In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Ollivander explains wandlore to Harry:

“This was the wand of Draco Malfoy.”
“Was?” repeated Harry. “Isn’t it still his?”
“Perhaps not. If you took it—”. “—I did—”. “—then it may be yours. Of course, the manner of taking matters. Much also depends upon the wand itself. In general, however, where a wand has been won, its allegiance will change.”

It is clear from this that a simple Expelliarmus spell is sufficient for a wand to change his owner.

"So, it isn’t necessary to kill the previous owner to take the possession of a wand?” asked Harry.
Ollivander swallowed.
“Necessary? No, I should not say that it is necessary to kill.”

Later, we see that,

the change of wand allegiance from Draco Malfoy to Harry leads to Harry becoming the true master of elder wand in the end.

If this is true, then Harry (and many other people) should have lost their wands' allegiance multiple times during contexts like DA practice sessions, HP and Prisoner of Azkaban's shrieking shack context, etc. If so, why is change of wand allegiance not acknowledged ( or does not effect further use of their wands) at those times?

  • 1
    Generally speaking, intent matters in magic, so I'm thinking it doesn't count if the person who "captured" the wand never intended to keep it. Commented Mar 9, 2016 at 2:58
  • @Harry Johnston Well, Harry never even knew Draco Malfoy had won allegience of Elder Wand from Dumbledore until the very end ,let alone intending to win it from him. Commented Mar 9, 2016 at 3:02
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    But he kept and used Draco's wand, and that might be enough. (Or the Elder Wand might be a special case.) Commented Mar 9, 2016 at 6:09
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    I think the intent that they were just practicing should make a difference. Harry was intending to disarm Draco for real and to beat and subdue him when he won his wand.
    – ThruGog
    Commented Mar 9, 2016 at 6:34
  • 4
    Because JKR hadn't invented the idea yet when she was writing the earlier books?
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Mar 9, 2016 at 11:06

1 Answer 1


Rowling's comments on wand lore and allegiance:

She said that not in all cases wands will switch their allegiance, Wands have their affinity with their owner which in some cases force the wand to be with their owner even if he/she lost a battle with other wizard

Emphasis of the text under block quotes was done to highlight the context regarding this answer by me

"Essentially, I see wands as being quasi-sentient, you know? ... They're not exactly animate but they're close to it. As close to it as you can get in an object because they carry so much magic. So that's really the key point about a wand. Now, the reactions will vary from wand to wand. The Elder Wand is simply the most dispassionate and ruthless of wands in that it will only take into consideration strength. So one would expect a certain amount of loyalty from one's wand. So even if you were disarmed while carrying it, even if you lost a fight while carrying it, it has developed an affinity with you that it will not give up easily.

If, however, a wand is won, properly won in an adult duel, then a wand may switch allegiance, and it will certainly work better even if it hasn't fully switched allegiance for the person who won it. So that of course is what happens when Harry takes Draco's wand from him, and that's what happens when ... Ron (takes) the blackthorn wand from the snatcher. So that would be sort of rough and ready, common, or garden, a wand favoring the person who had the skill to take it. It would favor them. However, the Elder Wand knows no loyalty except to strength. So it's completely unsentimental. It will only go where the power is. So if you win, then you've won the wand. So you don't need to kill with it. But, as is pointed out in the books, not least by Dumbledore because it is a wand of such immense power, almost inevitably, it attracts wizards who are prepared to kill and who will kill. And also it attracts wizards like Voldemort who confuse being prepared to murder with strength.

During DA Practice sessions and in Dueling clubs, the wizards don't have intention in their mind to capture other persons wand, so the wand doesn't change its allegiance from its owner even if it finds a more powerful one.

"I have been asked a lot of times, well what about Dueling Club and so on? Well I think it's clear there that in practice, where there's no real weight attached to the transference of a wand, where it's almost all for fun or purely for competition, there's no enormous significance attached in either wizard's mind to a wand flying out of someone's hand. But there are situations in which the emotional state of wizards where a lot hangs on a duel, that's something different. That's about real power and that's about transference that will have far-reaching effects in some cases. So I think the wand would behave differently then." (TLC2)


Here is the link of the interview transcript.

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