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Wands

Various wands of different woods (left to right): Harry Potter's wand is holly; Ron Weasley's wand is willow; Hermione Granger's wand is vine; Sirius Black's wand is unknown; Severus Snape's wand is unknown; and Lord Voldemort's wand is yew

"Only a minority of trees can produce wand quality wood (just as a minority of humans can produce magic). It takes years of experience to tell which ones have the gift, although the job is made easier if Bowtruckles are found nesting in the leaves, as they never inhabit mundane trees."
Garrick Ollivander[src]

Various different types of wood are used in the construction of wands. They are also embedded with a core of a magical substance. Wands vary according to length, from at least 7" to 18", as well as rigidity, ranging from 'springy'[1] to 'unyielding'[2].

Nature

Every single wand is unique and will depend for its character on the particular tree and magical creature from which it derives its materials. Moreover, each wand, from the moment it finds its ideal owner, will begin to learn from and teach its human partner.[3]

Known wand woods

Wand wood Known wands constructed of this wood Notes
Acacia

Mentioned only (Pottermore)

A very unusual wand wood which creates tricky wands that often refuse to produce magic for any but their owner, and also withhold their best effects from all but those most gifted.
Alder

Quirinus Quirrell's wand

The ideal owner of Alder wand is not stubborn or obstinate, but often helpful, considerate and most likeable. 
Apple

Dylan Marwood wand

Applewood wands are not made in great numbers. They are powerful and best suited to an owner of high aims and ideals, as this wood mixes poorly with Dark magic.
Ash

Cedric Diggory's wand

Ash wands cling to its one true master and ought not to be passed on or gifted from the original owner, because it will lose power and skill. Those witches and wizards best suited to ash wands are not lightly swayed from their beliefs or purposes. The ideal owner may be stubborn, and will certainly be courageous, but never crass or arrogant.
Ron Weasley's first wand (originally Charlie Weasley's)
Aspen

Silver Spears' members

The proper owner of the aspen wand is often an accomplished duellist, or destined to be so, for the aspen wand is one of those particularly suited to martial magic. An infamous and secretive eighteenth-century duelling club, which called itself the Silver Spears, was reputed to admit only those who owned aspen wands.
Beech A wand produced by Garrick Ollivander The true match for a beech wand will be, if young, wise beyond his or her years, and if full-grown, rich in understanding and experience. Beech wands perform very weakly for the narrow-minded and intolerant. When properly matched, the beech wand is capable of a subtlety and artistry rarely seen in any other wood, hence its lustrous reputation.
Birch

Dolores Umbridge's wand

Though Garrick Ollivander himself did not use it, his associate in the Hogsmeade branch was known to sell wands made from birch.

Blackthorn

The wand of a Snatcher that was stolen by Ron Weasley and later used by Harry Potter.

Blackthorn wands, which is a very unusual wand wood, has the reputation - in Garrick Ollivander's opinion well-merited - of being best suited to a warrior. These wands appear to need to pass through danger or hardship with their owners to become truly bonded. Given this condition, the blackthorn wand will become as loyal and faithful a servant as one could wish.
According to legend, the wand of Sir Cadogan
Black Walnut Mentioned only (Pottermore) Less common than the standard walnut wand, that of black walnut seeks a master of good instincts and powerful insight. Black walnut is a very handsome wood, but not the easiest to master. Paired with a sincere, self-aware owner, however, it becomes one of the most loyal and impressive wands of all, with a particular flair in all kinds of charmwork.
Cedar Horace Slughorn's wand The Cedar wand finds its perfect home where there is perspicacity and perception. Something that goes against Slughorn's personality, as he was not particularly perceptive. The witch or wizard who is well-matched with cedar carries the potential to be a frightening adversary, which often comes as a shock to those who have thoughtlessly challenged them.
Cherry

Mary Cattermole's wand

Both Mary's and Neville's wand has the same wand wood and core.

Neville Longbottom's second wand
Several Mahoutokoro students Cherry wood is a highly praised and sought after wood among Mahoutokoro students in Japan.
Gilderoy Lockhart's wand This wand was considered expensive, possibly because of the wood is was made out of.
Chestnut

Peter Pettigrew's wand

This wand had a second master in the form of Ron Weasley after it was taken from Pettigrew during the Skirmish at Malfoy Manor.
The wands of three successive Chief Warlocks of the Wizengamot[4] Chestnut wands prefer witches and wizards who are skilled tamers of magical beasts, those who possess great gifts in Herbology, and those who are natural fliers.
Professor Kettleburn, former Care of Magical Creatures teacher
Cypress

Remus Lupin's wand

Cypress wands are said to be well-matched to wizards who are self-sacrificing and willing to die a heroic death. Lupin spent the majority of his life alone to save others from having to deal with the consequences of his affliction and died defending Hogwarts castle in the Battle of Hogwarts.
Dogwood

Mentioned only (Pottermore)

Dogwood wands are quirky and mischievous; they have playful natures and insist upon partners who can provide them with scope for excitement and fun. It would be quite wrong, however, to deduce from this that dogwood wands are not capable of serious magic when called upon to do so; they have been known to perform outstanding spells under difficult conditions, and when paired with a suitably clever and ingenious witch or wizard, can produce dazzling enchantments. Dogwood wands refuse to perform non-verbal spells and they are often rather noisy.
Ebony

Percival Graves's wand

Ebony wands have an impressive appearance and reputation, being highly suited to all manner of combative magic, and to Transfiguration. Ebony is happiest in the hand of those with the courage to be themselves. Frequently non-conformist, highly individual or comfortable with the status of outsider. In the experience of Garrick Ollivander, the ebony wand’s perfect match is one who will hold fast to his or her beliefs, no matter what the external pressure, and will not be swayed lightly from their purpose.
Elder

The Elder Wand

Elder is the rarest wand wood of all, and reputed to be deeply unlucky, elder wands are trickier to master than any other. They contain powerful magic, but scorn to remain with any owner who is not the superior of his or her company; it takes a remarkable wizard to keep an elder wand for any length of time. Only a highly unusual person will find their perfect match in elder, and on the rare occasion when such a pairing occurs, it may be taken as certain that the witch or wizard in question is marked out for a special destiny.
Elm

Lucius Malfoy's wand

Elm wands prefer owners with presence, magical dexterity and a certain native dignity. Of all wand woods, elm, in my experience, produces the fewest accidents, the least foolish errors, and the most elegant charms and spells; these are sophisticated wands, capable of highly advanced magic in the right hands (which makes it highly desirable to those who espouse the pure-blood philosophy).
English oak Rubeus Hagrid's wand A wand for good times and bad, this is a friend as loyal as the wizard who deserves it. Wands of English oak demand partners of strength, courage and fidelity.
Merlin's wand is rumoured to be English oak.
Fir

Minerva McGonagall's wand

Fir wands demand staying power and strength of purpose in their true owners, and that they are poor tools in the hands of the changeable and indecisive. Fir wands are particularly suited to transfiguration, and favour owners of focused, strong-minded and, occasionally, intimidating demeanour. Fir wands are called 'the survivor's wand.'
Hawthorn

Draco Malfoy's wand

Hawthorn wands may be particularly suited to healing magic, but they are also adept at curses, and it has been generally observed that the hawthorn wand seems most at home with a conflicted nature, or with a witch or wizard passing through a period of turmoil. Hawthorn is not easy to master, however, and one should only ever consider placing a hawthorn wand in the hands of a witch or wizard of proven talent
Hazel

Sybill Trelawney's wand

Hazel wands often reflects its owner’s emotional state, and works best for a master who understands and can manage their own feelings. Others should be very careful handling a hazel wand if its owner has recently lost their temper, or suffered a serious disappointment, because the wand will absorb such energy and discharge it unpredictably. It is capable of outstanding magic in the hands of the skilful, and is so devoted to its owner that it often ‘wilts’ at the end of their master's life. Hazel wands also have the unique ability to detect water underground, and will emit silvery, tear-shaped puffs of smoke if passing over concealed springs and wells.
Holly

Harry Potter's wand

Holly wands work most happily for those who may need help overcoming a tendency to anger and impetuosity. At the same time, holly wands often choose owners who are engaged in some dangerous and often spiritual quest.
Hornbeam

Viktor Krum's wand

Hornbeam selects for its life mate the talented witch or wizard with a single, pure passion, which some might call obsession - more kindly - vision, which will almost always be realised. Hornbeam wands adapt more quickly than almost any other to their owner’s style of magic, and will become so personalised, so quickly, that other people will find them extremely difficult to use even for the most simple of spells. Hornbeam wands likewise absorb their owner’s code of honour, whatever that might be, and will refuse to perform acts - whether for good or ill - that do not tally with their master’s principles. A particularly fine-tuned and sentient wand.
Garrick Ollivander's wand
Ivy

Though Garrick Ollivander himself did not use it, his associate in the Hogsmeade branch was known to sell wands made from ivy.

Corresponds to one of the months of the Celtic calendar, from 30 September to 27 October.[5]

Larch

Celestina Warbeck's wand

Larch wands have a reputation for instilling confidence and courage in the user. The celebrated wandmaker Garrick Ollivander found that larch always created wands of hidden talents and unexpected effects, which likewise describes the master who deserves it. It is often the case that the witch or wizard who belongs to the larch wand may never realise the full extent of their considerable talents until paired with it, but that they will then make an exceptional match.
Laurel

Mentioned only (Pottermore)

It is said that a laurel wand cannot perform a dishonourable act, although, in the quest for glory (a not uncommon goal for those best suited to these wands), laurel wands have been known to perform powerful and sometimes lethal magic.[6]
Lime Newton Scamander's wand.[7][8]
Mahogany

James Potter's wand

The mahogany tree symbolises strength, safety, protectiveness, and practicality. Likewise, the wand wood could reflect James I's character, in particular, his protectiveness of Harry, his son.
Maple

A wand produced by Garrick Ollivander

Their ideal owner are nature travellers and explorers; they are not stay-at-home wands, and prefer ambition in their witch or wizard, otherwise their magic grows heavy and lacklustre. Fresh challenges and regular changes of scene cause this wand to literally shine, burnishing itself as it grows, with its partner, in ability and status.<
Oak Rubeus Hagrid's wand According to Pottermore, both English oak and Red oak can be used as wand wood.
Pear

Mentioned only (Pottermore)

Pear wands produce wands of splendid magicalpowers. Possessors of pear wands are, in the experience of the learned wandmaker Garrick Ollivander, usually popular and well-respected and he never knew of single instance where a pear wand has been discovered in the possession of a Dark witch or wizard. They are also the most resilient.
Pine Pine wands always chooses an independent, individual master who may be perceived as a loner, intriguing and perhaps mysterious. Pine wands enjoy being used creatively, and unlike some others, will adapt unprotestingly to new methods and spells. Many wandmakers insist that pine wands are able to detect, and perform best for, owners who are destined for long lives, including Garrick Ollivander who had never personally known the master of a pine wand to die young. The pine wand is one of those that is most sensitive to non-verbal magic.
Poplar

Eldritch Diggory's wand

Poplar wands rely upon, of consistency, strength and uniform power, always happiest when working with a witch or wizard of clear moral vision. The existence of these wands and its owners was cited as evidence against a myth that poplar wands never chose politicians.
Evangeline Orpington's wand
Redwood Redwood wands are strongly attracted to witches and wizards who already possess the admirable ability to fall on their feet, to make the right choice, to snatch advantage from catastrophe.
Reed

Though Garrick Ollivander himself did not use it, his associate in the Hogsmeade branch was known to sell wands made from reed.

Corresponds to one of the months of the Celtic calendar, from 28 October to 23 November.[5]

Rosewood

Fleur Delacour's wand

Queenie Goldstein's wand
Rowan

Mentioned only (Pottermore)

Rowan wands generally produce powerful, hard to break Defensive Charms. Rowan wands was also noted for its believed disassociation with the Dark Arts. Perhaps for these reasons, rowan has become associated with pure-hearted wizards, though Ollivander noted that rowan wands can also match or even outperform others in duels.
Silver lime

According to Pottermore, silver lime is an incredibly unusual and attractive wood that works best for Seers and those skilled at Legilimency. It was greatly in vogue in the nineteenth century when the demand outstripped supply, causing some wandmakers to dye other wood in effort to fool purchasers into believing they had purchased a silver lime wand.

Spruce Spruce wands require particular deftness to work with spruce, which produces wands that are ill-matched with cautious or nervous natures, becoming positively dangerous in fumbling fingers. Spruce wands require a firm hand, because it often appears to have its own ideas about what magic it ought to be called upon to produce. However, when a spruce wand meets its match is a bold spell-caster with a good sense of humour and it becomes a superb helper, intensely loyal to their owners and capable of producing particularly flamboyant and dramatic effects.
Swamp mayhaw Seraphina Picquery's wand According to Pottermore, Violetta Beauvais, a wandmaker from New Orleans, used the wood for all of her wands.[9]
Sycamore The sycamore makes a questing wand, eager for new experience and losing brilliance if engaged in mundane activities.
Vine

Hermione Granger's wand

Vine wands are among the less common types, and their ideal owners are nearly always those witches or wizards who seek a greater purpose, who have a vision beyond the ordinary and who frequently astound those who think they know them best. Vine wands seem strongly attracted by personalities with hidden depths, and Garrick Ollivander himself has found them more sensitive than any other when it comes to instantly detecting a prospective match.
Walnut Bellatrix Lestrange's wand Walnut wands are often found in the hands of magical innovators and inventors; this is a handsome wood possessed of unusual versatility and adaptability. Walnut wands will, once subjugated, perform any task its owner desires, provided that the user is of sufficient brilliance. This makes for a truly lethal weapon in the hands of a witch or wizard of no conscience, for the wand and the wizard may feed from each other in a particularly unhealthy manner.
Willow

Lily Evans's wand

Willow is an uncommon wand wood with healing power, and their ideal owner is often has some (usually unwarranted) insecurity, however well they may try and hide it. They have handsome appearance and well-founded reputation for enabling advanced, non-verbal magic) the willow wands there have consistently selected those of greatest potential, rather than those who feel they have little to learn.
Ron Weasley's second wand
Yew Lord Voldemort's wand Yew wands are among the rarer kinds, and their ideal matches are likewise unusual, and occasionally notorious. The wand of yew is reputed to endow its possessor with the power of life and death, which might, of course, be said of all wands; and yet yew retains a particularly dark and fearsome reputation in the spheres of duelling and all curses. However, it is untrue to say (as those unlearned in wandlore often do) that those who use yew wands are more likely to be attracted to the Dark Arts than another. The witch or wizard best suited to a yew wand might equally prove a fierce protector of others. Wands hewn from these most long-lived trees have been found in the possession of heroes quite as often as of villains. Where wizards have been buried with wands of yew, the wand generally sprouts into a tree guarding the dead owner’s grave. What is certain, in my experience, is that the yew wand never chooses either a mediocre or a timid owner.
Ginevra Weasley's wand
A wand produced by Garrick Ollivander
A wand made of yew was presented to Harry Potter in 1991. It did not choose him.

Behind the scenes

  • Although J. K. Rowling has said that she only used the Celtic assignations for Harry, Ron and Hermione,[10] Draco Malfoy's wand wood of hawthorn matches his date of birth in the Celtic tree calendar as well.
  • Wand wood bearing trees are often protected by bowtruckles and protective curses cast by their owners.[11]
  • Many superstitions have arisen around wands, based on the woods used. Certain wands are supposedly incompatible "When his wand's oak and hers is holly, then to marry would be folly." It also can denote flaws in the owner's character "Rowan gossips, chestnut drones, ash is stubborn, hazel moans". Among these sayings is also "wand of elder, never prosper".[12]
  • It is unclear if magical variants of trees used as wand woods, such as the Wiggentree and the Whomping Willow, can be used as wand wood, or if such wands would have additional properties.

Author's comments

J. K. Rowling has explained her choice of wand woods for Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort:

"It was not an arbitrary decision: holly has certain connotations that were perfect for Harry, particularly when contrasted with the traditional associations of yew, from which Voldemort’s wand is made. European tradition has it that the holly tree (the name comes from ‘holy’) repels evil, while yew, which can achieve astonishing longevity (there are British yew trees over two thousand years old), can symbolise both death and resurrection; the sap is also poisonous."[10]

Rowling has also revealed that she discovered that Harry's wand wood corresponded to his date of birth in the Celtic tree calendar afterwards, and decided to use the calendar to assign the wand woods of Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger as a "hidden connection" between the three[10].

See also

Appearances

Notes and references

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