Did people ever notice that the wands that Dumbledore wielded before and after his legendary duel with Grindelwald were different?

Elphias Doge writes in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:

They say, still, that no wizarding duel ever matched that between Dumbledore and Grindelwald in 1945. Those who witnessed it have written of the terror and the awe they felt as they watched these two extraordinary wizards do battle. Dumbledore’s triumph, and its consequences for the wizarding world, are considered a turning point in magical history to match the introduction of the International Statute of Secrecy or the downfall of He Who Must Not Be Named.

There were spectators. Did people know that the wands that Dumbledore had changed after the duel?

  • Good question, but I wouldn't use the duel as the sole example, as people must have seen both Dumbledore and Grindelwald in action before that day. As for the duel itself, I forgot there were spectators: since we were led to assume that Dumbledore killed Grindelwald (at least, that was my assumption) before it's revealed in the last book that Albus imprisoned him instead. I thought it was all hush-hush. Could the old Doge be embellishing a little (a lot)?
    – Yuriy S
    Jul 8, 2020 at 19:40
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    I doubt most wizards pay much attention to what anybody else's wand looks like; Harry certainly doesn't. Unlike in the movies, there's no suggestion in the books that they have distinctive designs, so many wands would look similar. Jul 8, 2020 at 21:00
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    @AnthonyGrist Harry's muggled-raised and a child. If you showed up at my house on a motorcycle, I probably wouldn't notice what brand of motorcycle it is, but if you showed up at a Hell's Angles meeting, they probably would. Hermione makes sure to use Bellatrix's wand when impersonating her. Jul 8, 2020 at 21:39
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    Related: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/158466/…
    – Alex
    Jul 8, 2020 at 23:51
  • Even if the wand changed, sometimes wands get broken. Perhaps they just assumed that his had been. It had, after all, been an ferocious fight. Or perhaps they thought he had gotten a new and more powerful wand for the fight.
    – Mary
    Jul 9, 2020 at 0:43

1 Answer 1


People probably all knew that Dumbledore had taken Grindelald's wand after the duel. They just (most likely) didn't care! Those who witnessed the duel were awed by the sheer skill and power presented by both wizards, but probably didn't once think that the wands had anything to do with it. Remember, very few people knew about the Deathly Hallows or thought that they existed, and fewer still would have recognized Grindelwald's (and then Dumbledore's) wand as the Elder wand. In Harry's last duel with Voldemort, Harry took the wand Voldemort was using (also the Elder Wand), and nobody batted an eyelash! I suppose it's just tradition that whoever wins a duel to the death or which ends in imprisonment keeps the losers wand.

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