In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows did Harry have to use Malfoy's wand to kill Voldemort?

Does the Elder wand respond to the person or the wand?

In this case Harry was the true master of the Elder wand so did the Elder Wand recognize the wand or the person? If Harry used, for example Ron's wand in the final battle would Voldemort still have been killed?


2 Answers 2


The Elder Wand responded to Harry

Mastery of the Elder Wand
In the relevant passage from the books, we see Harry cast his signature Expelliarmus spell (using Draco's wand) against Voldemort's signature hhhh-Avada Kedavra curse (using the Elder Wand), at which point the Elder Wand recognises Harry as its true 'master':

“Avada Kedavra!”
The bang was like a cannon blast, and the golden flames that erupted between them, at the dead center of the circle they had been treading, marked the point where the spells collided. Harry saw Voldemort’s green jet meet his own spell, saw the Elder Wand fly high, dark against the sunrise, spinning across the enchanted ceiling like the head of Nagini, spinning through the air toward the master it would not kill, who had come to take full possession of it at last.
-Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter Thirty-Six (The Flaw in the Plan).

Harry has a hunch that this would happen, he tells Voldemort just before that it comes down to whether or not the Elder Wand will realise that Harry had disarmed Draco already:

“But you’re too late,” said Harry. “You’ve missed your chance. I got there first. I overpowered Draco weeks ago. I took this wand from him.”
Harry twitched the hawthorn wand, and he felt the eyes of everyone in the Hall upon it.
“So it all comes down to this, doesn’t it?” whispered Harry. “Does the wand in your hand know its last master was Disarmed? Because if it does . . . I am the true master of the Elder Wand.”

I wander if it matters
It doesn't sound like it would have mattered if Harry had used Draco's wand, or a totally different wand or an umbrella; the Elder Wand recognised Harry as the true owner and didn't kill him. Note how in the passage above it says Harry is "the master it would not kill", so under no circumstances was Harry in trouble. The Expelliarmus was just a way for Harry to disarm Voldemort and retrieve his Elder Wand.

Books vs. Movies
The confusion in this situation may have been caused by the fact that in the movie, the two spells 'collided' with each other and did that Priori Incantatum lock thing (even though the cores of the wands were not related in any way), which caused the Elder Wand to eventually and literally break under the pressure. This specifically doesn't happen in the books.

  • 6
    Imagine how much cooler the finale would've been if Harry was using Hagrid's umbrella... Commented Sep 15, 2017 at 7:35
  • 1
    @TheDarkLord Or a certain finger... Though I guess really the way it's done in the book it sort of is that just much less direct (= better). What I really find unfortunate is the way DH part 2 makes the fight all over the place. Worse is that you disappear like in PS (then you return). Meanwhile you tried so hard for immortality and your death isn't at all normal which I think Rowling was trying to get across: here was this man who did all his killing to prevent his own death and he died just as a normal person (and he hated that there was another 'Tom' and see also his name changes etc.).
    – Pryftan
    Commented Sep 16, 2017 at 20:24
  • 1
    Still reeling that y'all missed my I 'wander' joke. smdh
    – Möoz
    Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 0:29

Yes, if Harry used Ron's wand in the final battle would Voldemort still have been killed...the wands recognize the person

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    Can you offer any evidence for this assertion?
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 16, 2017 at 11:08
  • @Valorum To be fair I'm sure I'm oversimplifying your point and possibly ignoring some context too. But 'The wand chooses the wizard ...' is a good example. Combined with the flexibility of unyielding on Pottermore and I guess it's true. But Ollivander also said that allegiance can still be gained in such a wand. I also suppose that (I haven't thought about it but I'm pretty sure I've seen people here who have) wand allegiance/ownership seems to be inconsistent in the books. I suppose that's expected in works of the nature of HP though and after all there exists the idea of 'plot holes'.
    – Pryftan
    Commented Sep 16, 2017 at 20:29
  • @Valorum I realise that when it comes to the Elder Wand it's a bit more complicated. Did Rowling truly explain this one? I'm not sure she did; I think the best we'll get is from Harry's final confrontation with Riddle (did perhaps Dumbledore talk about the wand specially in limbo with Harry ? I know they talked about Grindelwald anyway). It seems there was another thing Dumbledore could explain that Ollivander could not: why Harry's wand acted on its own accord when it met Voldemort in the sky in the Battle of Seven Potters (or whatever that chapter is called). Thus the question I suppose.
    – Pryftan
    Commented Sep 16, 2017 at 20:32
  • There are lots of good points in your comments here, along with some quotes and book quotes. Why not integrate them into what is, at present, a pretty sparse and poor answer?
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 16, 2017 at 20:34

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