20

Voldemort ordered Nagini to kill Snape in hopes of claiming the Elder Wand's ownership.

Let's suppose that Snape was indeed the owner.

In this scenario, would the Elder Wand's ownership truly pass to Voldemort?

I ask this because, after all, the one who overpowered Snape was Nagini, not Voldemort.

  • Voldemort ordered Nagini to kill Snape. However, this would be equivalent to ordering a Death Eater to kill Snape, in which case the Death Eater would gain the ownership - in a similar manner, Nagini is the murderer.
  • Nagini isn't a "spell": remember how Draco summoned a snake to attack Harry back at CoS? If that snake kills Harry, I'd imagine that Draco gains the ownership (if Harry had the Elder Wand) because that snake was a "spell" casted by Draco - but this time is different, because Nagini isn't a "spell" casted by Voldemort, but rather an actual third-party creature.

The curious thing is that Voldemort did cast some sort of spell (he flicked his wand), which I think caused Nagini's barrier to break so Nagini could kill Snape. In some way, Voldemort did provoke Snape's death - however, it was mostly indirectly.

So, would the ownership pass to Nagini or to Voldemort? If it passes to Nagini, would the Elder Wand's "ownership cycle" end, or would it continue if Voldemort decides to kill Nagini?


The simplified version of this question is: if an animal kills the owner of the Elder Wand, what happens to its ownership?

  • 2
    An interesting question in light of the revelations about Nagini's origins in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. – SQB Nov 27 '18 at 14:41
  • 1
    I'm not sure why this is opinion-based. If you think that there is some information about animals and wand-succession that can be inferred from the existing corpus of Harry Potter, then post that information as the answer; if you think that there is nothing about animals and wand-succession that can be inferred from the existing corpus of Harry Potter then post that as the answer. – Alex Feb 3 at 17:06
  • @Alex - TBH it's a silly question, but in light of the latest silliness about Nagini's origins, it's actually answerable – Valorum Feb 3 at 18:32
  • @Valorum Silly, perhaps, but not opiniony. (For the record, my vote to reopen was not inspired by any new information that has been revealed about Nagini.) – Alex Feb 3 at 19:11
15

Nagini was a horcrux of Voldemort, containing a part of his soul. So, when Nagini killed Snape, Voldemort equally contributed to this murder.

Also, a wand chooses its master, which must be a magic user (or the Wand would be useless). Nagini didn't look like a magic user.

  • 6
    I think you need some citation for claiming that having part of your soul inside another being makes you responsible for the murders committed by it. Harry has part of Voldemort's soul too, so what then? Any wand claimed by Harry belongs to Voldemort? (which isn't true) – Voldemort Apr 22 '14 at 11:44
  • 2
    I suppose it depends -- if Nagini is only intelligent because of Voldemort's soul, then the dominant "person" who is, via fangs, killing Snape is the shard of Voldemort inside Nagini, which is presumably the thinking being controlling that body. By contrast, Harry is his own thinking being controlling his own body which happens to have a bit of Voldemort's soul inside it; he decides his own actions. But this all depends on something I'm not sure is true, so if you can find a good source one way or another it might be used to improve this answer – Yamikuronue Apr 22 '14 at 13:37
  • Does this answer change with the fact that Nagini is a maledictus? – XtremeBaumer Sep 28 '18 at 12:13
7

I don't recall this directly discussed in any canon.

But since Nagini was somewhat intelligent (Voldemort talked to her); I think the two closest logical parallels would be worth examining:

  1. Voldemort ordering a human underling to kill Snape - that human (as did indeed happen to Draco Malformed acting on V's orders, even though he merely disarmed Dumbledore) would then be the true owner of the Wand; NOT Voldemort.

  2. However, Nagini (a snake) has no way to even hold a wand or cast a spell with it. As such, an even more appropriate situation would be Voldemort ordering an attack dog or Whomping Willow to kill Snape. In that case - which never happened in canon - I would posit NOBODY would be the owner of the Deathstick; as if Dumbledore was killed by a stonefall or disease.

  • Who says goblins and House Elves can't master wands? You mention Griphook's discussion with Harry but don't actually quote it. All I remember is multiple mentions of the Ministry prohibiting non-humans from owning wands, I'm pretty sure it's never stated that they can't master them. – Anthony Grist Apr 22 '14 at 8:42
  • Griphook only complains that wizards don't share the secret of wand magic with goblins, but it doesn't specifically say goblins can't use wands – user13267 Apr 22 '14 at 10:21
  • In fact, I think Griphook mentions the right to carry wands being contested between goblins and wizards, which implies they probably can use wands, but the ministry regulates them probably – user13267 Apr 22 '14 at 10:23
  • @user13267 - You're right – DVK-on-Ahch-To Apr 22 '14 at 10:43
  • This has my +1 for suggesting that being killed by a creature incapable of holding a wand is tantamount to being killed by anything else (at least as far as the wand is concerned-- we know that wands [sort of] have personalities, so the Elder Wand probably sees little difference between a snakebite and a boulder). – PlutoThePlanet Mar 29 '17 at 19:44
1

Wand chooses the master

-- This statement makes it clear that non-wand wielding beings will not be chosen by any wand. So if the above scenario were to occur - the owner of the elder wand will be the last person who dueled Snape and won OR who overpowered Snape. Voldemort will not come under the category of overpowering Snape as there was no struggle - Snape willingly submitted to Voldemort. If Snape had attempted to struggle against Vodlemort's orders - then Voldemort might have been the owner.

  • So you're saying that, after Nagini kills Snape, Voldemort would not become the Elder Wand's owner but rather, someone else (or nobody at all)? – Voldemort Apr 22 '14 at 1:43
  • I doubt nobody at all - but yes, the last person to overcome Snape in a struggle would become the master. – mustard Apr 22 '14 at 2:24
  • 1
    Dumbledore didn't exactly put up a fight... – TGnat Apr 22 '14 at 3:00
  • But Dumbledore was disarmed by Draco. So that is a duel. – mustard Apr 22 '14 at 3:01
0

Nagini could not become the wand's master for two reasons:

  1. Nagini is not a wizard or magic user
  2. Snape was not the wand's master (Draco was).

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