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Why does everyone's wand still work for them?

With all the questions that have been asked about wands switching allegiance by disarming opponents or physically beating them, wouldn't everyone's wands already be mixed up?

  • Snape disarms Lockhart during the dueling club
  • Also in the second book, Harry disarms Lockhart
  • In the fifth book, all of Dumbledore's Army learned how to disarm by practicing on each other, presumably with a different partner each time
  • Lupin disarms Ron, Hermione, and Harry when in the Shrieking Shack

And I'm sure there are more examples that I haven't thought of.

  • 6
    I was under the impression that only the Elder Wand switched allegiance like that, and that a normal wand stays fairly loyal to the witch or wizard it has chosen. Apr 20, 2012 at 16:11
  • 2
    @NorbyTheGeek -- Any wand can switch allegiance if legitimately won. How else could Harry have mastered the Elder Wand by taking Draco Malfoy's regular hawthorn wand? Apr 20, 2012 at 16:21
  • 1
    @Slytherincess, because the mastery is of the wizard, not the wand he happens to be holding.
    – Martha
    Apr 20, 2012 at 16:37
  • @Martha - "if legitimately won" means mastering the other wizard. After all, wands don't duel by themselves or take each other by force. :) Apr 20, 2012 at 17:40

1 Answer 1


JKR has said that in order for one to master another's wand -- i.e. win it away from them and become that new wand's master -- the two individuals in question must be engaged in a bonafide duel, where they are actually fighting against each other.

Practicing Expelliarmus and even plain old disarming doesn't count.

There has to be a certain intention involved, to master another's wand.

I'd give you a quote, but The Leaky Cauldron is down! I'll see if I can find it somewhere else. ETA: I can't find the quote I want, but will update this as soon as I can. I won't link you to the HP Wiki because my experiences with the reliability of all the wiki's material are not consistent. YMMV, of course.

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