard's wands." There's no guarantee - students practicing Expelliarmus on each other is shown to not be sufficient to cause a change of allegiance, and even in actual fights, most wands aren't as fickle as the Elder wand is so there may not be a change even then. Jan 20, 2016 at 10:14
  • Pretty sure this topic has been done to death on here, too. I can't imagine we're going to see any new information on this question, I just can't decide on the most suitable candidate to close this as a duplicate of. Jan 20, 2016 at 10:15
  • @AnthonyGrist I read all of the questions, and none addressed the point I am aiming at here. That's why I asked a new question.
    – 5xum
    Jan 20, 2016 at 10:16
  • 2
    scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/15174/… and scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/6910/… both seem like they're essentially the same question you're asking here. Jan 20, 2016 at 10:18
  • 1
    @AnthonyGrist Yes, the second one is exactly what mine is. I didn't find that one, and I read (no joke, I am counting the open tabs) over 10 different questions on similar topics. I vote to close my question.
    – 5xum
    Jan 20, 2016 at 10:21

1 Answer 1


The disarming/killing the owner of a wand in order to get ownership of that wand applies only to the Elder Wand. For all other wands, the wand chooses the wizard (or witch).

The Elder Wand, however, was made in such a way that it had to perform even better than the wand a witch/wizard owned, even though by definition, the best wand for a person is the one which chooses them. Hence, there had to be some sort of charm on the Elder Wand which would allow it to recognize its true owner and also recognize when its allegiance has to change. Exactly how this happens is a mystery, as are many things concerning wands, such as Harry's original wand acting of its own accord when faced by Voldemort, who carried Lucius Malfoy's wand in DH.

The phenomenon you describe happens only to the Elder Wand, not any other wand. So even if anyone gets another's wand by disarming or some other legit method, they would not use it since their own wand works best for them at all times. They might store it for emergencies, as Ron did, but even then only the winner of the wand can use it effectively.

  • Not true. Draco's wand changes allegiance to Harry when Harry disarms him. Jan 26, 2016 at 19:45
  • But Draco's wand doesn't work as well for Harry as his own wand. The Elder Wand however, works even better for Harry (since he is the rightful owner) than his holly and phoenix core wand. The only reason Harry used Draco's wand was because his own wand was broken. The point I was trying to make is, if Harry's wand was fine, then he would have had no use for Draco's wand, since his own wand would work better for him. Jan 27, 2016 at 8:18

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