My Headcanon Says That Harry Was Never the Master of the Elder Wand

Some in the Potter fandom have debated whether Harry made the correct decision when he forsook the Elder Wand for his holly and phoenix wand, but was the Wand ever Harry’s to forsake?

Harry’s mastership of the Elder Wand is convincingly confirmed during his climactic fight with Voldemort in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Harry saw Voldemort’s green jet meet his own spell, saw the Elder Wand fly high, dark against the sunrise, spinning across the enchanted ceiling like the head of Nagini, spinning through the air toward the master it would not kill, who had come to take full possession of it at last.

Despite this, my headcanon says that Harry was never the master of the Elder Wand and that at the end of Deathly Hallows, Draco was still the master of the Elder Wand. This might be considered unreasonable. On first glance, it seems to contradict the plot of Deathly Hallows. However, I have several forms of circumstantial evidence that suggest that Draco is the master of the Elder Wand without contradicting the plot of the series.



The Elder Wand is characteristically similar to J.R.R. Tolkien’s One Ring, as featured in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Both objects are shown to be sentient and are able to act autonomously, to an extent. For instance, the Ring abandoned Gollum.

A Ring of Power looks after itself, Frodo. It may slip off treacherously, but its keeper never abandons it… It was not Gollum, Frodo, but the Ring itself that decided things. The Ring left him.

When Xenophilius Lovegood was explaining the historical context of “The Tale of the Three Brothers” to the trio, he spoke about the trail of the Elder Wand.

Surely you have heard of the way the wand came to Egbert the Egregious, after his slaughter of Emeric the Evil? Of how Godelot died in his own cellar after his son, Hereward, took the wand from him? Of the dreadful Loxias, who took the wand from Barnabas Deverill, whom he had killed? The bloody trail of the Elder Wand is splattered across the pages of wizarding history.



What this tells me is that the Elder Wand favors the powerful. I’ve often wondered how Dumbledore could have defeated Grindelwald if the latter was the master of the Elder Wand, but what if the Wand chose Dumbledore? Perhaps the Wand recognized that Dumbledore was the superior wizard – power does not necessarily have to be synonymous with evil.

I’ve never been a fan of the idea of Harry winning the Elder Wand by snatching Draco’s other wand away from him. It’s convenient to the plot, but especially since wandlore isn’t mentioned much in previous books, I find it kind of messy.

The way I see it, wands are a reflection of their owners. The fact that the Elder Wand didn’t kill Harry should not discount the theory that Draco was its true owner. This is because the Wand was behaving in accordance with Draco’s true allegiance at that time.

Draco was infatuated with the Dark Arts during most of the series, eventually joining Voldemort’s ranks at some point between Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Throughout Half-Blood Prince, though, we see that Draco is not about that Death Eater life. He spends his days crying in Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom, and near the end of the book, Dumbledore tells him, “I wonder whether your heart has been really in it” (HBP 27). A frightened Draco tells Dumbledore, “He told me to do it or he’ll kill me. I’ve got no choice.” Harry later notes that Draco “had lowered his wand before the other Death Eaters arrived” (HBP 30).



By Deathly Hallows, it’s clear that Draco doesn’t want to be on Voldemort’s side at all. He’s seen his father humiliated, his mother’s distress, and his childhood home usurped by Voldemort. When the trio is captured and taken to Malfoy Manor, Lucius asks Draco to confirm Harry’s identity. Draco doesn’t turn Harry over.

The next time that Draco and Harry crossed paths was at Hogwarts. Harry saved Draco’s life as the Room of Requirement became engulfed in flames. Recall Dumbledore’s line about life debts from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban:

When one wizard saves another wizard’s life, it creates a certain bond between them.



So when the Elder Wand defied Voldemort by not killing Harry, it was repaying Draco’s life debt to Harry. The Wand also turned on Voldemort because it recognized that Draco was no longer on his side. If Draco considered Voldemort his enemy and thought that Harry could defeat him, then the Wand would have acted accordingly.

Do you think this theory holds any weight or is it completely bogus?

Victor Chan

I'm a Sydney-based Hufflepuff with a predilection for the pen, fuelled by my love of "Harry Potter". When I'm not consumed by "Potter", I'm probably listening to Prince.