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In the Harry Potter films (and to a lesser extent, the books), I have observed that many witches and wizards often had wands that seemed to have characteristics that made them sort of tailored to their owners, in that the wands reflected their owners' characteristics in one way or another.

For example:

  • Slughorn's wand looks like a slug, so his wand reflects his name.

    enter image description here

  • Voldemort's looks like a bone, and is made of yew, a wood somehow associated with evilness, so his wand reflects his personality (since "bone" = "death" = "bad").

    enter image description here

Have JKR or any of the filmmakers commented or elaborated on the fact that some wands reflect the characteristics of their owners?

For example, I imagine a JKR/filmmaker quote saying "this person's wand looks like X and/or is made of Y because this person possesses characteristics A, B, and C".

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    +1 for Slughorn's wand looking like a slug - an awesome piece of trivia I never knew. – Rand al'Thor Jul 3 '16 at 0:12
11

Yes

According to Pottermore

Each wand in the Harry Potter films was developed with its fictional owner in mind.

Also from Pottermore:

'On the handle end of Horace Slughorn's wand,' art director Hattie Storey notes, 'are two little antennae, like a slug or a snail.'

Narcissa also had a meaningful wand:

Brockbank designed Narcissa Malfoy's wand to echo her husband, Lucius's. 'I took the same black wood that was used for Lucius's cane,' he says, 'and embedded silver studs, essentially doing a more feminine version of his wand.

Voldemort's wand was indeed carved to resemble a bone:

Brockbank also designed Voldemort's wand. 'I had this idea that it was carved to resemble a bone, probably a human one. The tapered tip leads to a thicker section, where you can see the honeycomb of the bone. That comes to a 'knuckle joint', and then there's a hook on the end, like a claw, which Ralph Fiennes actually tucks around his little finger. It's quite an evil shape.'

Snape's and Bellatrix's wands also match their personalities, while Umbridge's matches her general aesthetic:

Snape's wand is slim and spare, with no embellishments, while Bellatrix Lestrange's has a curve in it, almost like the talon of a bird of prey. Embedded in Dolores Umbridge's wand is a jewel - pink, of course.

The Death Eaters generally have ostentatious wands:

The Death Eaters' wands, in contrast, exhibit 'showy aesthetics,' says Storey. 'Their masks are made out of filigreed silver, and their costumes are quite intricate, so the idea was that they show off with their wands too.'

  • This is awesome! Is there any more like this? Or, if you want, you could make a list of some of the major characters' wands and what they were made of and what that means? (i.e. "Belatrix's wand is described as rigid and unyielding, reflecting her character, Harry's is holly, representing goodness" etc. I'd give you a bounty for it :) – RedCaio Jul 3 '16 at 1:59
  • @RedCaio - I would like that. :) But I was planning to anyway. – Adamant Jul 3 '16 at 2:05
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    It would also be awesome to include pics of the wands with each description (Narcissa's in particular since Slughorn's and V's are already in the question). – iMerchant Jul 3 '16 at 2:25
  • @RedCaio - The details are in a book that is only available in hardcover form. Since I am on vacation, this could be tricky. – Adamant Jul 3 '16 at 3:06
  • @RedCaio - I will be in San Francisco this coming week. That's the earliest I can get the additional details from the book, unless you know any Potter obsessives in Maui. – Adamant Jul 3 '16 at 4:14
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To supplement Adamant's answer, from Harry Potter: From Page to Screen by Bob McCabe, I have pictures of some of the characters' wands. It's interesting to see how much the wands' designs do fit their owners' personalities!

Yes, Slughorn's wand has antennae at the end of the wand, and Narcissa Malfoy's wand was designed to match her husband Lucius Malfoy's. Also as noted above, Hattie Storey is the art designer and Adam Brockbank is concept designer on the Harry Potter films.

"I think it must be a wonderful moment for the actors," says Brockbank, "when they put on their costumes for the first time and wield their wands, which are the sheerest expression of their characters."

Adam Brockbank - Concept Designer, Harry Potter films - from Harry Potter: From Page to Screen by Bob McCabe - Page 481 - The Wands

To expand slightly on what Adamant wrote:

Snape's wand is slim and spare, with no embellishments, while Bellatrix Lestrange's has a curve in it, almost like the talon of a bird of prey. Embedded in Dolores Umbridge's wand is a jewel -- pink, of course. "On the handle end of Horace Slughorn's wand," art director Hattie Storey notes, "are two little antennae, like a slug or snail." Brockbank designed Narcissa Malfoy's wand to echo her husband, Lucius Malfoy's. "I took the same black wood the was used for Lucius's cane," he says, "and embedded silver studs, essentially doing a more feminine version of his wand."

Hattie Storey, Art Director, and Adam Brockbank - Harry Potter films - from Harry Potter: From Page to Screen by Bob McCabe - Page 481 - The Wands

Bellatrix Lestrange's wand - *Harry Potter*

Bellatrix Lestrange's wand (Helena Bonham Carter)

Bellatrix Lestrange - Duelling - *Harry Potter*

Bellatrix Lestrange's wand in action!

Horace Slughorn's wand - *Harry Potter*

Horace Slughorn's wand - concept art

Concept art - Narcissa Malfoy's wand - *Harry Potter*

Narcissa Malfoy's wand - concept art

Narcissa Malfoy's wand - *Harry Potter*

Narcissa Malfoy's wand

Lord Voldemort's wand - *Harry Potter*

Lord Voldemort's wand - Note the hook at the handle end of the wand -- it's a perfect place to rest a finger. Or so says the Dark Lord.

The Death Eaters' wands - *Harry Potter*

The Death Eaters' wands

More Death Eaters' wands - *Harry Potter*

More Death Eaters' wands

Dolores Umbridge's wand and more - *Harry Potter*

From left to right: 1) The Carrow twins' wand design (a twin design twisting down the handle) 2) a Beauxbatons student's wand (Ornate and fancy, like Beauxbatons' students) 3) Igor Karkaroff's wand (A bit confused looking!) 4) Dolores Umbridge's wand (With pink jewel, deceptively soft - it's in the middle of the wand. It's a bit hard to discern).

I went onto Google to try and find other wands examples; unfortunately, mostly what I found was the "official" replicas from Warner Brothers, and right off the bat I noticed some of the replica wands didn't match wands that are described on both Pottermore and in Bob McCabe's book. In some instances, the actors were photographs with different wands for different publicity stills. For example, Luna Lovegood's wand(s) (Evanna Lynch):

Luna Lovegood's wand - Patronus Charm - *Harry Potter*

Luna Lovegood performing the Patronus Charm -- note that her wand is made from a darker-colored wood.

Luna Lovegood posing with wand - *Harry Potter*

Luna Lovegood seemingly with a new wand made of blonde wood; runes of some kind can be seen carved into Luna's wand.

Close up of Luna's wand with runes - *Harry Potter*

Close up of Luna's wand, with runes

Finally, for fun, a pic of a wand holster. Concept art by Rob Bliss. According to Harry Potter: From Page to Screen, the prop makers designed a series of wand holsters for the Death Eaters that would attach around their waists for easy access:

enter image description here

Wand holster for a Death Eater

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