Dumbledore wished to die without the allegiance of the Elder Wand to pass on to someone else; he believed that if he planned his death with Snape, the Elder Wand wouldn't recognize Snape as its new master (since he didn't defeat Dumbledore); the Elder Wand would thus have no master and its true power would be lost forever.

Except things didn't go according to plan, since Draco defeated Dumbledore and became the master of the Elder Wand. But this was actually a good thing, because due to a series of contrived and convenient coincidences, Harry ended being the master of the Elder Wand, which caused the Wand to refuse to kill Harry, its master. Like Harry says in the final chapter, Dumbledore's plan backfired, but it backfired against Riddle.

Ok, but now suppose everything went according to Dumbledore's plan. The power of the Elder Wand is lost. Voldemort may or may not end realizing this, but, regardless, the Elder Wand will not backfire when used against Harry because Harry isn't its master. How exactly did Dumbledore intend Harry to defeat Voldemort?


6 Answers 6


This is covered (to an extent) by Dumbledore in the "King's Cross" conversation.

  • Voldemort's own wand can't be used due to twin Phoenix feather cores:

    ... Voldemort proceeded to attack you with a wand that shared a core with yours. And now something very strange happened, as we know. The cores reacted in a way that Lord Voldemort, who never knew that your wand was twin of his, had never expected.

    ... Your courage won, your wand overpowered his.

  • Any other "normal" wand can not be used by Voldemort against Harry:

    “I believe that your wand imbibed some of the power and qualities of Voldemort’s wand that night, which is to say that it contained a little of Voldemort himself. So your wand recognized him when he pursued you, recognized a man who was both kin and mortal enemy, and it regurgitated some of his own magic against him, magic much more powerful than anything Lucius’s wand had ever performed. Your wand now contained the power of your enormous courage and of Voldemort’s own deadly skill: What chance did that poor stick of Lucius Malfoy’s stand?”

  • And Death Stick is either not in Voldemort's posession, or he is not its true master.

Non-canon speculation - may be he also planned to have Snape to lose the wand to Harry to transfer the Mastery to Harry.

  • 2
    I had thought the same thing for a long time as well, but it sadly doesn't add up that way, because during their final duel Harry is not using his, but Draco's wand. If the Elder Wand had no master any longer (if Dumbledore's plan had worked), it would presumably behave like any other wand, so it is skill alone. Voldemort still would not have been able to kill Harry in the Forest because of the still lingering blood protection - and no curse would have stuck afterwards, because of Harry's intentional self-sacrifice (which lucky for Harry didn't stick either because of Lily's blood).
    – BMWurm
    Commented Aug 23, 2014 at 7:21
  • @BMWurm - I don't think Dumbldore planned the final duel (or that Harry's wand would be broken) at all. Commented Aug 24, 2014 at 18:53
  • 3
    probably not, but with Dumbledore you never know, he seemingly plots for almost as many possible scenarios and contingencies as Batman would.
    – BMWurm
    Commented Aug 24, 2014 at 20:16
  • And if Voldemort tries to kill Harry wandlessly?
    – J. Mini
    Commented Dec 30, 2020 at 16:10

UpToNoGood hit the nail on the head, I think. DVK's answer was excellent, too, and it's totally correct, but I think the main feature about Harry that Dumbledore's original plan revolved around was his ability to love and the whole love-magic relationship that existed between Harry and Voldemort. As Dumbledore explains, by taking Harry's love-imbued blood (sounds corny, I know) into himself, Voldemort became almost the equivalent of a Horcrux for Harry, just in a far less sinister way. Dumbledore was counting on Harry's near immortality to help him win the fight against Voldemort. The Elder Wand would have been removed from the equation completely.

Although, of course, not every step could have been planned out by Dumbledore, I'd say most of it was left entirely up to Harry and his faithful friends, Ron and Hermione.


I guess that your premise is not quite correct, namely, Dumbledore did want Snape to end up with the Elder Wand. You're right insofar as Harry says this during the final duel:

"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!"

However, I think Harry said this out of pure spite. There's the following piece of conversation with Dumbledore at King's Cross (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."

So if we believe this is really Dumbledore speaking here, then we have his word that the plan was Snape ending up with the Elder Wand.

  • You misunderstand that though. Dumbledore even implies (Harry says) that he meant for the power of the Elder Wand to die with him (you quote that). The reason is that Severus wasn't actually defeating Dumbledore: it was planned in advance by the two - or perhaps more so by Dumbledore. So although he planned on Severus to 'have' the wand it was meant to have no power. Because the wand is quite known for choosing masters of power: commanding Severus to kill Dumbledore doesn't give Severus any power at all.
    – Pryftan
    Commented Jul 7, 2018 at 1:29

Voldemort still wouldn't have been able to defeat Harry because of the blood protection. Hence "the gleam of triumph" in Dumbledore's eye in GOF.

  • Yet he was able to remove that bit. And do we know when the 'original' plan was truly conceived? Either way when Voldemort and Harry cast their final spells against each other the connexion with Harry's blood was no longer applicable. Right?
    – Pryftan
    Commented Jul 7, 2018 at 1:32

Dumbledore knew that the only way to defeat Voldemort was for Harry to die. How did Dumbledore plan for Harry to come back from the dead to kill Voldemort? Dumbledore's original plan was to make it where the elder wand had no master so therefore Harry would not be able to come back from the dead after being killed by Voldemort. It just doesn't make sense because how would Dumbledore think Harry would come back to defeat Voldemort?

  • Welcome to SFF.SE. Try adding quotes to your answers supporting your statements, otherwise they appear to be just speculation. This is not a forum, where you post your opinion. If you want to add a thought, better use the comments. | Not quite correct: Harry needed to have the Horcrux within him destroyed without dying himself, which happens if Voldemort "kills" him. The blood-bond keeps him alive, not his mastery of the Elder Wand! He does not defend himself (the first time), so whichever wand Voldemort would have used is immaterial, any wand would do it (see @UpToNoGood's answer above).
    – BMWurm
    Commented Aug 23, 2014 at 7:31

If no Elder Wand existed and Harry used his wand against the now defunct Elder Wand, Harry's wand would have won because of the connection Harry's wand got that night when Voldamort's and Harry's wand connected because of the twin cores.

If no Elder Wand existed and Harry used his wand and Voldemort used his, it would be a stand off. Both wand's would not kill each other.

If no Elder Wand existed and Harry used his wand and Voldermort used another borrowed wand, Harry would of one, just like when Voldemort used Malfoy's wand and Harry's destroyed it.

If no Elder Wand existed and Harry used Draco's wand and Voldermort used his, then Voldermort would have won.

If no Elder Wand existed and Haryy used Draco's wand and Voldermort used a borrowed wand, then both where at the mercy of each other's pure skill.

  • 2
    Your first paragraph isn't clear. If the Elder Wand didn't exist, but Voldemort used it? Do you mean if the wand did exist, but was masterless? and, if so, why would a connection between Harry's wand and Voldemort's own wand apply if Voldemort was using a masterless Elder Wand, but not if Voldemort was using his own wand? Also, Harry would have lost if using Draco's wand (which he was the master of, it wasn't a borrowed wand) against Voldemort with his own wand - why? Because a phoenix feather wand is inherently inferior to a hawthorne wand? Why isn't this back to skill?
    – RDFozz
    Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 21:25

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