Before acquiring the Elder Wand, what kind of wand did Dumbledore have, and what kind of wood and core components went into it?

We know that he was buried with the Elder Wand. Are there any references to what became of his original wand?

  • Dumbledore didn't really beat the Elder wand, but instead beat the man (Grindelwald) behind it: scifi.stackexchange.com/a/12566/1234 Also, do you have a quote for saying that the wand is as powerful as it's master? The wand chooses the wizard, but I don't recall it being said it was necessarily as powerful as said wizard.
    – Xantec
    Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 15:28
  • @Xantec I read it somewhere in the books but I don't remember it now
    – Tom Lynd
    Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 15:31
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    No canon info I know of (including Pottermore) Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 17:54
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    @Xantec -- In Tales of Beedle the Bard it does say this about wands: Those who are knowledgeable about wandlore will agree that wands do indeed absorb the expertise of those who use them, though this is an unpredictable and imperfect business; one must consider all kinds of additional factors, such as the relationship between the wand and the user, to understand how well it is likely to perform with any particular individual. So this implies that often a wand becomes as powerful as its master, but that it's not written in stone that this will always happen. Commented Apr 16, 2014 at 15:39
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    @TomLynd The difference is comparable to beating soldier with a cannon vs a cat with a cannon. Soldiers may have the expertise to operate cannons but cats have intimate knowledge of explosive projectiles. Depending on the individual, disarming a soldier from his weapon is a matter of time. But if you're facing a cat, just get outta there.
    – Daz C
    Commented May 3, 2014 at 0:17

4 Answers 4


Holly (probably...)

Celtic Calendar
In an article on her original website JK Rowling wrote about her discovery of the traditional Celtic calendar, along with its emphasis on how differing trees were assigned to differing months of the year. She notes that she intentionally matched Ron and Hermione's wand-woods (Ash and Vine) to the calendar even though she had intially pegged Ron's wand as being Beech.

Dumbledore's Birth Month
We know from this answer that Dumbledore was probably born in late July or August. Matching them to the calendar (and assuming she would have used the same system) the most likely candidates are Holly and Oak.

Wand Materials
The Pottermore page on wand materials notes that Oak wands are generally associated with a love of nature and woodlands (matching nicely with Hagrid's personality but not Dumbledore's) whereas Holly wands are often paired with people who're destined to engage upon "some dangerous and often spiritual quest" which obviously fits far better with what we know about Dumbledore's life.

Obviously in the absence of a canon source of info; such as a quote on the subject, the above details are mere guesswork. Please be kind.

An image of his original wand (via Twitter) has now been revealed for the publicity for Fantastic Beasts 2. No indication has been given as to what wood this wand is made of (yet).

enter image description here


There is no information on the makeup of Dumbledore's original wand.

J.K. Rowling:

I must admit, I always wondered why nobody ever asked me what Dumbledore’s wand was made of!

And I couldn’t say that, even when asked ‘what do you wish you’d been asked…’ because it would have sign-posted just how significant that wand would become!


I have seen speculation that it was phoenix feather but if so it was certainly not from Fawkes, as Fawkes only gave two feathers (Harry and Voldemort).

We certainly know what the Elder Wand was made of:

The Elder Wand is ancient and made of elder wood. It is fifteen inches long and has a Thestral tail-hair core

From: http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Elder_Wand

In any case, I trust the authors quotes from above.


I am curious about people's opinion and hence must speculate here based on facts we know from the canon:

Fact 1: Dumbledore was able to defeat Grindelwald in a duel even though Grindelwald had the elder wand in possession.

Fact 2: Dumbledore and Grindelwald had dueled each other before - from Aberforth's account of events leading upto Ariana's death - although it is unclear to all 3 wizards how the duel actually played out and who won.

Fact 3: Quoting from Deathly Hallows - Dumbledore's take on how Harry's wand behaved against Voldemort's wand:

Voldemort proceeded to attack you with a wand that shared a core with yours. And now something very strange happened, as we know. The cores reacted in a way that Lord Voldemort, who never knew that your wand was a twin of his, had ever expected. He was more afraid than you were that night, Harry. You had accepted, even embraced, the possibility of death, something Lord Voldemort has never been able to do. Your courage won, your wand overpowered his. And in doing so, something happened between those wands, something that echoed the relationship between their masters. I believe that your wand imbibed some of the power and qualities of Voldemort’s wand that night, which is to say that it contained a little of Voldemort himself. So your wand recognized him when he pursued you, recognized a man who was both kin and mortal enemy, and it regurgitated some of his own magic against him.

-- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows , "King's Cross"

Hypothesis: Since nobody is clearly able to say how or why Dumbledore was able to beat Grindelwald - the best answer seems to be that the wands somehow depended on the wizard's ability during the duel. If we accept that, then based on the above quote, isn't it possible that Dumbledore's wand actually shared its core with the Elder Wand?

  • There;s a quote where they say that Dumbledore won through greater mastery of magic. Merely having the most powerful wand doesn't make you the most powerful (or skilful) wizard.
    – Valorum
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 23:20
  • That is again a hypothesis right? If the Elder wand wins all duels - the only way to claim it is to kill the owner or steal it from the owner. I think that would be good enough from a canon perspective to contest the "greater mastery of magic". - Related: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/12560/… The chosen answer merely states their abilities without consideration of the power of the Elder wand.
    – mustard
    Commented May 3, 2014 at 0:31
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    Having the biggest gun doesn't mean you win every gunfight.
    – Valorum
    Commented May 3, 2014 at 6:43
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    I think we can assume licence is being used in the hallows story. Harry's cloak doesn't shield him from dying, nor is Death a literal person
    – Valorum
    Commented May 3, 2014 at 7:37
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    This hypothesis seems unlikely to me, as the Elder Wand is very old, and has a thestral-hair core (something that seems to be uncommon). Presumably the source thestral died a long time ago (I don't remember anything about them being particularly long-lived); for Dumbledore's wand to share the Elder Wand's core, it would have to be an antique (which is not common, according to the notes about the tale of the Deathly Hallows) or made with hair that someone saved for a long time after the thestral died.
    – wyvern
    Commented Dec 4, 2017 at 22:32

Well just throwing an interesting thought out there.

What if Dumbledore's first wand was really the phoenix feathered wand that Harry bought at Ollivander?

When Tom bought his wand, DD had not defeated GG yet, so he still had his first wand. If that was Harry's phoenix feathered wand, it would make sense because of the connection with Fawkes. It would fit DD's character to be curious about what would happen if he gave one other feather to Ollivander just to see what Witch or Wizard that wand would choose. Maybe that's why he kept such a close eye on Tom Riddle (besides the cruel behaviour he had displayed in the orphanage).

By the time DD heard the prophecy from Trelawney, he was using the Elder wand, so when he found out Harry was the chosen one, he might have given his old wand to Ollivander, knowing that the connection between LV and Harry would make the wand choose him and giving him a powerfull weapon against LV because of the twin cores.

When DD tells Harry that his wand only has extraordinary powers against LV's wand and that against all other wands it's just an ordinary one, he adds: "Though it's a fine wand, I'm sure." Now that can be taken as just an afterthought because he is afraid he has hurt Harry's feelings, but it could also be that DD in fact 'is sure' it is a fine wand, because it used to be his.

Just a theory, but I like it...

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