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In the Harry Potter series, if a wizard is defeated in a magical duel, their opponent my claim their wand. Additionally, for the Elder Wand at least, whoever kills the previous owner may claim the wand. We know that the death doesn't have to be magically induced, or a fair fight. For example, the first owner had his throat slit.

Does this apply to less powerful wands? Could one simply punch a wizard out or push them off a dragon and claim their wand? Are there any examples of this?

  • 1
    "or push them off a dragon". Hehe. Would love to see that assassination attempt in progress. – The Dark Lord Apr 26 '16 at 11:10
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Yes

One can certainly gain the loyalty of an ordinary wand by physically overpowering its wielder. In the case of Malfoy's wand, which Harry grabbed from him physically, Ollivander implies that he has won its allegiance.

“I took this wand from Draco Malfoy by force,” said Harry. “Can I use it safely?”

“I think so. Subtle laws govern wand ownership, but the conquered wand will usually bend its will to its new master.”

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Similarly, Ron wrested Peter Pettigrew's wand from him:

“And we’ll have that,” whispered Ron, tugging Wormtail’s wand from his other hand.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Ollivander again implies that Ron may well have won its allegiance:

“So I should use this one?” said Ron, pulling Wormtail’s wand out of his pocket and handing it to Ollivander.

“Chestnut and dragon heartstring. Nine-and-a-quarter inches. Brittle. I was forced to make this shortly after my kidnapping, for Peter Pettigrew. Yes, if you won it, it is more likely to do your bidding, and do it well, than another wand.”

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

However, it is only the Elder Wand that considers power to be the only thing that matters. An ordinary wand will likely have some attachment to its previous wielder, with the degree depending on various factors, including the wand materials. For example, unicorn-hair wands do not change loyalty so easily, whether taken physically or with magic. According to this material from the old Pottermore:

Unicorn hair generally produces the most consistent magic, and is least subject to fluctuations and blockages. Wands with unicorn cores are generally the most difficult to turn to the Dark Arts. They are the most faithful of all wands, and usually remain strongly attached to their first owner, irrespective of whether he or she was an accomplished witch or wizard.

In addition, how someone acquires a wand may matter. According to Ollivander:

“Hawthorn and unicorn hair. Ten inches precisely. Reasonably springy. 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.”

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

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  • This gets my vote - Pottermore in particular describes loyalty as a factor depending on the core overall and maybe also the wood and the actual relationship between the owner and wand. – ThruGog Apr 26 '16 at 6:07
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I think yes. For example, Harry have won the Elder wand along with Draco's one from Draco - who won it by disarm Dumbledore - just by wrested the wand from him.

He leapt over an armchair and wrested the three wands from Draco’s grip
- Malfoy Manor, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow

result with

"... 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." - The Wandmaker, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow

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When Harry infiltrated the Ministry of Magic (in Deathly Hallows), he witnessed Dolores Umbridge interrogating a muggle born witch. Umbridge kept trying to torture her into admitting that she had stolen her wand from a "born wizard". Harry meets a number of wizards whose wands have been confiscated by the followers of Voldemort who have taken over the Ministry of Magic. All this implies that such a thing is possible.

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  • The only thing this shows is that wands can be taken from wizards. It reveals nothing about the loyalty of the wand, or whether wands gave their "allegiance" to the ministry officials who confiscated the wands. – Paul L May 23 '16 at 14:12
  • @PaulL The question did not ask anything about loyalty and allegiance. However, the Umbridge questioning implied that the muggle borne wizard who owned the wand had taken it from a "wizard borne" and therefore gotten the allegiance of the wand. The fact that this was a lie, does not detract from the claim. – sabbahillel May 23 '16 at 14:36

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