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Master of Death

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Deathly Hallows Illustration

The three Deathly Hallows, which grants the one who unites all three the title of "Master of Death".

"The true master does not seek to run away from Death. He accepts that he must die, and understands that there are far, far worse things in the living world than dying."
Albus Dumbledore[src]

The Master of Death (also known as Conqueror of Death, Vanquisher of Death and others[1]) is the one who masters all three of the legendary Deathly Hallows, which are the Elder Wand, Resurrection Stone, and Cloak of Invisibility. While it is generally assumed that becoming the master of Death refers to some form of immortality, the true Master of Death truly accepts the fact that death is inevitable, and that there are other things worse than dying.[2]

Known searches for the Hallows

Main article: Hallows Quest
Ron Weasley: "When you say 'Master of Death' -"
Xenophilius Lovegood: "Master. Conqueror. Vanquisher. Whichever term you prefer."
Xenophilius tells Harry, Ron, and Hermione about the Deathly Hallows.[src]

The symbol of the Deathly Hallows: the line represents the Elder Wand, the circle the Resurrection Stone, and the triangle the Cloak of Invisibility

In their youth, both Gellert Grindelwald and Albus Dumbledore had been obsessed with the dream of uniting the Hallows and becoming the Masters of Death. Grindelwald managed to lay claim to the Elder Wand by stealing it from its previous master, Gregorovitch, but never found the other two Hallows. Albus Dumbledore and Harry Potter are the only known people to have held each of the three Hallows, although neither possessed all three simultaneously (the closest was Harry being the Elder Wand's master, though not in physical possession of it, while having both the Stone and the Cloak in his physical possession). Dumbledore regarded Harry as the "true master of death," not because of the fact that he had united the Hallows, but for the reasons he had put them to use.[3]

Known Masters of Death

"You are the worthy possessor of the Hallows."
Albus Dumbledore to Harry Potter[src]
  • Ignotus Peverell mastered only one of the Hallows, but accepted the inevitability of death.
  • Albus Dumbledore possessed all three Hallows, but not at the same time. He mastered the Elder Wand, borrowed the Cloak of Invisibility from James Potter before giving it to Harry during his first year at Hogwarts, and found the Resurrection Stone in the Gaunt shack. Also he accepted his own death.
  • Harry Potter possessed all three Hallows and accepted his own death. First, he inherited the Cloak of Invisibility from his father, James. Then, he inherited the Resurrection Stone from Dumbledore, which was inside a snitch. Finally, he won the Elder Wand from Draco Malfoy during the escape from Malfoy Manor. All three were directly or indirectly employed by Harry in the Forbidden Forest: he was wearing the Cloak, using the Stone, and preparing to be killed by the Wand, which Harry had already won. Given that Harry was the initial reason for Voldemort's obsession with the Elder Wand, it was highly unlikely that he would have killed Harry with Nagini or some other means. Although Harry may not have realised that he was the master of Elder Wand at that time, he was well aware of its importance to Voldemort. Considering that he also asked if dying hurt, he probably assumed that he would not be attacked by Nagini this time, which would doubtless have been a physically painful death.


Notes and references

  1. Xenophilius Lovegood said that the person could use whichever term the person prefer.
  2. Interview with J.K. Rowling on
  3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 35

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