At the beginning of the first book, when Harry first visits Diagon Alley to buy his school supplies, he tries out a large number of wands in Ollivander's shop. And, while we know that a skilled witch or wizard would be capable of using pretty much any wand, we also know that the wand chooses the wizard. It seems reasonable that when purchasing a (new) wand they would want the wand that is best suited for them, and would always go through a process similar to the one Harry did.

During the events of the last book it's mentioned that Ollivander made new wands for at least two people, Wormtail and Luna Lovegood. Since he didn't have the option of making a number of new wands, and having them test them all to find the one best suited for them, how exactly does he know what to make the wand from? Based on the Pottermore quote in the answer to this question, it seems they could make a reasonable guess about what characteristics the wand should have based on the owner.

However, is there a neater way: Simply making a new wand that exactly matches their old one? Is there any canon evidence to support or disprove the theory that, if a wand maker were to make two identical wands, they would both choose the same witch or wizard and work equally as well for them?

  • @Simon Hm, perhaps I need to clarify the question a bit with some editing. I was thinking more of a single wizard trying two newly made wands with the same specifications (e.g. Holly, Phoenix feather, 9 inches), but the materials not necessarily being sourced from the same place (so feathers from two different Phoenixes, wood from two different Holly trees). Rather than two wizards who happen to have wands with matching specifications trading them after having used them for a while. Mar 3, 2014 at 14:35

1 Answer 1


In the Philosopher's Stone, Ollivander claims that no two wands are exactly alike:

No two Ollivander wands are the same, just as no two unicorns, dragons, or phoenixes are quite the same.

Additionally, Ollivander could be indirectly referencing the bond that a wizard forms with a wand, in DH:

Oh yes, if you are any wizard at all you will be able to channel your magic through almost any instrument. The best results, however, must always come where there is the strongest affinity. These connections are complex. An initial attraction, and then a mutual quest for experience, the wand learning from the wizard, the wizard from the wand.

It stands to reason that this mutual quest will shape and mold the wand so that it is unique - witness Harry's difficulty in using the blackthorn wand.

If we think about this logically, a wand comprises of two things, the wood, and the core. Two further properties from the manufacture of wands are length and flexibility. From the movies we can see that wands also have different shapes, but it is never mentioned whether this is a factor.

Let's take Harry's wand as an example. It was 11" long, made of holly, contained a Phoenix feather core, and was described as "nice and supple". So it is possible to create a wand to these specifications, however, every piece of wood is different, every Phoenix is different, and, unless we assume that magic can overcome this*, no two wands will be manufactured exactly the same. Clearly the same ingredients would produce a similar wand, as evidenced by the relationship between harry's wand and Voldemort's wand (which share feathers from the same Phoenix). So it seems possible to create a wand that's very similar, if made to the same specifications, using cores from the exact same animal (not just the same species), and wood from the exact same tree. This would likely create a very well-fitting replacement wand for somebody, if you new the specifications of their previous one. But it still wouldn't be exactly the same.

*I think we can safely reject this assumption, as if this were the case, wandlore wouldn't be such a tricky subject, and there would be no reason for Ollivander to be more respected than other wand-makers. Clearly the skill of the wand-maker has an impacts, which means wands won't be manufactured perfectly.

  • I wasn't overly sure about the original answer but the quotes have sealed it for me. Are we sure about wands being different shapes? I don't recall any mention of shape in the books at all but it's also not an important detail that would stick with you. I know in the movies they looked different, but I don't generally consider those canon. Mar 7, 2014 at 11:02
  • @AnthonyGrist I was basing that on the movies. I'll edit it in to clarify.
    – Moogle
    Mar 7, 2014 at 11:40

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