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A deathly hallows necklace, a sign of the quest

Xenophilius Lovegood: "There is nothing Dark about the Hallows — at least, not in that crude sense. One simply uses the symbol to reveal oneself to other believers, in the hope that they might help one with the Quest."
Harry Potter: "I'm sorry. I still don't really understand."
Xenophilius Lovegood: "Well, you see, believers seek the Deathly Hallows."
— Xenophilius Lovegood explaining the Hallows Quest, and the importance of the sign of the Deathly Hallows to it, to Harry Potter[src]

The Hallows Quest, also simply known as the Quest, was a term used by believers of the Deathly Hallows to describe their journey to seek out the three objects. Those undertaking this journey referred to themselves as Questers. Questers often wore the sign of the Deathly Hallows on their person to identify themselves to other Questers, in the hope that they could meet and share knowledge.[1]


The Deathly Hallows referred to three objects from the fairy tale The Tale of the Three Brothers by Beedle the Bard. In this story, three brothers were said to have received three fantastic objects from Death itself. These objects were an unbeatable wand, a stone capable of reviving the dead, and an infallible invisibility cloak. Questers referred to these objects as the Elder Wand, the Resurrection Stone, and the Cloak of Invisibility. Questers also believed that the three brothers from the tale were the Peverell brothers, and they manufactured the objects rather than being given them by Death.[1]

It was said that the Hallows were lure for fools, and that many had died in their quest to reunite all three of them.[2]

Known personal Hallows Quests

"Invincible masters of death, Grindelwald and Dumbledore! Two months of insanity, of cruel dreams, and neglect of the only two members of my family left to me."
— Albus Dumbledore describes this time of his life.[src]

Dumbledore and Grindelwald, during a time when they were active Questers

In their youth, Gellert Grindelwald and Albus Dumbledore sought the Deathly Hallows, envisioning themselves as "invincible Masters of Death" ruling over the Muggles "For the Greater Good". Grindelwald managed to track down and steal the Elder Wand from its master at the time, the wandmaker Gregorovitch, obtaining mastery of it by Stunning him. Albus Dumbledore would later take the Wand for himself after a vicious duel between the pair.[2]

In his later life, Dumbledore would abandon actively searching for the Hallows, though he still took opportunities to seek them when they arose. However, while he was successful in locating the other two Hallows, his attempts in taking them for his own led to tragedy. Correctly deducing that James Potter's invisibility cloak was the fabled Cloak of Invisibility, he borrowed it from James for study. However, Voldemort broke the protection of the Fidelius Charm around the Potters during this time, and Dumbledore thus partially blamed himself for the deaths of James and Lily, as he had robbed them of an alternate means to hide themselves. His attempt to use the Resurrection Stone also ended in tragedy, as it was turned into one of Voldemort's Horcruxes by virtue of being set in Marvolo Gaunt's Ring. In a "foolish" attempt to use the Stone, Dumbledore activated a deadly curse which drastically shortened his lifespan. These failures caused him to finally considered himself unworthy as a Quester.[2]

Xenophilius Lovegood displays his necklace, his proof as a Quester

Xenophilius Lovegood also considered himself a Quester, wearing a necklace bearing the sign of the Deathly Hallows. His search for the Hallows was most likely brought on by his overall belief in those things that very few other wizards believe in or even consider possible. Though he was adamant in his Quest, he is not known to have ever come close to locating any of the Hallows, despite unknowingly having a possessor of two of them in his sitting room for a noted duration.[1]

Harry Potter once considered undertaking the Hallows Quest after being told about it by Lovegood, believing that it was what Dumbledore would have wanted him to do, and what he needed to do to vanquish Voldemort. He eventually, however, realised that this was a flawed assumption, and that he should stick to his own personal "Quest" for Voldemort's Horcruxes. Despite not actively seeking the Hallows, he ended up with all three in his possession, though never all at the same time. The Cloak of Invisibility was gifted to him by Dumbledore many years previous as his rightful possession from his father. The Resurrection Stone was covertly bequeathed to him in Dumbledore's will, covertly concealed with the first Golden Snitch he ever caught. The Elder Wand was mastered by Harry after he disarmed Draco Malfoy during a skirmish at Malfoy Manor (Draco having previously disarmed Dumbledore during the Battle of the Astronomy Tower and taken mastery of the Wand), and was briefly held in his possession after his defeat of Voldemort at Voldemort's Last Stand before the Wand was returned to the White Tomb.

Behind the scenes

  • The term "Hallows Quest" and its related terms, as well as the custom of carrying the sign of the Deathly Hallows, are only ever mentioned by Xenophilius Lovegood. Given his unreliable nature, it is possible that these trappings of the search for the Deathly Hallows were invented wholesale by Lovegood, and that other seekers such as Dumbledore and Grindelwald did not adhere to them.


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 21 (The Tale of the Three Brothers)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 35 (King's Cross)