At the end of the film version of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Harry broke the Elder Wand in two and threw the pieces away.

Why did he do that?

  • 2
    "Harry, why did you break the Elder Wand?!" "You told me to!" "Harry, I said the ALDER wand."
    – Beska
    Commented Nov 15, 2011 at 19:11
  • 7
    @Chad Harry did not break the wand in the book. He just put it back in Dumbledore's tomb.
    – Kevin
    Commented Dec 22, 2011 at 18:54
  • @Kevin - I never said it was. But the reasoning for breaking the wand would be valid for the reasoning given at the end of book 7. I was trying to avoid the spoiler.
    – Chad
    Commented Dec 28, 2011 at 13:54

7 Answers 7


Because it's powerful and dangerous and brings misery to (almost) everyone who possesses it?

Because he doesn't want the power it has, and can't give it away in good conscience?

Essentially, the Elder Wand is a magnet for trouble and violence. Its very purpose is to make the wielder unbeatable. Harry knows that whoever has the wand, if it is known, is a target. He is tired of fighting, and wants peace.

He is the only one who can destroy the wand, so he does.

  • He can't give it away. The wand is only true to whoever wrestled it from its former owner. If he gives it away, the wand's allegiance will still lie with him.
    – sbi
    Commented Aug 3, 2011 at 23:20
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    Right, and then the person he gave it to would believe it WAS true to them...and they'd get their damn fool selves killed. So he CAN give it away, but it would be tantamount to murder.
    – Jeff
    Commented Aug 4, 2011 at 1:32
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    "He is the only one who can destroy the wand" [citation needed] :)
    – RedCaio
    Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 1:12
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    If you're saying "The wand is in his possession and he's not planning on giving it away, so he's the only one who has the opportunity to try to destroy it" then that makes sense. If you're saying "According to what we know about wandlore from the books, harry alone is the only person who could destroy the Elder Wand for some reason" then I wanted to know what 'wandlore facts' your were thinking of that I didn't know about.
    – RedCaio
    Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 4:35
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    @Jeff "It makes him effectively unbeatable in magical combat". No it doesn't. It's just a good wand, that's it. People vastly over-estimate it's usefulness, and that's why almost all of it's owners get killed - they start fights, or boast about being undefeatable. Some are killed through stealth sure, but others are beaten in duels. Dumbledore himself won the wand in a duel against Grindelwald!
    – DavidS
    Commented Jul 18, 2017 at 9:08

In the Book, He doesn't break it. Instead he puts it back in Dumbledore's tomb.

He explains why he does that:

“I’m putting the Elder Wand,” he told Dumbledore, who was watching him with enormous affection and admiration, “back where it came from. It can stay there. If I die a natural death like Ignotus, its power will be broken, won’t it? The previous master will never have been defeated. That’ll be the end of it.” Dumbledore nodded. They smiled at each other.

“Are you sure?” said Ron. There was the faintest trace of longing in his voice as he looked at the Elder Wand.

“I think Harry’s right,” said Hermione quietly. “That wand’s more trouble than it’s worth,” said Harry. “And quite honestly,” he turned away from the painted portraits, thinking now only of the four-poster bed lying waiting for him in Gryffindor Tower and wondering whether Kreacher might bring him a sandwich there, “I’ve had enough trouble for a lifetime.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 36. The flaw in the plan, page 631 of 638

  • 6
    I think that the wand may be unbreakable because it is part of death. But it did make for good action in a movie, that feel good moment you cant get with a contemplative teen ager just walking off the screen.
    – Chad
    Commented Aug 3, 2011 at 17:05
  • @Chad It's not part of death. It's just a wand. The Three Brothers is just a story that grew up around the three powerful items the Peverells created.
    – DavidS
    Commented Jul 18, 2017 at 9:10
  • @DavidS - I do not think that was the intent of the author.
    – Chad
    Commented Jul 18, 2017 at 14:27
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    Please cite "Dumbledores opinions are pretty much canonically JK telling the truth."
    – Chad
    Commented Jul 20, 2017 at 14:48
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    The problem here is that Harry is banking too much on dying a natural death. As we learn, he goes on to become an Auror. We have also already seen that the wand transfers ownership even if the loser is not in physical possession of the wand: Draco didn't have the wand with him when Harry beat him, but he became its master anyway. So whoever beats Harry in his later years still becomes master. They have to know where to find the wand, but they will still become its master.
    – EvilSnack
    Commented Mar 3, 2018 at 19:55

As they discuss, whoever controls the wand would simply have too much power. Maybe Harry feels that the power would corrupt him, maybe he worries that possessing the wand would make him (and by extension his loved ones) a target of those who would steal the wand, or maybe he just fears what would happen to the wand after he dies if he kept it. More likely, it's some combination of all three. He decides that an implement with such power simply shouldn't exist.

  • 2
    Who ever has the wand will always be challenged by someone else who wants to be the best. It is a magnent for trouble. There is no talk of fear of becoming like voldermont, or anything of that sort. There was concern over what would happen should he lose the wand though.
    – Chad
    Commented Aug 3, 2011 at 16:14

The fate of (almost) every wizard who has had the Elder Wand has been a violent death, as the wand is taken away from it's previous owner. Even those suspected of having a connection with the wand (Snape) seem to have the same fate met. What point is there to having such a powerful wand if it will only lead to one's own death?

  • 2
    Horcruxes aside, doesn't everything lead to one's own death?
    – Sparr
    Commented Aug 3, 2011 at 5:04
  • While true I dont think that this was any signifigant part of his decision.
    – Chad
    Commented Aug 3, 2011 at 16:28
  • @Chad I don't think it is true actually: not all died violent deaths because of them being the owner of the Elder Wand (Dumbledore), and while Harry sort of died, Draco didn't die at all (and lost it before ever even touching it). This Elder Wand business is loaded with technicalities. OK, I guess it is true.
    – BMWurm
    Commented Apr 6, 2015 at 13:12

Harry broke the Elder Wand because he knows that all its past owners, including Antioch Peverell (its first owner), had used it for boasting and power.

He also knows that those who are pure of heart (Harry and Dumbledore) can tame it. Dumbledore said:

I was fit only to possess the meanest of them, the least extraordinary. I was fit to own the Elder Wand, and not to boast of it, and not to kill with it. I was permitted to tame and to use it, because I took it, not for gain, but to save others from it.

And like Dumbledore, Harry tried to protect himself and others from too much power. So, in order to do this, he must destroy the source of the power, the Elder Wand. Which, in conclusion, is why he destroyed the Elder Wand.


Harry broke the wand because he did not want it to fall into the wrong hands again like it did with Voldemort and almost kill everyone in his quest to kill Harry Potter.


Harry puts back the elder wand on Dumbledore's Tomb ,as mentioned by DavRob60. As far as the movie goes, You're right. Harry breaks the elder wand. As the accepted answer above the wand is so powerful and dangerous. Besides, there is no more future significance about the wand. The Dark Lord is gone.

  • While your conclusion is true, it is also true for the novels. Then why didn't Harry snap it in the books? Commented Jun 30, 2017 at 11:28

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