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I'm hoping this question doesn't have a really easy answer that I am inadvertently overlooking. When I first wondered when Voldemort had originally learned of the existence of the Elder Wand, I picked through the chapter The Wandmaker in Deathly Hallows and re-read The Tale of the Three Brothers in Tales of Beedle the Bard, looking to see if there was any reference to exactly when Voldemort became aware of the existence of the Elder Wand. I've also checked out Pottermore's information on wands to see if J.K. Rowling sneaked any information regarding Voldemort and the Elder Wand into her segments on wandlore and wandmaking, but I didn't find anything.

In The Wandmaker, Mr. Ollivander says, after Voldemort fails to kill Harry with Lucius Malfoy's wand and Harry's wand splits Lucius's wand and destroys it, that Voldemort "went back" and began looking for the Elder Wand "again".

When did Voldemort first become aware of the existence of the Elder Wand?

5

After finding out that he would need another wand to destroy Harry (because of the twin cores) Voldemort tortured Ollivander, who revealed the possible existence of the elder wand.

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    I remember it as Ollivander originally told Voldemort that any different wand would allow Voldemort to beat Harry. So if you could be more specific in your answer, that would be great. – Slytherincess Apr 4 '13 at 2:34
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The Elder Wand (or Deathstick, or Wand of Destiny) is legend:

"There are legends, though," said Harry...."Legends about a wand -- or wands -- that have passed from hand to hand by murder." (Book 7, US Hardcover, page 495)

Chances are, Voldemort will first have heard of this legend while in school at Hogwarts.

However, since it is "legend", Voldemort would have been more interested in learning from Ollivander a realistic, attainable method of finding a wand which would kill Harry. This is why Ollivander initially gave the advice of finding another wand, one without a twin core. Only after that method fails and Voldemort tortures Ollivander does the wandmaker finally give up the history of the Elder Wand, telling Voldemort its last rumored whereabouts (Book 7, US Hardcover, pg 498).

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    Canon indicates Voldemort didn't know of the Elder Wand until he tortured Ollivander at Malfoy Manor in Deathly Hallows. He didn't consider a children's tale (The Tale of the Three Brothers) worthy of notice, so was unfamiliar with Tales of Beedle the Bard. :) – Slytherincess Feb 7 '15 at 3:04
  • The Elder Wand is not just part of the children's tale, but a part of wizarding history as well. Cruel warlocks have appeared in wizarding history, with rumors of a powerful wand with extraordinary capabilities (even by Potterverse magic standards), hence it is possible that Voldemort had heard of such legends in school (even though he didn't know about the story of Beedle the Bard), but he would probably not pay much attention to them for the same reason, because they were in fact, just legends – user13267 Jul 27 '15 at 10:33

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