I was reading a story on the Pottermore website regarding Ilvermorny, when I read a sentence which stated;

Gormlaith had purchased a wand at the despised Ollivanders...

Is there a reason why Ollivander would be so disliked? Or is it just that Gormlaith only preferred pure blood wizards and witches who agreed with her viewpoint?

  • 1
    I remember Krum at Bill and Fleur's wedding saying something along the lines of "Gregorovitch is the best wandmaker there is, but I know you Brits like Ollivander a lot".
    – Jenayah
    Jul 9, 2018 at 7:37
  • 3
    @Jenayah The comment by Krum only shows a mild preference in favor of Gregorovitch over Ollivander, not that the latter was despised.
    – Hans Olo
    Jul 9, 2018 at 8:33
  • @Loki what I meant is that at least in foreign countries, Ollivander is thought to have a good reputation (which goes against the "despised" adjective, but is not consistent enough as an answer, hence the comment)
    – Jenayah
    Jul 9, 2018 at 8:47
  • 1
    she probably regarded the Ollivanders as blood traitors, what with them selling wands to every wizard regardless of their blood status.
    – user68762
    Jul 9, 2018 at 11:32
  • 2
    "Gormlaith had purchased a wand at the despised Ollivanders to replace the precious family wand that had been handed down through generations before Isolt stole it." From context, it sounds like she's just bitter that she has to buy a new, off-the-shelf wand to replace her old one. Jul 9, 2018 at 14:51

2 Answers 2


This most likely refers to Gormlaith’s views, not Ollivander’s skill.

Gormlaith was very extreme in her pure-blood views. While most pure-bloods (like the Blacks) were typically willing to send their children to Hogwarts despite there being Mudbloods allowed to attend. However, Gormlaith decided not to allow her niece Isolt to go to Hogwarts, choosing instead to keep her at home where she wouldn’t be contaminated by the views of the school.

Gormlaith refused to allow Isolt to take up her place at Hogwarts when the letter arrived, on the basis that Isolt would learn more at home than at a dangerously egalitarian establishment full of Mudbloods. However, Gormlaith herself had attended Hogwarts, and told Isolt a great deal about the school. In the main, she did this to denigrate the place, lamenting that Salazar Slytherin’s plans for the purity of wizardkind had not been fulfilled.
- Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (Pottermore)

From what we know, Gormlaith most likely despised having to get a wand at Ollivanders for two reasons. The first is that she didn’t actually want to get a new wand - she preferred the family wand, and was forced into getting a new one because Isolt stole it and ran away.

Gormlaith had purchased a wand at the despised Ollivanders to replace the precious family wand that had been handed down through generations before Isolt stole it.
- Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (Pottermore)

The second is that Gormlaith disapproved of anyone who was willing to serve “anyone with a shred of magic”, which would apply to Ollivander just as much as Hogwarts or Isolt’s school Ilvermorny. Ollivanders doesn’t restrict who they sell their wands to - they sell to any wizard.

However, it was only when she heard that the name of the school was ‘Ilvermorny’, that Gormlaith could believe that Isolt had managed to travel all the way to America undetected, to marry, not just a Muggle-born, but an actual Muggle, and to open a school that educated anybody with a shred of magic.
- Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (Pottermore)

Ollivander is undoubtably a skilled wandmaker, but it doesn’t seem like Gormlaith’s opinion has anything to do with his skill - it seems to be because she was angry at losing the family wand, and most likely disapproval of their willingness to sell a wand to anyone who walks through the door.

  • 1
    Just as I had thought Bellatrix. I couldn't think of any other reason than Gormlaith is another fanatical pure blood who considers all others beneath her. Still though it was a random sentence that I had picked up on and considered if there were any other reasons for the 'despised' description.
    – Scanner
    Jul 9, 2018 at 22:42
  • 1
    Additionally, the wand in question was extremely rare, having been once owned by Salazar Slytherin. Which further explains why Gormlaith would've been especially loathe to part with it, and especially contemptuous of having to go to an ordinary wand shop. Jul 14, 2018 at 22:06

Gormlaith would prefer a wand with history, like her old one that had belonged to Slytherin. To her it was 'despised' because it was bought from a Muggle lover who sold wands to everyone with the ability to do magic. And this is long before the Mr. Ollivander Harry knew. The Ollivander family had been in the wand-making business for generations, so possibly the Olivander of the 1700's was less skilled than the one in the books.

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.