Forgive me if this has been asked before but as far as I am aware we see Voldemort's actions through Harry - he sees Grindelwald refusing to tell Voldemort where the wand is and then the next thing we see is Voldemort at Hogwarts walking towards Dumbledore's grave and stealing the wand.

But is it ever 100% explained how Voldemort knew the wand was in Dumbledore's grave?

Is he just making a logical guess seeing as Dumbledore was well known for defeating Grindelwald and therefore assumed that he might have taken possession of the wand?

Or perhaps did Snape tell Voldemort? Maybe to curry favour with the Dark Lord, knowing that the wand's power had either died with Dumbledore, had passed to himself or even Draco?

  • 1
    Actually Voldemort knew that the elder wand is on Dumbledore's grave, the real question is, how Voldemort knew where the grave is?
    – Mark
    Nov 7, 2013 at 1:05
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    @UlfricStormcloak There was public funeral/burial that included the students, and loads of other people at the end of Book 6?
    – Zoredache
    Nov 7, 2013 at 1:24
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    One might assume that one of the many witnesses saw the people officiating putting his wand in his casket? Someone who saw either told, or he who must not be named used legilimency to collect that information?
    – Zoredache
    Nov 7, 2013 at 1:25
  • I think Grindelwald told him where the wand is(i.e. with Dumbledore)! Harry sees that scene in his mind.
    – user16541
    Nov 7, 2013 at 6:35
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    @rps Only in the films, in the book Grindlewald basically tells Voldemort to get stuffed and is quickly murdered for it :)
    – user19467
    Nov 7, 2013 at 15:22

4 Answers 4


I think Voldemort just deduced that Dumbledore was the logical owner if Grindelwald was the last known owner, since Dumbledore famously defeated Grindelwald.

It's also worth noting that Harry comes to the same conclusion at the exact same time, but decides to focus on finding the Horcruxes instead of racing Voldemort to the Elder Wand.


“And Grindelwald used the Elder Wand to become powerful. And at the height of his power, when Dumbledore knew he was the only one who could stop him, he dueled Grindelwald and beat him, and he took the Elder Wand.”

“Dumbledore had the Elder Wand?” said Ron. “But then — where is it now?”

“At Hogwarts,” said Harry, fighting to remain with them in the cliff-top garden.

Very simply if Harry can make the logical leap from Gridelwald to Dumbledore, Voldemort can as well.

“So, you have come. I thought you would . . . one day. But your journey was pointless. I never had it.”

“You lie!”

Grindlewald right here tells Voldemort he never had the wand but because of Voldemorts skill as a legamences he can tell he was lying, and since we know dumbledore put Gridnlewald in prison, it make sense that dumbledore also took grindlewalds wand.

  • I suggest adding the citation info (book, chapter, page, etc.) +1
    – RedCaio
    Feb 7, 2016 at 3:41

As Slytherincess explains in the answer to Whose idea was it to put the Elder Wand in Dumbledore's Tomb in the first place, instead of somewhere considerably less likely or vulnerable?, it’s wizarding tradition to burn or bury a wand after the owner’s death.

So he knows Dumbledore’s wand is in his tomb. And the funeral was a major event – Voldemort could probably have just picked up a copy of the Daily Prophet if he wanted the location.

Then the question becomes how he knew the Elder Wand was owned by Dumbledore, and thus in his tomb. We know that Voldemort kidnapped Ollivander and interrogated him, which is how he learnt that such a powerful wand existed.

From there, it’s not too difficult to trace the recent history of the wand.

Gregorovitch boasted about having a powerful wand before it was stolen, which Voldemort could easily have heard about or traced. That the wand was stolen shortly before Grindelwald’s rise to power puts blame for its theft squarely at his feet, and then Voldemort paid him a visit as well. Even if Grindelwald told him nothing, Dumbledore’s defeat of him was famous and well-documented. It’s not a stretch for Voldemort to work out that Dumbledore had mastery of the wand, and work out where it might be found.


He knows from Grindelwald that the wand was with Dumbledore. And I guess it's a custom to bury the wizard with his/her wand. And Voldemort could easily have located Dumbledore's grave. So it was pretty logical for him to look there. (Also worth noting that it wasn't the Elder wand at that particular moment, but still)

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    He knows from Grindelwald that the wand was with Dumbledore This is only in the film version, in the book Grindlewald refuses to tell him anything, as stated in the question. Nov 14, 2014 at 18:42

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