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Wand wood

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Wands

Various wands of different woods.

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 6" to 16", as well as rigidity, ranging from "springy"[1] to "unyielding"[2].

Known wand woods

Wand wood Known wands constructed of this wood Notes
Acacia
  • Mentioned only (Pottermore)
Alder Corresponds to one of the months of the Celtic calendar, from 18 March to 14 April
Apple
Ash Corresponds to one of the months of the Celtic calendar, from 18 February to 17 March[3].
Aspen
Beech
Blackthorn
Black Walnut
Cedar
Cherry (tree)

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

Chestnut (tree)
Cypress
Dogwood
Ebony
Elder Corresponds to one of the months of the Celtic calendar, from 25 November to 23 December[3].
Elm The wand is also part of his walking stick, in 1993 while leaving his meeting with Dumbledore he pulls it out of his stick.
Fir
Hawthorn Corresponds to one of the months of the Celtic calendar, from 13 May to 9 June. There is also an old popular superstition in Great Britain and Ireland that ill-luck attended the uprooting of hawthorns.[5][3].
Hazel Corresponds to one of the months of the Celtic calendar, from 5 August to 1 September
Holly Corresponds to one of the months of the Celtic calendar, from 8 July to 4 August[3].
Hornbeam
Larch
Laurel
Mahogany
Maple
Oak
  • Corresponds to one of the months of the Celtic calendar, from 10 June to 7 July[3].
  • According to Pottermore, both English oak and Red oak can be used as wand wood.
  • Merlin's wand is rumored to be English oak
Pear
Pine
Poplar
Redwood
Rosewood
Rowan Corresponds to one of the months of the Celtic calendar, from 21 January to 17 February
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
Sycamore
Vine Corresponds to one of the months of the Celtic calendar, from 2 September to 29 September[3].
Walnut
  • Walnut is associated with some old European superstitions. In seventeenth-century Italy, a walnut tree in Benevento was believed to be a gathering place for witches.
  • According to Pottermore, both Walnut and Black Walnut may be used for wand wood.
Willow Corresponds to one of the months of the Celtic calendar, from 15 April to 12 May[3].
Yew Further information: Yew

[6]

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."[7]

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[7].

Behind the scenes

  • Other woods in the Celtic tree calender include birch, rowan, alder, hazel, ivy, and reed[3], thus these may be other wand woods. As well as these, three other types of wood were used in the first book: maple, ebony, and beechwood.
  • Although J. K. Rowling has said that she only used the Celtic assignations for Harry, Ron and Hermione,[7] 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.[8]
  • 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".[9]

See also

Appearances

Notes and references

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