We know that the movie Fantastic Beasts is set in 1926. From the movie, we learn that at this time, Dumbledore is a teacher at Hogwarts and Grindelwald is lose after escaping a previous arrest. In the movie we learn that

Mr Graves is in fact Grindelwald in disguise. Grindelwald is shown to be at least in his forties, maybe fifties so he should already be the owner of the wand since he stole it from Gregorovitch as a teen.

We know that Dumbledore won the wand from Grindelwald after defeating him in their historic duel. That duel is always described as being “the end of the dark wizard Grindelwald” so I’m assuming that it didn’t happen prior to the movie and that he didn’t escape after that duel, please correct me if you have cannon evidence stating the contrary.

In the movie, we see Graves’ wand a few time and it isn’t the (very recognizable) one used in DH as the Elder Wand. This could of course be a prop error but since David Yates was also the director on DH and a lot of the visuals are similar I’m assuming it wasn’t. Graves could of course be using another wand in the fear that someone could recognize it but he would still be the rightful master of the Elder Wand. At the end of the movie, Newt is the one that disarms Graves/Grindelwald.

In all logic, he should have been made the new owner of the wand, whether Grindelwald was actually using it or not. That would have made it impossible for Dumbledore to win it from Grindelwald later.

So my question is: What wand is that character using at that specific time? Is he already the owner of the Elder Wand?

And if so, why wasn’t Newt made the new owner of the wand?

  • I do hope they remembered this. Perhaps he had it secreted away for some unknown reason.
    – Adamant
    Nov 29, 2016 at 10:16
  • 2
    Let’s consider the distinct possibility that this might drive Newt’s involvement in the whole Grindelwald affair. If Newt is the master of the Elder Wand, but doesn’t know it, Grindelwald would naturally be motivated to hunt him down and reclaim it....
    – Adamant
    Nov 29, 2016 at 10:18
  • 2
  • 1
    Alternatively, Tina--who's the one who actually Accio'd away the wand--is the Elder Wand's "current" owner. But that's probably just wishful thinking. ;)
    – Kitkat
    Nov 30, 2016 at 21:25
  • 1
    @Kitkat Good point I had totally forgotten that... On the one hand, Newt is the one who incapacitated him so technically speaking he is the one who "defeated" him but on the other Tina is the one who actually disarmed him... Now I have no idea what to expect, thanks ! ;)
    – Cartolin
    Dec 1, 2016 at 9:13

3 Answers 3


Read at your own risk; this is full of spoilers.

He should have the Elder Wand.

As you said, Grindelwald seems to be middle-aged when Fantastic Beasts is set. Grindelwald was born in 1883 (wiki) and Fantastic Beasts is set in 1926, when Grindelwald was in his 40's. His duel with Dumbledore took place in 1945. Here's a quote from book 7 about Grindelwald when he stole the Wand from Gregorovitch:

and there on the window ledge sat perched, like a giant bird, a young man with golden hair. In the split second that the lantern's light illuminated him, Harry saw the delight on his handsome face...

Obviously, he stole the Elder Wand before the events of the movie. So at the time when he impersonates Graves, he is the master of the Elder Wand.

But does he have the Elder Wand? No. This answer on movies.se shows that much better than I could. What wand is he using? Probably just Graves's own wand.

As for your last question about Newt, from what it looked like, Newt is now the master of the Elder Wand. Who knows if that was on purpose so it can be a plot point later on, or...not. Either way, we'll have to watch out for people Disarming Newt in later movies.

  • Huh? Why is it obvious that he stole the Elder Wand before the events of the movie? That's not obvious to me at all.
    – b_jonas
    Nov 29, 2016 at 12:29
  • 1
    @b_jonas Firstly, he was a young man when he stole the wand and 43 in the movie. Secondly, he had already begun terrorizing the world as a Dark Wizard, and he did that only after stealing the wand as a young man
    – CHEESE
    Nov 29, 2016 at 12:54
  • Hmm, I'll have to re-read what we learn about his story in Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows then.
    – b_jonas
    Nov 29, 2016 at 13:06
  • 3
    I just had a crazy thought. What if Gellert lost the fight against Dumbledore, despite having the Elder Wand, because its allegiance had changed to Newt, thus not working properly to him? Its crazy, considering Newt shouldnt have the Elder Wand allegiance in canon but.... just a thought
    – HollyK
    Nov 29, 2016 at 16:45
  • 3
    @HollyK that's an interesting idea but then Dumbledore wouldn't have won the wand from him, he would never have been the true master of the wand, and it couldn't have passed to Draco and then Harry in DH...
    – Cartolin
    Nov 30, 2016 at 7:17

He is using Percival Graves' wand.

Graves was a well known and highly respected figure in the MACUSA. His wand would therefore be recognisable to those who worked with him.

The wand itself is ebony, inlaid with mother-of-pearl which is a specific characteristic of American wands manufactured by Johannes Jonker.

It seems highly unlikely that a European Wizard (especially one of substance) would own a Jonkers wand rather than an Ollivander or something similar. But since Grindelwald is merely impersonating an American wizard, then the most likely place for him to have gotten such a wand is simply that he took it from Graves when he subdued him.

enter image description here

As to the question of where the Elder wand was, the answer is that it's probably hidden somewhere that only Grindelwald can get to it, somewhere within apparating distance of the MACUSA HQ, but nowhere that it's likely to be stumbled upon.

  • 1
    I was watching the film and had seen the spoiler but didn't know any details. I kept expecting Graves to toss aside his wand and draw out the Elder Wand to some dramatic music. Something of a "Say hello to my little friend!" moment.
    – ThruGog
    Nov 29, 2016 at 22:01
  • 1
    Thank you for the explanation and really good point with the fact that someone would have noticed that he wasn't using Graves wand... So you solved the first part, we definitely know which one he is using while in disguise, and that it isn't the Elder Wand. But I was actually more interested with the timeline of the allegiance of the Wand so that we could establish that Newt is most likely it's master now...
    – Cartolin
    Nov 30, 2016 at 7:22

We will find out in the second movie

Snitchseeker: The first question, what happened to the Elder wand? Where is it? The elusive Elder wand.

J.K. Rowling Where is it right now?

Snitchseeker: Yeah.

J.K. Rowling I can't tell you, but you will find out in movie two.

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them premiere

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.