The entire plot of the end of the Harry Potter series relies on the fact that Harry won the allegiance of the Elder Wand by taking a different wand from Draco Malfoy, the current master of the Elder Wand. How did Harry know that he could gain the allegiance of one wand by winning a different wand from the same owner?

I am not asking if this is how it works, or why this is how it works, or if it makes sense that this is how it works. I am only asking how the character Harry was aware that this is how it works.

As far as I can tell, all his information about wand allegiances came from his conversation with Ollivander at Shell Cottage. However, I don't see anywhere in that discussion that Ollivander informed Harry of this fact.

And if one were to suggest that Harry wasn't actually sure that this is how it works, and he was taking a gamble, the question on that would be that surely he would've asked Ollivander about this rather than just blindly hope that this was the way it worked.

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    "rather than just blindly hope that this was the way it worked." this is more or less what Harry has been doing for the last seven years when others weren't here to do the thinking for him, and it worked so far. You'd think it becomes a habit at some point
    – Jenayah
    May 18, 2020 at 1:03
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    There's enough information for him to have worked it out. He's not necessarily dumb to be honest. Ollivander told him about the allegiance changing when Grindelwald stole it, he saw how poorly it was behaving for Voldemort. And who knows, did he feel it on a certain level too?
    – Möoz
    May 18, 2020 at 2:16
  • The elder wand was described as quasi-sentient, no? So it changed hands itself not by automatic function but by the wand deciding its current user is no longer worthy to wield it.
    – TylerH
    May 18, 2020 at 14:18
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    Voldemort wasn't the owner and couldn't wield it to it's potential. Would the final battle change if Draco was the owner?
    – rtaft
    May 19, 2020 at 17:07
  • The plot relies on it, but Harry's actions don't. Just think about what would change whether Harry knew or didn't know about the allegiance switch - I'm pretty sure the answer is "absolutely nothing". Don't forget Harry went to his death when he went to confront Voldemort - he didn't know he'd survive, he just sacrificed himself for his friends (and to give them an opening to kill Voldie for good). Surviving to do it himself was just a cherry on top.
    – Luaan
    May 20, 2020 at 10:04

2 Answers 2


The text suggests that even Harry didn’t know for sure that he’s right.

“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.”

And then the text describes him as “hoping.”

A red-gold glow burst suddenly across the enchanted sky above them as an edge of dazzling sun appeared over the sill of the nearest window. The light hit both of their faces at the same time, so that Voldemort’s was suddenly a flaming blur. Harry heard the high voice shriek as he too yelled his best hope to the heavens, pointing Draco’s wand:

So yes, he was guessing, more or less. You could argue that it was at least an educated guess given all he learned about wands earlier in the book, but still a guess.

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    I believe he came up with the guess once he realised that elder wand was powerless against him. He wouldnt discuss it at Kings Cross, because thats a more of a private monologue May 18, 2020 at 11:55
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    @Alex Dumbledore did telegraph the part about Draco being master of the Elder Wand. ("If you planned your death with Snape, you meant him to end up with the Elder Wand, didn't you?" "I admit that was my intention," said Dumbledore, "but it did not work as I intended, did it?") The only good answer you're going to get is OOU-- it would have spoiled the tension if Harry entered his confrontation with the reader knowing that victory was assured. May 18, 2020 at 13:21
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    @TenthJustice The part about Draco being the master is relatively straightforward. It’s the leap to gaining allegiance without ever dealing with the specific wand that is not alluded to (and indeed implied against) by Ollivander and Dumbledore.
    – Alex
    May 18, 2020 at 22:28
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    @Alex it doesn’t seem to be well defined what “defeat” actually means and to me, it seems the Elder Wand itself is stretching the rules when it fits its own agenda, i.e. wanting to do impressive things together with a powerful wizard. It even accepted stealing as a defeat, as it provided an opportunity to switch from the nerd Gregorovitch to the promising Grindelwald. Likewise, it accepted Draco for just disarming a dying man because the alternative was dying undefeated with Dumbledore. But it didn’t want to stay with Draco, so it took the first opportunity to switch to famous Harry Potter.
    – Holger
    May 19, 2020 at 8:39
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    @user3067860 the Elder Wand has no morale. It doesn’t make a distinction between “good” or “bad”. It just seeks power or strength.
    – Holger
    May 19, 2020 at 13:49

Tenth Justice is correct. The point of the text as written, is that, at the end, Harry was not certain!

Harry acted on hope alone. Harry had come to a conclusion, from his own reasoning. Harry knew that Voldemort killed Snape because the Elder Wand was not acting as powerful as it should have been. Subsequently, Harry observed that the Elder Wand was still not acting as powerful as it should have been. Thus Harry decided that the Elder Wand was his.

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    You should try and make your answer stand on its own right. I.e. what evidence (quotes) lead you to believe this is the case? Could you edit them in to back this up?
    – TheLethalCarrot
    May 19, 2020 at 9:11
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    I'm not sure how that last part is relevant, since Snape was never the owner. The question still remains whether Draco was the owner.
    – rtaft
    May 19, 2020 at 16:59
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    @rtaft Its logical deduction, Harry watched Draco disarm Dumbledore and Snape kill him, so if Snapes death didn't give Voldy control of the wand it must be Draco who owned it. And he knows that he disarmed Dracro (its a different wand but he took the wand), so its only the last part that is a guess, its either his or still Dracos - he deduced that Snape never owned it which is relevant
    – Matt
    Jul 19, 2020 at 17:47

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