I was reading through this question Can a Muggle do anything with a wand? and Valorum’s answer said this:

JKR addressed this point in an interview in 2006;

"I been asked what would happen if a Muggle picked up a magic wand in my world. And the answer would probably be something accidental... possibly quite violent. Because a wand, in my world, is merely a vehicle — a vessel for what lies inside the person."

So then, what if you’re someone who is completely good and has no "violence" inside of you, would you then be able to use a wand?

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    If I'm reading the quote correctly, no. Being pure of heart would eliminate the "possibly quite violent" part, but not the "probably something accidental" part.
    – F1Krazy
    Mar 29, 2019 at 23:29
  • I think a tablet with a fancy, expensive drawing app might be a good analogy. Anyone can scribble on the screen, but it takes talent and practice to paint something people (beyond the immediate family) would consider art.
    – Gaultheria
    Mar 29, 2019 at 23:34
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    Yes, but there are only two Muggles pure of heart, Thor and Vision... Captain America, almost... Mar 30, 2019 at 15:08
  • I think it would be a bit like The Next Doctor's Sonic Screwdriver; only more "stick-y". Can a muggle use a stick? Yes. Mar 30, 2019 at 16:24
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    @Gaultheria I like how you went with an expensive drawing app for a drawing example :) We're Muggles, not some backwards wizards with their paper and pens.
    – Misha R
    Mar 30, 2019 at 21:32

2 Answers 2


No, you've misunderstood the quote.

JKR isn't saying that the result would be violent because violence is what lies inside a Muggle (though it does sound like something the Malfoys might come up with) but that the result of a Muggle using a wand would be uncontrolled because the Muggle lacks the ability to control magic - that's the power that lies inside a wizard, and which the wand is a vessel for.

Edit to clarify: magic itself is also a power lying inside a wizard, which the wand is a vessel for, but it is the corresponding ability to control it that is relevant in this particular scenario.

By way of analogy, imagine a three-year-old driving a car. The outcome would probably be unintentional, and possibly quite violent, but that's not because it is in the nature of children to be violent but because they lack the ability to control the vehicle. Their character doesn't matter, only their ability.

  • In the other words, it is not that they don't have magical power, it is just that they can't control it.
    – Our
    Mar 30, 2019 at 3:01
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    @onurcanbektas Or that magic is an ambient property that wizards and witches can channel.
    – forest
    Mar 30, 2019 at 3:49
  • @forest, see Bellatrix's answer, which clarifies that the magic causing an uncontrolled reaction would have been left over in the wand from the previous user. That makes my analogy a bit weaker, but I think it still addresses the meaning of the quote. Mar 30, 2019 at 20:49
  • For greater illumination, read the Pottermore article on the history of Ilvermorny's founders. A Muggle tries to use a wand. It does not end well.
    – EvilSnack
    Mar 30, 2019 at 23:00

No, Muggles can’t use wands.

Muggles can’t use wands, whatever their moral alignment or personal feelings towards violence. As Dumbledore explains in his notes on “Babbitty Rabbitty and the Cackling Stump”, the violent reaction comes from within the wand itself, as wands can hold residual power that may be discharged from the wand.

“While the “rogue” ability to perform magic sometimes appears in those of apparent non-magical descent (though several later studies have suggested that there will have been a witch or wizard somewhere on the family tree), Muggles cannot perform magic. The best — or worst — they could hope for are random and uncontrollable effects generated by a genuine magical wand, which, as an instrument through which magic is supposed to be channeled, sometimes holds residual power, which it may discharge at odd moments — see also the notes on wandlore for “The Tale of the Three Brothers.”
- The Tales of Beedle the Bard

The reaction that a wand can have when being waved by a Muggle has nothing to do with the “goodness” of the Muggle waving it. It’s simply the magic stored inside the wand being released when the Muggle (who can’t do magic) tries to use it.

  • Her quote seems seems poorly worded then. The sentence Because a wand, in my world, is merely a vehicle — a vessel for what lies inside the person." implies the opposite, that magic is within a person and not within a wand.
    – Alex
    Mar 31, 2019 at 0:30
  • @Alex All further references to what happens when a Muggle tries to use a wand indicate that the reaction is from the wand. “As Isolt watched, James finished marking the graves he had dug by hand, then picked up the two broken wands that had lain beside the Boot parents. Frowning he examined the sparking core of dragon heartstring that protruded from Mr Boot’s, then gave it a casual wave. As invariably happens when a No-Maj waves a wand, it rebelled. James was sent flying backwards across the clearing, hit a tree and was knocked out cold.” - Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
    – Obsidia
    Mar 31, 2019 at 1:26
  • I'm not disagreeing with you; it's just that she doesn't seem to have expressed her point well in that interview.
    – Alex
    Mar 31, 2019 at 1:29
  • Dumbledore is a character, Rowling is a writer, notes on “Babbitty Rabbitty" are just that, notes. I don't see any reason to assume that the notes cited above express the "whole truth" of the matter or the entire spectrum of opinions of the authors. As a writer I consider it a good form allowing my characters to have opinions and/or knowledge that is different from my own.
    – ArtemGr
    Mar 31, 2019 at 6:47
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    @ArtemGr, on the other hand, Tales was written at leisure, whereas an answer to an interview question has to be created on the spot - and is therefore less likely to be well-thought-out, clearly expressed, and consistent with the rest of the work. Mar 31, 2019 at 18:39

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