Although wand cores vary widely, certain wandmakers prefer to use certain materials; for example, Garrick Ollivander discovered and pioneered the use of phoenix feathers, dragon heartstrings, and unicorn tail hairs, whereas his father used lesser substances such as Kelpie hair and Kneazle whisker.
The core type is known to influence the temperament of the wand produced with it. For example, the wand-maker Garrick Ollivander will not use Veela hair for cores because he believes they make for "temperamental" wands. Thestral tail hair is also an interesting core - the wand cannot simply be mastered by winning them. It can only be mastered by a witch or wizard who is able to face death, which is why Voldemort struggled to master the Elder Wand.
When more than one wand has twin cores - meaning they share the same material from the same creature - they are known as brothers and hold greater power when used together. When Chadwick and Webster Boot used them as a team, their wands with cores from the same Horned Serpent increased in power tenfold. However, when they are used in conflict with another, the connecting spells create Priori Incantatem, as seen when the wands of Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort, which both had cores comprised of a feather from Fawkes, Albus Dumbledore's phoenix, connected.
Ollivander's shop in Diagon Alley has changed the way that wands are created. Before Garrick Ollivander's practise of using only the three "Supreme Cores", it was common for witches and wizards to present a wandmaker with a magical substance to which they had a particular attachment for use as a wand core.
However, when Garrick watched his father, Gervaise Ollivander, struggle with substandard wand cores such as Veela hair, Kneazle whiskers, Dittany stalks, or Kelpie manes, he decided to devote his time to studying the finest wand cores.
Known core materials
|Core||Wands These Cores are Used in:|
|Unicorn tail hair|
|Thestral tail hair||
|Thunderbird tail feather|
|Wampus cat hair|
|White River Monster spine|
|Horned Serpent horn|
Characteristics of wand core materials
|Core Material||Known Wand-maker to use it||Known Characteristics|
|Dragon heartstring||Powerful, easy to learn spells though can easily be committed to another owner|
||Learns most varied magic, hard to be chosen|
|Unicorn tail hair||
||Consistent magic, bonds strongly to first user|
|Kneazle whisker||Not very powerful|
||Easily obtainable, frequently used in the past|
|Thestral tail hair||
||Not easily seen|
|Thunderbird tail feather||Powerful, but difficult to master, particularly prized by Transfigurers. Can sense danger and cast curses on their own.|
|Wampus cat hair||Unknown|
|White River Monster spine||Produces spells of force and elegance|
|Rougarou hair||Rumoured to have an affinity for Dark magic, although suitable for use by non-Dark wizards and witches as well|
|Horned Serpent horn||Exceptionally powerful and sensitive to Parseltongue. Can warn its owner of danger by emitting a low musical tone.|
All wands sold by Garrick Ollivander cost seven galleons, regardless of core or wood. Unicorn tail hair, however, is worth ten galleons a hair, as confirmed by Horace Slughorn in 1996. In 1926, wands sold by Shikoba Wolfe cost five dragots.
Behind the scenes
- The Enchanted Feather Co. is a company that presumably sells wand cores to wandmakers.
- It is thought by some that Thestral hair makes for a unique personality; completely dispassionate about its allegiance and showing no emotion towards the wizard, tying in with the many changes of hands that the Elder Wand (the only known Thestral hair wand in existence) has been through. It is also a wand that has been the instrument of death many times over, which some also believe is connected to its Thestral hair core (possibly inspiring murder in the heart of its beholder(s), since Thestrals have a strong connection to death, as does the origin of the wand itself). However, the many changes of allegiance that the Elder Wand has had as well as its history of winning through murder may be simply a reflection on the nature of power itself, and the means people are willing to sink to in order to attain it.
- It should be noted that, concerning the wands of the Trio (Harry, Ron, and Hermione), each wand has one of the three different cores used by Ollivander: Harry's wand has a phoenix feather, Ron's wands (both his first and second) have a unicorn hair and Hermione's wands (both hers and Bellatrix's) have a dragon heartstring.
- Out of all the wand cores, the Dragon Heartstring is the core of more character wands, with the Unicorn Tail Hair Core in second place, with the Dragon Heartstrings residing inside ten character wands and Unicorn Hair residing inside nine character wands.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery (mentioned only)
Notes and references
- ↑ Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Wand Cores" at Pottermore (archive)
- ↑ Thestral tail hair information
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry" at Pottermore
- ↑ Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Mr Ollivander" at Pottermore
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 Pottermore - "History of Magic in North America: 1920s Wizarding America"
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 (see this image)
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 More Info on Newt's Wand! at Mugglenet
- ↑ Pottermore (Wand selection ceremony)
- ↑ Pottermore (Apothecary: Unicorn Tail Hair)