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Wand core

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The core of a wand is a magical substance placed within the length of wood, usually extracted from a magical creature.

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.[1]

Properties Edit

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.[2]

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[3], connected.[4]

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.[5]

Known core materialsEdit

Core Wands These Cores are Used in:
Dragon heartstring
Phoenix feather
Unicorn tail hair
Veela hair
Thestral tail hair
Troll whisker
Coral
Dittany Stalk
Thunderbird tail feather

[6]

Wampus cat hair

[6][4]

White River Monster spine

[6]

Rougarou hair

[6]

Horned Serpent horn[4]
Snallygaster heartstring[4]
Jackalope antler

[4]

Kneazle whisker

[7]

Kelpie hair

[7]

Basilisk horn[4]
Bone
Shell

Characteristics of wand core materialsEdit

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
Phoenix feather
  • Garrick Ollivander
Learns most varied magic, hard to be chosen
Unicorn tail hair
  • Garrick Ollivander
Consistent magic, bonds strongly to first user
Veela hair Temperamental
Kneazle whisker Not very powerful
Dittany stalk
Kelpie hair
  • Gervaise Ollivander
Easily obtainable, frequently used in the past
Thestral tail hair
  • Antioch Peverell
Not easily seen
Coral
Thunderbird tail feather

[6]

Powerful, but difficult to master, particularly prized by Transfigurers. Can sense danger and cast curses on their own.
Wampus cat hair

[6][4]

White River Monster spine

[6]

Produces spells of force and elegance
Rougarou hair

[6]

Rumoured to have an affinity for Dark magic, although suitable for use by non-Dark wizards and witches as well
Horned Serpent horn

[4]

Exceptionally powerful and sensitive to Parseltongue. Can warn its owner of danger by emitting a low musical tone.
Snallygaster heartstring

[4]

Jackalope antler

[4]

Basilisk horn

[4]

PriceEdit

All wands sold by Garrick Ollivander cost seven galleons, regardless of core or wood[9]. Unicorn tail hair, however, is worth ten galleons a hair[10], as confirmed by Horace Slughorn in 1996.

Behind the scenesEdit

  • 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.

AppearancesEdit

See alsoEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

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