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Who Is the True Owner of the Elder Wand?

This Elder Wand Theory Will Have You Questioning Everything You Thought You Knew

Harry Potter fans know one of the most rewarding perks of rereading the series on the regular are the new details you discover each time. If you're really lucky, you might just discover something mind-blowing. This is what happened to Reddit user Wmdonovan23 as they reread Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and found that the elder wand might've belonged to Voldemort — not Dumbledore.

Here's how this theory explains the process of how the elder wand changes ownership. In the books, the elder wand changes ownership by conquering the previous owner. With this logic, it's clear how Draco became the owner of the elder wand, since he disarmed Dumbledore. However, the alternative theory traces the elder wand's roots back to when Grindelwald stole the wand from Gregorovitch. In that scene, Grindelwald merely steals the wand and attempts to stun Gregorovitch. So if you follow the logic of elder wand ownership, this means that Grindelwald was never really the true master of the elder wand and neither was Dumbledore, after he defeated him.

So who is the true owner? Voldemort, of course! Voldemort found Gregorovitch, killed him, and became the new master of the elder wand. But as Reddit user Wmdonovan23 states, the wand never worked properly for him because he was "less of a wizard," considering three of his horcruxes were already destroyed at this point. He was still the true owner.

The end result is the same. Harry ends up becoming the true master because he did defeat Voldemort and overpowered him — not because he stole the wand from Draco Malfoy. Convinced yet?

This theory was fiercely debated years before on a forum called Science Fiction and Fantasy. One user named Julian brought up the same questions in 2012 — and users here decided that the laws around ownership of the elder wand are very different. The elder wand simply responds to the more powerful wizard who takes the wand — no matter how it's done. So, even though Grindelwald stole the wand, Gregorovitch was still left without one, rendering him powerless and leaving the elder wand to declare allegiance to its new, more powerful owner, discussed user Manishearth. User Janoma chimed in to say that this idea still applies when Harry takes the wand from Draco, also leaving him powerless and making the elder wand choose Harry as its new owner.

J.K. Rowling has previously addressed this elder wand confusion, telling Today that, "To truly own the Elder Wand, which means to receive the full benefits, double-edged though it is, of all its power, you have to have conquered the previous owner." However, Rowling never addressed the ownership path before Dumbledore and Draco in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Pretty much, we're going to need Rowling to give us some answers ASAP.

Image Source: Everett Collection
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