Harry Potter Wandlore: 10 Things You Didn't Know About Elder Wood
Elder wood is a particularly powerful component in Harry Potter wandlore, and there are many things you may be unaware of...
Every wand in Harry Potter is made of different materials in order to create the perfect wand who will choose their new owners based on the wand's personality and desires. No two wands are made the same and incorporate a number of different features that change how the wand works. These properties are the wands magical core, its length, the flexibility, and, finally, the wood.
Elder wood is an especially rare wood to use but is probably one of the most popular in the fandom due to the ever-popular Elder Wand that a primal focus in the final book of the series. This wand was created by Death out of a nearby elder tree and is one of the few elder wood wands in existence. It originally belonged to Antioch Peverell, the oldest and strongest of the brothers, but has since seen a number of different masters all the way down to Albus Dumbledore and Harry Potter.
Rarest Wand Wood
Elder wood is the rarest of woods to make wands with for a number of reasons that will be discussed in this list. It hasn't been used as often by wandmakers and takes a very special person to be chosen by. Elder wood has a pretty horrible reputation and a following superstition of "wand of elder, never prosper." Because of this many customers and wandmakers avoid using this wood in their wands.
Has A Reputation To Be Unlucky
Because of its past, wands made of this wood have a reputation to be highly unlucky. Sometimes people even believe this wood can spell certain doom for its owners. Like in the tale of the Peverell brothers, the Elder Wand passed from person to person. Antioch was killed for it, as many were after him. It is believed that the Elder Wand and its power brings great misfortune to many as it wants to continually be passed to the next person.
Hardest To Master
Other than the wood being extremely rare and supposedly unlucky, this wand is also incredibly difficult to master. It has strong magic and is not for the faint of heart. This wand is extremely picky with its ownership and is not afraid to continue on the next owner at a moment's notice.
A good example of this is Draco Malfoy's claim over the Elder Wand. The wand didn't stay in his possession long and quickly moved on to the next suitable owner. It didn't protect Draco well enough to keep from being disarmed.
Hardest To Sell
It should be obvious based on its many unfortunate traits that this wand is also incredibly difficult to sell for wandmakers. Many customers believe in the superstitions this wand holds and don't want to purchase a wand that had such bad luck tied to it. Because of this, many wandmakers rarely craft wands using this wood. It is said that only foolish wandmakers are actually afraid of using this wood because of the superstition, but that many do not due to its sales.
Produces The Strongest Magic
A wand made of elder produces the strongest kinds of magic. So powerful that is sure to be the envy of many witches and wizards who see its usage. As is said with the Elder Wand, this was the main reason Antioch Peverell was killed. His wand was powerful and people are him knew it. They wanted the power for themselves but ended up finding it too much for them to bear. This wand also thinks highly of itself and knows its magic is powerful.
Finicky With Ownership
Because this wand thinks so highly of itself, it is incredibly finicky with its ownership. This wand will only choose a witch or wizard who shows great talent and power when it comes to using magic. And if that witch or wizard does not meet the strength standards the wand has over them, then this wand will betray its owner and seek new ownership.
This is where the wand's unlucky reputation comes from. It is said that only a remarkable wizard can keep an elder wand for any length of time.
Choose Rather Unusual Owners
When this wand does choose an owner, they often seem to be rather unusual. A great example of this is Albus Dumbledore. Though Dumbledore came into the Elder Wand by defeating Grindelwald, it stayed with him for many, many years after. In the book series (more so than in the movies) Dumbledore is an old and quirky wizard. He likes comical things and is way more whimsical than any other character in the series. Many find him strange in his antics but know he is a powerful and wise wizard. This wand sticks to him due to his personality and inner strength.
Chosen Masters Are Marked For A Special Destiny
The chosen masters for this wand are also supposedly marked for a great destiny. Dumbeldore, for example again, was a great and powerful wizard who will be remembered for his actions. He aided Harry Potter throughout his life, put a stop to Grindelwald, and was the greatest headmaster Hogwarts had ever seen. He created the Order of the Phoenix and was the inspiration behind Dumbledore's army. Harry Potter was another owner of the Elder Wand. He was the chosen one, the hero to stop the Dark Lord, he saved the wizarding and muggle world alike.
Owners Of This Wand Have An Affinity For Those Chosen By Rowan Wood
Ollivander stated in his notes that he has noticed a peculiar trait with the wands made of elder. Those who are chosen by elder wands typically have a powerful affinity to those witches and wizards who are chosen by rowan wood wands. He has also stated that those chosen by rowan wands seem to be utterly compatible with those chosen by elder. There seems to be no stated reasoning for this, however, rowan wands typically chose people pure of heart. Ollivander remembers every wand he has ever sold, and he states he has never sold a rowan wand to someone who embraces the dark arts. Perhaps the pure of heart contradicts the finicky and bad luck nature of the elder wand, granting the users stability in relationships and friendships.
The Elder Wand
The last entry on this list is about quite the obvious, the Elder Wand. The classic story of the Elder Wand was made of elder wood, thestral tail hair, was 15 inches long (making it one of the longest wands in the series), and has an unknown flexibility. This wand is one of the three Deathly Hallows and was said to be made by Death itself. The Elder Wand is also known as the Deathstick and the Wand of Destiny due to its history of owners who have been killed while possessing this wand, and the great destiny when wielded by someone who uses it not for personal gain.