This question caused me to think of another question.

The books/movies establish that Voldemort (as well as Harry) has a wand with the incredibly rare Phoenix feather as the core. Voldemort's wand is also depicted looking like a creepy bone type design (made of yew) to match his "evilness" which was made by Ollivander (at least in the movies)

enter image description here

Is this the same wand that was given to Riddle before his first year at Hogwarts? If not, what kind was it? It would seem odd that he would get such a wand designed like that as a child.

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    basically, the movie guys are stupid
    – Himarm
    Commented Jul 3, 2016 at 5:40
  • 4
    @Himarm - if they are so stupid, how come they made so much $$$? :) Commented Jul 4, 2016 at 4:49
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    @XaolingBao: that's probably false, see scifi.stackexchange.com/q/24371/4918
    – b_jonas
    Commented Jul 4, 2016 at 9:34
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    Ron eventually got a new wand after his was broken
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Jul 4, 2016 at 13:57
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    Is it that odd? Look at kids who try to be counter-culture and adopt goth stylings or wear t-shirts from metal bands so they seem more bad-ass. I'd expect if a kid had a wand that looked all death-y and skull-y at least some other kids would think it was pretty awesome. Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 13:20

6 Answers 6


It's the "same" wand, just redesigned.

None of the movie wands were special-looking in the first two films. Prisoner of Azkaban introduced the personalized wands, and the trend remained throughout the subsequent films. Before that, all wands pretty much looked identical - a simple black or dark brown wooden stick. So that's why they look different - there was a redesign of nearly all the wands (out-of-universe).

As pointed out in CreationEdge's answer, the wand used by young Tom Riddle is a simple, dark-colored wand. Just as Harry's wand is the "same wand" in all eight1 films even though it looked different in the first two films, I would say that it follows that Voldemort's bone-looking yew wand is the same wand seen being used by Tom Riddle in Chamber of Secrets. The reason it looks different is simply that it too was redesigned, just like Harry's was.

We know that Voldemort's bone-looking wand is the same one he got from Ollivander. See Au101's answer for quotes from the book.

enter image description here enter image description here

A possible in-universe explanation could be that, at some point after Chamber of Secrets, Voldemort either had a newer, more evil looking outer shell added to his wand (or had the core put into a new wooden shell). Lucius Malfoy's silver snake head was an ornamental add on, so maybe Voldemort did something similar. :)

1 Yes, I know Harry's wand broke in Deathly Hallows part 1 but it was mended (off screen) in Deathly Hallows part 2, so one could still say it's the wand he used in all eight movies. Also it's simpler that way. :)

  • In-universe, once Voldemort realized Expelliarmus was Harry's signature spell, he decided his own wand needed a more ergonomic grip.
    – Kyralessa
    Commented Mar 18, 2021 at 7:26
  • Ah... there's a whole new question, @Kyralessa, is an ergonomic grip a defense against Expelliramus?
    – FreeMan
    Commented Mar 19, 2021 at 18:30

I'm not sure whether you're asking about the books or the movies. You mentioned the books a bit in your question, but the tags seem movie-centric.

CreationEdge's answer is excellent as far as the movie goes, but in the books I really don't think there's any question that it's the same wand. When Voldemort discusses the Elder Wand with Snape in Deathly Hallows he says:

'It has not revealed the wonders it has promised. I feel no difference between this wand and the one I procured from Ollivander all those years ago.'

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - p.525 - Bloomsbury - Chapter 32, The Elder Wand

When Harry interviews Ollivander in Shell Cottage, he says:

'The Dark Lord,' said Ollivander, in hushed and frightened tones, 'had always been happy with the wand I made him - yew and phoenix feather, thirteen and a half inches - until he discovered the connection of the twin cores.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - p.401 - Bloomsbury - Chapter 24, The Wandmaker

Of course, the fact that Harry's wand and Voldemort's share a core comes up throughout the series and there's never any mention of him obtaining a second wand from Ollivander, indeed we see throughout the series that the wand chooses the wizard and wand and wizard learn from each other. The Elder Wand excepting, people do not usually trade wands in.

We know that Voldemort's yew wand was the one he was using by the time he came to kill Harry and I see no reason to believe that he acquired this wand some time after starting at Hogwarts with some other wand, in fact I see every reason to doubt it.

  • Someone else added the movie/props/continuity tags after I wrote the question. I suppose I was hoping the books and the movies might line up in this regard (he got a new wand later on). I know, a fools hope. Do the books describe the wand as depicted in the movies at all (looks like bone)?
    – iMerchant
    Commented Jul 3, 2016 at 4:39
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    Well, it's important to remember that the movies got a huge visual revamp after 2, lots of people's wands changed, including Harry's. No, the wands in the books are really much more of your traditional wand - a long wooden stick, there's none of this hyper stylised design that you get in the films (idk if you can tell, but I much prefer the book's way ;) )
    – Au101
    Commented Jul 3, 2016 at 4:46
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    people do not usually trade wands in - that's not entirely clear. We know of at least one example apart from the Elder Wand: Charlie Weasley bought himself a new wand and Ron got the hand-me-down. Commented Jul 3, 2016 at 22:03
  • @HarryJohnston Ron's parents also bought him a new wand after his was snapped in CoS, prior to PoA.
    – Pryftan
    Commented May 9, 2019 at 15:52

Based on the original nature of the question, which seemed to be referring to simply the physical design of the prop within the movie:

No, he didn't have the same design. When you see his in the Chamber of Secrets flashbacks where he's confronting a young Hagrid. It appears to be a simple, sleek black or dark brown wand, with a simple handle.

enter image description here
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  • If the newer "bony" wand had the Phoenix feather core, what was this wand's make up? Reading the other answer, this seems to be in conflict of the books?
    – iMerchant
    Commented Jul 3, 2016 at 4:42
  • @iMerchant - Voldemort could have had the original core put in a different wand.
    – Adamant
    Commented Jul 3, 2016 at 4:55
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    @Obie2.0 - Apparently Voldemort turned out to be Yewish. Or converted to Yewdaism. I bet yew are getting tired of my puns and wand me to quit. So I will.
    – iMerchant
    Commented Jul 3, 2016 at 5:00
  • I was gonna comment but it turned into an answer. See my answer. :)
    – RedCaio
    Commented Jul 3, 2016 at 20:31
  • @iMerchant Thank you for providing me one of the biggest laughs I have had in a good while. Brilliant punning! (Esp good because in German the J is pronounced as a Y and when I think of Judaism I think of German) As for the question you asked of course it was just a film redesign and nothing to do with the book. Yes it's contradictory to the book (and I imagine you know that by now).
    – Pryftan
    Commented May 9, 2019 at 15:50

There is a lot of evidence in the books that Voldemort never changed his wand once until he discovered the twin cores and the problems they were causing for him (see quotes above). However, this very fact is a plot hole, because it is unclear how Voldemort could regain his old wand after being reinstated into a body in Book 4. There is a gap of 13 years in which we don't know what happened to this wand, although we can be sure it is the same one due to the Priori Incantatem scene (Voldemort's wand regurgitates the last spells cast from it shortly after his resurrection, and those spells include the murders of Harry's parents which obviously happened before his downfall).

There is a blog post about this interesting question right here: https://nerdpiphany.wordpress.com/2018/02/10/peeves-pets-voldemorts-wand/ To summarize that post: When Voldemort tried to kill baby Harry, the killing curse backfired, he lost his body and escaped to Albania. In Book 1, Voldemort says that during that time in hiding, "any spell that could have helped me would have required a wand", as in, he didn't have one - or a body to hold it with. So his wand must have fallen to the ground the moment Voldemort lost his body. How it got from there into Peter's possession 13 years later is an unexplained mystery. The blog post walks through several possible explanations and concludes that none of them make sense.

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    Hello and welcome to SFF! While this does answer the question it would be better to include the information into the answer itself through an edit. As I like linking it to let me just copy this here What is a plot hole?
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 15:23
  • Would it be possible for you to include the information in that link in the answer itself? Thanks!
    – Mithical
    Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 15:37
  • I could have sworn that Voldemort explains that Peter Pettigrew retrieved the wand for his master? Maybe not though?
    – Pryftan
    Commented May 9, 2019 at 15:53

I had this thought that as the witch or wizard grows, their wand will change and come to reflect their personality so by the time they leave their school they will have a unique wand that lines up with them. This theory allows for Tom to have both styles of wands without any need for convoluted explainations.

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    Do you have any evidence to back up this theory that you could edit in?
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Apr 27, 2019 at 10:49
  • It's certainly a solution for a story that would have a problem here. Unfortunately it's the rubbish film that is the problem. They're always a problem, the films are. Many problems in fact. You're right that the wands do mould to their owners and some are harder to win (e.g. Bella's Unyielding) but the wand style itself does not happen to change in the book. One could argue though that your answer would work round the idiocy of the film!
    – Pryftan
    Commented Jul 16, 2019 at 21:46

I agree with the previous comment on the wand "shapeshifting" to adapt to the wizard. Remember that Wands are ALMOST a living thing, and are very much sentient.

I know there is no confirmation on this and its is a widely believed theory.

This would clear why some "evil looking" are even so. I mean I doubt Ollivander would make a wand so "scary looking" like Voldemort's. It would seem fit that as the wizards comes to their own personality, the wand changes just like it can change or keep its allegiance.


Harry's is very natural looking, the handle is basically a bare trunk. I believe this reflects harry natural persona. He doesn't fake it, he says it how it is, but he is also pretty new to the magical world, not extremely fancy or concerned with etiquette but more as raw power and abilities

Bellatrix's has a bent and twisted shape, the way of holding it is twisted, with a straight one she'd be pointing at anything but her target. This is a clear parallelism to her mind status, twisted, bent, unsettling.

Voldemort's is dead looking, it has lost color and its "lively look" this too reflects him.

Severus' wand is black, straight, with a clear handle and "blade" so to speak. Everything was pretty cut and dry with it. You could say the wand is scary looking, but it is also plain and simple so it also be a good guy's wand. Just like Snape, his personality is also cut and dry. He has a feeling and acts accordingly. Like his wand his nature (good or evil) is not truly discernible and as a skilled Occlumency Practicer this is very fitting.

Umbridge's wand is very fancy, very ornamented, but, not at all ergonomic, not comfortable.

Whereas Draco's remained like the original, I believe this could indicate that Draco hasn't settled into his personality yet, we can see in the deathly hallows, that he starts helping Harry, questioning his allegiances. I believe Draco is a very malleable guy who hasn't had the change to develop HIS personality, but rather borrowed from his father.

Also Lucius' replacement wand was very plain, just like if the wand had had no time to "feel" Lucius and shape accordingly.

THIS IS NOT CANON, I know, but it makes darn good sense!

  • I’m not the one who downvoted; I wish everyone who did would comment as to why esp for a new contributor. But whether or not it's a theory it's dead wrong. You do point it's not canon and that's basically a summary of the rubbish films though I still say it's more accurate than Peter Jackson's atrocious abuse of Tolkien's Legendarium but whatever to that. Even so the wand doesn't change shape. Yes it does choose the wizard and some wands are better matches for certain personalities, are harder to win over and wands to get more attached to their owners but shapeshifter? Not at all.
    – Pryftan
    Commented May 9, 2019 at 15:56
  • As for the personality part: on Pottermore that is actually talked about; maybe you could somehow integrate that into your answer? I don't know how or what it might do wrt the question but it can at least possibly complement the part about the personality you refer to.
    – Pryftan
    Commented May 9, 2019 at 15:57

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