When Voldemort cast the Avada Kedavra spell on Harry it basically disarmed him. So why didn't the Elder Wand answer to Voldemort afterwards?

  • 1
    Disarming is not the only method by which the wand can change ownership, just one. In particular it is an example of the current owner being defeated. Disarming seems sufficient, but killing has also worked in the history of the wand. Oct 4, 2018 at 20:48
  • 3
    Maybe killing only counts if the previous owner's arm is ripped off in the process, thus "dis-arming" them. :-)
    – RDFozz
    Oct 4, 2018 at 22:04
  • 3
    Harry went into the forbidden forest to die. He didn't defend himself. It was his sacrifice. So, Voldemort didn't defeat Harry in this case.
    – user931
    Oct 8, 2018 at 3:38

4 Answers 4


The Dark Lord using Avada Kedavra had never disarmed Harry.

While it is possible that the Dark Lord may have gained mastery of the Elder Wand if he’d disarmed Harry, that never happened. The Dark Lord had tried using Avada Kedavra on Harry with the Elder Wand twice, and it hadn’t caused Harry to be disarmed either of those times. The first time the Dark Lord tried to kill Harry with the Elder Wand, Harry meant to die, and let himself be killed.

Voldemort had raised his wand. His head was still tilted to one side, like a curious child, wondering what would happen if he proceeded. Harry looked back into the red eyes, and wanted it to happen now, quickly, while he could still stand, before he lost control, before he betrayed fear –

He saw the mouth move and a flash of green light, and everything was gone.
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 34 (The Forest Again)

Harry hadn’t been disarmed as a result of that, since he still had his wand on him when he got up.

Harry did not dare open his eyes, but allowed his other senses to explore his predicament. He knew that his wand was still stowed beneath his robes because he could feel it pressed between his chest and the ground.
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 36 (The Flaw in the Plan)

The second time the Dark Lord tried using the Elder Wand to kill Harry, Harry casts Expelliarmus, and the Dark Lord himself is disarmed, as well as killed by his own Killing Curse rebounding.

‘Avada Kedavra!’


The bang was like a cannon-blast and the golden flames that erupted between them, at the dead centre 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 towards the master it would not kill, who had come to take full possession of it at last. And Harry, with the unerring skill of the Seeker, caught the wand in his free hand as Voldemort fell backwards, arms splayed, the slit pupils of the scarlet eyes rolling upwards.
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 36 (The Flaw in the Plan)

The Dark Lord never disarmed Harry, so he couldn’t have mastered the Elder Wand that way.

  • Disarming isn't relevant. Some dark wizards were straight out killed and the Elder wand was taken from their corpse, changing his loyalty. Others were stolen from, and the wand changed his loyalty. Etc, etc. If Voldemort had used Expelliarmus instead of Avada Kedavra, the result would be the same. Harry didn't lose, thus, the Elder Wand didn't change his allegiance.
    – IloneSP
    Feb 22, 2021 at 23:46

Basically the wand had never sworn allegiance to him:

  1. Dumbledore owns the wand.
  2. He was killed by Snape, so Voldemort thought the wand belonged to Snape.
  3. Voldemort kills Snape, and assumes the wand is now his.


  1. Dumbledore owns the wand.
  2. Draco Malfoy disarms Dumbledore and Dumbledore is thus defeated; the wand changes its allegiance to Malfoy.
  3. Harry eventually disarms Draco and thus the elder wand belongs to him.


  1. The wand has aligned itself with Harry.
  2. Voldemort casts the killing curse upon the part of his soul within Harry; that's what actually dies.
  3. So Harry, still alive, is left in ownership of the elder wand.

The wand never belonged to Snape, and therefore never belonged to Voldemort. Elder is the wood most susceptible to yielding its ownership.


Because The Elder Wand was affined with Harry, not Voldemort

A wand chooses the Wizard. In order to choose one, it has to be given by the maker (like Harry was given his wand by Ollivander in PS) or be taken by force, won in battle (like Harry was able to use Draco's one in DH). In the whole series, we see several cases of borrowed wands that do not serve their users well.

Voldemort did not win The Elder Wand from its rightful owner (Dumbledore) - he got it from his grave. Draco Malfoy was supposed to be its rightful owner, as he had disarmed Dumbledore holding it (but did not claim it). But Draco was defeated by Harry, so the wand chose Harry and was reluctant to serve Voldemort.

  • 3
    I don’t think this addresses the question of Voldemort disarming Harry.
    – Alex
    Oct 4, 2018 at 19:30
  • 1
    For that matter, I don't think there's any evidence that a wand stolen from Ollivander's would work worse than the same wand if purchased. Wands seem to work best for a wizard if the wand and the wizard are in sync (i.e., "the wand chooses the wizard"), which could explain why borrowed wands don't work as well.
    – RDFozz
    Oct 4, 2018 at 22:16

The true answer is that, as Harley Quinn wisely states in a comment...

Voldemort never beat Harry

Harry went to the Forbidden Forest with the intent of sacrificing himself. Of letting Voldemort kill him. Harry wasn't beaten, it was his plan to be killed. Harry never lost to Voldemort. Thus, the Elder Wand never switched his allegiance.

This answer sums it pretty nicely.

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