Believe it or not, in the hands of a trained wizard, this little dinky branch is an extremely dangerous weapon. What some people may not realize, unless they are Harry Potter fans, is that wands are partially sentient. They choose their master as much as they are chosen. The Elder Wand in the Harry Potter series is no exception, but unlike most, it is believed to be the most powerful wand ever created. The power isn’t the only thing that sets the wand apart from other wands. What makes the Elder Wand so different is its lack of loyalty. It only bonds with whichever wizard it feels is the more powerful which is proven by defeating the current master.
Then it moves on and works with the new owner without any disruption in power. This becomes tricky in the series however when Harry Potter becomes the master of the wand through a series of actions that he was not aware of. Voldemort struggled after that to discover who the true master of the wand was after he gained possession of it and killed those he thought had earned its allegiance. It wasn’t till he tried using the wand against its true master did he realize that Harry was the man all along he needed to defeat.
The Elder Wand is carved from wood from an Elder Tree. It is fifteen inches long and the carvings along its length are of elder berries. Every wand has a core that imbues it with magical energy. These cores are created using something from various mythological creatures including dragons, unicorns and the phoenix. The core of the Elder Wand is from the tail hair of a difficult to find creature called a Thestral, which only a wizard who has faced death can see.
The legend behind the Elder Wand’s creation is that Death himself had made it as part of the Deathly Hallows Legend. The other items included in that were the Cloak of Invisibility and the Resurrection Stone. These three items were supposedly created by Death for the three Peverell brothers many centuries ago.
The brothers had been traveling and came across a dangerous river and so created a bridge to cross it safely. They were wizards after all, what’s a river to them? Death felt cheated since most people died trying to cross so he tried tricking them and offered them each a great gift. Apparently the gifts would lead to untimely deaths in their future and for the Elder Wand that was surely true. At one point in history this wand was nicknamed the Deathstick. Once word got out that someone possessed a very powerful wand, greedy and evil wizards murdered each other over the wand for ages. The Resurrection Stone itself brought dead people to the living, which also made it a covetable item by those willing to kill for it. The last brother wanted nothing to do with Death or power and asked for a cloak that would hide him so that not even Death himself could follow after him. Of the three brothers, the one with the Cloak is the only one who lived a full life.
A wand by itself is not powerful, even less than a lonely sword propped against the wall. These weapons are only sticks in the hands of a regular person, but because of their magical enchantment, they can enhance and hasten a wizard’s ability to cast spells. A wizard can perform magic without a wand, but it is much more difficult and exhausting. The Elder Wand enhances the strength of the spells more than any other wand, but more so for the wizard it has accepted as the one who has true mastery over it. If you are a wizard and you’re going into battle, you better have a wand that has accepted you or that lightning bolt you’re summoning might just fire back at you instead.
I hope you have enjoyed this installment of Fantasy Weapons Weekly. Click here to view the catalog of all the fantasy weapons I’ve written about.