I've read the question Here and learnt that even Stealing the Elder wand makes a person owner of it.

Then why didn't Voldemort become the owner of elder wand even though he stole it from the tomb of Dumbledore, I know that Harry Potter was the owner of elder wand at the time Voldemort broke into Dumbledores tomb. Even though stealing is stealing.

  • 12
    You have to steal it from the person who owns it.
    – Valorum
    Aug 14, 2015 at 22:47
  • 5
    Stealing is stealing, but Voldemort didn't defeat or steal it from the owner.
    – phantom42
    Aug 14, 2015 at 22:47
  • 6
    Because magic. Plot and magic.
    – SQB
    Aug 14, 2015 at 23:10
  • OP: I'm not sure how the answers don't satisfy you, especially when you've accepted one.
    – Möoz
    May 13, 2020 at 2:30
  • Long story short, Voldemort didn't steal it from the current owner, Harry, he merely 'picked it up'. The want felt its allegiance with the current owner, Harry, even when in 'possession' of Voldemort.
    – Möoz
    May 13, 2020 at 2:33

5 Answers 5


“That wand still isn’t working properly for you because you murdered the wrong person. Severus Snape was never the true master of the Elder Wand. He never defeated Dumbledore.”

Voldemort didn't know who was the real owner of the wand. Dumbledore had convinced Snape to kill him. Since this was arranged death, the loyalty of the wand would remain with Dumbledore. Voldemort thought killing Snape would transfer wand's loyalty to himself.

“Aren’t you listening? Snape never beat Dumbledore! Dumbledore’s death was planned between them! Dumbledore intended to die undefeated, the wand’s last true master! If all had gone as planned, the wand’s power would have died with him, because it had never been won from him!”

The new owner of the wand, did not know he had won the loyalty of the elder wand by disarming Dumbledore.

“You still don’t get it, Riddle, do you? Possessing the wand isn’t enough! Holding it, using it, doesn’t make it really yours. Didn’t you listen to Ollivander? The wand chooses the wizard. The Elder Wand recognized a new master before Dumbledore died, someone who never even laid a hand on it. The new master removed the wand from Dumbledore against his will, never realizing exactly what he had done, or that the world’s most dangerous wand had given him its allegiance

So the new owner is/was

“The true master of the Elder Wand was Draco Malfoy.”

But the new owner was disarmed (physically or without magic) by another wizard. Elder wand is power wand. It realized a changed of ownership.

“But you’re too late,” said Harry. “You’ve missed your chance. I got there first. I overpowered Draco weeks ago. I took this wand from him.”

So the new/current owner of the elder wand is:

“So it all comes down to this, doesn’t it?” whispered Harry. “Does the wand in your hand know its last master was Disarmed? Because if it does . . . I am the true master of the Elder Wand.”

The elder wand has no loyalty, it always associates itself with the more powerful wizard.

Quoting J.K. Rowling here

The Elder Wand knows no loyalty except to strength. So it's completely unsentimental. It will only go where the power is. So if you win, then you've won the wand. So you don't need to kill with it. But, as is pointed out in the books, not least by Dumbledore because it is a wand of such immense power, almost inevitably, it attracts wizards who are prepared to kill and who will kill. And also it attracts wizards like Voldemort who confuse being prepared to murder with strength.

Referred from PotterCast Interviews J.K. Rowling, part two.

  • 1
    Very well written!
    – Rajan
    Aug 18, 2015 at 19:26
  • 10
    Your answer is right, no contest there. But you claim Snape didn't become the Elder Wand's master because Dumbledore's was pre-arranged between them. This isn't true. The real reason is because when Snape killed Dumbledore, Draco Malfoy had already disarmed Dumbledore, and thus had already gained the Elder Wand's allegiance. We could argue about whether Snape would have become the Wand's master by killing Dumbledore, but it doesn't matter. The wand already had a new master.
    – Mar
    Nov 6, 2015 at 17:13
  • I tired to write it with Voldemort's perspective. But if you read the second paragraph "The new owner of the wand, did not know he had won the loyalty of the elder wand by disarming Dumbledore." we are both saying the same thing.
    – Vishvesh
    Nov 6, 2015 at 23:57
  • If it only goes where power is, then it should be Voldemort's, since he is unquestionably more powerful than Harry when it comes to raw magical strength without any blood relation hocus-pocus. May 10, 2020 at 15:41
  • 1
    @marcellothearcane: The wand goes with the powerful person, the only way wand can recognizes power is based on victory and defeat. Draco disarmed (defeated) Dumbledore and became master of the wand. Harry snatched Draco's wand (defeated) and became master of both the Elder Wand and Draco's Wand. Voldemort now has to defeat Harry to win the wand over.
    – Vishvesh
    May 13, 2020 at 6:19

Dumbledore was the master, then Snape used the curse "Avada Kedavra" and subsequently killed Dumbledore. That should make him the master of the wand, no? So when Voldemort killed Snape he would be the master of the wand.

Only problem was, it doesn't work like that. Dumbledore and Snape planned his death together so that the wand would have no more masters, for Dumbledore would have gone unbeaten and died a normal death... But before he died, Malfoy disarmed him. Malfoy became the master of the wand and when Harry stole Malfoy's wand at the Malfoy mansion in book 7, Harry became master of the wand. Being the only Wizard to ever be master of all 3 Deathly Hallows. This is also why he won the final battle. The Elder Wand would not go against its master and instead rebounded the curse onto Voldemort.


Answering to the clarification of the question and the bounty, that is, why didnt Voldemort become Master of the Elder Wand after stealing it...

You're missing an important detail. As both @Valorum and @phantom42 state in their commentaries:

He didn't stole it from his rightful master. Harry was never "defeated" (also known as disarmed, stolen from, etc) after he became the Master of the Elder Wand. That means Voldemort just picked up the Elder Wand without "defeating" Harry, and the Elder Wand didn't switch allegiances.

As Ollivander said, the manner of taking a wand matters:

Of course, the manner of taking matters. Much also depends upon the wand itself. In general, however, where a wand has been won, its allegiance will change.’

Rowling, J.K.. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (pp. 401-402). Pottermore Publishing. Edición de Kindle.

Voldemort never won the Elder Wand from Harry, and most importantly, he never "defeated" Harry in order to obtain it. Voldemort simply picked up the Elder Wand from a tomb.

  • 1
    This is the key to the Op's very specific request, Voldemort didn't steal the wand from Harry specifically!
    – Möoz
    May 13, 2020 at 2:32

He did not steal it from its current master.

Though it is true that Voldemort stole the Elder Wand, he had not stolen it from its master at the time. He stole it from Dumbledore, but mastery of the wand had already passed from Dumbledore to Draco to Harry. Taking it from a wizard who has already lost its allegiance would not work. The wizard wishing to win a wand’s allegiance must take it from its current master. This is also part of why Bellatrix’s wand would not work well for Hermione - she did not take it from her.

“Harry looked down at the hawthorn wand that had once belonged to Draco Malfoy. He had been surprised, but pleased, to discover that it worked for him at least as well as Hermione’s had done. Remembering what Ollivander had told them of the secret workings of wands, Harry thought he knew what Hermione’s problem was: she had not won the walnut wand’s allegiance by taking it personally from Bellatrix.”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 26 (Gringotts)

Taking the wand off a different wizard who is not its master would not be enough to win it. Since mastery of the Elder Wand had already passed to Harry, to master the Elder Wand Voldemort would have had to take a wand from Harry, not Dumbledore. While taking a different wand from the Elder Wand’s current master is enough to earn its allegiance, as this is how Harry wins it from Draco, Voldemort had never taken any wand from Harry after Harry earned the mastery of the Elder Wand. Even while Voldemort throws him around, Harry remains in possession of the wand he took from Draco.

“You see?’ screeched Voldemort over the tumult. ‘Harry Potter is dead by my hand, and no man alive can threaten me now! Watch! Crucio!

Harry had been expecting it: knew his body would not be allowed to remain unsullied upon the Forest floor, it must be subjected to humiliation to prove Voldemort’s victory. He was lifted into the air, and it took all his determination to remain limp, yet the pain he expected did not come. He was thrown once, twice, three times into the air: his glasses flew off and he felt his wand slide a little beneath his robes, but he kept himself floppy and lifeless, and when he fell to the ground for the last time the clearing echoed with jeers and shrieks of laughter.”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 36 (The Flaw in the Plan)

Having never disarmed Harry after taking the Elder Wand from Dumbledore’s tomb, Voldemort never defeated the current master of the Elder Wand, and therefore never became master of the Elder Wand himself. In fact, Voldemort does not defeat Harry in any way since Harry became master of the Elder Wand, so Voldemort did not have even a slim chance of becoming the master of the Elder Wand.

  • And it's not just that he didn't take a wand from the actual master: he didn't defeat the master, either: the 'fight' was deliberately thrown. May 15, 2020 at 9:47
  • @Mal Technically taking the wand isn't part of the equation. Harry never held the Elder Wand, and he was the Master. The important part is defeating the owner, either by disarming him, killing him or stealing from him.
    – IloneSP
    May 16, 2020 at 2:59
  • What makes something considered to be taken from the person? Grindelwald stole it from Gregorovitch, apparently by merely taking it from Gregorovitch's workshop? If Dumbledore's tomb is where Harry stored his wand, why would that be different from if he stores his wand anywhere else?
    – Alex
    May 17, 2020 at 2:38
  • 1
    @Alex Harry didn't store the Elder Wand in Dumbledore's tomb. Dumbledore was buried with it because it is tradition.
    – IloneSP
    May 17, 2020 at 22:22
  • @Roberto So that just means that someone else stole it even earlier and placed it in the tomb.
    – Alex
    May 17, 2020 at 22:24

Because the person who would kill Dumbledore DIRECTLY would get the elder wand and Snape killed him and that meant it would never fall into Voldermot's hands

  • 2
    Could you edit this to add in some evidence and also explain this how Snape killing him meant Voldemort wouldn’t become its master?
    – TheLethalCarrot
    May 11, 2020 at 14:37
  • This is clearly contradicted by the book, in which Harry explains that Dumbledore was no longer the master of the Elder Wand by the time that Snape killed him.
    – F1Krazy
    May 11, 2020 at 14:58
  • You don't need to kill the owner of the Elder Wand in order to obtain the loyalty of the Elder Wand, as obviously clarified in the books.
    – IloneSP
    May 11, 2020 at 15:09

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