I've been looking through a lot of questions on this website and I'm still not satisfied with my understand of Dumbledore's plan for the Elder Wand. As far as I can tell, these are the facts:

  1. Dumbledore intended for Snape to end up with the Elder Wand (Deathly Hallows, chapter 35):

    "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?"
    "No," said Harry. "That bit didn't work out.

  2. Dumbledore intended to die as the last master of the Elder Wand (Deathly Hallows, chapter 36). This does not contradict the previous point:

    "Aren't you listening? Snape never beat Dumbledore! Dumbledore's death was planned between them! Dumbledore intended to die, undefeated, the wand's last true master! If all had gone as planned, the wand's power would have died with him, because it had never been won from him!"

  3. Dumbledore expected Voldemort to obtain the Elder Wand (Deathly Hallows, chapter 35):

    "But you expected him to go after the wand?"
    "I have been sure that he would try, ever since your wand beat Voldemort’s in the graveyard of Little Hangleton."

  4. Dumbledore did not intend for Snape to die. This point is the hardest to prove. The best evidence is that it goes against what we would expect of Dumbledore, but we also have the point that he was expected to live long enough to pass vital info on to Harry (Deathly Hallows, chapter 33):

    "If there comes a time when Lord Voldemort stops sending that snake forth to do his bidding, but keeps it safe beside him, under magical protection, then, I think, it will be safe to tell Harry."

Putting this together, it appears that Dumbledore wanted Voldemort to get the Elder Wand from Snape, without killing Snape, and without Voldemort realising that he wasn't its master. Is this both an accurate and complete representation of Dumbledore's plan for the wand? It seems like I've done too much work to figure out what ought to be a key plot point, and frankly, it seems like a weak plan.

  • 1
    Very good question!
    – IloneSP
    Jan 7, 2021 at 21:37
  • Bad question if you want a canonical answer
    – Hello
    Jan 10, 2021 at 5:57
  • @Hello Why? Do you have good reason to suspect that there isn't one?
    – J. Mini
    Jan 10, 2021 at 12:25
  • This has been the topic of many theories, and I don't think that there will ever be a solid answer that isn't speculation. There isn't enough details about what goes on in that big brain of Dumbledore. That's what I personally feel, but I still think the question is good.
    – Hello
    Jan 10, 2021 at 15:31
  • The first excerpt seems to dig that plot hole. Remove it, and that's the way I remembered and understood his plan : to leave the wand """broken""", without a master, so that Voldemort would have no way of being its master regardless of who he kills. V killing Snape at this point is just a bad and pointless decision that Dumbledore had simply not predicted. And Voldemort does it because he can't know about the deal with Dumbledore : at that point he thinks Snape is still a loyal Death Eater and kill-defeated Dumbledore, so it makes sense to kill-defeat him. Jan 29, 2023 at 22:44

1 Answer 1


Dumbledore didn't really care if and how Voldemort got the wand. He knew that anyway Harry is protected from Voldemort. I am guessing that Dumbledore just hoped that Snape would get the chance to tell Harry that he is the last horcrux.

It would be impossible to know how the events of the seventh book would happen. Dumbledore didn't know when exactly Voldemort will find out that the trio are hunting horcruxes and therefore keep Nagini closer to him, and when Snape would have the opportunity to tell Harry. To say that Dumbledore guessed all this wouldn't make sense.

Also check out this question. The answers explain how Dumbledore didn't intend for Snape to die.

  • Your link is to a question that my question linked.
    – J. Mini
    Dec 30, 2020 at 17:20
  • Oh I didn't realize it was linked
    – MBEllis
    Dec 30, 2020 at 17:26

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