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"An old man was standing before them, his wide, pale eyes shining like moons through the gloom of the shop."
—Harry Potter meets Ollivander[src]

Garrick Ollivander (b. 25 September,[1] in or prior to 1907[2]) was the proprietor of Ollivanders in Diagon Alley during most of the 20th century. Ollivander was widely considered the best wandmaker in the world, and many wizards and witches buy their wands from him.

In 1996, Ollivander was captured and tortured by Lord Voldemort. He was rescued in 1998 by Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, and Dobby. He imparted important information regarding wandlore to Harry, that helped him in his understanding of the Deathly Hallows.

Biography

Family heritage

Main article: Ollivander family

Ollivander's family have long been associated with the profession of wandcraft. The surname means 'he who owns the olive wand' which is of Mediterranean origin, suggesting that the family emigrated to Britain from elsewhere. Mr Ollivander believes that his ancestors arrived in Britain with the Romans and set up a stall and eventually a shop, to sell newer and improved wands to British wizards who had poorly constructed wands that were unrealiable.[7]

Early life

Garrick Ollivander was born to Gervaise Ollivander,[8] a wizard, and his wife, a Muggle-born witch,[1] on the 25 September,[1] in or before the year 1907.[2]

He attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in his youth, where he was Sorted into Ravenclaw House.[1]

Career as a wandmaker

"Renowned wandmaker Mr Ollivander owns the wand shop Ollivanders: Makers of Fine Wands Since 382 BC in Diagon Alley. His shop is widely considered the best place to purchase a wand."
—Description[src]
Harry-potter1-ollivander

Ollivander holding one of the many wands inside his shop

Ollivander grew up in the family business, and showed precocious talent in wandmaking. Soon, he developed an ambition to improve upon the cores and wand woods he made and developed a determination to pursue the ideal wand.[1]

Before Garrick Ollivander's proprietorship of Ollivanders, wizards used a wide variety of wand cores; the customer would often present their wandmaker with a magical substance to which they were attached, and he would turn it into their wand core.[1] Mr Ollivander believed that doing so altered the wand's temperament,[9] and he revolutionised the way wands were crafted by having cores of immensely powerful magical substances expertly enclosed in specially selected and complementary wandwoods, with the result being that the wand would be matched to an owner that the wand itself felt an affinity for.[1]

While there was initially substantial resistance to this new way wands were made, it soon became clear that wands made by Ollivander were far superior to any others. His methods of locating wand woods and core substances, marrying them together, and matching them to ideal owners were all jealously guarded secrets that were coveted by rival wandmakers.[1]

Sometime into his career, in the summer of 1938, Ollivander sold Tom Riddle his wand.[10]

Harry Potter's wand

"Curious indeed how these things happen. The wand chooses the wizard, remember… I think we must expect great things from you, Mr Potter… After all, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named did great things — terrible, yes, but great."
—Ollivander to Harry regarding his wand[src]
Harry-potter1-ollivander harry

Mr Ollivander presents Harry Potter with his first wand

Ollivander supplied Harry Potter with a wand, and as he did so, he told Harry a few facts about wands. He explained that a wand has a core, in Harry's case a phoenix feather. He told Harry that the body of the wand is made from a choice of different woods with different magical properties. Ollivander said he made a similar wand using another feather from the same phoenix, but using a different wood. Harry's wand is holly, which symbolises protection, rather than Voldemort's yew, which is symbolic of death. He also explained that the wand chooses the wizard, rather than the other way around.[10] Immediately after Harry left the shop, Ollivander sent a letter to Albus Dumbledore informing him of the wand's sale.[11]

1994-1995 Triwizard Tournament

"May I introduce Mr Ollivander? He will be checking your wands to ensure that they are in good condition before the tournament."
Albus Dumbledore[src]
Harry-potter1-ollivander2

Ollivander behind the desk in his wand shop

On 13 November, 1994 Ollivander presided over the Wand weighing ceremony during the Triwizard Tournament at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.[12] As a very recognised wandmaker, Ollivander was asked to inspect the wands of the champions in the 1994-1995 Triwizard Tournament before the competition started, to make sure they were all working properly. While he found no problems with any of the wands' performance, he expressed doubts of Mykew Gregorovitch's styling of Viktor Krum's wand and the use of Veela hair as a core in Fleur Delacour's wand.[9]

Second Wizarding War

Attempted robbery of his shop

In 1996, Alexandra Walker attempted to rob Ollivanders. She could not, however, and she was arrested. This event made Daily Prophet headlines.[13]

Kidnapped by Death Eaters

Arthur Weasley: "Shop's empty. No sign of a struggle. No one knows whether he left voluntarily or was kidnapped."
Ginny Weasley: "But what'll people do for wands?"
Remus Lupin: "They'll make do with other makers. But Ollivander was the best, and if the other side have got him it's not so good for us."
— News of the kidnappings of Ollivander and Florean Fortescue[src]
Ollivanderkidded

Fenrir Greyback and other Death Eaters kidnap Ollivander from outside of his shop

Sometime around July, 1996 Ollivander was kidnapped by Voldemort's Death Eaters, leaving behind an empty, locked up shop and no signs of a struggle.[14] It is believed that one of the last wands he sold was to Neville Longbottom, as he disappeared the next day.[15] Ollivander was captured by Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters and was held prisoner at Malfoy Manor, where he was forced to make a new wand for Peter Pettigrew.[16] He was tortured by Lord Voldemort for information regarding the twin cores of Harry Potter's wand and his own. Ollivander told him that he merely needed to use a wand other than his own to face Harry Potter.[17]

After using Lucius Malfoy's wand and seeing its destruction when faced with Harry Potter and his Phoenix wand, Voldemort rounded on Ollivander for an explanation of why Harry's wand acted as it had. Although he had no answer to give since no wandmaker had ever witnessed such an event, Ollivander was tortured again by Lord Voldemort and questioned about the most powerful wand in existence, the Elder Wand.[16]

Skirmish at Malfoy Manor and escape

06 Dobby rescuing Mr. Ollivander and Luna Lovegood

Ollivander and Luna are saved from Malfoy Manor by Dobby the House-Elf

Harry Potter, his friends, and Dean Thomas and Griphook, were later captured and taken to Malfoy Manor, where they were reunited with Mr Ollivander and Luna Lovegood. While in the cellar Harry noted that Ollivander was not looking well, due to being repeatedly tortured for a long period of time. Ollivander and the others were subsequently rescued by Dobby the House-Elf in the Skirmish at Malfoy Manor.[18] Mr Ollivander seemed to have bonded with Luna during their captivity together, and thanked her for being "an inexpressible comfort [to him] in that terrible place".

Stay at Shell Cottage

"The wandmaker was lying on the twin bed farthest from the window. He had been held in the cellar for more than a year, and tortured, Harry knew, on at least one occasion. He was emaciated, the bones of his face sticking out sharply against the yellowish skin. His great silver eyes seemed vast in their sunken sockets. The hands that lay upon the blanket could have belonged to a skeleton"
—Description of Ollivander's appearance after his mistreatment in Malfoy Manor[src]
Mr. Ollivander inside the Shell Cottage

Ollivander at Shell Cottage after being rescued from Malfoy Manor explaining about the Elder Wand to Harry Potter

Ollivander was taken to Shell Cottage, where he recovered from months of imprisonment and torture. While at Shell Cottage he was interrogated by Harry Potter who wanted to know information about the Elder Wand that Voldemort was so obsessively searching for and to have a better understanding of the unique connection that existed between his wand and Voldemort's.[16] He later departed to Muriel's house, where he remained in hiding for the rest of the war.[19] He later crafted and sent a new wand to Luna Lovegood, in 1998.[20] It is unknown whether Ollivander returned to his shop after Voldemort's final defeat.

Study of the Elder Wand

Harry Potter: "You told You-Know-Who knew that Gregorovitch had the wand?"
Ollivander: "It was a rumour. A rumour, years and years ago, long before you were born. I believe Gregorovitch himself started it. You can see how good it would be for business; that he was studying and duplicating the qualities of the Elder Wand!"
— Harry and Ollivander discuss the Elder Wand and the Deathly Hallows[src]

As with other wandmakers, Ollivander makes it his business to study the mystifying Elder Wand in depth, such as its history and distinctive characteristics. Unlike Hermione Granger, he believed that the Elder Wand was not a myth or tale, and showed great enthusiasm with the powerful object despite the fact that it was dangerous and has had a bloody history. When held captive by Lord Voldemort, he was forced to relate all information he had known about the powerful wand. He also revealed that the last person rumoured to own the wand was Gregorovitch, a foreign wandmaker, though he did not believe the rumour and thought that Gregorovitch spread it to boost his business.[16]

Physical appearance

When first meeting him, Harry Potter described Garrick Ollivander as an old man with pale silvery eyes and white skin.[4][5][6] However, after he was kidnapped by Voldemort's Death Eaters, Ollivander's appearance changed for the worse as a result of the torture and abuse he suffered at the hands of Voldemort. After he was rescued, he was described to be emaciated, with yellow skin, his facial bones sticking out, skeleton-like hands, and vast, sunken eyes.

Personality and traits

"Curious indeed how these things happen. The wand chooses the wizard, remember… I think we must expect great things from you, Mr Potter… After all, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named did great things — terrible, yes, but great."
—Ollivander expressing his interest in what powerful wizards can do with wands[src]
Olivander

Ollivander and his many wands

Ollivander was an intelligent man, with an excellent memory when it came to his work; he remembered the details of every wand he ever sold. He seemed to become happier the more difficult the challenge to find exactly the right wand for a difficult customer was. He used a magical tape measure to help assess customers for their wand.

Ollivander had a professorial enthusiasm for wandlore and was immensely learned in it. A less savoury aspect of his personality was that his fascination with wandlore sometimes eclipsed his sense of right and wrong; he was so fascinated with what a powerful wizard can do when matched with the right wand that he became detached from the good or evil nature of their actions. A prime example of this would be Tom Riddle, also known as Lord Voldemort. Even after the First Wizarding War, Ollivander remembered him as having done "great things" with his wand — "terrible, yes, but great". An even more extreme example was during the Second Wizarding War, when Ollivander, having just been rescued from a year of imprisonment and torture at Voldemort's hands, was briefly enthralled by the thought of what Voldemort might do when matched with the Elder Wand.

However, Ollivander still valued his own life and well-being, and divulged information to Voldemort whenever threatened with death and tortured by the Cruciatus Curse. The wandmaker feared the Dark Lord's wrath and begged for mercy when informed that his (Ollivander's) advice about using another wand was incorrect.

Magical abilities and skills

  • Wandmaker: Garrick Ollivander, just as other Ollivander family members, was considered as the best British wandmaker.
  • Non-verbal magic: Ollivander had the ability to perform non-verbal spells, as no incantation was mentioned when he conjured smoke rings in 1994.
  • Apparition: He could Apparate, but failed in 1998 at Malfoy Manor due to enchantments placed on the cellar.
  • Transfiguration: He is skilled with conjuration, a difficult branch of transfiguration, conjuring flowers, birds, smoke rings, and wine in 1994.
  • Duelling: Ollivander may have been a skilled duellist in his time due to his ability in wandlore and ability to identify spells easily. His knowledge of Wandlore would also have assisted him as he is familiar with the weaknesses and strengths of different wands.
  • Wand versatility: In 1994, Ollivander used Cedric's, Fleur's, Viktor's and Harry's wands, each with successful effect.
  • Eidetic memory: Ollivander was able to recite the precise details of every wand he ever crafted or sold. This eidetic - or photographic - memory of these details borders on perfect recall, a very rare ability.
  • Business: Ollivander also possessed a good degree of business skills, being able to operate and manage his own wand shop for at least sixty years.

Possessions

  • Wand: Mr Ollivander's own wand was made of hornbeam wood with a dragon hearttstring core
  • Wand shop: Mr Ollivander took over the family wandmaking business
  • Magical tape measure: He owned a magical tape measure which he used at work
  • Peacock: He kept a peacock as a pet

Relationships

Harry Potter

"I think it is clear that we can expect great things from you, Mr Potter."
—Ollivander to Harry during their first meeting[src]

Like most of the wizarding world, Ollivander heard of Harry and his defeat of Lord Voldemort in 1981. He first met Harry in 1991 and sold him his wand. The phoenix feather in Harry's and Riddle's wands came from the same phoenix, Fawkes, something that Ollivander considered "curious". However, Harry was unsure whether he liked Ollivander due to the wandmaker's fascination by what Voldemort did with his wand, despite the terrible things he did with it.

Ollivander's relationship with Harry Potter grew after the Skirmish at Malfoy Manor when Harry rescued him from imprisonment and during their subsequent stay at the Shell Cottage. Harry would go on to obtain vital information about the Elder Wand from Ollivander, which would later prove instrumental for bringing about the final defeat of Lord Voldemort.

Luna Lovegood

Luna Lovegood: "I'm going to miss you, Mr Ollivander."
Ollivander: "And I you, my dear. You were an inexpressible comfort to me in that terrible place."
— Luna says goodbye to Mr Ollivander[src]

Ollivander also developed a close relationship with Luna Lovegood, for she was a comfort to him during their imprisonment in Malfoy Manor. Ollivander later repaid her kindness by creating a new wand for her.

Lord Voldemort

"He tortured me, you must understand that! The Cruciatus Curse, I — I had no choice but to tell him what I knew, what I guessed — "
—Ollivander regarding how Voldemort tortured him to procure information about the Elder Wand[src]

Ollivander was afraid of Lord Voldemort, and referred to him as "You-Know-Who" like almost all other wizards. He was kidnapped by Death Eaters and tortured by Voldemort for information about Voldemort's wand's relationship with Harry's wand. However, despite his fear and dislike of Voldemort, Ollivander was nevertheless fascinated by what Voldemort did both with his phoenix wand and the Elder Wand.

Known wand sales

Owner Wood Length Core Notes
Mary Cattermole Cherry 8¾" Unicorn hair Dolores Umbridge accused Mary of stealing this wand, though she claimed she bought it at Ollivanders in Diagon Alley when she was eleven years old.
Cedric Diggory Ash 12¼" Unicorn hair This wand was "pleasantly springy"; hair from particularly fine male unicorn (seventeen hands high), which nearly gored Mr Ollivander with its horn after he plucked its tail hair.
Lily Evans Willow 10¼" Unknown This wand was "swishy" and "nice for Charm work".
Hermione Granger Vine 10¾" Dragon heartstring This wand was confiscated when the trio was captured by Snatchers in 1998.
Rubeus Hagrid Oak 16" Unknown This wand is "rather bendy"; snapped in half when Hagrid was expelled from Hogwarts during his third year - the pieces are almost certainly hidden in Hagrid's pink umbrella.
Bellatrix Lestrange Walnut 12¾" Dragon heartstring This wand is described as "unyielding"; passed into the possession of Hermione Granger after the Battle of Malfoy Manor in 1998.
Neville Longbottom

second wand

Cherry 13" Unicorn hair May have been one of the last wands Mr Ollivander sold before he disappeared in 1996.
Draco Malfoy Hawthorn 10" Unicorn hair "Reasonably springy"; this wand passed into the possession of Harry Potter after the Battle of Malfoy Manor in 1998 until Harry came into possession of the Elder Wand and mended his first wand.
Harry Potter Holly 11" Phoenix feather Nice and supple; Costs 7 Galleons; The only known wand to cause Priori Incantatem (caused with Voldemort's Phoenix-Feather-wand); Can hurt but can not kill its Brother; broken in December 1997 while fleeing from Godric's Hollow; repaired with the Elder Wand in May 1998.
James Potter Mahogany 11" Unknown This wand was "pliable" and "excellent for transfiguration".
Peter Pettigrew x2  Chestnut 9¼" Dragon heartstring This wand was "brittle"; owned by Pettigrew only since Ollivander had been kidnapped of 1996; passed into the possession of Ron Weasley after the skirmish in Malfoy Manor in 1998.
Tom Marvolo Riddle/Voldemort Yew 13½" Phoenix feather This wand is "brother" to Harry Potter's wand - the core tail feathers are both from Fawkes.
Charlie Weasley/Ron Weasley Ash 12" Unicorn hair Ron's brother Charlie's old wand; severely damaged in September 1992 after a run-in with the Whomping Willow, destroyed in the process of backfiring on Lockhart as he attempted to wipe Ron and Harry's memories (showing the great loyalty of Unicorn wands)

Ron Weasley

Willow 14" Unicorn hair Purchased with his father's winnings from a Daily Prophet draw.

Behind the scenes

Ollivander LEGO

Ollivander as a LEGO mini-figure

Etymology

Screenshot 1198

Garrick is an Old English name meaning "one who governs with a spear".[22] Ollivander is of Mediterranean origin meaning "he who owns an olive wand".[7]

Appearances

Wiki
The Harry Potter Wiki has 38 images related to Garrick Ollivander.
Charing Cross Road (HP6)

Death Eaters Apparating across Charing Cross Road and into Diagon Alley, smashing the windows of his shop and kidnapping him

See also

Notes and references

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 Explore the Story - Garrick Ollivander
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 (see this image) Garrick Ollivander was a known wandmaker by 1926 as seen on MACUSA's Wand permit Application. In order to be of age by this time he would have to be born in 1907 at the latest. 1907 -- born. 1918 (11, but not old enough because the year starts September 1st and he doesn't turn 11 until September 25th.) 1919-20 first year, 1920-21 second year, 1921-22 third year, 1922-23 fourth year, 1923-24 fifth year, 1924-25 sixth year, 1925-26 seventh year.
  3. Accio Quote
  4. 4.0 4.1 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 5 (Diagon Alley) - "An old man was standing before them, his wide, pale eyes shining like moons through the gloom of the shop."
  5. 5.0 5.1 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 5 (Diagon Alley) - "Those silvery eyes were a bit creepy."
  6. 6.0 6.1 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 5 (Diagon Alley) - "Mr Ollivander touched the lightning scar on Harry’s forehead with a long, white finger."
  7. 7.0 7.1 Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Mr Ollivander" at Pottermore
  8. Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Wand Woods" at Pottermore
  9. 9.0 9.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 18 (The Weighing of the Wands)
  10. 10.0 10.1 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 5 (Diagon Alley)
  11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 36 (The Parting of the Ways)
  12. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 18 (The Weighing of the Wands) - "He had already struggled through one Friday’s worth, with Hermione sitting next to him intoning “ignore them, ignore them, ignore them” under her breath, and he couldn’t see why today should be any better." The weighing of the wands was during Double Potions on the second Friday after Harry's name comes out the the Goblet of Fire on Hallowee'en, which was Saturday 31 October.
  13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
  14. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 6 (Draco's Detour)
  15. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 11 (Hermione's Helping Hand)
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 24 (The Wandmaker)
  17. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 5 (An Excess of Phlegm)
  18. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 23 (Malfoy Manor)
  19. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 25 (Shell Cottage)
  20. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 26 (Gringotts)
  21. Snitchseeker.com: Hurt to return as Ollivander in Goblet of Fire
  22. Wikipedia - Garrick
  23. He is seen being kidnapped by Fenrir Greyback and his Death Eaters in Diagon Alley. His face is obscured by a sack.