At the beginning of GoF, we know that Moody is fought by Wormtail and Barty Crouch Junior. They win the battle and lock him inside his own magical lockers. However, they do not kill him. Wandlore has thought us that unless you have earned a wand's allegiance, by killing/disarming the previous owner, it shall not serve you 100%.

I am looking for a canon answer which would indicate that Barty Crouch Junior, who was presumed dead, actually had his own wand, and did indeed disarm Moody. However, I wasn't able to find any confirmation that he had his own wand or his mother's wand. Remember, he did a switcheroo using Polyjuice Potion with his mother in Azkaban. I would assume he took his mothers's wand to be able to walk out of Askaban without raising suspicion by Ministry officials and/or Dementors.

I have given some context before hand, but what I am looking for is a logical and/or canonical answer explaining:

How was Crouch Jr able to use Moody's wand for a whole year, without anyone noticing weird side effects?

Among the various spells he had to cast the following strong spells/curses were cast by him during that one year:

  • The dude even managed to cast all of the three Unforgivable Curses, during one of the Defence Against Dark Arts classes. They require a lot of will power to cast, and having the wand work for you 100% is probably a necessity.
  • He was able to cast a strong magic to fool the Goblet Of Fire itself, so that it allows Harry to enter as 4th contestant.
  • He was able to control Victor Krum with the Imperius Curse during the 3rd and final challenge.
  • 11
    Crouch Jr. effectively "defeated" Moody. So, I suppose that's all that counts. Moody, the previous master of his own wand, was subdued, and thus the wand switched allegiances.
    – Simpleton
    Commented Aug 30, 2019 at 12:54
  • 3
    Or.... he used his own wand not nobody noticed.. Could anyone actually dare walk up to Madeye and demand his wand for verification?
    – Shreedhar
    Commented Aug 30, 2019 at 13:35
  • @Shreedar no, wands are really recognisable. I think I remember wizards noticing wands being different, as well as goblins (who use it for identification). Dumbledore if anyone would have known. Commented Sep 2, 2019 at 18:46
  • Maybe moody had several wands. maybe he came up with a story for his new wand. maybe moody has used several wands during his lifetime, and a new one didn't warrant people asking him where he got it from. Commented Dec 7, 2019 at 15:11
  • @marcellothearcane the movies are quite different than the books. JKR hasn't offered a book description, so for all we know all wands are brown sticks with very few distinguishing differences such as length. books take canon precedence over the movies
    – ava
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 22:05

6 Answers 6


Before we begin: Why does he need a wand to start with? We have no wandlore that states "punching someone in the face" is not a valid way to defeat them. Certainly, at the World Cup, "nick the wand from Harry's pocket" is enough to cast the Dark Mark with.

However, at the point where Barty Crouch Junior captures Moody, we know that 2 things have happened: He has joined back up with Voldemort and Wormtail, and - before that - he has overpowered his father, and put him under the Imperius.

So, he has his father's wand. He has access to Polyjuice potion, and to his father's hair. He shows up to identifying charms as "Barty Crouch". As such, he has the opportunity to catch even Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody off guard.


As you have already stated, wandlore views a wand's master as the person who has killed or disarmed the wand's previous master, or else the first person that distributes an affinity for the wand. While Moody is obviously the master of his own wand, it is unclear if Crouch had used his mother's wand or stolen a new one. While it is very plausible for him to have taken his mother's wand after her death, you may recall that Crouch Jr. chose to steal Harry's wand and cast the Dark Mark into the sky. This suggests that Crouch may not have had his own wand, as supported by the wiki (whether you consider that a valid source is up to you, but it seems altogether consistent with what we are told in the books). Without having killed Moody, and without having a wand to disarm him, how does Crouch master Moody's wand?

Now, here's the part of the answer that gets tricky. J.K. Rowling's magic system can be considered very soft, and wandlore is a poorly explained element of magic in its own right. The definition of being disarmed is never truly explained, and is inconsistent with the dictionary definition as well as with its own influence on wand ownership. For starters, according to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, to disarm a person is to simply "deprive of a means of attack or defense". Applying this to wandlore, simply being the person to take a wand by force should allow full mastery of the wand, whether you do so through magical means or not, removing the need for Crouch to have a wand in order to master Moody's. While this assertion is not directly supported by events in the book, it is not directly disproven either, and seems to be the most logical explanation of how Crouch mastered Moody's wand. As explained in the wiki and book, Crouch kidnapped Moody by unknown means, the very act of kidnapping and imprisoning him likely giving Crouch mastery over his wand. While a stolen wand may not immediately be as powerful as one's originally chosen wand, a wand that happens to have a similar affinity should become similarly as powerful with time as the wizard's mastery over it grows. Crouch had a year to gain mastery over Moody's wand, all after disarming him and locking him inside a magical trunk.

As for side effects, there should not be any noticeable side effects of using an unmastered wand besides a slight reduction in power or familiarity that reduces capability.

  • 2
    You don't really need a wand to disarm or defeat a wizard. Some wizards can cast simple spells even without it, and a good punch in the face of an unsuspecting wizard is going to work anyway. Since wandlore is really lax, it might happen that defeating a wizard in a boxing contest might count as winning for the wand.
    – frollo
    Commented Aug 30, 2019 at 16:24
  • 2
    @frollo I now have a mental image of Filch forgetting to put up a "Wet Floor" sign, and accidentally becoming Master of the Elder Wand when Dumbledore slips and falls... Commented Sep 2, 2019 at 12:51

As his mother took his place in Azkaban it is incredibly likely he used her wand. We know that wands can be used by allies; for example Harry used Hermione's wand when his was broken and there were seemingly no obvious backfires. Hermione then uses Bellatrix's wand without being noticed, but it doesn't work properly:

It feels all wrong, it doesn’t work properly for me … it’s like a bit of her.

So, if we assume Barty used his mother's wand (which is the most likely of situations as she wouldn't leave him unarmed). Then we can also assume that he used the wand to disarm Moody. Now, as noted by Ollivander:

Curious indeed how these things happen. The wand chooses the wizard, remember…

The wand, upon disarm, would simply switch to the wizard, not the wand used, meaning Crouch would be able to do everything with Moody's wand.

  • Yes. Compare to Ron using his older brother's hand-me-down wand for his entire first year, it worked perfectly well for him. (Come to think of it, perhaps being willingly given a wand by a relative is typically enough to make the wand "happy" to work for you?) Commented Aug 30, 2019 at 20:14

Wands can be won with physical force.

Wands can be won through overpowering their owners using physical force, not only by defeating their owner in a duel. Harry asks Ollivander if he can safely use Draco’s wand after taking it from him by force, and Ollivander says he thinks so.

“I took this wand from Draco Malfoy by force,’ said Harry. ‘Can I use it safely?’

‘I think so. Subtle laws govern wand ownership, but the conquered wand will usually bend its will to its new master.’

‘So I should use this one?’ said Ron, pulling Wormtail’s wand out of his pocket and handing it to Ollivander.

‘Chestnut and dragon heartstring. Nine and a quarter inches. Brittle. I was forced to make this, shortly after my kidnap, for Peter Pettigrew. Yes, if you won it, it is more likely to do your bidding, and do it well, than another wand.”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 24 (The Wandmaker)

Harry took Draco’s wand from him by pulling it out of his hand - he didn’t use any magic against Draco.

“As Ron ran to pull Hermione out of the wreckage, Harry took his chance; he leapt over an armchair and wrested the three wands from Draco’s grip, pointed all of them at Greyback and yelled: ‘Stupefy!’
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 23 (Malfoy Manor)

To get Wormtail’s wand, Ron also just pulled it out of his hand while the silver hand choked Wormtail.

“And we’ll have that,’ whispered Ron, tugging Wormtail’s wand from his other hand.”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 23 (Malfoy Manor)

When Harry uses Draco’s wand, it works at least as well as borrowing Hermione’s wand with her permission.

“Harry looked down at the hawthorn wand that had once belonged to Draco Malfoy. He had been surprised, but pleased, to discover that it worked for him at least as well as Hermione’s had done.”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 26 (Gringotts)

Barty Crouch Jr. could have won Moody’s wand in the same way - he didn’t need to have used magic or had a wand at the time to have won Moody’s wand. He and Wormtail overpowered Moody and were able to shove him into a trunk, which would likely have been enough to win Moody’s wand.

“Wormtail and I did it. We had prepared the Polyjuice Potion beforehand. We journeyed to his house. Moody put up a struggle. There was a commotion. We managed to subdue him just in time. Forced him into a compartment of his own magical trunk. Took some of his hair and added it to the Potion. I drank it, I became Moody’s double. I took his leg and his eye. I was ready to face Arthur Weasley when he arrived to sort out the Muggles who had heard a disturbance. I made the dustbins move around the yard. I told Arthur Weasley I had heard intruders in my yard, who had set the dustbins off. Then I packed up Moody’s clothes and Dark detectors, put them in the trunk with Moody, and set off for Hogwarts.”
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 35 (Veritaserum)

Once Barty Crouch Jr. captured Moody, he could have taken his wand away from him. Taking their wands away from them was enough for both Harry and Ron to win others’ wands, so it likely should have worked for him too.

Barty Crouch Jr. likely used Moody’s wand.

After he became Moody, Barty Crouch Jr. almost certainly used Moody’s wand. He’d have likely won it by taking it from Moody so it’d work for him, using it would help his cover, and he’d have needed a wand anyway. He didn’t have his own wand or his mother’s - he stole Harry’s wand at the Quidditch World Cup because he hadn’t been able to have one since before he was in Azkaban.

“It happened, there, in the Top Box. It was like waking from a deep sleep. I found myself out in public, in the middle of the match, and I saw a wand sticking out of a boy’s pocket in front of me. I had not been allowed a wand since before Azkaban. I stole it.”
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 35 (Veritaserum)

Though it’s possible that he somehow acquired another wand after being released from the Imperius Curse and re-entering the Dark Lord’s service, there was really no reason for him not to use Moody’s wand once he became Moody. Barty Crouch Jr. would likely have won it and it would be the wand Moody was known using, so it’d be most logical for him to switch even if he had a wand.


Whether Barty Crouch had his own wand or not, if he attacked Moody and won, then Moody's wand would now be his own, as he should have its allegiance.

With the circular path that the Elder wand took in ways of ownership, (Dumbledore to Malfoy, Malfoy to Harry) even though Malfoy never held or knew that the wand was his, and it wasn't physically taken from him by Harry, wand allegiance doesn't seem very hard to gain.


Not all wands work like the Elder Wand

Wandlore has thought us that unless you have earned a wand's allegiance, by killing/disarming the previous owner, it shall not serve you 100%.

I don't have the exact quote at hand myself, but my recollection is that is more strictly towards the Elder Wand - that is, Ollivander points out that the Elder Wand is a bit more unique in that it only serves people best when they have defeated the previous owner in some way.

This said, he could have used Moody's known history for being "Mad" to his advantage.

Had he messed up his spells, he could have claimed to be pulling Lockhart - trying to do a spell beyond his current means. Even if he was proficient in the past, after all, doesn't mean that Mad-Eye Moody could be considered a guarantee stabilized presence, as far as others were concerned.

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