The twin-core priori incantatum that happened between Harry and Voldemort at the end of Goblet of Fire was supposed to be a rare phenomenon (I don't remember where exactly this fact was mentioned, it could be somewhere at the end of GoF after Harry returns to Hogwarts, but I distinctly remember it being mentioned). But why is it such a rare phenomenon?

There are a limited number of wood and core types that can be used in a wand. If you take unicorn hair as an example, I can't believe each and every unicorn tail hair wand got its hair from a different unicorn. Unicorns are supposed to be rare, and on top of that extremely difficult to catch. Just in Ollivander's shop there are stocks of hundreds and hundreds of wands. I can imagine Ollivander grabbing a bunch of hair from a unicorn's tail and running away before it can stab him, and him making as many wands as he can out of them.

Given the small number of magical creatures available that can give up a body part for a wand core, I would think there would be a number of wands that share a core from the same animal. The priori incantatum that happened between Harry and Voldemort wasn't just because they were both phoenix feather cores, it was because the same creature gave the core for both of them, as explained in a number of places throughout the series.

So why is twin-core priori incantatum so rare?

  • Hmm, also, though, is it ever noted that all of the wands are bespoke and new? Does Ollivander resell wands? How many are old-stock from his predecessors?
    – Turbo
    Mar 9, 2023 at 15:18
  • I'm no Harry Potter expert, but with the little time I spent searching, I came across some saying that twin wand core was not such a common case. Turns out most wands have a core that comes from a different creature.
    – Clockwork
    Mar 9, 2023 at 15:47
  • 2
    @Clockwork yes that's true, but I am trying to question that premise it self. Why does twin cores have to be so uncommon, given that animals that can gives pieces of their body for cores are so rare and finite in number
    – user13267
    Mar 9, 2023 at 15:49
  • Harry also had a piece of Voldermort's soul in him, so that might have played a part Mar 9, 2023 at 20:25

1 Answer 1


I've always interpreted it as being "rare" in the sense the that the circumstances that allow it to happen are rare rather than twinned wands being rare.

Priori Incantatum only happens when twinned wands attempt to duel each other. Wizarding society as a whole is presented as mostly peaceful and so outside of crisis events like the Wizarding Wars described in the book, how often would wizards and witches fight one another and provide that opportunity?

And even if they do fight, what are the chances that two individuals with twinned wands would be pitted against one another? In your example, you describe Ollivander grabbing a handful of unicorn tail hairs. Let's say a handful is around 25 hairs[citation needed]. That would mean there are 25 twins. If you distribute those wands randomly among the entire British wizarding population, there's probably a low chance any of those individuals would ever duel. And even if there was a crisis event prompting more duels that usual, what are the chances of any of those 25 people being Death Eaters and any of the others being in the Order. The vast majority of the wizards and witches were just bystanders who didn't fight at all.

  • Children at Hogwarts fight all the time
    – user13267
    Mar 9, 2023 at 15:59
  • Do they though? Other than the dueling club, I don't remember many direct fights. Mostly one curse and done sucker punch type situations. Not so many "we cast spells at each other at the same time" ones. Even if they did, I still think it's just a probability issue. You still have to think about the chances of two people with twinned wands being students at Hogwarts at the same and fighting each other. It's not like every student definitely fought every other student, or even most others. Our PoV characters are unique. Most students probably didn't get into any (or very few) fights at all.
    – Alarion
    Mar 9, 2023 at 17:34
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    But the fighters needs to make a spell simultaneously to have that effect. Also it appears that each creature don´t give a lot of parts to make a wand core. Fawkes only gives two feathers and maybe Dragons and unicorns gives few hairs and heartstrings.
    – wolfpirate
    Mar 9, 2023 at 22:19
  • Aside from that one year where Umbridge tried to push the "No wands" approach, DADA alone should have had students casting spells at each other pretty much every year.
    – DariM
    Mar 9, 2023 at 22:43

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