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The mission for the Elder Wand took place in 1997, and continued in 1998. It occurred when Voldemort spent nearly a year seeking out the Elder Wand, hoping to use it to successfully kill his archenemy Harry Potter.[1]


Background information[]

Plot to kill Harry Potter[]

Priori Incantatem Pottermore

Harry duelling Voldemort in a battle of wills, triggering the effect of Priori Incantatem

In the spring of 1994, Harry Potter duelled Lord Voldemort in the Little Hangleton graveyard.[2] When Harry fended off the attack and escaped via Portkey, Voldemort failed in his quest to kill Harry and began to question why he failed while at the same time searching for Sybill Trelawney's first prophecy. Eventually, he discovered the Elder Wand, and knew it would help him destroy Harry. He began to exhaust months searching for it.[1]


Garrick Ollivander[]

DH1 Voldemort interrogates Mr

Voldemort interrogates Mr. Ollivander about his and Harry's wands

Soon after the start of the quest, Voldemort kidnapped wandmaker Garrick Ollivander and demanded to know why he could not beat Harry in 1994. Ollivander told him to use a different wand, so he brought the wand of Lucius Malfoy to the fight instead. After flying to his position, he engaged Harry a second time. This time, he wielded a wand with a different core. However, the wand broke during the fight, and Voldemort was forced to retreat. Upon returning, he demanded to know why the wand failed him, and Ollivander did not know. Voldemort then proceeded to torture him for information regarding the Elder Wand.[1]

Mykew Gregorovitch[]

Voldemort: "Give it to me, Gregorovitch."
Gregorovitch: "I have it not, I have it no more! It was, many years ago, stolen from me!"
Voldemort: "Do not lie to Lord Voldemort, Gregorovitch. He knows. . . . He always knows."
— Voldemort and Gregorovitch[src]
Voldemort killing Gregorovitch

Voldemort interrogating Mykew Gregorovitch

Following the capture of Ollivander, Voldemort hunted down Mykew Gregorovitch down over the course of the next few months. He murdered a family that lived in his former residence.[3] He found Gregorovitch in his wand shop and, after using a spell to discard several wands, cornered the latter, using two spells to keep him from escaping. Voldemort demanded he give him the Elder Wand, but Gregorovitch said that someone had stolen it from him decades ago.[1]

Grindelwald stealing Elder Wand

Grindelwald stealing the Elder Wand from Gregorovitch

Enraged at his failure, Voldemort believed he was lying, and used Legilimency to probe his mind and confirm Gregorovitch's story. During his search through Gregorovitch's memories, Voldemort found the memory of the incident when he lost the wand to a teenage boy who stole it in the night. Voldemort immediately demanded to know who the thief was, but Gregorovitch did not know who it was. Recognising he had all the information he required, and that Gregorovitch was no longer useful to him, Voldemort performed the Killing Curse on the wandmaker.[1]

Gellert Grindelwald[]

"Kill me, then. Voldemort, I welcome death! But my death will not bring you what you seek… that wand will never, ever be yours!"
— Grindelwald shortly before his death[src]
Voldemort and Grindelwald DHF1

Voldemort interrogating Grindelwald about the location of the Elder Wand

Voldemort broke into the prison Nurmengard Castle, where Gellert Grindelwald was being held, and demanded to know the location of the Elder Wand. It was only during the confrontation in Grindelwald's cell that Voldemort learned Albus Dumbledore had claimed the wand in a duel decades back. Grindelwald baffled Voldemort when he showed no fear during the interrogation, taunting Voldemort and laughing at his desire for the wand. Being summoned at that point due to an ongoing conflict at Malfoy Manor, Voldemort murdered Grindelwald in a rage without gaining any information. However, Voldemort deduced that Dumbledore, who had defeated Grindelwald, had won the Elder Wand, and headed off to his grave.[1]

The theft[]

" [...] and as he took it, a shower of sparks flew from its tip, sparkling over the corpse of its last owner, ready to serve a new master at last."
— Voldemort finishes his mission[src]
DH1 Voldemort testing the Elder Wand

Voldemort using the wand for the first time

After interrogating and killing Grindelwald, Lord Voldemort flew to the White Tomb near Hogwarts and used his own wand to crack open the tomb. He proceeded to remove the sheets from around Dumbledore's body, allowing him to take the wand within. He did not realise that Harry Potter had recently won the allegiance of the wand from Draco Malfoy. Now victorious in his mission, Voldemort gave the wand a heavy blast into the air, illuminating the light sky in the process.[1]


Elder Wand Voldemort

Voldemort with the wand preparing to breach Hogwarts in order to murder Harry

Voldemort's first known use of the wand was after the second break-in of Gringotts Wizarding Bank, in which he massacred goblins. When he believed the wand was not serving him faithfully, he summoned Severus Snape midway through the Battle of Hogwarts, incorrectly deducing that he had won the wand when he killed Albus Dumbledore, subsequently executing him. He knew the wand could be passed on through murder, but he did not recall while murdering Severus Snape that Grindelwald had been defeated by Dumbledore but was still alive, which is why he went to Nurmengard Castle first.[1]

B7C36M2 Voldemort vanquished

Harry's final defeat of Lord Voldemort and the end of the Second Wizarding War

Lord Voldemort used the wand against Harry Potter as soon as he was given the chance. When Harry and Voldemort faced off for the last time, Harry tried to tell him that he wasn't the master of the wand and about the other mistakes he had made. Harry also asked him to feel some remorse for his actions, which Voldemort instantly rejected. Voldemort cast the Killing Curse, and Harry countered with the Disarming Charm. The Elder Wand refused to attack its master, and the Killing Curse rebounded, destroying Voldemort once and for all, as the most powerful wand in the world fell into the hands of its true master at last.[1]


Notes and references[]